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Altherion

The Morgaine Cycle and the world of Warcraft

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I recently read C.J. Cherryh's Morgaine Cycle and the third book (Fires of Azeroth) has an uncanny resemblance to Blizzard's Warcraft universe. Wikipedia says that the similarities are coincidental and I could buy that if it was the name alone -- Azeroth is a pretty good name for a world -- but come on, look at the plot. Without spoiling too much, the novel's Azeroth is a peaceful land which is invaded by an army from another world who cross over via an evil-ish portal. To be fair, there are no orcs in the novel (the population of both sides consists of humans and a kind of elf analogues) and the conflict is only background to the real story, but it's still rather similar.

Fires of Azeroth came out in 1979 and thus predates the first Warcraft game by a decade and a half. Does anyone know what the story is here? Did Blizzard borrow a bit from this book?

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2 hours ago, Altherion said:

I recently read C.J. Cherryh's Morgaine Cycle and the third book (Fires of Azeroth) has an uncanny resemblance to Blizzard's Warcraft universe. Wikipedia says that the similarities are coincidental and I could buy that if it was the name alone -- Azeroth is a pretty good name for a world -- but come on, look at the plot. Without spoiling too much, the novel's Azeroth is a peaceful land which is invaded by an army from another world who cross over via an evil-ish portal. To be fair, there are no orcs in the novel (the population of both sides consists of humans and a kind of elf analogues) and the conflict is only background to the real story, but it's still rather similar.

Fires of Azeroth came out in 1979 and thus predates the first Warcraft game by a decade and a half. Does anyone know what the story is here? Did Blizzard borrow a bit from this book?

Interesting.  Had never heard that.

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Not sure what you're asking - don't lots of stories borrow from stories before them?

Is the question "Did Blizzard act like it's super original and didn't pay homage to the stories that came before it (and that it drew from)?", in which case the answer might be yes - or IMO it's yes.

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14 minutes ago, Callan S. said:

Not sure what you're asking - don't lots of stories borrow from stories before them?

Sure, a lot of stories borrow from others -- but when a story is famous enough (and Warcraft is certainly famous), it's usually relatively easy to find where they borrowed from (at least when it is this much). I had never heard of this book being Blizzard's inspiration and googling this doesn't result in any obvious connection. I know there are a lot of WoW players on this forum so I was wondering whether anyone has heard of Blizzard ever acknowledging this tie.

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2 hours ago, Altherion said:

Sure, a lot of stories borrow from others -- but when a story is famous enough (and Warcraft is certainly famous), it's usually relatively easy to find where they borrowed from (at least when it is this much). I had never heard of this book being Blizzard's inspiration and googling this doesn't result in any obvious connection. I know there are a lot of WoW players on this forum so I was wondering whether anyone has heard of Blizzard ever acknowledging this tie.

Fair point, it's a surprise to me as well - I'd have expected to have seen it float around the media well before now.

Find out world of warcraft's secret with this one strange trick! Media hates it!

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Well, there is a meta achievement in WOW for the Midsummer Fire Festival called Fires of Azeroth.

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3 hours ago, Callan S. said:

Fair point, it's a surprise to me as well - I'd have expected to have seen it float around the media well before now.

I suppose it is because the Morgaine Cycle is not very famous. Cherryh has more famous series, although if you like stories about a lady and her knight, this is a pretty good one.

1 hour ago, Astromech said:

Well, there is a meta achievement in WOW for the Midsummer Fire Festival called Fires of Azeroth.

Thanks! So it looks like they do at least subtly acknowledge the book.

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The Morgaine Cycle has been optioned for TV, funnily enough so this might come up if it ever gets made (although this seems doubtful, it's a pretty speculative option).

But the primary inspiration for WarCraft was Warhammer and that's pretty much clear right across the board (and the similarities between StarCraft and Warhammer 40,000 are even clearer).

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5 hours ago, Werthead said:

The Morgaine Cycle has been optioned for TV, funnily enough so this might come up if it ever gets made (although this seems doubtful, it's a pretty speculative option).

I looked it up and it seems it was optioned around half a decade ago. Since there's nothing about it since then, I'm not holding my breath.

That said, it could be done and possibly even done well. Without spoilers, these books are dark -- arguably darker than ASOIAF -- and with very little sexual content, but if the actress and actor portraying the two central characters are very good, it can be made to work.

6 hours ago, Werthead said:

But the primary inspiration for WarCraft was Warhammer and that's pretty much clear right across the board (and the similarities between StarCraft and Warhammer 40,000 are even clearer).

Yes, as Darth Richard pointed out, there were even stories about how it was meant to be a Warhammer game. They also borrowed quite a bit of the actual game mechanics from Dune II. These are pretty well documented though whereas I've never heard of the connection with the Morgaine Cycle before reading the latter.

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