Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Use this tag for questions about the inspiration behind ideas (names, characters, objects, titles, etc.) in science fiction or fantasy works.

9
votes
1answer
246 views

Where did the Prime Directive come from?

The Prime Directive is the main principle that Starfleet/the Federation follows, barring them from interfering with the development of another less developed civilization. The question I am asking is ...
5
votes
1answer
331 views

Was Edna Mode's “No Capes!” rule inspired by Dollar Bill?

In The Incredibles, Edna Marie "E" Mode" famously voices her opinion on capes. These examples are hardly the first cases of what TV Tropes calls a "cape snag". (...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

What is the significance of the Red Lotus?

The theme of a Red Lotus seems to show up in various fantasy works. For instance: In Ice Fantasy, where the Red Lotus seems to a magical flower of great power. In The Legend of Korra, where it is an ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Does this “collecting royal souls” plotline have a common origin?

A few works seem to share a rather specific plotline, regarding the collection of the souls of various royal bloodlines. For instance, in The Bone Witch and its sequels, by Rin Chupeco, part of the ...
18
votes
3answers
579 views

Are there any clear predecessors to the idea from Harry Potter of wands with special cores?

It now seems like a common idea, perhaps one with a long reaching tradition. But my Google results seem to be solely dominated by Harry Potter references. I've found references to wands with different ...
41
votes
3answers
8k views

Were any Star Wars aliens based on national stereotypes?

Many reviews and scholars have suggested that George Lucas seems to have based certain species in Star Wars human ethnicities, and particularly on stereotypes thereof. For instance, the Toydarians (...
7
votes
0answers
123 views

Did Iain Banks ever acknowledge Hermann Hesse as an inspiration?

To an outside observer it seems that the game of Azad, from the empire of the same name featured heavily in The Player of Games, bears strong similarities to the Glass Bead Game from Hesse's 1943 ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Does Captain Ronald Tracey resemble a particular figure from U.S. history? [closed]

In the Star Trek episode "TOS: Whom Gods Destroy" (1969), I consider the character Garth a George Washington figure (whether consciously intended or not). He was a great military leader; also, his "...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

The traitor Bamu Cormorant - historical inspiration for the “favorite method”?

In The Traitor Bamu Cormorant a significant development near the end happens when Has there been an historical analog to this?
3
votes
0answers
224 views

Was the Monks storyline a Brexit metaphor?

TV Tropes claims that the Monks storyline on Doctor Who (seen in "The Pyramid at the End of the World," etc.) is an allegory for Brexit: ...the actual Who Brexit allegory story (the Monks trilogy) ...
3
votes
0answers
71 views

Inspiration for Ulysses 31?

What surprised me most about Ulysses 31 was its use of Greek mythology in a futuristic setting. For example, the protagonists encountered Zeus (amongst other mythological characters): What inspired ...
2
votes
1answer
184 views

Do Aes Sedai wear tallitot?

The tallit is a Jewish garb, which has a lot of resemblance to the Aes Sedai shawl: It's a shawl It's got fringes The fringes are (or at least were) dyed blue However, I couldn't find any reference ...
30
votes
5answers
7k views

Are there any real-life parallels to the Night's Watch and their fall from prestige? [closed]

In A Song of Ice and Fire (and also in the series Game of Thrones), the Night's Watch is a peculiar institution: Regardless of its actual usefulness, it serves a supposedly "vital" function which was ...
-6
votes
1answer
193 views

Is Ender's game inspired by 1984?

I read Ender's Game recently and found that Ender reminded me of Winston in 1984. I was wondering if this was a coincidence or not.
72
votes
3answers
12k views

Was the mythology in “Moana” based on an established myth?

I just recently finished watching the film Moana. The plot includes the Realm of Monsters, complete with upside down giant crabs, a shape-shifting demigod with a magical hook, a giant lava monster, a ...
-4
votes
2answers
168 views

What was one of the inspiration sources of Harry Potter? [closed]

I wanted to know this because I was curious what triggered J.K. Rowling to write this.
6
votes
1answer
87 views

Is the Fuaran based on a real-world legend?

Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch series already has some links to real-world mythology via the character of Gesar, and possibly also Zabulon. This made me wonder about the in-universe legend of the ...
2
votes
0answers
108 views

What influenced the novel 'Definitely Maybe' by the Strugatsky's?

