Since J. R. R. Tolkien died in 1973, when George R. R. Martin was 24, I imagine he probably never heard of him. However, his son Christopher died only recently, so I was wondering whether there's any record of him saying anything about A Song of Ice and Fire, its author, or - most interestingly - its author's comment on Christopher's father work. For instance, there is famous/infamous quote of George speaking about Aragorn's "tax policy":

He also says in another interview that Tolkien should not have brought Gandalf back to life:

Did Christopher Tolkien ever comment on these things, or anything else regarding George or his work?

  • Nope, as GRRM says in that very interview, he missed his chance as a kid.
    – Spencer
    Aug 27, 2021 at 13:19
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    @Spencer To communicate with JRR Tolkien, not his son (Christopher).
    – Wade
    Aug 27, 2021 at 13:23
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    The answer is no.
    – ibid
    Aug 27, 2021 at 14:05
  • @ibid Okay, thanks. If you know of no such instance, it's good enough for me. It's a shame though, I'd be interested in hearing his replies...
    – Wade
    Aug 27, 2021 at 14:10
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    Funny about that second comment. Why did Martin bring any characters back to life if that’s how he felt about Gandalf? Aug 28, 2021 at 0:24

1 Answer 1


Christopher Tolkien never commented on anything George R R Martin had said or written

While it is always difficult to prove a negative, Christopher Tolkien was a relatively quiet figure, especially in the last few decades of his life when George R R Martin made these statements.

Christopher's most public comments on works of Tolkien Criticism can be found in his History of Middle-earth series, which was published between 1983 and 1996.

In Chapter 7 of his book The Road to Middle-earth Professor T. A. Shippey accepts that this is so ...

In The Complete Guide to Middle-earth Robert Foster says ...

Professor Randel Helms, in Tolkien and the Silmarils (p. 93), has stated ...

And in an article entitled ‘The Text of The Hobbit: Putting Tolkien’s Notes in Order’ (English Studies in Canada, VII, 2, Summer 1981) Constance B. Hieatt concludes ...
The Book of Lost Tales Part One - "Foreword"

Barbara Strachey (Journeys of Frodo, maps 15-16) shows very unambiguously the ravine of Rivendell as the ravine of the tributary stream, Elrond's house being some mile and a half from its confluence with the Loudwater; while Karen Fonstad (The Atlas of Middle-earth, pp. 80, 101, etc.) likewise places Rivendell on the southerly stream - calling it (p. 127) the Bruinen.
The Return of the Shadow - Chapter XI - "From Weathertop to the Ford" - note

The last of these books came out in 1996, the same year as the first A Song of Ice and Fire book, and eighteen years before George R R Martin's tax policy line.

None of Christopher Tolkien's publications since then had this type of commentary on other works, and he did very few public appearances and only one press interview.

He continued to review and comment on such things through private correspondence (see his c.2006 remarks here on Douglas Charles Kane's Arda Reconstructed) while still alive, and it is possible that he'd seen and/or privately commented on George R.R. Martin, but he never did so publicly.

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    maybe worth noting, (I'm sure you know this) - CT died in 2020. The tense used in your answer could imply that he's still around and the answer may change if he decided to comment later :)
    – NKCampbell
    Aug 27, 2021 at 18:09
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    Great answer. That's too bad though. I don't imagine that anyone else with a high status in the Tolkien estate said anything on the subject?
    – Wade
    Aug 27, 2021 at 18:13
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    @NKCampbell - I tightened up some of the tense.
    – ibid
    Aug 27, 2021 at 18:15
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    @Wade - None that I know of. Christopher was the public (non-legal) face of the Estate, and it's not really the type for any of them to be making a public response to something a different author said in an interview. You can find plenty of discussion on various Tolkien webforums from the time though.
    – ibid
    Aug 27, 2021 at 18:18

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