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Stealing from Tolkien...

Kiwi

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Until I read Lord of The Rings, I thought much of the Sci Fi/Fantasy books I had read were very original in thought and execution. However now that I have read this AMAZING piece of literature I realise how many writers have 'stolen' from LoTR...
For example: The Belgariad, David Eddings books (which I once loved! Now seem like plagarism)
IT, Stephen King (the mother of all spiders)

Did anyone else mentally re-assess the books they've read before?

Perhaps this thread belongs elsewhere...but does anyone have any ideas as to the literature that might have influenced Tolkien?
Without getting into any religious debate...
 

lilhobo

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there is not a new thought to be had any more :D

every new idea has already been thought up in the english language so dont waste your breath :D
 

Legolam

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I've just started reading the Sil and I'm struck with how close it is to Greek and Norse mythology. I think Tolkien once said that he wanted to create an English mythology, so his books are influenced by Celtic, Greek, Roman and especially Norse mythology.
 

Lantarion

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DON'T FORGET FINNISH MYTH TOO!! :D
He was especially influenced by the Kalevala, which I'm sure you know to be Finland's national saga. Túrin's tale in the Narn i Hîn Húrin is very alike to the tale of Kullervo in the Kalevala. Both have ruinous and doomed lives, and there are other great similarities (see 8th post, http://www.thetolkienforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=746&highlight=Kalevala).

But anyway; yes, I have noticed the stunning similarities as well (and not just from the K). Harry Potter books, for example, are extremely similar, both in names and ideas. Sometimes it feels like every name that begins with 'Ara-' is copied from the LotR! (Cf. Aragog in HP#2; a giant spider) And it is understandable that other fantasy novelists or role playing game- 'inventors' have almost suspiciously many similarities with the LotR: it was the first proper modern fantasy book ever written! I'm quite certain that Mr.'s Prachett and Eddings have both read the LotR at least once, and it shows in their writing (what little I have come across). But they cannot be sued for plagiarism, because although there are inevitable, and coincidental, similarities, the stories in themselves are very original, I find. Names and ideas like Elves, Dark Elves, Wizards, etc. have been both copied and twisted (eg. Tolkien's Dark ELves, Moriquendi, good guys; Warhammer's Dark ELves, Druchii, evil guys)
 

laura

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In one of Eddings recent books (I think the Riven Codex), Eddings spouts off about how to become a fantasy writer and referred to JRRT as "Papa Tolkien"! I can't remember it all, perhaps I misunderstood his intent - maybe it was "tongue in cheek". Perhaps somebody else has read the part I'm thinking of, I'd like their opinions.

William Morris and Lord Dunsany were writing before Tolkien. It is so long since I read "King of Elfland's Daughter", but I don't remember any correlations and I have to admit that I never finished Well at the Worlds End - perhaps I ought to give it another go.
 

Kiwi

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...have been away for 2 days... am going to go sudy these links
Thankyou!
 

Gnashar_the_orc

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Pontifex:
Yes, WARHAMMER, that word says it all. Yes it is true that Games Workshop is almost entirely based on Tolkien with a few weak (in my opinion) additions such as the Chaos Dwarves and the Lizardmen (which are probably taken from the Dragon Lance Trilogy, Draconians spring to mind). Still though I own a few hundred of those miniatures (expensive miniatures) and I believe that companies like Games Workshop are helping people getting into fantasy books. I for example had never heard of Lord of the Rings but I was furiously playing Warhammer! Incredible isn't it?!
I would like to add that because of Tolkien many other good, quality writters have produced some respectable novels though not ever being as good as Tolkien. After all he spent years and years on his books. I suppose that writters of our days write to live-to get money, in the sense that they write novel after novel because of simple demand and supply rules. Tolkien however had a job as a professor and so I would think he had more time and effort to spare on his project(s).
 

BluestEye

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Middle-Earth vs. Krynn

Well, Kiwi, I always loved the Dragonlance Chronicles, but then one day it appeared to me that great parts of the story are distortions of Tolkien's books.
The main example for this is Gandalf's fall into the chasm with the Balrog and his returning some chapters afterwards when everybody think they lost him for good. Fizban, also a gray cloaked wizard, falls with Tass to death in Pax-Tarkas. Tass is saved by a featherfall-magic Fizban casted. But Fizban himself is "crushed" by the fall. Nobody finds him and the company think he's dead. But lo, after some chapters Fizban is back from the "dead", muttering strange words as: "Fizban? Yes, that was my name..." and things like that, exactly as Gandalf said when Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli found him as the White Rider in Fangorn forest.
I can't read Dragonlance anymore since then...

BluestEye
 

Kiwi

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William Morris and Lord Dunsany were writing before Tolkien. It is so long since I read "King of Elfland's Daughter", but I don't remember any correlations and I have to admit that I never finished Well at the Worlds End - perhaps I ought to give it another go. [/B][/QUOTE]


A small village in England sounds very cosy from this side of the world!
The name William Morris is vaguely familiar..can you recall titles of his books? -and the period that he was writing in?
 

laura

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Kiwi, you had to make me do it didn't you. I have just spent ages in my spare room looking for my copies of Morris having moved mountains of magazines I only found the Well at the World's End, right at the bottom of a box!! The Wood beyond the World is hiding somewhere. Do you feel guilty - don't it's my own fault for not having a tidy out and chucking out all the old mags!

The author is the same William Morris (1834-96) famed for his wallpaper, interior design, inspiration of the Arts and Crafts movement, also known as a revolutionary and one of the founding fathers of British socialism (taken from the back of the biography I just happen to have out of the library. No I haven't read it all, I just wanted to look at the stained glass he made).

I quote from the biography "Such works make a deep appeal to those who enjoy the writings of such modern masters of fantasy as
J. R. R. Tolkien". This includes three other works: Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair, The Water of the Wondrous Isles and The Sundering Flood.

It may sound cosy, but the realities of living in a village in England are anything but! Actually, I need to change that to read a village in England, it's not that small!
 

Úlairi

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Down the rabbit hole...
Basically it boils down to this. All these opinions are good, and some explain what I am about to state here. Tolkien's books were copied by many who were looking for some form of inspiration, and they got it from Tolkien. Tolkien inspired them so much, that a rare amount of them came up with material that wasn't somehow related to Tolkien.
 

Dûndorer

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its not a book but a cartoon. i remember when i was young watching the cartoon 'captain planet'. thats the one with the rings and stuff. besides the fact that they have rings there isnt any other simalaritys.
 

elenya

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My friend was reading the Chronicals of Narnia. She noticed that it had magical rings and how the lion's singing created Narnia...or something like that. Sound familiar? We thought that either C S Lewis or J R R Tolkien had coppied off one or the other buuuut....They were friends!! They talked laot about books together so that's why the stories are a little similar!
 

CyberGhostface

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Is IT really a LotR ripoff because IT was a giant spider? I have only finished FotR and TTT, so I am guessing you mean Shelob. I really doubt King would rip off from LotR as he tries to be as original as possible.
 

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