Lt. Col. James Rhodes
Tsisana (Georgian, meaning 'of the sky')
a scissor-tailed kite
Kites are excellent, agile flyers, soaring and hovering in the air, hawking their prey over low ground and doing stoops and dives to catch them. Scissor-tailed kites in particular form loose groups to hunt.
Lev (meaning 'heart' in Hebrew and 'lion' in Russian)
A veiled chameleon
Chameleons have eyes that rotate independently of each other, which allows them to have 360 degree vision, and can also change colours. They have incredible reaction times with their tongues to pluck up insects, and stand their ground when threatened, but aren't generally violent.
Dori (From 'Edorta', meaning 'wealth guard')
Basically just in honour of Happy's past life as a boxer, as well as the idea I had of Dori putting Demira in her pouch when Happy is trying to drag a drunk Tony around, or to protect her in a dangerous situation.
Hanan (Arabic, meaning 'mercy, compassion')
A pygmy marmoset
Marmosets have small, agile hands, and live in large, close knit families. They have complicated methods of communication, and groom and care for one another.
Caelum (Latin, meaning 'sky')
Hedgehogs are nocturnal, and energetic in search of quarry, sometimes travelling miles in a single night. Jane spends a lot of time chasing freak anomalies in the night sky. Hedgehogs are also very cute and cuddly and clumsy, even if they look a little like they would be hard to get to know.
Evren (Turkish, meaning 'cosmos/the universe')
Fireflies are also nocturnal, and I had an idea of little Erik enjoying going out and looking at the stars, and Evren flying around and flickering excitedly, and providing her own source of light to help him make notes.
Samir (Arabic, meaning 'companion in night chat')
A Cuvier's gazelle
Cuvier's gazelles live in packs of three or four, with one male and multiple females. They're very alert, and are quick to notice anything weird in their environment and signal the others that something is up. Plus, I think Kat Dennings has very doe-like features.
James Montgomery Falsworth
Ganix (Basque form of 'Jack')
A red deer
Red deer are common in England, especially on country estates, and I thought Falsworth and Ganix might have roamed the grounds a lot when he was a child and associated deer with happy memories. They also have little moustache markings on them. I wanted something very steady and elegant for Falsworth, who has a wry, regal bearing. Her name is a nod to the 'Union Jack' identity the original Falsworth has in the comics.
Drusilla (Latin, meaning 'strong')
A Hercules beetle
Dugan is a former circus strong man, and the Hercules beetle is one of the strongest animals for it's size, able to lift 850 times its own weight. Despite looking menacing, they are actually mostly harmless and don't bite humans, but are often used in sporting matches, beetle against beetle.
Arata (Japanese, meaning 'new')
We don't know much about Morita, except for his being from Fresno and a Nisei. I specifically chose an animal native to California, and I thought Arata might choose to be something American to help blend into and establish their identities, but a little unusual, to stand out still. Many Nisei children were/are at odds with their Japanese cultural heritage and the newer ideas of American lifestyles. Ringtails are solitary and quiet, but also extremely active hunters, and are very easily tamed and domesticated.
Fiera (Esperanto, meaning 'proud')
One of the few things we know about Jones is that he can speak French and German, so I chose an animal that is very good and picking up and learning other sounds. Starlings are excellent mimics, and pick up the songs of other birds to use in their own songs. They form flocks to fly in, and stay tightly together for protection.
Sissi ('See-See') (Nickname for Francis, meaning 'Frenchman')
An Alpine Marmot
This was one of those situations where it felt right more than any other reason. Marmots are common in the French alpine regions, and are excellent diggers, which, for some reason, I equated with Dernier's enjoyment of exploding things. I pictured Sissi digging holes for him to lay his charges in. I could also picture her chatting away in French to the other daemons, while Fiera translates for her, and her generally being rather bewildering to everyone else.
Colonel Chester Phillips
Alda (Limburgish form of Aldegund, meaning 'old war')
Beaucerons were bred to be guard and herding dogs, so they are athletic, loyal, intelligent, and naturally suspicious of strangers. They have dominating personalities and can easily overcome the household if they aren't taken firmly in hand. I liked the contrast of little Issie and big Alda squaring off when Steve and Phillips first meet, and Alda slowly coming to trust to Issie over time.