J R R Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings Trilogy in 1937. George R R Martin penned the Song of Ice and Fire novels in 1991. Even after so many years of enticing lovers of High Fantasy, the battle between the two greatest stories ever told rages on.
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LOTR: A Happier Ending
It is rumored that when Tolkien wrote the Middle Earth Universe Books, he wanted the novels to be a children’s fantasy more than high fantasy. In the end, Tolkien became so engrossed in his work that he turned the entire idea upside down and made the series into a high fantasy tale. There are still tinges of the original concept within the core of the book and movie series. In the end, the Lord of the Rings series is a book about the triumph of good over evil. Unlike Game of Thrones, it does not show us a bitter-sweet ending. It gives us an ending we all want to see after every story – a happily ever after. It may be an illusion but when you are crafting a story such as Lord of the Rings, a happy ending is what is needed.
GOT: Stark and Dark
One primary reason we love Game of Thrones is because it gives us the reality as it is, without letting it be sugar coated or honey dewed. In an actual game of political assassinations, machinations, and conquest, there will be a lot of bloodshed and evil doings. There is no other way around it. Game of Thrones is known to be extremely on the face. You may not like a scene but that will not stop the series from showing it and explaining it to you in graphic detail. And boy the books are extremely good at doing just that.
LOTR: Hobbits (Yeah we consider it a reason!)
Oh come on! Who does not like a Hobbit!! Of all the fictional races that have ever been created by writers and authors all over the world in all of human history, the Hobbits are the race you would want to be a part of if you were ever given such a choice. They live in a bountiful lush green land. They sleep in houses made out of burrows. They eat, dance and sleep all day. They are merry beings that like to mind their own business. They also have the Shire – the happiest place on Earth (Sorry Disney Land).
You think politics and the Coronavirus are unpredictable? Well think again!! Game of Thrones has plot twists that could give your craziest knickers a run for their money. The story progresses and shows some of the greatest turning points in the history of Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms. Sansa Stark being violated by Ramsay Bolton and Ramsay in turn being eaten by his own hounds – we are sure nobody could have thought things would tunr out this way. Jon Snow being killed and resurrected again is yet another unpredictable moment. So sure politics is cool to watch on television from the comfort of your couch but once you watch just how stupidly incalculable Game of Thrones is, you will start feeling your stomach churn, twist, and turn inside your body.
LOTR: Mythical Weapons and Armor
Game of Thrones does score some brownie points here. They have weapons like swords and daggers made out of Valyrian Steel and Obsidian that can kill white walkers and never lose their sharpness. They have enchanted weapons too but they are limited in number. Lord of the Rings has just way too many of them. Take for example the Elven Blade used by Frodo called Sting. It glows whenever there are Orcs nearby. Frodo also wears chain-mail armour made out of a mythical substance called Mithril. This armor is so durable it can even take a point blank spear strike from a powerful troll and Frodo would not even get a scratch at the point of impact.
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GOT: Lots and Lots of Death
Death is the bread and butter of Game of Thrones. Oh so you like a character. You think that character is going to survive the incoming onslaught? Turns out he or she is the first person to be killed in the next chapter or episode. George R.R Martin takes some guilty pleasure out of killing off a character he has worked tirelessly to develop in the previous story arcs. Game of Thrones’ moments of death is our most favorite as well as least favorite part of the series.
LOTR: Immersive Fantasy
One of the greatest facts about the Middle Earth Universe is that everything is sometimes so damn relatable. The battle between good and evil, hope and despair, love and hatred – is an age old battle that has not just engulfed the World of the Lord of the Rings. Readers and Viewers feel the range of emotions as they experience the adventures of the Fellowship first hand, realizing way too late that somehow they too have become a part of the adventure without even them noticing. That is the magic of Tolkien’s storytelling.
GOT: So Many Fan-Favorite Characters
Whom do you rot for? The Targaryens? The Lannisters? Or is it the Starks you want to win? Forget the Houses for now. There are even characters you could root for. There is Daenerys Targaryen of the Storm-Born. There is Jon Snow and his Stark Brethren. There is also Cersei Lannister and her brother Jaime. There are people who like Tyrion Lannister or Sandor Clegane more. Game of Thrones has a plethora of characters from a variety of backgrounds. It is also a show with more diversity in it casting. There are people of African as well as Asian descent in the series.
LOTR: Absolutely Mesmerizing Poetry
The movies may not have had the time to afford so much poetry into the theatrical versions. But they did manage to cram in some of the death defying poetry written by Tolkien in the Lord of the Rings series of novels. There are so many of them and all of them are so sweet and pleasant to read and feel. Game of Thrones has some pretty powerful dialogues but they pale in comparison to the literary subtlety that is the Lord of the Rings.
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GOT: Has More Drama
Whether it is the novel or the live action HBO series, any Game of Thrones chapter has a enough drama to put Downtown Abbey to shame. Game of Thrones has so much depth and layers and each episode has multiple sub-plots that run in parallel. Each plot affects almost every character in ways not even we could comprehend. There are so many plot twists and knots in the tale that we have lost count. Take for example when Ned Stark realizes Jon Snow is a Targaryen or Cersei’s Walk of Shame. One of the most endearing (and dramatic) moments in Game of Thrones came when Jon Snow was forced to kill Daenerys Targaryen to stop her from turning into a despot.