Cage Match 2010, Round 3: 5) Rand Al’Thor versus 13) Roland Deschain

 

Rand Al.jpg

Image courtesy of The Hub Pages

Roland--Gunslinger.jpg

Image courtesy of Michael Whelan

Rand Al’Thor
The Dragon Reborn
Age: 20s
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: Callandor
Special Attack: Channeling world destructive amounts of the One Power

Roland Deschain
The Gunslinger
Age: Unknown
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: Twin six-shooters
Special Attack: The fastest gun in the Mid-World
Advantages

  • Trained to the hilt in swordsmanship–is an unofficial blademaster
  • Can channel enough One Power to end all life
  • Has an indestructible sword so powerful it drives it’s users mad
Advantages

  • Perfect marksmanship and deadly accuracy
  • Possessed of grim determination and an iron will
  • Has that terrifying Clint Eastwood thousand-yard stare
  • Seems to kill wizards with relative ease
Disadvantages

  • Mentally and emotionally unstable–a voice in his head occasionally takes control over him
  • Has two wounds that will never heal and lost his left hand in a battle
Disadvantages

  • Broken in body and soul by his obsessive quest for the Dark Tower
Kills

  • Locke Lamora (Trust us–he’s really dead)
  • Conan the Barbarian (Get a job, you lazy barbarian!)
Kills

  • Elric of Melniboné (As Michael Moorcock said, He should’ve gone for a pint.))
  • Gandalf (You should have diminished and sailed to the West when you had a chance)
How we think the fight will go

High above them the sky was blue, blank, and cloudless, and seemed innocent of any gods. And yet it might have been that forces were massing invisibly behind the two men; though the gunslinger and the sorceror stood alone as they faced each other before the battle, it could be said that each had a higher power on his side.

In Roland’s world, it is called ka. In Rand al’Thor’s, it is the Wheel of Time. They are guided, protected, blessed, burdened, and cursed by these forces; in mysterious, unseen hands are their fates written. Ka has always guided Roland to the Tower, through all his endless lifetimes; the Pattern is woven around Rand.

But these were not the only powers that ruled this match.

Before the battle, another yet more ferocious battle was raging in the stands, as wagers were taken, the odds rose and fell by the hour, and long, boozy arguments were carried over from tailgate parties to the arena benches. Though the tumult in the stands was nearly deafening, every voice sought to answer the same question: What was it, after all, that would decide this battle? Some referred to ancient and immutable laws–Guns beat swords. Magic beats guns–in endless philosophical rock-paper-scissors-style throwdowns. Convoluted quasi-theological arguments parsing the nature of ka, the vast and mysterious workings of the Pattern, grew thick and fast like choking vines.

The Tower junkies and WoT fanboys raised voices, raised fists…and raised glasses in celebration of the two great warriors before them. In the end, their applause would prove greater than either ka or the Wheel.

But as the match began, Roland gave no thought to cultivating their adoration, to converting those skeptics who had doubted he could take down the Elric and Gandalf–there was no time. No matter how it ended, it would end quickly…so quickly that later few who watched could even describe what they saw.

It was agreed that Roland must have drawn his guns. It could even be seen on the instant replay after the match–though only when played back in slow motion, and even then the motion of the gunslinger’s hands was a bright and blinding blur.

And even the most fervent Tower junkies could not argue that Rand al’Thor–now the highest-ranking seed left in the tournament, the oddsmakers noted–had not been ready, or that he did not have great, universe-shattering powers to call on. After all, the destruction of both Locke Lamora and Conan had been the work of an instant.

But it happened in less than an instant, in a unit of time so small it cannot be measured or named.

It was only for Roland that the event was perfectly perceivable; it had happened in the strange field of infinitely slow time that only gunslingers know. It was as if, when Roland drew his father’s guns, he had years to line up his sights and find just the right spot in the center of Rand al’Thor’s forehead. That the bullet took another decade to fly to its target straight and true. That the pitiless fusillade of bullets that followed–after fighting Elric and Gandalf, Roland knew that it was better to be safe than sorry–seemed to him as the stately movement of the planets around the sun.

As the bullets slammed into the sorceror’s body, Roland saw Rand hang suspended in the air, borne aloft by the impact of each bullet, for so painfully long that the old sorrows gripped his heart; another hero dead, and all for the Tower. He watched each droplet of blood gleam in the sunlight, soar through the air, and fall to the ground to darkly stain the dust. When Rand’s body finally fell to the ground it was slowly, heavily, with all the weight of the terrible deed, only the latest in his long and cursed life, that Roland had wrought.

The world around Roland slid into focus again. The killing had ended, for now.

For a moment, but only for a moment, the stands fell silent as the stunned audience wondered if they could believe what they had seen. And then they raised their voices…

Predicted Winner: Roland Deschain

(Rand Al’Thor is a character from Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series; Roland Deschain is a character from Stephen King’s Dark Tower series.)

  • Tyler

    I think Rand takes it. Dont forget that Rand can creat a sheild thing that will block everything short of balefire. and sure Roland is rediculous with his guns, but i think rand simply shoots him with bale fire the moment he sees him. And if by chance Roland got his shots off before rand hit him with balefire and the bullets did hit him then the bale fire would simple erase that moment from taking place.

  • Joe

    Haven’t read WOT, is there anyway to beat Balefire? Besides King fan boys that is. From reading comments it sounds like Balefire is the most badass rewind button ever which would make for lame reading methinks.

  • Tyler

    Balefire is pretty much an instant win botton if you hit the persone. though in WoT most of the bad guys can do it to so that kind of evens it out. It is actually forebiden Rand only knows how to do it because of the Lews therin’s memories.

  • Angrod

    Balefire is a kind of fire that eliminates you from existence modifing all your past actions, (this can be controlled, I mean your existence is erased from the past 5 seconds, so I you killed someone in this past seconds this man would live again), but Rand is a self-taught person while Roland had years and years of training… but Rand has also de “backup” of another hero in his head, but Roland is cool…but so is Rand…ahhhh I don’t know what to do with my voteeee

  • Frances

    To answer Joe: no there’s no way to beat balefire; balefire -> instant win. It is kind of lame, but it’s not used that much in WoT because if used in significant amounts it can unravel the pattern (world of WoT itself).
    If Rand is allowed to take hold of saidin before the match starts, then absolutely noone in this tournament can stand up against him. If he’s not then his oponent has some time to finish Rand off while he’s fighting his channeling sickness.
    As I’m rooting for Rand, I’ll assume the first scenario is allowed, so Rand wins easily. He doesn’t even need balefire, just an air-woven shield that would stop bullets, and he can slice up Roland with just a sword, without even using the power for offensive purposes.

  • Wycliffe

    A. Rand knew how to use balefire before Therin started to take control of him.
    B. Balefire is fine but it is being overused in this match. Rand can win this without resorting to it. Heck, he can just wrap Roland in flows of air before he can draw and stick a knife in him. With the one power he can do almost anything and he can do it instantly, basically without thinking.

  • Tyler

    Well yes to first part but if you remember rand is randomly spouting out things he couldn’t possibly know from Lewis Therin’s life before Lewis Therin is actually in his head. An example being his conversation with Lanfear in which he tells her shes its power shes in love with not him. I figured Balefire came to him from some part of lewis therin’s memormy.
    Sorry this dosnt really have to with the actual fight =P

  • Endlessorrow

    Rolands draw and fire is truly faster than the eye.Faster than the mind can register. At any reasonbly close distance deadly acurate, as in straight through the eye at 50 yards with a ….50 cal slug.
    They both are driven by their destinies to win at all costs. Roland would kill faster than Rand. Rand is fast. Roland gives a whole new meaning to instant death fast. Roland is a one trick pony, but mann what a trick.
    Rand would not and could not get a sheild up before the bullet ended his life, so the question boils down to dose Rand come into the fight grasping Sadin and with defensive weaves up? If so he wins roland can do nothing about it. Rand can sense when others grasp the source He considers from all his experience that that is the greatest ranged threat he can face.
    He is faster than arrows or aiel thrown spears with his defences. but he needs his defences up before roland is within 50 yards or so or he is dead. 100% garuanteed.
    So the question Rand has to ask himself is dose he feel lucky?….Well doya punk?
    I think rand comes into the fight grasping saidin ready to instantly weave true power sheilds and death as needed but his tendency is to talk. to offer a chance at surrender to some one who has not graped the source and isnt one of his Forsaken enemies.
    Roland has the same mindset he will offer quarter I beleive. when both men refuse quarter Roland is just tooo daaaang Fast and Rand dies a split second before he can complete a weave.

  • Enoch

    This is the toughest one I’ve seen yet. Most of the previous matches were a matter of philosophy (do guns beat swords? How awesome is Kvothe? Should we get rid of The Gods?)*. This, though, seems like an even match.
    (MINOR DISCLAIMER: I have not yet read the Gunslinger books, and am basing my analysis of Roland on Suvudu’s extremely amusing write-ups. I also have read only about half of the WoT books, but it’s enough that I know what’s going on.)
    Once Rand’s let loose with the balefire, he’s won. (I assume he’s a good enough mage that he won’t miss…) Even if Roland gets any shots off, the balefire undoes them.
    The only way Rand’s not going to balefire away (balefire makes a good verb, doesn’t it?) is if Roland draws his guns beforehand and gets into his slow-time-or-whatever state. Roland’s obviously not going to miss either, and the bullets will move fast enough that if Rand hadn’t already balefired, he won’t have a chance now.
    So, barring fanboyisim, the question becomes, as best as I can tell: who has the fastest trigger/spellcasting finger?
    (As other people pointed out, Rand can probably win without balefire. But the fundamental “who’s faster?” question still remains.)
    In my demi-humble opinion, that would be Roland.

    *: The answers to this questions are, respectively, ‘unfortunately,’ ‘very,’ and ‘I think not but the majority of voters apparently disagreed with me.’

  • Angrod

    To Enoch
    I’m still reading the comments searching for an answer to that…
    Is very difficult to make my choice…As Endlessorrow says, Roland has de Ka that makes him win, like a fate that is gonna make him win, but in the other hand Rand has the Pattern or the wheel,that is pretty the same (I think) but with another name…
    Roland is faster…yeah, he had trained for years but Rand is so powerfull once he is grasping saidin… and I think he would because if not he has not a chance because when he grasp it he feel sick and confused for a few seconds that are far enought for Roland to kill him…

  • Endlessorrow

    Enoch I dont think it comes down to who has the faster spell/trigger finger. I think there is little doubt that that is Roland.It is who ambushes who or dose rand have sheilds already woven and tied off…
    B.t.w. Check your brackets again guys if you can find em 😀 Rolands previous kills are not quite right.

  • Cal

    Anybody else notice that they switched Gandalf and Roland’s kills around?

  • random person

    * May contain spoilers *
    after having nailed aviendha, when Rand gets back through the portal he’s fast enough to *catch*! a spear thrown after them. He prresumably didnt walk very far from the portal so we can assume he had an amazingly small time to register the threat and react. But in this cage match he already knows he’ll be attacked, he only has to weave a defense. Additinally i dont think that simply putting up a shield in front of you takes more time than catching something.
    Therefore im convinced that no matter how fast roland draws, aims and shoots, no matter how fast bullets are, Rand is faster. And after having that shield up Roland is basically toast.
    If he has to grasp the source first it’s a completely different story, but then again, why shouldnt he embrace it if he knows he’s gonna fight a match till death?
    SO: Rand all the way

  • Shadow’sBane

    WTF
    do you think that Rand will come and fight Ronald without weaving any sort of wards against bullets …..???
    this is total MATCH FIXING.
    there is no chance that THE DRAGON REBORN who could dodge the BALEFIRE(which is light) would not be able dodge bullets from gun based on such old technology..
    THIS IS MATCH FIXING
    THIS IS MATCH FIXING
    THIS IS MATCH FIXING

  • Endlessorrow

    Check your previous kills for Roland up in the Bios guys. Then check your brackets if you can find them 😀

  • Bujos

    Rand wins no questions asked . There is so many was for Rad to kill Roland and i wont bother to speak about them.

  • dpomerico

    How is this “match fixing?” It’s just the way the brackets worked out.

  • dpomerico

    Oh, copy and pasting was working so well–good eye!
    Fixed now.

  • j

    okay, so i’m a big WoT fan and all, but there’s no way Rand beat Roland. A great comment on Dragonmount (that I now can’t find, arg!) pointed out how Rand is pretty much anti-Balefire by the end of the most recent book (ripping the fabric of existence and all that). He’s vulnerable because he’s thinking twice, not just arbitrarily flinging destruction around.
    Roland, on the other hand, doesn’t think twice. He’s got this permanent ‘zone’ going on, like if a Buddhist monk who meditates on the a religion of gunslinging (no slight intended to Buddhists).
    Seriously, this is a bunch of WoT fanboys stealing this match. Y’all would vote for Rand against anyone just because he’s Rand.

  • DiapDealer

    “THIS IS MATCH FIXING”
    Get a grip dude. Do you really think the voting is influenced by the predictions??
    They’re there for entertainment.
    **in his best Russel Crowe voice**
    ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!

  • Wycliffe

    Actually I always thought Rand was a misogynistic ass, but he wins this not a problem. Besides, is he actually anti-Balefire by the end? He has regained some sanity, but he does not renounce using it, he just refrains from doing so. Besides, while he might think twice about balefire, he is not thinking twice about bullet melting waves of fire and destruction, particularly when facing an actual opponent and not contemplating the destruction of an entire city/army.

  • Angrod

    The problem here is that the rules of the duel aren’t well defined, if they can go to the duel and then starts de fight or is X vs Y and make the fight whatever you want and wherever you want… if is the first combat, Roland wins for sure, but if is the other way, or Roland backstab Rand or Roland is fucked (and is hard to me to say this because I’m a good fan of Roland but Rand is too cheat…)

  • AHEM

    Roland has deadly reflexes and incredibly fast shots, undoubtedly. Against most mages, he would have an enormous advantage, as his victories against Gandalf and Elric show. However, Rand is an entirely different short of beast and wouldn’t go down quite so easily.
    Firstly, unlike Elric or Gandalf, Rand doesn’t need to consciously react. He has the ability to “tie off” his weaves, leaving them in place without him having to decide to use them. All he needs to do is weave an air barrier around himself, and he’ll be immune to bullets, making Roland’s only real attack that would work against him worthless.
    Roland has proven himself vulnerable to this short of tactic before. For those who haven’t read the Dark Tower series, there is a scene in the first book, “The Gunslinger” where Roland fights a mage, the Man in Black. Roland was expecting to fight him and ready for combat, but when he drew his guns and fired, the Man in Black’s magic simply deflected his bullets aside.

  • Shadow’sBane

    predictions do effects the results
    If not then explain how Aslan was defeated by kvothe &
    Gandalf by Ronald…..??
    It might not effect the total fans like us to great extent ,
    But it has too much effect on random voters ,
    But Rand wins this one

  • JJDownes

    I agree with Scenario.
    That is all.
    P.S. Its all about speed

  • JJDownes

    OK it wasn’t all.
    If you have read the Dark Tower series then you will know that a magician only has power over things from his own world and Roland is from a different world to Rand. So although I believe Roland wins either way, Rand supporters should think about whether its fought on the rules from Roland’s world or the rules from Rand’s world…

  • AHEM

    Now, in a situation based on power, Rand wins wholescale. In a scenario where he takes even the most basic precautions before battle, he’ll be immune to all of Roland’s attacks. The only way Roland could conceivably win is in a “first strike” scenario where he manages to hit Rand first, and that scenario is more of a 50/50 thing.
    Let me explain. Rand does not need to point his hand and mutter an incantation or make a gesture to use magic, like Elric or Gandalf. All he needs to do is look and you and think, and you’ll explode. The Asha’man make great use of this tactic in battle, just basically looking at the enemy and blowing them to pieces. Death will follow literally as fast as Rand’s thoughts. Given Roland’s speed, the outcome there will be a toss-up, or with both of them dying. If Rand uses balefire, then Roland’s recent actions will be erased, and even if Rand was shot dead at the same time he balefired Roland, actions would be rewound and Rand would be unharmed. Balefire has been known to undo people’s deaths before.
    Now, another factor everyone seems to be forgetting is that Rand is Ta’veren. Not only does he have the whole “destiny protects him on his quest” yadda yadda that Roland does, he also screws probability and destiny within his vicinity, making unlikely things happen. What will happen if Roland’s hand misses his gun, or it slips in his hand, or the bullet goes off course and misses Rand?
    For further ideas of Rand’s Ta’veren abilities affecting this fight . . . well, I’ll let Rand speak for himself, here.
    “Do you believe that I could kill you? Right here, right now, without using a sword or the Power? Do you believe that if I simply willed it, the Pattern would bend around me and stop your heart? By…coincidence?”

  • jack

    Before that version of Rand has gotten through saidin-grasping, Roland of Gilead has shot him dead. Good call.

  • Rand wins hands down.
    I love Roland and the Dark Tower series. This is a tough match. Easily the hardest one for Rand yet. But quite simply, the Wheel of Time itself will not let Rand lose. It will not allow it. While ka and the Dark Tower would have no problems letting Roland die (And start over)

  • DiapDealer

    “If not then explain how Aslan was defeated by kvothe & Gandalf by Roland…..??”
    Your argument is defeated by its own logic. Roland was predicted to lose in the first round to Elric.
    You’re just cherry-picking the predictions you don’t agree with.

