"Sparrowhawk, if ever your way lies East, come to me. And if you ever need me, send for me, call on me by my name: Estarriol."Naming is a big thing in Ursula Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea. Not only is it wrapped up in the themes - to know the name of something is to have power over it - but over the first 70 pages that lead up to this extract the reader has a good understanding of that names have a special place in this world.
At that Ged lifted his scarred face, meeting his friend's eyes.
"Estarriol," he said, "my name is Ged."
We have had a great setup with Le Guin clearly developing the nuances of names, so when we reach this part, and we get the explanation (info dump if you will). It is a big tell that follows:
Then quietly they bade each other farewell and Vetch turned and went down the stone hallway, and left Roke.but then, how else do you set that out clearly? Would we have understood the meaning to Ged without it having been stated here?
Ged stood still a while, like one who has received great news, and must enlarge his spirit to receive it. It was a great gift that Vetch had given him, the knowledge of his true name. No one knows a man's true name but himself and his namer. He may choose at length to tell it to his brother, or his wife, or his friend, yet even those few will never use it where any third person may hear it. In front of other people they will, like other people, call him by his use-name, his nickname - such a name as Sparrowhawk, and Vetch, and Ogion which means 'fir-cone'. If plain men hide their true name from all but a few they love and trust utterly, so much more must wizardly men, being more dangerous, and more endangered. Who knows a man's name, holds that man's life in his keeping. Thus to Ged who had lost faith in himself, Vetch had given that gift only a friend can give, the proof of unshaken, unshakeable trust.
This also raises a point about the difference between Show and Tell... what we have with the old S&T debate is that writers must show, in order to maintain reader interest - integrated descriptions of action, emotion, characters and setup that weave together.
The character was angry... is a tell.
The character threw down his ale an unsheathed his sword... is a show.
With exposition there is only so much showing that can be done. It's essentially an info dump and in order for the reader to understand fully what they are being told, the writer cannot flourish with a show. They must tell.