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Old 11-04-2002, 02:51 PM   #1
Princess of Mirkwood
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Sting Harry Potter and The Stolen Plot...

Has anyone ever noticed how similar Harry Potter and LOTR are?....

I was thinking about it the other day and I came up with this:

1) Frodo has a ring which makes him invisible, Harry has a cloak which makes him invisible

2) Gollum has very bad grammer, and Dobby the house elf (who looks a lot like Gollumn) also has bad grammer

3) Both books/films have very old, eccentric wizards with long grey beards and hair

Maybe I'm imagining things, or maybe I think too much when I'm bored!

[img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 11-04-2002, 03:30 PM   #2
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Not so stolen I daresay. Similiraities are not essential - after all, almost all wizards in history were supposed to be bearded, and there were quite a few items with magical qualities, among those flying carpets, rings/cloaks/caps of invisibility etc, so ideas are just common and free to be picked up by every one. And Dobby, though not very educated, is not similar to Gollum in his essential - he's magical creature, and Gollum is human. Nor the genre - Harry is school-story, though colored with magic and with very tense plot, and LoTR is epic far more profound. And though in both books the main enemy is labelled Dark Lord, Harry and LoTr can't and must not be weighed on the same scale - you don't get heavy weight champion boxer on the same ring as a amateur feather weight, do you?
So, let the children (J.K.Rowling, with all respect, in this case) play...

disclaimer: H-I read all 4 Harry Potter books 2 times and found those most fascinating, yet still...
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Old 11-04-2002, 06:03 PM   #3
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Sting

But seriously compare these people/things
Nazgul/Dementors
Mirror of Galadriel/Mirror of Erisad
Mirkwood/Forbidden Forest

Love Morgul [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 11-04-2002, 06:14 PM   #4
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What's really similar to LotR are the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. You can tell that somebody'd read Tolkien more than once! You can draw parallels to some of the characters (Gwydion is Aragorn, Dallben is Gandalf, etc.) and the end is so close to the end of RotK that it's not even funny.

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Old 11-04-2002, 06:57 PM   #5
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Sting

*Coughs*

Wormtongue....Wormtail....Wormtongue...

*Coughs*
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Old 11-04-2002, 07:24 PM   #6
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I think in most cases, writers of fantasy fiction have been inspired to write fantasy in the first place after reading Lord of the Rings. Such writers list Tolkien again and again as the most profound influence on their work.
It would be a very foolish writer who actually plagiarised Tolkien (they would have zero chance of getting away with it) but subliminal influences from his work must occur all the time. Also, when similarities with Tolkien do exist, and the writer has acknowledged him as an inspiration, this can be seen rather more as a form of homage or respect to Tolkien's work. He started a whole new genre of writing so it is small wonder that his influence can be so often perceived.
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Old 11-04-2002, 07:50 PM   #7
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Sting

Believe it or not, few of Tolkien's ideas contained in the actual plot of The Hobbit and LotR were really, truly original. Smaug is the dragon from Beowulf (so sly! so philosophically unorthodox!), and the Valar are extremely similar to Norse mythological gods and goddesses. Above all, be it allegory or no (a can of worms in which I care not to be involved), LotR is "Christian, and what is more, Roman Catholic," to quote the old man himself (not you, Sharkey). Morals aren't new now, and they weren't new then.
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Old 11-04-2002, 10:22 PM   #8
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Tolkien not only combined a lot of older themes/stories/ideas in his stories, he seems hardly to have left any of them OUT! Can you imagine trying to write a fantasy story with NO Tolkienesque components at all? No orphaned/solitary heroes, no wizards (good or evil), no riddled-with-evil Dark Lord, no wicked agents, no comic companions, no princesses who love adventurers (or someone that their father doesn't approve of) no faithful steed, no friggin' QUEST. It wouldn't be worth reading at the end. NOT that I'm saying that people should just be allowed to lift from Tolkien wholesale (yes, "Sword of Shannara" I'm looking in your direction) but that there are going to be parallels if you look hard enough.

For Harry Potter, the only parallel that really took me aback was the Dementors; I can't think of a mythological figure to parallel them, and they are very like the Nazgul. I don't know about the Mirror of Erised, though - magic mirrors of whatever kind have been a fairy-tale staple since Snow White, and Erised is very different from Galadriel's mirror - much less ambiguous; you see what you wish you were or had. With Galadriel you can see past, present, future, and possible future - the trick is telling which is which. And for Dobby - well, Dobby seems to fall more on the comic-companion side of the slate.