  • The Jaguar

    I have to agree completely with the prediction of how the match will turn out. Rand may be incredibly powerful, but that’s only when he’s not off in space talking to a dead man inside his head. It also takes time in the Wheel of Time series to cast spells… the time it takes to think of doing it pretty much, but from all that I’ve read Rand doesn’t think faster than a bullet flies from Roland’s guns into his head. And at that point it’s already too late.
    I’ve read both series, and Roland definitely wins against Rand. Rand is unpredictable, he’s crazy, he’s not faster than a bullet, he doesn’t know what guns are, when he dodges balefire and other spells it’s because he anticipates them and moves before they’re cast (he’s not faster than the speed of light…), the list goes on. Rand loses, Roland wins.

  • Viktor

    Roland can draw faster than a Planck time? The physicist is outraged! Rand wins.

  • Woot

    AHEM hit the nail on the head. I couldn’t have said it better.
    Calling Rand a sorcerer paints a really bad picture of him to the uninitiated… Roland’s speed, while uncanny, is also exaggerated in he matchup story, as there are many cases in the DT series where mere wizards deflected bullets/nullified his sixguns before he could draw and shoot.
    Rand has -extreme- reaction time when he’s wielding saidin. He often holds Saidin for long periods of time when he feels threatened, and unless Roland walked up behind him and fired, Rand would have seized the One Power before hand and would be impervious to attack.
    I’d wager that dpomerico has never read Wheel of Time, else he would understand this. There is 0 casting time. A good example of Rand’s speed is the crossbow bolt fired at him from a rooftop (bolts move anywhere from 350 to 400 feet per second) which was caught in mid-air. This means that Rand had the mental agility to sense the bolt cutting through air, see it, seize saidin, and catch the bolt all in at least half a second, because it was suspended above the rooftops, and I doubt even a master bowman would have been able to make a shot farther than 400 feet.
    So all that was done in a fraction of a second. Shields go up even faster, because the weave doesn’t “catch” anything, it just surrounds the channeler.
    Perhaps the best example of Rand’s weaving speed is his deflection of bolt of lightning during his battle with Sammael. The fastest bullet available for a .45 moves at a velocity of 1150 ft/s. High speed rifle rounds move slightly faster.
    Alternatively, a bolt of lightning travels at just shy of 186000 -miles- per second.
    Do the math. Rand wins.

  • Celtic Bear

    Three things to think about:
    1) Are the Man in Black and/or The Crimson King using Roland to take out Rand for their own ends? This could greatly facilitate Roland getting close enough to get the drop on Rand, and then it becomes a question if Roland realizes he’s being played in time.
    2) Folks get the drop on Rand all the time. It even happens in the most recent book, “Gathering Storm,” Semirhage COMPLETELY PWNS Rand for a few seconds, and that is all Roland would need.
    3) Its not JUST the guns. It is the superhuman ability to do whatever it takes to use the guns advantageously.

  • Illarion

    1) Rand’s Ta’veren status (“the strongest who has even lived”) would likely protect him regardless. Roland’s guns would fail to ignite, misfire, or whatever.
    2) Rand at all times maintains (tied off) shields strong enough to protect from arrows, spears, and known weaves of the Power. In all probability, Roland’s guns wouldn’t even hurt Rand.
    3) If Rand was holding the Power, his reactions might well be comparable to Roland’s. So even discounting 1 and 2, he would still be able to defend himself AND take Roland down.
    I’m no especial fan of Rand, but this contest is even more one sided than Roland’s previous two – neither of which he should have won. Give it a rest, King fanbois.

  • Celtic Bear

    >
    Roland’s guns have not JUST guns. They are artifact level magic weapons that have proved REPEATDEDLY to be immune to any magic influences.
    >
    A) I reiterate, artifact level magic weapons.
    B) It is a reccuring theme in the Dark Tower book of Roland overcoming magical resistance to make the shot count.
    >
    Roland would know to take him when he’s not holding the power, and if the the Man in Black or the Crimson King are secretly pulling Roland’s strings, they would have the juju to see that Rand’s passive defenses were down.

  • yellows55

    staying out of this one untill i read WoT which will be sometime tomorrow:)

  • Angrod

    There are too much book to be readed sometime tomorrow XDDD I read a lot and took me 3 months to finish them… and then I cry because I thought they were finished and they weren’t…

  • Ta’vern

    Hey, just going to put this here. Ta’vern. For those of you that have read WoT you will know that Rand bends chance around himself… So that people who want to do things don’t, things that normally kill don’t, the gunslinger could die on a stray feather or something when the match starts. Or he could miss because some random happenstance like birds flying between the shots.
    I don’t know the Dark Tower series and haven’t read them, just giving another facet to this conversation. If this has already been stated.. well oh well. And being ta’vern isn’t magic too

  • pale corbie

    So…who wants to see a cowboy vs. dragon final?

  • dpomerico

    Regrettably, I have not read WoT yet–I’m one of those who’s waiting for all the books to be done before I delve into such a massive series (although I am looking forward to it).
    That said, I also didn’t actually write this scenario–I’m just the man who posted it onto the Interwebs. The lady who did write the scenario HAS read the books, though, and she assures me that Roland will still get the shot off. Of course, I think she assures me of that just because it will spark more debate, but I’m willing to be the messenger here. 🙂

  • Hunter

    No balefire needed. It doesn’t matter how fast Roland is with his guns. Rand is a blademaster who would be equally fast in terms of hand eye coordination. Before the fight he would have entered the void and at the slightest motion from Roland’s hands wrapped him in flows of air and then taken his time cutting him down with blade made from the one power.

  • Amen-Ra

    Unless Rand is a total bafoon then he should win. Why would he not have his magic shield up if he had one. Why wait till Roland is about to shoot him before he decides, “Oh let me put up my magic air shield.” I never read wheel of time but I doubt that Rand is that stupid. That’s why I have to go with him.

  • Mufasa

    It can be argued that Roland can’t fire faster than thought. He can only fire as fast as he can draw and aim his guns which, while he can do so very quickly, cannot overcome the basic principal that he must move his guns and his arms across a distance, taking up time. Rand doesn’t have to move, only think; virtually instant. Roland loses… Period.

  • I’m going for Roland on this one (yes, I have read both). I find the “destiny” argument to be rather weak, i.e., that Rand can’t lose because he’s destined to be at his big final battle. He’s still flesh-and-blood, for all his powers, and I’ve always thought fate should be the most fickle of shields.
    Mostly, I wanted to say I enjoyed this Suduvu write-up a lot. My favorite so far.

  • Angrod

    The problem for Rand is that he doesn’t know what a gun is, so may be he is not prepared to defend from a gunshot, but I think this combat should be a tie, it’s to difficult to make a winner…

  • 1337FanBoy

    Roland’s skills and reflexes may be finely honed. But so are Rand’s. “The flame and the void” is described much as the description of Roland’s gunslinger ability is. The ability to break moments into fragments of time long enough to think, act and react in. Add to that that while Rand is holding the source it compounds his reactions, his reflexes, and his ability to take in every minute detail of the world around him.
    So assuming Rand isn’t an idiot, and comes to the fight holding the source, He’s going to see the muscles flex in Roland’s neck and arm before he actually begins moving. So Roland’s pure speed isn’t a one sided advantage.
    I’m going to make an assumption here that both champions have done their home work and know the other’s basic skills and fighting style. Rand will know that Roland draws this magical devices, pulls a small lever with his index finger, which punches a hole in the body of the person directly in front of it.
    When he seems Roland go to draw that weapon, he will move. He will have some pre-woven spells ready to release. Maybe no killing weaves, but deadly none the less if they can keep him alive for a few fractions of an instant.
    Now if Rand did not take these precautions, he deserves to die. But I don’t see him dying to this guy at this time.

  • Angrod

    I’ll give you that, as I said before, if Rand is grabbing the Saidin Roland is pretty much dead, the only thing that I would like to know and would help us a lot is that they can be prepared before the match, I mean if Rand can be grabbing the saidin and roland with his guns in his hands or it’s like and old western duel…

  • AHEM

    Roland’s guns are indeed magical in nature, but that does not mean that Rand can’t stop them. The Man in Black deflected his bullets, after all, and even if the One Power didn’t work on the guns themselves, deflecting the bullets with air weaves or tying Roland’s hands up would work just fine.
    As for Rand not knowing about guns, bare in mind that cannons, bombs, and gunpowerder have recently been invented in the Wheel of Time. Granted, Rand isn’t an expert on firearms, but the idea of shooting projectiles, gunpowder, and crossbows won’t be quite as alien to him as most seem to think.
    I will definitely admit that Roland could potentially win if he got the drop on Rand, but you could just as easily say that Rand is planning for Roland, catches him off guard, and annihilates him with a dozen deadly weaves before Roland even knows he’s there. The element of surprise is an unfair assumption in these kinds of matches, as it could easily go either way and gives one side an overwhelming advantage.
    Furthermore, if Rand has taken the precaution to spin an air weave around himself, it won’t matter if Roland gets the drop on him or not. His bullets will simply be deflected even if Rand doesn’t see them coming.

  • 1337FanBoy

    Well if Rand can’t be holding the source before entering the fight he’s straight up dead, because as soon as he embraces saidin he’s going to fall to his knees, vomit, then slowly return to normal, say the whole experience takes 15 seconds. He’s dead in that time easy.
    So maybe the most “fair” solution would be Rand can be embracing the source, knows what Roland’s guns do, but no pre-prepared weaves.
    That gives them both a fair fight.

  • Angrod

    All that I say was that, we “haven’t” enough details to determine the winner although I finnaly vote for Rand, because reading the others combats, they seem to be prepared for battle so I suppose rand will blow up the gunslinger, but is just that I don’t want that XD

  • CJ

    Has to be Rand. Channeling is wicked *fast*. Look, think, dead Roland, no chance to even start to grab a pistol.
    Even IF Roland manages to get off a shot, if it doesn’t kill Rand instantly, the abovementioned balefire takes care of any problems. So, 10% chance of Roland winning? If that.

  • Angrod

    If Roland manages to get a shot and Rand is “surprised” and don’t dodge it with magic, Rand is dead (but it all depends if Rand knows that he is going to be shot, if this is it it would be easy to make a defense), Roland does not fail, but of course even if Rand deads de balefire can undo it, and the ta’veren thing… psss sometimes work and some others not i don’t count it…

  • JJDownes

    Rolands guns not from Rands world, Rolands guns therefore immune to magic.

  • lakesidey

    Rand stood in the desert, looking with distrust at the gloomy tower in the distance. After the Black Tower debacle, he’d rather gone off dark towers of any description, and this was a particularly forbidding one. Worse, he couldn’t remember how he’d gotten here – perhaps he was in the World of Dreams, but Tel’aran’rhiod was rarely this bright, he couldn’t remember ever having seen the sun there.
    A movement in the dunes ahead caught his eye and he instinctively started to reach for the Source. But then, he didn’t want to risk it yet, not with the madman in his head. He watched suspiciously as a man dressed brightly enough to make a tinker blush approached.
    And then, the man moved, faster than Rand could have believed possible. In a moment, there were two shining barrels in his hand, aimed at Rand, and two clicking sounds emerged from them. Rand had no idea what those objects might be? Angreal, perhaps? But he wasted no time in snatching at the source and spinning a shield. Russian Roland, or something like that, they called it in an age long past, an age yet to come, muttered Lews Therin insanely. But he could mutter as much as he wanted, as long as he didn’t grab the source. Rand battled nausea behind his shield, and watched as the man tried again, this time with small bursts of flame and some violent projectile that struck the barrier hard enough to rock him.
    So, probably a ter’angreal. Maybe specifically made to shoot those pellets, and probably the man wasn’t a channeler. But no point taking risks. His ta’veren luck had probably saved him the first time. Trust is a knife in the dark, wept Lews Therin, and for once Rand found himself agreeing with the madman. He spun weaves of fire and air, woven just so, and the man burst into flames, screaming something about the dark tower needing him.
    So. Another of Taim’s minions, it seemed. Rand shrugged and turned away. He’d have to do something about Taim soon, but first he had to destroy Graendel. Kill them, wept Lews Therin, kill them all! He would just have to be hard as diamond, for a little while longer; but for now, Rand almost felt like weeping himself.

  • Clinton

    Anyone here read the last Dark Tower book?
    Even if Roland is not fast enough (and from reading all of his books, I believe he is), Roland is just like Ryu: i. e. he has infinite continues!!!!
    Roland will never stop. Even if he dies in this battle, ka will rewind him back to the desert where he chased the Man in Black. This isn’t some 5 second rewind a la balefire. This is an extra life. Therefore, no matter how many times Rand kills Roland, ka will change something in time and send Roland right back into battle until Rand is the smoking corpse.
    I mean, not even M. Bison can beat infinite continues!!!

  • jack

    WOT fanboy here, but does everybody here remember that currently there are very real time delays and moments of disorientation and nausea-induced helplessness in Rand al’Thor reaching for Saidin, filling himself with Saidin, and using Saidin? He isn’t running on the speed of thought from a standing start any more.
    Just checking.

  • CezeN

    I think it’s pretty ridiculous how some people are siting things like “Rand’s got blablabla, alters chance, which would kill Roland by weird luck, and doesn’t afraid of anything”.
    The fcking scenario already made it clear that both have a sort of luck on their side.
    *facepalm*

  • Yizun

    Infinite continues don’t make a difference if you never existed at all. How can you bring back to life a soul that no longer exists? How can you resurrect that which is not dead? How can you “continue” what has not even been started?
    Point being, balefire does not kill. And if Roland can have his hands on his guns and Rand knows he is in a fight then it is a safe bet that Rand is already wielding the source, has been for some time, and has a few nasty tricks hidden up his sleeves.

  • Citizen

    1. Ta’vern vs. Ka = a wash. No advantage to either.
    2. Tied off air weaves means no bullets get through.
    3. Rand doesn’t even need balefire here. He has plenty of other magics that would do the job.
    4. Rand’s weaknesses are his personality issues, and his vulnerability to possession. This is where a Rand vs. Gandalf battle would have been very interesting, because Tolkien’s magic is more about will and power than spells. We know that Gandalf has the power to end possession (Saruman over Theoden), so it’s reasonable to assume that he could go the other direction. Full possession of Rand seems un-Gandalf like, but I could see him using his power to insert himself as a voice in Rand’s head. Don’t know how that would go, and it’s moot at this point. Just using this as an illustration of the kind of attack that could beat Rand. I don’t see that Roland has any such capabilities, and unlike Gandalf, Rand has clearly articulated defenses against projectiles. So, I say this one is a no-brainer for Rand. Rand vs. Ged, on the other hand, could get very interesting. Hope it turns out that way.

  • Endlessorrow

    Roland draws aims and fires faster than the mind or eye can register the fact. so Rolands draw and fire is faster than a opponents reacton thought.. Btw we think in words in our primary language even though we are “talking” these thoughts realy fast.
    Given even short notice a fight is imminent I agree Rand Has grasped the source.
    I agree Rand has many many more options and methods of winning a fight than Roland.
    But Rand probably dosen’t Win with out bullet stoping sheilds up BEFORE ROLAND DRAWS.
    The thing thats ben convincing in all the pro-Al’Thor arguments is that Rands Tavern status Has him enter the fight with defensive weaves up and tied off, or put sheilds up before he is drawn down..
    But I already put in my 3 votes for Roland so.. mehh.

  • Beastly

    Difficult choice. Right now I think Rand has a slight edge. I’m reserving my vote for the moment.

  • AHEM

    The same could be said for Rand. His soul is directly tied to the Pattern of the Ages, and if he were to die, he would be reborn once again to continue the fight against the Shadow. If we’re figuring that Roland comes back every time Rand obliterates him from existence, then Rand is reborn every time Roland shoots him.
    In an extended battle of multiple reincarnations, the edge undoubtedly goes to Rand, as he has one weapon that destroys permanently, with no hope of resurrection: Balefire. In a scenario of infinite fights between Rand and Roland, sooner or later the Gunslinger is going to be balefired, and according to Wheel of Time canon, a balefired target cannot come back.

  • Alia

    I vote for Roland – he has a track record of winning in the situations where he seems to be an underdog. He keeps pursuing his target – the Dark Tower – despite any obstacles, and I think he has the potential to win this one. Plus, I’m fangirling here…

  • scorpiknox

    Why is Rand Al’Bore winning? For God’s sake WHY? We all know that in the beginning of the battle Rand would grapple with some inner turmoil for about 5 or 6 pages, then whine about the new 30 Seconds to Mars album not being as good as the first one for about 5 more pages, and then get shot in the head in about a paragraph. Balefire = Deus Ex Machina = bad writing. Vote for bullets.
    I am sad that so many people seem to be fanboying up for WoT. It isn’t even very good after the first 3 books. Come on folks…just say “NO” to repetative filler!

  • Ice and Fire

    I think Rand would definately come to the match holding saidin. I mean it’s a fight to the death and Rand knows it so he’s not going to let himself be taken be suprprise, especially since everyone who are in these matches have heard about their opponents, so Rand would know he has guns. Also Rand wouldn’t underestimate Roland because he did make it to the quarterfinals afterall, so there’s no way he wouldn’t have a shield in place when he enters the ring.

