For thousands of years, The Question has confounded the philosophers and intellectuals. People have laid awake for night after night trying to get the answer to this.
This was the 13th labour of Hercules, something which he couldn’t do and thus went crazy.
Unable to get the answer, Socrates became depressed and addicted to hemlock.
Archimedes thought he had found the answer while bathing and that’s why he ran around Syracuse muy naked shouting Eureka.
Newton thought he found the answer while chomping some apples.
It is widely believed that Leonardo Da Vinci knew the answer and that’s why Mona Lisa is smiling; and that Vincent Van Gogh disagreed with the answer so much that he cut off his own ear as a mark of protest.
And no its not about that meaning of life question. Douglas Adams has already given the answer to that – 42.
The eternal question is which is better – Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter? Or strictly speaking Potterverse (7 book) vs Middle Earth (Hobbit, LOTR, Silmarillion, Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Children of Hurin etc)
I recently saw a post in 9gag comparing Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter. It was comparing the characters and it ended up with the conclusion that it was a draw.
As usual, it made me angry.
First of all, I have read them all and I like Potterverse, really like it. But comparing it to LOTR – possibly the greatest story ever – is just plain blasphemy.
And then there are people like Nilotpal Basu aka The Guddudow who claim that the Twilight series is as good if not better.
The story’s male protagonist is a pedophile who sparkles.
And then there is the female protagonist
This story is frankly disturbing and evil and teaches a lot of bad and unpardonable things. All kids who watched these should be counselled regarding the rights and wrongs and also about suicide -basically psychological therapy.
Even Thor agrees.
So the Guddudow’s opinion can be safely ignored and the filth can be disqualified.
Thus we come to the comparison between the actual good stuff – Potterverse vs Middle Earth.
As we already know, the movie can’t be compared as one series is vastly superior to another by all accounts and parameters.
Then there is the basic premise of the story
So you can’t compare the basic story/plot either.
But the characters, oh yes, the characters can be compared.
As usual, I have issues with this.
Lets look at each objectively shall we?
1. Dumbledore vs Gandalf
Dumbledore is a hundred odd year old wizard. He is widely regarded as the most powerful wizard ever. However, as the stories tell us, a bunch of politicians shooed him away – that’s right people – politicians.
Dumbledore dies due to a horcrux (and we must remember that Neville Longbottom destroys another horcrux) and at the hands of an oily emo guy permanently in devdas mode(lovelorn Romeoesque).
His opponent is Gandalf.
In Valinor (basically heaven), Gandalf was known as Olórin. As per the “Valaquenta” in The Silmarillion, he was one of the Maiar of Valinor; and was said to be the wisest of the Maiar.
He lived in the gardens of Irmo under the tutelage of Nienna, the patron of mercy. When the Valar decided to send the order of the Wizards to Middle-earth in order to counsel and assist all those who opposed Sauron, Olórin was proposed by Manwë.
As one of the Maiar, Gandalf was not a mortal Man but an angelic being who had taken human form. As one of those spirits, Olórin was in service to the Creator (Eru Ilúvatar) and the Creator’s ‘Secret Fire’.
Along with the other Maiar who entered into the world as the five Wizards, he took on the specific form of an aged old man as a sign of his humility. The role of the wizards was to advise and counsel but never to attempt to match Sauron’s strength with his own, and hopefully the kings and lords of Middle-earth would be more receptive to the advice of a humble old man than a more glorious form giving them direct commands.
Gandalf the Grey was the last of the Istari landing in Mithlond. He seemed the oldest and least in stature of them, but Círdan the Shipwright felt that he had the highest inner greatness on their first meeting in the Havens, and gave him Narya, the Ring of Fire. Saruman later learned of the gift and resented it.
Gandalf hid the ring well, and it was not widely known until he left with the other ring-bearers at the end of the Third Age that he was the holder of the third of the Elven-rings. Remember
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
The 3 rings are Narya (having the power to inspire others to resist tyranny, domination, and despair; in other words, evoking hope in others around the wielder), as well as giving resistance to the weariness of time), Nenya (gave preservation, protection, and possibly concealment from evil) and Vilya (the mightiest of the three, possible with the power to heal and to preserve).
Lady Galadriel had Nenya, Lord Elrond had Vilya and Gandalf had Narya.
So Galdalf had one of the most powerful rings in the universe, and manged to conceal it from Sauron, the owner of the One Ring.
Dumbledore wore a ring which poisoned him to death.
Dumbledore was ultimately killed by a lovesick Alan Rickman.
Galdalf went into a mortal battle with a freaking Balrog (“scourges of fire, … demons of terror.”)
and came out of the battle, more powerful. There is nothing else that needs to be said.
In conclusion, Gandalf wins.
2. Potter vs Frodo.
So by default Potter wins.
3. Ron vs Samwise.
Next we come to the main sidekicks.
Samwise’s greatest achievement – Saving the world; plus being the only mortal ringbearer whom the ring could not influence or corrupt. On the other hand, Ron’s greatest achievement was seducing Emma Watson.
Ron became a wimp everytime he saw a spider; Samwise fought the biggest, baddest spider out there and won.
Ran ran away crying fantasizing about his best friend forking his girlfriend. Sam invaded Cirith Ungol all on his own to rescue his best friend.
Samwise was just one of two mortals to voluntarily give up the ring (Bilbo being the other). Credit where its due, Ron did destroy a horcrux and could play chess quite well.
