Did Robert Jordan ever remark on the similarities between The Wheel of Time and Tolkien's Legendarium? Especially names from The Silmarillion (Hurin, Huan &c.) and characters/themes (not names, concepts) in LOTR:

Mordor -> Shayol Ghul
Ents -> ogier
Orcs/goblins -> trollocs
Bree -> Baerlon
Moria -> The Ways
Nazgul -> Myrddraal
The Shire -> The Two Rivers

Et cetera

Edit: I'm aware of this question, I'm specifically asking whether he remarked on it. I thought that was pretty clear but someone marked this as dupe.

  • 2
    Maybe Jordan's inspiration wasn't LotR at all, maybe it was Shannara.
    – DavidW
    Dec 13, 2021 at 12:09
  • 1
    I always thought Wheel of Time borrowed a lot more from Dune than LOTR
    – Andrey
    Dec 13, 2021 at 15:19
  • 1
    I think Rand also goes by the name of Mr Underhill or something like that in the first couple of books? Dec 13, 2021 at 16:12
  • 3
    Every fantasy owes some kind of debt to LotR. Dec 13, 2021 at 16:14
  • 3
    None of these names seem similar at all. Dec 13, 2021 at 22:25

1 Answer 1


Yes, Robert Jordan did remark on similarities with Tolkien, several times.

Gerhard Hormann: Could this series have been written if The Lord of the Rings had not existed?

Robert Jordan: Hard to say. The Lord of the Rings is a milestone in the genre and in a sense laid the groundwork for what we currently call fantasy. The first 100 pages of The Eye of the World are quite similar to it. In it, you’ll find the idyllic, pristine world as in the world of Tolkien. But from that moment on, the story takes a completely different turn. My series doesn’t only touch back to British folklore, but to all religions of the world. Women don’t play a secondary role, but make up at least half the story. And it doesn’t include any elves, nor unicorns, dragons, dwarves or hobbits.

-- Dromen and Demonen interview

In the beginning, I wanted a little bit—at the beginning of The Eye of the World, I wanted a little bit of a Tolkien-esque feel. For perhaps the first 100 pages, I wanted to have that feel simply to establish that this is the foundation. Tolkien began so much of modern fantasy. Not all of it comes from him certainly, but The Lord of the Rings is this huge mountain casting a shadow over everything. Then, having said this is what you expect and this is the familiar ground, now, kiddies, we're going someplace else.

-- Robert Jordan, Science Fiction Book Club interview

The story begins with The Eye of the World. That's the first book. And it begins in a very pastoral setting, with people who are very...well, innocent is the word. They are rural, they are themselves pastoral. And I tried to make the beginning almost Tolkienesque, as a homage, and as a way of saying, "This is the foundation that we're all jumping off from." But it begins to change, because I'm not trying to do a Tolkien pastiche in any way. And as we leave that pastoral setting, things begin to change. You begin to move away from the style of Tolkien. The characters begin to learn more about the world. They become more sophisticated, in the sense of having more knowledge, and thus they see the world in a more sophisticated way. They're not as innocent, as time goes on, as the books go on, as they were in the beginning. And so the tone of the books changes slightly with their worldview.

-- Robert Jordan, Waldenbooks Hailing Frequency interview

  • No dragons, but one Dragon. :) (At least until later in the series, and no, that's not the spoiler you think it is.)
    – chepner
    Dec 13, 2021 at 14:56
  • 1
    Has Jordan never heard of Eowyn? Galadriel? Jeez. Shelob, even. Dec 13, 2021 at 23:52
  • 2
    Unicorns? Whut. "the idyllic, pristine world as in the world of Tolkien", can someone introduce this guy to the First Age? Or even just all of LotR after eg the breaking of the Fellowship? Dec 14, 2021 at 2:49
  • 1
    @SillybutTrue Yes, and all of them play secondary roles in the story: they're not the main characters.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 14, 2021 at 8:50
  • 4
    @Mithoron Oh come on. Most of the most powerful people in the world in WoT are women. The power and majesty of the Aes Sedai (and the various rulers of Andor, Altara, Ghealdan, Tarabon, etc.) surely outweighs the fact that E&E&N got kidnapped a couple of times in books 2-3 (as did Perrin in book 1, Rand in book 6, etc.)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 15, 2021 at 6:00

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