Who Would Win? Fantasy Armies Edition
With The Rings of Power and House of the Dragon both battling for our attention right now, we got thinking: in a real-life battle between the Lord of the Rings armies and the Game of Thrones armies, who would win? And, since The Wheel of Time season 2 is set to hit screens in the very near future, what would happen if we threw their armies into the battle too?
While we can’t know the exact number of fighters in every fantasy army, here’s a look at the approximate figures we can get from the complete Game of Thrones timeline, Lord of the Rings’ War of the Ring and The Wheel of Time’s The Last Battle, for the five strongest armies in each franchise. For good measure, we’ve also looked at which individual army would win if the strongest from every group went head-to-head.
The Strongest Armies in Lord of The Rings
All in all, LoTR’s five strongest armies are made up of more than 50 different warrior groups, totalling just over 317,000 soldiers at the point of War of the Ring. While Gondor’s forces are the most varied of the five, boasting at least 14 different types of fighter, they can’t compete with the sheer volume of Orcs – making Mordor’s army the strongest of the Lord of the Rings collection.
The Strongest Armies in Game of Thrones & House of the Dragon
Including an infinite pool of White Walkers here felt too much like cheating, particularly when you consider that without them, the Game of Thrones top armies only total just over 189,000 fighters – considerably less than the Lord of the Rings top five. The Targaryen’s forces narrowly beat the Tyrell army to the position of ‘biggest, baddest army in the franchise’ based on size, their strength aided by having three dragons on the team in addition to the formidable gathering of Dothraki and Unsullied warriors.
The Strongest Armies in The Wheel of Time
It’s safe to say that The Wheel of Time boasts some pretty vast warrior legions, but by far the strongest army of the group are the Aiel clans with around 480,000 fighters in their midst. With a reputation for being particularly vicious fighters, 480,000 Aiel warriors are not something we’d want to find waiting for us on a dark night. When you combine The Wheel of Time’s top armies you get a truly terrifying 860,000-strong militia, more than five times the size of the UK’s current full-time armed forces and with more active personnel than California, Texas and 15 other US states combined.
Which Franchise Would Win in a Head to Head?
What The Wheel of Time clans lack in dragons and giants they make up for with sheer volume. While differences in supernatural abilities between each franchise could/would affect the outcome of a direct fight, we’re naming the Aiel, Tear, Illian, Andor and Legion of the Dragon as the fantasy battle winners in our hypothetical head-to-head.
Of course, any chance of one franchise being crowned the outright winner is partly reliant on warring factions from within that franchise fighting together to defeat a common enemy. Since the chance of Orcs and Elves joining forces is highly unlikely, we thought it was fair to look at which army would be the outright winner in a three-way face-off between the strongest groups. For science.
Which Army or Clan is the Outright Champion?
Despite having three dragons to do a lot of the heavy lifting, the Targaryen army starts to look quite underwhelming when you put it side-by-side with Mordor’s defences and the Aiel clans. The Wheel of Time’s Aiel are the clear winner when we look at the scale of each franchise’s strongest army, outnumbering Mordor’s fighters more than 3:1 and the Targeryen’s more than 7:1.
Even if we assume that it would take 100 Aiel to fend off each dragon, that’s still around 470,700 Aiel against only 58,000 Dothraki and 8,000 Unsullied.
When it comes to the streaming battles we’re not so sure that The Wheel of Time could have stood up against both The Rings of Power AND House of the Dragon had the new series gone head-to-head(-to-head). But, in our fantasy showdown at least, it’s clear that it’s this series that comes out on top as the most formidable fighting force.
While you’re here, why not take a look at our collections of Lord of the Rings merchandise and Game of Thrones merchandise?
We’ve searched from Lindon to Mordor, from the Iron Islands to the Dothraki Sea to bring you the best fantasy merchandise the world has to offer.
About the figures
We’ve based our highly scientific analysis on figures found in the books for each of these fantasy franchises wherever possible, using cautious estimates to assume approximate army sizes for any where exact numbers aren’t given. The estimated size of the UK’s current armed forces comes from Parliament UK data, while US active personnel figures were taken from Governing.com.