Wormtail and Wormtongue are probably related, but it's a small enough element that you can call it an Homage and not a Plagiarism [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]. Besides, Tolkien hardly has a hammerlock on nasty, snivelly little characters with "Worm" in their names. How about C.S. Lewis's tempter Wormwood, nephew of Screwtape?

Orual - I see what you mean about Prydain? But who gets to be Prince Rhun? [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]. (Even Pippin has more intellectual firepower than that young man does).

[ November 04, 2002: Message edited by: Kalimac ]
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Old 11-05-2002, 06:44 PM   #9
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LoL, Kalimac! Prince Rhun was...yeah, a little lacking in genius. Not exactly the "wisest of the wise," I think I can safely say. As for a parallel there, you got me! Prince Rhun, I believe, was totally Alexander. ^_^

I agree, though. Tolkien had both a lot of influence and a lot of influences. I think that Gwydian was actually based on a mythological character, not Aragorn, but they were so similar...and the whole Dallben/Gandalf thing blew me away. (I can even hear Gandalf saying some of Dallben's lines..."I am far too old to be polite!") But it was the ending that really threw me for a loop. However, because I can just see somebody two chapters away from finishing the High King reading this thread, I won't give it away...suffice to say that it was so similar that it left no doubt that Tolkien was a huge influence in Alexander's writing. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]

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Old 11-05-2002, 09:19 PM   #10
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Orual, I just recognised your name. I love that story, it made me cry. Where is Redival and Istra/Psyche? [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Well, someone told me about the Wormtail?Wormtaogue thing. I personally have never read HP. Not to be mean but J.K Rowling should just leave off all the witchcraft and GO HOME! An i'm mad that LOTR movies mut be preceede by a HP movie every year!!!!
There's no comparison, LOTR is one million times better!
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Old 11-05-2002, 09:29 PM   #11
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Sting

That's right, Frodo Baggins, it's from "Till We Have Faces." Wasn't it wonderful?? I'd never read Lewis before (I couldn't stand the Narnia Chronicles...: [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]repares to be stoned: [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img], but I totally fell in love with Orual. It's kind of like Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, only...well, only good. My brother, the mythology guru, told me that in the original Orual is jealous and evil, but Lewis so beautifully brought out her side of the story...

Anyhow, comparing LotR to HP is like...is like...shooting a fly with an elephant gun. LotR is a lifetime's achievement, an accomplishment that few people will ever have. Harry Potter is just...not. No two ways about it. LotR is an adult's book, and HP is a children's book. Comparing HP to the Hobbit would be more fair, but even then it's no comparison. There just aren't any writers like Tolkien anymore. It's like my sig...after Tolkien, "there went the last"...great fantasy author.

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Old 11-06-2002, 12:27 PM   #12
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Sting

Um, this thread has kinda been done hundreds of times before, but I'll post anyway.

Harry potter is extremely similar to LotR, but SO WHAT? Its clearly almost definitely NOT a coincidence, but I must say I loved the harry potter books. If JKR did in fact copy soe things, then she has done a good job of transforming them. I mean the whole overall plot of most stories is the same: GOOD vs EVIL
[img]smilies/evil.gif[/img] . Would you call it bad that JRRT "borrowed" a few ideas from previous stories? NO, because the way he did it is completely amazing! Same with JKR, she may not have all original ideas, but at least what she does is good. If it was completely unimaginative, THEN I'd let off steam!
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Old 11-06-2002, 04:02 PM   #13
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Have you looked at the Hogwarts Crest-
[img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
'Numquam titillandibus drac dormiens'
(my Latin is rusty so I may have got that a bit wrong)

Does it remind you of a not entirely unrelated Tolkien saying?

On the back of my copy of the Philosopher's Stone, Dumbledore's name is embroidered on his cloak in Dwarven runes. (OK, Elven runes really but you know what I mean!)

