Cage Match 2011: Takeshi Kovacs versus Jon Snow


The Contestants

Takeshi Kovacs.jpg

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Jon Snow.jpg

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Takeshi Kovacs
Age: Physically early-40s
Race: Human, mixed Slavic and Japanese
Weapons / Artifacts: Smith and Wesson 11mm magnum; 15 cm Tebbit knife
Anticipates and deflects your every move

Jon Snow
Lord Commander of the Night Watch
Age: Late-teens
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: Hand-and-a-Half Valyrian steel sword
His albino direwolf rips your throat out

The Breakdown


  • Superhuman intuition and reflexes, neurachem enhancement
  • Psycho-Spiritual envoy training
  • “Soul” stored in cortical stack at the base of the skull; essentially immortal

  • A skilled warrior
  • Commitment to honor and duty–all around good guy
  • Has a friggin’ direwolf

  • Takes a while getting used to new bodies

  • He’s a bastard…no, seriously.

  • N/A

  • N/A

Check out the comments below to see what Richard K. Morgan thinks of his character’s ability to destroy Jon Snow

George R.R. Martin chimes in

How we think the fight will go

Ex-UN Envoy Takeshi Kovacs, having downloaded into this sleeve just 6 hours earlier, takes a quick inventory of the neurachem and physical attributes this new body has to offer: enhanced reaction time, emotional controls—all mercenary standard. He tugs at the wool and leather outfit that was waiting for him when he woke up. Not really his style, but it’s keeping the sleeve warm in this frigid field.

Scanning the crowd, Kovacs feels physical stirrings in response to all the lithe young women in the audience. The body’s previous owner must have been quite the skirt chaser—in addition to a smoker, as the itching in his fingers keeps reminding him. He quells both desires and levels his gaze at his young opponent.

Jon Snow stands facing him, black hair blending into his dark wool cloak and armor. His pale, oblong face stands out like a gibbous moon in a starless arctic sky. Tall, severely angular and sinewy, the boy’s stance belies combat training and experience beyond what his young age implies. His hand rests easily on his sword’s hilt, a white wolf’s head set with red stones. Fancy, Kovacs notes. But not spoiled.

“Mr. Kov-aks, welcome to the North,” the young Night’s Watchman hedges, eyeing his opponent.

Kovacs’ neurachem signals are warning him something is seriously amiss; he needs to buy some time, assess this odd, long-faced kid. “It’s Kovacs, son. The Slavic pronunciation is ch. But it’s your first offense, so,” the Envoy takes out a cigarette pack and shakes one out, “I’ll let it slide.” His free hand slides under his coat, grazing the handle on his Smith & Wesson nuzzled in its form-molding holster at his rib. He lights the cig off the ignition patch on the side of the pack. Good a fighter as he may be, Kovacs thinks, the kid seems a little too confident for a second-year recruit.

Snow draws his sword but holds, shifting from foot to foot. He has heard about the enemy’s projectile weapons and knows he must bring the fight in Longclaw’s striking range. The older man looks ill-fitted in his borrowed northern clothes, even more so in the battle-scarred body he has been loaned.

Kovacs leisurely smokes and fondles the handle of his revolver, still beneath his coat. “I’m new here, son. Can’t assume too much. But word on the street tells me you’re a man of questionable character. Shifting loyalties.” He watches the boy’s anger build, trying to gauge how much will make him sloppy. “Some might say… a real bastard.”

Snow’s face is burning with rage, and Kovacs’ can feel his sleeve’s pulse quickening. He worries he may have taken the taunting too far. Closely controlling his adrenaline response, Kovacs draws his revolver as Snow lunges at him, sword poised to skewer.

Snow jabs savagely toward the older man’s torso, but Kovacs anticipates and dodges deftly, rolling on the floor and rising with his gun out. He fires off three shots, fully expecting his ammo to penetrate Snow’s armor, but the new-sleeve shakiness is still with him and two of the bullets fly wide. The third catches in the chainmail at Jon’s shoulder with a meaty clank. Snow reels, and spins, maintaining his grip on Longclaw. He looks down at his hit shoulder in awe—the small hunk of metal remains lodged in the links of his chainmail, hot to the touch. It has not penetrated his skin. Still, it feels as if his entire arm has been smashed with Baratheon’s warhammer.

“Technology, kid. Sometimes it’s helpful, sometimes a real bitch.” Kovacs retrieves his still-burning cigarette from the ground where he dropped it and retreats, senses groping to figure out the level of organic damage he’s inflicted. The look on the kid’s face suggests this is a novel pain, the shock may be easy to take advantage of.

