Guillermo del Toro, who was initially due to direct the The Hobbit films before stepping aside in 2010, has weighed in on a popular fan debate comparing Tolkien (and Jackson’s films) with George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire (and the HBO TV show Game of Thrones).
Del Toro made the following remarks during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session after being prompted to decide between The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones:
I think that I have rarely been as transported in a movie theater as I was when I saw the Fellowship of the Ring unfold on the screen. I consider Peter Jackson one of the most gifted directors ever to tackle the fantasy genre. I believe that Game of Thrones, however, operates at a different level within arguably, the same genre. Game of Thrones has a social and sexual complexity that makes it a very different cutting-edge post-Vietnam Era fantasy story that deals with not only an impending enemy, or the purity of evil, but the relative evil that lurks within the hearts of all mankind. Therefore, tonally, I think that the works of Tolkien provides a completely different experience to Game of Thrones, but they are both masterworks of world creation.