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Dungeons & Dragons Stole A Race From George R.R. Martin’s Books

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It’s not uncommon for fantasy writers to take inspiration from other people’s works. I mean George RR Martin openly says that Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings was his inspiration. But, it seems that Dungeons & Dragons took it a bit too far. One of their crucial races was ripped off of one of Martin’s books!

Dungeons & Dragons took inspiration a bit too seriously

Earlier, Dungeons & Dragons announced a new video game named Baldur’s Gate 3 by Larian Studios. In it, there is a race by the name of Githyanki, a physically powered being that lives in the Astral plane. They hate mind layers with a passion, which is why they chased their nautiloid ship through several different planes. The Githyanki aren’t just a part of this game but play an important role in other D&D games as well. They look really awesome while riding red dragons, but it seems that they have a deeper relationship with these dragons. Or, more precisely, the creator of them from Game of Thrones, George RR Martin.

David Hartiage’s blog recently disclosed this detail that the Githyanki race’s name was actually stolen from one of George RR Martin’s books. Charles Stross, the creator of the race, admitted that he took the name from Martin’s 1977 science fiction novel Dying of the Light. However, Martin’s version of Githyanki was different than D&D’s, as they had psychic powers as well. But, they were very similar to D&D’s versions as they were former slaves of an alien race. Plus, Stross admits that he only took the name from Martin’s book for Dungeons & Dragons but felt some guilt about it:

I’ve always felt slightly guilty about that. Credit should be given where credit’s due.

Moreover, David’s blog also explains that other aliens and monsters from Dungeons & Dragons drew inspiration from other sources. However, George RR Martin didn’t take it to heart when he found out about it.

Martin didn’t take it too seriously

For his part, it didn’t take it to heart. And he didn’t pursue any legal action against Dungeons and Dragons either. Plus, he himself has taken inspiration from dozens of fiction material in his own Game of Thrones. For example, the Lovecraft, Tolkien, and Mervyn Peake.

Plus, the Githyanki weren’t a pivotal race in Martin’s books either. So, Charles Stross just took the name from his book and turned it into a memorable creature in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. I think that much is forgivable, considering they did such a splendid job with it!

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