Cage Match 2012: Round 1: Moiraine Damodred versus Tarzan


The Contestants


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Moiraine Damodred
Aes Sedai of The Blue Ajah

Age: 44
Race: Human (Aes Sedai)
Weapons / Artifacts: The One Power – Sai Dar; Angreal to boost her power

King of the Apes, Lord Graystoke, Chief of the Waziri, White Savage
Age: 23
Race: W.A.S.P.
Weapons / Artifacts: Knife; poison-tipped arrows; spear; rope
  • Vs. Animals: full nelson to break their neck
  • Vs. Humans: From the branches of a tall tree, he lassos you around the neck, hauls you up within reach like a twitching terrified rag doll, and stabs you in the heart. Your mangled corpse may or may not subsequently be carried to a nearby village and hurled from the trees into the village square to scare the piss out of the natives.

The Breakdown


  • Strong in the One Power—a veritable demigod amongst men
  • Battle-tested veteran
  • A woman (and therefore underestimated, because let’s face it: SF/F women often get a bum rap)

  • Strength of 4 or 10 Men (4 Schwarzenneggers Metric, 10 Jerry Seinfelds Standard?)
  • Animal instincts and berserker ferocity
  • Fearsome warrior; elite agility and endurance

  • Obsessive about her life’s mission, to the point that she’s willing to risk unraveling the fabric of space-time to achieve it.

  • Reluctant adherence to silly societal norms which frown upon public nudity, vigilante justice, and murder…or maybe that’s an advantage?

  • N/A

  • N/A

How we think the fight will go

With long, catlike strides, Tarzan stalked a circle around the supremely calm little woman. Though the giant man was a menacing sight, he gave his diminutive opponent a wide berth as he made his slow circuit around her. His unclad iron muscles were like compressed springs and he never took his eyes from that inscrutable face—a lovely face, with wise eyes peering piercingly from a maiden’s smooth young visage. She was content to turn slowly, keeping him in sight, patiently waiting. For what, Tarzan, Lord Greystoke knew not. Aside from her eerie calm and penetrating eyes, the situation felt completely wrong. The wind somehow wasn’t carrying her scent to him properly, and the prickling in the nape of his neck demanded caution. The ape-man was wont to trust preternatural instincts which had carried him through his 20 years of naked savagery in the unforgiving jungles of West Africa. So he strode on… cautiously.

Tarzan turned his final step into a crouch, then an explosive sideways lunge. Retracing his steps, he dashed back into Moiraine’s blind spot. He picked out one of a bundle of spears from his left hand and hurled it mightily at her. She was still turning, skirts whipping and twirling violently as he launched the missile. Before her turn was complete, a sonorous clang filled the air—the sound of metal hitting bronze—then the spear exploded into a shower of wooden splinters and steel shards. Tarzan slid to a halt with a stunned expression on his face. Surprise was quickly replaced with a thrill as he realized he was facing some sort of sorcery. His lips curled into a smile as he stared his almost inevitable death in the face in the form of this petite girl who was suddenly far less boring than he’d initially imagined.


Moiraine’s mind was reeling at the giant man’s inhuman speed and agility. One moment he’d been standing in front of her and a second later he was somehow behind her. The small shield of air she’d erected upon first sighting the ape-man’s weapons had just saved her life. Thank the Light!

Her thanks were short-lived.


He shot toward her like a bolt of tan lightning, then dropped into a diving roll as three fireballs sailed harmlessly above, where a moment ago his head, chest, and gut had been. He straightened out of the roll into an impossibly high flip in the opposite direction and felt an eerily thick gust of wind brush his shoulder as he sailed into the air. He ignored the narrowly avoided sorcery and fired down two spears at the young witch at the height of his jump. The spears, aimed right between her eyes, shattered once again in a cloud of splinters. Tarzan dropped to the earth softly and hit the ground running, easily disappearing from the sorceress’s sight, obscured by the cloud of disintegrating spears.


Her heart pounding, Moiraine turned quickly but calmly around, carefully scanning the clearing for her aggressor. She turned just in time to see a lasso streak toward her in a high arch from behind a small boulder. The lasso snagged the invisible column of hardened air surrounding her, not touching her at all. She then felt a monstrous tug at her weave. Reflexively she reached for flows of air and fire and touched the simple weave to the crude lasso, which burst into white hot ash that was carried away on the breeze.


Tarzan chuckled as he looked down at his burned hands. He then stood up from his crouch behind the boulder. Her heaving little bosom did not go unnoticed by Tarzan’s keen eyes. She’s tiring! The fireballs she fired as soon as he stood up were smaller than the others, too. He side-stepped them easily and once again was on the move. If he could only keep her working long enough, he could definitely exhaust her before moving in to finish her.

He redoubled his efforts, darting and zigzagging around the clearing in a feverish blur – bouncing, rolling, and flipping around like a massive tan chimp, taut muscles glistening in the sun, narrowly avoiding fireballs, dodging flows of air almost as if he could see them, and leaping away an instant before the earth would open up and threaten to swallow him in a gaping fissure.