Snow shakes out his throbbing arm, mind racing. He curses himself for letting his rage control him. If this off-worlder can read his mind, as it seems, he must act without further thought. He grips Longclaw in his good hand and runs his injured shoulder full speed into the smoking man’s gullet.

Kovacs sees the attack before it hits, but is temporarily shocked by the boy’s turnabout. Snow’s armored shoulder hits him in the gut and they fall hard to the dirt. Bruised though he is, Snow’s stamina belies long campaigns at the onset of hard winter. The two wrestle, vying for dominance, and slowly the strength in Kovacs’ new body ebbs, craving the sleep required after downloading.

Rising, Jon Snow places a boot on Kovacs’s neck.

“For the honor of my brothers in black,” he raises Longclaw for a killing blow. Before it can land, a long, gray knife flashes out, sprung from its hidden sheath strapped to Kovacs’ forearm. He slashes wildly at the bastard’s leg, slicing the calf but not quite sinking blade into flesh. Snow’s swing falters and Longclaw grazes Kovacs’ graying hair. Taking his momentary advantage, Kovacs staggers up and throws Snow to the ground. He pins the boy with one arm, while the other reaches for his cast-off revolver.

Kovacs presses the barrel into the young man’s temple when a growl emerges, barely audible, somewhere in the crowd behind them. He observes the sudden smugness on Snow’s face, the answer to his earlier confidence. The expression says: “I’ve got you,” though all evidence points otherwise.

All the alarms in this sleeve send chemical warning sirens through Kovacs’ body, his training demanding he flee. But it is too late.

Ghost descends from behind, materializing with animal grace from the parted crowd. Before the Envoy’s enhanced reflexes can kick in, the direwolf’s teeth are on him. Kovacs’ neck gives way to the massive jaws, his vertebrae crushed, spinal cord severed. Ghost swallows the tiny metal cylinder of Kovacs’ cortical stack along with the flesh surrounding the cervical vertebrae.

It’ll be messier than usual re-sleeving this one.

Predicted Winner: Jon Snow


Check out the previous match!

Check out the next match!

Check out the Bracket

Takeshi Kovacs is a character from Altered Carbon and other Takeshi Kovacs novels by Richard K. Morgan; Jon Snow is a character from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin.

Takeshi Kovacs image courtesy of ~MKorey. Jon Snow image courtesy of Michael Komarck.

Hope Ewing contributed to this Cage Match

  • Shadow’s Bane

    three cheers for jon Snow

  • Beren

    As much as I love GRRM, Snow does not stand a chance here. Leaving aside the whole issue of constantly being able to download into genetically enhanced bodies, Kovacs is an assassin while, really, who has Snow killed? The Halfhand? A bunch of nobody wildlings?

  • Well, Takeshi can predict the wolf and kick it but he’d just get his leg torn off…Jon only needs to get the guns somehow…

  • oh and btw, Ghost wouldn’t growl, he never growls…

  • AHEM

    In the actual fight, Snow doesn’t stand a chance. An enemy who is enhanced to superhuman abilities, a killer through and through, and armed with weaponry a thousand years more advanced than the best from Westeros. It’s unlikely that either he or his direwolf would get close enough before going down under a hail of bullets.

    However, Jon has a bigger advantage, and that is the sheer number of fans behind him and their utter insanity. If he’s a GRRM character, then he might as well be immune to bullets and wielding a lightsaber with the strength of superman behind his blows. People crazy for ASoIaF will vote for him regardless of whether he’s facing an opponent he can actually beat, a much stronger opponent, or an immortal god.

    Takeshi Kovacs is a dead man.

  • True…I agree completely…in a fair fight he’d be lost, but he’s got every fan in the world to step in front of a bullet for him…

    btw, Ghost wouldn’t growl, he never growls…

  • SickofFanboys!

    Man I am so sick of the GRRM fans rooting for his characters without any consideration of whom or what they are facing! The GRRM characters are not invincible you nimrods!! TK would have shot him to pieces and his little dog too!!

  • Fish

    lol @ all of you that think this is anything else but a popularity contest 🙂

  • trench

    I can’t believe this fight is so close. Takeshi is getting 15% of the vote, thats almost a feat in itself.

  • Gemini

    It must at least be acknowledged that Jon Snow is a more threatening combatant than Jaime Lannister. (Though I like Lannister more, personally.) While Jaime is more experienced and ruthless, Jon has two working hands and as Suvudu worded it “a friggin’ dire wolf.” Dire wolves are big and scary.

