Sword of Truth and WOT: alternate realities?

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Mazrim Taim, Nov 23, 2000.

  1. Mazrim Taim

    Mazrim Taim New Member

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    **There are some spoilers in here**

    Hello, this is my first post, and before going on, I want to say that English is not my natural language, and altough I'll try my best, please excuse my bad grammar/choice of words if it's not correct.
    Ok, well, I'd like to express some of my irritation/amazement when re-reading the Sword of Truth series after reading WOT. Altough I very much enjoyed reading SoT the first time, the second time I just saw too many things taken from RJ...
    I know it's hard to be completely original, but hey, TG could've at least tried to not copy all those elements from WoT..
    here's a list of the similarities I've found so far:

    *Magic:
    -The way magic is worked; by ''weaving'', ''webs'' and ''knots''
    -The elements of magic: water, air, wind, fire and spirit;
    -The way to contain magic users: the ''ring''(forgot the name)/a'dam;
    -Magic can be an inborn or learned ability, inborn magic kills if not learned how to handle;
    -The nature of dreams and dreamwalking (the way dreams can be ''invaded'');
    -The use of prophecies (in the way that both stories use prophecies to hint at the plot);
    -The way magic is divided in a male and female part which (normally) can't be used by the opposite sex;
    -Apart from the ''normal'' magic, there is another form, which almost nobody can use
    (The True Power/Subtractive magic).
    *The Powerfull Women:
    -Sisters of the Light and Aes Sedai, who are in a way, also the Sisters of the Light;
    -the same organisational structure;
    -they both wear Rings;
    -they both are ''ageless'';
    -they search for men who are able to use magic;
    -the Dark Sisters (the Black Ajah) whose existence is at first denied by their White sisters, altough some high-placed officials know and plan against them before they become common knowledge.
    *World and Characters:
    -The common people have developed a fear and hatred for magic, because once great Magic was used in some legendary War to devastating effects
    -The way the world is divided between one ''good'' and one ''evil'' entity
    -The human race is the dominant one, other races have little to no influence
    -Rand and Richard both struggle with an unknown, inborn ability to use magic, and both are at first all but happy with the discovery that they have it, and they both have a magic using Sister to guide them through their first steps, a sister that is regarded a ''bully''
    before appriciation comes.
    *And just a little thing: both Richard and Rand used some kind of trick when bowshooting.

    These are the things I've come across so far, and altough some things are worked out differently, some of the main themes/mechanics are so similiar it's almost embarrassing.
    Well, that's it, I just wanted to share this with the world, if you have more additions to this list please let me know!

    (PS: it may sound weird, but despite all this do I like the SoT series.. )


    [This message has been edited by Mazrim Taim (edited November 23, 2000).]
     
  2. Merry

    Merry New Member

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    Hi, welcome to the forum!
    I too have found these similarities, and have mentioned this on the forum. It just goes to show that you have to really be original when writing the fantasy works today, in order to succeed.
     
  3. FitzChivalry

    FitzChivalry A servant of Lord Arioch

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    Well, yeah, it seems sometimes that Tor wanted another writer to sell as much copies as Robert Jordan, so they contacted Goodkind, gave him some WOT books to read and told him to make up something that can lure as many fans and make them lots of money...
     
  4. Cellandros

    Cellandros New Member

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    There are alot of similarities, but I do believe that if there is any blame, as Fitz said, it was probably TOR applying pressure to have a very similiar 'fat' fantasy franchise to be pulished opposite the WOT.

    I do however think that its dangerous to go chasing after similar items in novels. After all, when it all boils down, there really aren't that many truely 'original' plots out there.

    Also lets not give Robert Jordan undo credit for the things in his books. Most of the plot structures and ideas in Jordan's books, appeared in Frank Herbert's Dune novels. I won't go into the comparisons here...if you've read both you know them. And in effect Herbert was writing a sci-fi version of the bible.

