We know; the compulsion people feel to compare works of fantasy – and in particular, A Song of Ice and Fire with Tolkien’s Middle-earth tales – can get annoying. As writer Anne Hobson herself admits, ‘comparing the two masterpieces is in many ways “as useless as nipples on a breastplate,” as Tyrion Lannister would say…’ Nonetheless, many readers are fans of both George R R Martin and J R R Tolkien, and as both worlds are being brought to life at the moment – in the realms of television and cinema respectively – it is inevitable that comparisons will be drawn.
Hobson’s blog in ‘The American Spectator’ is an interesting piece, giving the subject careful thought. She suggests that there are core differences between the two writers, both in the origins of their creations and in their perceptions of morality. You can see what she had to say – and perhaps draw your own conclusions – here.