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  1. #1
    The Snape of Naruto Snape Uchiha's Avatar
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    Comparing A Song of Ice and Fire to Lord of the Rings

    A Song of Ice and Fire (The book series from which "Game of Thrones" is based) is often compared to Lord of the Rings. Time Magazine calls George RR Martin "The American Tolkein".

    I personally cannot understand how these two can be compared. The truth is that although LoTR is more of a classic it cannot compare to A Song of Ice and Fire.

    NOTE: I am a big fan of Lord of the Rings. What I say in this thread is not meant as an insult to Tolkein or his books. LoTR is an extremely creative and imaginative saga, and had a major influence on the fantasy genre. I am merely going to examine it from a more modern and mature perspective.

    I suppose the main problem with Lord of the Rings is that it is an archetypal story of good versus evil. A group of heroic protagonists set out to destroy a force of evil with his monstrous army who want to destroy the world. This is such a simple and immature concept. Literature is supposed to reflect real life issues and this does not.

    In all battles in Lord of the Rings, it is clear that the heroes should win because their opponents are evil monsters who want to destroy the world. The solution then is to kill all of the bad guys and then the good guys win.

    A song of Ice and Fire is much more complex. It deals with multiple perspectives and we see the wars from ALL sides. I will give a few examples.

    The Battle of Blackwater Bay
    In this battle, Stannis launches a naval attack on King's Landing. Who is the "good side"?

    On one side we have the Lannisters, desperately trying to save their city from being sacked. We see Tyrion trying to save the city,heroically entering battle to protect his home and his family. We see the women who will be raped and become widows if King's Landing should fall.

    On the other side we have Stannis. Stannis has a best claim to the throne. His brother was murdered by Cercei and Lancel Lannister. We see Davos trying to fight for a king he respects and to protect his sons. We see his devastation when his sons are killed in the Wildfire.


    The Battle of Meereen
    Daenerys is trying to end Slavery in the Free Cities. She sacks Meereen and kills all of the Slave Masters.

    On one side we have Daenerys trying to end the evils of slavery and bring freedom to all people. She brings justice upon the cruel slave owners.
    One the other hand, she brings political and economic turmoil to Slaver's Bay. Hundreds of innocents are killed. Many former slaves no longer have a source for food or shelter.


    In A Song of Ice and Fire it is not so simple who is right and who is wrong. Good won't prevail by simply killing all of the enemy. In fact, the more one side kills, the more tragedy there is, unlike in Lord of the Rings where Gimli and Legolas were actually showing off how many enemies they had killed, as if killing a lot of people is heroic.

    The White Walkers
    Some people might be under the impression that the White Walkers are kind of like the Orcs. Perhaps they also are a force of Archetypal evil that want to destroy the world. The Night's watch and Melisandre seem to think so. I will explain why this is not so simple.

    1) We know very little about the White Walkers. According to Sam, the records of the White walkers are so old and vague that many doubt their legitimacy.

    2) Melisandre believes they are evil servants of The Great Other (The enemy of R'Hllor). However she also burns innocents alive in the name of the Lord of Light, so clearly her perspective of Good and Evil are not so objectively accurate.

    3) George RR Martin announced that in the next book that we will find out more about the White Walkers, which means there is more to them than we have originally seen.
     
         

  2. #2
    top spot no dog Sage konohamaru's Avatar
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    Re: Comparing A Song of Ice and Fire to Lord of the Rings

    ASOIAF stomps LOTR
     
         

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tobi98's Avatar
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    Re: Comparing A Song of Ice and Fire to Lord of the Rings

    I prefer ASOIAF cuz I don't like the good vs bad vibe that LOTR has
     
         

  4. #4
    The Snape of Naruto Snape Uchiha's Avatar
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    Re: Comparing A Song of Ice and Fire to Lord of the Rings

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobi98 View Post
    I prefer ASOIAF cuz I don't like the good vs bad vibe that LOTR has
    My point exactly.
     
         

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