×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

George R.R. Martin on ‘Lord of the Rings’ vs. ‘Harry Potter’: ‘Gandalf Could Kick Dumbledore’s Ass’

“Game of Thrones” fans have a lot to thank J.R.R. Tolkien for.

“Thrones” author George R.R. Martin, along with stars Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins and director Dome Karukoski, discussed their personal connections to Tolkien and his “Lord of the Rings” series on the red carpet — or more accurately, the green carpet (a nod to the author’s verdant Middle Earth) — at the premiere of biographical film “Tolkien” on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Martin told Variety, “He made me love the form he created — epic fantasy. He redefined fantasy of everything that had been before.” He said that Tolkien’s epic trilogy format influenced “Game of Thrones.” Martin joked, “I started doing a trilogy called ‘Game of Thrones.’ Now my trilogy is seven books — if I finish the last two.”

Martin called the film “profoundly moving” and praised the movie for avoiding cliches like a struggling writer “sitting at a typewriter and crumpling a piece of paper.” Instead, he said the movie was about “Tolkien’s love affair. His friendship. Him as a young man in his university years. And that influences what he would later write.”

Hoult, who plays the titular character, had been a lifelong fan of Tolkien before signing on to the project. After researching and taking on the role he gained a new appreciation for the author. He told Variety, “Before, I didn’t understand where all these worlds and characters came from. I disappeared into his work and now I see the history and the layers.”

Hoult, having played J.D. Salinger in “Rebel in the Rye,” has made a bit of a habit playing idiosyncratic authors. “I’m really interested in the mind of the writer,” he said. 

Karukoski identifies with Tolkien’s upbringing as a loner from a poor family. “Those stories became my first friends. They became the world that I could escape to,” she said. 

Lily Collins had a poetic experience landing her role as Tolkien’s wife and muse Edith Bratt. She grew up reading “The Lord of the Rings,” which inspired her to audition as an elf in Peter Jackson’s films. She didn’t get the part, but now years later finally has her opportunity to be part of the Tolkien universe, albeit in a much different manner. “To get to play the woman who inspired [‘Lord of the Rings’] is kind of ironic,” she said. “I had to giggle when I got this role.”

Although Collins is a huge Tolkien fan, she did admit during the post screening Q&A that her favorite book series is “Harry Potter.” Martin responded, “Gandalf could kick Dumbledore’s ass.”

“Tolkien” hits theaters Friday, May 10.

RELATED VIDEO:

More Film

  • Bong Joon Ho Talks 'Parasite' on

    'Parasite' Director Bong Joon Ho Makes Late Night Debut Following Three Globe Nominations

    “Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho sat down for his first U.S. late-night appearance on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” Monday night. The director, who received best director and best original screenplay Globen Globe nominations with co-writer Han Jin Won, plus a best foreign language nod Monday morning, did not give much away about the film’s [...]

  • The Cold Blue

    Erik Nelson Wants to Preserve the Past With 'The Cold Blue' World War II Documentary

    Erik Nelson describes his documentary “The Cold Blue” as “the garage band of movies” — he didn’t have the large team or crew other documentary contenders have. “The Cold Blue” is a World War II documentary that looks at raids and B-17 bombing missions that took place during the war. Nelson’s team looked at 34 [...]

  • Ray Manzarek

    Film News Roundup: Concert-Documentary 'The Doors: Break on Thru' Set for February

    In today’s film news roundup, one-night showings of a Ray Manzarek tribute and the season premiere of “Doctor Who” have been set for 2020, and the MPAA hires a copyright expert. ONE-NIGHT SHOWINGS The Doors and Trafalgar Releasing are teaming on the worldwide Feb. 12 release of “The Doors: Break on Thru – A Celebration [...]

  • Richard Jewell

    Warner Bros. Hits Back at Atlanta Paper Over 'Richard Jewell' Legal Threat

    Warner Bros. is standing behind “Richard Jewell,” the Clint Eastwood drama that is the source of controversy over its portrayal of a female journalist trading sex for scoops. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sent a legal threat to the filmmakers on Monday asking them to include a disclaimer noting that the film took dramatic license. In a [...]

  • The Irishman

    'Captain Marvel,' 'The Irishman,' Other Original Scores to Miss Out on Oscar Nominations

    The Regina Spektor song from “Bombshell” and at least six major scores including “The Two Popes” and “The Irishman” won’t be on Oscar’s music shortlists when they are announced next week. That’s because none of them are on the official Academy eligibility lists from which music-branch members are now voting. Preliminary voting ends tomorrow afternoon, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content