Thoughts on Jordon's Wirting

Discussion in 'Wheel of Time' started by Dragon Song, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. Dragon Song

    Dragon Song The Soul Reaper

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    There is a lot of debate and discussion around Robert Jordon and his writing, and a lot of people have very mixed feelings regaurding his Wheel of Time seris, but there is one aspect of his writing in particular that has always been of intrest to me and that I do not really hear a lot of talk about and so I wanted to start up a discussion of it here.

    One of the things of which I find rather intresting about his writing, and still have mixed feelings about even though I do like his books and I am reading the seiris, is the way in which he draws from varrious other cultures and myths to use for his writing.

    To mention of a few of the obvious examples of this, is the use of the yin and yang sign for the symbol of Tar Valon, the strong assocations with Arthrian Legend, and the mingling of Celtic and Norse Myth.

    To give more specific examples of this, are many of the names from chars in the book are taken from King Arthur for example Artur Paendrag opposed to Arthur Pendragon. Or the Queen Morgase and the way in which Callandor is simillar to Excalibur which is also known as Caliburnus or Caliburn

    And the word Aes Sadai is derived from Aes sidhe which is a name given to the Tuatha De Danann a legendary people from Celtic Myth

    And the word saidar could be seen as close to Seidhr which is a form of magick in the Norse tradition that is seen as being practiced primarly by women.

    Just to name some that I have noticed

    On the one hand I do appericate the uniquness of it and I know that most all fantasy draws from other sorcers like this, but there is something about the way he does it which almost seems more blatent, as if he is borrowing from these other stories instead of just being inspired by them which sometimes makes me question the true originaity and creativity of the author.
     
  2. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    Personally, I like Jordan's habit of drawing on mythical sources. It fits with the theme of the 'wheel of time' in which the myths of our age are descended from the happenings of another. It's true that he draws quite heavily on various myths, but ultimately the story is still his own. I think he's still a creative author, and is inspired by myth rather than robbing ideas from it.
     
  3. Dragon Song

    Dragon Song The Soul Reaper

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    Yes overall I would agree with that, I do enjoy his writing, and think it is creative and he has indeed made the story very much of his own.
     
  4. Kestrel

    Kestrel Fool's Apprentice

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    I think perhaps the fact that he was so obvious in using those ideas from others myths shows in a way that he didn't want to hide what he was doing - he wanted us to know that he was drawing on those myths. Perhaps also he is paying homage to them as well, by using names that are only slightly obscured. Either way, like you said, other fantasy authors do it, they just cover it up more, for their own reasons. I still think Jordan changes the myths enough in to his own ideas so that he isn't outright copying.
     
  5. Dragon Song

    Dragon Song The Soul Reaper

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    That is an intresting point, I have not thought of it that way before, that by his doing it more out in the open so to speak instead of trying to obsecure it, is a way of paying homage to the myths. I just found it intresting the way I was struck by how blatent the use of myth was in his book as I do not usually see that in fantasy authors. But as I have said before, there are parts about that, that I really do like and find creative and unique in its own right. And when I frist started reading the books, it was kind of fun picking up these littler famillair things here and there.
     
  6. Unraveller

    Unraveller <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    Lots of people have commented on this (usually negatively) but very few have ever hit on the real reason.

    Quite simply, 'Randland' is Earth. "The Wheel of Time turns and ages come and go..." We've all read it many times. Time is cyclical and so everything comes around again. Are our heroes in our past or future? Both? There are the other references "The giants Mosk and Merk flinging death at each other from across the planet" Moscow and America? So logically our legends are theirs too, albeit altered by the passage of time. The obvious insinuation is that King Arthur was an incarnation of Hawkwing (or vice versa).

    Wotmania has excellent FAQ listing most of the references in great detail.
     
  7. eliec

    eliec New Member

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    Personally I love the way he draws on the myths, yet still makes them different enough to be surprising. For example, we always think of King Arthur as a just and loving ruler. Artur Hawkwing is described as being just and loving for the people, yet incredibly hard on other nobles, not to mention his oppression of Aes Sedai.

    And you can't really accuse the man of being unimaginative when he wrote a 12 book saga with so many different characters, and incredibly many plots.
     
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