Discussion in 'Community' started by VadersLaMent, May 20, 2013.
I have read neither. Just curious.
Which do you prefer, apples or oranges?
I haven't read Game of Thrones beyond midway through CoK, but I plan on reading up to date once the current run of the HBO series has finished. Having said that, I still expect my vote to side with LotR.
As a fantasy literary experience, if you approach it with real enthusiasm and desire to become engrossed, LOTR is basically unsurpassable.
Both have major strengths and weaknesses but the more relatable characters and moral ambiguity of GoT overcomes my nostalgia for for LoTF.
If the two are going to go head to head, perhaps this poll should be placed on hold for 50 years.
They're not really comparable. LotR is straight high fantasy and established the modern genre as we know it. A Song of Ice and Fire-- not "Game of Thrones," the title of the first book and the name of the TV adaptation-- is in many ways a deconstruction of tropes Tolkien established/popularized, including pointing out the flaws of a medieval setting. This is like comparing Star Trek and Star Wa-- oh, wait.
Hmmm... overly indulgent descriptions of trees, or overly indulgent descriptions of food... Decisions, decisions...
LotR is ancient epic story, great battle and saga, as well as the great setting and history, but the characterization is a bit too vague. Song of Ice and Fire focus on characterization and power struggle.
It's hard to assess Martin's saga as a complete work when it is, as yet, incomplete. We still don't fully understand what is going on in a cosmological or theological sense, nor do we have the benefit of looking back over the choices each character has made in the context of where he or she winds up. With Tolkien, we understand all of that much better, not only from the texts themselves but also by virtue of his voluminous letters to fans, and other explanatory or clarifying passages. With Martin we're all still kind of guessing.
That said, I voted for LOTR because of what EmperorBillyBob wrote: "As a fantasy literary experience, if you approach it with real enthusiasm and desire to become engrossed, LOTR is basically unsurpassable." In short, I've enjoyed ASoIaF immensely, but the beauty of Tolkien's language and the indelible, mythic quality of his creations is unlikely ever to be surpassed.
This will probably come down to whether one prefers high fantasy or low fantasy.
Not really, they're both HF.
ETA: Or are they? Let's discuss.
I never read the Game of Thrones but i would choose LOTR, more popular too
I undertsand the differences very well. It's not about apples and oranges it's popular fantasy thingy vs popular fantasy thingy. High vs low fantasy is not 100% important, this fantasy story vs that is important. LOTR unsurpassable? Well, as I post this 3 people disagree. I almost want to inject an opinion that there are a handful of gems in the rough in D&D that are incredible, and Donaldson's Thomas Covenat Chronicles is just about the best thing I have ever read in fanatsy, but I have not read the LOTR books, only The Hobbit.
The universe as a whole is high fantasy, but there are low fantasy tropes and character arcs.
They're different series doing different things, and they're both unsurpassed at doing what they want to do. We're probably better off leaving it at that.
As usual in random internet polls, I'll go with the one I've actually read/know anything about. LOTR it is.
I should add, there is much LOTR fandom here, and much GOT fandom here. At least as far as I can see there have not been threads to match them. So, I threw them head ot head to see what folks like better.
I see what you mean. It's all subjective anyway. But if we're going to classify or define something (as a "fantasy thingy", for example), I think we should be clear about what we mean.
Apples and oranges are both fruits. Both are a mixture of cellulouse, sugars and seeds. Both are tasty and delicious to varying degrees to varying people.
LOTR and ASOIAF are both "fantasy thingy"s. Both are a mixture of medieval (or Iron Age) culture, arcane magic, pagan and Judeo-Christian theology, and um, dragons. Both are tasty and delicious to varying degrees to varying people.
But the similarities end there. To name one of a quabillion differences, LOTR can be read and loved by adults, but its subject matter is not "adult".
Hence, apples and oranges. They're very different fruits.
Depending on how you define HF and LF, I generally agree with this. Both are HF worlds within which some LF characters and tropes intermingle with the save-the-world HF stuff. On that score, though, I'd argue that LOTR is more HF than ASOIAF, if you can resist getting lost in the acronyms.
I don't even I can't what are you huh?
I've got to go LOTR but I will say GOT (I call it that too) is the only fantasy series I've read that deserves to even step into the ring (hehe) with the granddaddy of them all.
1 thing I don't like about LotR is it's too black/white, many characters didn't have enough personality.