Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, #1) Eragon discussion

Did Paolini Really Plagiarize?

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Gigi With all the comments I've seen about comparing Eragon to Lord of the Rings and Star Wars are (in my humble opinion) just a wast of time, energy and thinking. All of you who are doing these comparisons are dumb and don't know what they're talking about.

THINK PEOPLE!! Those are your opinions your saying. No one should be criticizing your opinions because there yours. If your going to be have a discussion about a book, post what you think was great about the book and what you think could be improved, BESIDE the plagerism. I am on nobody's side so don't ask me to choose!

Badgerlord Paolini did not really plagarise that much. He merely used a existing style of story (the 'Epic'), and it's actually quite hard to make considerable changes to archtype without ending up with a dissapointing read. Star Wars and Lord of the Rings aren't intirely original either. As Sherlock Holmes said in 'A Study In Scarlet;

"Read it up—you really should. There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before."

Linda Lemons Lot of people are said to have plagerise when their books become best seller and they make lots money most the time it just because the idea was some what like that of another book. Or some names are the same. He not the first and wont be last. They were also saying not to long ago the Harry Potter books were plagarise. Like i said when a book become best seller and get big movies deal someone says thier idea was taken.

Georgie How can we have a discussion without criticising each others opinions? There's no harm in politely telling someone you disagree with them and the reasons why...

(What is the point in this topic? There's already another one)

Sofia He plagiarize. Read "The belgariad", then. You will be surprised of how many things he copied from there.

Rachel Alice It's perhaps not the most original story ever, but I don't think any book is ever completely original. I enjoyed it regardless, even though I recognized that quite a few elements were borrowed from Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit (I haven't seen Star Wars, so I don't know about that. Well, I saw number IV when I was about 8 and didn't get it, but that doesn't count.) And Paolini's worldbuilding became more sophisticated and unique over time.

message 7: by TC (new) - rated it 2 stars

TC Plagiarized? That would mean he copied the work from someone else. No, he did not plagiarize. I would think, however, that the average High School English teacher would call it "highly derivative." It is possible to write Tolkienesque stories without being quite so indebted to Tolkien. This, however, doesn't even seem to try, to the point it's almost embarrassing.

He might still have gotten a pass, though, if his style wasn't so amateurish. For example, if he wants his characters to speak with gravitas, they suddenly lapse into Ye Olde Ren Fayre dialect.

The net result is it reads like what it probably originally was: some fan fic from a fantasy-obsessed teenager, penned over a year or two while he was deep into the genre.

However, the books have their devotees. In fact his books seem to strongly bifurcate the world into those that love them, and those that can't heap enough hate on them. There is no "meh" with Paolini, apparently. So I guess he succeeds as any artists dreams of: he's guaranteed to get a strong reaction. I'll give him that, then.

Gigi I'm not saying he plagerized. I'm just saying the people who say that he did just want to bring attention to themselves.Georgie, I have seen people say that someone else's opinion is wrong yet they call it criticism. That what I was trying to get out.

Michael I don't focus too much on the similarities to his inspiration material (which he never attempted to keep secret), and just enjoy the story for what it is.

message 10: by Gigi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gigi Michael, well said, well said. That is the exact kind of answer I want fropm people who love books (a.k.a Bookworms) :)

Sabine Reed I don't understand this accusation against paolini. I have read Belgaird, and Lord of the Rings...what did you guys think he copied?

message 12: by Gigi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gigi There is a woman who wrote a review about Eragon and she gave some examples (Aragon & Eragon, one of the similarities).

Valerie I don't think he plagarized... if people say he did, then at this rate everything can be called plagarism. Besides, it's a good book. Plagarizers can't write good books, only true writers can.

message 14: by Gigi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gigi Exactly. The woman who wrote the review posted something that went along the lines of "I didn't know this review would bring so much critism."

message 15: by TC (new) - rated it 2 stars

TC If people keep saying he "plagiarized," they clearly don't know the meaning of the word:

intransitive verb - to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source (from Merriam Webster online dictionary)

This would suggest he copied part-and-parcel text, verbiage, or passages that were written by others. He didn't. There are plenty of similarities, even in the names, but it is still an original work.

It's not, however, an inventive work. The proper term for that is "derivative:"

adj 3. lacking originality, banal (from the same source)

Plagiarizing is a very serious charge that carries a certain moral condemnation. It may even be actionable if the original is under copyright. Derivative, however, is more of a dismissive insult, as if to say, "thanks, but it's been done better elsewhere." I think that perfectly describes Paolini's efforts.

