Wheel of Time influences ASOIAF

Pedro Del Mar

I am content
Mar 18, 2010
Darwen Tower
Forgive me if this has been posted before, I've searched but unable to find the thread.

I'm currently listening to The Wheel of Time audiobooks as an aid to give me a refresher before I pick up book 12. I read all the books in the series as they came out until the unfortunate death of Robert Jordan in 2007. When Brandon Sanderson took over I decided to wait until all the books had been written before completing the series. It's been so long I decided listening to the audiobooks would be an ideal way of catching up before I pick up The Gathering Storm.


I've just finished listening to book 4 The Shadow Rising and I'm really surprised at the amount of similarities between The Wheel of Time and ASOIAF. I understand you can see common threads in most fantasy series since Tolkien but these two in particular are staggering me. so much so I've looked to see when they were written and WoT came out first, before GRRM began work on ASOIAF.

Take these as an example:

Dead Daemar/Game of Houses = Game of Thrones
Night's Watch/Others = Shienarans/Blight
Stark Wolves/Warging = Wolfbrother Elyas/Perrin
Aiel = Dothraki
House of the Undying = Ter'angreal
Valyrian Steel = Heron marked blade

There have been lots of other examples I've noticed as I've been listening and obviously Jordan's writing for a younger audience but the more I listen to the WoT audiobooks the more I come to think there are many similarities between these two series.

Has anyone else considered if GRRM was influenced by RJ?

I'm pleased to say I'm enjoying listening to the audiobooks and looking forward to picking up The Gathering Storm and then finishing the series.
Nope. George has never read beyond The Eye of the World, so nothing from later books would have influenced him. The only influences are Lomas Longstrider from The World of Ice and Fire (a nod to Jain Farstrider from WoT, frequently-mentioned in Eye of the World) and the nods at Robert Jordan himself (House Jordayne of the Tor and Archmaester Rigney).

The "Game of Thrones" comes from the Wars of the Roses and the French civil wars (particularly as related in The Accursed Kings historical series), with a dash of the Landsraad from Dune added in.

The Others are likely a tribute to the Norns of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn (actually, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, which George was reading shortly before starting ASoIaF, has far more direct points of comparison).

The warging was actually a nod to simple shapechanging (but without the actual shapechanging) of more traditional fantasy. I get the impression George changed how warging worked dramatically after reading Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb (I believe he was sent an ARC whilst still working on AGoT), and he's always said Hobb influenced that element of the books quite a lot, although he'd already included it before he started reading her books.

The Dothraki are based on a mixture of the Huns and Mongols.

The House of the Undying I think is a nod at Lovecraft and Zelazny's Amber series, with possible futures and other worlds being touched on.

Valyrian steel is actually based on the real Damascus steel, a form of folding metal that was believed lost for centuries (the same as wildfire is based on the now-mysterious Greek fire).
In ASOIAF, the Jordayne family lives on the Tor River... and the current lord is Trebor.

Jordayne - Jordan
Trebor - Robert spelled backwards
Tor - Robert Jordan's publisher
I had to look it up. I was thinking along the lines of coinage. Here, in Denver, we have one of the three (?) U.S. Mints. Like the mint in San Fran, the mint developed because of the discovery of precious metals. We had to get the coins struck quickly instead of tempting people to rob trains for bullion.

Great, Boaz. You've taken a joke and bored me to death... Tres Bore.