Thus,as we can see ,there are good points for both but bad points for Ron. That way Sam wins it; plus even if we look at the greatest achievements, it comes down to Seducing Emma Watson against Saving the World.
Samwise the Brave wins it.
4. The Battle of the Beards
Both Gimli son of Gloin and Rubius Hagrid are friendly, lovable, loyal, fearless companions with awesome beards. As such it is impossible to distinguish between them.
We shall call it a draw.
5. Sauron vs Lord Voldemort
One is an entity as old as time, the other is a wizard. One has lived through 3 ages, the other hasn’t even lived through a 100 years.
Upon being defeated one became a giant all seeing eye, virtually unbeatable; the other went to live on a man’s head.
One is basically the devil’s (in this case Morgoth) favorite and most powerful demon, a fallen angel like creature; someone who killed and destroyed millions, a semi immortal who has spent battling forces for 3 ages;
The other lost to Neville Longbottom and could not even kill a wee baby.
Just read this
There can be only one – Sauron
6. Hermoine Granger vs Lady Arwen
Lady Arwen rescued Frodo and then spent the entire time pining away for love.
Hermoine Granger, on the other hand, stood by the protagonist through hell, endured numerous torture, saw the love of her life behave like a dumbass, had to abandon her parents for their safety (poignant as fuck…pardon my French) and fought and won the final battle.
The clear winner – Hermoine Granger
7. Bellatrix Lestrange vs The Witch King of Angmar
Both are batshit insane and likes black. Both like torturing people. Both are witches. Both were ultimately defeated by strong women protecting their loved ones.
However, while one rode a broomstick, the other was the Lord of the goddamn Nazgul….plus his house is the goddamn Minas Morgul.
Because of that, The Witch King wins.
8. Remus Lupin and Sirius Black vs Aragon and Legolas
First of all, Legolas the character has been completely and totally ruined by one of the suckiest actors of our times – Orlando Bloom. So, if you have not read the books and only go by the movies, you have to disqualify him for his inherent suckiness.
Now that being said, what binds all 4 are their bonds of trust and fellowship and friendship and fearlessness.
And their love for the little guys – though that sounds positively pedophilic and thus will be ignored.
So we need to look at the differences between them.
Sirius Black and Legolas both started off as racists, but underwent change. Aragorn and Lupin were great from the get go.
Black and Legolas were both arrogant sods with a devil may care attitude, whereas Lupin and Aragorn were always humble.
Aragorn turned himself into a king; Lupin could turn into a werewolf; Black into a dog. Legolas, on the other hand, remained a jackass.
Legolas was a great warrior though and survived some of the biggest battles and wars of Middle Earth. So did Aragorn. Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban. Lupin died in the first great war he was involved in.
So the winners are Aragorn and Sirius Black.
9. Lady Galadriel vs Professor McGonagall
Look I like professor McGonagall, but lets face it she is like the kind, loving, strict teacher we have all had. We have all known someone like her, there is nothing special about her.
Lady Galadriel defeated Sauron once and is single handedly responsible for preserving Lothrien. Once she left, Lothrien fell into ruins (apart from the tree which Samwise Gamgee preserved in the shire). She possessed one of the three rings of the elves.
Thus in conclusion, though we love Professor McGonagall, its Lady Galadriel.
10. Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood vs Peregrin Took and Meriadook Brandebuck
Ginny Weasley is the typical Bollywood heroine – only there as eye candy / lovelife for the hero. She has no character arc or growth of her own.
Lovegood is slightly better but here again there is no character growth; her presence is mainly to provide comic effect.
Peregrin Took and Meriadook Brandebuck sacrificed themselves to save Frodo, escaped from the Uruk Hai, convinced treebeard and the Ents to attack and defeat Saruman; Took becomes defender of the citadel and plays a crucial role in saving Faramir’s life while Merry rides with the Rohirrim and plays a pivotal role in the destruction of the witch King of Angmar.
“My friends, you bow to no one/man”.
The Hobbits win it.
11. Boromir vs Draco Malfoy
Both are conflicted characters and both play their parts in the survival of others.
Boromir sacrificed himself to save Pippin and Merry, thereby redeeming his honour, after he had fucked it up with Frodo. Malfoy was a victim of circumstances and ‘sins of the father’ type thing. he never had a chance, never knew any different.
But when he had the chance, he did the right thing; he saved Potter and Granger and he walked away from the evil.
So Draco Malfoy wins
12. The Ghosties
In LOTR, the ghosties are a an indestructible army that no force on earth can stop. In Harry Potter, the ghosties are Nearly Headless Nick, Ravenclaw’s daughter, Bloody Baron, that girl who hangs around the loos etc – whose role seems to be entertainment for the kiddies.
Once again this one’s a no contest – the clear winners are Aragon’s ghosties.
And in the spirit of baker’s dozen
13. Smeagol vs Severus Snape
Angst ridden emotional dudes forever in devdas mode pining away for their lost love, their ‘precious’. For a long part of the story their inner emotions/feelings are hidden from the main character.
Both sort of redeem themselves through their death.
This is too close to call.
But I guess, as per the books Snape and as per the movies Smeagol takes it.
So a draw.
Let’s take the tally then
Potterverse wins – 4
Middle earth wins – 8
Draws – 2
Middle earth wins.
I know I know that opinions are like arseholes and that everyone has one – but let’s face it, there is only one opinion that matters – Sean Ben’s.