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Nations to Nations... WOT nations compared to real world nations


dexterryu
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While I know RJ mixed and matched to make the nations their own, I still think a lot of them line up really well with real world nations. Here is an initial list I came up with:

 

Andor = England

Cairhein = France (shorter, never seem able to defend their city)

Tear = Spain (Darker skinned, coastal country, oiled pointy beards)

Tarabon = Persia (Style of dress, veils)

Illian = Not sure. maybe Itally

Mayene = Manaco (Small city-state, surrounded by much bigger country)

Aiel = Scandanavian physically, American indian culturally.

 

There are others, and would like to hear how correct or off you guys think I am.

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I always thought of Tear and Ilian as Italy and Greece, but Spain could work.

 

The Aiel also are the Twelve Tribes of Israel. There was actually a 13th tribe if you read the Bible. They come and go. But, yeah, the Aiel culture has many native elements to it.

 

The Borderlands are weird - Shienar has some Japanese culture to it. Physically, Faile's people are somewhat Arab.

 

Edit to Add: The Seanchan have many Chinese elements, including their accents.

Edited by thisguy
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Hmm has the Arad Doman one been confirmed by RJ? The sheer dresses, copper skin, cultural seductiveness/sensuality made me would link it with India, which could account for the Islamic names. Tarabon is the one I saw more as middle eastern/Persian.

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Even the ones confirmed by RJ don't necessarily mean they're the whole ball of wax for the country. As I said, I'd bet dollars to doughnuts the twelve tribes of Israel and the lost tribe are Aiel related.

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Even the ones confirmed by RJ don't necessarily mean they're the whole ball of wax for the country. As I said, I'd bet dollars to doughnuts the twelve tribes of Israel and the lost tribe are Aiel related.

 

If what RJ states or says isn't the whole ball of wax, then what is?

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Even the ones confirmed by RJ don't necessarily mean they're the whole ball of wax for the country. As I said, I'd bet dollars to doughnuts the twelve tribes of Israel and the lost tribe are Aiel related.

 

If what RJ states or says isn't the whole ball of wax, then what is?

Actually, I looked at a link next to the Aiel and they mention the 12+1 tribes there.

 

As for what RJ stating not being the whole ball of wax - if he was asked informally, he may just state some of the cultures that went into building one of his own, not all of them. Who knows?

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There's also this, although, I suppose it's not a National but a cultural-religious thing:

 

Rand is the Dragon. The Messiah.

Christ translates to messiah. That's why Christians are called Christians - they're followers of the Messiah. So Christ to Christians = The Dragon to The People of The Dragon. However they've kind of gone opposite - in other words - the Israelites fought quite a bit, those latter day Jews who followed Christ took on a philosophy much like the Way of the Leaf. Here, we have the opposite - they leave the way of the leaf to take on war.

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I'd say there are better french analogies in Cairhien, yes. Like being locked in near-eternal but intermittent war with the England-equivalent (Andor), which even puts its monarch on the Frenchienin throne using force and a bunch of local supporters (like the 1421 treaty of Troyes). On the other hand they are incredibly city-focused, and that doesn't fit the 100 years war era (as Paris was held by the English for quite a while without France giving up).

Also, names like Dobraine, Berthone (sp?) can be seen as frenchish. Plus all the things the FAQ mentions.

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I can see the dutch flavor in Illian, their capital is full of canals (amsterdam anyone?)

 

And if Tear and Illian are Randlands Spain and Netherlands, it could explain why theyre always fighting. I'm sure I read they (spain and holland) were once at war with eachother.

Sorry if I'm wrong, they don't teach much european history down under.

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Cairhienin always read as French accents in my head. Kinda goes with the whole 'musical accent' thingy.

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I'd say there are better french analogies in Cairhien, yes. Like being locked in near-eternal but intermittent war with the England-equivalent (Andor), which even puts its monarch on the Frenchienin throne using force and a bunch of local supporters (like the 1421 treaty of Troyes). On the other hand they are incredibly city-focused, and that doesn't fit the 100 years war era (as Paris was held by the English for quite a while without France giving up).

Also, names like Dobraine, Berthone (sp?) can be seen as frenchish. Plus all the things the FAQ mentions.

 

Yeah, and also Elayne having origins in both country much like the English King of the time (obviously, otherwise he would have had absolutely no legitimate claim to the throne) who was actually from a house of french origins.

 

And then there's also the sun motif reminiscent of the Sun King.

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Cairhienin always read as French accents in my head. Kinda goes with the whole 'musical accent' thingy.

 

Ha! Clearly you've never heard young french people talk...

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Cairhienin always read as French accents in my head. Kinda goes with the whole 'musical accent' thingy.

 

Ha! Clearly you've never heard young french people talk...

They sound pretty musical in french... in English they just kinda come off as snooty

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Cairhienin always read as French accents in my head. Kinda goes with the whole 'musical accent' thingy.

 

Ha! Clearly you've never heard young french people talk...