So the next time someone says "it's plagiarized," send them a link to the definition and correct them by saying, "no, it's derivative."

message 16: by Gigi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gigi Thank you TC. I think you hace just wrapped up alot of arguements.

message 17: by Sabine (last edited Nov 27, 2011 01:28AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sabine Reed TC wrote: "If people keep saying he "plagiarized," they clearly don't know the meaning of the word:

yeah, I also don't think it's that case you can say Belgaird has similar ideas to Lord of the fact I would say all fantasy books borrow something from the plot of Lord of the Rings...elves, good wizard, bad wizards, unity of races or fight of races. Fantasy plotting has some basic ideas that pretty much remain the same in every second fantasy book.

message 18: by TC (new) - rated it 2 stars

TC Sabine wrote: yeah, I also don't think it's that case you can say Belgaird has similar ideas ..."

Others have well documented the overt references to Tolkien, and I made my case in message 7 above why I think his work is generally poor. But I also made the point, in that same message, that his books are definitely polarizing. People either love them, or hate them.

In any case, whether you think the book is derivative or not, the issue is the charge of plagiarism. It comes up time and again with Paolini. I think the appropriate response is the one I gave: to point out that plagiarism is not the right word. You could temper my version by saying, "perhaps you're thinking of the word 'derivative,'" then make your case why you don't think that fits, either.

Rachel No! How could you say that! he did not plagiarize!

message 20: by Gigi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gigi I'm not saying he plagerized, I'm asking YOU if he plagerized.

message 21: by Cat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cat nope he did not

Ruthie TC wrote: "If people keep saying he "plagiarized," they clearly don't know the meaning of the word:

intransitive verb - to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from..."

hear, hear!!! :D

message 23: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo I read somewhere where they put a paragraph from a book and then one from Eldest--they nearly matched.

VG/Allie Sofia wrote: "He plagiarize. Read "The belgariad", then. You will be surprised of how many things he copied from there."

I did and i don't see any similarited. What made yo think that

SarahO TC wrote: "If people keep saying he "plagiarized," they clearly don't know the meaning of the word:

intransitive verb - to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from..."

You said it. Plagiarized is definitely the wrong word. There are no original stories out there. My creative writing teacher said all writers are thieves and lairs; we take from here and there to make our own version of a story. There is NO original idea just new twists. Paolini's only problem is that he wasn't subtle about it. It didn't take most people long to find the source of some of his ideas. Other then that I think he did a great job at writing the book, my only nitpick it that it could have been shorter.

message 26: by TC (new) - rated it 2 stars

TC Jo wrote: "I read somewhere where they put a paragraph from a book and then one from Eldest--they nearly matched."

If this is true, that would substantiate the claim of plagiarism--if one could show a side-by-side comparison of a paragraph or passage with nearly identical structure and wording, that would move it out of the realm of "unimaginative and derivative" to "stolen." But I think we need that URL; saying "I read somewhere once that someone compared some book" isn't enough to back up a charge as serious plagiarism. We need the actual book's printing placed up next to Paolini's, and proof that the supposed source book was published before his. Until I see that kind of hard evidence, I'm not ever leveling that accusation at Paolini, and I think others should be equally careful in doing so. Saying an author plagiarized is the literary equivalent of accusing someone of murder, IMHO. It destroys careers irreparably.

Dagda TC:
Side-side comparisons between Paolini and Eddings are easy to find on the intertubes. Just gotta do a little research. At least you asked for evidence instead of justassertin g that there is no plagiarizing going on:

First hit (from 2006!):

Here's another:

message 28: by James (last edited Jul 07, 2020 11:35AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

James TC wrote: "If people keep saying he "plagiarized," they clearly don't know the meaning of the word:

intransitive verb - to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source"

David Eddings original work, circa 1991
Beside the ford stood a small hut. The man who owned it was a sharp eyed fellow in a green tunic who demanded a toll to cross. Rather than argue with him, Sparhawk paid what he asked. “Tell me neighbour,” he asked when the transaction was completed “how far is the Pelosian border?”
“About five leagues” the sharp eyed man replied. “If you move along, you should reach it by afternoon.”
They splashed on across the ford. When they reached the other side, Talen rode up to Sparhawk. Here’s your money back,” the young boy said, handing over several coins.
Sparhawk gave him a startled look.
“I don’t object to paying a toll to cross a bridge” Talen sniffed. “After all, someone had to go to the expense of building it. That fellow was just taking advantage of a natural shallow place in the river. It didn’t cost him anything, so why should he make a profit from it?
“You cut his purse, then?”
“And there was more in it than just my coins?”
“A bit. Let’s call it my fee for recovering your money. After all, I deserve a profit too, don’t I?”
“You’re incorrigible.”
“I needed the practice.”
From the other side of the river came a howl of anguish.
“I’d say he just discovered his loss” observed Sparhawk.

