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EotW and LotR


Andraste
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anyone else feel like Eye of the World was a slight rip off of the plotline of Lord of the Rings? The first impression I got reading the book and understanding that plotline, by itself, was a very close similarity to the plotline of Lord of the Rings--especially The Fellowship of the Rings...some small town boys get picked up by a magical person and go through various [and similar in concept] adventures, focused on a single destination. But instead of the "one ring", the point is the "Dragon Reborn" [and the eye]. And they have to destroy it, in the end, like the ring.

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That seems to be the one common thread through alot of fantasy novels. The village youth and the maigical mentor. But other thna that one detail They are entirely different IMOP.

 

Think literary fiction. Yes, common plotline; but they seem distinctly the same. Even to Shadar Logoth. Maybe it is what TheDragonReborn says RJ says; maybe just so the reader would have familiar ground to start by. But, if I had only read that book, as an English Major I would be appalled at the audacity. Even if the stories seem different on an entire surface level.

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check out campbell's 'the hero with a thousand faces.' after reading that almost every story will seem the same.

 

I know, but it is depressing to think that one person will never have a single original thought. We are constantly producing and reproducing everyone's own thoughts.

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I don't think they are very similar at all. Most fantasy novels start with a guy, or girl, who is unskilled at anything but farming, hunting...etc..etc. No magic, no weaponry (besides maybe a hunting bow), no political knowledge. This allows for character development. If our main character, in this case Rand, started off exactly as he is in let's say, Winter's Heart, and without the knowledge of channeling or him being the dragon reborn. Or about the Aiel, or outside world, or anything aside from his knowledge of politics, weapons, and untrustworthiness (along with cruel and hard) there would be no development. Rand would have held Caemlyn by the second book, and the last battle would be in the third. Leading to another good for two days read, undescriptive trilogy.

 

Don't go around comparing J.R.R Tolkein to Robert Jordan, you can't compare apples to oranges. Tolkein may have started this fantasy era, but oh gosh, Jordan took it so much further. To a point of no return.

 

Criticize Paolini if you must, but not the best writer ever!!!

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Um ... since Jordan himself acknowledged openly the influence Tolkien had on his writing, I don't think this is really an issue.  There certainly are similarities, and they are not hidden.  There are also vitally important differences.

 

Additionally, if his work can't stand up to criticism, then he's not exactly the "best writer ever", is he? 

 

Personally, I'd be slower to pull the trigger on Paolini just because he's a kid whose parents cashed in on him.  (OK, maybe thats a little harsh ... )

 

Jordan was a published writer, war veteran, college graduate, and married man when The Eye of the World was published.  I expect his stuff to be better ... and it is.  He knew how to borrow with class, as a way of acknowledging another master, without really plagiarizing ... and openly acknowledging his influences (unlike a certain Mister Goodkind).

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Obviously, WOL shares some similarities with the Rings-- RJ and all fantasy writers pay a certain homage to Tolkien.  But,  the world RJ created is quite different from Tolkien's.  Frankly, if Iu were to argue that RJ was following the plotline of a previous author to closely it would not be Tolkien's Rings but Hubert's Dune.

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My thoughts exactly.

 

While Eotw is very lotr-ish, almost nastily to be honest what with Two Rivers being shireish, moraine being female gandalf, heck lan reminded me of aragorn a whole lot to, specialy when he turned out to be a lost king. Let's not forget that the fades entered the series as pretty much black riders as well. But after EotW it stop's dead and dune influence kicks in hard.

 

There is no way you can read the all the aes sedia stuff and not be shouting Bene Gesserit just as the most bad arse fighters happen to be desert warriors, all they needed was giant worms and we'd be set. Infact i think i remeber something simular to that in EotW. Rand and Paul Atriedies are almost reflections of one another as well considering they are both the new male mega versions of what has been a female only profesion for years and thus shock and shake things up in funky ways.

