It’s the kind of topic that keeps geeks arguing late into the night: Which is more badass, Westeros or Middle-earth? Would Jaime Lannister win in a duel against Aragorn? Are Wargs scarier than direwolves? Could Gimli take on the Mountain?

Sadly, the odds of us ever finding out for certain are slim to none, since there’s unlikely to be a crossover special anytime soon. But as the creator of Game of Thrones (or A Song of Ice and Fire for you book nerds) and a longtime fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin seems as well equipped as anyone to offer some answers. Hit the jump to find out what he had to say.

MTV Geek (via io9) convinced the iconic writer to participate in game they dubbed “GRR vs. JRR,” pitting figures from each series against each other in imaginary battle. Here’s the lineup:

Aragon vs. Jaime Lannister
Smaug vs. Balerion
Saruman vs. Melisandre
Wargs vs. Direwolves
Ice vs. Glamdring
Frodo vs. Tyrion
Nazgûl vs. White Walkers
Cave Troll vs. Mag the Mighty
Gimli vs. The Mountain
Ned Stark vs. Boromir

Got your picks ready? All right, head to the video — though be warned that, if you haven’t read A Storm of Swords (Book 3 / the upcoming Season 3), there are spoilers in the first matchup. Skip from 00:14 to 00:36 to avoid them.

Am I the only one disappointed that the “JRR vs. GRR” card toward the end doesn’t actually lead to Martin discussing whether he could best Tolkien in hand-to-hand combat?

Only the toughest and wiliest survive in Martin’s brutal universe, but it seems Tolkien’s creations are made of even sterner stuff. By my count, the final score is 3-7 in favor of JRR. Of course, that only applies to these particular characters. Who knows what might have happened if Khal Drogo had entered the fray? Or Legolas?

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