Rap Meanings

J. R. R. Tolkien vs George R. R. Martin Meanings

George R. R. Martin:

Brace yourself!

(Martin starts his verse by telling Tolkien to be prepared for his raps. "Brace yourselves" is a popular meme associated with Game of Thrones, often accompanied by the phrase, "Winter is coming," the motto of House Stark of Winterfell. Bracers are also a part of armor worn by medieval knights, so Martin tells Tolkien to get armored up for battle.)

Gather up your trolls and your soldier elves,

(Trolls and elves are creatures that are in the Middle-earth series, and they are expert combatants throughout the stories.)

And your Ents and your Orcs, and your Wargs and your Stings,

(Ents, Orcs, and Wargs are other mythical creatures that make an appearance in Middle-earth, and a Sting is the sword used by both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins in Tolkien's series. Martin continues listing beasts and weapons because he thinks Tolkien should get all the help he can to defeat him.)

Your dwarves and Glamdrings, 'cause there's a new literary Lord in the Ring!

(Dwarves, like trolls and elves, are mythical beings who inhabit Middle-earth and are mighty fighters. Glamdring is the sword used by Gandalf the Grey (later Gandalf the White). Martin finishes telling Tolkien to round up all of his characters as there is a new writing ruler in the ring, which is said here to describe an arena used in sports such as wrestling. The use of lord may also be a reference to the prominence of lords in A Song of Ice and Fire, as well as a play-on-words on Tolkien's most well-known work, The Lord of the Rings.)

My readers fall in love with every character I've written!

(Many characters from A Song of Ice and Fire are well-liked for their personalities and development. Martin claims that he isn't limited to creating heroes or villains, and this is why people fall in love with his characters.)

Then I kill 'em! (Aaaah!) And they're like, "No, he didn't!"

(Martin is known to kill off main and major characters in his books, leading to great disbelief for his fans. The scream comes from Jon Snow, one of Martin's pivotal characters, who he seemingly kills off at the end of A Dance With Dragons.)

All your bad guys die and your good guys survive!

(Like most stories, Tolkien's books end with the enemies defeated and the heroes living, which Martin finds to be a cliché tactic compared to his more realistic one, implying that Tolkien is generic.)

We can tell what's gonna happen by page and age five!

(Martin considers Tolkien's stories to be so predictable, the outcome can be seen after reading five pages of the novel, or it can be thought of by a five-year-old child. Numbered ages are also used in the Lord of the Rings universe to signify time periods, and the last age Tolkien wrote about was the Fourth Age. Martin may be saying that by the Fifth Age, a continuation of Tolkien's epic may be observed to be just as predictable as his previous works.)

Tell your all-seeing eye to find some sex in your movies!

(The Eye of Sauron is the arch-villain in The Lord of the Rings series. Since it is all-seeing, Martin suggests for Tolkien to tell it to find sexual scenes in the films for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit franchises, of which he is certain none will be found.)

(Yeah!) Ditch the Goonie and cast a couple boobies!

(Martin suggests that Tolkien's films would be improved if Sean Astin—who portrayed Sam the Hobbit in The Lord of the Rings and Mikey Walsh in The Goonies—was replaced with female nudity, such as the kind shown on Game of Thrones, the television adaptation for A Song of Ice and Fire. This line may stem from the fact that Martin holds the belief that a lack of nudity shows a lack of realism in fantasy, or he may think it would cause more interest among male viewers in the fanbase.)

There's edgier plots in that David the Gnome!

(The World of David the Gnome is an animated fantasy series about a gnome's adventures, to which Martin says is darker and more controversial than any of Tolkien's works. This could also be a way of taking a shot at the often mocked animated version of Tolkien's series.)

Your hobbit-hole heroes can't handle my throne!

(The Iron Throne from the A Song of Ice and Fire series is one which is hard to obtain, and thus hobbits, diminutive beings who live in tunnels dug into hillsides, couldn't get the Iron Throne, let alone hold onto it.)

J. R. R. Tolkien:

Kings, Queens, dragons, dwarves,

(Tolkien begins by pointing out fantasy character archetypes, objects, places, and aspects that are present in both Tolkien's works and Martin's, suggesting the inspiration Tolkien's work had on Martin's. Kings and queens are commonly used in medieval works for members of a royal family, and dragons and dwarves are mystical creatures that make an appearance in the fantasy genre as well.)

Horses, fortresses, magic, and swords!

(Horses are used as a form of transportation in Martin and Tolkien's series, and fortresses are used for locations. Magic is also a common element in both of their books, as well as swords and other weapons that derive from the Middle Ages.)

You Hob-bit my whole shit, you uninspired hack!