 

The real thing is though, does it matter? They all have simular aspects to other books and series but at the core they are still different stories, still different characters, events, places, people and situations. Trying to be original just is so damn hard these days after all, I've been trying to my hand at writting of my own on and off for a time just for fun and god damn is being original hard! Just when you think you've cracked it, just when you think you've found the one path nobody else has trodden, you find a book/film/tattoo on a donkey, that has done everything you've spent weeks months etc designing.

 

There will always be simularties you can find, heck give me enough time and i'll prove RJ ripped off star trek, acknowledge them yes but leave it at that. Whats important is the story told so long as the story is great it doesn't matter.

 

Now start work on proving that mat is ment to be spock during his wild years....

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Well of course Jordan had influences. But this guy IS comparing apples to oranges. Anyone can trace a direct path from one object, to a totally unrelated object. And this guy does it. Then has the nerve to imply plagiarism.

 

lol, much nerve do I have. I love Tolkien, and Robert Jordan.  I was just noting on the similarities in the first book [only] to Tolkien's trilogy.  Was curious if it was intentional. Which I had always assumed it was. And if he had not written other books, would have bothered me. But Jordan's series is fairly brilliant and on its own path.

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Um ... since Jordan himself acknowledged openly the influence Tolkien had on his writing, I don't think this is really an issue.  There certainly are similarities, and they are not hidden.  There are also vitally important differences.

Totally agreed. Yes there are similarities (I have always compared Lan and Aragorn) but there are major major differences. There are very few (if any) stories that are 100% original. Tolkien even acknowledged that he borrowed from European myths (for instance Beowulf) to create LotR. So, if the so-called creator of the fantasy genre borrowed from other themes, then you can complain about others doing it.

 

Tolkien and Jordan are two of my favourite authors of all time ever (CS Lewis' non-fiction works challenge from third place). As I type this I am listening to LotR. WoT and LotR are similar but very different. To say one is better than the other is to lessen their importance as individual works of art. It is like saying steak is btter than chocolate. Other than them both being food, there is no similarity between them.

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I think every modern fantasy or sci-fi novel is influenced by Tolkien to one extent or another.  He is the Godfather of the genre, everyone pays homage.  There are a few other similarities as well: steddings = Lothlorien and Rivendell, Baerlon = Bree, Tom Bombadil = Green Man, the companies are both seperated at a river, etc.  The true genius of WoT is not that it is entirely original in plots and characters, but that it so successfully uses those things with which we are comfortable to enter us into a NEW world and into territory that we are completely unfamiliar with!

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RJ specifically wrote the first part of tEotW as an Homage to Tolkien and LotR.  He has freely admitted this fact on several occasions.  The rest of his stuff is highly original and honestly much more in depth and interesting to Tolkien who comes across as an English Major a good portion of the time.  Don't get me wrong, I like LotR and have read the books several times, but one book from WoT has more material than the entire LotR trilogy.

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The first time I read WOT and was introduced to Matt and Perrin (Merry and Pippin) I immediately knew that here was a guy paying tribute to the master.  From that point on it was difficult not see similarities but the only go so far and in reality don't affect the overall direction the story takes.  99% of fantasy stories are coming of age stories that typically involve an awful lot of traveling and getting into and out of trouble.  It's a time honored tradition that really began with the Le Morte de Arthur and was modernized (and imho perfected) with JRR Tolkien.  With the inclusion of key female characters I think Jordan has carried modern fantasy to the next level.  Much the same way that Tolkien was influenced by Norse and Celtic mythologies it's clear that RJ was influenced by Tolkien and Frank Herbert (surely someone here has pointed out that the Aiel had to have been influenced by Herbert's Fremen and the Aiel Waste - Arrakis).

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inspiration is not plagerism.

 

 

i absolutely loved the chronicles of dune. i read them in high school. i can certainly see the "witches" of dune parallel to the AS, in addition to the freman to the aiel.

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I don't think the two books are that much alike, some things are always similar, but you could say that with LotR and just about any other fantasy work since.

 

On a side note, I've always found this picture funny. :)

 

harry_potter.jpg

 

cute :)  made me chuckle

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