I'm sure JK Rowling put these snippets in to pay homage to the great man, but I find more similarities in her work to old public school children's stories of the 50s and before, even perhaps Tom Brown's schooldays.
Now all we need is a 'Flashman' - perhaps Draco Malfoy - to continue the series in more hilarious fashion.
[img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 11-06-2002, 06:06 PM   #14
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Well maybe Tolkien enspired her?
Or just an Odd coinsedence (sp?)?
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Old 11-09-2002, 11:57 AM   #15
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Rumil,

I’m not aware of a Tolkien saying that goes like, never tickle a sleeping dragon. Is that Latin phrase in the books or just in the movie?
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Old 11-09-2002, 12:09 PM   #16
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Sting

Have you noticed how similar LOTR and The Sword of Shannara series are!?!? My uncle told me that it was intentional, because Terry Brooks (the author) wanted to pay a tribute to Tolkien.

Besides, LOTR and Harry Potter are 2 absolutely different books. Maybe Rowling used some elements of Tolkien's, but she didn't copy his ideas at all.

Anyway, both of these topics have been discussed elsewhere. Its really not that important.

Harry Potter and Tolkien (4 pages) N&N
Re:Any opinions of Harry Potter? (4 pages) N&N
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Old 11-09-2002, 12:23 PM   #17
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My friend saw HP&tCoS yesterday and says the new HP movie is even worse than the 1st....What can that mean? I thought Philosopher's Stone was as bad as films go...

[ November 09, 2002: Message edited by: LePetitChoux ]
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Old 11-09-2002, 12:38 PM   #18
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Question

LePet,

How did your friend see it? It doesn't come out for another 5 days.

Edit: Was there already a showing in England?

[ November 09, 2002: Message edited by: Bill Ferny ]
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Old 11-09-2002, 01:32 PM   #19
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I guess an early screening... they do that sometimes.
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Old 11-09-2002, 01:39 PM   #20
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Oh dear, I haven't seen the first Harry Potter film...hold on, I haven't read any of the books either.

I have only seen the trailers for the films, and I am quite surprised about the similarities. But I suppose that is the way with fantasy writers, a lot of inspiration from the man himself.

I believe in Tolkein.
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Old 11-09-2002, 04:38 PM   #21
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I completely understand some people not liking Harry Potter. Believe it or not, there are those who don't like LotR! [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] However, there's very little similar about the two. Its like comparing apples to oranges. Yeah, Harry Potter has wizards, dragons, at least one sword, and an evil villain. If that is the basis for saying Rawling plagiarized from Tolkien, then you had better be prepared to get rid of every scrap of fantasy ever written.

I can't believe the audacity of those thirteenth century minstrels to have read the future and to have stolen from Tolkien when they put together the Authorian Legends! Those bastards!
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Old 11-10-2002, 04:13 PM   #22
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Silmaril

Haven't we had a discussion about "Homages to Lord of the Rings" already? About how so many other books reflect an aspect of Lord of the Rings?
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Old 11-10-2002, 06:52 PM   #23
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Bill,

the quote I was thinking of is in The Hobbit, where Bilbo says 'never laugh at sleeping dragons' which 'later became a saying'.

I think there's more than enough room for JRRT and JKR, their greatest similarity being that they're both un-putdown-able! Does anyone know when the 'Order of the Phoenix' is due out now?
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Old 11-10-2002, 06:59 PM   #24
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Ah, ok. Thanks Rumil.

Its infuriating that its taking so long for the fifth book to come out. I heard that one of the reasons it is taking so long is that the books will be getting more and more sinister, and JKR wants to let "her kids" grow up a bit.
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Old 11-10-2002, 07:39 PM   #25
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Thumbs up

Rumil, read "The Hobbit" again. Bilbo actually said "Never laugh at live dragons".

What the heck is a "House Elf" anyway. Not a true elf (e.g. Legolas) I imagine.
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Old 11-10-2002, 07:54 PM   #26
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House elves! LoL! Don't get me STARTED! I had nightmares for days after I saw that stupid picture in Chamber of Secrets...it was a wee bit much for me to handle right on the slide from LotR. It was like a hairpin turn. Legolas... Galadriel... Elrond... Arwen... Haldir... WHAM! Dobby. [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] Kind of like a kick in the head, no? [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]

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Old 11-10-2002, 08:45 PM   #27
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Hmmm, now we've seemed to have come full circle, from complaining that HP was too much like LotR, to now HP's elves aren't enough like LotR's elves.

