Today I am republishing an article from the old Wotmania FAQ on the parallels between The Wheel of Time and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. I didn’t write it, although I did make the odd contribution, along with many other readers.
As Jordan said on his blog:
I did try to make the first roughly 100 pages of EYE seem somewhat Tolkienesque. I wanted to say, "This is the place you know, guys. Now we're going somewhere else." And then the Trolloc kicked in the farmhouse door.He deliberately used The Lord of the Rings as a familiar starting point, since at the time The Wheel of Time was begun, the 1980s, Lord of the Rings was the series against which all other fantasy books were measured. He then gradually diverged into his own world and themes still adding a reference to Tolkien’s books from time to time.
It may have been this Tolkienesque beginning that was the origin of the New York Times review blurb
With The Wheel of Time, Jordan has come to dominate the world Tolkien began to reveal.on the back cover of many Wheel of Time volumes.