Are names of characters copyrighted by authors? For example, the character "Eragon" from the Inheritance Cycle series, or a name that you've generated using an online name generator that you'd like to use (Which, could be copyrighted if names of characters are copyrighted by authors.)
IANAL disclaimer but generally character names themselves cannot be copyrighted. They may be trademarked but only if the literary work/movie/or a related product were named after the character. So, trademark would only come into play for secondary characters in widely merchandised works. In theory you'd be completely safe as long as your characters aren't similar to characters of the same name, and they aren't widely known characters.
There's an interesting essay here. Here is one of the key points respecting copyright:
to warrant copyright protection, a fictional character must be specifically described and fully developed. At times overcoming this "description hurdle" may be difficult to achieve. This is because some courts are very skeptical of protecting "word portraits" since they are unable to "see" the differences between one fictional character and another.
I would only think that the trademark rule would apply if the character's name was imperative to the plot of the story. For example, if someone were to write a novel about the comic book character "The Flash."