For what felt like an eternity to Moiraine, the battle continued thus. Until, anticipating his movements, Moiraine finally managed to snag a single arm with an expansive blanket of air. The ape-man’s face immediately contorted into a rictus snarl as he thrashed violently to try to free himself. Then, as suddenly as it started, the thrashing stopped, and he cocked his head back, opened wide his mouth, and issued a monstrous cry that carried for miles in every direction. It was a savage roar so terrifying Moiraine doubted her senses. She refused to believe that sound had come from a human throat. Could he be a Dreadlord? Or Light save me, Forsaken? What manner of dark friend is he?! No, he can’t be a darkfriend, I would have felt it…

The naked man exploited Moiraine’s brief lapse in concentration to wrench himself free of the invisible bonds with a Herculean effort. The weave collapsed, snapping back into Moiraine violently. Mild surprise bloomed into shock as she goggled at him, her eyes wide and jaw agape. Five men together would be hard pressed to extricate themselves from such a weave!

The man was incredible. He had to be at least three times stronger than Lan, with animal instincts on par with Perrin’s, and inhuman speed and grace to make a Myrrdraal look like a portly ham-fisted slattern with two left feet, as Mat would say. And though Tarzan showed no signs of tiring, keeping the shield of air up while simultaneously attacking was sapping her own strength quickly. She girded herself, reaching deeper into her concealed angreal and pulling enough fire, air, and earth, to weave them just so to bring forth a towering wall of roaring flames five spans high and ten spans wide. She pushed it as fast as she could manage toward her startled opponent. As she expected, the heat and flames forced him back hastily. He managed to take two steps back before he was swallowed bodily by the earth. The wall of flames winked out as Moiraine dropped the weave. She took several deep breaths as she stood, regarding the large young man who was now buried neck deep in the earth. On unsteady legs she warily approached the brute. He looked up, regarding her with a strange mixture of respect and resigned amusement as she contemplated what to do with him…

Special thanks to Ndi Sampson, who contributed to this write-up

Predicted Winner: Moiraine


Check out the previous match from the Miskatonic University Field House bracket!

Check out the next match!

Check out the Bracket

Moiraine Damodred is a character from the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan; Tarzan is a character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Moiraine image courtesy of Jason Chan and Tor Books. Tarzan image courtesy of Modern Library

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!”


  • Well, if Moiraine doesn’t get Lan, she should bond Tarzan and take him through the tournament with her. You know, since she captured him.

  • Shane Jardine

    Hah, yes she should.

  • Zediir


  • Amaranth

    I’ll second that.

  • I don’t think that what they want to do with each other is fight.

  • Frank Liu

    Which Moiraine is this? Pre-Finn, Post-Finn? Makes a difference in her One Power strength, not to mention her strategies. Besides I still think Lan could whoop Tarzan. I would like to see Nynaeve with block vs Tarzan.

  • Darren

    why are we even talking about this. Of course Moiraine would win.

    The ONLY way Tarzan could win, is if he snuck up on Moiraine. Even in her weakened state, if she has an angreal, she’d be more than a match.

    The writer of the above scenario seemed unfamiliar with Moiraine’s abilities and strategies.

    Tarzan may be a more powerful, nature inclined, and quick than most humans. But She’s taken on packs PACKS, of the Dark Lord’s hounds. Which are Faster, stronger, and less killable versions of wolves.

    She’d pick her ground, and she’d snag him, with flows of air, or a lake, or earth. She’d burn him with a wall of fire, she’d kill him with any of a hundred means.

  • turtlegirl784

    I still think the people who write these things don’t really understand how the One Power works. There isn’t a way to “break free” of bonds of air, as far as I can tell, unless perhaps the channeler is REALLY weak. The predicted fight a couple years ago with Rand vs. Jaime Lannister was ridiculous.

  • D.I. Waisanen

    Whoa, where did Tarzan suddenly get superhuman speed and strength? And the ability to dissolve weaves of the One Power by struggling hard enough? 4 Schwarzenneggers or 10 Jerry Seinfields? Should be 1 Schwarzennegger or 4 Jerry Seinfields. He’s a man who grew up in a jungle, not some magic-infused warrior or genetically engineered super-soldier.

  • Shadow’sBane

    good writeup…but tarzan would hardly prove any challenge to Moiraine unless she is intentionally going easy on him or Tarzan has a advantage of surprise…
    but still better writeup than expected.

  • Ben




  • Tim

    Waisanen: I can’t remember when or which book, but I definitely have read a Tarzan book in which it clearly stated that he had the strength of ten men…

    But even without having read any of the Robert Jordan books I highly doubt that he’d stand a chance against this sorcerer girl unless he managed to take her by surprise.

  • OrchestructionX

    As far as I remember the only way to break out of any constricting weave is to be strong enough (and knowledgeable enough) in the one power in your own right.

  • Bonnie

    Moiraine would totally beat Tarzan, no question, but I think it would be important to note that she wouldn’t be able to do anything until threatened. The Three Oaths and all that. Seems like a pretty serious disadvantage to me!

  • Darren

    \She wouldn’t be able to do anything until threatened.\

    That’s not true, she wouldn’t be able to use the one power as a WEAPON until threatened. But they play it fast and loose with that word. bonds of air are not weapons. and there’s nothing stopping her from slicing the throat of someone completely bound by air, except her own conscience.

