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Was Robert Jordan a fan/influenced by Andrew Jackson?


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I am an historian of the early American Republic. Before that I was a WOT fan. Through the course of my studies, when I read Jackson material, I have a distinct feeling of WOT. I'll give you a few examples:


-Robert Jordan was a Military man and was well versed in Military heros. Although not celebrated today as he used to be, Jackson is the second greatest U.S. military hero (after Washington).

-Rand has red hair, 6 feet or taller, grey eyes. Same with Jackson.

-Rand was orphaned. So was Jackson.

-Rands coats (the style of the age) are the same cut as the military of Jackson's age.

-The description of Ebou Dar is a dead ringer for New Orleans.

-Rand has a title of "Lord of the Morning". Jackson had the title of "Hero of the Morning"

-Rand has a wound that will not heal. Jackson had a wound that would not heal.

-Rand is Ta'veren. Jackson was most certainly Ta'veren.

-Before the battle of New Orleans (1815), Jackson had to overcome the extreme racisim, prejudice and political menuvering of the inhabitants of New Orleans, in order to get them into a fighting unit to take on the Dark One - er, I mean, the Brittish.

-Jackson was known for his force of will. Is that not what Rand has been about?

-Rand was from a small village, never to return, and became a world figure. Jackson was from a small village, never to return, and became a world figure.

-Robert Jordan was born in South Carolina. So was Jackson (I'm sure Jordan had an interest in his state's history).


Really, I could do this all day. I have been reading WOT for 16 years and studying Jackson for 10. There is still one more thing I have to point out. It may not be well recieved and could possibly be contoversial.


I would like to hear thoughts on this before I move on to the next, very big, point.



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I think Jordan was influenced by allot of things, there is allot of Dune in WoT, there is allot of Pagan, Hindu and Christian religion in there, there is historical influences in there and hints and traces from a myriad of different books, it is very hard to point at a thing in WoT and say this thing was influenced by this, I think it is more that Jordan was a very learned man and he just mixed together things from so many sources that while everyone can find traces of historical people, religious ideas, books they like, nations and events it is hard to say conclusively what was inspired by what.

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Thank you for commenting. You are, of course, correct. I have always felt the WOT began as a creative mix of Lord of the Rings and Dune-esq qualities, but quickly outgrew its confines and became a fantasy classic on its own. And, I personally believe WOT respectfully nudged Tolkien off the throne.


As to the Andrew Jackson/Rand thing, well I am a Jackson historian. I will admit there is most likley some projection on my part. However, there are a few further things I would like to point out.


About the only thing Jackson is remembered for today is his signing of the Indian Removal Bill. It has gone down in history as one of America's not-too-proud-of moments. Jackson is the man who signed it in 1830 and the work was completed under Martin Van Buren. Jackson had left the White house in 1837 - the Trail of Tears was 1839. What is not commonly known is that Indian removal was a policy begun by President Washington and continued by each successive administration untill Van Buren. But, Jackson was the man who sped it towards its conclusion. Jackson was not alone in his want for the indian tribes to remove west of the Mississippi. Almost the entire country down to a man wished for it.


I will not defend his actions, or the actions of any other president towards the indians - that is not the business at hand. But I will point out a bit of Jackson's thinking in this matter. The white man was encroaching into indian territory every day. Violence was enevitable; sickening things were commited by both sides going back beyond local memory. The whites wanted the indians to assimilate into white society (contrary to popular belief, the Indian Removal Bill gave the indians the choice to go or stay). Assimilate or remove west. Assimilation was unthinkable to them; it was worse than death. That is a generalazation, of course, many indians did stay; some became quite wealthy - even owning large plantations and slaves. But, on the whole, the majority did move West.


Jackson was no indian fighter, nor was he an indian hater. During the Creek War he adopted a infant creek boy whom he raised with his own boys til the age of 16, at which point the indian boy died of TB and was buried in the family cemetary. Jackson had the ability to envision the future and see which way things were trending (that's how he was able to win all of his military engagments but had no formal military training). He saw that if the indians did not remove, they would be eradicated, or assimilated; their culture diluted and eventually no cultural identity. Removal was, to his ninteenth-century mind, the only way to preserve the tribes. It may even be argued that the indians today are as culturally and ethnically strong because of removal. Assimilation would have made them just another hyphenated-American; no more indian than I am Scottish.


"A remnant of a remnant will remain" "He will break them to save them". This sounds much like what Jackson did to the indians. At the last meaningful meeting of the large tribes before agreeing to move West, Jackson was the negotiator. At the end, when all present knew what must be done, they gathered araound and the chiefs and Jackson wept.


Obviously, I feel the Aiel represent this relationship that Jackson had with the indians. Again, I could be projecting.


One last thing. I have many of these little things but it would take a book so I will end on just one final thing.

Jacksons greatest triumph of his life was the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. After the battle he was hailed as the biggest American hero since Washington. For the rest of his life, anywhere he went - even all the way to Harvard - he was cheered, barbequed and dined until he had to force himself away.

The date of the Battle of New Orleans was January 8th.

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This is the type of question that needs to be posed to Jordan, I think. Perhaps his wife and editor, Harriet, would know if Jackson served to influence him.


It is quite clear, from everything you've brought up, that Andrew Jackson is one of Rand al'Thor's past lives.  :wink:

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I knew there was no way to answer this definitively, just looking for like minds. Not like I'm ever going to get the chance to talk to Harriet. I have many and more of these interesting correlations but even if I am right, I agree with Hagazussa. There is not just one source for Jordan's inspiration. That's what makes WOT so rich.


Thank You.

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Imho, Jordan was WAY more influenced by his life and his experiences in Viet Nam. And every Viet Nam veteran I know (and I am married to one) points out so many things that they recognize, in Jordan's books, that relate to things they learned from their experiences.


I am of Tsalagi descent, and I call jackson "the Hitler of the Trail of Tears". So sick of looking at his big head on the 20, Dude. We need an overhaul of the $20 bill. Like why not have Harriet Tubman on the 20?

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