  • fifellee

    Ok… First of all, we need to understand Rand Al’Thor is not stupid. He has the voice of one of the greatest generals ever in his head. Do you really think he will come into this battle unprepared? Do you really think he will not do his “homework” and know all of Roland’s strengths and weaknesses? I think Roland is a great character with crazy-super speed when it comes to quick-drawing, but there is no way he can kill Rand. I have to say, now that the Shrike got voted out, there is no doubt in my mind who will be winning this competition. What a great battle The Shrike vs The Dragon Reborn would have been… Now that there is no Shrike, a Soldier Asha’man can take the trophy. I have to say, I was a bit disgusted with the lack of thought that went into this battle 🙁

  • Paul C

    Balefire is not Deus Ex Machina by any definition of the word. That would apply more to BOTH character’s luck/fate/whatever (Ta’veren vs ka). Balefire is a needed plot device in Wheel of Time vs enemies (the Forsaken) who if not killed with it are brought back again.
    As many have mentioned, Balefire isn’t needed here. We have to assume each character here is at their best and not handicapped. A fully prepared Rand would not face any danger from Roland.

  • Citizen

    I wouldn’t be so quick to count Kvothe out just yet. Also, never underestimate GRRM and the Lannister fan base.

  • yellows55

    oh no!!! i just started today!!! this reind me of how i was fooled into reading grrm, believing i would find resolutions at the end of at least every other book:(

  • Roland, by *ahem* a long shot.
    Rand has to think about what is coming, and he’s never seen Roland before. If he doesn’t know what form the attack will be in – seeing an unarmed person some distance away would probably lead him to believe it would be magical – then how could he defend against it?
    He could throw up a shield against all sorts of sorcerous assault, but is there any way he’d suspect a slugthrower?
    Roland takes it. You know it. Vote appropriately.

  • scorpiknox

    Yeah, I was more referring to how Balefire seems to be the answer to every one of Rand insurmountable problems in the books. I seem to remember a lot of hopeless situations in which he *somehow* found the strength deep inside of him while blacking out or pissing himself or whatever to use balefire. Sounds like Deus Ex Machina to me.
    Wikipedia sez:
    “A deus ex machina (pronounced /?de?.?s ?ks ?m??kin?/ or /?di?.?s ?ks ?mæk?n?/,[1] literally, in Latin, “god from the machine”) is a plot device whereby a previously intractable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with a contrived introduction of a new character, ability, or object”
    Key word there is *ability*, which would be balefire. It erases stuff from existance, ripping it from the past as well. Sounds like a useful ability to conjure once you’ve written yourself into a corner to me, but what do I know?
    To be fair, it has been a long while (6 years?) since I have read the books, so I will defer to your argument. Honestly, I was simply infusing a little Rand hate into what is a decidedly pro-Rand comment section. I really don’t care for him as a character (obviously) and guns always win, especially magic guns held by the deadliest gunslinger this side of Deputy Dog.
    Judging by the numbers so far, Rand should take this easily, so it doesn’t matter.

  • Citizen

    And see, Rand has yet another attack, not that he needs it. He could sit behind his defensive weaves and start reading the entire WoT series out loud…

  • AHEM

    Note that the key ingredient of a true Deus Ex Machina is “a contrived introduction.” Balefire was introduced and used by Rand in the third book, to destroy a Darkhound, long before he fought Forsaken and such enemies and had to pull out of tough scenarios. Balefire is an ability to Rand’s; the strengths and limitations of it are known, Rand can use it on command, and it is always at his disposal.
    A true Deus Ex Machina would be if Rand *suddenly* learned how to use balefire in the midst of an important battle, and used it to win, when nothing had been said of him having balefire previously. Once it is quantified as an ability of Rand’s that he can reliably use on command(not just in certain situations or spontaneously), it cannot be a Deus Ex Machina.
    “I am sad that so many people seem to be fanboying up for WoT. It isn’t even very good after the first 3 books. Come on folks…just say “NO” to repetative filler!”
    What matters here is the fighting ability of the characters, not the writing of the authors and the series. It doesn’t matter if Wheel of Time is too boring, awesome, the worst series ever written, or better than Tolkien. What matters is Rand’s abilites, and those have nothing to do with the pacing of the book or how much filler there is.

  • Morbo

    Roland Roland Roland. I vote Roland for the sole reason that He’s not some punk with a cheesy CHEESY CHEESY ability to get out of any problem with some horsepucky ability. Besides Roland has no conscience to bother him like Rand. He’ll throw anyone at hand, no matter how close to him, under the bus to achieve his goal of the Dark Tower. Go then for there are other worlds than this.
    I’ll erase you from existence? Kiss my grits.

  • Kyhkaen

    Rand Al’Thor an emo. Really? We can’t be talking about the same fictional character. Who is this Rand Al’Bore?
    *Spoiler*
    ‘Slowly he pulled a left arm that seemed all pain up where he could see his hand. See where his hand had been. A stub sticking out of a cuff that gave off thin streamers of smoke. But the Power was still being channeled around him. His people were fighting for their lives. They might be dying. Min! He struggled to rise, and fell again.’
    …30 seconds later…
    ‘”He’s not in shock,” Min said sadly. The bond was full of sadness. She had taken hold of his arm as if to hold him up again. “He lost a hand, but there’s nothing to do about it, so he’s left it behind already.”‘
    *End Spoiler*
    This is the part where you say, “Ohh, my mistake, I was actually talking about my cousin, Randal Bore.”
    No, that isn’t my only example either, we can do this all day if you want. You trying to prove a fictional (What! He isn’t real?) character is emo and me throwing quote after quote in your face. Seems a bit silly to me.
    *Ohh, and I’m fine with you hating Rand, just thought I’d use your post as an example for the multiple times people bring up Rand being emo.

  • Terremoto

    As it has been pointed out, so many senarios are possible, and we can twist this any way we want to determine who wins. While now senario could be exactly fair, one where Roland had his hands on his guns while Rand holds the source seems as fair as it can get.
    Now don’t get me wrong, im a big Roland fan. In fact, my myspace wallpaper is from the Dark Tower series, and while Roland certainly beats Rand in the Badass department, Rand wins. Despite Rolands speed, he must think then shoot, which still takes longer than just thinking, which is all Rand needs to do. Just like everyone else, having every battle decided by Balefire is kinda lame, but it works. Even if they fired at the same time, Rand wins via existence eraser. I haven’t read every comment so im sure these ideas have already been echoed, i just felt like i saw to many ‘what if’ situations floating about. Regardless i love this tourney’s idea, fun but not meant to be take to seriously. And as for the Rand being emo comments, i respectfully disagree, but even if i did, his character certainly goes through enough to justify a bit of crankiness!

  • Turamarth

    If this tournament was based entirely on power, it would be over before it began. Balefire is nothing compared to the unimaginable Cthulu. If all the other contenders combined their efforts, it wouldn’t even be worthy of chuckle from the being. But, this is a popularity contest!

  • Terremoto

    Yeah exactly, purely based on power they wouldn’t even host this tournament lol.

  • Citizen

    Cthulhu:

  • objectsession

    “Balefire = Deus Ex Machina = bad writing. Vote for bullets.”
    that’s kind of funny considering the role of “deus ex machina” in the dark tower series. (and for those that haven’t read the dark tower, i’m not criticizing it. “deus ex machina” plays an explicit role in the text.)

  • 1337FanBoy

    Rand doesn’t need balefire, he’s not a one trick pony. He doesn’t even need some pre-prepared spells to win. But he DOES need to enter the fight holding saidin. If he’s not holding the source BEFORE the fight begins, he loses, straight up. If he has pre-prepared defenses he wins straight up. So neither situation is very interesting.
    The only interesting situation is Rand v Roland both ready but neither with the drop on the other.

  • Walts

    I could see Kvothe being a match for him, simply naming him “lews therin” and beating him, but I don’t know how he would know about lews therin. But pretty much hands down, Rand is the ultimate badass.

  • Quibby

    I’ll be honest. I’m playing favorites on this one and voting for Rand. Likewise, I’m voting for Jaime Lannister. Why? Because I wanna see a duel between the one-handed wonders.
    And I wanna see Jaime kill Rand.

  • Scott

    No, this really isn’t entertaining. It may be for those of you who rig the vote numbers so that they jump by 5,000+ in a single evening for particular opponent so the organizers get the match-ups they want, but for those of us who were actually interested in seeing this play out, no, not entertaining at all.

  • Citizen

    Kvothe is a skilled researcher, and has access to an immense library. He could find things out, if he gets that far. And objectsession, I sort of agree – Roland has “deus ex pistoli”. Hard to complain about god-like powers when your character has them too.

  • Citizen

    Whoa, that is a lot of votes in a very short time, on both sides. No evidence, but sure looks like some kind of bot action.

  • Atax

    How did it go up 13k votes?

  • Alia

    Well, actually Roland is missing a few fingers on his hand – I know that doesn’t quite make him a one-hand-wonder, but still 😉

  • Atax

    Someone is definitely botting, it has been going up every second.

  • Citizen

    Thing is, the vote differentials haven’t changed that much. Last time I looked, maybe 6:30, Rand’s lead was holding pretty steady around 3,450. It’s now around 3,700, so it may be a dueling bot situation. Still, this is by far the worst incident of this I’ve seen so far.

  • Morbo

    Roland Roland Roland. How we love you Roland. Roland Roland Roland, Roland!!!!

  • bigdan

    it wouldnt matter how fast he shot because balefire is pure energy and light is faster than a bullet so rand wins

  • Brendan

    Considering there were ’rounds’ before this, I’m assuming that they’ve possibly seen eachother fight, or heard of each other.
    Which means Roland shoots himself in the head to save everyone the hassle of turning up to a dud match.
    Hehehe

  • Kit

    Rand. Easily.
    And not just ‘magic shield , bullets fall down’.
    Rand has trained with the sword to an amazing degree of proficiency, and that training isn’t limited to how he reacts with a length of sharp steel in his hand.
    The multi-faceted nature of Rand’s talents and training combine to give him an incredible combination of ‘edge’ over a guy who has the built in limitations of ‘I can has gun’.
    Regardless of how fast Roland can get off his (even perfect) shot, the bullet can only go so fast.
    Rand has an inhuman reaction time, and if he can duck BALEFIRE he can dodge a bullet.
    That leaves Roland with.. *poof*.
    Rand doesn’t even need to erase him, just tie off a weave and leave him there to rot.

  • Morbo

    Rand isn’t fit to carry Rolands gun let alone to set foot in the arena with him

  • scorpiknox

    When did I ever use the word emo? I think that is your word, not mine. But, to be sure, all that little punk ass does most of the time is brood about his mood and snap at people. He reminds me of a chubby goth kid I don’t want to be around.
    After book two, Rand Al’Thor is boring. His books are boring. They are repetitive. They are repetitive. His books are boring. Rand Al’Thor is boring. See what I did there? I just don’t understand how people could get past book 4 or 5 without getting sick of Egwene or Nynaeve tugging on braids and crossing arms and giving disapproving looks.
    @AHEM and others
    With regards to Deus Ex Machina, I actually defered to your judgment on that because, as I mentioned but you must have missed, it had been sometime since I read my last installment of WoT. I just seem to remember most of Rand’s abilities manifesting themselves just in the nick of time, which is awfully convenient. If I am wrong about this, which I probably am, chalk it up to the sour taste still lingering in my mouth from when I finally realized that I had been wasting my time 7000+ pages into WoT.
    Besides, any character with godlike powers is a walking, talking (in Rand’s case brooding)box of potential “Deus Ex Machina” in that the character can pretty much get away with any feat he/she/it needs to get away. This helps get from point A to point B in the story with a minimal effort from the writer behalf.
    @ Ahem specifically:
    “What matters here is the fighting ability of the characters, not the writing of the authors and the series.”
    Have you just come to the website, just now? Because I’m pretty sure I just saw Jamie Lannister beat Cthulu, so, erm…
    @objectsession
    A special wink, just for you…
    *wink*

  • positronics

    The skies above were washed with grey, an unnatural gloom that penetrated the dust-choked landscape below him. Wind whipped at the scarlet cloaked clasped on his shoulders, but Rand al’Thor had no interest in the cold bite. The wind wailed louder, protesting its dismissal in dread calls of what was, and what was to come. The rogue. The barbarian. Who else must die? No telling, not from Lews Therin. The day on Dragonmount had changed him forever. He was no longer a slave to a sickness of spirit, no longer the audience of the dead man in his head.
    He had changed. The world was no longer a crushing weight. Memories of shepherding in the Two Rivers were now infused with the glories of Paaran Disen and the Dominion. His view of time was now through the looking glass of two lifetimes, and so were his thoughts. When Rand seized control of saidin there were no longer violent spells of nausea and pain, only a vague sense of other-self, of the Power he wielded through Ages long ago ground to dust by the turning of the Wheel. Another sense always tempted him though, and always had. A drumming from beyond the Pattern, willing to be used so that He might be torn free.
    The Dragon Reborn had appeared in this place unexpectedly, the only notable structure an immense dark tower on the horizon. Murk melted into the horizon, forming a haze that made judging its distance impossible. Rand grasped the One Power and Traveled to the smoking vista below. There. A man in a duster and wide-brimmed hat crouched low over the corpse of a birdlike Trolloc, it’s blackened armor no match for whatever force had punched through it.
    “Thought it was a Taheen. Too big.” The man said in mangled Old Tongue as he rose slowly, casting Rand a sidelong glance from the shadows of his hat. A horn was tied to his belt, and two strange weapons that were reminiscent of shocklances gleamed dangerously in their sheaths. “Fancy thinny.” He said, peering over Rand’s shoulder at the still-open gateway. “Are you the Man Jesus? I had a compass to give you… Lost it though.”
    “I am Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn.” He said. The words hung in the air, their echo still resounding against the craggy ground of All-World as the gunslinger bore down on his foe. Time now slowed to a crawl.
    Both hands latching sandalwood and drawing his sixguns faster than an eyeblink.
    The rounds screaming from the twin barrels and racing towards Rand’s head.
    A blinding flash of light.
    Two bullets ripped through Rand’s eyes, and tore through the back of skull in a macabre explosion of pink mist and shattered bone.
    The Dragon Reborn shrugged his shoulders, cracking tense muscles in his neck. It was an odd memory, being dead. The man that was before him a mere second before was gone, the only remnant of him a faint whiff of gunsmoke carried by the howling wind. He touched his fingertips to recalling the searing pain as he gazed up at the dark tower on the horizon.
    “Darkle, no more.” A voice whispered on the wind.

  • Paul C

    From the definition you quoted:
    “A deus ex machina (pronounced /?de?.?s ?ks ?m??kin?/ or /?di?.?s ?ks ?mæk?n?/,[1] literally, in Latin, “god from the machine”) is a plot device whereby a previously intractable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with a contrived introduction of a new character, ability, or object”
    I see what you’re saying regarding balefire, but there’s nothing spontaneous and sudden about its introduction or use in the Wheel of Time novels. Its introduced in the first book as a core part of the universe (and is used by the enemies as well so its not just the good guys pulling it out of nowhere).
    BTW. I’m very glad Richard Rahl AKA king of deus ex machina plot resolutions in this contest.

  • Paul C

    Sorry – last line there should have been I’m glad he’s NOT in this contest. I shouldn’t post this late – brain isn’t working.

  • scorpiknox

    Already addressed it in the post above positronics’ nicely done scenario, but yeah, I do see your point. I am pretty hazy about WoT details, but I believe ya’ll.

  • Jackalhit

    I think what is being overlooked, is that through Lews Therin’s memories, Rand would know exactly what a gun is, even an ancient one (by Lews Therin’s chronology). Lews Therin came from a technologically advanced era; the breaking of the world shot humanity back to medieval tech.
    Also, did anyone actually read the end of The Gathering Storm? Go reread that last chapter. Rand’s first “disability” is COMPLETELY moot, if we’re talking about the most up-to-date Rand.
    Also, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that Rand cannot draw upon any memories of what a gun is. Roland is inhumanly fast with his draw and fire, but he still has to think about drawing and firing. No action in your body takes place without some kind of synapse. So in this instance, thought is required, which preceeds action. The argument that Roland can think, draw, aim, fire before Rand can even THINK … is completely ridiculous. I mean, they both come into this knowing it’s a cage match to the death, right? Ged and Drizzt certainly do.

  • Kyhkaen

    Let’s see, hmm, you’re right, you never used the word ’emo’. Congratulations, here’s a cookie. Sorry for the mistake, since you obviously weren’t implying anything of the sort. Good detective skills too, I didn’t think you’d see me attacking you personally through using your post as an example. You’re one clever whatever-you-are.
    “But, to be sure, all that little punk ass does most of the time is brood about his mood and snap at people. He reminds me of a chubby goth kid I don’t want to be around.” Why does this fit my view of you so well after that post? Lighten up, the Rolandbots are almost catching up to the Randbots.
    If you haven’t noticed my oh-so-clever use of sarcasm yet, I might have to take back my compliment on your detective skills.
    I really don’t care what you think about Rand, as I thought I made clear in my last post. Your entire post boils down to-
    “I hate Baseball, Soccer is so much better. You like Baseball? You must be an idiot, Baseball is boring, I played Baseball and it was boring. Did I mention that I hate Baseball?”
    You seem to dislike fanboys, but you’re just as bad in a different way. Ohh well, you’re just one vote in thousands.
    P.S. I like Roland and I like Rand, so don’t think you’re getting some private victory by voting for Roland. And no, I’m not being serious before you tell me to lighten up or something, I laughed when I read your post and I laughed as I was typing my post. I’m just not a very serious person. Now that my wall of text is done, I think I’ll go write book 23 of the WoT series. I’m pretty good at drawing things out for pages, right?