    Also, she only has to FEEL threatened. there doesn’t have to be any actual danger.

  • KevinB

    Gee, I wonder how this fight would go …

  • Bonnie


    You’re right of course, I should have specified! I meant that mostly as a response to people saying she should use balefire or something. And the fact that it wasn’t mentioned at all on her stats. So they should combine our two comments and make note of the fact that she cannot use the One Power as a weapon until in danger of her life

  • Bossk Fodder

    Moiraine win?? Preposterous. Tarzan was raised by apes!

  • Bill

    Wouldn’t her adherence to the Three Oaths count as a disadvantage for Moiraine?

  • Darren

    @ BIll, yeah, Bonnie and I were just talking about that. But I don’t think it would slow her much.

    @ Bonnie, I agree. Balefire is overkill anyway. It’s like using a nuclear bomb to kill somebody. would it work? Well… yes. you could blow a person up with a nuke. or you could just shoot them, stab them, poison them.

    Moiraine has plenty in her arsenal that could kill him easier and safer than balefire. But it should still be listed as an advantage, because it might come in handy later.

  • AGrey

    What I really want to see:

    Moiraine, in the semifinals. Uses balefire to erase her opponent from history. Suddenly, the bracket changes! Since her original opponent was erased halfway through his previous match, she now faces a new opponent!

    Who she then ROFLStomps

  • MrIzzy

    Bonding Tarzan for the rest of the tournament would be AWESOME!

  • Joel

    You Moiraine, Me Warder!!! Do it!!!!

  • DavidB

    It also depends on where it happens. The Jungle/Forest. That’s Tarzan’s domain. Even sorcerer’s/one-power wielders can be surprised, even when expecting an attack if it’s not their terrain.

    Also, is Moiraine still bound by the three oaths?

  • reinx

    I saw saidar spelled as two words and immediately discounted the entire article. I then just happened to scan across the part where he breaks free from bonds of air with strength alone….::::face palm::::…::::balefires this entire page right out of the pattern::::

  • I, of course, feel that my life is threatened the moment I’m captured by strange people and forced into a tournament to the death.

  • Wot-Fan

    Yeah after all these years of fan-nagging SuVuDu people can’t seem to understand how one power works.

    So I’ll give you a hint people: Treat it like a SW-Jedi’s force powers and you’re almost at the mark in how it looks to people at the receiving end.

    Though it should be also noted that one power is a lot more defined and structured than Force has ever been described to be. One power is also more versatile than Force. As far as I know the Force can’t be used to power machines or left \hanging on\ once the user has left the scene for example. In other words the one power is psychic in appearance but \universal magic\ in action.

    Oh and as a hint to anyone who is into rpg’s: Never try that d&d-product with WoT. The Vancean magic system and d&d just doesn’t work.

  • John

    Moiraine could beat him but not kill him; what would happen is during the fight he would get hit on the head, loose his memory and wander off into the woods, again.

  • Joel

    I love these cage matches, I really do. But the creators really need to understand that the one power users are just ridiculously powerful. Unless you are matching them against some sort of formless god creature you really aren’t going to find a normal character out there that can best even a moderately strong channeler.
    To put it in gaming terms: If suvudu were an MMO, the Channeler class would be so over-powered that it breaks the game mechanics.
    Honestly they probably just shouldn’t be included in the brackets. Especially the ones that can cast balefire like Moraine and Rand.

  • Freelancer

    Against the essence which turns the Wheel of Time, physical strength has no meaning or value. I am not quite to hard on the cagematch authors as some seem to be. It’s not easy to assimilate all of the various abilities of the combatants from their respective text sources, and then bring them into a hypothetical confrontation which holds any “realism”.
    Moiraine is bound by her Oaths, but knowing that she is engaged in a deathmatch should satisfy the restrictions of the third. As to the battle itself, the idea that Tarzan could surprise Moiraine is reasonable, but after that, she’s going to have no trouble nullifying his physical attribtues. Moiraine being Moiraine, I suspect that she would attempt, once having him captured, to convinced him to peaceably withdraw rather than suffer needlessly.
    Two other things. She cannot sense a darkfriend, as suggested by the write-up. She can sense Shadowspawn (trolloc, dragkhar, myyrddraal, nighthound). And several commentors referred to her ability to “cast” something with the Power. That is a term never used in the WoT-verse. You weave, or spin, you do not cast (unless you are “casting” as in throwing, something like a fireball in the direction of your target, which isn’t the same thing as saying “cast balefire”).

  • Joel

    @Freelancer – Where is it stated that you are only allowed to use canon terminology? ‘Cast’ is a generic term that people who haven’t read the series will instantly recognize. There is absolutely no problem at all with using that term.
    Please refer to my new moto – Get over it.

  • Dave

    The overpoweredness of the One Power in cage matches really makes me think about how few problems in actual stories can be solved by one-shotting someone! Though in a way I suppose it’s obvious, otherwise every modern story would be solved trivially by automatically weapons or something similarly destructive.