For those who have read Definitely Maybe by the Strugatsky brothers or know a bit about 1970's Russia, the Brezhnev Era or how the Mikhail Kheifets case with Boris Strugatsky testifying as a witness: ...
2
votes
0answers
93 views

Where does this rhyme about Quatermass come from?

I found this rhyme about Quatermass II. I'm trying to find out who wrote it and whether there's an expanded version somewhere. Does the rhyme have a real-world origin? There was a man from outer ...
6
votes
3answers
880 views

Are there any specific examples in Lord of the Rings that are influenced by WWII?

I know that Tolkien is greatly influenced by folklore of many cultures and WWI directly. However, I wonder if there are any specific examples that show influence from WWII? The best conjecture so far ...
2
votes
0answers
56 views

Origin of a custom of deceased attending their own wakes?

In the first book of the Amra Thetys series a charming local custom is described in which the deceased attends his own funeral banquet: I was a little late. They’d already had the ceremonial meal ...
7
votes
2answers
589 views

How influential was Dune in the creation of Star Wars? [closed]

There are claims that Dune has been influential in, and an inspiration for the writing and creation of Star Wars. In what ways is that evidenced? Please give examples.
31
votes
3answers
5k views

Was Daenerys Targaryen based on Cleopatra?

Was Daenerys Targaryen based on Cleopatra Philopator, queen of ancient Egypt? They have many commonalities. Royal Birth Both women were born into royal families. Cleopatra the VII was born into ...
7
votes
1answer
994 views

Is the monster Godzilla based on an old myth/legend?

In the 1998 Roland Emmerich-directed film Godzilla,* a Japanese sailor who survived an attack by the monster early in the film identifies the creature as "Gojira." Later in the film, news reporter ...
5
votes
1answer
350 views

Is there any evidence that this Yoda quote was inspired by Romans 5:3-4?

Yoda famously said that "Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." This seems to fit just a little too well with Romans 5:3-4, as rendered in some translations of the Bible:...
13
votes
2answers
438 views

Was Tolkien explicitly referencing C.S. Forester's “Captain Hornblower”?

In The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien named a couple of Hobbit families (Hornblower and Bracegirdle) with names that also appear in the Hornblower novels by C.S. Forester. Horatio Hornblower is ...
-3
votes
1answer
471 views

Is Cersei's pregnancy realistic (age wise)? [closed]

In episode 5 of season 7, Cersei tells Jaime that she's pregnant. Some have pointed out that this does not seem to fit Maggy the Frog's prophecy, but there is another issue. In the same season, ...
3
votes
1answer
511 views

What are the inspirations for “The Expanse” novels?

The Expanse novels are set in multiple locations and tell of different situations; many of them have a vague familiar feel, like in example the whole Miller neo-noir subplot and Ceres has points of ...
5
votes
1answer
405 views

Has Brent Weeks talked about copying from the Wheel of Time series in the Night Angel Trilogy?

I have just finished reading the Night Angel Trilogy and while it is a fun read I couldn't help but feel large parts of the world were copied from the Wheel of Time series. Female "Casters" are ...
5
votes
1answer
247 views

How much is W40K inspired from the Incal series?

I discovered Warhammer 40K quite late, and something struck me: There is a french comic called the Incal, set in a Sci-Fi world led by a "perfect imperoratriz", a supposedly perfect androgynous ...
7
votes
1answer
224 views

Which Valérian and Laureline stories is Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets based on?

There are some 29 short stories and albums in the Valérian and Laureline series. Which does the film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets take elements from?
6
votes
1answer
642 views

What existing songs, if any, was the soundtrack of “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” based on?

The soundtrack to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt featured songs composed by Mikolai Stroinski, Marcin Przybyłowicz, Piotr Musiał, and the band Percival Schuttenbach (which takes its name from the character ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

Was Legend inspired by North and South Korea?

In the Legend series by Marie Lu, there are two countries side-by-side in what used to be the U.S. One is a hereditary military dictatorship that controls every aspect of its citizens' lives. The ...
39
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the Klingon Bird of Prey a Canada Goose?

While partly written to celebrate the 150th Birthday of Canada today, what follows is a serious question nonetheless. The Klingon Bird of Prey is one of the iconic ships of Star Trek. In-universe, ...
4
votes
1answer
553 views

Which characters in Harry Potter are based on real people?