    As for whether or not he could take on Kovacs… With Ghost, I think he stands a chance. If Jon kept him hidden until he was most needed, as is what happened in the write-up.

    Now, regarding the topic of fanboy/girlism, I think the majority of Ice and Fire fans realize that in a straight-up, who-is-more-powerful match, most Ice and Fire characters wouldn’t get that far. But then how often in the fantasy genre do characters overcome odds staggered against them? It’s part of the genre’s appeal. I think what at least some people like about these cage-matches is trying to imagine how their favorites would overcome stronger foes. If that makes it a popularity contest, then so be it.


    order and cHaos

  • Beren

    First, of course this is a popularity contest, but I quibble primarily with the write up. There are too many ways for Kovacs to win this.

    Second, I think it’s part of the appeal of GRRM’s work that here we have a fantasy world where the odds are truly stacked against the characters. There has never really been the sense that the characters are safe or that they have some larger destiny. So far at least, the stronger person prevails, the most treacherous survive. Imagining how a favorite would overcome a stronger foe does not really apply here then.

  • Dandin Storm

    It seems that, especially in this match, whoever gets the drop on who will win, if Jon can close to range, TK is screwed, if Ghost can close to range TK is screwed, however, if neither of these things happen, Jon is screwed.

  • Craig

    I’m a fan of GRRM and haven’t read the other guy, but I still voted Kovacs. Is this a “who would win?” or “who has the biggest fan base?” I assumed the former and voted accordingly.

    Snow is still green as summer if you ask me.

  • Archon

    I just do this for the fun of reading and exchanging thought with other sci-fi/fantasy fans… I vote what I feel regardless of the probable outcome… I rarely vote against the GRRM family… but I did this time.

  • Ermph

    I think Takeshi Kovacs is going to pull. I mean he has a good 17 percent or so of the votes. Jon, *shakes eight ball* “Outlook is bleak.”

  • Gordon Fremen

    I see it’s starting already. I understand the schtick of this thing is supposed to be an objective assessment of the fighting abilities of each character, but it would be a profoundly boring and predictable run if voting were to follow that. Characters in more prosaic fantasy – like Jon – would simply be fodder for the characters who come from less restrained series. So Vin would dominate until she was matched against Quick Ben, and he’d dominate until he met with Pug. How exciting.

    It’s a popularity contest, but one that is more interesting because of the overlap of fans. Remember the WoT vs. GRRM battle last year? Aside from the inevitable vitriol, it was fun as hell. I’m anticipating a lot of extra awesome this year.

    So I’m not worried about the popularity thing. Things’ll be interesting no matter what, and if it was simply based on power levels we could do the whole thing on a spreadsheet.

  • Gordon Fremen

    That said, mail is impressive armor to be sure, but it would not stop a bullet. Not a goddamn chance.

  • Gemini

    @Gordon Fremen

    First off, love the name 🙂

    Second, agreed on all parts.

  • Generik

    Having read all the TK books, this fight wouldn’t even be close. New sleeve or not he would have put a bullet into Jon’s head from a distance before well before Snow could make his presence known. Too bad TK got matched up against a GRRM character.. would have been nice to see him get a few rounds in.

  • James

    Well, I voted for Kovacs, since he would tear that brat to shreds. Unfortunately, since this is a popularity contest, Jon is going to take it.

  • MAB77

    Jon Snow’s fandom is clearly his only real advantage and in all likelihood the only one he needs to win this tournament.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am a Jon Snow fan myself. I love the character, especially because he is a mere human. Talented and gifted certainly, but still a quite normal human with no superhuman powers than we know of (except maybe an uncontrolled skinchanging ability with Ghost, but its of little help in battle).

    He would not normally stand a chance in battle against most of the other contestants in this tournament. Kovacks would certainly rip him apart and I voted accordingly.

  • Minister of Death

    Hmmm, an interesting one. You have Jon Snow and Ghost against Takeshi. Together I think Jon and Ghost could possibly take him.

    I think it would be a much better, and more bad ass, match to have Jon against Perrin. Match direwolf against wolves.

  • Interesting……

    All due respect to Mr Martin’s characters who – I understand from report, not yet having read them myself – are superbly drawn. But:

    Kovacs is an Envoy. Envoys take down entire planetary governments. They do this by subterfuge, leverage and planning ahead. Combat savagery and viewing the flesh you wear as a disposable asset come after that.

