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Posted by the_wspanialy (4075 posts) 5 months, 4 days ago

Poll: Which universe is better crafted: Lord of the Rings or The Song of Ice and Fire? (61 votes)

LotR 79%
ASoIaF 18%
Equaly well crafted 10%

Lord of the Rings

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A Song of Ice and Fire

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#2 Edited by SocaJunkie (8616 posts) - - Show Bio

Eh, I've watched the LOTR films only but watched GoT and am about a quarter way through A Dance with Dragons and I'd go with Martin's work. The realistic touch adds a depth of closeness to our expectations, the characters are mostly written as complex people, not archetypes further enriching the world. Additionally I personally find the Free Cities inherent politics intriguing, as far as a more mystical grab goes: Sothoryos is crazy mysterious, apes as big as King Kong, Wyverns, a specific race who live there etc.

Personally too, I love how Westeros' geography and human way of life resembles medieval England but the size of the continent is similar to South America.

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#3 Edited by deactivated-5c830d4e319e6 (4952 posts) - - Show Bio

@socajunkie:

I couldn’t have said it better .. And I completely agree.

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#4 Edited by Necromancer76 (3783 posts) - - Show Bio

If you're referring to which has better world-building, then it's LOTR without a doubt. This is coming from someone whose favorite show is GoT. I think GoT/aSoIaF has better characters, more complex plot lines, and much more intense emotional feel, but LOTR has so many different places and beings throughout not just Middle-Earth but all of Arda. You can see that in all of his random papers; he had so many stories to tell, he just couldn't connect them all together in his lifespan.

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#5 Posted by MetalJimmor (6539 posts) - - Show Bio

Middle Earth has the superior mythical and magical elements. The world feels richer for all its fairy tale talking animals and god-like beings creating whole races in their image.

Westeros has a better history of world powers and political intrigue. I love learning about the long histories of every individual noble house and the customs of the far away lands across the sea.

But then that is the point. Middle Earth was designed from the ground up to be a land where magic and mundane aren't easily distinguished and where the gods take an active role in the world. Westeros was designed as a world that forgot its magic entirely and is only now rediscovering it as a background story to the political intrigue of the realm.

Basically one author wanted to write a story about great heroes fighting evil gods and how even the humblest of individuals can do great things, while the other wanted to write a story about great houses and the political instability of a country when a conspiracy and the pettiness of its rulers start to choke the life from it.

You can't really say one is better than the other. It just comes down to what sort of story captivates you more.

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#6 Posted by Cregan_Stark (5207 posts) - - Show Bio

I like both but I prefer ASOIAF. GRRM actually took a lot of elements and characters from LotR

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#7 Edited by foxerdes (10250 posts) - - Show Bio

LotR but Martin did a damn fine work.

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#8 Posted by Dawn_of_Ages (2527 posts) - - Show Bio

Both are incredibly entertaining and immersive, though I'd say LotR edges it out.

If you're referring to which has better world-building, then it's LOTR without a doubt. This is coming from someone whose favorite show is GoT. I think GoT/aSoIaF has better characters, more complex plot lines, and much more intense emotional feel, but LOTR has so many different places and beings throughout not just Middle-Earth but all of Arda. You can see that in all of his random papers; he had so many stories to tell, he just couldn't connect them all together in his lifespan.

👍Tbh. LotR takes it in terms of world-building but I'd place ASOIAF over it in terms of character building.

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#9 Posted by BullPR (5960 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with the majority here: LoTR for the mythology, GoT for the character building

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#10 Posted by Ready_4_Madness (16500 posts) - - Show Bio

GOT has the best world building imo

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#11 Posted by Chimeroid (9266 posts) - - Show Bio

All jokes aside, anyone who thinks that ASOIAF is in any way realistic when it comes to the way countries operated in the middle ages should pick up a book.

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#12 Edited by rogueshadow (29360 posts) - - Show Bio

Tolkien is certainly superior when it comes to the creation and documentation of a cohesive and detailed world across thousands of years that is perfectly interwoven with a deep and consistent cosmology. The world-building was Tolkien's foremost concern, he spent his life cultivating it, the stories bloomed from that rather than vice-versa.

Martin writes richer characters, which is hardly a knock against JRRT, whose characters are extremely underrated, but GRRM writes arguably the most complex characters in fantasy, and it is the characters that are ultimately the foremost concern for Martin. And of course, his multi-character POV style certainly gives him an enormous advantage over Tolkien in that regard. Similarly his narratives are amongst the most sweeping and intricately detailed in fantasy, for better or worse. Whether he can manage this weight and guide them into a satisfying conclusion remains to be seen.

On that note it's really worth remembering that there are two books left in ASOIAF. The series could forever be remembered as a masterpiece of fantasy, a horrific farce or simply a tragically unfinished disaster, it's difficult to compare these two. Hopefully Martin lives to be 102 and continues to write for a long time.