  • MrIzzy

    I’ve seen many people reference Rand dodging Balefire and lightning. However, they overlook the fact that Rand knows it’s coming. He can sense when someone seizes the Source. He can tell when someone’s weaving. It’s not like he’s actually faster than light. Add to the fact that as soon as he senses someone seizing the Source, he also seizes the source.
    Which leads itself to who is faster: Roland or Rand. They both can enter a state of slowed perception. To seize the Source, he first learned the Flame and the Void. Everything slows down. He is able to respond and react to attacks with swords, staffs, etc. But does this really compare to Roland’s slowed perceptions? The man is a gunfighter. His sense of time slows to the level of perceiving frickin’ gunfire. Simply put, once Roland starts to draw, Rand can’t keep up.
    As for catching crossbow bolts, as someone pointed out, they travel at 350-400 feet per second. The sound of a crossbow being fired would reach Rand well before the actual bolt and allow for his wards to jump up (even subconsciously). A bullet travels 1200+ ft/s. Sound travels 1080 ft/s. That means the bullet is there before the sound of it being fired is. At a distance of 20 feet, the bullet would be there in less than 0.02 seconds (20 milliseconds), roughly 1/10 the average person’s reaction time. Even with his heightened reflexes, is Rand reacting 10 times faster than a normal person? Would Rand even know that he was under attack before the bullet smashed through his brain?
    As for Rand having his shields set up already, there exists that possibility…but would he really roll in like that? Rand is from a low-technology world. Gunpowder exists in WoT, but high-velocity firearms do not. When he saw Roland, he would see a guy with no WoT rifle, no bow/crossbow, no sword, no spear. He would instantly know Roland hadn’t seized the Source (so not a magic-user). Essentially, Roland would look to be unarmed in any conventional sense. Would he feel it necessary to have shields up? It would be like you expecting the guy you get into a bar fight with to pull out a disintegration ray.

  • scorpiknox

    My post was longer though, so maybe I should write it…
    If you think I attacked you personally, sorry, you were just one of a few that I was responding to. However, I do doubt you were laughing as you wrote that last post, unless is was like a half cry-sob-laugh kinda emo thing. (OK *there* is is.)
    The ironic thing is me and soccer, not so much.
    Seriously, your post came off a little frantic. Might want to dial it down a notch. I’m gonna go listen to The Cure and cut myself, see ya.

  • Kyhkaen

    Aha! You did say emo! I’ll take my cookie back now.
    Nah, that’s just how I talk. Let’s just say I come from a very sarcastic area (good sarcasm) and the internet can’t tell between good sarcasm and bad sarcasm. Kind of like toasters can’t ever make toast right, even though the settings specifically say light brown.
    And now I have to point out this quote-
    “Would he feel it necessary to have shields up? It would be like you expecting the guy you get into a bar fight with to pull out a disintegration ray.”
    That is a very good analogy.

  • Kyhkaen

    Aha! You did say emo! I’ll take my cookie back now.
    Nah, that’s just how I talk. Let’s just say I come from a very sarcastic area (good sarcasm) and the internet can’t tell between good sarcasm and bad sarcasm. Kind of like toasters can’t ever make toast right, even though the settings specifically say light brown.
    And now I have to point out this quote-
    “Would he feel it necessary to have shields up? It would be like you expecting the guy you get into a bar fight with to pull out a disintegration ray.”
    That is a very good analogy.

  • Jackalhit

    Actually, he’d have his shields up because that’s what you do in a fight. Prepare for every eventuality. He wouldn’t know the nature of the attack, but he would be expecting an attack.

  • scorpiknox

    We as a culture are in dire need of a sarcasm font. As far as the battle goes, I just don’t know anymore. My personal opinion is that Rand dies if it’s early WoT Rand, and he wins if it is later WoT. I just hate the whole Balefire thing, but the above scenario kind of spelled it out for me. Even if Rand gets shot in the head, he somehow wins. Bah! Fie! A POX I SAY! Still. Rand probably wins.
    *sigh* Why couldn’t they have picked Mat to represent the franchise? I could have gotten behind that.

  • Scott

    Rand can weave a wall of moving fire, literally, without thinking about it. That’s all he’d have to do to win… heat from the fire explodes bullets before they get to him and wall of fire char-broils opponent.

  • Citizen

    So, is “emo” anything like being an emu? I’ve just learned the term in the context this cage match, and would welcome additional information.

  • Citizen

    Hmm, char-boiled Roland. Sounds stringy, not a very appetizing meal. Pass on that, we will.

  • Chad

    I’m a fan of WoT, and I’ve never read the Dark Tower stuff, but I’ve gotta vote Roland on this one. Rand knows the sword and he knows the One Power, but he would not be ready for a bullet.
    I don’t think Roland would look very threatening to Rand, and before Rand could decide how he was going to kill him, Roland would already have bullets in Rand’s skull. Rand is fast and smart, but a gun is just something he isn’t prepared for since they don’t exist in his world.
    For Rand to win, he’d have to go into the fight with all his defenses up like he was fighting someone with the one power, but Roland doesn’t use the one power and Rand would know it immediately, and that underestimation would be his downfall. If Roland is half as fast on the draw as he’s made out to be, Rand would be dead before he even realized Roland fired.

  • Sean

    Something people are overlooking, Rand is fast too, I haven’t read many books with Roland in it, but Rand would surely erect a barrier the instant he recognizes Roland as a threat, then simultaneously disable him with air, then weave one of his myriad of ways to kill a man at him.

  • Arte

    I don’t want to spoil anything, because i would feel awful about that so ignore this if you haven’t read The Gathering Storm.
    *Gathering Storm Spoilers!!!*
    Rand is most definitely not anti-balefire. He actually uses the biggest blast we have ever heard of on Graendal. He blasts an entire castle out of existence in one blow.
    And even after his Dragonmount epiphany, i don’t think he is anti-balefire. Just because he had a happy thought for the first time in months, that doesn’t negate the fact that he will *have* to use balefire on the forsaken, or run the risk of meeting them again at the Last Battle.
    I don’t think he should use it willy nilly in the cage match, and I think its totally unfair if he does use it in every match. But, even without balefire, all his battle weaves are enough to destroy Roland ten times over.
    ————————————————–
    I’m a total WoT junkie(6 complete read throughs woot woot!), but I’m still open to the idea of Rand losing. I also have read the DT series twice(and a half)and I wouldn’t mind if Roland won either. But in this match, I believe Rand is the clear cut winner.
    There are a lot of if’s, but Rand will still take it. IF Rand is already holding the power, IF he has already woven a shield, IF his ta’veren status warps chance. IF Roland isn’t really that fast. IF Lew Therin acts up(In a good way, Death Blossoms, Deathgates, etc).
    I think if anyone of those things happens, Rand wins. If more than one happens, God help Roland. I think the chances are pretty good that at least one of those things will happen and Rand will win.
    One last thing that I think is in Rand’s favor, that I don’t think has been mentioned yet, is his pain tolerance. When in the Void he doesn’t feel pain at all, or it is at least extremely distantly. He has lived with two horrible wounds that never heal for a long time. Rand’s girls let us know that he is in pain constantly because of it. I think anything other than a heart or head shot from Roland would just be ignored by Rand, at least until he could weave one of his awesome battle weaves.
    Vive La Vie WoT!

  • Citizen

    Ah, people. Full disclosure: I’m a fan of neither Rand nor Roland. Further disclosure: Gandalf should be here, not Roland. Enough of that, on to the points.
    1. Roland’s supernatural speed is almost as ridiculous as Rand’s Balefire.
    2. Without really criticizing the Suvudu people, whom I fully support for staging the whole thing to begin with, “less than an instant” can still be characterized in terms of milliseconds, microseconds, or even femtoseconds, if you really want to go there, or beyond.
    3. If Rand has his weaves ready in advance, this whole timing thing is moot.
    4. Do we really want reaction speed to rule this whole tournament? If someone would post a scenario where Roland exploits Rand’s (serious) personality issues, I would welcome it. I’ve already voted, once thank you, but would still be open to alternative thoughts.
    What this comes down to for me is that I’m not seeing how Roland’s preternatural speed on the draw is all that different from the Balefire, Aslan’s predicated powers, Cthulhu’s hugeness, or whatever else. Thus, at this point, I’m wanting Roland to go down, because Rand can be beaten by character-based means. Sure, it’s a popularity contest, and a cage match, but it is also a literary contest. Character will matter in future rounds. My 2¢.

  • Pointless Trivia

    A bullet travels 1200+ ft/s. Sound travels 1080 ft/s.
    .45 caliber bullets from a pistol don’t go supersonic. 900 ft/s, 1000 ft/s tops. You need a longer barrel or more powder, or both, for bullets that big to get up to those speeds.
    I can’t find Balefire muzzle velocities listed anywhere, though. Stupid internets…

  • Xal

    “Would he feel it necessary to have shields up? It would be like you expecting the guy you get into a bar fight with to pull out a disintegration ray.”
    I love this analogy! Just not in this setting. I mean, its a CAGE MATCH! Rand knows he is going up against a man who has killed two other strong enemies. This isn’t some random fight, its one he is prepared for. Rand knows he is facing an enemy with power that he has never seen, so he would come ready for anything.
    I think it would only be common sense to come shielded. Even if he didn’t know anything about the weapon Roland were using, he would still be prepared for something powerful. Which would mean he would have shields, battle weaves, a vicious grimace of pain, and a lady to smooth her skirts, all ready for any eventuality.

  • Citizen

    Ah, I hoped that we wouldn’t have to go here. Light travels at 186,000 miles/second in a vacuum, slightly less in atmosphere, muzzle flashes get there way before bullets. Rand is good enough to move more quickly than bullets, even without weaves, at reasonable ranges. Kwi Chang Cain, the David Carradine monk character from way back, was able to block bullets from point-blank range without magic. People are overrating bullets here. If we are talking about the 3,000 rpm Phalanx anti-missile systems that are becoming standard equipment on modern Navy ships, then you might have a point. However, no matter how good Roland is, he does not fire 3,000 rpm with two six-shooters. His gunslinging powers, no matter how formidable, are not as potent as they have been cracked up to be in these cage matches. He can be beaten, and rather easily. I personally would have preferred that Gandalf do so, but that didn’t happen. Against Rand, he’s essentially powerless, unless a dice roll indicates that Rand has lost it once again. Since Roland has no direct power to influence that dice roll (unlike Gandalf), he goes down here.

  • Squish

    Funny that this ended up being one of the matchups.
    Both characters are destined to to be reborn again and again without prior memories regardless of what their fates are. In that sense they are both immortal, Roland in a more moderate sense.
    I personally think that Rand could easily knock one of Roland’s bullet’s offcourse with his sword after having embraced the one power. However, it is far more likely that Roland beats his reflexes.
    That being said, if this is a “cage” match as it is advertised, then the situation would make it obvious to both parties that they are each other’s enemies. If that were the case, reflexes wouldn’t be involved as Rand would have all his defenses and offenses going at the same instant that the bell rang. To think something (stop existing) is always quicker than to do something (aim and shoot). It’s basic neuroscience which applies since both are human.
    If as many have described, this isn’t in fact an actual cage match or anything of the sort, the whole idea of a match doesn’t work. If both guys met each other in the middle of nowhere, neither would have any idea who the other was and neither would attack the other since they wouldn’t view each other as threats. They are both on the side of good (more or less)_and thus would simply say hello and move on. It doesn’t make sense otherwise. Why would two relatively good people randomly choose to kill each other? Without knowing that a match is going on nothing would happen.
    Based on that thinking, I have voted only the way I think the matches would go if the two opponents are put into an enclosed area and told to battle to the death. Each side has equal preparation. To argue otherwise is to argue against the basics of a match.
    If you subscribe to this philosophy, most matches are very clearcut. The rules as stated would mean that time traveling disqualifies you. It would also be reasonable to say that all battles should be 1 v 1. All this crap about help coming doesn’t make sense in a fair match scenario. All this being said, it is likely that the gods would always win and that the wizards would always beat the swords.
    For that reason alone I see most people are suspending disbelief. It makes it more fun to think of a real world encounter with no boundaries since that way upsets are very possible.
    All in all though, this series of matches have been deemed “cage matches” and though the authors of the contest itself disregard their own rules, I will choose to stick with the basics of cage fights if only because the proposed alternative does not make the least bit of sense.
    Results in a Cage match with equal prep. and a known goal = Rand
    Results of a unrealistic real-world encounter = 50-50 with the winner being the first person who realizes it’s a match.
    A similar result set can be drawn out for most matches so far.

  • lakesidey

    That’s because balefire cannot be muzzled. 😉
    Search for balefire fingertip velocity, perhaps? (my guess, faster than sound, but slower than light) But in my view the point is moot because Rand shouldn’t be using balefire in any of these contests. Might unravel the pattern, y’know.
    Those who feel he wouldn’t be cautious because he can’t sense Saidin being held, or because he hasn’t seen guns, not really.
    There are ter’angreal even a non-channeler can use (and ter’angreal to make balefire too, one of the Black Ajah had such a beast!)
    There are draghkar. And Gholam. And resurrected forsaken of the wrong sex (though he would sense Saidar being challenged as well, I suppose). And there are people channeling the True Power too, let’s not forget.
    And strange weapons/tools/whatever are definitely going to make someone suspicious (especially if the someone has a paranoid madman in his head) For all he knows, the weirdly dressed chap in front of him might be holding two male a’dam. No risks!
    Oh, and rotfl@citizen for “He could sit behind his defensive weaves and start reading the entire WoT series out loud…” I quite like the series but I _so_ know what you mean.
    I’m going for Rand because I am a fan *and* he’s more powerful imho. If Gandalf had gotten past Roland last time, now….then I’d have a tough choice here! (Does beating a wielder of the flame of Udun qualify you to beat a wielder of the fire of Bale?)

  • Citizen

    Squish, excellent thoughts. To me, it is about where we draw the cage boundaries. At this stage, we’ve established that they’re not literal, and that creativity in interpretation is part of the fun. At the same time, ignoring the vote-pumpers, part of what this is about is defining boundaries. Round 2 represented a fan revolt against certain seedings. Unfortunately in my view, Gandalf got taken out as collateral damage, but that is just my opinion. What are the rules for round three? It is up to us to decide, comments welcomed.

  • Citizen

    Lakesidey, thanks, and who is this Udun character anyway? Gandalf represented the flame of Anor (the Sun), was Udun Morgoth? Unsure, too long since I have read the Silmarillion.

  • Citizen

    Silly people, balefire travels at the speed of light in whatever medium. Do the diffraction/reflection math yourself, but it is not going to be lower that 1.0 * 10^6 m/s, and that’s being really conservative. 1.0 * 10^7 m/s is more like it. Take that, Roland.

  • lakesidey

    Since I don’t have my copy of LOTR handy (lent out, yet to make its way back:() I’ll quote Wikipedia….
    Gandalf on the bridge of Khazad-dûm calls the Balrog “flame of Udûn” (Udûn being the Sindarin name of Morgoth’s fortress Utumno).

  • Citizen

    Lakesidey, yes, those are Gandalf’s exact words. So, “Flame of the Dark”, the anti-light?
    Asking here, don’t know.

  • Angrod

    I’ve just thought an argument for all Balefire supporters… I Rand balefires Roland too much it would erase his existence and another combatent would be here fighting Rand, because if Rand erases Roland, he would never be inthe match so another fighter wold take his place… and if Rand balefires only five seconds (I have anything to argue against) but if he balefires more time back, the winner of the last match would be gandalf because Roland would “die, by the effects of the future match” is a bit mindfuck, but I think it’s “understable”

  • Citizen

    Lakesidey, ah, Sindarin for Morgoth’s fortress, nice research. “Dark Flame”, then, the antithesis of light and hope?? And Gandalf the Grey beat this, and Gandalf the White lost to a gunslinger (although it was close)? People need to check their mythologies, in my view, but that is of course just imho. At any rate, nice delving on your part.

  • Citizen

    Lakesidey, sorry for being a bit slow. If Udun = Utumno, then your comments make total sense. The Balrog is among the last surviving creations of Morgoth, therefore “flame of Udun” fits it perfectly. Excellent work on your part.

  • lakesidey

    No praise deserved – I too had no clue except that it was a lovely dialogue in the book (Gandalf v/s Balrog was one of my favourite scenes, the first time I read it, what, 15 years ago?). Right now, I just looked it up on Wikipedia (it has been too long since I last read LOTR and Silmarillion both – can’t remember if it is clarified there?)

  • JohnDoe

    I can see the underlining reasoning of the triumph of technology vs. magic and the proberbial age of man vs age of magic, but we re talking fantasy here. And a guy with just two guns shouldnt be much of a contestant against a guy who can $$@#%$#@ up the whole world..
    And why stick with balefire? Two air weaves, one to bind, one to slice, and we’re done..

