A comrade brought up a connection that I’ve only thought about briefly recently, one that admittedly I try not to think about: earth-based religions and fascism. The argument is that pagan religions, those based on some form of worshiping the earth or primal forces is inherently fascist, invoking tribalism and hierarchical power structures and the like. As a lover of LOTR and then ASOIAF, I’m copasetic with the frighteningly eugenic nature of LOTR, with its emphasis on pure blood lines and traits passed in a divine right of kings fashion from son to son (with an occasional daughter slipping in).
As I noted in another post, that racism became very evident in the first LOTR film, leading to the lead orc in films two and three being white, and Azog very carefully being a pale orc:
Pigmentation aside, even orcs follow this bloodline-based right of rule, as kings of one race kill kings of another. This trope becomes so prevalent that I remember being a bit surprised that Isildur is killed by run-of-the-mill orcs in a run-of-the-mill ambush, but of course as we discover nothing is ordinary where the ring is concerned.
A Song of Ice and Fire intentionally blows that up, with Eddard Stark’s death in the first book. Martin’s comments that he’s not rewriting the War of the Rings but instead the War of the Roses also assure us that he is firmly tossing aside generic conventions intentionally.
So what’s not to like?