    Kovacs does his research; tags the wolf as a far greater threat than the swordsman and kills it first, a long way ahead of the confrontation with Snow (probably with poison, but a Nemex round or two would do the job). He takes Snow while he’s grief-stricken for his dead pet. (Not knowing the character, I can’t say how upset Snow would be at the loss of Ghost, but if it isn’t enough to tip the balance, Kovacs could always – and would – kill a few of Snow’s nearest and dearest as well. Anything to get the job done.)

    My two cents worth. For obvious reasons, I haven’t voted in this one.

  • Dandin Storm

    Jon could win, in theory, if he got close enough, but if TK gets half a chance Jon has a bullet in his skull

  • Acantha

    There is no POSSIBLE way that kid would beat Kovacs. If for no other reason that the fact that the tebbit knife will boil your blood if he gets so much as a single cut in. He only needs to hit you once with that sucker.

  • HateGRRMFanboys

    Yeah! The GRRM Fanboys ruined another fight with their lame fanboyism and their Twilight girl like obsession for a GRRM character………….

  • Samuel

    Bleh. As a (really, REALLY) half-hearted justification of the way this is going….Snow may be a better hand-to-hand fighter, skill-wise (just on the basis of growing up in a more brutal medieval society, and being trained in exclusive hand-to-hand from an early age–seriously, neural pathways set down in childhood are nothing to scoff at), and Ghost could almost certainly kill Kovacs given a chance. If the two of them get the opportunity to close the distance and double-team him, Kovacs would probably be doomed. This is only an issue, though, if the combatants start out close enough for it to make a difference. If they’re too far away, Kovacs will just plug them both. Blam blam, the end.

  • AHEM


    I agree.

    There’s almost no intelligent discussion in matches involving a GRRM character. It just turns into GRRM fans trying to justify themselves voting for a character who has no chance at all of victory, calling it a popularity contest and whining about anyone who believes otherwise, etc. It takes a lot of the fun out of these, because they become less a fight between the characters, and more a fight against the overwhelming stupidity of the fanboys.

    This is like the polar opposite of god characters stomping it, gone to the other, equally dumb extreme. Instead of “Cthulhu has bigger powers, so he wins” it becomes, “I like this character and the series he’s from more, so he wins.” Whatever happened to the intelligent discussion, comparison of powers, and scenarios that exist in the middle? Including characters from ASoIaF is just like including god characters, equally unfair to the others in a totally different way, because just as a swordsman couldn’t realistically win against a demigod who can warp reality, good characters who would otherwise win the matches got shot out because GRRM fanboys vote against them just because they like ASoIaF more.

  • acantha

    A better hand to hand fighter? are you kidding?

    Kovacs is not just a soldier. he’s the most dangerous kind of soldier an advanced society could concoct, specifically designed to be superior in combat where weapons don’t matter. HE is the weapon, according to their doctrine. On top of that, he’s had a few HUNDRED years of living experience. Several dozen of which he used to hunt down the ENTIRE RULING HIERARCHY of a planetwide religion. BY HAND.

    i’m sorry, i’m sure your boy is pretty handy with his sword, and that the puppy looks very mean, but there is just no chance. you might as well have thrown him up against Cthulhu for all he’s got a snowballs hope in hell against Kovacs.

  • Samuel

    XD, hey, don’t rant at me. I voted for your little sci-fi wonder, despite not having read the books. But Snow is going to win, so I’m just trying to give an explanation as to how that could have happened. Now I’m sure Kovacs is a great fighter, really experienced and so on, but again…he’s sci/fi. He’s an assassin. I haven’t read the series, but it does make some sort of argument for his skill set: no decent assassin is going to go after people in such a way that they have a legitimate chance to kill him, or even to make noise. He’s going to off them quickly and quietly from the shadows. In a futuristic society, there might be a great training program centered around martial arts, but the major combat style is going to be firearms: perhaps not using them himself at all times, but always with their use against him in mind. Hey, it doesn’t give Snow a GREAT chance, just a chance.

    Ghost is a far bigger advantage. I don’t care who Kovacs is, a wolf the size of a bear is not going to be shrugged off. Just on pure weight alone, you can’t fight an animal that size at close quarters and expect to win, particularly with no armor and someone swinging a sword at you from the other side. Kovacs either shoots Ghost or he’s in serious trouble.

    So SHOULD Snow win? Probably not. But COULD he? Eh….maybe. If the situation was right.

