MorgulisMaximus

Was GRRM influenced by Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series?

233 posts in this topic

9 minutes ago, Leap said:

I mean, apart from the Entsmoot and the tendency to talk very slowly and criticise their fellow human travelers for being ''Hasty'', and the fact that the one Ogier travelling with our heroes is also the one who is just a little bit hastier than all of his fellow Ogier/Ents. And that they live much longer than the average human and as a result don't like to get tied up with the politics of the land, but end up doing so anyway because it's War. 

True, I can imagine Loial as an Ent. But notice how GRRM and Jordan both have overwhelmingly human-centric worlds. Tolkien has many different beings: Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, etc...

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4 hours ago, MorgulisMaximus said:

Just a few of many examples:

Rand al'Thor grows up without realizing that his parents are not his true parents. As a baby, he arrived at his home town with his "father" returning from war. The eighteen-or-so year difference between the previous war and beginning of the story also parallels ASOIAF.

I think this is probably one of the many nods in the Wheel of Time to Arthurian Legend with Arthur growing up the son of Sir Ector, not realising until he's grown that he's the son of royalty.

By the way, you might not have noticed them if you read ASOIAF first, but there are a couple of references to Robert Jordan in it. There's a House Jordayne of Tor (Jordan's publisher), and a reference to Archmaester Rigney (Jordan's real name) having a theory that time is like a wheel.

 

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1 hour ago, MorgulisMaximus said:

Ha! I tried to start reading the Sword of Truth... but Terry Goodwind just doesn't have the literary skill of GRRM or R. Jordan. Goodwind's basic grammatical skills are lacking. I found that to be a big turn-off. 

Yeah I was uh being sarcastic. Also book two of SoT is such a WoT rip that I'm stll not sure today why he didn't sue.

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54 minutes ago, williamjm said:

By the way, you might not have noticed them if you read ASOIAF first, but there are a couple of references to Robert Jordan in it. There's a House Jordayne of Tor (Jordan's publisher), and a reference to Archmaester Rigney (Jordan's real name) having a theory that time is like a wheel.

 

Wow, perhaps GRRM read more of Jordan's work than people realize... Video games have clearly drawn a lot of plot lines from both GRRM and RJ. Skyrim has many references to both GRRM and RJ. In the Witcher 3 the Lodge of Sorceresses is basically the Aes Sedai and the Order of the Eternal Fire is basically The Children of the light.

One of the differences between GRRM and RJ is the range of real world influences . GRRM primarily draws from European culture and history, particularly English history. RJ draws from a much wider pallet of world religions, cultures and histories. The Tinkers culture has shades of South Asia. The Seanchan culture has similarities to decadent East Asian imperial culture. 

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I've read both, and to be honest, I don't see many similarities.... Jordan's scope is so much smaller --which is not meant as a slight-- but his story is really about Rand... then to a lesser extent, Matrim, Perrin, and the Aes Sedai, and their travails.... whereas AsoIaF is an entire world, politics, nations at war.... there is some of that in WoT, but the way these stories are told is very differently

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12 minutes ago, Martini Sigil said:

I've read both, and to be honest, I don't see many similarities.... Jordan's scope is so much smaller --which is not meant as a slight-- but his story is really about Rand... then to a lesser extent, Matrim, Perrin, and the Aes Sedai, and their travails....

Hmmm.... There are actually analytics on POV percentages. Let's take a look at book #3: http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/The_Dragon_Reborn

Egwene: 33%

Perrin: 33%

Rand al'Thor: 2%

I think that pretty much proves The Wheel of Time is not about Rand al'Thor. There are literally hundreds of characters. The Companion book which is basically an encyclopedia is 815 pages long (hardcover and very few pictures). Page after page of endless characters. Endless plot lines, political factions, military strategies and lores galore... I find it all mind-boggling complicated. And yes, it eventually becomes mind-boggling boring at around book 6 and 7. Ironically, Robert Jordan's death appears to have resulted in an enormous improvement in the final three books which were written by Brandon Sanderson.

 

 

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I story doesn't need a POV to be about that POV. See: The Bible.

Also fuck that companion book. Fuck it in the ass. With fire.

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5 hours ago, Werthead said:

When it comes to direct fantasy influences on A Song of Ice and Fire, Martin has namechecked Tad Williams's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn sequence, Jack Vance's Dying Earth and Lyonesse series, Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant series (and, for its structure, the Gap SF series), Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber, Glen Cook's Black Company and Tolkien as being much more direct influences. I think he's also cited Dune as a more general and less direct influence.

He's also clearly influenced by Mervyn Peake, H.P. Lovecraft, and Robert Graves.

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48 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Also fuck that companion book. Fuck it in the ass. With fire.

Err... bit overexcited?

Giving an example of something random neither proves nor disproves an unrelated argument. 

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One of the similarities between Robert Jordan and J.R.R. Tolkien is that both had real-life battlefield experience. Tolkien was at the Battle of the Somme during WWI. One of history's bloodiest battles. Jordan served in Vietnam.

George R R Martin had zero battlefield experience. Interestingly, his stories have more graphic violence than RJ and JRRT. 

That said, there are a lot of battles in Robert Jordan's work. And his military experience does show. Some of his characters sometimes quote slightly altered versions of real world military figures.

