You might have already read my post about all the easter eggs regarding Harry/his family from Spider-Man PS4. But there’s one in particular that got my interest: Emily’s middle name and mother’s name being “Marilyn.”
Now for most people the name “Marilyn” will bring to mind Marilyn Monroe, definitely the most famous Marilyn out there. (Emily having blonde hair in this version instead of her usual brunette only helps with the connection.)
But did ya know… “Marilyn” wasn’t actually Marilyn’s real name. The name she was born was actually… Norma. Yep, the feminine variant of Norman. Also the name of the gender-swapped Goblin from Ultimate Spider-Man!
So I strongly suspect the use of that name for Emily and her mother was absolutely a little easter egg for people who know random, slightly useless facts about Old Hollywood history. Like me! Hooray!
But that being said… there’s also a certain poignancy to Emily’s middle name/Harry’s grandmother’s name being “Marilyn”. (You should be aware from this point on that I’m a pretty big Marilyn Monroe fan! And am constantly livid about the image people assign to her.) The real-life Marilyn absolutely suffered mental health problems throughout her life, and was living in an era where there there was little in the way of support. Her mother Gladys had schizophrenia and it’s possible Marilyn inherited this, though of course we’ll never know for certain. She also suffered from drug addiction, again in an era where support and sympathy was hard to come by. And she was dead before reaching the end of her 30s.
Sounds a bit like the sad, sad story you’re visiting this little fandom website for, although of course this happened in real life. Basically, “Marilyn” is a really resonant name for Harry’s mother and grandmother to have. For legitimately tragic reasons.