  • ducky


    “There’s almost no intelligent discussion in matches involving a GRRM character. It just turns into GRRM fans trying to justify themselves voting for a character who has no chance at all of victory (snip) It takes a lot of the fun out of these, because they become less a fight between the characters, and more a fight against the overwhelming stupidity of the fanboys.”

    Ok, as a fan of GRRM, I’d like to point out that, in my case at least, I’ve not contributed intelligent discussion because I haven’t read this other series, and know nothing about the characters. If that constitutes stupidity, then why have these matches at all? Forgive me, but I’ve not seen a great deal of arguing in the comments section here, so I’m a bit puzzled at your remark about fighting stupid fanboys. Just because fans vote for the character they know and like, why does this mean they’re stupid? May I suggest that, if these fights should be only decided on real character merit and knowledge of the characters used, then voting should be restricted, or not used at all.

    I had thought this was merely something for fun. Was my assumption wrong?

  • AHEM


    It is, but “for fun” does not constitute “throwing intelligence to the winds and deciding entirely based on fanboyism.” If this was merely a popularity contest, then there shouldn’t be any talk of a battle, or a scenario of the two testing themselves against each other, at all. There should just be pictures of the two to look at, and then the line, “Who do you like more?”

    I’m not advocating just pointing to the character with the bigger powers and declaring them victorious. For me, the fun in these matches is imagining what would happen if characters from different universes with different powers and abilities actually collided, how they would fight, why they would fight, how they would counter each other, and how each could win. If someone is just deciding, “I like the series that this character is from more, so they win,” then they’re taking the fun out of it for me, and turning the “cage match” into merely a popularity contest. That’s like the equivalent of breaking the rules of a game, or cheating, in order to win. They’re so obsessed with winning that they forget the point of the game. They ruin it for everyone who wants to actually enjoy it and not just hoist their pony to victory. So yes, if I person just votes for one character solely on the basis that they like them more, when that character is obviously and blatantly outmatched and all logic would dictate the opposite outcome, then I would indeed say that they are acting stupidly, or at least not with the minimal seriousness needed to consider a hypothetical fight between fictional characters.

    If Jon Snow was fighting Tasselhoff Burrfoot, or Gollum, or one of the other low-weight fighters that he could and would logically win against, then I would vote for him. He’s actually one of my favorite characters from ASoIaF. However, this is a battle, not a beauty contest, and I’m going to give Jon and whoever he is facing as fair a judgment as I would to any other character.

  • chalky

    Jon Snow fanboys can pimp out this Gary Stu ’til the cows come home, they sure are good at it but doesn’t change ridiculousness in saying he could defeat Kovacs. The kid is just seventeen for fuck’s sake, skilled warrior my ass! He only looks good in the books because he hangs out with all the uneducated rejects of the kingdom. This is a popularity contest and nothing more, any intelligent person will vote for Kovacs, but the GRRM fanboys will clearly keep intelligence from winning the day.

  • Chaelek

    I voted for Snow, and like many other I haven’t read the book the other character appears in, but from what Suvudu gave us Snow stands a chance. This Envoy is a great assassin, skilled in the arts of subterfuge and killing from the shadows, so he’s out of his element in a straight up fight, which is what this is. So say he sees snow and this DIREWOLF across from him, he pulls his revolver (it is a revolver, yes?) and fires 11mm bullets at it. Assuming he strikes the wolf, try keeping your nerve with that much angry death rushing you, a round slightly smaller than a .45 isn’t going to kill ghost, unless it’s an extremely lucky shot. Let’s say he does manage to kill the wolf, it would almost certainly require all of his bullets. So he pulls his slightly less than six inch long knife, no time to reload the revolver, because Snow has been charging this whole time. So we have a man who’s attention is on the wolf he killed, armed with a blade something like 4 feet shorter than his opponent’s. Jon’s blade decapitates him, or shatters his knife and cleaves him in two. OR the shorter version, he doesn’t make the killing blow, and Ghost ravages him.

    Again, I’ve not read the other books, but from what suvudu tells me, and what I know personally, this match isn’t near so cut and dried. But that’s my intelligent discourse, with just a pinch of rabid fanboyism.

    That said, Kovacs seems very cool, perhaps I should buy his book(s?).

  • Anderw

    GRRM haters:

    LOL U mad?

  • Harle

    Holy cow, last thing I expected to see was such vitriol for people who enjoy a fantasy series. GRRM ‘fanboys’ as you call them are fans of the fantasy genre same as you. Calm down and leave your hostility at the door.

