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We have always assumed that Nathan Drake's real name was Nathan Drake. However, Marlowe seems to suggest that this is not the case. After Drake recovers from the hallucinogens, he wakes up at a cafe outside, sitting at a table with Marlowe. She tells him that his mother committed suicide and his father surrendered him to the state. Then he went to a boarding school or something and believed himself to be Francis Drake's descendant, so took on that name.
Of course, he doesn't confirm or deny any of this. He just remains silent. But this is the only thing we've heard suggesting that Nathan Drake is a pseudonym. Anywhere else, they act like it's his real name; nobody ever hints otherwise. Even Elena, who is very close to him, calls him by that name. And the Uncharted wiki says that his real name is unknown. So could it have been just Marlowe bluffing, or was Drake really ashamed of his past identity and wanted to take up a new one based on his childhood hero?
See THIS is a plot point that I'm OK with that wasn't spelled out. THIS is how you leave something for interpretation ND!
I like to think that Marlow was telling the truth, it makes him a much deeper character. We don't really have any evidence though, since Drake doesn't confirm this, but if it was false I feel like someone would have said something later in the plot that she was full of crap.
Take no notice of Ben Reilly. He has anger issues. He called a few of us all sorts of names over the special edition UC3 and the fact it was hard to get the disc out of the sleeve. Turns out he had a DIFFERENT version to the one we were talking about lol.
The way Drake responds to it in the cutscene makes me think Marlowe's telling the truth. But I kind of like not knowing his real name. The main point is that he thought he was Francis Drake's descendant and changed his name because of that. It gives him more depth. Plus Nathan Drake is a cool name and fits him well.