LOTR vs Game of Thrones - Page 3 - SLUniverse Forums
Old 01-07-2014, 02:14 AM   #51 (permalink)
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The only way to give the LOTR characters and story any real depth is to also read Silmarillion. I've never thought of the dwarves as lacking depth at all, after learning about their history.
I for one prefer characters to have depth as characters in the story. I don't feel the need either to read the got wiki before I can enjoy those books.

Besides, I don't think the fellowship is a part of the silmarillion except maybe for dumbledore? So you're again conflating species with characters, which is exactly the criticism on lotr. Silmarillion might make the dwarven race more interesting as a setting, but it doesn't change Gimli's character for example.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:54 AM   #52 (permalink)
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In LOTR is there anyone who couldn't tell from page 1 that good would defeat evil?
Sometimes that's comforting, though, however cheesy it may be. It may be dorky, but sometimes when I'm worn down, remembering an encouraging song, or stories of how good always wins lets me daydream and recharge for a moment.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:05 AM   #53 (permalink)
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:36 AM   #54 (permalink)
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I for one prefer characters to have depth as characters in the story. I don't feel the need either to read the got wiki before I can enjoy those books.

Besides, I don't think the fellowship is a part of the silmarillion except maybe for dumbledore? So you're again conflating species with characters, which is exactly the criticism on lotr. Silmarillion might make the dwarven race more interesting as a setting, but it doesn't change Gimli's character for example.
I understand what you're saying, but Lord of the Rings is not a Tom Clancy novel. And you're conflating GoT with Lord of the Rings. There's a huge chasm of difference between them in terms of lore depth.

Gimli's character in the movie was dumbed down to a comic sidekick, but again - let's not conflate Peter Jackson with Tolkien, either.

Gimli - Lord of the Rings Wiki

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Gimli was the son of Glóin and a nephew of Óin, both former companions of Bilbo Baggins. He was a remote descendant of Durin the Deathless, father of the first house of dwarven people. Gimli stemmed from, but was not an inheritor of, the royal line. Through his father, Gimli was also the first cousin once removed (or "nephew", for simplicity's sake) of Balin, Lord of Moria, and his brother Dwalin, two more former companions of Bilbo. It is also stated in the Unfinished Tales that Gimli was prevented from traveling with his father on The Quest of Erebor because Thorin and company thought him too young, though Gimli, being in his sixties, considered himself ripe for adventure and was disappointed to be left behind.[1]
So that whole sequence in the Mines of Moria actually involved Gimli's ancestral roots, throwing back to the tragic materialism of his kind. Which was what moved them to dig so deeply that they wakened a Balrog (which in turn was a type of Maiar, as Gandalf was a type of Maiar or spirit). There were many allusions to this in the books, but only passing reference in the movie.

Heck, without some working knowledge of the Silmarillion, Sauron (another Maiar) is just another disembodied eyeball instead of the lieutenant of the first Dark Lord, Morgoth and Tolkien's prototypical "Satan".

It's not a requirement to know all the backstory in order to enjoy the movie or the books, but to me personally it fills in the colors and makes the story much more alive than not knowing.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:07 AM   #55 (permalink)
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I wanted to add another dimension to this, as well. Tolkien was a veteran of World War I. And, while he denied that his books were allegories of that Great War with its destruction and death, he also admitted that a writer must draw from his own experiences in crafting a narrative.

Tolkien was also concerned about the rise of industrialization in the West, at the expense of nature. The LOTR storyline is rich with this analogy, from the nature-loving elves to the destructive, cruel abuses of Saruman. (Probably a coincidence that "Sauron" rhymes with "Enron" ).

So to me, LOTR is also a metaphor for our current struggle between the environment and industrialism. In comparison, Game of Thrones is just a fun story about a bunch of kings murdering each other.

