By Richard Swanson – [email protected]

Of all the controversial topics that have come out of the first two months of 2017, perhaps the most egregious of them all is hearing that The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) is better than Game of Thrones (GoT). Jon Snow hold me back; I am about to get all Red Wedding up in here!

Before I begin I must preface by saying that I love The Lord of the Rings, and that The Record making us partake in this divisive debate for their own entertainment is a move only Sauron and Ramsey Bolton’s love child could create. Anyway, much like Sir Gregor Clegane, I am going to crush this fight (no pun intended…you book and show nerds know what I’m talking about).

Given the 300 word limit I will base my argument on perhaps the greatest strength that GoT has and that is the dense plot. LOTR can be summed up in seven words; a hobbit must destroy an evil ring. GoT’s plot on the other hand tells the story of a country in the midst of civil war and portrays this struggle through the eyes of a core group of characters. This story which is told with no clear protagonist and no end goal apparent in sight, adding the fact that none of these characters are free from harm makes for an intense and unpredictable experience.

At the end of the day where GoT succeeds, LOTR falters in complexity. While LOTR has some inspiring, heart pacing and tear jerking moments, the simplicity of the overall story is completely black and white. GoT has something for everyone; epic battles, intense character moments, political intrigue and a revolving door of unexpected twists and turns meant to keep readers/viewers alike on constant pins and needles. Clearly in this limited format it is impossible to get a full argument out there, but these are just some of my thoughts. Valar Morghulis (I realize this isn’t the best ending, but it looks and sounds cool).

This is the opinion of Richard Swanson, SJU sophomore

By Zach Brown – [email protected]

The greatest fantasy epic ever: this title could only belong to Lord of the Rings. These movies encapsulate one of the finest tales of good vs. evil ever told. They contain groundbreaking visual effects, incredible action sequences, awe-inspiring landscape shots, but above all else, they contain countless unforgettable character moments. The films do a great job at creating rich and believable characters. Almost all the best moments in LOTR come from the characters, such as Gandalf yelling “You shall not pass!” to Frodo refusing to throw the ring into Mount Doom, to Sam literally being the best friend in cinema history and carrying Frodo up the side of a mountain; “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!”

Every one of the characters in the films undergo natural and believable arcs as they endure the hardships of vanquishing evil. LOTR creates a world that feels real and lived in; one that has a rich history that helps to set the stage for an epic story to take place.

Games of Thrones is an entertaining TV show, there’s no doubt about that. The show, however, lacks a central story that can sometimes leave it wandering without direction. Where LOTR elevates the source material and manages to take the best parts of the books to create a new and refreshing experience in the films, I challenge anyone to say that GoT is a better TV show than book series. The show fails to capture so many of the subtle intricacies that are in the books, which makes the show a much more watered-down version of superior source material. On the other hand, LOTR takes dense source material and manages to not only do it justice, but in fact surpasses it to create a grand thematic masterpiece.

If we are being honest, there would be no GoT without the success of LOTR. LOTR is, and always will be, the one fantasy epic to rule them all.

This is the opinion of Zach Brown, SJU junior