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General comparison of Tolkien vs Jordan

How would you compare the two? I know I may be stepping into deep water here, but I actually like Jordan's Wheel of Time better - except when he drags some things out. Am I the only one?
 

Generalvally

New Member
Judging by all the work that both writers have produced I would say that Tolkien is a better writer, by a big margin. All of Tolkien’s work is of high quality and I would not say the same about Jordan’s work.
Jordan’s Wheel of Time Series is still being written and the later books are definitely taking a turn for the worse. Nearly everyone who was has followed the series will agree with that. His early books were great and after reading them I wanted to read even more. I have now read all the books currently out, and am pretty dissatisfied. His detailed world has become overly detailed. He floods the reader with detail and the storyline inches along. More and more of Jordan’s characters become irritating and the books start to suck more and more. Jordan needs to start writing better books again if he wants to be comparable to Tolkien.

-Someone who once liked Jordan
 
I think Tolkien was a better writer. I really enjoyed the first four or five "Wheel" books but feel as though all he is doing for the last few years is dragging it out. I am beginning to feel as though he doesn't know how to end it or want it to end.
 

Oponn

New Member
Think they are too easy to compare, does noone else notice the similarities between LotR and WoT.
Trollocs - Orcs
Fades - Nazgul
Two Rivers - The Shire
Mat, Perrin - Merry, Pippin
Lan - Aragorn
Berelorn - Bree
The Dark One - The Dark One
The Codgers (sp?) - the Saville-Baginses
Moraine - Gandalf
Loriel - Treebeard

The only problem is Tolkein does it well, Jordan messes up (and he stole half of it)
 

phil_t

New Member
Except that Tolkien borrowed most of his stuff from other authors as well for LOTR (or at least was influenced by them) - its really very hard to write anything completely original these days!! :(

Phil
 

Oponn

New Member
The point is that while Tolkien sought inspiration and thematics in other kinds of work of art (epic poems, opera,) and religion, his work takes on a new shape and, additionally, is a part of the whole mythology Tolkien created for the English culture.

And while he wasn't the first author in the world to write epic fantasy, he was (and is) the most important one, and without him, I doubt fantasy would be where it is today.

I'm not saying that anyone should invent something new each time they write a book. It's practically impossible to think of something someone hasn't already thought of, or that isn't a mix of two or more exisitng ideas.

Jordan, however, is much more blatant, and copies from the same genre (and this isn't illegal or unusual, it's rather the norm). And his plot is just more messy, not better.

And because it's quite fun I thought of a couple more of the similarities between their works:In the third age (this was almost too much), Frodo gets a wound that never completely heals, and which constantly pains and plagues him. Rand gets a wound that never completely heals, and which constantly pains and plagues him. Padan Fain, Gollum, Gollum, Padan Fain... (both goes from being essentially good people to being twisted by a "cursed" artifact which they long for and which drives them crazy)
Then there are other element from the Wheel of Time that most clearly derive from Dune: Rand / Paul Atreides : Messiah figure from the outside leading great rising of desert warriors (Aiel / Fremen) in fulfillment of prophecy. Has powers usually only available to women. There are also similarities in the way we see both characters develop: a young, rather naive and powerless adolescent changes into an extraordinary leader with great powers.
Aes Sedai / Bene Gesserit : Powerful, secretive and manipulative female caste with extraordinary powers, sometimes known as witches. Both go through intensive training and painful rites of passage. Also very similar internal power structures and mindsets.
Aiel / Fremen: Kick-ass desert warriors who ally themselves with the Messiah figure.
 

brero

kickbox
Lotr is easily superior, even if it is pretty stodgy. Neither are very slick writers but Jordan lacks any flair whatsoever. Its nothing more than clumsy hack work for money.
 

Prolixic

kickbox
Been awhile but I HAD to bite on this one.

First: Pick a hard fantasy series, I.e. Sword of Truth (Terry Goodkind), Shanarra (Terry Brooks), LOTR, Wheel of Time (Jordan)...Normal individual finds, inherits, or otherwise acquires magical sword (usually) or other object.
Changes and/or saves world by using, guarding, or destroying said object.
They live happily ever after until the sequal or near the end of the book. (At least Tolkein had a happy ending in ROTK and left it that way. Whatever happened to the trilogy?)

Goodkind and Jordan wrote strong male characters that have to learn to use their magic or they may die. Don't know where that came from but every since Excalibur and Camelot writers have mugged the plot I wrote about above...normal guys getting cool swords that turn them into heroes. (see T.H. White and "the Wart") Even Bilbo and Frodo had Sting. Dare I mention the Sword that was Broken? I mean its just NOT a fantasy quest without a magical sword or whatever--just what every wizard needs to turn the "chosen one" into an instant butt-kicker.

Second: The messiah, chosen one, Child of the Dragon, Muad dib, whatever-it-is deal is an ancient plot. Recent movies the Matrix, the One, Even The LOTR movies is all about a guy thats going to save civilization as we know it and usher in a new age of peace....yadda, yadda. Jesus, Mohammed, Buddah--they've all been copied. Tolkien's characters die and stay that way, Goodkind's go to the Underworld--uh, see the Odyssey--, Jordans might just get reborn if thats what the 'Wheel weaves' in the pattern--can you say reincarnation? Don't Hindu's have a great wheel too? Hmmm...I don't know about Shanarra but I get the impression that they die and thats it...sort of a nihlist death-then-oblivion set up.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that a good writer fishes in many ponds and takes inspiration where he/she finds it. (Zelazny and Heinlein were great about buffing plots--who doesn't?)

I have to say, too, that the Nazgul remind me more of Jordan's Forsaken than his Fade, but thats just me splitting hairs.
 

jcsoblonde

kickbox
ugh i cant stand it when authors copy. its seems so...pathetic like as if they are little tolkien puppy dogs...even in eragon it was kinda like that UGH. wish they would get it in their head to smash the dream that they shall be as famous as tolkien IF only they could write his exact same story better. HA.
 
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