(Tolkien states that Martin bit off of his work by plagiarizing it rather than being inspired. He also makes a pun on his fictitious species known as "Hobbits".)

You want a war, George? Welcome to Shire-raq!

(Tolkien replies to Martin as he gets ready for the battle. He then uses the pun to combine the Shire, the home of the Hobbits of Middle-earth, and the Iraq War, which was started by George W. Bush; Tolkien uses a play on words with Martin as he and Bush share a first name, in addition to "Middle East" and "Middle-earth".)

In book sales, you've got nothing to say!

(Tolkien surpasses Martin in the number of books sold, therefore making him superior.)

I'm number one and two! You're under Fifty Shades of Grey!

(Tolkien's novels, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, were ranked as the two top-selling single volume books of all time at 150 million and 140.6 million copies sold, respectively; meanwhile, Martin's works fail to reach the top fifty spot. Tolkien compares his achievements to Martin, whose sales for A Song of Ice and Fire are lower than British author E. L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey, a romance novel often regarded as poorly-written literature. Like Martin's books, the novel is notorious for containing themes of a sexual nature, hence Tolkien says that this theme is examined better in a different novel, that is contemporary to Martin.)

I got the prose of a pro! Your shit's sub-par!

(Prose is the standard form of writing, non-metrical and antonymous to verse. Tolkien states that he is a master of said language form, and in contrast, Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire is badly composed.)

You're a pirate! You even stole my "R. R."!

(Pirates are known for stealing valuable items from people, and Tolkien compares Martin to them for his previous accusation of taking his work directly from Tolkien's. Martin was also born just George Raymond Martin, but later adopted a second middle name, Richard, showing that he intentionally took the initials RR to be like Tolkien. This is also a pun on how pirates are known for saying "Argh!", which is what it sounds like when you pronounce the two authors' middle initials. This might also be a reference to several pirates featured in Tolkien's and later Martin's works, such as members of House Greyjoy or Salladhor Saan. Additionally, Tolkien's hand position is spelling the letter "R" in American Sign Language. He proceeds to shift his hand twice signing "R-R. The sign itself also reminds a hook hand, which is usually associated with pirates")

(Oh!) We all know the world is full of chance and anarchy,

(Tolkien acknowledges that both him and Martin know that the world is random when it comes to life and death.)

So, yes, it's true to life for characters to die randomly,

(Tolkien remarks Martin's tendency to kill off his characters rather frequently and randomly. He agrees that random deaths do occur in the real world, but he continues to criticize Martin's realism in the following lines.)

But news flash: the genre's called fantasy!

(Both Tolkien and Martin wrote fantasy series, but Tolkien disapproves of Martin's realistic approach towards the genre and believes that he is unaware of its true meaning. He counters the statement of characters being killed off in a realistic manner by pointing out they write in a deliberately unrealistic setting.)

It's meant to be unrealistic, you myopic manatee!

(Tolkien calls Martin out for his method of making his story appear lifelike, as it takes away the enjoyment of making it fantasy. He calls Martin myopic, which can mean nearsighted, referring to his oversized glasses, or lacking imagination, which is why his take on fantasy stories are not as creative as Tolkien's. He further insults him by saying he's a manatee, which is a marine mammal known for being round and obese like Martin.)

George R. R. Martin:

I conscientiously object to what you're doing on these beats.

(Martin says he opposes Tolkien's style of rapping, finding it horrid. A conscientious objector is a person who refuses to participate in the draft or military service. Martin was a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War and did alternative service work under Volunteers in Service to America.)

I'll cut you like my teeth on Beauty and the Beast!

(To "cut one's teeth" is an expression meaning to "get your first experience in life by doing a certain thing". One of Martin's first writing jobs was as a writer and producer on the 1987 television series, Beauty and the Beast.)

You went too deep, Professor Tweed-pants!

(Martin tells Tolkien that he has gotten too involved in the fictional universe he created. He also references that Tolkien served as a professor for two Oxford colleges, but he insults him for always wearing clothes made out of tweed, which is a rough, woolen fabric.)

We don't need the backstory on every fucking tree branch!

(Martin says that the backstories in Tolkien's novels take up too much of the book, and some of them are unnecessary. There is also a race in Middle-earth, called Ents, that are huge talking trees.)

J. R. R. Tolkien:

I cut my teeth in the trenches of the Somme!

(Tolkien counters Martin's previous line by saying he gained experience in life from serving the United Kingdom in World War I, where he fought in the Battle of the Somme against Germany. This battle would also serve for inspiration in writing The Lord of the Rings. He infers that writing for a television series does not compare to this experience.)

