thelordoftheringstrilogyWith the sixth season of The HBO series Game of Thrones just around the corner, are comparisons between it and The Lord of the Rings inevitable? The Irish Times seems to think so. In this provocative article, author Ed Power explores the irresistible urge of some fans to rank them against each other.

“Central to the whispering campaign against Tolkien is the idea that he peddled a reductive world view. While George RR Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire sequence is regarded as mature, complex and reflective of real human life, Lord of The Rings is felt to be fusty, puritanical and cheesily moralistic. Nobody in Game of Thrones is truly good or bad”

The Lord of the Rings is cheesy and puritanical? Oh dear. Of course, devoted fans of J.R.R. Tolkien would never describe it that way, but devoted fans of George R.R. Martin (who haven’t read LOTR?) might – and some apparently do. Can Jaime Lannister hold a candle to Aragorn, or vice versa? Are Gollum, Eowyn or John Snow one-dimensional?

As a devoted fan of both (yes, it’s quite possible), I personally think that the difference between the two is a good thing. Both approaches can be enormously entertaining, cringe-worthy at times, yet pierce the heart with both beauty and tragedy. What about you? Do you have a preference or do you enjoy both? Read the full article, and let us know!

George-RR-Martin-thumbGeorge R.R. Martin, writer with a series of #1 bestellers, a hit HBO show and a measure of celebrity few writers ever achieve, has given a pretty substantial signal about the how the tone of his series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” will end and he credits J.R.R. Tolkien. Martin has long praised Tolkien and credited him with influencing him and most every other fantasy writer.

But this time Martin got pretty specific.

He spoke in an exclusive interview with The Observer, where he didn’t give anything away, but did reveal the kind of tone he hopes to have at the end.

“I’ve said before that the tone of the ending that I’m going for is bittersweet. I mean, it’s no secret that Tolkien has been a huge influence on me, and I love the way he ended Lord of the Rings. It ends with victory, but it’s a bittersweet victory.”

Tolkien_2692769bMartin also talked about the golden age of television and mentioned some great shows that not everybody is watching, but he wasn’t done with praising Tolkien.

“Frodo is never whole again,” he said.

Martin is of course known for writing giant volumes and killing favorite characters. The joke goes that Martin isn’t on Twitter because he already killed 140 characters and the fear is that by the end of the final book, Martin may write something of an apocalypse, which is why his Tolkien comparisons are so welcome for fans.

But he also praised a portion of Tolkien’s writings that filmmaker Peter Jackson left out of his movies, save for a brief glimpse as part of another scene. Martin loves the Scouring of the Shire chapter.

“And the scouring of the Shire—brilliant piece of work, which I didn’t understand when I was 13 years old: “Why is this here? The story’s over?” But every time I read it I understand the brilliance of that segment more and more. All I can say is that’s the kind of tone I will be aiming for.

Martin is writing the sixth book in his series, “The Winds of Winter.”

Read the full story right here.

Any Texas residents who live near the A&M University may want mark February 27th on their calendar – particularly those of you who are fans of author George R.R. Martin (the creator of the Game of Thrones universe).

The University has announced that he will stopping by on that date for a ceremony beginning at 11 A.M., which will see him presenting a first edition copy of Professor Tolkien’s The Hobbit as a gift to the university. It will be the University Libraries’ 5 millionth acquisition. Continue reading “Author George R.R. Martin to gift First Edition “Hobbit” to Texas A&M University”

peter_jackson_and_guillermo_del_toro Guillermo del Toro dropped into Reddit today to conduct an Ask Me Anything to promote his new vampire horror–drama television series The Strain which is debuting on US telly this Sunday.

While he was there, he had this to say when asked which he preferred, The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. Continue reading “Del Toro praises Jackson’s Fellowship: “rarely been as transported in a movie theater””

lord-of-the-rings-vs-game-of-thrones Similarities and differences. Or as Tolkien might have put it, bones and soup. It’s the never-ending, never truly answerable question of who owes whom what.

In this recent article on the BBC, Jane Ciabattari examined how The Lord of the Rings has influenced the creator of A Song of Ice and Fire, George RR Martin.

Fair enough. Continue reading “Fantasy authors, media tropes and Tolkien’s great shadow”

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