MorgulisMaximus

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

233 posts in this topic

20 hours ago, MorgulisMaximus said:

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...

The Hobbits were Tolkein's humans, really.

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55 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Oh, I believe it was done deliberately so I don't even know if calling them similarities is even correct.

I don't think anyone believes he wrote the whole book as a vaguely disguised LotR by accident. ;)

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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.

That's pretty hyperbolic and not really true. The Sword of Shannara is a horrible Tolkien rip-off and The Eye of the World employs some similar tropes, but to a very different end. The rest of the Wheel of Time is nothing really like Tolkien. Brooks takes a bit longer to move away from the style (the second and third books are structurally similar to the first) but eventually does so as well.

WoT was supposed to stat off as a bit of a Vietnam allegory, with Tam as the main character who finds, relatively late in life, that he's been tapped as the chosen one. Jordan's publisher convinced him to make it more LotR-like, with a semi-fellowship, the cursed dagger being a bit like the ring and so on. Jordan wasn't keen but decided it might be more accessible. He then rejected the idea very firmly and pulled the story away from that direction, hence the introduction of parallel universes, alternate timelines, the Ways, the Children of the Light and other elements with no direct analogue in LotR (and of course, unlike Shannara, WoT has no elves, dwarves, orcs, demigods etc).

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Eh, don't think the sales of asoiaf have even come close to WoT. *summon wert*

ASoIaF has sold about 75 to 80 million copies (maybe more, by now). WoT has sold about 90 million copies. ASoIaF is very close to overtaking in terms of outright sales. However, as that's 80 million sales of just 5 books versus 90 million of 14, ASoIaF has far more actual readers than WoT does. It overtook it a few years ago.

Lord of the Rings has sold about 350 million copies, maybe 400 million, with an estimated 50 million+ sales as a result of the films, so that's way ahead (but it had a 40-year head start). Game of Thrones (the TV show) has actually pushed sales of its books a lot more.

Edited by Werthead

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16 hours ago, stonebender said:

Eye of the World was my favorite because of the Tolkien similarities.  Maybe I should give Brooks a try.  :P

Also, can anyone expand on Martin citing Cook as an influence?  Couldn't find anything.  Not that I doubt, just interested to hear more. 

I'm pretty sure I read it, but can't remember where.  I should think it's to do with having somewhat sympathetic protagonists who still do bad things.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

The rest of the Wheel of Time is nothing really like Tolkien.

I wasn't talking about the rest of WoT. I was talking about The Eye of the World. And yes, whatever someone may think, it WAS a LotR rip-off and no, the rest of the series has absolutely no effect on that. I stopped reading WoT after Dragon Reborn so I can't and don't comment on the series as a whole. My only comment on it is to say that I lost all interest in it rather quickly.

Edited by baxus

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2 hours ago, baxus said:

I wasn't talking about the rest of WoT. I was talking about The Eye of the World. And yes, whatever someone may think, it WAS a LotR rip-off and no, the rest of the series has absolutely no effect on that. I stopped reading WoT after Dragon Reborn so I can't and don't comment on the series as a whole. My only comment on it is to say that I lost all interest in it rather quickly.

How old were you when you started reading it? I really feel that Wheel of Time was written for much younger audience than ASOIAF and Second Apocalypse.

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5 hours ago, Werthead said:

ASoIaF has sold about 75 to 80 million copies (maybe more, by now). WoT has sold about 90 million copies. ASoIaF is very close to overtaking in terms of outright sales. However, as that's 80 million sales of just 5 books versus 90 million of 14, ASoIaF has far more actual readers than WoT does. It overtook it a few years ago.

Lord of the Rings has sold about 350 million copies, maybe 400 million, with an estimated 50 million+ sales as a result of the films, so that's way ahead (but it had a 40-year head start). Game of Thrones (the TV show) has actually pushed sales of its books a lot more.

Size of the television audience for Game of Thrones is likely several times the size of the readers. Hence, very likely that ASOIAF is already on par with Lord of the Rings in terms of cultural influence. But....Harry Potter beats Lord of the Rings 450 million in 20 years vs. than 350 million in 40 years.

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2 hours ago, MorgulisMaximus said:

Size of the television audience for Game of Thrones is likely several times the size of the readers. Hence, very likely that ASOIAF is already on par with Lord of the Rings in terms of cultural influence. But....Harry Potter beats Lord of the Rings 450 million in 20 years vs. than 350 million in 40 years.

Not really. Lord of the Rings is one novel (or divided between people who read the one novel and the three individual volumes) and Harry Potter is seven, so more people have read The Lord of the Rings than Harry PotterHarry Potter might take over eventually, but sales of the series have slowed dramatically in recent years.