  • JohnDoe

    Sorry guys, I meant “underlying” not underlining

  • lakesidey

    Said thou: “Silly people, balefire travels at the speed of light in whatever medium.”
    I would beg to differ (though I realise this may the fellow I support some votes!) Balefire is not lightning, not instantaneous or near to it. To quote just one example (when Rand is in Shadar Logoth fighting Sammael) and Moridin ‘helps’ him:
    “Without a thought, his free hand rose, and balefire shot upward, a bar of liquid white fire slicing across the wave sinking toward them. Dimly he was aware of another bar of pale solid fire rising from the other man’s hand that was not clasping his, a bar slashing the opposite way from his. The two touched.”
    Seems pretty clear that it is not travelling all that fast. (Or else, when in the void, Rand is capable of seeing something moving forward at the speed of light. In which case, I guess Roland is definitely toast.)
    ~ BTW if Roland gets annihilated….would his guns linger? 😉

  • Klael

    That would depend on how much power was put into the Balefire.
    If only a few seconds of Rolands existance was erased then yes, if longer then Roland won’t have existed to bring them to the fight in the first place….

  • Ben

    The deafening roar of the crowd is punctuated by the tap of the trigger. Time goes in slow motion as bullets explode from the barrel, leaving smoking trails behind. The world seems to shimmer, the very air seems to thicken into an invisible force. The Wheel of Time fan boys and girls holla and cheer and the very air churns and twists, pushing the bullets off target. Roland’s eyes’ widen at the challenge, his aim has always been true. The world heaves again as the power of Ka, fuelled by the thunder of the dark tower fans, aligns the bullets with Rand’s forhead. Smokey trails zig zag back and forward as the pattern shifts only to be met with equally passionate shifting from the dark tower fans. The bullets were millimetres from Rand’s forehead but with one last momentously deafening roar the pattern bends itself to Rand’s will, the bullets stopping dead in the air, Neo smiles down upon Rand. Rand entered the void and prepared himself for thistledown floats on the whirlwind. And the rest is history…

  • Moridin01

    Have to say you said it like a nerdy little fanboy but you are absolutely right. In a battle, rand would have his shields up. While balefire is essentially light, it does not move at the speed of light otherwise no one would be able to dodge it. Since people have dodged it, it isn’t that fast. But he would have his defences set and honestly, no one could possibly beat rand al thor. I hated his guts until this last book which made me like him a bit but even if i hated him, it’s clear that rand would win. Sorry to the author of this but you seem to be unable to portray the characters too well. But it’s still an amazing idea and I thank you for it.

  • lakesidey

    This match now has a record number of votes I guess…beating Jamie’s victory over Chtul-who in the last round.

  • Nic

    I have to agree with those who said that if Rand was just your stereotypical mage than Roland would have the advantage. We’ve already seen that the man has taken down wizards more than once (Elric counts, because he has a magic sword…no arguing!).
    But Rand is no ordinary mage. He’s not Raistlin, coughing up blood, Gandalf or Dumbledore who are old as the hills, or a pacifist like Ged. The man’s a blademaster, trained by Aiel (read: Fremen), raging war for the past five years, and constantly hunted by Whitecloaks and Forsaken. He was created by the Pattern to beat the DEVIL! I mean…come on.
    You really think a man with a gun (albeit, a very FAST gun) can take that?

  • ursistersmells

    Rand is ta’avern so something would happen to prevent him from getting shot. Something would move into the line of fire or he would duck his head for some reason at the last second. Kind of glad they didn’t have him wipe out someone with balefire once again . Wheres the creativity? Howeever with so many weapons at his disposal Rand wins hands down.

  • jack

    You know, I don’t think there ARE such things as tied-off air shields that move with you in WOT. For Rand to start with them, they’re going to be Dumai’s Wells type and the match would have to be Roland walking up to Rand on ground of his own choosing at a time of his own choosing, and that’s just not going to happen.

  • jack

    Oh, and “Ka’s bitch” meets and cancels “Ta’avern”. It’s probably the same exact thing.

  • lakesidey

    I said:
    BTW if Roland gets annihilated….would his guns linger? 😉
    You replied:
    That would depend on how much power was put into the Balefire.
    I must confess, the question was not intended to be serious. Actually was intended to be a pun on Gunslinger 🙂 My apologies…

  • Tyler

    If you remember when Rand is attacked by his rouge ashamman he creates a shield that moved with him that he said would keep anything out short of balefire. Though that one kept out new air but if he can create a shield that strong that could move with him and air shield seems simple

  • aaron

    Balefire or not (it certainly isnt needed to win a match) Rand has the distinct advantage that he doesn’t even need to be in the vicinity of the person he is taking out. If he knows Roland is somewhere, he may just avoid the risk and blow up that somewhere from a good safe distance.

  • AHEM

    A lot of people seem to be thinking that Rand wouldn’t be prepared for Roland’s gunfire. My answer is that he does not need to be.
    Rand can construct shields(has done so before) and tie off his weaves so they linger and stay with him(also a canonical ability of his), and have these shields deflect any sort of attack. He doesn’t need to specfically be preparing for a small, handheld weapon shooting a high-velocity shell at him from a distance. A shield he constructs to stop arrows, spears, crossbow bolts, ter’angreal, lightning, and magical attacks will work against bullets just fine.
    “Have you just come to the website, just now? Because I’m pretty sure I just saw Jamie Lannister beat Cthulu, so, erm…”
    FYI, I’ve been here since the first matches were posted, watching every match through. I am well aware of what happened in round 2. Please do not remind me of the disgusting travesty of logic that was Jaime vs. Cthulhu.
    I said we SHOULD ignore popularity and go for the more powerful character. So far, however, a lot of people haven’t been doing so.

  • positronics

    My thoughts on the battle:
    The official cagematch story is a bit unfair, as several weaves (lightning, for instance) are just as fast as Roland’s draw. Both have the ability to “crawl” moments, I’d say Roland definitely has the edge there, but it isn’t a blow out. If the author supposed that Rand would not be holding the Source, that is about as fair and logical as the gunslinger appearing with his blued steel on the ground.
    They both know it’s a deathmatch arena they are walking into.
    I love both series. Roland is one of my all-time favorite characters, and I particularly loved his trip to NYC in the second book… but he is no match against a god-killer with megatons of payload available as fast as the neurons fire.
    Rand would probably recognize the sixguns as projectile weapons – he has the memories of a man who was familiar with shocklances, which were basically ter’angreal (magical) rifles.
    One more point as to why I gave the win to the Dragon Reborn – Roland tends to be more intuitive and go with his gut, while Rand is a cold calculator who knows how to scheme. Going after Rand with no plan and a finger trick is a nice way to die.

  • bookworm

    I am a big fan of Roalnd’s. He is one of my favorite Stephen King charactors. But, I just cannot see him beating the insane little man known as Rand. I mean Roland wouldn’t just be fighting Rand. He would also be fighting the other people in Rand’s head. And they actually know how to use the power. Nope, Roland is out. On the bright side though, he wont know he was defeated. He will continue his search for the tower. It is just all a big circle for poor Roland after all.

  • lakesidey

    Your thoughts:
    I said we SHOULD ignore popularity and go for the more powerful character. So far, however, a lot of people haven’t been doing so.
    My feelings on this:
    I would rather see if I can come up with a plausible way in which one character can defeat the other (every vote I have cast, I have tried to create such a situation in my mind – in a few cases, I have posted it on the forums too).
    But just going for the most powerful character? If you poll the several thousand good folk (and of course, evil ones, if any) who have been voting here, I strongly suspect that you’ll find a majority in favour of the underdog just because he is, in fact, the underdog. That’s what gives many of us (myself included) a large part of the thrill of reading fantasy – seeing the skillful way in which an author can make an obviously outclassed protagonist triumph (through some combination of luck and skill and deviousness) over the obvious, powerful and overconfident foe.
    Hence I, for one, would often vote for the ‘weaker’ warrior, as long as he has some chance and I can rationalise it. Of course, sometimes I will vote out of fan-boyishness, I admit (Aragorn and Arthur Dent, RIP), but who among us would not? 🙂
    To sum up (since I am starting to ramble – it is nigh on midnight here and I should really be off to bed) – voting for the “more powerful” character blindly just negates the very character traits that drove most of us infracaninophiles to take up reading SF&F. So I don’t believe that should be our aim!

  • lakesidey

    Your thoughts:
    I said we SHOULD ignore popularity and go for the more powerful character. So far, however, a lot of people haven’t been doing so.
    My feelings on this:
    I would rather see if I can come up with a plausible way in which one character can defeat the other (every vote I have cast, I have tried to create such a situation in my mind – in a few cases, I have posted it on the forums too).
    But just going for the most powerful character? If you poll the several thousand good folk (and of course, evil ones, if any) who have been voting here, I strongly suspect that you’ll find a majority in favour of the underdog just because he is, in fact, the underdog. That’s what gives many of us (myself included) a large part of the thrill of reading fantasy – seeing the skillful way in which an author can make an obviously outclassed protagonist triumph (through some combination of luck and skill and deviousness) over the obvious, powerful and overconfident foe.
    Hence I, for one, would often vote for the ‘weaker’ warrior, as long as he has some chance and I can rationalise it. Of course, sometimes I will vote out of fan-boyishness, I admit (Aragorn and Arthur Dent, RIP), but who among us would not? 🙂
    To sum up (since I am starting to ramble – it is nigh on midnight here and I should really be off to bed) – voting for the “more powerful” character blindly just negates the very character traits that drove most of us infracaninophiles to take up reading SF&F. So I don’t believe that should be our aim!

  • AHEM

    You misunderstand. I didn’t mean we should just vote for whoever has the biggest powers and ignore other factors as the two battle. What I meant was that the one who possesses the best assets and would most likely win the majority of fights against their opponent within a rationalized scenario should be the winner. I meant to say we should go with “the one who would logically win in a real(fictional) fight” as opposed to “the one we want to win.” I didn’t mean to say we should go with the one who looks better on paper.
    I’m all for the underdog with less power winning, provided that that is what could(and would) happen when they actually faced their opponent one-on-one, as was the case with Drizzt vs. Kahlan, I just don’t like the idea of voting for the underdog just cause, or because there is a scenario where they could possibly win one time out of a hundred, and going with that statistical anomaly.
    However, in this case, I see a clear victory for the more powerful party when they actually go toe-to-toe.

  • Erebus

    I say Rand wins through sheer ta’veren dumb luck. Roland draws his gun, pulls the trigger…and the gun explodes in his hand. Or the bell rings and Roland gets struck by lightning. Or some other crazy twist like that.

  • Fiirvoen

    “Perhaps the best example of Rand’s weaving speed is his deflection of bolt of lightning during his battle with Sammael. The fastest bullet available for a .45 moves at a velocity of 1150 ft/s. High speed rifle rounds move slightly faster.
    Alternatively, a bolt of lightning travels at just shy of 186000 -miles- per second.
    Do the math. Rand wins.”
    I have to say I agree. Rand wouldn’t be stupid enough to go in without a shield.

  • CezeN

    Verdict: Learn to read. Or at least develop the ability to think reasonabley.
    Take a logic class.
    As the scenario notes, both have a sort of luck on their side.
    Thus, one could use the same argument for Roland.
    Making the whole luck thing moot.
    This is the type of common sense thing that really goes without saying.

  • Samuel

    Oh, Rand could so take down Roland. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t really question that. Rand is fast, he’s a trained fighter, he’s basically a demi-god. Roland’s screwed.
    I voted for the Gunslinger anyway. Heh. I have no idea why. It was just a sort of kneejerk reaction, based on the fact that Deschain still appeals to me as a character, where Rand hasn’t since The Fires of Heaven.
    Initially, I thought I could justify this with another of those “I don’t want Rand to just balefire his way through the whole thing”. But, really, the same argument could be made against Roland just blasting his way through.
    “Yeah, Drizzt, you’re fast…but are you faster than a slug from Mr. Blue Lightning speed-draw? Ha-HA!”
    “Hey Temeraire, show me that pretty eye. Yeah. Too bad Roland has near perfect accuracy, so he can hit that eye, and all your size and power don’t matter one bit. Ha-HA!”
    Either way, I think whoever wins this match has got to be kind of considered the man to beat, just for the speed/deadliness combination.

  • Ross

    A few things…
    1) As has been noted, balefire does not move at the speed of light. You can see a bar of balefire move. You can’t see the rays of light jump from your lamp and crawl across the room.
    2) Channeling is not instantaneous. As has been noted here many, many times, Rand has time to feel most weaves and respond to them before they’re even finished. Furthermore, the very fact that they have to be consciously “woven” necessitates a short time-table.
    3) In studies, it’s been shown that the average 20-ish person needs 190 milliseconds to even register a visual stimulus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaction_time). It takes longer to decide how to react, and in turn ENACT that decision.
    4) Rand enters fights already holding Saidin, but he NEVER goes in with air shields up. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves about him.
    So, my call is that Rand would enter shieldless, like always, Roland’s Ka would negate Rand’s Ta’veren, and bullets would exit the back of Rand’s skull about the time his frontal lobes started planning weaves.

  • Samuel

    …although, on reflection, I think it’d just be funnier if Roland did it.
    *Montage of uber-powerful, magical characters getting blown away in slow motion, wands, staffs, and sorcerous swords spilling dramatically from their hands. The eyes in every face are uniformly bugged out in disbelief, as the lips below form the words “…no…WAY…”*

  • CezeN

    “I’ve just thought an argument for all Balefire supporters… I Rand balefires Roland too much it would erase his existence and another combatent would be here fighting Rand, because if Rand erases Roland, he would never be inthe match so another fighter wold take his place… and if Rand balefires only five seconds (I have anything to argue against) but if he balefires more time back, the winner of the last match would be gandalf because Roland would “die, by the effects of the future match” is a bit mindfuck, but I think it’s “understable””
    This is by far the most fcking logical comment I’ve seen of all posts made.
    For those of you that skimmed past it or just didn’t care to act like you saw it, I’m going to reiterate:
    IF RAND AL THOR USES BALEFIRE AFTER THE FIRST ROUND, HE CANNOT WIN ANY MATCH.
    Why? Because, balefire erases all past actions of a person and erases them from the fcking entire timestream. Meaning, back when Rand Balefired Conan, he should have immediately been involved in a fight with Dresden or someone else. Same thing in the first round.
    I REPEAT, BALEFIRE CANNOT WIN A FIGHT FOR RAND, IT CAN ONLY CHANGE WHO HE’S FIGHTING IN A NEVERENDING CYCLE UNTIL HE DOESN’T USE BALEFIRE.
    With that in mind, this cheap balefire move should obviously, logically be banned from this and all cagematches. In fact, I think the authors should start noting that “balefire” is one of the many differennt abilities that Rand has, that Rand cannot use.
    As it causes near paradoxes, and the Suvudu people to have to do extra work to constantly have picked new people to be in this cagematch.
    Point: Balefire should be banned from these matches. (in which case you guys can go back to arguing about shields and saidens or whatever)

  • Kyhkaen

    Haha, that made my day.
    Also, to the balefire is not instantaneous quote, your differing(?) is a misinterpretation. Balefire can be sustained and redirected, like a laser. We agree that lasers travel at the speed of light, yes? Can two lasers touch each other? Well, cross or whatever?
    The ‘rising’ part is just a different way of putting ‘being emitted from’ once again, like a laser. Just think of an old “Attack of the Martians” laser blaster when you read the word balefire. Not the Star War’s logic-raping laser blasters.
    Roland’s guns are magical yes? Then we can assume the gunslinger’s guns linger when balefired. Just for that sentence, Roland ought to win, but I already voted.

  • ali

    havent u read tgs rand isnt going to be using balefire anytime

  • Morbo

    Hile Sai Rand! All this fighting wearies my bones, what say you? Perhaps a riddling contest betwixt the 2 of us to settle things? I’d thankya big big. Roland totally wins, besides being THE badass of all badasses he’s a diplomat of utmost skill capable of getting people to do things without them being aware he did anything at all.
    or
    Hai!! To me Gunslingers, to me!!
    What does Rand do when aproached by a prepubescent boy named Jake Chambers who’d fill him full of lead without a thought? can Rand kill a child? Roland can sacrifice one to achieve his Dark Tower
    Perhaps Eddie Cantor Dean who’s capable of convincing the Devil to light himself on fire?
    Susannah Dean with a little bit of Detta Walker ready to go for the honk mahfah graymeat? I feel bad for Rand if Detta gets ahold of him.
    OBJECTION!! ROLAND CANT USE HIS GUNSLINGERS!
    Your honours, ladies and gentleman of the Jury: I cite precedence with Tyrion the evil little monkey demon running around helping Jaime.