Edit: By the way, Tolkien never claimed to have a monopoly on true elves. Its kind of difficult seeing as how elves aren't real.

[ November 10, 2002: Message edited by: Bill Ferny ]
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Old 11-10-2002, 08:52 PM   #28
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No complaining from me! Not then and not now. It would've been all the more disturbing if J.K. Rowling had made them more like Tolkien's elves. ::thinks about it, shudders. Thinks, shudders...::

Oh, I know that Tolkien never had a monopoly on true elves. He just had one on my perception of elves.

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Old 11-10-2002, 09:15 PM   #29
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Thumbs up

Actually I was refering to Frodo Baggins' post, not yours. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 11-10-2002, 09:38 PM   #30
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basically the harry potter movies were made for little kids who would just be in awe of the "magic". the movie was not well done at all, the books are decent, but the movies were/are abysmal.

just my 2 cents worth
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Old 11-11-2002, 01:27 PM   #31
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I like both the books and the films but i could quite happily sit there and watch a film which had all the parts of the book even if it was 6 or 7 hours long!
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Old 11-11-2002, 01:41 PM   #32
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Frodo, you're quite right, I was typing from memory and got not only the Potter quote back to front but the Bilbo quote mixed up !

Ho Hum, I think I'm going senile and thus really shouldn't be reading Harry Potter. Well I am nearly 7000 years old...
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Old 11-11-2002, 03:02 PM   #33
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*cough*

Dark Lord...jeez, she didnt even try to change that one...

*cough*

still, Im thinking a little more kindly of JK Rowling at the moment (considering my usual opinions of her, not hard!) ever since I found out that Voldemorte means Flight Of Death, which is incredibly classy...
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Old 11-11-2002, 03:23 PM   #34
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I really like the books, but I have to say I find a huge amount wrong with the film(s) so I can't really watch it more than once [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 11-11-2002, 07:15 PM   #35
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What about this
Faramir in TTT named Sauron as The one who we do not name and in HP they call whats his name the one who should not be named, and also how many times do it give refrence to Sauron changing shape to fit his needs, IE werewolf, and this is used by that bag guy in Hp also
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Old 11-11-2002, 07:26 PM   #36
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LoL, Bill! I guess my personality is showing. I'm always leaping up to say sorry. It's my fault--my only one. [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]

~*~Orual~*~
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Old 11-11-2002, 08:00 PM   #37
Mintyztwin
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hah! I KNEW your name was from that book Orual!!!!! I just refrained from asking 'cause I'm a scaredy-kumquat.

I personally didn't see that much similarity between the HP books and LotR other than they were LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG. (I like that, really!)

But, to now totally contradict myself, how can you not be semi-similar on subjects that are stereotyped, and used all through the ages!!! Look at the myths! Aragorn bears a resemblence (slight, but a resemblence) to Hercules! They both go through umpteen-zillion trials, until Hercules becomes a god, and Aragorn becomes a King of imense power and long life. (Not unlike a god.) Okay, strange simili I probably shouldn't have used. Ah well.
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But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:2
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Old 11-12-2002, 09:57 AM   #38
Elana
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Personally I think that the Harry Potter books are marvelous. They don't top the Lord of the Rings (I don't think anything ever could...) because the LoTR books were part of my childhood. They helped me grow up. They gave me someplace I could escape to whenever I wasn't feeling content with my life. Just think, maybe the HP books do that for some child out there...
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Old 11-12-2002, 05:12 PM   #39
Gayalondiel
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Quote:
Dark Lord...jeez, she didnt even try to change that one...
I feel i should point out that, like so many things already listed here, the term "Dark Lord" was not created by JRRT, nor is it specific to his work. Traditionally, the forces of evil have always been associated with darkness and the term is pretty generic for the chief bad guy of most mythologies. (Another figure who claims the name is this guy called Satan, I think he's been around a bit longer than Sauron)
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Old 11-12-2002, 06:34 PM   #40
Mintyztwin
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Satan, Morgoth, Sauron, Whatshisname,just as long as they all get beaten in the end!

The end is coming! Mwahahahahahahahah!!! I think there are better things to panic about other than stolen plots. LIKE POSSIBLE NOT BEING ALLOWED TO SEE TTT!!!! [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]
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But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:2
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