When I first read Wheel of Time (shortly after I read Dune), I was struck by the similarity between the Aiel and the Fremen, as well as the White Tower and the Bene Gesserit. Are there any other such similarities? Had Robert Jordan ever acknowledged whether he was influenced by Dune?

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    I would say the Wheel of Time is more heavily influenced by "Cheers", just a bunch of people sitting in a tavern, forever. Commented Mar 17, 2011 at 22:29
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    +1 I had that same thought, and had forgotten, until you posted this question. Thanks!
    – morganpdx
    Commented Mar 17, 2011 at 22:30
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    @JackBNimble Didn't we talk about this in chat and come to the conclusion that you must be getting mixed up with a different book? The people in WoT are going all over the place doing all sorts of things, and don't spend a very significant amount of time in taverns (certainly not the same tavern).
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 18:01
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    @randalthor I think we came to the conclusion that I was confusing the Ta'vern(or whatever) with a place. Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 3:24
  • Wait, they're not the same thing?
    – Möoz
    Commented Feb 25, 2019 at 8:34

4 Answers 4


According to something I've found the similarities are more from drawing on similar real-world influences - the same cultures, myths etc. Rather than direct x was influenced by Y.

On similarities between The Wheel of Time and other SF (including Dune) is one analysis of the similarities written by various WoT fans.

Brandon Sanderson/Team Jordan Quotes - Search 'Dune' contains some Robert Jordan quotes on his view about any Dune influences there are.

  • Excellent links.
    – apoorv020
    Commented Mar 17, 2011 at 5:26
  • I need to improve this answer - the google Doc is not being updated anymore AFAIK. THe main compendium of interview information is now at theoryland.com/wheel-of-time-interview-search.php - but I can't find a way to permalink a specific search term. Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 18:59

It's a mixture of Dune and Lord of the Rings from what I can tell. The stories show similarities between the two classics and the wheel of time series, sometimes in an overt way. Using the idea of The Great Eye always being on them, the desert people, the king who refuses to accept that he is a king and is the best ranger/warder to help the friends on their adventure. There are many examples throughout the wheel of time series from what I have read so far that seem as if they have been pulled almost directly from the predeceasing books. Ring Wraiths and Fades, Aes Sedai and Bene Gesserit, Rangers and Warders, Lan and Strider, Aiel and Fremen, Ogiers and Tree Ents, etc.

Having said all that, I'm 3/4 through the second book and the stories are holding my interest. I think they are worth the read if nothing else because they are fun.

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    It's worth noting that Robert Jordan specifically set out to make the first 100 pages of The Eye of the World to resemble the Fellowship of the Ring, so that readers would feel at home. Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 18:45

I have been noticing a lot more similarities.

Shaitan is used in both but understandable if same source material but then also character names furok is one but I’ve noticed more. I can’t help but wonder if Dune isn’t an entirety accidental prequel to Wheel of Time.

  • Well, furok me, you’re furoking right. Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 21:51

Robert Jordan has denied that the Aiel are inspired by the Fremen. Instead:

the real source of inspiration is the Cheyenne people, originally shepherds and forced to became warriors and to flee into the desert when the white man came.

Robert Jordan has also explicitly said that any similarities between Dune and The Wheel of Time are unintentional, although he read and enjoyed Dune:

No, there was no intention to make any similarities between Dune and my writings. And I am certainly a big fan of the original Dune novel. Although I doubt if I've read it since it first came out!

  • So, Jordan says he wasn’t inspired by Fremen, but instead by “a tribal people in danger of being destroyed by technologically superior society bent on getting control of their land because of natural resources, are attacked & displaced to caves when removal finally became reality who are only able to survive because of new kind of leader driving the people to revitalize themselves with hybrid political & religious movement established through supernatural trancelike state not unlike the revelations of the Cheyenne Native American Church of the nineteenth century, which is nothing like Dune.” Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 22:05
  • @SillybutTrue two things can share a similar inspiration. I'm sure Herbert was inspired by similar desert cultures, that doesn't mean WOT was inspired by Dune. The question specifically asks if RJ has acknowledged whether he was inspired by Dune. The answer to that question is clearly no.
    – kuhl
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 13:48

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