National Geographic Lord of the Rings -- historical influences
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:48 PM   #56 (permalink)
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(Probably a coincidence that "Sauron" rhymes with "Enron" ).
Nashville has a lock on that corporate symbolism (AT&T building)

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Old 01-07-2014, 10:00 PM   #57 (permalink)
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Nashville has a lock on that corporate symbolism (AT&T building)

Hahaha yes. Every time I drove through Nashville I'd look at that building and think, Who the fuck thought a building with horns on it was a good idea?
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:34 AM   #58 (permalink)
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As interesting as this thread is: The whole idea of LOTR vs Game of Thrones is stupid. Not only are they written by different people and set in different realities - it's ultimately a matter of personal taste.

The LOTR lovers can smugly expound on why LOTR is better/has more depth/blah blah blah for 100 pages, but if a person just happens to prefer GoT then that's just how it is and the LOTR people will just have to suck it up.

By the same token people who prefer GoT can go on and on about how they prefer the characters to simply be human, more believable, that heros die, nobody all good or all bad, blah blah blah, but if I happen to just prefer LOTR - guess what? That's just how it is.

I happen to like both. Maybe I can be all smug and self righteous about it and expound on how that means I'm a well rounded individual?
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:50 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cindy Claveau View Post
I wanted to add another dimension to this, as well. Tolkien was a veteran of World War I. And, while he denied that his books were allegories of that Great War with its destruction and death, he also admitted that a writer must draw from his own experiences in crafting a narrative.

Tolkien was also concerned about the rise of industrialization in the West, at the expense of nature. The LOTR storyline is rich with this analogy, from the nature-loving elves to the destructive, cruel abuses of Saruman. (Probably a coincidence that "Sauron" rhymes with "Enron" ).

So to me, LOTR is also a metaphor for our current struggle between the environment and industrialism. In comparison, Game of Thrones is just a fun story about a bunch of kings murdering each other.

National Geographic Lord of the Rings -- historical influences
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:57 AM   #60 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cindy Claveau View Post
I wanted to add another dimension to this, as well. Tolkien was a veteran of World War I. And, while he denied that his books were allegories of that Great War with its destruction and death, he also admitted that a writer must draw from his own experiences in crafting a narrative.

Tolkien was also concerned about the rise of industrialization in the West, at the expense of nature. The LOTR storyline is rich with this analogy, from the nature-loving elves to the destructive, cruel abuses of Saruman. (Probably a coincidence that "Sauron" rhymes with "Enron" ).

So to me, LOTR is also a metaphor for our current struggle between the environment and industrialism. In comparison, Game of Thrones is just a fun story about a bunch of kings murdering each other.

National Geographic Lord of the Rings -- historical influences
The fact it may well be a metaphor "for our current struggle between the environment and industrialism" (or simply nostalgia for an imaginary golden age of rural bliss, which is, and has been, a powerful theme in Western literature since the ancient Greeks) doesn't alter the fact that many of the characters in Lord of the Rings seem pretty two-dimensional.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:47 AM   #61 (permalink)
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LOTR works with a lot of dichotomies, and rural/industrial or nature/modern technologies are only two of them. Evil vs. Good, Ugliness vs. Beauty, Darkness vs. Light, Industry vs. Nature, Black vs. White, even East vs. West.

You can read these dichotomies as metaphors, and they are quite universal - you can interpret them or just enjoy the fundamental battle between two contradicting forces. Again - that's what makes the entire saga so epic and myth-like, with almost religious undertones.

And that's again a reason why the characters are more limited in their development - there are two sides, and not many facets. I wouldn't call them shallow, if they were really that empty LOTR would have been really boring. Within their strict race-related limitations there is still a certain variety, and at least the main protagonists have a certain depth, and they develop. But they have to stick to the given frame of fundamental opposites, and their race determines their destiny.

GOT has a different structure, and a different focus. And while Tolkien necessarily uses and establishes stereotypes, Martin likes to break them. Which is what I really enjoy.

