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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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The Fremen were an obvious inspiration for the Aiel, but found another reference while reading through 'Dune' today.  When Gurney Halleck was considering whether to sign on with some smugglers, he was offered some advice.  Don't rush into revenge - "Speed is a device of Shaitan."  That name sounds familiar...

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I kind of want to see Rand standing on top of a blight worm now while heading to fight the DO.

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While Tolkein's LOTR was a big inspiration for him, admitted in his audiobook interview and how he wanted to change the way most fantasy involved someone showing up and announcing a prophesy of "You are the one..." he also borrowed from many sources outside of Myth and Religion...including The Never Ending Story, and Star Wars!

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RJ was a historian and as a youth did some traveling of the world thanks to the US Army (Vietnam).  He studied in a prestigious War Academy, and was heavily influenced by Empires and Armies and famous battles.  (The last battle's main fight is vaguely reminiscent of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Round Tops of the American Civil War.)  I would say that the Aiel are a blend of the Zulus with the spears and the running everywhere, while their physical appearance is more Scottish (All the red hair and fair skin.)

 

I do agree that RJ borrowed from anywhere and everywhere, knowingly and unknowingly.  I saw the Never Ending Story as a kid and about a year ago saw it with my kids and several glaring things stuck out (many!), the same with the original Star Wars series and so many other things.  Tolkien is where he borrowed from heaviest and where he got the main idea.  He admits it in his interview for the audiobooks.  He couldn't stand the quick start to traditional fantasy of a wizard showing up and everyone was like, "You are the one" and the character's quick acceptance of his fate.  Of course there are a lot of commonalities as these are what separates fantasy from westerns or spy novels.

 

In a lot of my writing, when I go back through and edit I find things all the time, especially in trying to generate random names for my characters on the fly.  Of course when RJ has some 3,000 character names it's hard not to find something close, or character names in other novels I've read or the names of cities and such.

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If you read enough books you begin to see commonalities between various writers and their works, charcters, sitautions, environments, plot points, borrowed from other writers, from films, TV, pop culture, etc.  I've often wondered if those commonalities are real, meaning the author was truly inspired by another work, or simply the product of my ever growing mental cache of stuff making those connections.

 

The first time I read about an Aiel sharing water I immediatly knew that Frank Herbert inspired these characters.  Had a similar moment when I first read Dune and thought, incorrectly at the time, that all this talk of spice mining was lifted from Star Wars.  One glance at the publication date corrected my misconception.  I also think that Paul Atredies was at least partially an inspiration for Rand, a sort of conglomeration of Arthur, Frodo/Aragorn, Jesus Christ, and the Muad Dib, among others.  

 

Personally, I kind of enjoy writing inspired by other great writing.  Obvious that LOTR inspired much of WoT, everything from names like Matt-Perrin/Merry-Pippin to the color changing cloaks that warder's wear.  Nothing wrong there, so long as the story is not a straight point for point retelling (see Sword of Shannara) and at least tries to expand or divert into something new, with WoT does.  

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I enjoy seeing the connections Jordan made between WoT and other fiction/real world. 

 

Some me is more direct/obvious than others. Based on personal experience/knowledge. 

Edited by DojoToad

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Also feel that the Aes Sedai were heavily influenced by the Bene Jesseret in Dune, which also heavily influenced the Jedi in Star Wars.  Moiraine always felt like a conglomeration of Gandalf from LOTR and Jessica from Dune

 

The whole Min/Elayne/Aviendha felt like it was influenced by Paul's relationship with Princess Irulan and Chani - Elayne = Irulan, Chani = Aviendha/maybe Min.    Tom Merrylin = Gurney Halleck, Matt = Pippin, Perrin = Merry, Lan = Aragorn, Padan Fain = Gollum, Two Rivers = Shire, Blight = Mordor, Shinear = Gondor, Loial = Treebeard, wow, once you get started you can kind of just keep going!

Edited by HighWiredSith

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Rand, Mat and Perrin are norse mythology and anyway, Mat's the classic wise guy i.e. smart alec, character and perrin is the classic leave me alone character

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