Interesting origins of White Walkers and their undead

Peppa

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Everyone knows that George R.R. Martin is not only a great writer, but also a great borrower. He has borrowed many ideas from Robin Hobb, Tad Williams and Michael Moorcock.

But I've always wondered from which book he borrowed his White Walkers and the undead who serve them. In my opinion, he used a scene from the book "To Green Tower Angel" by Tad Williams. In one chapter of that book, a combined army of Humans and Sithi storm Naglimund, which had previously been captured by the Norns. Among the defenders of the fortress, the humans suddenly see soldiers who once served King Elias and were captured by the Norns. When Prince Jiriki shoots one of these soldiers and he falls from the wall, everyone realises that he is long dead. It was the magic of the Norn magician Ahenabi that made the dead soldiers move.

I think Martin expanded and developed that idea. The White Walkers are obviously "descended" from Ted Williams' Norns (although the Norns are more human-looking and can even have children with human women, like Nezeru in "The Last King of the Osten Ard"), and their undead warriors are "descended", so to speak, from the poor soldiers killed by the Norns at the fall of Naglimund and resurrected by the evil Ahenabi. But I'm not really sure if I'm right.
 
Is there a problem with this?
You say he took an idea used by Tad Williams and developed it.

Isn't it true that all authors take ideas that have been previously used and develop them.
The problem is if they take someone elses ideas and just copy them.

The dead coming back to fight again was certainly used by Homer, and came from mythic stories preceding him.
Was Tad therefore plagiarising.
In any case, you say GRRM developed it, as presumably did Williams.
Was Tolkien plagiarising Norse mythology because he had elves and dwarves?
He made those races his own, and others have defined their own type of elves and dwarves both before and since.

There is a theory, I believe that there are only seven (or nine or some other small number of) plot elements that are woven in to every story ever written. (I invite corrections on this point.)

Further, my real life mimics, in many ways, the lives of many of my friends and forebears. I admit my guilt, but claim that many of my hang-ups are uniquely mine..
 
Is there a problem with this?
I don't think there was any suggestion in the OP of it being a problem.

As for the link between the White Walkers and the MST books, I think it's possible, as ASOIF seems to have been quite heavily influenced by MST. But as raising the dead as warriors is quite a common thing, Martin might easily have come up with it anyway.
 
Is there a problem with this?
You say he took an idea used by Tad Williams and developed it.

Isn't it true that all authors take ideas that have been previously used and develop them.
The problem is if they take someone elses ideas and just copy them.

The dead coming back to fight again was certainly used by Homer, and came from mythic stories preceding him.
Was Tad therefore plagiarising.
In any case, you say GRRM developed it, as presumably did Williams.
Was Tolkien plagiarising Norse mythology because he had elves and dwarves?
He made those races his own, and others have defined their own type of elves and dwarves both before and since.

There is a theory, I believe that there are only seven (or nine or some other small number of) plot elements that are woven in to every story ever written. (I invite corrections on this point.)

Further, my real life mimics, in many ways, the lives of many of my friends and forebears. I admit my guilt, but claim that many of my hang-ups are uniquely mine..
Of course, there's no problem here. If Ted Williams himself is not angry with George R.R. Martin, why should I see a problem here?

Please don't think I'm trying to accuse this author of plagiarism or anything like that. I'm just interested in understanding his way of thinking and how he and other authors write books. So I had an idea and I thought I'd share it with other people to see if I was right. I'm just curious. I think that's okay.
 
I don't think there was any suggestion in the OP of it being a problem.

As for the link between the White Walkers and the MST books, I think it's possible, as ASOIF seems to have been quite heavily influenced by MST. But as raising the dead as warriors is quite a common thing, Martin might easily have come up with it anyway.
Of course, undead warriors are common in books. That's the point. Is that a coincidence or not? I'm very curious.
North, winter, Norns, undead.
North, winter, White Walkers, undead.
It's very similar, if you ask me.
 
Of course, undead warriors are common in books. That's the point. Is that a coincidence or not? I'm very curious.
North, winter, Norns, undead.
North, winter, White Walkers, undead.
It's very similar, if you ask me.

You could be right, but I don't think your curiosity is ever going to be satisfied unless GRRM comes out and says where he got the specific idea from. The two series are similar in some ways but not enough to really map one onto the other.
 
I always took the Norns to be dark elves: they're related to the Sithi, who are definitely elf-types, and they've got that "coldly beautiful" thing that seems to be standard for dark elves/drow/dark eldar etc. There's a character called Hengfisk, who is killed by the Norns and comes back as an undead servant, but he's not a fighter, just a non-decaying zombie.
 
You could be right, but I don't think your curiosity is ever going to be satisfied unless GRRM comes out and says where he got the specific idea from. The two series are similar in some ways but not enough to really map one onto the other.
I just wondered what other people thought. Maybe I just imagined the resemblance.
 
I always took the Norns to be dark elves: they're related to the Sithi, who are definitely elf-types, and they've got that "coldly beautiful" thing that seems to be standard for dark elves/drow/dark eldar etc. There's a character called Hengfisk, who is killed by the Norns and comes back as an undead servant, but he's not a fighter, just a non-decaying zombie.
I remember Hengfisk. As for the Sithi, a Williams fan once joked that they look like elves crossed with cats (because they have yellow eyes) and Japanese. And of course the Norns are kind of like the dark elves or the eldar.
 
I finished Ghostmaker. Now on to Necropolis by Dan Abnett
 
Undead workers show up in several of GRRM's early 1970s stories (such as Override or Meathouse Man), so he was clearly interested in the concept many years before Williams published his novels. I don't think the stories mention them being used as soldiers, but it's a logical extrapolation.
 
Undead workers show up in several of GRRM's early 1970s stories (such as Override or Meathouse Man), so he was clearly interested in the concept many years before Williams published his novels. I don't think the stories mention them being used as soldiers, but it's a logical extrapolation.
That's very interesting. Unfortunately I haven't read those short stories yet, but I have read some of Martin's other short stories. Tuf Voyaging was just great, and the story about the spaceship owned by the clone/son of an evil woman was also great.
 

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