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#13 Posted by Reactor (4385 posts) - - Show Bio

The ASOIAF universe is actually pretty shallow, when you compare it to others. It's the characters that make it all interesting.

By contrast, the LOTR universe is incredible, imo. It's not just the conflicts and development of Middle-Earth, it's the entire cosmology. It's all fascinating

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#14 Posted by Kilius (1624 posts) - - Show Bio

LOTR but once again I prefer ASOIAF as a story.

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#15 Posted by FaradaySloth (10001 posts) - - Show Bio

@kilius said:

LOTR but once again I prefer ASOIAF as a story.

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#16 Posted by SocaJunkie (8616 posts) - - Show Bio
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#17 Posted by Helloman (30115 posts) - - Show Bio

LOTR

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#18 Posted by rogueshadow (29360 posts) - - Show Bio

@reactor said:

The ASOIAF universe is actually pretty shallow, when you compare it to others. It's the characters that make it all interesting.

By contrast, the LOTR universe is incredible, imo. It's not just the conflicts and development of Middle-Earth, it's the entire cosmology. It's all fascinating

This feels unfair, Martin has just produced a 700 page book documenting the first century and a half of Targaryen rule and it's just part I. To call his world shallow is a huge disservice. True the cosmology is a lot less developed, but this is entirely by design, much as the internal politics of Middle-Earth are in large part omitted by Tolkien. Magic and the supernatural are primal, elemental forces humans can scarcely control in ASOIAF, there isn't a divine hierarchy or a clear external and guiding moral force, there isn't really an overarching cosmology.

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#19 Posted by just_sayin (3462 posts) - - Show Bio

Tolkien's LOTR.

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#20 Posted by FireStarLord73194 (5283 posts) - - Show Bio

Stormlight archive stomps both

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#21 Posted by ParagonNate (4637 posts) - - Show Bio

LotR, not a contest

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#22 Posted by Six-Deuce (1269 posts) - - Show Bio

GRRM receives partial credit because he will die before he finishes. Asoiaf will end ala Wheel of Time, perhaps by the same substitute author. As far as quality of work, they are both very skillful. Though Tolkien is getting lowballed a little here on the complexity of his characters....the book version of Sam wise gamgee alone rivals GRRM characters in layered motivations and conflict.

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#23 Posted by Nucleon (3452 posts) - - Show Bio

All jokes aside, anyone who thinks that ASOIAF is in any way realistic when it comes to the way countries operated in the middle ages should pick up a book.

Yes, and that book should be Maurice Druon's "Les Rois Maudits", which despict the fall of the Capetian line, which includes Isabella of France, the main canvas for Cersi Lannister (just like Tywin Lannister was in fact Phillipe IV of France). Martin was also very influenced by the later "War of the Roses". Martin's actually not that far off from history, at least some parts of his opus are.

Tolkien's base is primarly linguistic; He then espoused the Wagnerian view as a setting for the languages he created.

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#24 Posted by deactivated-5c60ecae36801 (745 posts) - - Show Bio

Both good hard to pick who's better.

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#25 Posted by GeorgeWBush (12164 posts) - - Show Bio

LOTR and it’s not close at all

And I Love GOT

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#26 Posted by GateOfBabylon (4357 posts) - - Show Bio

LOTR is better as a whole other universe where everything is truly fantasy. You've got many different races, gods, angels, demons, all with their backstories and origins. New languages, rules, magic, combat, etc. No other universe comes close in terms of building a whole other universe.

ASOIAF is better as a more realistic and detailed and historically accurate world, sort of like an alternate universe of Europe with a touch of fantasy. It builds more on characters rather than the world and its immersion.

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#27 Posted by InvadedTBD (1592 posts) - - Show Bio

Asoiaf never really got into LOTR, I've seen them but can't really enjoy them. I don't know why.

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#28 Posted by SaltySultan (261 posts) - - Show Bio

The one with an entire language made specifically for it.

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#29 Posted by JohnCena69swag (3956 posts) - - Show Bio

LOTR is obviously far more creative and out there, but imo its a bit too cartoony at times. Overall I think ASOIAF is the more well put together world. Not to take anything away from Tolkien. He did create a huge world with a lot of cool fantasy elements. However, GRRM worked with a far more grounded setting and i think the more mature tone also makes the world "feel" a bit more real. Having all the big fantasy elements is a huge advantage to Tolkien imo, but even so i think ASOIAF is overall the more believable world.

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#30 Posted by Ondskapt666 (1408 posts) - - Show Bio

Lord of the Rings

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#31 Posted by FullMetalEmprah (4735 posts) - - Show Bio

LotR and it's not close at all. Then again I couldn't really get into ASOIAF despite like, two attempts, so maybe I'm a little biased.