Which characters did J. K. Rowling base on real world people? I'm interested only in cases where Rowling herself has said (or at least suggested) the character is based on a real world person. ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Has any science fiction been written that's set in the TRAPPIST-1 system?

I have an idea about a story set in the TRAPPIST-1 system. In particular, the main topic is about the three planets in the habitable zone. Now, I am not a writer, but I think I would really like to ...
8
votes
1answer
214 views

Is there evidence to suggest that Rogue One's Chirrut and Baze is a reference to the Hidden Fortress characters Tahei and Matashichi?

We know that George Lucas borrowed from A Hidden Fortress for his original Star Wars movie. In particular we read: The Hidden Fortress opens with two bickering peasants, Tahei and Matashichi, ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What inspired Supernatural's 'The Colt' and Wynonna Earp's 'Peacemaker'? [closed]

In Reverse Chronological Order: In Syfy's Wynonna Earp, the main character wields a demon-killing Colt Buntline Special dubbed 'Peacemaker'. 1 In CW's Supernatural, the main characters and assorted ...
4
votes
0answers
903 views

Was Governor Pryce's character inspired by Colonel Spalko?

Is there any official confirmation that the character of Arihnda Pryce, the governor of Lothal in Star Wars Rebels was inspired by the character of the KGB Colonel Doctor Irina Spalko in Indiana Jones ...
25
votes
1answer
1k views

Has GRRM ever confirmed that he named some ASOIAF characters after the Muppets?

In The World of Ice and Fire, we are introduced to few historical Tully characters, which are: Lord Kermit Tully Lord Elmo Tully Lord Grover Tully To those who may not be familiar with the Muppets, ...
37
votes
3answers
9k views

Why is the name “Rigel”, and especially “Rigel VII”, used in multiple universes?

Star Trek has a Rigel VII. Star Wars has a Rigel VII. Marvel Comics has a Rigel-3. The Simpsons has a Rigel 7, though I expect this is parodying the aforementioned works. All of the above systems ...
3
votes
1answer
308 views

Did Neil Gaiman base Dream's eyes' appearance on Terry Pratchett's Death?

Neil Gaiman's Dream is commonly depicted as having star-like glow in his eyes, usually when he's extra serious (extra serious? you might say): Those are just from the first volume, but the general ...
36
votes
2answers
5k views

Were Tolkien's Ents inspired by Blackwood's “The Man Whom the Trees Loved”?

Reading 'The Man Whom the Trees Loved' by Algernon Blackwood, I find myself wondering if this is a case of parallel evolution, or whether JRRT was influenced by this material in working up the Ents. ...
7
votes
1answer
416 views

Was the villain of Justice League Dark based on a Sandman villain?

The main villain of the movie Justice League Dark features a sprit who In the 24 Hour Sandman story, the main villain is a man who Did 24 Hour inspire Justice League Dark, or is this just an ...
5
votes
1answer
123 views

Is the Nocturnus song “Subterranean Infiltrator” about Metal Gear, or is it actually set in its universe?

Thresholds, the 1992 sophomore release by the progressive death metal band Nocturnus, contains a song "Subterranean Infiltrator", which Wikipedia claims is about the Metal Gear video game series. ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

What works did Lovecraft and his “Cthulhu Mythos” draw from?

H. P. Lovecraft frequently referenced, drew inspiration from, or outright borrowed elements from others' works. In order to fully appreciate the references and allusions in Lovecraft's stories, what ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Was Kubo and the Two Strings based on anything?

This exact question was brought up by my wife while we were watching the movie. I have some very minimal awareness of Shinto and that there are some common elements in play, such as the celestial ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Is Ryder Azadi based on Ryder Windham?

Ryder Windham is one of the most prolific Star Wars authors out there, having written dozens of Star Wars books, including some fairly recently. The character Ryder Azadi on Star Wars: Rebels shares ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Was Constantine's appearance based on Sting?

Is there any evidence for this? I have encountered a person on a forum who claimed this to be true, but he failed to supply any proof. While I can notice some similarities, is this claim actually true?...
47
votes
1answer
6k views

Is the Joker based on anything?

Is the Joker based on another character, or a real life person?