    I for one am not super impressed by characters who are the defacto ‘best at everything.’ These are novels, after all, and characters can be whatever the author decides they are. So when an author states to me, ‘this person is the supreme badass and kicks the asses of all the other badasses,’ I honetly would rather see the ‘underdog’ win. From a literary standpoint, it’s more interesting.

    Literature (and fantasy / sci-fi in particular) is full of the story of the ordinary individual overcoming a superior enemy. Whoever the ‘hero’ of the story is, will ultimately win. It doesn’t make any sense to say that a hero character in a book would fail against a superior opponent when all these characters do is fight superior opponents. All the time. Entire fantasy series have been written about very ordinary people achieving the impossible.

    Some innocent, sheltered hobbits spent three books ending a war by traveling to a place called ‘Mount Doom’ in the midst of war, violence, dragons, and evil magic. At one point a hobbit killed a giant spider queen thing. If you were to separate Frodo and Shelob from the narrative and hold one of these silly contests you people would be making the same argument. In fantasy, people overcome the odds. Why? Because the reader ultimately wants them to.

    Ergo, these matches.

    Who you think would win ultimately comes down to who you are rooting for. Because like in the literature these characters come from, the reader wants their character to overcome the odds.

    Song has a pretty big fanbase and they are relatively united because the author has an internet presence and enjoys these matches. And so that is going to have a pretty big impact on things.

    But seriously, the rabid hostility and ad hominems are disruptive. I remember reading through some comments back when Jaime was fighting and there was all kinds of back and forth about why one character might have an upper hand in one situation. But now it’s this, presumably because Gregor won last time.

    It’s not the end of the world if the matches don’t all resolve the way you think would make the most sense. If you can’t participate without using the word ‘fanboys’ with metaphorical venom dripping from your teeth, then you’re probably not a great example of the intelligence you claim you would like to see.

    ‘Intelligent’ people probably understand that this is just a fun little exercise, they are probably aware that it is ultimately a popularity contest, and that flailing angrily in the comments isn’t going to achieve anything except to make you look slightly irrational.

    Chill out. I wouldn’t be flipping a gasket if Hermione Granger killed Jaime. Who cares? It’s not even cannon! Get over it already and try to enjoy these things.

  • Chaelek

    I apologize, Longclaw should only be about 3.25 feet long, but still.

  • Mafan

    To all the GRRM-Fanboy haters:
    The whole Cage Match ideas is a joke as long we set characters like GRRM’s I&F characters against super-enhanced SciFi characters or fireball-hurling wizards.
    There may be a few creatures/chars in I&F, who wave the personal powers to win a fight against the characters of \my hero can destroy the earth with a blink!\-authors.
    But for chars like Jaime or Jon, you could just as well set them up against gravity: \Jon was dropped out of a window of the 200th floor. Who will win, Jon or the ground?\
    The setup is stupid and GRRM’s fan react accordingly. GRRM’s chars never even had a decent chance and if Suvudu can’t come up with a reasonable league system, where only comparable characters are entered, we will never see \fair\ fights.

    In unrelated news: I’m definitely a GRRM fan and I even like Jon Snow. I don’t even know Envoy. But honestly, Jon loses without a doubt.
    Simply because the Envoy only has to kill Jon to win the fight. One bullet to Jon’s head is enough and from the comments of people, who read the books, he’s good enough for that.
    Ghost is irrelevant, as the Envoy DOESN’T CARE about his body/sleeve, if that is necessary.
    He would not wait. He would pull the trigger the second the fight starts. The End.

    And now I’ll go and vote for Jon. Just to spite AHEM for demanding seriousness. (Just a joke. I’ll vote for Kovacs. Really. Oh, and there’s cake for everyone.)

  • GRRMFanBoy9999

    Because of this contest, I became interested in R. Morgan’s books and is now planning to buy one.

    But of course, I voted for Jon Snow no matter what 😛

  • master silver fox

    Knife verses gun, under 25 feet. Knife is out, gun not. Knife usually wins. An person in good shape can cover the distance and stab faster than the gun can be drawn, aimed an fired. Court records, police used in defense of shooting suspect.

  • JamieB

    Welp, I’ve read Altered Carbon about 7 times and love it, and I’ve read ASOIAF three times in its entirety and love it, so I guess… I win?

