Is GRRM the American Tolkein

Discussion in 'A Song of Ice and Fire' started by CB Swords, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. CB Swords

    CB Swords Forum Administrator

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    Is GRRM The American Tolkein? People say that a lot, personally I think no.

    Tolkein wrote to create a mythology for Britain and his work follows normal mythological archetypes of good & evil, right & wrong, black & white. Frodo's journey is a typical heroes journey, not unlike the Odyssey.

    GRRM has very few black & white characters in his books, rather they're all beautiful shades of gray. In this we we call all more easily relate to his characters because they are more likely to be like us.

    GRRM may be judged as kindly by history as Tolkein has been. The quality of his writing is definitely on the same level, but otherwise their worlds and their characters are nothing alike.
     
  2. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    Nice topic, CB! :)

    I'm inclined to agree with you on this. I think the GRRM/Tolkien comparison is mainly because they're both groundbreaking fantasy authors. In terms of style, they're entirely different - Martin's characters are considerably more complex and morally confused while Tolkien's strength is that of creating an entire mythology. I love LOTR but characterisation isn't its strongest point, it's the incredible complexity and originality of the world Tolkien created, complete with its languages and mythology. In contrast, GRRM is all about the characters - sure he's made an impressive world in Westeros but it's no more impressive than various other worlds created by other authors. It's the moral complexity and richness of the characters that hooks readers. They're both excellent fantasy authors and, IMO, that's where the comparison comes from rather than from any real similiarities between them.
     
  3. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    Don't know how I missed this thread . . . I have to agree that the two authors and their styles are not similar. I enjoyed LotR and the other Tolkien books I've read, but they are definitely more "black and white" the Martin's work. You pretty much always know who the bad guy is, and that he is evil.

    And, like Chris said, Martin has so many shades of gray that we can never get things ordered in our minds the way we do with JRRT's work.
     
  4. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Yeah, they aren't very similair at all, but GRRM has said that he has been inspired by tolkien. Not that this changes anything.
     
  5. Arianne

    Arianne New Member

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    They aren+t very similar, I agree.

    Actually, in my opinion, besides they both wrote fantasy, they aren't similar at all...


    I like Martin better than Tolkien...
    Even though i heard Martin doesn't like to hear that because he admires Tolkien very much.


    (sorry for my english, again...)
     
  6. Unraveller

    Unraveller <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    First of all, since Jordan I've learned to reserve judgement until they've actually finished their masterpiece, they could always wreck it in the next book... ;) If the US Tolkien crown was going to anyone it would've been him, until book 7.

    I don't see how anyone can compare Martin and Tolkien. Tolkien's greatest achievement was not crafting that beautiful, meticulous world, nor writing those addictive, emotional and stirring tales. It was doing all that against a background of fairy-tales, legends and mythology while still making it accessible to his readers. The times are different. Martin is writing for generations who have grown up with LotR, who have seen the movies, read Harry Potter and have a much wider base to draw from. Not denigrating his work at all, just saying that they require totally different sets of skills.
     
  7. Maester Joergensen

    Maester Joergensen New Member

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    This is a stupid discussion.
    George is George.
    Not the American version of someone else.
     
  8. Pale Ale

    Pale Ale Music House Member

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    I have never heard comparisons between the two. But seriously comparing them would be foolish for reasons already given. I prefer Martins series so far, that being said I consider the fellowship to be my favorite book of all time, but the other two weren't as good but still amazingly good.
     
  9. Thy Fearful Symmetry

    Thy Fearful Symmetry New Member

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    I always think of Tad Williams as the American Tolkien. Martin, I feel, writes a different kind of fantasy which puts him outside the realm of Tolkienesque world-building. I think his style is too different to be compared with JRR, whereas Williams' is similar in many ways (which is not surprising considering he wrote Memory, Sorrow and Thorn as a riposte to The Lord of the Rings.) Still, there's room for everyone in this great big genre.:)
     
  10. Ender-Zero

    Ender-Zero Ruff Mercenary

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    Tolkein could finish a series.
     
  11. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    I just read this in Martin's voice :D which is good because he has an awesome voice, but still random.


    Ender- that was a low blow
     
  12. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Tbh the one and only post I can agree wholeheartedly with in this entire thread is Unraveller's.
     
  13. TheYoungWolf

    TheYoungWolf New Member

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    Of course grrm isnt tolkien...der. I do understand the attempt to compare and contrast the two though. And if the question is will grrm be as big an icon of american literature as tolkien is to britain...only time will tell, and yeah he does have to actually finish the series. Tolkien is considered the father of fantasy right? grrm hasnt fathered his own genre yet, and again he has not even completed his series...

    My bottom line, Tolkien is a literary icon. George Martin hasn't finished a series.

    As shitty as it is to say who really believes that grrm has two more books left in him, its going on 8 years since his last book, which means at this rate he may need close to 20 more years to finish the series (if you have seen recent pics of him this seems like a stretch), and if you follow his "not a blog" you know that writing is not number one on his priority list anymore...it actually seems to be number three after conventions and promoting jack vance products. This series my never see an ending...so we could be arguing the potential greatness of a man who never finished a series. The argument for jordan could be made here but he wrote 13 books? The argument quality as opposed to quantity...i dont know, I may just be a bitter asofai fan but i think he needs to finish his series before he gets any such recognition.
     
  14. Gabriel Syme

    Gabriel Syme New Member

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    I enjoy Martin, but to compare him to Tolkien is a travesty. Tolkien forged, singlehandedly, a genre. Martin has not. Tolkien created a blueprint from which subsequent authors have drawn inspiration, Martin has not. Martin is a decent writer, but he lays no new paths through literature. He is, and remains, a journeyman. Many authors surpass him in terms of narrative skill and imaginative flair, and therefore he can only ever be considered a footnote in the annals of fantasy fiction.
     
  15. Jorick

    Jorick Well-Known Member

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    You've got your math wrong here. October 2005 (UK release date of A Feast for Crows) to now is just under 4 years. Not 8. Good try though.

    But anyway, comparing GRRM to Tolkien is silly. They've got utterly different styles, worlds, and characters. Also, Tolkien has the whole fantastic legacy thing while GRRM is still in the midst of making his series. They're just too different to compare.
     
  16. SuperToad

    SuperToad New Member

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    whos grrm?
     
  17. TheYoungWolf

    TheYoungWolf New Member

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    Thanks for the correction but the point remains the same. And if you really wanted to be a stickler you could say that although the book was published in 2005 it was written well before that. To my point, I don't think hes got the longevity to finish out the series at the rate hes going.
     
  18. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    George RR Martin. This entire section is dedicated to him.
     
  19. The Chaos Engine

    The Chaos Engine Grumpy Old Git

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    As a distinct non-fan of Martin, I'd love to think ST's post was a satiric barb. Call me an optimist.:D
     
  20. Thy Fearful Symmetry

    Thy Fearful Symmetry New Member

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    lol! All the Martin fanboys and fangirls are crying now. I quite enjoy his books, but to compare him to Tolkien is to compare a fish to a trombone: utterly senseless.