Season 4 House of Cards Episode 4 Spoilers Ahead: Well, the new season of House of Cards brought the return of Lucas Goodwin, who fans hadn't seen since he was convicted of cyberterrorism back in Season 2 and sent to prison. But, he returned with a new identity in Season 4: Lucas Goodwin is now John Carlyle. Or, I guess, was, since he was killed by Meechum for trying to assassinate the president. Goodwin was released from prison in the beginning of Season 4 and placed in Witness Protection after he helped name names for another case. But, why was John Carlyle given to him as Lucas' new identity?
I checked and there's no real significance of that name. I mean, there was a real John Carlyle in American history. Colonel John Carlyle lived from 1720 to 1780, and, according to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA), Carlyle lived in a fancy estate in Alexandria, Virginia after immigrating to America from Scotland. The organization said his home, The Carlyle House, now "stands as testimony to man of wealth and position in mid-eighteenth century America." And, Carlyle was buddies with George Washington himself, before Washington was president, which is pretty cool.
I think the name is really just a coincidence, though. I mean, it's possible the HoC writers knew Carlyle was a historical figure, but it's not like Carlyle also attempted to assassinate a president or something. There's no great connection between the real man and Goodwin. It's likely that identity was just assigned to him by the Witness Protection Program as a name that wouldn't attract a lot of attention in his new home of Dayton, Ohio. Of course, in the fictional world of House of Cards, the name will now go down in history forever as the alias of the man who tried to kill President Underwood.