- Norse: Affectionate
- German: Relic, Ancestral Heritage
- Latin: Olive (symbol of peace), Peaceful
The Latin translation, "peace," will be the focus of this interpretation.
But in those few moments where he's unburdened---at peace---Oliver smiles, laughs, is charismatic and even pretty funny!
Above all, Oliver is a leader. He leads by example, is steadfast and often times predictable. So when he incorrectly attributes a quotation, or shows up with his tie uncharacteristically configured, it's like a red flag. Lack of peace causes Oliver to become distracted and unable to focus on the task at hand, even removing himself from the situation as he did walking out to his car in From Paris With Love. When Oliver isn't at peace, his ability to lead effectively is put in jeopardy.
In the clip above, Oliver's lack of peace gives way to a deep cynicism, on occasion so shocking it required correction from those around him---I'll never forget Shane calling him out in "The Future Me."
For a good majority of the series, Oliver's lack of peace, and the incidents that ensued as a result, were directly tied to Holly. As his original House Rule suggested, it was only when Oliver found it in himself to forgive Holly, and himself, that Oliver was able to achieve the peace he was so desperately seeking. Even so, this wasn’t the end of Oliver’s journey. As Truth Be Told demonstrated, his reconciliation with Holly was only a stepping stone towards achieving a deeper peace only obtainable through the ultimate deconstruction.
Peace In Action
Reconciling with Holly and his identity laid the foundation for Oliver to become the most fully expressed version of himself possible. Glimpses of this Oliver permeated the moments when his troubles were furthest away through his wit and humor early on in the series, only to continue and even become more apparent in his actions in From Paris With Love through Impossible Dream.
Yet as Oliver worked through, and ultimately past, both his ending marriage and identity crisis, peace gave way to something else---clarity. Much like emerging from the other side of a blizzard, Oliver’s clarity of purpose, both in his personal and professional life, became hallmarks of his progress.
This is all to say that Oliver's troubles thus far have only been catalysts for the transformation through trial Oliver has encountered. That, when overcome, allowed Oliver to truly embody the trait with which his name is defined.
What's In A Name? Series: Introduction | Norman | Rita | Oliver | Shane