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If Sean Bean got into a fight with himself, who would win? Game of Thrones‘ Ned Stark, or The Lord of the Rings’ Boromir? George R.R. Martin has the answer!

In a fun video interview with MTV, George R.R. Martin plays the “GRR vs JRR Game,” which basically means pitting various Game of Thrones characters against characters from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings saga (which is one of Martin’s favourite works, and has served as an inspiration for Game of Thrones in a lot of ways.

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Aragorn vs Jaime Lannister

First up is King Aragorn vs Ser Jaime – both fierce warriors, although one is the epitome of all things chivalrous and moral, and one is… not. Martin’s pick?

Jaime Lannister! Are you surprised? “Aragorn’s pretty tough though,” Martin allows, “but Jaime is, fully functioning, one of the great swordsmen in the history of Westeros.”

Smaug vs Balerion

Smaug, of course, is the dragon which Bilbo Baggins encounters in The Hobbit, while Balerion was the legendary dragon of Aegon the Conqueror, said to be the largest of all the Targaryen dragons. Martin’s answer might surprise you:

Smaug! Although Martin admits that Smaug has a vulnerable point which Balerion doesn’t, Smaug also has the brains, and would therefore be able to defeat the tougher dragon with his wits.

Saruman vs Melisandre

Saruman, the original White Wizard and the keeper of the Palantir, meets Melisandre, keeper of the Fire God and mother of creepy shadow assassins. Who walks away?

Saruman! “Saruman’s a real wizard. Melisandre’s just not, so we gotta give it to the White Wizard there,” Martin nods wistfully.

Wargs vs Direwolves

The cute little pups that the Stark kids found in the woods have grown up to be huge, terrifying beasts. But can they hold their own against the ugly big warthog-looking things that almost took down Aragorn in The Two Towers? Martin declares the winner…

Wargs! Martin claims that they are both larger and cleverer, being evil wolf hybrids and all. (If we could spoil future books we’d make a counter-argument here, but we won’t!)

Ice vs Glamdring

Say that it wasn’t about the wielders of the swords but the swords themselves. Would Ned Stark’s Valyrian steel sword beat the Foe-Hammer wielded by the elf king Turgon in the First Age and later passed on to Gandalf? The winner is:

Ice! There’s just no beating that Valyrian steel. Glamdring had no particular properties except for the Ork glow, which would be useless against a human foe.

Frodo vs Tyrion

Ah, the battle of the half-men (but big damn heroes, both of them). Frodo Baggins had the heart, the valour and the determination to finish his quest, while Tyrion has his wits, his survival instinct, and his Lannister gold. The winner should come as a surprise to no one:

Tyrion! “Beyond a doubt,” Martin laughs. “I’m not sure I’d even pick Frodo over like, Sam. Either Sam.” Oh snap, Uncle Ray!

Nazgul vs White Walkers

The Nazgul the fallen kings of men, slaves to the power of the One Ring. The White Walkers are the allegedly unkillable zombie warriors from beyond the Wall. This is one epic dodgeball game in the making, and Martin predicts that the winning team will be:

Nazgul! Because once you do find a way to kill the White Walkers, they’re cut down like grass (or… glass). Plus, the Nazgul’s mounts have wings.

Cave Troll vs Mag the Mighty

The Cave Troll was like Harry Potter‘s mountain troll’s badass older brother who lived in the Mines of Moria. Mag the Mighty is… also a troll. The winning troll is:

Cave Troll! Why? “Bigger.”

Gimli vs The Mountain

Gimli will pledge you his axe, Gregor the Mountain will slam your face into the fireplace if you borrow his toys. In a surprising move, Martin reveals himself as an idealistic optimist and chooses:

Gimli! And the world feels like a better place, somehow.

Ned Stark vs Boromir

Finally, the showdown we have all been waiting for. Imagine it: Bean on Bean, one fighting for Winterfell and the other for Gondor, one a stubborn, mountain of morality, the other holding all the best intentions but finding himself easily tempted. They’ll both end up dying gruesome, heart-wrenching deaths anyway of course, but for right now, the man left standing will be… (pause while we wait for Martin’s giggling to subside…)

Boromir! Martin reckons that the son of the Steward of Gondor is “probably more of a warrior,” while, “Ned was more of a lord, a ruler, a diplomat, a general. But in simple physical one-on-one combat, Boromir probably.”

What a fun collection of versus-es! We can only hope there will be more – like, say, Brienne vs Eowyn!

Do you agree with Martin’s choices?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gavin-Walsh/100000260589961 Gavin Walsh

    Gimli! respect :)

  • charlton

    George R R Martin actually brought up good points for each comparison.I agree.

    • Guest

      agreed, but this definitely made me like him a lot less….

      • Alex

        I’m not asking to pick a fight- i just dont know what is it he said that could possibly offend anyone

        I read LOTR (even the appendixes) and i dont see anything wrong with what he said.

        care to explain?

  • Amanda

    Fun interview! I was surprised how many he gave to the LotR characters haha. Though I beg to differ when you say that Jaime is not chivalrous and moral :P Perhaps not ALL the time, but in general, I’d say yes (though, admittedly, probably not as much as Aragorn :P).

    • http://hypable.com Selina

      Oh yeah he definitely is, but it doesn’t come out until the later books (and I try to write from the TV show perspective for the sake of being spoiler-free).

  • ladybirds

    Loved reading it. Thanks. :-)

  • TolkienJr

    There seems to be confusion – Nazgul are not the Fell Beasts, but the riders themselves. Who confused that, Martin himself or the writer of the article?

    • http://hypable.com Selina

      Well, I’d originally written it as the Nazgul being what you said, but because Martin said they had wings, I assumed that he was referring to the mounts so just went with that. But I should clarify!

      • Noneofyourbusiness

        Another point of accuracy: the White Walkers are not zombies. They animate their victims as zombies, they themselves are alive.

  • walterdontworkonshabbas

    It is getting really irritating but TV show only fans, can we stop referring to the series as a whole as “Game of Thrones” when referring to Martin’s books… noticed this in the first paragraph… It’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”.

    • http://hypable.com Selina

      We do it for a very simple reason though: SEO. People are more likely to Google “Game of Thrones” than “ASOIAF” or “A Song of Ice and Fire” when searching for news. Plus, there’s a cap on headline/intro word counts and Game of Thrones is shorter. :)

  • http://twitter.com/Tran_Nagwaian Tran Nguyen

    Hahah, that was fun. I agree with most of them… I dunno about Aragorn though. I’d back Aragorn most days of the week. It’d be a hell of a fight.

  • 7Starrchasers

    Ahem….ARAGON will win..hmph.

  • nymetswinws

    Aragorn could solo everything in GoT.

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