View Full Version : Character inspirations

04-25-2011, 06:09 PM
I did a search but couldn't find another thread like this, so Sorry if this has been done already.

Anyways, I wondering what everyone thought certain Wot characters were modeled after. Either name wise or character wise. Like for example, I see Rand as combination of Frodo Baggins and King Arthur(depending which story you read). Frodo is slowly driven mad by Sauron's taint from the ring, rand from the DO's taint on the Power. I forgot which book exactly, since there are many, but in one, Arthur was the adopted child of farmers until Merlin came to came to make him king, and he started out as a heroe, then after Gwennivere left him for Lancelot, he fell into a dark mood for a long time, though still not evil, but eventually came out of it and became a hero again.

Anyways, here is my list. If you have any ideas of your own, please add them and if they make sense, I will edit my list. Trying to create a kind of database type thing here for the fun of it. I know I may be very well wrong with some of these, so please be civil and offer constructive criticism if I am wrong.

Rand - Frodo and Arthur

Egwene - Gwennivere

Lan - Lancelot

Galad - A male version of Galadriel(Who was said to be the most beautiful woman in Middle Earth)and Galahad.

Perrin - Thor and Merry from LotR

Mat - Odin, with a little Loki and Pippen.

Artur Hawkwing - Arthur Pendragon and Alexander the Great.

Thom - Merlin

Morgase - Morgause

Fain/Ordeth - Mordrid

Gawyn - Gawain(The Maidens' Knight, Defender of Women)

Tigraine - Igraine(Arthur's Mother)

Nyneave - Nyneve(The Lady of the Lake)

Elayne - Elaine(Arthurian character)

Moiraine - Moirai(Not a person, but a mythical race. Know as Fate Spinners; Destiny. Greek Mythology)

Aviendha - Morrigan(Goddess of battle, strife, and fertility. Thanks to Nameless)

Min - Fates

Sammael - Samael(Demon)

I'll add more as I think of them and as as they are presented.

04-25-2011, 07:29 PM
Galadriel probably wasn't an inspiration for Galad, seeing as Sir Galahad was also supposed to be quite the looker.

Some other easy ones:

Morgain le Fey (aka Morgain of the Sidhe)= Moiraine Aes Sedai

Rand's three women = the Morrigan/Fates/Graces and probably a bunch of other triple-aspected goddesses that I didn't recognize

Sammael is probably named after the demon Samael (Lilith's husband), though apart from the name there aren't many similarities.

Lan could be loosely based on Lancelot du Lac, though apart from the battle prowess and loose affiliation to the Sidhe there aren't many parallels.

The Ogier, with their tree fetish and distaste for haste, seem to be directly inspired by the Ents in Tolkien's works.

Avendesora = Ygdrassil (did I spell that right?), the Norse world tree.

The Whitecloak's chief Questioner is probably based on Torquemada of the Spanish Inquisition, though I don't remember his name off the top of my head.

04-25-2011, 08:24 PM

Yeah I thought the same of Moiraine at first, but the way she acts, trying to enforce prophecy and such to make certain events unfold, she can be viewed as one trying to 'Spin Fate', and with her being the largest 'The Wheel Weaves as it Wills' promoter. Morgan(aka Morgana) really has nothing in common with Moiraine's character aside from ties to Royalty which Moiraine doesn't really ever delve into aside from the little bit in New Spring where she does everything she can to avoid being put on the Throne.

My thought of Galadriel being a partial inspiration for Galad more or less and afterthought. I think that maybe Galadriel herself was modeled after Galahad vaguely. So yeah I agree with ya. lol.

All the rest I agree with ya as well. I thought of the Ents when I first met Loial and learned about Ogier, but I'm focusing more on individuals instead of races/societies.

Rand al'Fain
04-25-2011, 08:35 PM
Rand-Frodo/Aragorn/Arthur. Bit of Alexander thrown in too.
Pedron Nial and subsequent Knight Captain Commanders-Templar Grandmasters
Whitecloaks in general-Knights Templar/Inquisition/Crusaders
Seanchan-Eastern Roman Empire (tried to reconquer much of the old empire after it had fallen, but was not able to get all of it)
Ogier-Elf/Ent (Ents are very treelike, but Ogier also have qualities of evles, such as the long ears, all dedicated to the light, etc)
Modern Aiel-Ninjas, Native Americans, and Spartans (only take what they need)
Artur Hawking-Alexander the Great
Band of the Red Hand-Companion Cavalry of Macedon

Marie Curie 7
04-25-2011, 11:45 PM
There are many character influences beyond those you've mentioned. RJ always said that the Arthurian parallels are easiest in particular for Americans to see because that series of legends is one of the most familiar to us. But he drew from not only Arthurian legend, but also Norse, Celtic, Native American, and other mythologies.

For example, you noted Mat as Odin and others, but he is also the Native American Coyote (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coyote_%28mythology%29) and Trickster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trickster).

Perrin is Thor, but he is also Perun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perun) from Slavic mythology.

Rand is Arthur, but he also includes bits of Jesus and other messiah figures.

And so on.

Also, the way that RJ included other myths and legends was to incorporate bits of various legends into different people. So, for example, Merlin isn't represented only by Thom Merrilin, but also by Moiraine and the Amyrlin Seat.

RJ did say that he especially wrote the first bits of TEotW as homage to Tolkien. Thus we have the Mountains of Mist (Misty Mountains), Trollocs (Orcs), Myrddraal (Nazgul), etc.

I recommend the Thirteenth Depository (http://13depository.blogspot.com/2000/05/index-by-theme.html) for detailed commentary on character influences (in particular, scroll down to Main Character Parallels, The Forsaken and Their Parallels, Names Parallels, and subsequent listings).

For Arthurian parallels in specific, I also recommend as a starting point the Thirteenth Depository's Matter of Britain posts, available here (http://13depository.blogspot.com/search/label/Arthurian%20Influences) and here (http://13depository.blogspot.com/2002/03/matter-of-britain-and-wheel-of-time_14.html).

Finally, for RJ's own comments about character parallels and influences, I would suggest that you check the pertinent Interview Database category on Parallels and Influences (https://docs.google.com/View?docID=0ARw8aVNqPsL5ZGNqc3BqcWdfODYyaGt3ZmIzZ2 Y&revision=_latest).

04-26-2011, 12:31 AM
Moiraine - Aunt Pol from the Belgariad.

(RJ also did a shout out to Eddings in Crown of Swords with the turnip wagon. The driver was Ander Tol and there is a city in the Belgariad named Tol Nedra)

Marie Curie 7
04-26-2011, 07:35 PM
(RJ also did a shout out to Eddings in Crown of Swords with the turnip wagon. The driver was Ander Tol and there is a city in the Belgariad named Tol Nedra)

That's sorta cool. I never noticed the Ander Tol/Tolnedra anagram before.