The time has come to conclude the "I Fantasize Better Than You" debate between two fantasy series that have, thanks to their respective modern adaptations, made the biggest dent in our pop culture outside of comic-book pages. Of course, we are talking JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings that was adapted into a churner of billions by Peter Jackson, and George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire which is in the midst of a very successful adaptation on the greatest TV channel that's not TV as Game of Thrones by D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. Rings kicked off proceedings and you can remind yourself of the five major arguments it brought to the podium here. A few days later it was Thrones's time to retaliate with its own 5 arguments. Click on this to ring that bell. As promised, we're going to dust this debate off with a few final thoughts that should guide you towards the light. Will it be Gandalf's that's full of goodness? Or will it be the Lord of Light's that's full of demented predictions? Without further ado friends, here are the major points that divide these two Goliaths you'd do well to keep in mind when comparing and contrasting.
Consider the times the two stories came from and realize that Martin looks up to Tolkien like a founding father. In fact, here's a quote from the man himself that says it best:
I admire Tolkien greatly. His books had enormous influence on me. And the trope that he sort of establishedthe idea of the Dark Lord and his Evil Minionsin the hands of lesser writers over the years and decades has not served the genre well. It has been beaten to death. The battle of good and evil is a great subject for any book and certainly for a fantasy book, but I think ultimately the battle between good and evil is weighed within the individual human heart and not necessarily between an army of people dressed in white and an army of people dressed in black. When I look at the world, I see that most real living breathing human beings are grey. - George RR Martin
Lord Of The Rings were published in the 50s while the atrocities of the Second World War still very much weighing heavily on weary European minds. A point was made by Thrones's argument of "Contemporary Fantasy" that the more modern feel Martin's series has, which started getting published in 1996, works in its favor because of the wider reach it has beyond the fantasy lovers. On the other hand, because of the viciousness and hard R-rating, it's possible that more people would be turned off rather than on. How fair is it to use the context of the two originating times to take off brownie points? Well, to be completely fair, we're not using the times as much as the author's inclinations. Tolkien was a professor at Pembroke College and was anointed to Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1972. George Martin was sticking his fingers in the sci-fi jar before becoming a consultant for Twilight Zone, and then as producer for the 1987 TV version of Beauty and the Beast. Two completely different backgrounds, two completely different times, will inevitably grow two completely different branches of the fantasy tree.
Nik's passions reside in writing, discussing and watching movies of all sorts. He also loves dogs, tennis, comics and stuff. He lives irresponsibly in Montreal and tweets random movie things @NikGrape.