Cage Match 2012: Round 1: Julia versus Kull


The Contestants


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Julia Wicker
Witch-queen of Fillory
Age: 27
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: None
Magic missile

King of Valusia
Age: 40s
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: Sword; axe
He conquers your face

The Breakdown


  • Genius-level intelligence and extensive magical knowledge
  • Mystical bond with Fillory
  • Raging anger

  • Fearsome fighter
  • Intelligence masked by his seemingly crude ways
  • Not afraid of man nor monster

  • Raging anger

  • It’s not actually always good to be the king

  • N/A

  • N/A

How we think the fight will go

How Lev Grossman, creator of Julia, thinks the match will go:

Kull had lived many lives, it often seemed to him. Exile, slave, soldier, gladiator, pirate, king – more than one man could bear. More, almost, than one Wikipedia entry could summarize.

But the old restlessness had fallen upon him yet again. The crown of Valusia weighed heavy on his lion head, and he betook himself once again to the mirrors of the now-dead wizard Tuzun Thune, which had once promised him peace, and so nearly given it to him.

This time the mirrors brought him, by way of magicks arcane, to a calm and verdant place where, across a small round meadow in a dark wood, stood a woman. He knew, with a strange knowing that was not-knowing, that this place was called Fillory, and that this woman was his enemy.

He stalked across the field toward her, tugging with one hand his massive broadsword from its sheath. How could she defend herself? Slender she stood, all in black, her fair face still freckled and youthful. In another land, in another world, he might have made her his courtesan.

But this was not his land. This was not his world.

Ka nama kaa lajerma!” His battle cry shattered the meadow’s quiet.

“Jesus Christ,” the woman said. “For fuck’s sake.”

What she said next was in a tongue Kull had never heard spoken—not in Thuria, nor in Lemuria, nor in any other land rhyming with “uria.” Her hand whipped forward, as if she were flinging droplets of water from her fingertips, and three sharp missiles sped from it toward him.

Kull turned sideways and in the same moment his sword flashed up in a desperate parry. One of the missiles passed him by; one of them clanged off his sword with a shock that numbed his hand; the third bit his ribs as it passed, tearing through cloth and skin and leaving his side running red.

A sorceress she was. Well, her kind died like any other. He saw now that her eyes were all black, with no pupils—no natural woman’s eyes, those. He must finish this quickly.

He had almost closed the distance between them when her second spell took effect. A thunderous wind smote him full in the body and sent him sprawling on his back, where the very grass itself began to twine itself around his tree-thick limbs. Cursing, he tore himself free and staggered to his feet. It would take more than grass to hold back the lion of Valusia.

Shrubs maybe. Or some kind of climbing vine. But definitely not grass.

But she had not sought to hold him, only to delay him while she wrought further magicks. Her hands writhed in mystic contortions, and Kull abruptly felt himself weightless, floating up into the air like a dandelion seed borne up on the wind.

Taken unawares, Kull dropped his sword.

“There,” she said. “It’s not like I’m going to kill you, but Jesus Christ. Dick.”

Kull hung there, 10 feet above the grass. Struggling only caused him to rotate slowly, absurdly, around his center of gravity. He was powerless now to reach her. He knew her next words would be the last he would ever hear.

He gazed upon she who would slay the king of Valusia. They were not so different, he thought. She too seemed far from home. She too knew what it was to feel the heavy mantle of darkness wrap itself around her shoulders, to be weary of a thousand troubles. They had been born in different worlds, but in the blackness of their souls they were one.

Perhaps she saw it, too, for she hesitated.

But they were not the same, for she was no killer, and Kull had slain countless men, aye, and women too, and bathed in their blood, and emerged the cleaner for it. His knife rasped as he drew it from his boot and sent it winging straight at the dark heart one of those black sorcerous eyes.

She ducked—quick. But both boots of the mighty Kull were death-boots, and in a moment his second knife sprouted from between her shoulders.

The witch lay on her side, fighting to breathe. Like this one, it was not a fight she would win. As her life faded, so did her magick, and Kull drifted gently to the grass, as if a kindly giant were setting him down upon his feet.

With her death, he was safe from harm. But not from the old restlessness, the grim soul-pain that still gripped his heart. He picked up his sword. He was weary now. He hoped the way home would not be long.

“Fuck you,” said the witch, and spat blood.

“Aye,” growled Kull as he walked away, ever doom-haunted. “Fuck me. Fuck me.”

Predicted Winner: Kull (despite Lev writing the match up… surprise!)


Check out the previous match!

Check out the next match!

Check out the Bracket

Julia Wicker is a character from The Magicians series by Lev Grossman; Kull is a character from various stories by Robert E. Howard.

Julia Wicker image courtesy of Viking Books. Kull image courtesy of Del Rey Books

Cage Match fans: We are looking forward to hearing your responses! If possible, please abstain from including potential spoilers about the books in your comments (and if you need spoilers to make your case, start your comments with: “SPOILER ALERT!”