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Like, I watched lord of the rings and all this about elfs and orcs and everything is just like in warhammer. Since LOTR came out in the 50's I have to think it was warhammer that stole from them. Isn't this kind of blatant? Aren't there any copyrights on orks or anything?
Nope. If you'll notice, D&D and virtually every fantasy novel ever written ever "rips off Lord of the Rings" by including, gasp, mythological monsters. That "Orc" was an old English word meaning "enemy" has nothing at all to do with it.Originally Posted by Tornado
You can't copywrite mythology, and honestly I think Tolkien would've wanted it this way... it keeps interest in his books up. To a writer... that's fairly important.
Elves, Orcs, Dwarves and most other mythological creatures were around before Tolkien's time. They all have their roots in Saxon, Norse or Celtic myth. Warhammer didn't rip off Tolkien, they took what was already around and what Tolkien had expanded, and used it for their own story.
Its actually a fascinating subject is ancient mythology, its amazing how old some of our bed time stories actually are. My personal favourite was Beyowulf (sp?) very old Norse myth I believe.
the orks in warhammer don't look like the orcs in lord of the rings.. the movie at least...
no chairots in LOTRs
completely different characters
only real similarity is the names... lots of stuff is different..
and using your logic you could say that warhammer 'ripped off' from any book contaning accounts about human warfare to create IGs.. see it doesn't quite work
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While the replies posted so far are relevant, so is the original question! Discovering Warhammer several years ago I actually asked myself the same question - the similarities are, after all, many and obvious. In a while I realised however, as so many have already found, that it is almost impossible to create a fantasy world that is truly ignorant of Tolkiens opera (pl. of "opus").
But there are also many differences. Warhammer also draws a lot on European geography and history, just look at a Warhammer map of the world.
All-in-all I find the similarities interesting, but they don't bother me.
99% of all "why did x rip-off y" discussions are pointless. It's far too easy to compare any two things and find similarities. However, just because there are similarities doesn't mean that one ripped off the other. There may have been influences and inspirations, but that's about it.
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Tolkien pretty much invented the fantasy world that everyone's used to. Every book/game sense has used material that he had a part in fathering.
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As everyones said, Tolkien pretty much invented the concept of elves as they are now instead of faerie creatures and the whole "goblinoid" race if you will. Though goblins were more like little mischief makers before Tolkien and Trolls lived under bridges, etc. Its an undeniable fact that Tolkien pretty much reinvented fantasy, and thats a good thing, it was kinda boring before him. And I also believe he would've wanted it this way. To him the story is a living, evolving thing, and the creatures of a story evolve with it and logically to other stories. Though one thing i will say, Warhammer did take the Tolkienesque elves, orcs, dwarves, and all and made them their own (in a way) so I think its cool.
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Originality -- true, earth-shattering, this really is brand BRAND new! originality -- is so rare as to almost be nonexistent.
Tolkien was definitely "original" ... in one sense. And because of that, his influence is broad and deep. But his work would not have been possible without all of the myths, languages, memes, and everything else he drew inspiration from.
The fact that Warhammer -- like virtually every other post-Tolkien fantasy milieu -- owes him a debt of gratitude should not be troubling. If even a genius like Tolkien can't create stuff from whole cloth, why should we expect Games Workshop to do so?
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