You LARPed your Santa Claus-ass through Vietnam!

(Martin avoided being drafted to Vietnam due to his opposition of the war. Tolkien says that this was a cowardly act in contrast to him being a WWI veteran. LARP is an acronym for "live-action role play," in which people take on the role of characters and physically act out their actions. Tolkien uses this as a comparison to how Martin avoided the Vietnam War, as well as calling him Santa Claus due to his large body and white beard. This also might be a reference to The Father Christmas Letters, a collection of letters written and illustrated by Tolkien for his children between 1920 and 1942 from Father Christmas, which is the more common name given to holiday figure Santa Claus in the United Kingdom. This also ironically calls back to the first two verses, where it was pointed out that Martin wrote about a realistic war despite avoiding war, whereas Tolkien wrote about a fantastic war despite having experienced war firsthand.)

And it's hard for me to take criticism on clothes

(Tolkien mentions Martin's earlier diss on him always wearing clothes made from tweed, but he counters it by saying he shouldn't pay attention to him due to the way Martin looks, which is explained in the following line.)

From a dude who sends a raven to say "hi" to his toes!

(Ravens appear frequently in A Song of Ice and Fire as a fruitful source of symbolism and as a way for masters to send messages from one castle to another. In the Middle-earth universe, the Dwarves of Erebor use ravens to send messages as well. Tolkien suggests that Martin uses ravens to greet his toes, implying that he is too fat to even see his own feet.)

George R. R. Martin:

Man, your fat jokes are worse than your pipe smoke!

(Tolkien has taken a few jabs at Martin's size throughout the battle so far, but Martin remarks that these insults are weak, calling them worse than the smoke coming out of Tolkien's pipe. Smoking is known to worsen your health condition, and Martin believes making fun of his weight is a low blow for Tolkien due to his frequent smoking.)

My show's the hottest thing on HBO!

(Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire was developed into the HBO drama series Game of Thrones, which at the time of the battle was entering its sixth season as one of the most popular, or "hottest", shows on modern television. Martin calling it the "hottest" on the network may also refer to it being the most sexually attractive at the same time, as Game of Thrones is known for its frequent use of nudity.)

I'm rock and roll; you're a nerdy little nebbish,

(Rock and roll is a popular genre of music, of which many of the greatest musicians of all time originated. Martin says that he is prominent in his career by calling himself a rockstar because he can produce hits and rock out. However, he thinks Tolkien is nothing more than a nebbish, someone who is regarded as ineffectual and timid like a nerd.)

And I may be dirty, but you got a hairy-foot fetish, dog!

(Even though Martin assumes Tolkien finds him filthy due to his appearance and in the sense that he puts copious sex scenes in his books, he retaliates by pointing out that Tolkien likes to make characters with hairy feet so much that he possibly has a sexual attraction to them.)

Even the names of your characters suck:

(Martin thinks the names Tolkien came up for Middle-earth characters are absurd and ridiculous.)

You got Boffers and Bofurs and Brandybucks!

(Martin lists some of Tolkien's characters whose names he finds uncreative, such as Bofur, a character in The Hobbit. Though Boffers isn't the name of a character, he may be listing it due to Bofur sounding similar to other characters like Bifur or Bombur. Boffer means a foam weapon, so this may also reference Tolkien mentioning LARP, which often uses boffer swords. The Brandybucks are a prominent Hobbit family in the series renowned for being very unusual among the Hobbit peoples.)

I got a second breakfast for all them goofy fucks!

(Hobbits, when possible, are known to eat seven meals a day, with the "second breakfast" being the second meal. Martin invites Tolkien's characters to a meal, which he reveals in the next line.)

Lift up my gut and tea-Baggins my nuts!

(Martin says the second breakfast will actually be him moving his stomach out of the way just to teabag Tolkien's characters, meaning he will put his genitals over their face. Furthermore, teabags are commonly used in Britain to make tea, which fits with Tolkien, a British author. This is also a pun on Baggins, the name of the two most famous Hobbits from Middle-earth: Frodo and Bilbo.)

J. R. R. Tolkien:

C. S. Lewis and I were just discussing

(C. S. Lewis, the author of the fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia, was a good friend of Tolkien. Both had a common love for mythical tales and wanting to bring those stories into the mainstream reading public.)

How you and Jon Snow…both know nothing!

("You know nothing, Jon Snow," is a quote from Game of Thrones, which is said by Ygritte to Jon Snow on a frequent basis. Tolkien says that Martin knows nothing like Jon Snow, meaning he is ignorant towards fantasy unlike Tolkien.)

Because the backstory of my box office is billions!

