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What RR Martin borrowed from Jordan


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I thought this might flatter fans of the Wheel of Time a bit. I'm much more familiar with RR Martin's writing, but it was Jordan's endorsement that made Martin a wealthy man.


The Dragon Reborn - takes the form of 3 hatched petrified dragon eggs in A Song of Ice and Fire. It takes a blood sacrifice to hatch them. "Only life can pay for life" and it takes the "blood of a king." The dragons are similar to Rand in that they are dangerous creatures of chaos and will most likely be needed to save the world. Although none of the characters in the story have made the connection between dragons and the Others, everyone reading the books have and can see where the story is going to an extent - we just don't know which characters will still be alive when it gets there.


ta'veren - "the dragon has three heads". Who are the three heads of the dragon? is a question that sometimes crops up - as the dragons have not yet become large enough to be ridden. In fact, IIRC somewhere it is said that it took Aegon the Conquerer 20 years or some such to train his dragons for war. But I digress. Dany is the central "mother of dragons." Jon is the no brainer #2. It's only been recently that I've been convinced that Tyrion is definitely a head of the dragon. I always thought it was an amusing possibility, but only recently someone has pointed out the amazingly obvious connection between the 3 characters that I can't believe nobody had brought up before, and that someone cited sufficient passages from Tywin Lannister to beat back the naysayers.

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I agree that Martin stole the ideas of "dragon" and "blood" and "three" from Jordan, but you're not even mentioning the worst parts! Martin's books contain trees, grass, wolves, swords, clouds, air, dirt, people, clothing, nobility, hair, eyes, faces, food, fires (To keep WARM even!!), birds, cities, and castles! We all know that Jordan wrote about all that stuff first. And Martin also writes in words. Well guess who wrote in words first? Jordan, that's who! Martin should be hung along with every "author" (read: STEALER) who has ever mentioned any of those ideas. Oh, and deserts. And mountains. And horses. OMFG every author throughout time should officially thank Jordan for endorsing their books so they could make money off of HIS hard work!

Edited by zshadez
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Hilarious :)


In reality, of course, Martin started writing A Song of Ice and Fire long before he read any of the WoT books (and he's only ever read the first one), and before The Dragon Reborn came out. Jordan's cover blurb for A Game of Thrones and the presence of a Jordan short story (New Spring) in Legends (which also contained a GRRM one, The Hedge Knight) have both been cited by GRRM as important factors in his series' early success. He and Jordan were also friends, and GRRM posted a tribute to Jordan on his death.


Bonus points for those who can identify the two minor characters in A Song of Ice and Fire based on Jordan.

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Dragons have been in fantasy for thousands of years. They appear in Japanese and Chinese mythology and in European stories too.


Jordan is unashamed in his reworking of existing world mythologies, there's hundreds of allusions in WoT. Odin/Mat losing an eye. Rand/Fisher King, the land and the king are one. Perrin/Thor/Perun and the hammer. Egwene al'vere/Guinevere. etc etc etc. There's hundreds.


You cannot accuse Martin of 'borrowing' an idea that has existed for thousands of years! If anything, Jordan is the most original with his idea of what a dragon is.

( I still think it is tenuous - why is he called dragon? )


But I digress, dragons are not a new trope. Not even close.


The only possible connection is that there's three ta'veren and three dragons (and possibly Jon/Dany/Tyrion Targaryen??). This is only slightly less tenuous. What I would say is that as a plot, three is easier to write than four or eight or twenty seven.


PS put me out of my misery, Wertmaster!!!

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I don't think Martin "borrowed" from Jordan. He did put several blatant tributes to Jordan in his story (like when Tyrion accidently called Jaime "Kinslayer" instead of "King slayer") but I don't think he borrowed or stole ideas.


Werthead>> I know of Lord Jordayn of the Tor, but that is the only one I know off hand.

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There's no plot idea in any story that's completely original. Tolkien deliberately "borrowed" from Shakespeare as a way of subverting Macbeth.


You may get a kick out of one of the Amazon customer reviews for the as yet unreleased "Dance with Dragons."



Why is this taking so long, Robert Jordan just released a new book and he's dead. What's your excuse?

Edited by Clegane
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Yup, there's Lord Trebor Jordayne of the Tor (whose sigil is a number of writing quills), a Dornish lord. He hasn't appeared in the books yet IIRC, but one of his sons is with Oberyn the Red Viper's party which Tyrion greets in A STORM OF SWORDS. There's also a reference to Archmaester Rigney who postulated that time is a wheel.


There's a whole bunch more writers than Jordan that GRRM referenced in ASoIaF though. There's multiple references to Jack Vance, Tad Williams, Roger Zelazny and even Cervantes. Even the Three Stooges show up at one point ;)


It's also worth noting that GRRM has said that reading Tad Williams' MEMORY, SORROW AND THORN trilogy (the first two books, anyway) is what inspired him to write ASoIaF, as he saw Williams treating epic fantasy as an adult and respectable genre, which other authors hadn't over the preceding decade or so.

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