  • Yizun

    That comment by Ben cracked me up. I laughed for a good 30 seconds, great job there. But on what Nic said about being created by the pattern to defeat the devil, it is a very valid point. It is hypothesized that the voice in Rand’s head at the end of the Eye of the World, it was The Creator (AKA God) who talked to Rand. It just seems to me that it is pretty hard to beat crazy power that can do literally anything from exploding bystanders from the inside-out to ripping holes in the fabric of time and space, Ta’varen status, and having God in your corner seems pretty insurmountable to me

  • Yizun

    That comment by Ben cracked me up. I laughed for a good 30 seconds, great job there. But on what Nic said about being created by the pattern to defeat the devil, it is a very valid point. It is hypothesized that the voice in Rand’s head at the end of the Eye of the World, it was The Creator (AKA God) who talked to Rand. It just seems to me that it is pretty hard to beat crazy power that can do literally anything from exploding bystanders from the inside-out to ripping holes in the fabric of time and space, Ta’varen status, and having God in your corner seems pretty insurmountable to me

  • AHEM

    The “IF RAND AL THOR USES BALEFIRE AFTER THE FIRST ROUND, HE CANNOT WIN ANY MATCH” argument fails in multiple dimensions.
    Firstly, balefire only rewinds actions based on a limited time span based on how much power is put into the weave. Since Rand isn’t going to put world-shattering levels of power into a beam just to erase one person’s body, it would only rewind actions by a few hours at most. The only way Harry Dresden, Gandalf, or anyone else could be “revived” is if Conan/Roland killed that person, and then went right to fighting Rand with no period of rest in between. If there is more than an hour or so between these fights taking place, the dead party will not come back to life, there will be no paradox, and Rand will still win and move on just fine.
    If that somehow did become a problem, like say if each match took place a half hour after the previous one, then Rand could just go light on the balefire and use a minimal amount, like Moiraine does, that will only erase actions in a matter of seconds or minutes.
    Furthermore, if Rand actually erased Conan/Roland from time and then had to fight Dresden/Gandalf/Elric, then he would just balefire that person and erase them, and again, until he erases everyone back up to the first round. It would invoke a few extra fights, but it wouldn’t start a “never-ending cycle until Rand doesn’t use balefire.” Of course, that’s a moot point considering that Suvudu isn’t going to redo “Rand vs. Harry Dresden” just because Rand beat Conan with balefire.
    Also, as I’ve stated many times before, Rand does not need balefire to win this. It’s one of his best weapons, true, but he has little reason to use it when making Roland’s head explode on sight will work just fine.

  • Mor

    Thank you AHEM! Those were my thoughts exactly. Great minds i guess.
    Balefire burns a person out of the Pattern for an amount of time equal to the power used. Rand (and others) can control the amount of time balefire erases almost to the minute. The more power the more time. Sure, if he used a Graendal killing blast (HUGE!) then he might mess up the “Cagematch Timestream”, but Rand wouldn’t do that. He would use a tiny blast that would erase a few hours at most. That means, yes, Rolands lunch might go uneaten at the Cagematch snack bar. Its just as if Roland disappeared from time a few minutes before his match.
    Another thing, balefire doesn’t need to be banned, because its just another weapon Rand has at his disposal. Using an Arrow of Fire, a Fire Blossom, or even a Deathgate would kill Roland just as quickly. The only difference is that, now you have a body to look at.
    Should we ban Rand’s ability to turn Roland into a cinder where he stands? It takes the same amount of time, and is probably easier for Rand anyway. I think thats something a few people are missing. Rand doesn’t NEED balefire, its just a weapon for him. He could use a thread of Air to cut Roland in half, or he could crush his head, balefire doesn’t HAVE to be the way he beats Roland.

  • CezeN

    Oh well, I concede your point since I haven’t read Rand’s series, and was just going off other’s comments.
    “Furthermore, if Rand actually erased Conan/Roland from time and then had to fight Dresden/Gandalf/Elric, then he would just balefire that person and erase them, and again, until he erases everyone back up to the first round. It would invoke a few extra fights, but it wouldn’t start a “never-ending cycle until Rand doesn’t use balefire.” Of course, that’s a moot point considering that Suvudu isn’t going to redo “Rand vs. Harry Dresden” just because Rand beat Conan with balefire.
    Also, as I’ve stated many times before, Rand does not need balefire to win this. It’s one of his best weapons, true, but he has little reason to use it when making Roland’s head explode on sight will work just fine.”
    Actually, if Rand erased them from the timestream, logically the Suvudu people wouldn’t have picked them, and instead would have picked some other characters in their place. Because, they would have never existed to be picked to fight in the first place.
    Also, I would like to note that I never ever stated that banning Balefire would help Roland win. In fact, I specifically told everyone to keep on arguing about “shields and saiden or whatever”, which pretty much acknowledges that Balefire isn’t the only thing in Rand’s arsenal that can beat Roland. So – the last paragraph was pretty much unecessary.
    @Mor: You should also read the above.
    Not to mention, I think I made it pretty clear that I only said to ban balefire because it would create a neverending cagematch (till he didn’t use it) and cause the Suvudu to constantly repick.
    Which means that your comparison to the Arrow of Fire and Fire Blossom, doesn’t hold true or really remain relevant, after reading how I thought the balefire worked.
    So – your last two paragraphs were pretty much unecessary if directed at me, as well.

  • Citizen

    What would happen if Rand balefired himself, say while under control of one of the voices in his head? Would it cancel itself out? Put him in some kind of endless loop? Other? Truly asking, I don’t know WOT well enough to answer.

  • iwtblj

    I voted for Rand but balefire is irrelevant. Yes, it can cut through almost anything, but Roland doesn’t have any special defenses so balefire wouldn’t be any more effective than normal fire or any of the a number of other weaves Rand can use.

  • Kyhkaen

    The writers at Suvudu are massively upscaling Rand’s madness. He has only one voice in his head and that voice is relatively rational for a madman. For your question, that is unanswerable, since the only person who actually knew died in 2007.
    Also, maybe it’s been too long since I read WoT, but it mentions balefire connecting two points instantly, several times. Then, in The Gathering Storm, a weave of balefire so large that it encompasses an entire mountain fortress takes a snap of the fingers to travel two miles. Maybe that was just Brandon Sanderson mixing something up. Anyways, I agree with the people who want to take balefire out of the picture for this one. It really isn’t Rand’s only weave, and maybe not even his most effective in this situation.

  • Artorious

    I just stumbled over these ‘cage matches,’ so let me preface this with saying I think this is amazing and I really wish I would have known about all this from the beginning, so that I could have impacted voting from round 1.
    That said, it hurt me to cast a vote here. I’m an ardent lover of both WoT and the Dark Tower series, and so these are two of my favorite ‘dark heroes’ of all time. Though Rand has balefire and could whisk away Roland’s bullets with a weave of air, I think Roland would find a way to pull out a win. You don’t tirelessly chase the Man in black across deserts, overcome legions, and battle sorcerers through all of time to be taken down by an emotionally cracked sorcerer that is used to getting what he wants when he wants.
    Rand is arguably just as determined as Roland in his tirelessness to ‘duty’ and obligation. Both are also tragic heroes vying for humanity. But I think Roland transcends time, and I think ultimately he will find a way to defeat Rand, no matter how disadvantaged. Pistol over Callandor. Mettle over sorcery. Determination over arrogance.
    Let the roses bloom.

  • Artorious

    I just stumbled over these ‘cage matches,’ so let me preface this with saying I think this is amazing and I really wish I would have known about all this from the beginning, so that I could have impacted voting from round 1.
    That said, it hurt me to cast a vote here. I’m an ardent lover of both WoT and the Dark Tower series, and so these are two of my favorite ‘dark heroes’ of all time. Though Rand has balefire and could whisk away Roland’s bullets with a weave of air, I think Roland would find a way to pull out a win. You don’t tirelessly chase the Man in black across deserts, overcome legions, and battle sorcerers through all of time to be taken down by an emotionally cracked sorcerer that is used to getting what he wants when he wants.
    Rand is arguably just as determined as Roland in his tirelessness to ‘duty’ and obligation. Both are also tragic heroes vying for humanity. But I think Roland transcends time, and I think ultimately he will find a way to defeat Rand, no matter how disadvantaged. Pistol over Callandor. Mettle over sorcery. Determination over arrogance.
    Let the roses bloom.

  • Citizen

    Thanks, although I note that nothing is unanswerable in a fictional cage match 😉

  • Kyhkaen

    Haha, in that case…
    Balefiring yourself causes you to transcend existence and become one with the Matrix.
    …I mean, universe. Rand accidentally discovers this while trying to balefire a spider that bit his leg. So, Roland enters the ring and is puzzled by his lack of opponents. He is still standing there when a bolt of lightning flashes from above and burns him to a crisp. Then a voice calls from the heavens, “RAAAAHVIIIIN!”
    Minutes later, Roland is miraculously alive and the voice from the heavens rings out once again, “Sorry.” Another lightning bolt flashes from a different point in the sky, zapping Roland.

  • Shadow’sBane

    SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE POLL NUMBERS
    OF VOTES BETWEEN THE TWO MATCHES
    RAND VS RONAL—30885
    GED VS DIZZART—11745
    if rand clears this round i think he might win the all other rounds as well and crowned
    as KING OF FANTISIES

  • lakesidey

    I fail to get the logic here, Sir:
    “Also, to the balefire is not instantaneous quote, your differing(?) is a misinterpretation. Balefire can be sustained and redirected, like a laser. We agree that lasers travel at the speed of light, yes? Can two lasers touch each other? Well, cross or whatever?”
    So could I argue, then:
    A bicycle can be ridden and directed, like a space shuttle. We agree that shuttles travel at several times the speed of sound, yes? So I may be permitted to assume that bicycles do as well?
    I don’t think that proves anything.
    More to the point, the lines I quoted were taken directly from the WOT (last chapter of Crown of Swords). Seems to me that’s pretty much canon. Also seems to me that they (and a few other cases) mention the beam travelling. Very fast, but visibly moving. Not instantaneous as a beam of light would appear to all practical purposes.
    Anyway, I shall continue to treat balefire as a fast but not instantaneous killer, you’re welcome to think different if you so desire and haven’t the patience to go back and re-read the books 😛

  • lakesidey

    Interesting….you see 30,885 votes….but half an hour later I see only 30,446! What’s happening? Do we have some de-votees around?

  • kark

    Kyhkaen is correct on both counts. The writers are severely overemphasizing Rand’s madness, which probably does not even exist post-Gathering Storm due to reasons I won’t spoil for the uninitiated.
    Balefire is point-to-point fire, near enough, as it cut across a sweeping valley in an eyeblink, and traversed the breadth of Shadar Logoth faster than Rand could react. It probably does not travel at the speed of light in atmosphere, but I’d wager it’s much faster than a bullet. If it’s speed Rand needs, as a previous poster pointed out, he has access to lightning, and has successfully defended against it.
    Lightning is definitely faster than bullets.

  • ? ?

    Roland’s fate is purely in the hands of Rand, depending on what Rand does and doesn’t do. Rand can win the fight regardless of what Roland does. Sure Roland can win if Rand makes mistakes, but I could beat Rand if Rand made enough mistakes too.
    So the match is Rand’s to lose, Roland is just a prop.

  • Jason also

    Yes Ka would let Roland die (only to start over as you point out) but it also lets him start over (and over and over and over) again, until he gets it right and figures out how to get to the Tower.
    While Rand has his own Wheel of Time destiny, I think these traits are a toss up.
    Honestly, I think Roland is the only guy who has a chance against Rand in this Tournament. Rand = Human who becomes a god once he can activate his powers, and can kill anything.
    Roland = Guy who can kill almost anything before they even know that they are being shot at, I think Drizzt was the only one in this tournament who could even compare to Roland in terms of speed.
    All that being said, I think this match does not depend on Roland’s speed. Roland is so fast, the “limiting factor” in this fight is the speed of the bullets.
    Therefore, if Roland is standing close enough that Rand cannot get a Balefire or whatever else before Roland’s bullets hit,then Roland wins. If, however, Roland is far enough away that the length of time the bullets are in the air is long enough for Rand to cast, then Rand will win.
    That is how frickin’ fast The Gunslinger is. His bullets actually slow him down.

  • Jason also

    Yes Ka would let Roland die (only to start over as you point out) but it also lets him start over (and over and over and over) again, until he gets it right and figures out how to get to the Tower.
    While Rand has his own Wheel of Time destiny, I think these traits are a toss up.
    Honestly, I think Roland is the only guy who has a chance against Rand in this Tournament. Rand = Human who becomes a god once he can activate his powers, and can kill anything.
    Roland = Guy who can kill almost anything before they even know that they are being shot at, I think Drizzt was the only one in this tournament who could even compare to Roland in terms of speed.
    All that being said, I think this match does not depend on Roland’s speed. Roland is so fast, the “limiting factor” in this fight is the speed of the bullets.
    Therefore, if Roland is standing close enough that Rand cannot get a Balefire or whatever else before Roland’s bullets hit,then Roland wins. If, however, Roland is far enough away that the length of time the bullets are in the air is long enough for Rand to cast, then Rand will win.
    That is how frickin’ fast The Gunslinger is. His bullets actually slow him down.

  • Jason also

    By the way, I’m voting for Roland.

  • Bill

    The speed of thought is always faster than the speed of a bullet.

  • Jason also

    By the way, I’m voting Roland all the way.

  • sage

    rand is ta’veren. the pattern won’t let him die.

  • sage

    rand is ta’veren. the pattern won’t let him die.

  • Erebus

    So…Roland’s hands break the sound barrier? I mean, you can’t say that it ISN’T possible in a fantasy setting, but even I find that hard to swallow.
    Of course, I haven’t read the Dark Tower series yet and don’t know much of it.
    And while Rand isn’t exactly known for his speed, he’s no slouch. You got to be fast with that level of sword training.

  • lakesidey

    Whoa. 13000 votes in such a short time? I’m supporting Rand, but I still find it hard to credit. Even with his ta’veren nature.
    (But why the hell would someone bot-spam when he was winning by almost 9000 votes ANYWAY!)
    Weird people 😛 😛

  • Citizen

    Although I voted for Rand, and support him in this match, I concur that this evening’s surge for him adds to the pile of circumstantial hack evidence. The poll people should really be looking into this in a serious way (not Suvudu, but the folks that provide the polling code), because in my view, their software is looking seriously vulnerable. It’s in beta, so hopefully they’ll use this test as an opportunity to identify needed fixes. At this point, there have been too many of these surges. Either someone is hacking, or we need a plausible alternative explanation. Just my 2¢.
    At least put the Captcha thing on the actual voting, not just the comments.

  • Cygnus

    Given that the argument seems to hinge on whether or not Rand will come to the fight holding the source, the fight will go to Rand. The reason is that Rand has been undergoing the strange sickness when he tries to grasp the Source and he dislikes others to see him in that state, so he will grasp the Source in private before the match.

  • Citizen

    Lakesidey, what seems fortunate so far is that the spammers, assuming that is the case, haven’t always won so far. I’ve noted anomalous incidents for the Shrike against Dent (Shrike won by a few hundred votes), Shrike against Drizzt (Drizzt won by the skin of his teeth), Cthulhu against Lannister (Jaime took it going away), and now this match. Last night, the vote total soared, but the differential didn’t change that much. Roland picked up a pile of votes too (as he did against Gandalf).
    Without serious analysis of the actual poll data, I can’t say definitively, but my general take is that the hackers are not influencing the results as much as they would like. Totally open to good evidence to the contrary, would in fact welcome any meaningful data on the subject.

  • Citizen

    Having said all of that, I just looked at the revised vote totals, and they are now completely ridiculous. Suvudu people, can you please call the polling folks (twiigs.com or whomever)? I know you’ve been on this, but it is really starting to get out of hand in a way that merits serious investigation. Thanks.

  • RJNibbler

    Guys, this is absolutely preposterous, somebody has cracked the system; 45k votes? this is so above and beyond the voting totals in previous rounds that it is not in any way credible.
    It really annoys me that people cannot keep something that is supposed to be a fun and funny exercise clear of cheating. What in the world are you gaining by crashing this?
    Idiots.

  • Rick

    I completely agree RJ the fact that the fan boys are so pathetic and have to force wins by cheating the system has just ruined the whole aspect of this competition. My favourite was always an underdog in this competition (hell he was picked from a point when he cant fight and has fallen out with his whole family) but it was enjoyable reading Georges takes on how the fights might go in his favour.
    As for the rand fight I really like ceZen’s point which very few people have picked up on. In the situation of a cage fight Rand will never be able to use balefire as he would be stuck in an eternal loop of never getting through round 1 as he would never have opponents that would have been picked in the first place. Also I have never read the WoT series myself as it doesnt appeal to me in the slightest but my friend was saying that Balefire isn’t a move Rand would choose to use all the time anyway which makes its over use feel particularly weak. I have no real preference on either char in this round but thats because im not a big fan off either series. In terms off the character I find coolest I voted for roland tho.

  • Ben

    Balefire is badass, but it also destabilises the whole “wheel of time” so much so that even the bad guys stopped using it when they figured it out. Rand however does not yet feel it needs to be not used, he uses it “sparingly” it does not show up that often but when it does it’s not boring reading at all. In fact it adds whole new levels of intrigue to the story.

  • dpomerico

    We’re looking into it–directly with twiigs, this time, to see if there really are shenanigans going on.
    That said–there ARE a lot of Rand fans out there–and there is the possibility the word has spread.
    But this IS also a website dedicated to elves, aliens, and magic, so maybe my comment right now is exactly in line with our mission…
    I do apologize, though, and I hope to get this figured out.
    I am curious, though (and this goes out to everyone): Is it really so important that Rand wins that someone is willing to cheat about it? Because, seriously, this is the kind of thing that gives us respectable nerds a bad name.
    There are no rules to Cage Match–just don’t cheat, okay?

  • Angrod

    I dont know how this controls to not double vote, but for example if i reboot and run another OS, I can vote again, so I suposse that if its an IP comprobation is very weak…

  • Tyr

    I know there is probably some botting going on, but in all fairness for Rand, the fan floodgates have opened. Dragonmount, cct, and several of the WoT fansites/games now know of this tournament.
    It won’t be easy beating him now.

  • trench

    I admidt im biased towards Rand but if he wins by bots that just sucks.
    One i doubt he needs it and Two getting beat by the Gunslinger is not the worst thing to ever happen. Roland is the man and deadly, so if Rand wins by cheating ill be preety upset. I hope this is just the Fan base turning up and not some chump rigging the end as he see’s fit.