(The Middle-earth fantasies have had several film adaptations, most recently by director Peter Jackson in the 2000s and 2010s. Combined, the film series grossed almost 6 billion USD worldwide.)

Got my children making millions off my Silmarillions!

(Tolkien's children received the fortune left behind by their father. The Silmarillion is a collection of Tolkien's works which were published posthumously following the success of The Hobbit, and Tolkien says this can still make a lot of money for his family even after his death.)

And I'm more rock and roll than you've ever been!

(Tolkien says that Martin is not nearly big of a star as he is. Although Martin claimed he is rock 'n' roll in comparison, Tolkien proves in the next line how he directly became an influence for a few rock 'n' roll songs.)

Don't believe me? Ask Led Zeppelin!

(Some Led Zeppelin songs are based off pivotal events in The Lord of the Rings, such as "Ramble On", "The Battle of Evermore", "Misty Mountain Hop", and "Over the Hills and Far Away". Tolkien counters Martin's suggestion that he is more rock 'n' roll by citing how he inspired music for one of the most influential rock bands of all time.)

You can't reach this fellow! Shit, I'm too Towering!

(Tolkien says that Martin cannot ever imagine to be on the same level of influence in the fantasy genre as he is. He also references the first and second volume of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. The use of the word reach may reference one of the Seven Kingdoms, the Reach, which is governed by House Tyrell.)

(Ooh!) Every time I battle, it's Return of the King!

(Tolkien proclaims himself as the king of the fantasy genre, and in every battle he participates in, he will always remain victorious. He finally references the third and final volume, The Return of the King. One could also note that Tolkien closes with the same word he starts with: "king." This could represent the lack of a legitimate king of Gondor within Middle-Earth during the time period between the First Age, and the conclusion of the Fourth Age. Tolkien essentially says that no one can replace him as the king of his genre, and Martin would be an illegitimate king.)

Scrapped lyrics

George R. R. Martin:

I was pushing boundaries and taking chances!

(A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones have been known to take new approaches to the fantasy genre, introducing a fantasy world with conflicts based on realistic conflicts of medieval Europe and using elements of sexuality and extreme violence. This is likened to a scenario of a World War I battle, in which either side would take cover in their trenches and attempting to step through the boundary between them, known as No-Man's Land, literally pushing through a boundary, was taking a huge chance of death.)

You were daydreaming, squatting in the trenches!

(Martin brags about his bravery while calling Tolkien out for staying in the trenches and distracting himself with his fantasy world.)

You should've made like Hodor: obeyed your orders!

(Hodor received a mental disability that allows him to only communicate with the term "hodor" after suffering from a seizure, caused from Prince Bran Stark accidentally connecting Hodor's mind when he was young to his mind as he was killed while obeying his order to "hold the door." Martin says that Tolkien should have stopped focusing on daydreaming and actually participated in combat.)

Spend less time on Mordor and more on the mortars!

(Martin continues his claim by emphasizing that Tolkien should stop thinking about Mordor and pay attention to the mortars, a gun used for launching shells in war.)

Bilbo's a dildo; my imp's a pimp!

(Martin compares an iconic short character from Tolkien's The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, to Martin's own Tyrion Lannister, a dwarf character from Game of Thrones, calling Baggins an unintelligent person and bragging about the relatively cooler style of Lannister.)

You're a bigger wooden stiff than Gandalf's staff!

(Martin calls Tolkien a big wooden stiff, meaning a very boring person, likening him to the literal big wooden stick held by The Lord of the Rings wizard, Gandalf.)

You gave us abstinence and Gary Gygax!

(The Lord of the Rings features no sexual content, unlike A Song of Ice and Fire. A large portion of fantasy audiences have been insulted for having not had sex, which is the act of abstinence. Gary Gygax was a co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, a role-playing game with similar elements to The Lord of the Rings, leading to implications about the possibility of Tolkien being a large inspiration for this game that has become a large part of "nerd culture.")

Fantasy movies need violence and boobies,

Not folk songs and washed-up kids from The Goonies!

(These lyrics are what developed into the lyric, "Ditch the Goonie and cast a couple boobies!" The folk songs referred to are likely the various songs in the style of Middle Age music used in The Lord of the Rings series, such as "The Road Goes Ever On" and "A Walking Song".)

J. R. R. Tolkien:

You're the biggest ripoff I've seen!

(Tolkien jabs at Martin using Tolkien's elements in his works.)

You stole my plot lines, monsters, and even Sean Bean!

(While listing some of those elements, Tolkien includes Sean Bean, an actor famous for portraying Boromir in The Lord of the Rings before going on to portray Eddard "Ned" Stark on Game of Thrones.)

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