Phil Kosloski compared Lord of the Rings with Game of Thrones today. He determined that Game of Thrones is a product of our time and won’t have the lasting value of The Lord of the Rings:
Even though both authors come from Catholic backgrounds (though Martin now labels himself an agnostic), Tolkien chose to write an epic that united truth, beauty and goodness, while Martin decided to isolate each transcendental to the exclusion of the other. For example, beauty, when divorced from truth and goodness, can be objectified and such is the case with sexuality in the world of Westeros. Sex is a good and beautiful aspect of life, but outside of the truth it can tear apart instead of unite. In the end, it appears that Game of Thrones is more the product of the times we live in rather than a tale that might inspire people for generations.
Phil may be correct, but we think for different reasons. The fact of the matter is that Game of Thrones is a thriller, and once you know the outcome of a thriller it loses some of its luster. You don’t have the same surprise and awe from episodes like “Red Wedding” or “Battle of the Bastards” if you know who wins already. The Lord of the Rings, on the other hand, is an epic adventure that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike through multiple readings or viewings. What do you think?