  • Has anyone mentioned Ta’veren yet? Seriously, I think the gun would lock and at the most inopportune time, giving Rand an almost accidental win. Rand.

  • DiapDealer

    “Has anyone mentioned Ta’veren yet?”
    About a billion times, but Ka cancelled it out… and kept on rollin’ like a wheel.

  • HUnter

    People stops saying balefire would just bring Rand back to round 1. Unless they are holding these cage matches every 10 minutes there would not be enough balefire used to bring back his earlier round match ups. Think of a thread burning backwards. The stronger the balefire the longer it burns back.

  • lakesidey

    Here, they haven’t, since Rand was leading anyway. On the other match though, in under an hour Drizzt suddenly came from way behind to _just_ ahead of Ged, and is staying exactly there. Weird? May it’s just me and my nasty suspicious mind.
    I can believe Dragonmount and co getting in a few thousand votes. Remarkably, though, all those votes came in a VERY short time, I would have expected that not everyone on DM etc would be online at that moment and we should see a steady trickle of votes for several hours, but that didn’t happen. I don’t remember my old stats classes too well, but this seems more like a Poison distribution than a Poisson one. Especially since two matches last round went the same way and got decided (in favour of the one who way initially trailing handsomely) by less than 20 votes (which is a drop in several thousand!)

  • Waffles

    I can confirm after testing that cheating is possible. I voted once for Rand, once for Roland to cancel it out. I hope you guys can get it fixed! I am really enjoying the tourney!

  • HaXoR

    Just out of curiosity I decided to figure out how hard it would be to hack these counters. Turns out super easy.
    Really what you need is a Captcha for voting, else anyone with a small amount of skill can just spam all the votes they want.
    I recommend reCaptcha, put all this these man hours of capcha solving toward something productive. http://recaptcha.net/

  • Angrod

    They say in the Drizzt combat, that you only need to erase your history navigation or vote in private mode, and you can vote anytimes you want… if that’s true…Security fail

  • Alia

    As much as I want Roland to win – vote increase by 8,000 or so in 5 minutes cannot be justified in any way. I’m totally fine with popularity/fanboy voting, but not with such blatant cheating (no matter in whose favor). Takes the fun out of it.

  • Yizun

    What the heck? I have to call major cheating on this. Just two hours ago rand was winning 76% to 24%. Now its 49% to 50%? Suvudu, you really need to step it up on your security system before you hold voting contests like this because apparently your system is very out of date

  • Yizun

    So i just timed it, there were over 30 new votes in the space of a few minutes. After there already being over sixty thousand votes there is just no way that there are so many people who haven’t voted yet to make this amount of voting in any way conceivable.

  • dpomerico

    Okay–clearly someone didn’t hear the plea.
    We’re going to try something–a different, hopefully more secure polling site.
    This means that the current votes are going to, unfortunately, be erased. I’m sorry, but it’s the only way we can be sure that peoples’ voices are actually being heard, as opposed to being trounced upon by some bots (although, again, that is a pretty SF thing to do).
    In the event we figure out a way to use twiigs in a secure fashion, we still have the results stored. And, if someone can convince us that this wasn’t spamming, we still have the results.
    In the meantime, we’re going to try this–which means you’ll have to vote again (and let others know to vote again).
    We want this to be fun, and right now it seems like people aren’t having fun.
    C’mon, people–we’re better than Florida!

  • dpomerico

    PS–the voting will go until Sunday, March 28th, 8pm EST now.

  • Angrod

    I think it’s a fair thing to do, it cost us anything to vote again, for this four matches, and is the correct thing to do because this was very disappointing

  • Yizun

    Awesome. Fingers crossed that it turns out better this time. Personally im pulling for Rand but if the only way for him to pull through is for some idiot to bot it, then id rather him lose. Same with the other way around

  • Angrod

    If I refresh the page… the options of voting…are again available…I hope that if you vote it didnt cout it or something like that because if don’t…we only make it worse.

  • Dreamchain

    Yeah there is… don’t get hit. Read both the WoT and the Dark Tower here. Rand is powerful but ultimately Roland is much, much faster, especially since Rand’s eyesight is messed up now. Channelers get killed by ARROWS all the time; this is a BULLET from the last, greatest gunslinger.

  • Angrod

    But channelers get killed by arrows in surprise normally, not when you have the archer in front of you, and you know he will shoot (thats my opinion thought)

  • random person

    Thank you, we have already counted your vote.
    thats what it says if you refresh and vote again

  • lakesidey

    Whoa. This is no longer even remotely funny. A difference of 10 votes?
    All you nerds out there with the trigger-happy coding fingers? Couldja just get outta the way and let us enjoy the frigging match?
    Moderators, is there any way we can have a rematch, with captchas for votes, and possibly ipchecks (though the latter is probably too much work, and would cause problems for people who share ips…)
    ~ The patrician believed in one man, one vote. he was the man, he had the vote.

  • lakesidey

    Whoa, that was the quickest service *evah* 🙂 I post a request for a re-poll and refresh it, and voila….

  • Drakey

    Cool, I like the new one. Deleting cookies no longer makes it possible to vote again.

  • Ross

    Cygnus, the argument doesn’t hinge on whether Rand comes in holding the source. Rather, on whether Rand comes in with air shields already in place; Roland’s hands are simply too fast for Rand to even perceive their movement before the bullets get there. Earlier, I cited a wiki on reaction time to back that up. As I said far above, it’s my biggest WoT pet peeve that Rand NEEEEVER has the common sense to put air shields in place before he walks into danger. If I hadn’t given away all my WoT books I’d look for examples, but alas. This stupid lack of shielding is why I’m going with Roland.

  • Angrod

    Thanks you Random person for check that.
    Just a moment before I was reading the last book and he felt danger and the firts thought he has is to take up his swords… I only could say: Pum! Roland has killed you xD… he sais that is gonna change that… I’ll if this is true…

  • trench

    Thanks for restarting the match. I definetly dont want Rands victory to be tainted.

  • Yizun

    That happens in the 11th book Knife of Dreams. The newest book is The Gathering Storm mate

  • Furrymoose

    Can you dodge Balefire? Because it seems that with Roland’s incredible reflexes it might be possible to aviod it. And if so, how long would it take for Rand to send another blast?

  • Angrod

    Yes yes I’m talking about Gathering Storm, I started it yesterday, is Rand talking with Cadsuane and the Wisdom (I don’t remember her name now) and someone came to the room and he goes for the sword and when he sees that there is no danger he thinks that it would be useless beacause the hand stuff. Thank you for the advise anyway, I started because someone said that he kills one of the Forsaken and I didn’t read that so I started searching in the net (I’m spanish so I didn’t knew that it where on the streets…)

  • Angrod

    Its to difficult to dodge it because Rand could send a mesh of it like in Resdient Evil movie for example, but like is said before is not necessary for Rand to kill Roland with balefire.

  • Terremoto

    I think we all agree that Roland has damn fast hands, but his supposed ability is edging toward rediculous. Saying Roland could think and shoot Rand before Rand could even percieve it seems farfetched at best. If Rand is holding saidin, its simply untrue, considering that everything is drastically enhanced when one is holding the source. Rand once stopped an arrow in midair that was being fired from a nearby building while he wasn’t even paying attention. Imagine if he actually was prepard? Which if hes in a freakin cage match, he certainly would be ready for a fight. As soon as Roland’s muscles tensed up, a saidin weilding Rand would end the match. Now if hes not holding saidin, hes most likely screwed of course, but we all know that. I love em both, so no fanboyism from me, but instant apocalyptic power> Really fast Guns anyday.

  • Magic

    Even if Roland drew first and hit Rand, would that kill him instantly?
    With a mere thought, even whilst riddled with bullets, Rand could hit Roland with balefire and the bullets and any damage would disappear along with Roland, having never existed.
    Of course, the fact that the match ever existed would disappear also 🙂
    Assuming that Roland can “outdraw” Rand I guess it boils down to would it be an Insta-kill shot? If not, would Rand get credit for a match that never existed?

  • Terremoto

    Good point, its worth noting that Roland didn’t actually one shot kill everything in the series. He better hope that he hits the head lol.

  • siimen

    if Ronald could beat Gandalf, he can do it with this guy too.
    Even if I have read only the 1. book and know too little.

  • Kyhkaen

    Magic, Roland is a very good shot, if the bullets get to Rand, they are alternating between his face (x6) and his heart(x6). There is absolutely no way Roland would miss in an encounter this close. This is assuming the bullets get to Rand.
    lakesidey, there are places where it says balefire instantly connects two points, and places like in The Gathering Storm, where it’s progress is barely visible. (My last point was aimed at your evidence that balefire isn’t instantaneous. Nothing you quoted proved either option)
    But now, good Sir, I have my proofs! Robert Jordan, in 2000, stated “Balefire exists wholly and partially outside of time.” (Partially because you can sustain it within time)
    This post is for you scorpinox, my post will be longer if I have to drag it out for hours! Mwhahahaha!
    Anyways, to end the balefire controversy, lets just leave it out. I’m a good fan of both, which is weird because of the completely different writing style. Still, I’ve got to say Rand, both for power and wisdom. People say Roland is cooler than Rand, and they’re right, for 95% of the time. The 5% blows away Roland’s coolness though.
    “How do you fight someone smarter than yourself?” Rand whispered. “The answer is simple. You make her think that you are sitting down across the table from her, ready to play her game. Then you punch her in the face as hard as you can…”
    So, yea, I’m making a new faction that says Rand would just weave Folded Light (Invisibility) around himself and stand there watching Roland become impatient. Or maybe just weaves an invisible barrier of air before the match even starts.

  • Magniloquent

    I was going to say that the fight hinged on several factors until I read what Kyhkaen wrote and remembered the latest book.
    In the last book rand shows that he is far more cold, calculating, and methodical than the rand from the earlier books. If you base your opinion of only the earlier books, then yes, he probably would lose. If you take into account the latest book, then probably not.
    Post “Gathering Storm” Rand would wait for the appointed match time and then destroy the stadium, from a safe distance, killing spectators and Roland alike. Then have lunch.

  • frantiforce

    ugh, I’m getting sick of Rand. Seems like nothing can stop him because he’s got the magic death star wand of ultimate deus ex machina in the balefire.
    That’s not a weapon, that’s bad writing.
    Whole thing should just be a race for second place, the way it’s going now.

  • opaltiger

    Ged can stop him. 8) Unless fanboys get in the way, of course (and I’m not talking only of WoT fanboys).

  • Trane

    Imho, it shouldn’t even be about fighting (their physical attributes). It should be about which character is more interesting (and thus has a bigger fan base) than the other. Vote for who you like. Personally I’m going for Rand because I think Ged can beat him. Then we could see a Kvothe vs. Ged matchup, namer vs. namer.

  • AHEM

    Ah yes! Folded light! How could I have forgotten? That’s another big advantage for Rand. All he needs to do is weave a barrier of folded light around himself, and he’s invisible to Roland. Roland is a deadly shot, but what he can’t perceive, he can’t shoot, unless he just starts blasting bullets in every direction, which is frankly absurd.
    Even assuming Rand doesn’t resort to folded light or an air barrier that renders him immune to bullets, there’s still the fact that his perception and reaction time are increased when he holds Saidin, cancelling out any speed advantage Roland might have, and the possibility of balefire saving him from bullets that have already hit him.
    Rand al’Thor all the way.

  • yizun

    I’m tired of people going on and on and on and on (etc), about Balefire. What about kvothe? He says a name, poof gone, doesnt exist anymore. Seems a lot like balefire, just without the bale and fire.

  • positronics

    Magniloquent is dead on for my largest reason for voting for Rand.
    Even looking past that Roland has 1 trick in his bag compared to Rand’s thousands, Roland goes with his gut a lot, while Rand is a cold stone thinker. Relying on intuition and your finger trick against a scheming god-killer like Rand is a good way to die.
    Also, good point to whoever pointed out that Roland never 1-shot anyone in DT…
    Finally, to those who call balefire deus ex machina, you are mistaken. Deus ex machina means an author’s rabbit-out-of-the-hat for the protagonist in an impossible situation, while balefire was established long before Rand ever used it. Powerful, yes, but so is the Force, and no one ever called it Luke’s deus ex machina when he blew up the Deathstar.

  • yizun

    Positronics makes a very good point, i had never even thought of that before. Balefire had been used for over 3,000 years before Rand was even born. Doesn’t seem like a Deus Ex Machina if it existed before the character did

  • Captain Ganoes Paran

    The audacity to think that bullets can hurt Rand.. hmmmm.. would like to see that happen.
    Whats with the whole balefire thing? anyone that is up to date with WOT knows that Rand has a lot of deadly tricks for anyone he thinks is dangerous. Balefire is not the only weapon in his arsenal. He’s also an unofficial blademaster and those guys are unusually quick. Maybe I’m being a little bit biased here but i really don’t know anything about roland.. maybe i’ll start reading the dark tower series next.. but right now i have to finish Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson 🙂

  • Paul C

    I know its not his thread but… people keep saying how Kvothe can name something out of existence.
    Until Wise Man’s Fear comes out, I think we only know a small part of what Kvothe really can do. It may be a lot more than we expect but it also may be considerably less.
    Aside from the contest though, I VERY much look forward to both Tower’s of Midnight, and Wise Man’s Fear to hear about both Rand and Kvothe more. The writings of Ged and Roland though are (as far as I’m aware) complete.

  • 1337Fanboy

    Personally I don’t see Rand using balefire anymore.
    Sure in the last book it was like his go to spell of choice, until he almost balefired his dad into last week, realized what he was doing, freaked out, bolted, and then came to terms with his existence.
    Not to say he still couldn’t nuke the entire stadium, but I think he’s not so much into balefire now. I’m just saying.

  • Citizen

    I still like the idea of Rand balefiring himself. Plus, it’s really nice to see stable vote percentages for a change. Good move, Suvudu.

  • Citizen

    Oops, I spoke too soon. Roland has started gaining. Not implausible yet, just a couple of percentage points in the last 10 minutes, but I’m feeling extra vigilant after the earlier fiascos.

  • I’m a member of thedarktower.com, and had posted about this cage match business in earlier rounds..but now it has it’s own thread on the forums…that may explain the increases.
    I’m like you, though…definitely wary any time the votes have a change.
    Also wondering what would happen with a self/balefire. 😛

  • Citizen

    I will confess that my interest in the potential effects of balefire on Rand is not purely academic. It could become important in future rounds. As far as the voting, it’s back to 59/41 Rand as I write, no obvious anomalies so far.

  • trench

    I have seen theories on WOT boards that the Voice in Rands head tired to balefire himself when he killed himself. It didn’t work, the Dragon is to important to be removed from existence. It did create one big honking mountain though.
    It would be awesome if Rand won a round by creating another Dragonmount during this tournament

  • David

    Roland couldn’t die, he could just ascend or decend a level on the tower, sooner or latter he will find his way through the Ka to put a bullet in Rand forehead. It’s just a loop. It’s Ka

  • NefariousSage

    If Roland beats Gandolf, then loses to Rand, I call shenannigans on the whole tourny…
    If anyone was going to beat Gandolf, I am glad that it was Roland, based on how much I enjoyed the Dark Tower alone. But it is SO OBVIOUS that Gandolf owns Rand for free…
    Past aside I think Rand wins hands down, balefire wouldn’t even be needed, but if Roland beats Gandolf, Roland beats Rand. Simple as that.

  • phil

    You people real books??? Its a wonder North American is losing the world.

  • McBootie

    If Rand wins and if he uses Balefire. I think a good out come is that he takes Roland out of history far enough back that Roland’s previous kills come back and rejoin the competition. Just thought this would be funny.

  • firefly

    NefariousSage, Gandalf is not on Rand’s scale… He is certainly more experienced, even with the merging of Lews Therin, and I can see a few scenarios in which he would beat Rand, but his magic is not as fast or as destructive. Gandalf v Rand would be interesting, but I would put my money on Rand.

  • Rallenar215

    OK, I’ve read both the series here, so let’s go through this.
    1. Ta’veren v. Ka: Ka won’t let Roland die any more than the Ta’veren status will let Rand lose. We’ve got something of a wash here, with major forces of destiny running into each other. I’m thinking that’s going to be a wash.
    2. Balefire: Is not Rand’s first reaction to any situation. It’s a last-ditch, not a first shot. I think we’re all in consensus that this fight is going to be over one way or another within a split second, so balefire isn’t going to play a part in this fight.
    3. Seizing Saidin: This is an almost instantaneous action by Rand, so we can operate on the assumption that this time isn’t going to hinder Rand in the fight.
    4. The first move: Roland basically has one first move; draw and plug Rand as quickly as possible. Rand has a number of first moves; does he defend? Let’s look at his history. Most of Rand’s fights begin with someone else attacking, and Rand defending. I am attempting to think of an instance where Rand goes for a blitz kill instead of an opening defense. It’s eluding me. So we can assume that Rand will throw up his shield to deflect Roland’s bullet. If that shield works, this fight is all Rands. If it does not, Rand dies with his brains exploding out the back of his head.
    Here’s the kicker: We have an example of this same circumstance from The Dark Tower. Specifically, the end of Wizard and Glass, Book Four; Roland fires on a Wizard using a magical force-field as a defense. But he uses a bullet not of that mage’s world, and so the bullet is unaffected by the magic.
    What is Saidin? It’s the male half of the One Power; the power that drives the Wheel of Time. Therefore, it’s only going to be able to affect things that are of the Wheel of Time universe. Roland’s bullets are going to be (most likely) from Earth in 1984, a different universe than Rand’s. Even if the battle takes place in Rand’s world, Rand’s magic is not going to stop the bullet.
    I’m not saying that, if Rand is forewarned of Roland’s ability to pierce that shield, that Rand doesn’t do something else and win. Of course, if Roland were informed of Rand’s abilities, Rand would eventually just get shot in his sleep some time.
    The point here is that it’s going to be a squeaker, but based on the behaviors and tactics that these two characters seem to use, Roland is going to be left standing at the end of the day.

