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The Elder Scrolls and A Song of Ice and Fire (aka A Game of Thrones)

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Joined: 06/21/2012

So, tonight at dinner, I was having a debate with my mother and little brother about what my little brother perceived to be "Bethesda ripping off from AGT". He said that in Skyrim, there were numerous "rip offs" that Bethesda "obviously took from AGT".

Some of the things he said were "rip off": The Reac, The Pale, Winterhold, Riverwood, the feud between the Greymanes and Battleborns, Whiterun (I think), and a few other little things. What is your all's take on this?

stille's picture
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Joined: 11/02/2012

Nope, can't say I see anything. What exactly in the cities does he think is a rip-off? The names are rather generic fantasy fare, after all. As for the Greymane/Battleborn feud, I really can't remember anything in the books that resembled it closely enough to cry foul.

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Joined: 06/21/2012

He thinks that most of the names are rip-offs, I guess. I did try to explain that those were generic fantasy names as well, but he wouldn't have any of it. 

I have no idea about the family feud either. I think it has to do with those "Lannasters" or whoever. I tried to explain that the family feud was there to showcase the tension between people who were once on good terms with each other (it kind of reminds me of the Hatfields and the McCoys and families that were divided during the American rebellion).

Jeroic's picture
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Joined: 06/28/2010

You should mention that most of those names were made up years ago but were only implemented into a game now. 

Also he should be aware that basic fantasy tropes weren't all made up by Game of Thrones. I don't know if it was your intent to make it sound like he thought that, but it's the vibe I'm getting.

Lady N's picture
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Joined: 06/26/2010

Your brother sounds like someone who hasn't been exposed to fantasy before GoT. 

gro-dhal's picture
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Joined: 07/04/2010

Also: dragons

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Joined: 06/21/2012

Lady N wrote:

Your brother sounds like someone who hasn't been exposed to fantasy before GoT. 

He actually has, to be honest. He's played Oblivion and Fable before he got into GoT. I don't know where he's drawing all of these conclusions from.

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Joined: 11/29/2012

Meh, A Song of Fire, is kind of overrated anyway. But there is no connection between the two. The names are typical Fantasy names. Family feuds are an age old thing... matter as well say that the Greek's Ripped off George R. Martin with their mythology. Anyway TES was released three years after A Game of Thrones, which at the time wasn't as popular as it is today.

I don't know. How old is your brother anyway?

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Joined: 12/11/2012

Hmmm.

'Reach' and 'The Pale' are  simply descriptive names given to real-world places and adopted by fantasy writers for their exotic-but-familiar feel (as is SoIaF's 'Cape Wrath') and I daresay there are thousands of places in the world whose names translate as 'Wood-by-a-River'.

The Battleborns and Greymanes could be Campbells and Macdonalds or anything.

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Joined: 05/06/2013

It's ok. I have a friend who saw an ad for the South Park "Stick of Truth" video game (generic fantasy 'wizards' and 'elves' as South Park characters) and insisted it was a game making fun of Game of Thrones.

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Joined: 02/05/2014

Well... Honestly, I did get the Song of Ice and Fire vibe a little when playing Skyrim. If anything, people at Bethesda might have been a little inspired by it, just like they probably gathered ideas from everything else they liked at the time. For many people who know fantasy only from it's mainstream sources (the LotR movies come to mind), fantasy has always been very 'good vs evil' - such is not the case in Game of Thrones, where it's at least attemped to show you the world in shades of grey. Elder Scrolls has always done that as well, but the minor similarities (the proud people of the North, dragons out of prophecy, civil war, lords and jarls, families at eachother's throaths) are easily overlooked for someone who has more experience with the Elder Scrolls. As far as I'm concerned, such things are pretty common in a lot of fantasy settings, so yeah...

ladyonthemoon's picture
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Joined: 07/31/2012

Didn't all these names already exist in Arena?

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Joined: 05/30/2012

Yes in fact almost all the names of citys in Skyrim wore in Arena. So fuck whoever wrote Game of thrones.

sorry for the bad language, i just really hate that show.

ladyonthemoon's picture
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Joined: 07/31/2012

Latta magika wrote:

Yes in fact almost all the names of citys in Skyrim were in Arena. So fuck whoever wrote Game of thrones.

sorry for the bad language, i just really hate that show.

Well, now the op will be able to answer his little brother!

I've never taken to that show either.

Veleda's picture
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Joined: 02/07/2013

The Pale is a medieval term for a region in Ireland.

There is no Winterhold or Riverwood in ASoIaF. And, I mean... really? Does George Martin get to claim every whimsical sounding place name ever? And feuding families, which is Viking saga 101?

The Reach is possibly a borrowed term. Todd Howard did say that the devs are fans of the series. I don't think that influences or borrowing is a bad thing. George Martin would say the same. The series that blatantly rips off ASoIaF is Dragon Age, however, not Elder Scrolls.

Side note, David Gaider taking a little knock at ES world building?  "There are moments where I regret making Qunari culture so very alien in its outlook. Possibly it would have been easier to make an anthropomorphic fantasy race instead. Cat people! Done! Lizard people! Done!"

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Joined: 05/30/2012

Yes, yes he can.

Happy Hist Friend's picture
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Joined: 11/14/2013

Dragon Age is supposed to be more or less "set" in Dungeons and Dragons' universe, isn't it? Or at the very least be extremely "inspired" by it.

 

On the other hand, ASOIAF and the Elder Scrolls are only similar in that they're both within the "gritty" fantasy genre, which kinda shows that living in the (real or fantasy) Middle-Ages wasn't all questing and honor but also cruelty, petty politics and danger. It's the opposite of "high fantasy" such as the Lord of the Rings in that it is more realistic is some aspects (barring all the magic and theology stuff), and also has a grey morality system. Both of those observations are true for the ES and for ASOIAF.

But honestly, other than sometimes using tropes from a similar genre ... I don't really see a rip-off either way.

Zhen Xiang's picture
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Joined: 11/03/2014

Personally, I dislike Game of Thrones because most of the first book reaches out to adolescent teens by putting the 'naughty' bits in and I don't like how Martin did that, there are plenty of authors that score better than him without using the 'naughty' bits, the only thing I know is similar to it all is just the theme of the harsh winter, Ulfric can be seen similar to Robb Stark and Whiterun does seem similar to Winterfell in the TV series but that was a TV adaption, theres no way that Bethesda ripped of Game Of Thrones though, if they did it was purely coincidental, the first air date of Game Of Thrones was April 17th 2011 and Skyrim's release date was November 11 2011, the gap between than was Bethesda starting to get all the things ready for Skyrim's launch, and like many said before the names were made up in around 1990s way before the first book came out to my memory, so maybe Martin took from Elder Scrolls Arena? thats like the Holy Grail for lore that I've seen and seeing Martin's personality and the cover for ES;ARENA I honestly don't see why he won't be interested in it ;)

Xarnac The Conqueror's picture
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Joined: 05/10/2012

As Todd himself puts it, some bits of ASOIAF did seep into what they were doing.

Gaius Julius's picture
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Joined: 05/14/2015

I think Bethesda should hire some actors and reenact those books that tell about Reman Cyrodiil's conquest on Morrowind. Now THAT would be just like the Game of Thrones series, the Elder Scrolls version :)

Zhen Xiang's picture
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Joined: 11/03/2014

Dear Bethesda Daeanerys had more control over her dragons in s5 then we did in the Dragonborn Expansion