Like Zaida said, you can't really compare, and it's a matter of taste and (to me) a matter of mood what you prefer. I am such a rounded personality too, we can start a LOTRGOT faction! and this is probably the geekiest debate I ever took part in.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:51 PM   #62 (permalink)
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The LOTR lovers can smugly expound on why LOTR is better/has more depth/blah blah blah for 100 pages, but if a person just happens to prefer GoT then that's just how it is and the LOTR people will just have to suck it up.
I happen to enjoy both stories. But I do think that George has jumped the shark a bit with how brutally he has killed off his characters.

He writes "best seller" fiction (Tolkien was just exercising his inner linguist/fantasy geek and I believe his best-seller status was purely accidental).

Martin's the only best selling author I can remember who delights in getting the reader attached to a hero and then slaughtering that hero. It's a weird formula, and one with which I'm not too enthralled. I just have to enjoy what little time that favorite hero is on the stage and accept that Martin will eventually betray and murder them in the most horrible way.

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I happen to like both. Maybe I can be all smug and self righteous about it and expound on how that means I'm a well rounded individual?
I'm not sure who you're pointing fingers at, here. I'm hardly smug and self-righteous about my love of Tolkien. I'm just another geek who doesn't get enough chances to talk about the history of Middle Earth or the lineage of Gimli.

Besides that, there are people on the internet who are wrong!
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:39 PM   #63 (permalink)
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I happen to enjoy both stories. But I do think that George has jumped the shark a bit with how brutally he has killed off his characters.
I disagree with this. One of the reasons I love A Song of Ice and Fire is that I care about everything that happens because you never know if the "hero" will win. Its edge of your seat in a way that few other authors can manage, because the good guy could very well end up losing everything. Its the not-knowing that kept his readers frantic for the next novel long before the HBO series started.

The television audience isn't accustomed to seeing their heros die, that's true. Also, the sense of urgency on television isn't as hard to maintain because it happens so fast and so visually. You can be worried that a hero will die on tv even when you've seen the episode before - just because the visual narrative can draw you in. In books, that's a lot harder to maintain.

There are certainly people pissed off about characters dying in Game of Thrones. But, I'd guess there are just as many people waiting with baited breath to find out if their favorite characters are still alive in the next novel.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:02 PM   #64 (permalink)
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The television audience isn't accustomed to seeing their heros die, that's true.
That implies that people who watch TV (like me) haven't read any of his books -- or other books wherein the hero dies (Hamlet, Macbeth). It's not true. And there are plenty of movies where the hero dies (Armageddon, I am Legend, 300).

I get that the plot device has its value. But it's also a subjective, individual preference for many people. Having one main character die can be a great way to add realism and grit to a story. Having two or three die is positively genocidal. Then there is the next level, which is Martinesque.

In some stage productions of Macbeth, he actually died offstage to avoid pissing off the audience too much.
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:36 PM   #65 (permalink)
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I watched the first episode of GOT and said, "This is going to make a lot more sense if I read the books," and promptly downloaded the first book from Amazon. I don't know how anyone can follow the show without having read the books.

Following up on my last post, my youngest sister refuses to watch any of the Harry Potter movies (and forget the books) because she's a "real" LOTR fan, and in her mind, that means it would be some kind of a betrayal to watch Harry Potter let alone like it.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:24 PM   #66 (permalink)
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I like both but I think I like GOT better. Personally, I think the GOT toons are more well-rounded. You have to read a LOT of Tolkein (not just LOTR and the Hobbit) to find out more about many of his toons and women and minorities just might as well not exist in his world. GOT covers all of that.

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I happen to enjoy both stories. But I do think that George has jumped the shark a bit with how brutally he has killed off his characters.

He writes "best seller" fiction (Tolkien was just exercising his inner linguist/fantasy geek and I believe his best-seller status was purely accidental).