Christopher Paolini's text from Eragon, 2002
The Anora River flowed between them and the town, spanned by a stout bridge. As they approached it, a greasy man stepped (out) from behind a bush and barred their way. His shirt was too short and his dirty stomach spilled over a rope belt. Behind his cracked lips, his teeth looked like crumbling tombstones.
“You c’n stop right there. This’s my bridge. Gotta pay t’ get over.”
“How much?” asked Brom in a resigned voice. He pulled out a pouch and the bridge keeper brightened.
“Five crowns” he said, pulling his lips into a broad smile.
Eragon’s temper flared at the exorbitant price, and he started to complain hotly, but Brom silenced him with a quick look. The coins were wordlessly handed over. The man put them into a sack hanging from his belt.
“Thank’ee much” he said in a mocking tone and stood out of the way.
As Brom stepped forward, he stumbled and caught the bridge keeper’s arm to support himself.
“Watch y’re step” snarled the grimy man sidling away.
“Sorry” apologised Brom, and continued over the bridge with Eragon.
“Why didn’t you haggle? He skinned you alive!” exclaimed Eragon. “He probably doesn’t even own the bridge.”
“Probably” agreed Brom.
“Then why pay him?”
“Because you can’t argue with all the fools in the world. It’s easier to let them have their way, then trick them when they’re not paying attention.” Brom opened his hand, and a pile of coins glinted in the sun.
“You cut his purse!” said Eragon incredulously. Brom pocketed the money with a wink. There was a sudden howl of anguish from the other side of the river. “I’d say our friend has just discovered his loss.”

David Eddings - 1983
“What do I do?” Garion asked.
“Gather in the force,” Belgarath told him. “Take it from everything around.”
Garion tried that.
“Not from me!” the old man exclaimed sharply.
Garion excluded his grandfather from his field of reaching out and pulling in. After a moment or two, he felt as if he were tingling all over and that his hair was standing on end.

Paolini - Eldest, 2005
“I want you to extract a sphere of water from the stream, using only the energy you can gleam from the forest around you.” said Oromis
“Yes, Master.”
As Eragon reached out to the nearby plants and animals, he felt Oromis’s mind brush against his own, the elf watching and judging his progress. Frowning with concentration, Eragon endeavored to eke the needed force from the environment and hold it within himself until he was ready to release the magic…
“Eragon! Do not take it from me! I am weak enough as it is.”
Startled, Eragon realized that he had included Oromis in his search.

Sure seems to fit the definition to me...

Paolini on his own website

"My grandfather on my father’s side bought me The Ruby Knight—the second book in The Elenium trilogy, by David Eddings—when I was nine or ten. It was the first modern fantasy I had ever read, and I remember being utterly captivated by Mr. Eddings’ story of knights and magic and monsters, and thinking, “I like this!”" - Paolini

message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

To be honest, when I first read "Eragon", I was picturing Brom as similar to Gandalf and Murtagh as similar to Legolas, and we, of course, can't forget that the name Eragon is eerily similar to the name Aragorn. There do seem to be three main Races -- elves, dwarves, and humans -- as in "The Lord of the Rings", but this shows up in a lot of fantasy stories, not just the Inheritance Cycle. I don't believe Paolini was plagiarizing or trying to rip off the entire Racial system or magic system as his own; I believe he was appealing to a specific audience that was attracted to books like The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. I can't say anything against or for the Inheritance Cycle in light of Star Wars since I haven't read any Star Wars books and have only watched a few movies, so there may be more taken from George Lucas' space opera than I know of.

I think it's safer to assume that Christopher Paolini was trying to market his book by adding Lord-of-the-Rings-esque elements to his book so that Lord of the Rings fans would read it. Whether the Lord of the Rings fans would like it because it was similar to The Lord of the Rings or dislike it because it was similar to the Lord of the Rings is each individual fan's choice. Also, the book is fairly well-written, especially considering how old Paolini was when he wrote it, and has the potential to be enjoyable.

Adarlan’s Assassin He didn’t plagiarize, but I have heard that he was inspired by the Shannara Trilogy. I started reading the Shannara Trilogy and found that it was similar but without dragons.

Galahttx Usage of common idea and very popular fantasy trope does not mean that it is a plagiarize work. I believe that Paolini merely deduce all the main idea and plot from his head while writing Eragon which is very likely that every books and movies he was into or last watch at that time would cant help but to inspire him so much that the plot is sometimes feel familiar.

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