    My point is, in looking for 'similarities in novels' you can almost always find them. What is important is how an author takes the typical plot structures and devices and puts his/her own feel, ideals and themes into the novel.

    Anyway, rambled enough; welcome to the forums Mazrim Taim [​IMG]
     
  5. Mazrim Taim

    Mazrim Taim New Member

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    I agree with your opinion on hunting for similarities and the Dune-RJ (now what was the name of that sandworm thingy again??) thing, and it wasn't my goal to embarress Goodkind or elevate RJ, but some elements of those series have a very similiar feel to them... a feeling I have never had so strong as with these two, and I'm looking for more parallels.. maybe an alternate Rhand screwed up with the portal stone and ''became'' Richard..
    neway, thanks for the welcome!

    [This message has been edited by Mazrim Taim (edited November 24, 2000).]
     
  6. Loki

    Loki New Member

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    I have also found simlilar things in fantasy books, but thats how it works. Everyone scabs ideas of other fantasy writers(this is why people think tolkien is not so good as modern writers because he couldnt scab ideas). C'mon look at the similaraties between Tolkien and every other writer. I dont know when the first books of the series were published but i think its about a 7 year difference(approx.)Terry Goodkind may have have had trouble finding a company to sell his books to, he may have come up with the ideas along time ago just never published them. You never know, there might have even been a writer that was not very common that they both read and copied of him/her. Despite this these ideas are a fraction of the book what really matters is the plot and there skills at writing.
     
  7. Macros

    Macros a.k.a slade

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    Is it just me or is there anybody else who's tired of hearing about Richard's "raptor like gaze". I mean this is mentioned like a hundred times in every single book. Enough is enough. Can't Goodkind have him look at people normally. Immitating dead dinosaurs is not the answer. :)
     
  8. Sojourn

    Sojourn New Member

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    Well, better 'raptor-like gaze' than 'stegosaurus-like squint', I guess... ^_^

    IMHO... ^_^
     
  9. Macros

    Macros a.k.a slade

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    "stegosaurus-like squint"

    groan.
     
  10. ethanx

    ethanx New Member

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    Not to get too far from the string I would like to say that if I hear about Nynaeve boxing in ears again I will take it upon myself to box in my own ears.... I would also like to cut off her braid as to save me the reading time of that line :-
     
  11. Macros

    Macros a.k.a slade

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    LOL, how about Rand's constant, "duty is heavier than a mountain and death lighter than a feather." Well, we now have an answer for what he can do to end the books, don't we.
     
  12. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    Much as I love WOT and like the character of Lan (even Lan-light now that he is with Nynaeve) I am SICK of reading about his stone like face/features, etc.

    Here's hoping Rand drops a mountain on Nynaeve. [​IMG]
     
  13. Azurehero

    Azurehero New Member

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    I stopped reading Goodkind 300 pages into the second book. I haven't looked back since.

    Also, if you guys are looking for simularities, try comparing Eye of the World with Tolkiens books. I remember hearing that originaly Jordan wanted to write like ol' J.R.R. Which isn't unusual. Writing classes often advise finding someone you like enough to emulate.
     
  14. wastra

    wastra Registered User

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    Actually, I found almost nothing original at all in Goodkind's Wizard's First Rule. I really thought the whole book was stolen and contrived. The only parts that WERE unique didn't seem to fit the story at all.

    I really think Goodkind is the master of the "cut-and-paste" fantasy genre.
     
  15. Mazrim Taim

    Mazrim Taim New Member

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    I don't know if Jordan wanted a style like Tolkien, but he admitted TEOTW was meant to have a feel similiar to Fellowship of the Ring to ease readers into WoT..

    [This message has been edited by Mazrim Taim (edited November 27, 2000).]
     
  16. FitzChivalry

    FitzChivalry A servant of Lord Arioch

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    Well, Jordan didn't say he tried to emulate Tolkien he said he gave the first 100 pages of The Eye of The World a Tolkienish feeling so the readers would feel on safe ground