Martin's the only best selling author I can remember who delights in getting the reader attached to a hero and then slaughtering that hero. It's a weird formula, and one with which I'm not too enthralled. I just have to enjoy what little time that favorite hero is on the stage and accept that Martin will eventually betray and murder them in the most horrible way.
I don't know that this is true. All of the toons that die -- I can point to a real and needed reason for them to die. Either their part of the story was complete and they needed to be removed or it was done to further story. Ned was done. His part was done, the toon had done what he needed it to do. Furthermore there had to be an unjust and terrible death for there to be a war. The red wedding -- while completely gruesome, I think probably needed to be done so that something grevious -- the breaking of the laws of hospitality and Tywin (and by extension the rest of House Lannister) could be complicit in it. Other deaths similarly are necessary in the story. So I don't think its just glee in killing off toons that you have come to know and love.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:09 PM   #67 (permalink)
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I don't know that this is true. All of the toons that die -- I can point to a real and needed reason for them to die. Either their part of the story was complete and they needed to be removed or it was done to further story. Ned was done. His part was done, the toon had done what he needed it to do. Furthermore there had to be an unjust and terrible death for there to be a war.
Well, in any event Sean Bean has to die ... Always!


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The red wedding -- while completely gruesome, I think probably needed to be done so that something grevious -- the breaking of the laws of hospitality and Tywin (and by extension the rest of House Lannister) could be complicit in it. Other deaths similarly are necessary in the story. So I don't think its just glee in killing off toons that you have come to know and love.
I'm still torn. One of the (many) reasons I dislike Mel Gibson movies is that he always has to use egregious, gruesome wrongs to manipulate the audience, like he did in Braveheart and The Patriot. To me, it's just a cheap tactic that tries to replace evocative writing.
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:28 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Well, in any event Sean Bean has to die ... Always!
Of course he does. He's a Shakespearean actor (Royal Shakespeare Company no less). Death is part of the job description. Unless you're a starship captain, then you don't *always* die. (Patrick Stewart, also RSC, he and Bean missed each other by 4 years)
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:41 PM   #69 (permalink)
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I think one reason why GRRM had to wipe out so many characters is that he needs to, simply to keep the plot under control.

Medieval dynastic wars tended to go on endlessly -- in England, the Wars of the Roses, which he must have had in mind, went on for 30 years, and that was only two rival houses. Shakespeare's tragedies have been mentioned; perhaps a better analogy would be with his histories, in which leading characters have to die a various points (e.g. bloody battles) because that's the way it happened.

Since he clearly didn't want to write the entire series about the wars between the various noble houses in Westeros, the only way out, it seems to me, was (and is) to settle the various claims either through crushing military defeat or murder and treachery.
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:26 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Of course he does. He's a Shakespearean actor (Royal Shakespeare Company no less). Death is part of the job description. Unless you're a starship captain, then you don't *always* die. (Patrick Stewart, also RSC, he and Bean missed each other by 4 years)
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:11 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Of course he does. He's a Shakespearean actor (Royal Shakespeare Company no less). Death is part of the job description. Unless you're a starship captain, then you don't *always* die. (Patrick Stewart, also RSC, he and Bean missed each other by 4 years)
If Sean Bean ever takes a part in a Star Trek movie, he'll be wearing the red tunic.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:57 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Well, in any event Sean Bean has to die ... Always!

Sean Bean dies in every movie - YouTube



I'm still torn. One of the (many) reasons I dislike Mel Gibson movies is that he always has to use egregious, gruesome wrongs to manipulate the audience, like he did in Braveheart and The Patriot. To me, it's just a cheap tactic that tries to replace evocative writing.
Eh a lot of people use gruesomeness to further a storyline. Its not always to manipulate the audience. Ever seen or read Titus Andronicus? And then there are slasher flicks.

I was really angry when I first read the red wedding scene. I threw the book across the room and didn't pick it up for over a month (and this was 1st printing hard cover too!). But I don't think its laziness -- I think its a valid way of eliciting the emotion it so obviously has. Sure you could be less gruesome, less provocative -- but then you wouldn't get the reactions you are getting. And this is such a horrible world -- these people live such tragic lives, even in the best of times. So in this case you really need something exponentially more horrible than the base, which is already so low, to bring that loss of all hope, to heighten the despair, that he's obviously heading for before he (hopefully) brings us all back up again.

After all this it would be a real doggy downer if the end was "winter came and everyone who didn't die in all the wars starved and died anyway"
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