George R.R. Martin Questions Politics in Tolkien’s Work


George R.R. Martin, acclaimed author of the ‘Game of Thrones’ series, has a profound respect for his fellow fantasy literature titan, J.R.R. Tolkien, the mastermind behind ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ However, admiration does not preclude Martin from leveling thoughtful critique at Tolkien’s epic saga—a saga loved for generations, yet one Martin feels could delve deeper into the political complexities of its world.

While Tolkien’s tales of Middle-earth are steeped in rich narratives and intricate world-building, Martin zeroes in on the lack of political detail that marks Aragorn’s reign. “Sure, Aragorn ascends the throne and is said to be a just ruler for a century,” Martin remarks, “but how exactly did he govern? What kind of tax system did he implement?” Martin is curious about the nitty-gritty of Aragorn’s policies on matters like maintaining an army, dealing with natural disasters, and the fate of the orcs post-Sauron. “Did Aragorn pursue a draconian approach, wiping out even the orc younglings?” he wonders.

Martin’s scrutiny doesn’t stop there. He also ponders the conspicuous absence of sex in the story. While Tolkien’s narrative has enchanted readers for decades, Martin feels it skips over a fundamental aspect of life: sex. “Tolkien was a legend, and he crafted a timeless story,” concedes Martin. “But you have to question where all the hobbits came from because it’s hard to picture hobbits in intimate moments, right?”

Sex, according to Martin, is a driving force in human behavior; it inspires both valiant deeds and foolish actions. To omit it is to paint an incomplete picture of any world, including those inhabited by hobbits, elves, and men.

Martin’s candid thoughts and criticisms showcase his commitment to creating rich, multifaceted fantasy worlds, and they contribute to his reputation as a brilliant, if outspoken, figure in the genre. His observations invite readers to explore the multifaceted depth of storytelling and the elements that make imaginary worlds relatable and resonant. Whether discussing governance in fantasy realms or the complications of orc society, Martin encourages a more nuanced look at the great works that shape our cultural landscapes. And his thoughts on the unsung details of daily life in Middle-earth offer a reminder of the complexities that underpin even the most extraordinary of fictional creations.

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