Edited by MorgulisMaximus

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I have only read the first book but I do not see common points between Black Company and SoIaF, so this seems to be at most an indirect influence. (I was not terribly fond of Black Company but there is no doubt that it is highly original both in style and setting, I'd say it has far fewer of the stock fantasy tropes than SoIaF.)

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10 hours ago, MorgulisMaximus said:

I felt that only the very first book "Eye of the World" had Tolkien qualities.

Saying The Eye of the World "had Tolkien qualities" is THE biggest understatement I've seen on the Literature board.

It was as much, if not more, of a LotR rip-off as The Sword of Shannara.

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10 minutes ago, baxus said:

Saying The Eye of the World "had Tolkien qualities" is THE biggest understatement I've seen on the Literature board.

It was as much, if not more, of a LotR rip-off as The Sword of Shannara.

I'll take this as sufficient warning not to bother with "The Eye of the World". My recollections of Shannara are very dim but for me the "Iron tower" series by McKiernan took the prize among the most blatant Tolkien rip-offs.

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27 minutes ago, Jo498 said:

I'll take this as sufficient warning not to bother with "The Eye of the World". My recollections of Shannara are very dim but for me the "Iron tower" series by McKiernan took the prize among the most blatant Tolkien rip-offs.

IIRC, the issue with McKiernan is that he wanted to write a sequel to LOTR, was told "no", so changed the names and published anyway.

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Yes, I also recall some trouble with the Tolkien heirs. Although I thought he wanted to write a sequel about the dwarves re-settling Moria which to me recollection is not the main plot of the Iron Tower and while the "warrows" are a mix between hobbits and dwarves, they are far closer to the former.

As for changing names Tolkien wrote that dwarves should linguistically correct be "dwarrows" and used this form in e.g. "dwarrowdelf", so McKiernan stole that name as well (I have no clue about old German/Anglo-Saxon linguistics but in modern German "-rg" does often correspond to "-row": borgen - borrow, morgen - morrow, therefore Zwerg - dwarrow)

Anyway, McKiernan is pretty weak and not recommendable, unless one loves Tolkien clones.

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The most likely influence from the WoT series is that he'll die before completing it and leave the project to Brandon Sanderson... :-)

However, similarities between ASOIAF and other great series don't have to be because the one borrowed from the other, so much as (much more likely) being that both were themselves influenced by the same earlier source, which was one of many such sources. Nothing exists in pure isolation, after all.

Edited by JLE

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1 hour ago, Jo498 said:

I'll take this as sufficient warning not to bother with "The Eye of the World". My recollections of Shannara are very dim but for me the "Iron tower" series by McKiernan took the prize among the most blatant Tolkien rip-offs.

Hey, bear in mind that's just my opinion, it might not be right. Though you'd be hard pressed to find anyone but the most hard-core fans to deny it's LotR-like structure.

2 minutes ago, JLE said:

The most likely influence from the WoT series is that he'll die before completing it and leave the project to Brandon Sanderson...

I've been thinking the same thing, though I still hope that won't be the case.

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7 hours ago, MorgulisMaximus said:

Hmmm.... There are actually analytics on POV percentages. Let's take a look at book #3: http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/The_Dragon_Reborn

Egwene: 33%

Perrin: 33%

Rand al'Thor: 2%

I think that pretty much proves The Wheel of Time is not about Rand al'Thor. There are literally hundreds of characters. The Companion book which is basically an encyclopedia is 815 pages long (hardcover and very few pictures). Page after page of endless characters. Endless plot lines, political factions, military strategies and lores galore... I find it all mind-boggling complicated. And yes, it eventually becomes mind-boggling boring at around book 6 and 7. Ironically, Robert Jordan's death appears to have resulted in an enormous improvement in the final three books which were written by Brandon Sanderson.

 

 

To be fair, the series is incredibly inconsistent like this. You get one book that's almost all Rand, another that's mostly Mat, another that's mostly Egwene, and so on. The difference is that unlike ASOIAF, all of these characters are actually directly linked to Rand. Rand is definitely the protagonist of this series, that's kind of the point of him being Lews Therin Telamon reincarnated, or something. The fact that a lot of the series is devoted to supporting characters is as much a product of the abominable length as it is the story actually being about them. It's like Lord of the Rings - Frodo is the protagonist, but that doesn't mean the Fellowship don't get their own story.

The fact that Rand barely appears in a book named after him is not an indication that the story is not about any one person, it's an indication that naming the book after your protagonist and then spending hundreds of pages deliberately not having him on page is kind of a shitty approach to writing a book.

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4 hours ago, baxus said:

 

Saying The Eye of the World "had Tolkien qualities" is THE biggest understatement I've seen on the Literature board.

It was as much, if not more, of a LotR rip-off as The Sword of Shannara.

Agreed, the structure is very similar. But it feels like Robert Jordan did not envision the magnitude of his full story while writing book #1. It seems like he adds "fudge factors" to later books in order to make it possible to expand the scope of his story.

I read many Terry Brooks books back in grade school. In hindsight, he is quite the ripp-off artist. The reason why the MTV Shanara Chronicles skipped Sword of Shanara was because it was too similar to LOTR. Another one of Brooks books is a complete ripp-off of Star Wars. No creativity!

That said, I feel that Robert Jordan became a lot more creative after Eye of the World. He actually ended up building his own world in enormous detail and that world had very little resemblance to Middle-Earth.

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