  • starksrule

    not a fair contest… jaime vs rand? really? jon vs tk? really?

    these matches are PURELY popularity… thats all… dont try and think of them as anything else until the matches are balanced…

    voted for jon… I AM a grrm fan and do NOT care that jon WOULD lose… I think these matches are silly, I like seeing all you grrm haters nerdrage out, and I like seeing some of my favorite characters whoop butt across space and time against overwhelming odds…

  • ducky

    I cannot understand your stance about anyone being “so obsessed with winning they break the rules”. As someone above noted, the ridiculousness here, IMHO, is pitting a medieval fighter against an ultra modern and enhanced assassin. That’s a contest?

    Be that as it may, perhaps my suggestion on suspending or restricting votes should be suggested to those who run these matches. Might help the vitriol levels here.

  • I love GRRM’s books and characters, but in truth, Snow has no chance at all here. He’s a decent fighter and Ghost certainly helps, but Kovacs is out of his league. Seriously.

    I’d prefer a more sensible match-up.

  • Xenos

    if only there was a tie option, Jon is a tough kid, and could certainly mess TK up good if he got close for valyarian steel is forever sharp and it would take one slice for a person to bleed out . however that would most likely not happen being TK has GUN, Yet ghost is as silent and stealthy as they come not to mention loyal. TK may be able to kill Jon but he would still end at the strength and Jaws of Ghost. a draw i say

  • HollyHocks

    Harle, I thought that was beautifully stated.

    Half the fun of fantasy is seeing the underdog win, so what’s wrong with voting for the underdog here?

  • DaLi

    Some are complaining that the concept of who won this fight is unfair.
    But I have a question: Could Jon “charm” more than one animal? and would it not be likely that Jon also has skill in some kind of projectile weapon himself?
    Jon is an undeveloped character after all.

  • JamieB

    If I must throw my hat into the ring, I reckon Jon wins by default, as TK – never the most patient of people – would’ve gone back on stack after 6+ years of waiting for Jon to show up. Would that I could’ve done the same.

  • Andrew

    This is an absolutely ridiculous match up for anyone who has actually read both series. Here’s my alternate \how the fight would go\ write up.

    \Takeshi took one look at Jon and using his enhanced reflexes, he took out his pistol and put a bullet in Jon’s eye before anyone could even blink. The back of Jon’s head blew out in a pink mist.

    The end.\

  • Bri Spil

    Now I loved GRRM’s Ice and Fire series, mostly anyway, and have never read any of Morgan’s books, however this match up is like putting a caveman against a ninja terminator. love ya Jon Snow, but even if you or ghost do somehow kill what seems to be the greatest assassin ever created, he would just have his soul downloaded into a completely different body making him undetectable. The technology difference here is far too big.

  • blake

    Who ever put together these match ups is an idiot .

  • Jesse Kessler

    Ghost never makes a sound guys. There wouldn’t be a growl at all. Other than that, great write up.

  • Raven

    It’s true what Jesse said. Not to be picky or bitchy, but it could make a difference in later rounds. Ghost is eerily quiet. I know he never makes a verbal noise–not once–and I think he doesn’t make noise when he moves either. Or he’s just really quiet. Either way, it’s a borderline supernatural characteristic, which is what makes Ghost creepy.

  • QsQuared

    Jon Snow vs Perrin Aybarra. Now this is a match that I’ve been looking forward to. Would Perrin be able to talk with Jon’s direwolf Ghost? And what happens when Jon attempts to change skin as Ghost. Can’t wait! Hopefully both makes it to the finals though.

  • Arstan

    finish the book george

  • Arstan

    You money hungry old man. You think we are so stupid as to believe that the release of dance just so happens to coincide with the HBO series. How damn ironic.

    I am going to steal dance, you aint getting my hard earned money.

  • Dawn

    The person who wrote this needs to look up what “belie” means.

    “the boy’s stance betrays combat training and experience…”

    “Snow’s stamina proclaims long campaigns…”

  • K

    This is basically caveman vs astronaut.

    Haven’t decided there, haven’t decided here. I guess it depends what you count as winning: If Kovacs’ sleeve gets killed is that enough, or does Jon have to destroy his stack? If Kovacs’ kills either Jon or Ghost is that enough, or does he need to get both?

    I do agree that the cage match puts Kovacs at a disadvantage, going side-on to a problem is always more his style, and the write up was awesome and all, but seemed a bit unfair that Jon had been told about the gun but Kovacs had no idea about the direwolf.

    Either way, I abstain.

  • Mongoose

    Umm…Arstan? Has it occurred to you that you could just borrow it from your local library?

  • Badger

    Arstan…. seriously that is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen written. Books are a business. Not sure I know of any author/publishing house who wouldnt take advantage of the HBO marketing machine. If your so grumpy about it just dont bother to read on…..that will teach him!