  • magniloquent

    Can’t think of any instances where rand attacks… really Rallenar?
    *spoiler warning*
    He plans for several days, builds a tower, then crushes everything he can see from it when he takes Cairhein.
    He moves to take Caemlyn in what is the defenition of a blitz.
    When he moved on Sammael as well, he prepared for months before enacting a plan that left the Forsaken with no choice but to run.
    He lures Ashaman into Far Madding so he can murder them without the one power.
    Every time he KNOWS he is going to fight, he plans for it, and plays to crush. In gathering storm this is made rather clear.
    The fights where he “reacts” aren’t cage matches that he knows about in advance, they are him getting “jumped.” Roland catches rand at an ATM, sure, he mows him down. They walk into an arena… Rand is no fool, he has something planned.

  • magniloquent

    Double post but I almost forgot. More spoilers.
    How about when he hunts down Ishmael in the stone of Tear? He chases him down and as for reaction time, the guy blocks/deflects balefire with callandor.
    Rand is overpowered.

  • Yizun

    In response to Rallenor, rand doesnt use “magic” as most definitions see it. He controls the elements, Fire, Earth, Air, Water, and Spirit. These used in combination create the mystical and powerful things that can destroy/heal any item of their choice. While the bullets may move through a magical force field, they can not move through a wall of solid, super condensed air any more than they can move right through a rock of Rand’s universe (unless its a really small one). As for deflecting Balefire, I’m on my third re-read of WoT and i dont recall him deflecting Balefire, only normal fire. Anything that is touched by balefire, which callandor would be included in, winks out of existance. Makes it touch to block.

  • Ceomyr

    One of balefire’s seeming weaknesses is that it’s a little slow to weave this channeling attack before firing it off. This gives people the chance to counter it or dodge and prevents it from being sort of the ultimate attack.
    Also it was doing horrible damage to the world and the wheel of time to use this power. Horrible damage. Wiping out a city with this power turned into a complete mess.
    Balefire on Roland would be a bit difficult, better to kill him with lightning, fire, lasers, invisible air razors or instant death bio-manipulation.
    As for Roland’s attacks. Roland can totally kill Rand as long as his destiny manipulation and cleverness can bypass Rand’s magic wards and super senses. Roland needs to take him by surprise, with a really fast energy attack or say some instant death poison gas otherwise Rand will easily barrier up with invisible steel air shields.
    It isn’t impossible to assassinate Rand, or beat him, plenty of people have come close to the former and others have accomplished the latter.
    Assuming no channeling or tying off weaves before getting into the match, Rand has to draw in the power and then start weaving which takes a little time. Time he doesn’t have against a gun.
    Assuming Rand knows what he’s facing, isn’t completely nutso currently, and is allowed to hold his powers ready he’s going to win this one.
    Rand’s other real weakness by the way is being resigned to the status of minor character in the fantasy series he stars in. Oh yeah and he’s also crazy enough to let a woman kill him rather than harm her, unless she’s a female magic user, he hates those. So how would Roland look in a dress?

  • Kyhkaen

    Rallenar, …what?
    1. Has Ka ever caused two large flocks of birds to collide and every single bird fall to the ground dead? Sorry, Ta’veren is stronger by it’s more direct nature.
    2. He wiped an entire mountain fortress from existence before anyone knew he was there.
    3. Alright, fair enough. We’re just assuming that the nausea doesn’t affect him after The Gathering Storm. Of course, he doesn’t like seizing Saidin in front of anyone, he would come to the match holding it.
    4. Magniloquent’s post covers this pretty well. You are right though, Rand on the defense quite a bit.
    Your ‘kicker’ is completely irrelevant. Rand’s barrier wouldn’t be made of any magical energy whatsoever. Air is common in just about every universe, yes? This is no force field, it’s air that is so dense you can block crossbow bolts with it or use it as a razor if your wish.
    You seem to know enough about both characters anyways, has it just been a while since you read either series? Or did you wikipedia it like I’ve been doing for the other brackets?

  • Lexington Nerdongton

    I do not feel I need to do a write up on this as I did for Rands v Conan fight. I feel the author at the top did it perfect justice and I am in total agreement of Roland winning this match. Reasons:
    1)Roland draws faster than Rand weaves. I have read both series and I fully believe that Roland has the higher initiative (to use gaming terms) and if Roland goes first, he wins.
    2)Rolands guns are MAGICAL! If I remember correctly (and I could be wrong on this) they are the gun equivalent of Excalibur! Point being, they might even get past a shield if Rand somehow was cheating and hat time to weave a shield.
    3)Balefire can be dodged/blocked. Cuindilar(pardon my spelling, I dont have one of the WoT books in front of me) and other power wrought items cannot be destroyed by Balefire. Roland could side-step and or POSSIBLY (emphasis on the POSSIBLY) deflect the Balefire with highly magical guns.
    To emphasis my point on how fast Roland is, in the first “Gunslinger” book, Roland kills an entire town, of like a hundred + people, with 2 six shooter. He shoots faster than the speed of thought, and reloads in an instant! Rand is not bullet proof and Balefire is not fullproof. All the gods are dead after Rand and in my opinion the only one with a chance of beating Roland now is Kvothe.
    Lexington out

  • bigdan

    the only reasoning you need to know why rand wins is simple he is the strongest ta’veren ever to live witch means the pattern forms itself around him so in that case when roland pulled the trigger the pattern would simply cause the gun to misfire and then rand would kill him with some arrows of fire

  • brian kemp

    Exactly. He wouldn’t be worried about the guy going for something on his belt, because he wouldn’t recognize them for what they are. By the time he hears the boom from the guns, which would be his first clue that the little things on the other fellows belt aren’t going to be thrown, there’s a few extra grains of lead in his head, followed rapidly by a few less pounds of grey matter. Most people don’t do so good when their heads are forcefully evacuated like that.

  • John

    “He wouldn’t be worried about the guy going for something on his belt, because he wouldn’t recognize them for what they are.”
    I know this has been mentioned before up there in the comments, but Rand has Lews Therin in his head and in the Age of Legends they had “shocklances” which, judging from the evidence available, were some sort of ranged gun-like weapon. LT would have memories of this. I think it’s safe to say that Rand would be warned not to underestimate the things on the other guys belt.

  • Zatoro

    You know why I’m voting for Rand?
    There was this dude on Malygos sever who named his paladin after Roland, and he was annoying.
    Plus, Roland has a french last name with an anglicized spelling. Screw that.

  • NefariousSage

    This isn’t really relevant to this battle, but I simply can’t resist…
    “Gandalf is not on Rand’s scale” Are you kidding?
    Ta’veren or not, Rand is still a man, Gandalf is an ancient demi-god who cannot die and possesses power and wisdom far beyond anything Rand could even comprehend, let alone match.
    Rand is def no slouch, but you’re still basically comparing a man to a God, and in this case the man has no chance.
    So to my original point, if Roland can kill Gandalf he easily kills Rand. I really don’t agree with it, but if there’s supposed to be any continuity in this tournament that is the only possible outcome I can see.

  • Jonny Snow

    There is no way Rand would waste Balefire on a regular human (Roland’s got some skills but he IS human!) with no channeling ability.
    So what if Roland is fast enough to shoot him? When Rand falls to the floor with half a pound of lead in his skull, it would have to be the head or Roland would lose, a murder (cooler than pack) of Asha’man would swoop in and BF the little shit into oblivion and Rand would be fine! If Drizzt “Cheatmaster” Do’Urden can bring his friends to all the fights then so can the Dragon Reborn!!!

  • CrAzY oNe

    A sure way for Roland to win: Wear a dress. Rand will hesitate, not wanting to kell another woman…..

  • Rayray

    Roland’s protected by Ka! So long as Rand is standing in way of Ka, Roland can’t lose! The tower beckons!

  • trench

    Rand is protected by his Ta’veren nature. If Roland gets in his way, Roland of Gilead goes away. The Last Battle Looms!
    Its a Deus ex machina tie.

  • positronics

    Those bullets from 1984 Earth were made in the same universe as Rand al’Thor… On the same Earth, in fact. If you read interviews by Robert Jordan, the Wheel of Time series takes place on Earth, in the faraway future. This being the First Age, the Second Age being our techno-singular awakening, the Breaking and the Third Age being Rand’s, and so on and so forth until the end of time.
    So that inter-dimensional bullet theory penetrating Rand’s shields go out the window.

  • Darrenn

    Rand can set up all sorts of weaves before they started the match even. He could set traps with the one power to cause Roland’s guns to explode when he draws them, or various other things Rand wins hands down.

  • Andrew

    I disagree with this whole gandalf is a demi god so he destroy rand. I completely agree that gandalf is much much wiser than rand. Now an unrestricted gandalf vs rand will certainly be a epic battle but due to the nature of the one power rand would be very much god like even in lord of rings terms.
    on a side note it would be so much easier for frodo if rand took over the spot of gandalf. Rand would have no need to hold back and just pwned everything. Most importantly, rand could just teleport frodo all the way to mount dome with either traveling or skimming

  • Ross

    I could write pages of detailed arguments on why Roland could possibly get the drop on Rand, but let’s try it in 3 paragraphs.
    OK, so try this test to get an idea how much time Rand would need to react to seeing Roland’s hand move: http://cognitivefun.net/test/18. Rand’s reaction time is trained, but not superhuman, so it probably compares with some of the higher scores. Now consider that weaving the Source is more cognitively complex than twitching a mouse finger, and thus would take a bit longer. Lastly, consider that if Roland (like Han) shoots first, Rand perceives nothing until Roland’s hand moves, at which point I call it inconceivable to predict a reaction in less than 0.25 s.
    The arguments about Rand catching a crossbow bolt and about stopping lightning don’t work. Due to a ta’veren twist, he happened to look at the rooftop in time to see the crossbow shooter fire. And in the lightning examples, Rand can feel the bolt being woven before it comes; that’s how he dodges, and it provides yet more evidence that weaving the Source is slow enough that a person has at least 1/4 of a second to react to a forming weave.
    So how fast do Roland’s hands move? The literature suggests nothing beyond “superhuman,” which is faster than Rand’s lit supports. How fast are .45 bullets? Someone quoted 1150 m/s, so at 50m, that takes 1/23 s = 0.04 s, barely significant.
    Whew. All that just to establish that Roland can get the drop on Rand. But of course magniloquent made an excellent point about how Rand was perfectly willing to wipe out an entire palace with its serving staff in GS just to kill a Forsaken. Of course, Sanderson isn’t one for real moral ambiguity, and so he wrote it in that their minds were all completely destroyed by Compulsion already, but I’ll still count it as a dangerous precedent. It makes me glad I didn’t vote, because I was for Roland all the way when I was assuming they would see each other, face-to-face, before the match. Now I’m unsure.

  • polywonk

    Ross, you’re making a few questionable assumptions.
    1. You assume that Rand would “compare with some of the higher scores”. Why wouldn’t he score superhuman as well, given the crawl that seizing saidin and the Void bestow? There were times in the Dark Tower where wizards blocked Roland’s sixgun shots, so we can safely bet reacting the gunslinger’s draw is plausible, and in Rand’s case of heightened senses, doubly plausible.
    2. You surmise that fatal weaves take longer than .25 seconds to manifest, and you place it on the precipice of Roland being the first to act, where Rand could easily be the first to attack.
    3. Only a very special .45 round travels at that speed, the Cor-Bon DPX (or the 558 Federal) both of which did not exist in 1984. Supersonic ammunition in general would have been unlikely to find in New York City, even in the 80s…
    Roland’s .45s are probably casts that fly around 800 fps.

  • Catoblepas

    I agree that incidents like splitting the beam of balefire in Tear with callandor and catching the crossbow bolt couldn’t have been attributed to normal human reflex. Incidents like that seem to be depicted more as instinct, or even premonition rather than reflex, such as when he instinctively brings up callandor to bisect a beam of balefire at Tear (likely he sensed the weaves being formed). Still, his reactions/premonition/instinct seem to be vastly heightened whenever he is throwing around vast amounts of power, it would definitely takes superhuman reflexes of some sort to counter some of the stuff that was thrown at Tear such as the air being turned to fire etc. His reaction is to instinctively throw enough of sadin at the weaves that they cancel them before they can do any harm. While catching a bullet with sadin might seem like a stretch, I think the premonition-like levels of instinct he seems to get when he’s channeling vast amounts of the power would give him the edge.

  • Citizen

    Perhaps I’m being cranky, but I for one am getting tired of hearing about how Roland’s preternatural quickness basically defies the laws of physics and biology, coupled with discussions of the relative “muzzle” velocity of Roland’s bullets vs. the implementation speed of Rand’s various attacks and defenses. What ever rules you want to argue for playing by within these cage matches, at least keep them consistent within a single post.
    Sneh 😉

  • Citizen

    P.S. Although I’ve moved on some years ago, Internet Security used to be an important element of my job description.

  • Dhurkan

    Meh, I stopped voting since its all fanbois anyway……
    Still I think Roland will win….
    My last 2 cents has nothing to do with this fight… Raistlin losing to Dumbeldore….WTF?!

  • Rand all the way

    Rand wins hands down. don’t forget he has heightened senses when holding the POWER. He will see Roland’s hands moving the moment roland twitches and release whatever weaves he has in place, shield of air, balefire, threads threads of air to trap roland, burst the earth from under rolands feet call down lightning out of a clear sky, and so on,etc,.etc,…..rand wins hands down…

  • justathought

    If you look at Rand’s current history, he usually comes into a fight grasping saidin so the sickness wouldn’t likely be an issue. Also, his weaves, especially defensive ones, are often instantaneous and without thought. Roland, on the other hand, draws and fires, faster than thought. Both are unlikely to go for an immediate kill though.
    I predict there’ll be a pause before the killing. Roland fires incapacitating yet non-lethal shots, because Rand doesn’t seem to be a major threat, removing Rands obvious weapons (sword, ect.). Rand raises defensive weaves and attacks with similar incapacitating attacks. Roland’s further attacks are blocked by the defensive weaves. Rand gets mad and wipes Roland out.
    Of course if Rand has an insane moment his first attack may be lethal and he may act first. Basically, I think Rand with his multitude of offensive and defensive capabilities (hand-to-hand and magical) will beat Roland’s singular offensive capability despite it’s strength.

  • Ali Moradi

    Rand will take the cake on this one. Roland may be a B.A. gunslinger, but we’re talking bullets versus the One Power. Even if Roland and Rand start at the same time, Rand will win because his magic will hit first.
    Plus, he doesn’t even have to use balefire. Remember all that crazy magic he pulled off against the trollocs when Lews Therin took control of the one power? That was some crazy s$$t. I’m not sure bullets can stand up to that kind of damage.

  • super twis

    Having read neither book i have no opinion on who would win but i have one comment. People disagreeing about which version of rand to use, sane or insane, depending on whether we’re taking him from the end of the book, should remember that for some characters in this competion taking them from the end wouldn’t work (eg Dumbledor RIP).
    We should probalby use an incarnation which he spends the greatest amount of time in the books as, otherwise we might just as well take him from the beggining when he has no magic, no sword and considerably more sanity

  • ???????

    ???? ???? ?????????????? ?? ?????, ?? ?????? ???????.

  • JoeSucks

    “From reading comments it sounds like Balefire is the most badass rewind button ever which would make for lame reading methinks.”
    Hey Joe. You Suck.

  • dpomerico

    Alas, Roland has pulled his last trigger–at least in Cage Match.
    Can anyone stop Rand?
    It’s now up to Drizzt–the little drow elf that could.
    See our recap of this round here:
    http://bit.ly/9x9dFi
    And make sure to check out the Final Four match-up between Drizzt and Rand (and Jaime Lannister versus Kvothe), starting here:
    http://bit.ly/9StqPP

  • When holding the One Power Rand is fast enough to form a shield to block bolts of lightning after they’ve formed. That’s a few hundred times faster than a mere bullet.

    Relevant quotes:

    “The Forsaken did not slow, and as he vanished, lightning flashed from the glowing clouds toward Rand, stabbing blindly but meant to kill. Running, Rand wove a shield around himself. Shards of stone bounded from it as he dodged crackling blue bolts, leaped over the holes they tore in the pavement. The air itself sparkled; the hair of his arms lifted with it, the hair on his head stirred.”
    -The Shadow Rising

    “Lightning stabbed from the cloudless sky.
    Rand wove Fire and Air to meet Fire and Air, a slow-spreading shield racing lightnings’ fall. Too slow. One bolt struck the shield directly above his head, shattering in a blinding glare, but others grounded themselves, and his hair lifted as the air itself seemed to hammer him down.”
    -The Fires of Heaven

    No way in hell is a gunslinger going to beat him to the punch.

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