In what ways do you think Tolkein is better than Martin, and in what ways is Martin better than Tolkein, iyo?
It's spelled Tolkien. Not "Tolkein", Tolkien.
Some ways I believe Tolkien was better than Martin:
- A more complete cosmology, a grander scheme of things -- Tolkien universe literally begins from the beginning of the creation by God (Eru Iluvatar) and his angels (the Valar and Maiar); and has prophecies leading all the way to the final day (and Arda Healed).
- On the whole more memorable *single* moments of amazing beauty and wonder. Martin's birth of the dragons in Drogo's pyre is the only moment seen so far which I believe can compare with two dozen moments by Tolkien throughout his books.
- Better focused storylines (with some exceptions, like the first half of Fellowship of the Ring which meandered)
- More beautiful usage of language, yes.
Some ways I believe Martin is better than Tolkien:
- Much more surprising and intriguing plots. More gutsy in killing off protagonists and taking the storyline in unanticipated directions.
- Gives us a much better sense of a society's functioning at all its levels (from king down to peasant) than you'll get for most of Tolkien's societies.
- Much more intelligent antagonists.
- His characters seem more multi-layered and more diverse. His female characters aren't defined primarily by their beauty (as e.g. Luthien and Arwen were).