  • Interesting match – But I wonder how Jon will do without Ghost…

  • Dasaniel

    Actually the ‘cs’ in Kovacs is pronounced ‘ch’ in Hungarian, by the way it’s a Hungarian name, in Slavic the ‘ch’ sound is written something like ?,? or the like.

  • The Great John Umber

    The Starks are a tough bunch indeed but far from unbeatable, as I can attest. Having talked to other members of the Night’s Watch I know that Lord Stark’s byblow is only a competant swords man with potential.

    In the cold winters of the North I remember reading the Kovac trilogy. Kovacs was sending skilled fighters to their grave before Snow was even an itch in Lord Starks britches. The first shot from the gun would have taken Snow’s arm off at the shoulder. There is a reason why chain mail when away with the invention of gunpowder. It doesn’t wok.

    Snow might have eventually won but it would have been inside the body of Ghost as a bloody Werewolf.

  • The Great John Umber

    “If you were to separate Frodo and Shelob from the narrative and hold one of these silly contests you people would be making the same argument.”

    You know that Frodo lost to Shelob right?

    Btw read the book. Kovac’s is good but he gets the mess kicked out of him plenty of times. He just wouldn’t lose to Jon Snow.

  • Hungarian

    Hungarians aren’t Slavic or whatever, they are Magyar (separate “race”), and their language is Finno-Ugrian which ain’t Slavic either.

  • darkskye55

    actully, to be very picky, ghost does make one noise, in all 4 books in GRRM’s series it happens once. when the dire wolves are first found as the stark boys are walking away jon hears a soft wimper that draws him to ghost who had crawled away from the other littermates.

  • emper

    I call bull on this one.

    Sorry, bhut Kovacs is a completely cold sonofa…. he’d just put a few slugs in the guy and be done with it.

  • I have to agree, there is no way Tak is losing this match. A better match would have been Ringil Angeleyes.

  • RS

    Echoing \John Umber\ — Kovacs has literally *hundreds* of years of combat experience, and perhaps more importantly, a gun. Kovacs would never let the dude get close enough to him to use the sword. Gun beats chainmail and sword every time.

  • akos medveczki

    A, Kovach is super human,
    B,has at least100 hundred years of compat experience
    C,Any kind of gun,even the crudest penetrates chainmail from 30 paces, 25th handcannons do it from 2000.John will still die, and his lucky Kovacs hasn’t got a Sunjet.( Ghost mght wound Kovach if he is unlucky,but not kill him since he has a knife, but probably the first gunshot will frighten the soul out of Ghost for a moment, having never encounteterd such a thing before, and the secon will pass trough it’s head)

  • Ann Koo

    All Kovacs needs is a shard gun dialed to the widest aperture and Jon Snow’s red mist along with Ghost. Having read all of the Takeshi Kovacs novels as well as reading up on ASoIaF, there’s no way in hell Snow wins this one, Ghost or not. Also, someone spread that misconception that Kovacs is an assassin who can only fight from the shadows. Need I mention that his final fight in Altered Carbon was physical, hands-on combat? He did the same thing in Woken Furies and was highly competent at taking someone down fast.

    The one thing that would kill Snow the fastest is that Kovacs has no violence inhibitor; he has to work to restrain himself from killing someone. His concept of honor is different from Snow’s, which would be a disadvantage to the Stark boy. If anything, Kovacs would go in for the kill and not leave Snow any time to get a killing advantage. Sure, Kovacs has been killed before in his own series but only by someone wielding a gun that can turn your insides into one big gory hole. By instinctual and bred reflexes alone, never mind weapon advantage, Kovacs has this in the bag. Also, if that Tebbit knife is the one he acquires in Altered Carbon, all he needs to do is get Snow with the poisoned edge. That will kill Snow in the time it takes for him to breathe.

  • HunterXV21

    Smith and Wesson 11mm magnum; 15 cm Tebbit knife

    This isn’t what Kovacs uses.

  • Redeye

    Funny how every single person who has read both series sees this matchup as roughly equivalent to Random Toddler vs. Darth Vader. But Toddler has an HBO series, so . . .

  • NullMode

    Seriously?! Jon Snow is the predicted winner? Talk about pandering to the audience of a more popular series. Tak would blow Jon’s head off and shoot Ghost before they were ever in melee range. It’s really a no brainer. Even say Tak doesn’t see Ghost right away Jon’s still dead. Sword vs firearm…there’s a reason modern militaries don’t issue swords anymore.

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