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2 hours ago, MorgulisMaximus said:

Size of the television audience for Game of Thrones is likely several times the size of the readers. Hence, very likely that ASOIAF is already on par with Lord of the Rings in terms of cultural influence. But....Harry Potter beats Lord of the Rings 450 million in 20 years vs. than 350 million in 40 years.

Who won... you decide!

 

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15 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Not really. Lord of the Rings is one novel (or divided between people who read the one novel and the three individual volumes) and Harry Potter is seven, so more people have read The Lord of the Rings than Harry PotterHarry Potter might take over eventually, but sales of the series have slowed dramatically in recent years.

A high percentage of Harry Potter readers are young women and they are now having children. Guess what books they are going to read to their children. Bingo! Another 450 million Harry Potter books will be sold over the next 20 years.

Now what are the demographics for LOTR readers... many old men and very very few young women. LOTR has no significant female characters. Eowyn is only a minor character and definitely not enough to motivate young women to read LOTR to their children!

Potter wins, LOTR sails off to edge of the world... and drops into the abyss. 

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It is definitely to early for that, check on HP and LotR again in 2040.

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On 2/8/2017 at 9:48 PM, Darth Richard II said:

Eh, don't think the sales of asoiaf have even come close to WoT. *summon wert*

Last ASOIAF sale figure was 70 million copies, that was in AGOT's 20th anniversary ( last year)  

This is what Wert's updated list said about RJ: 

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12) Robert Jordan (80 million+)
On the very first list, Jordan had a lower position based on the frequently-given figure of 44 million. That has since been boosted by an additional 12 million sales of The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight (and possibly early sales ofA Memory of Light). However, since then it has been revealed that this 56 million figure is for the United States and Canada alone. When a series has been sold in more than 20 languages (as this has), the rule of thumb is that half of the total sales figures come from outside the USA. The UK alone has added sales of 5 million to the figure. As a result, worldwide sales of at least 80 million for Wheel of Timeare credible, and significantly more than that is likely. Since assembling the previous list the 80 million figure has been confirmed (as on the low side of things) by one of Jordan's international publishers. This figure may by now be closer to 90 million, and will likely explode upwards if the reported Wheel of Time television deal comes to pass.

Also remember that ASOIAF is only 5 volumes while WoT is much more than that.

Edit: turns out I missed a page and Wert already replied so ignore this.

Edited by redeagl

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13 minutes ago, redeagl said:

Also remember that ASOIAF is only 5 volumes while WoT is much more than that.

There is also a difference between sales figures and actual readership. Not everyone who reads a book buys it first-hand. Here are some other avenues:

1.) Audiobooks

2.) Borrow it from the library

3.) Borrow it from friends

4.) Second-hand Market (eBay, Amazon, Craigslist)

The longer a series is, the more expensive it is to buy all the books. So people might be more likely to turn to secondary markets / library.

Also, clearly many readers do not read all of the books in a long series. Sales of the earlier books in the series will be much higher than the later books. So you can't just divide the sales by the number of books in the series. It won't be accurate.

 

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3 hours ago, MorgulisMaximus said:

A high percentage of Harry Potter readers are young women and they are now having children. Guess what books they are going to read to their children. Bingo! Another 450 million Harry Potter books will be sold over the next 20 years.

Now what are the demographics for LOTR readers... many old men and very very few young women. LOTR has no significant female characters. Eowyn is only a minor character and definitely not enough to motivate young women to read LOTR to their children!

Potter wins, LOTR sails off to edge of the world... and drops into the abyss. 

What are you basing this on?

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3 hours ago, MorgulisMaximus said:

Now what are the demographics for LOTR readers... many old men and very very few young women.

 

[citation needed]

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5 hours ago, MorgulisMaximus said:

Size of the television audience for Game of Thrones is likely several times the size of the readers. Hence, very likely that ASOIAF is already on par with Lord of the Rings in terms of cultural influence. But....Harry Potter beats Lord of the Rings 450 million in 20 years vs. than 350 million in 40 years.

As far as cultural influence goes, ASOIAF is not on a par with Tolkien. 

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4 hours ago, MorgulisMaximus said:

Now what are the demographics for LOTR readers... many old men and very very few young women. LOTR has no significant female characters. Eowyn is only a minor character and definitely not enough to motivate young women to read LOTR to their children!

Potter wins, LOTR sails off to edge of the world... and drops into the abyss. 

Have you got a shred of evidence to support this?

(Neither Eowyn nor Galadriel are minor characters, by the way).

The Hobbit incidentally has no female characters whatsoever, apart from a reference to Bilbo's deceased mother, and presumably the Mirkwood spiders. Eighty years on, it is still selling well. 

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