In a certain sense, the comparison between LOTR and GOT is slightly unfair, as the former is a traditional tale of Good vs. Evil while its more recent counterpart is a politicised soap opera that examines personal struggles and which set out to subvert the traditional tropes commonly found in high fantasy. That being said, stan wars are always fun, especially on ONTD, so let's have at it!
1. Aragorn vs Jon Snow
Both these characters have been compared time and time again: both are the rightful heirs to the throne, both are considered to be moral and just characters among a world of corrupt men, and both have complicated love lives (Jon's perhaps slightly more so). Both hide from their royal originals under humble guises (Aragorn is a Ranger, Jon joins the Night's Watch).
However, the main difference between them is that Aragorn was more willing to shoulder the responsibility of the Throne for the Greater Good, while Jon, thanks to D&D's considerable talent for dialogue, pretty much spent Season 8 uttering "I dun wun et" and "She's mah queen." To be fair, the Throne on GOT was a symbol of corruption and greed, and Jon was just Not Like Those Other Monarchs.
But, it has to be said, Aragorn just had way cooler speeches.
Where does your allegiance lie, ONTD?
2. Eowyn vs Arya
Quite a few parallels can be drawn between Arya and Eowyn - both rejected the norms of their patriarchal society in which they were raised, both wanted to be warriors and fight alongside their male compatriots, and both successfully slew a supernatural Big Bad while subverting the expectations of both the characters in the show and the audience at home.
Having said that, after Eowyn fought in the war, she fell in love with and married Faramir and raised a family, thus returning to a traditional role that many female characters share in fantasy. (This is no criticism, Faramir is fucking hot and is basically the perfect man). Arya, however, rejected Gendry's proposal of marriage, choosing a life of adventure by setting sail as an explorer at the end of the series.
3. Samwise Gamgee vs Samwell Tarly
What's a hero without his BFF? As best friends of Frodo Baggins and Jon Snow respectively, what both Samwise and Samwell lacked in special destiny or heroic duty they made up for in patience, understanding and loyalty. Despite their lack of belief in themselves as warriors, they pull off pretty badass feats when least expected - one kills a White Walker, while the other kills a giant, man-eating spider, sees through Gollum's bullshit over and over, literally carries Mr. Frodo part of the way to Mount Doom, cooks a mean rabbit stew, makes amazing emotional speeches....
Ahem. You get it.
4. Faramir vs Tyrion
OK, hear me out on this one. While these two characters may not appear to have much in common, upon further examination, they actually do have quite a few similarities. The most obvious one being family: both have an unloving father who is heavily critical of them and favours their older brother. However, both are wiser and more intelligent than their siblings in question (though Tyrion kinda slipped a bit in the last season... ahem) and try to hold true to their honour despite their dad's disapproval of them. They are both also very similar in personality to the authors who created them.
5. Pippin vs Pod
Not going to go into too much depth here. Many people spotted similarities between the scenes of Pod singing Jenny's Song and Pippin singing The Edge of Night, and both scenes took place within similar points of the story as well. Now it is up to you, ONTD, to decide which one is the the superior bop.
6. Boromir vs Ned Stark
Oh hai, Sean Bean. I don't really need to go into why these two characters are compared so often. However, Boromir can be said to have darker streak to his personality than Ned, who may JUST have refused the ring and therefore survived the story of LOTR.
As a side note, Boromir has also been compared to Daenerys - both characters begin with noble intentions at heart yet are slowly corrupted by something they believe belongs to them (the Iron Throne and the One Ring).
7. Ramin Djawadi vs Howard Shore
This one's tough. The music of both GOT and LOTR is, IMO, stunning. From GOT's iconic opening to Howard Shire's sweeping scores and motifs for different characters and settings within Middle Earth, Djawadi and Shore had us sobbing into our wine and ice-cream as our favourite characters raced towards their death
8. GRRM vs Tolkien
(Image found from this subreddit)
It's fair to say that when Game of Thrones first came out in 2011, many viewers were drawn to it out of nostalgia for LOTR, the immensely popular and beloved fantasy series that they grew up with during their youth. However, it quickly became apparent that Westeros was nothing like Middle Earth. While Tolkien preferred to draw upon themes of hope, optimism, friendship and love winning over evil, greed, corruption and darkness, GRRM's universe was grittier, more violent and much more pessimistic with regards to human nature.
GRRM was both inspired by and critical of Tolkien, with quotes such as:
This was maybe my answer to Tolkien, whom, as much as I admire him, I do quibble with. Lord of the Rings had a very medieval philosophy: that if the king was a good man, the land would prosper. We look at real history and it’s not that simple. Tolkien can say that Aragorn became king and reigned for a hundred years, and he was wise and good. But Tolkien doesn’t ask the question: What was Aragorn’s tax policy? Did he maintain a standing army? What did he do in times of flood and famine? And what about all these orcs? By the end of the war, Sauron is gone but all of the orcs aren’t gone – they’re in the mountains. Did Aragorn pursue a policy of systematic genocide and kill them? Even the little baby orcs, in their little orc cradles?
(Quote source: Rolling Stone)
Readers and fans have also praised GRRM for giving female characters much more depth and importance within his universe, whereas LOTR has often been criticised for being basically a sausagefest.
That being said... Tolkien at least finished his f***king books.
Feel free to point out anything other parallels or similarities I may have missed in the comments.