 

I just always assumed the French all sounded like Kevin Kline in French Kiss...

 

:wink:

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Cairhienin always read as French accents in my head. Kinda goes with the whole 'musical accent' thingy.

 

Ha! Clearly you've never heard young french people talk...

They sound pretty musical in french... in English they just kinda come off as snooty

 

Yeah, it's hard to judge as french speaker what it sounds like to other people so I'll take you're word for it. Still as a person who knows what french is meant to sound like, I can tell you that some young french people seem to take pleasure in butchering the language. In fact, I probably do it as well to a certain extent. Of course to french teachers (now there's some snooty french people for you) we probably sound like foreigners.

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While I know RJ mixed and matched to make the nations their own, I still think a lot of them line up really well with real world nations. Here is an initial list I came up with:

 

Andor = England

Cairhein = France (shorter, never seem able to defend their city)

Tear = Spain (Darker skinned, coastal country, oiled pointy beards)

Tarabon = Persia (Style of dress, veils)

Illian = Not sure. maybe Itally

Mayene = Manaco (Small city-state, surrounded by much bigger country)

Aiel = Scandanavian physically, American indian culturally.

 

There are others, and would like to hear how correct or off you guys think I am.

 

I would say that the Aiel are closer to Muslim or Arabic culture.

 

 

The American Indian culture would be connected to some of the tribal peoples in Seanchan

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I don't think it's really set in stone which nations are counterpart to which ones on earth.

 

I mean, most of the midlands (Andor, Murandy, etc) are based primarily on England, but with some other influences.

 

Shienar is based on Japan, with the samurai culture and public bathhouses.

 

Illian's accent is based on Scotland(I don't care if RJ says Dutch.....The way the word structure and diatect is arranged, it just seems more scotish to me). But, The Companions is based on the French Foreign Legion.

Edited by Dagon Thyne
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While I know RJ mixed and matched to make the nations their own, I still think a lot of them line up really well with real world nations. Here is an initial list I came up with:

 

Andor = England

Cairhein = France (shorter, never seem able to defend their city)

Tear = Spain (Darker skinned, coastal country, oiled pointy beards)

Tarabon = Persia (Style of dress, veils)

Illian = Not sure. maybe Itally

Mayene = Manaco (Small city-state, surrounded by much bigger country)

Aiel = Scandanavian physically, American indian culturally.

 

There are others, and would like to hear how correct or off you guys think I am.

 

I would say that the Aiel are closer to Muslim or Arabic culture.

 

Huh? Aiel women are respected and empowered, they have a place in their society.

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I don't think it's really set in stone which nations are counterpart to which ones on earth.

 

 

Yep, each one of them is a mixture of familiar traits of our nations, and several new. None of the WoT nations are good matches, just partial ones. I've seen this topic brought up before, and some people try to read maybe too much into it which can result in absurdity or unnecessary arguments. I just try to enjoy the ambiguity of some of these traits.. and I think RJ wanted us to speculate about what was on purpose and what was not. I seriously doubt he wanted to make any unambiguous political statements.

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Speaking of Arabic influence, I connected Ebou Dar with Abu Dhabi. The coast, the Dom like buildings, danger and knife play, and all the festivities just made the two fit in my head.

Edited by driedraspberry
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There's also this, although, I suppose it's not a National but a cultural-religious thing:

 

Rand is the Dragon. The Messiah.

Christ translates to messiah. That's why Christians are called Christians - they're followers of the Messiah. So Christ to Christians = The Dragon to The People of The Dragon. However they've kind of gone opposite - in other words - the Israelites fought quite a bit, those latter day Jews who followed Christ took on a philosophy much like the Way of the Leaf. Here, we have the opposite - they leave the way of the leaf to take on war.

 

You do realise that the Jews do not believe that Christ was the Messiah??? - The Jews are still waiting for their Messiah.

And it was not Jews (Also they were not called Jews back then either) that followed Christ - you got to remember at the time of Jesus Christ he had followers from all nations but they were not called Christians - latter on, centuries in fact, the term Christians came about.

And Israelites did not fought anymore then any other nation at the time probably less as they did not have a country at the time.

 

but I also agree that there is a connection between teh 12 tribes of Israel and the Aiel.

but the descriptions more fit the Celtics and Picts (Ireland and Scotland - and some parts of the Scandanavian world)

but the way they live is Native Amercians - Apache mostly, is the way I pictured them

 

The Seanchan - A combination of Far East (China,Korean, and Japan)

 

Illian totally agree sounds Scotish - but the looks do remind me of Holland

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As others in this thread (and all over) have stated, RJ pulled from a multitude of sources to create his nations...from across all known history and cultures, so we shouldn't get too hung up on trying to pin down what inspired what, exactly. This kind of worldbuilding was what RJ was the master of. The verisimilitude is almost instant, but there's also plenty left to surprise us as we dig further into each culture.

 

Needless to say, as a young fellah many, many moons ago creating AD&D worlds...Jordan was right up at the top of the list when it came to worldbuilding inspiration.

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