Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ashley's Ultimate Battle: Lord of the Rings vs Game of Thrones

You guys!  
I am so excited to introduce the ultimate of battles today, 
Read on and then weigh in!


Yes, I know this debate has raged on for a few TV seasons now but I have not yet weighed in so I chose it for my topic of choice here on Book Bloggers International during March Match-Ups and Duels. Anyone who is familiar with my site most likely knows that I do not read fantasy novels; however what many of my readers may not know is that there was once a time when I could not get enough of them! I’ve probably read just about every fantasy novel ever published prior to 2012; despite surrendering fantasy novels I do still re-read the Lord of the Rings series and I do still read the Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones) books. I thought perhaps readers would find my opinion interesting considering it’s not a genre I normally discuss. So, which is better? It’s a best of 3! Read on…

The Ladies: Lannisters and Starks vs ummm…an Elf 
Winner: Game of Thrones 

Honestly, this isn’t even a contest. Other than the elf (yes, I know her name is Lady Arwen) is there any woman in Lord of the Rings worth remembering? NO. It’s all about the Hobbits and the Wizards and the Kings and the Orcs all of which are men. Women in Lord of the Rings are merely an afterthought, hanging out at home and waiting for their men to return. Women in Game of Thrones are amazing! Catelyn Stark (no spoilers) is a fierce woman despite not being a warrior. She is a strong momma-bear who savagely protects her children. Cersei Lannister is a bitch to the millionth degree but she does what she does for her family and those she loves. Selfish? Of course, but that’s her way of survival. Arya, Sansa, Jeyne Pool, and more, the women are certainly a force within Game of Thrones and are extremely powerful characters. Tolkien didn’t give women enough credit.

Dragons: Daenerys’ dragons vs Smaug and other creatures 
Winner: Game of Thrones 

Millions of Tolkien fans will disagree but I give the edge to Daenerys and her hatchlings. Daenerys’ hatchlings hatched after dragons were thought to be extinct and Daenerys herself carries the blood of the dragon. Readers (and viewers) are able to connect with these dragons from egg to birth to growth. While they may not be as villainous (at least initially) as the beasts in Lord of the Rings they are better characters and that’s why I read books – to connect with characters.

The Bad Guys: Every other Lord or King vs Every other Lord or King, Orcs, Minions and Each Other 
Winner: Lord of the Rings 

Lord of the Rings takes this one. Every single person who even so much as looks at “the ring” becomes obsessed with it. Everyone is a villain – no one can be trusted. The fantasy level is wayyy amped up in Lord of the Rings and dwarfs (see what I did there?) the magic and fantasy in Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones has King fighting King and internal deceit and treachery but Lord of the Rings has that and more.

This could go on and on as we could debate language (edge: Lord of the Rings), maps and landscape (edge: Lord of the Rings), boyfriend material (edge: Game of Thrones) but I think three topics is enough for me. I call it as such: WINNER – GAME OF THRONES.

Disagree? Tell me why.


  1. Funny thing is my wife and I are just watching GAME OF THRONES for March Break. We stomped through the first two seasons on DVD and are beginning the third season tonight.

    I love GAME OF THRONES - but I give the edge to LORD OF THE RINGS just because it is a complete and singular story arc. It has beginning and an end.

    Actually, it has three or four endings - when is somebody going to tell Peter Jackson that LONGER ISN'T NECESSARILY BETTER.

    GAME OF THRONES is a television series - so as such it is built around the notion that there ALWAYS has to be one more episode. So right off the bat it has that working against it.

    I know, I know - you are going to tell me that GAME OF THRONES is based on a series of books - BUT IT'S A SERIES THAT HASN'T BEEN FINISHED YET!!!

    That does NOT inspire confidence in me.

    I know that George R.R. Martin says he has the situation entirely under control - but coming up with a proper ending to ANYTHING is awfully hard - let alone an umpteen book epic fantasy series.

    So that bothers me. The notion that George R.R. Martin might not be able to get around to finishing it bothers me. The idea that someone - a publisher or a producer or a network - might get the idea to hire some well-meaning amateur - and anyone who steps into someone's world-space is IMMEDIATELY an amateur - bothers me.

    Shoot, I hope I didn't dash that last sentence to death on you.

    GAME OF THRONES has the edge on gritty - that's for certain.

    It likewise has the edge on get-down-to-it. There's a WHOLE lot of lets-get-naked-and-get-our-funky-groove-on going on in GAME OF THRONES.

    But LOTR has grandeur.

    I watch the LOTR trilogy and my heart swells up and yodels in pure honest isn't-that-cool delight.

    But don't talk to me about Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy.

    Talk about a fat man jumping a large shark...


    1. I trust Martin to properly finish the Game of Thrones (or Song of Fire and Ice as the books are called) series. If I remember correctly he had an interview once where he said he knows how it's going to end and doesn't care if readers like it or not as not everything needs a "perfect" ending. I'm pretty excited about that.

    2. I hear you Ashley. But it's that whole "I don't care what readers think" attitude that worries me a little. It CAN mean that he will write a tremendously awesome ending that doesn't necessarily fit the stereotypical "they-all-lived-happily-ever-after" - but it can just as easily herald the "well-that-scary-clown-in-the-sewer-was-really-just-a-giant-spider-from-mars" ending.

      I really enjoy Martin's writing. I've even read his early stuff - such as SAND KINGS and FEVRE DREAM. But I really, really wish he'd get off of his butt and write this soon. I'm wondering if all the "it-shall-be-written-when-I-decide-it-shall-be-written" might not be a sign of "holy-cow-what-do-I-do-next???"

      I guess we'll all just have to wait and see. I'm just guessing - and that isn't the most accurate means of predicting genre future.


  2. GoT definitely have a lot more memorable female characters, I will give you that one for sure! I think it's kind of interesting that each one everyone is obsessed with one singular thing: a ring to rule them all or a throne to rule them all!
    Also Bronn is my favorite. There's no one quite that awesome in LoTR!

    1. The women in Game of Thrones are amazing! Tolkien totally let the women down. :(

  3. I had so much fun reading this one!!! I have not yet read Games of Thrones, but I do have the first one in the series on my shelf somewhere. I gotta get to it soon!

    I may not have read GoT, but I gotta admit that Tolkien totally shafted the women. I completely agree with all you said in that arena!!

  4. I haven't read/seen LoTR so I am going to just take your word for it! I hate there aren't more memorable female characters in it. Bad Tolkien! ;)

  5. Um, what about Eowyn? I haven't seen or read Game of Thrones, so I'll take your word for it that Martin still wins this category, but... well, without spoilers, she does something rather significant in the last book! She at least deserves a mention!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.