In fiction, Game of Thrones, TV, writing on 04/19/2012 at 16:18

“Martin vs. Tolkien”
Author George RR Martin has never shied away from comparisons between his modern-day classic “A Song of Ice and Fire” series and its progenitor, Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.” Martin calls Tolkien a huge influence and sees his fantasy epic as a more adult version of LotR.

So which series is better? That’s a matter of opinion of course. Perhaps it would be easier to let the players themselves settle things…

Ned vs Sean Bean. I mean, Boromir.
Round 1
Ned Stark vs. Boromir: This is going down first and foremost because both characters were memorably portrayed by Sean Bean. While Boromir’s change of heart about the Ring came just in time for him to take several dozen orc-arrows to the chest, Ned’s oblivion-inducing honor earned him a public beheading on the steps of the Sept of Baelor. Both men had their flaws, and it seems Ned Stark would have fared better in Tolkein’s realm and Boromir in Westeros, but alas, their fates have been sealed. In one on one combat though, despite Martin’s continual suggestion to the contrary, you’ve got to side with the good guy. WINNER: Ned Stark.

J Snow vs F Baggins
Round 2
Jon Snow vs Frodo: Two misfits wandering the dark forests at the fringes of society. These two are destined to meet on some cursed road on the way to their greater destinies, with their respective Sams at their sides. While Frodo’s journey to Mordor carries a bit more weight than Snow’s inquiries into the gathering wilding forces north of The Wall, Jon Snow is the superior combatant. Frodo would obviously slip the Ring on, but invisibility is no match for a dire wolf’s nose–and Ghost don’t bother with mithril chain mail, he’s going for a throat rip. It’s his main move. WINNER: Snow.

King Joffrey Baratheon vs Aragorn
Round 3
Joffrey vs Aragorn: I admit, this is a guilty pleasure match up. I’m only on “A Storm of Swords” right now and I eagerly await Joffery’s demise. The occasional Cersei/Tyrion-slaps just aren’t cutting anymore. This brat deserves a one-on-one–eh, scratch that, he’d never allow it. Still, I’d take Aragorn over Joffrey’s wimpy Kingsguard, including the Hound. That leaves Joffrey cowering in the corner, and Narsil still craving justice. WINNER: Aragorn.

Tyrion vs Gimli
Round 4
Tyrion vs Gimli: It took me about three seconds to pair these two. While Gimli hacks away at Tyrion’s Stone Crow brothers, Tyrion would crouch behind a table, scheming away…a battle is no time for scheming, though, and ultimately it would be another lucky knock on the head that would fell Gimli. Tyrion would finish the dwarf off with his classic finisher, repeatedly bashing Gimli’s face in with the blunt end of a shield! WINNER: Tyrion.

Dany vs Arwen
Round 5
Danaerys vs Arwen: Considering Arwen is roughly 3000 years older than the 14 year old Targaryen girl, you’d definitely give her the edge. Underestimate Danaerys Stormborn, Queens of Dragons at your own peril, though. While her Dothraki hordes reduce Elrond to ashes, Arwen and Dany are left to go one on one. Except, with Dany, it’s never one on one, remember? She’s got three sidekicks who ensure her pretty much every victory from now until winter arrives, and lord knows when that’s going to happen. Victory by dragons! WINNER: Danaerys.

Melissandre vs Gandalf the Grey
Melissandre vs Gandalf: Two sorcerers going head to head, there’s nothing like it. Melissandre wins in the looks department, no doubt about it, although Sir Ian McKellen did add a sort of metrosexual swag to the grey wizard. There is a fear, of course, that in one of Gandalf’s moments of benevolent hesitation, Melissandre might shoot a shadow demon out her baby maker and then all bets are off. But let’s be real here, Melissandre is dressed in fire red, proclaiming this and that about the Lord of Light…ENOUGH! Gandalf slams down the staff and puts an end to the zealous ginger. WINNER: Gandalf.

Patchface vs Gollum
: A duel of dimwits, it would seem, though neither dunce is as dumb as they’d seem. Gollum can scheme with the best of them when it comes to obtaining his precious, and Patchface’s asinine diddies about the bottom of the sea seem to distract from a recovering intellect. With Frodo out of the way, though, Gollum is going to be like a crackhead in the final stages of craving–the Ring is up for grabs, and no half-wit fool is going to stop him. “I swears it, the candy shop is right around the corner,” Gollum promises Patchface as they enter Shelob’s lair… WINNER: Gollum.

Sam Tarley vs Sam Gamgee: LotR needs the victory to force a tiebreaker, but unfortunately the latter Sam is in no condition to battle after his dearest Frodo has been torn to ribbons by Jon Snow’s dire wolf. Beyond consolation, there is nothing to be done for him. Tarley comes up with the moronic idea to take Gamgee with them, but Jon Snow flips out on him and slinks off to brood. Tarley gives Sam a whistle or something his mom made for him. Lame. WINNER: Draw.

So there you have it, “Ice and Fire” edges a victory and looks to take on all other challengers!

  1. I’ve read both series; Ice and Fire engages me in a way Lord of the Rings never did. More fun to re-read, too, seeing things you overlooked that turn out to be important 🙂

    • Yes they are hard to compare beyond being epic fantasies. ASoIaF is more intimate and politically layered, whereas LotR delivers on the classic good battling evil. I prefer Ice/Fire also but they are both classics.

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