In this week's Game of Thrones issue, Music Editor Ned Lannamann and News Reporter Dirk VanderHart locked themselves in horrible mortal combat, with Ned swinging his devastating war hammer and Dirk deftly wielding the sharpest of tridents. Look at the picture above, it's all right there.

The reason for their terrible and terrifying dispute: an argument about which is better, the Game of Thrones TV show or the book series the show's based on, George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. Part of Dirk's argument:

By jamming only the bloodiest, most fantastical elements of the story into viewers' foam-flecked maws, the show neglects the vast reality to be found in Westeros and its surroundings. And that's a terrible shame.

See, the beating heart of Ice and Fire isn't dragons or White Walkers. It's got little to do with the (admittedly pressing) question of warg fealty. The key to Martin's series—the reason all of its drawn-out tortures are better than (most of) the fantasy genre's countless others—is that it's so deeply felt.

And a few words from Ned's opening volley:

The golden rule is this: Books are always better than the movies based on them.

Hogwash. Have you read Fight Club? It's dreadful. Mario Puzo's The Godfather isn't any great shakes, either. And don't get me started on Stephen King.

So the golden rule is bogus to begin with, but it shouldn't apply to Game of Thrones anyway—it's not a movie, it's a TV show. Some people (whose names rhyme with Shmirk Blanderfart) will insist that George R.R. Martin's long, dreary books are superior to the excellent, taut television program that the show's brilliant creators have extracted from them.

Hmm, very interesting, yes, yes, I see where both of them are coming from. BUT THERE ARE NO TIES IN WESTEROS, which means we must decide who has won this point/counterpoint! The loser will probably won't die as a result of this poll, but that does not negate its importance, as you can bet whichever one of these assholes wins won't shut up about it for the next six months. So go over and read the whole thing, then LET US DECIDE WHO IS CORRECT.