George RR Martin Believes This Is Tolkien’s Biggest Mistake
Everyone knows how JRR Tolkien was the main inspiration for George RR Martin. If it wasn’t for Tolkien, we would never have gotten both Lord of The Rings and Game of Thrones. Both of these writers are giants in the epic fantasy universe. But, did you know that George RR Martin thinks that Tolkien made a big mistake in his writing?
George wanted Gandalf to stay dead!
In a public appearance at Guadalajara Mexico, George RR Martin was asked:
If you could ask any question to (JRR) Tolkien, what would that be?
In response, George gave a simple answer:
Why did you bring Gandalf back from the dead? He should have stayed dead.
How typical of George RR Martin to complain that one of our favorite characters survives? After all, he tortured us with that throughout Game of Thrones. But, he had some solid reasons for thinking that, as he further explained:
That was one of the great moments. I mean when people talk about my characters dying but I remember when I was 12 13 years old and reading Fellowship of the Ring and Gandalf goes down in that pit with the Balrog and you know, “Fly you fools!” and God the power of that scene and Gandalf was dead! He was like, the daddy.
George RR Martin further added how it was a very powerful thing to do. Moreover, it would have made the Hobbits’ struggle all the more iconic, as he goes on to say:
He was the one who knew everything, he was a smart guy and now the kids were on their own and how were they going to fair? It was such a tremendous, gutsy, powerful thing to do. But then he brought him back. Had a different cloak on, white instead of grey, okay. But I would have left him dead.
So, does George RR Martin have a point?
In a way, perhaps. The thing is, JRR Tolkien had a very different writing perspective from George. Tolkien was more of an idealist in his writing, with good and bad clearly defined. Plus, he was more invested in storytelling, dialogues, and the grandeur of the marvelous world he created. And it reflects in Lord of the Rings. Whereas, George RR Martin wrote Game of Thrones with a Machiavellian perspective. Right and wrong were far from being black and white, and every character was tainted with grey.
That said, George still has a point. If Gandalf had stayed dead, it would have made the epic journey of Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins all the more spectacular. Gandalf’s sacrifice would have had more value to it. But, it wasn’t to be. Regardless, Lord of the Rings still stands out as the most popular works in epic fantasy, and so does A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones. Both of them give a different perspective on life, and we are extremely thankful for George RR Martin and JRR Tolkien.