Cage Match 2012: Round 1 Recap!


Zaphod 2012

It’s been a crazy first round for Cage Match 2012, and I have to ask:

How do your brackets look now?

Mine? Not so great, as I had Sparhawk winning it all…and he just lost to Zaphod Beeblebrox!


(You can see how the rest of the Del Rey team is doing here)

But it was a great match (as were many of them), coming down to the wire, with Zaphod edging out Sparhawk by just 38 votes (full voting breakdown below).

Other close matches included Bast edging out Seregil by 171 votes with a last-minute call-to-arms by Patrick Rothfuss on Facebook (and despite a great write-up by Seregil’s author, Lynn Flewelling), and Ray Lilly upsetting Kellhus by 107 votes, this time with the help of Ray Lilly’s creator Harry Connolly stepping into the mix.

And, of course, there were some blowouts. Poor Tarzan (who Del Rey Editor Frank Parisi had going all the way) was thoroughly trounced by Moiraine, while Kelsier handed Gale Hawthorne a similar smackdown.

In other words: it’s been a lot of fun!

Special thanks to all the authors who contributed: Lynn Flewelling, Ari Marmell, Brent Weeks, Lev Grossman, Matt Stover, Elizabeth Moon, Lia Habel, Stacia Kane, Paula Brandon, David J. Williams, Ted Kosmatka, Paul S. Kemp, and Chris Wooding.

So here’s the breakdown from Round 1 (winners in bold; % = percentage of vote for winner). You can check out all the matches and brackets here.

Miskatonic University: Field House division

  • Sparhawk versus Zaphod Beeblebrox:  1,620 to 1,658 (50.58% of the vote)
  • Caine versus Paksenarrion: 433 to 271 (61.51%)
  • Atticus O’Sullivan versus Aureste: 967 to 114 (89.45%)
  • Saphira versus Tattoo: 1,117 to 300 (78.83%)
  • Ferro Maljinn versus Gray Mouser: 524 to 293 (64.14%)
  • Anomander Rake versus Mellorin Rebaine: 1,086 to 176 (86.05%)
  • Bast versus Seregil: 1,241 to 1,070 (53.7%)
  • Richard Rahl versus Greg Mandel: 606 to 422 (58.95%)

Starfleet Academy: Holodeck division

  • Moiraine Damodred versus Tarzan: 2,574 to 199 (92.82%)
  • Raylene Pendle versus The Dagda Mor: 217 to 833 (79.33%)
  • Lady Jessica versus Jardir: 677 to 782 (53.6%)
  • Havemercy versus Randur Estevu: 563 to 124 (81.95%)
  • Morrolon e’Drien versus Tyrion Lannister: 460 to 1,075 (70.03%)
  • Anasûrimbor Kellhus versus Ray Lilly: 844 to 957 (53.14%)
  • Babcock versu Chess Putnam: 301 to 661 (68.71%)
  • Kelsier versus Gale Hawthorne: 2,577 to 214 (92.33%)

Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters: Danger Room division

  • Revan versus Y.T.: 878 to 201 (81.37%)
  • Waylander versus Tomas: 228 to 691 (75.19%)
  • Mr. Wednesday versus The Escapist: 871 to 126 (87.36%)
  • Felix versus Claire Haskell:212 to 346 (62.01%)
  • Iorek Byrnison versus Susannah Dean: 679 to 477 (58.74%)
  • Napoleon (on a dragon) versus Darian Frey: 564 to 403 (58.32%)
  • The Fool versus Evangeline Stone: 817 to 318 (71.98%)
  • Granny Weatherwax versus Bram: 858 to 230 (78.86%)

Hogwarts: Quidditch Pitch division

  • Harry Potter versus The Horned King: 1,168 to 762 (60.52%)
  • Gimli versus Kylar Stern: 1,155 to 1,515 (56.74%)
  • Wicked Witch of the West versus Peter Grant: 466 to 576 (55.28%)
  • Julia versus Kull: 642 to 557 (53.54%)
  • Erevis Cale versus Johnny Rico: 939 to 576 (61.98%)
  • Carnival versus Jean Tannen: 506 to 633 (55.58%)
  • Ringil Eskiath versus Rachel Morgan: 382 to 1,434 (78.96%)
  • Jonathan Strange versus Stony Mayhall: 711 to 399 (64.05%)

And don’t forget: Round 2 starts Monday, March 12 at 10 AM EST, right here on

Also, we’re still looking for character art.  Check out the details here.

  • D.I. Waisanen

    There’s a small error on the Morrolan vs. Tyrion date: It says the total number of votes in parenthesis instead of the percentage.

    I know Tyrion did well on his first round, but he most definitely did not get over 1500% of the votes!

  • Baco

    I would have loved to have seen (read) Kellhus vs. Granny Weatherwax and the mind games that would’ve entailed. And here I thought the finals would be Kellhus vs. Rake.

  • ShelleyMac

    How the heck does Morrolan lose to Tyrion? Tsk tsk we need more people reading the first few Taltos books. I like both characters but Morrolan wields Blackwand, a sword created for slaying GODS for heaven’s sake! Tyrion wields his wits and not much else… though they are quite sharp.

  • Jada

    I can easily see Moiraine taking this whole thing, and that would be awesome.

  • sacredhonour

    “Zaphod’s just zis guy, you know?”
    “A hoopy frood who really knows where his towel is.”

  • Asher

    Did pretty well on Round 1. I must admit to being completely baffled over Julia vs. Kull… That aside, I have Rake taking the whole thing, so in the long run, that particular match doesn’t much matter, does it? haha

  • John

    How the hell did Kellhus lose? I assumed he would be one of the last taken out.

  • AMR

    Can I just say that the Kellhus vs Ray Lilly match was a travesty? Oh well this means that now Rake doesn’t have any real competition ( excluding popularity powers–Tyrion I am looking at you.)

  • C. Guerra

    I’m a bit frightened about what will happen between Granny and the Fool. On the one hand, I think they’d be most likely to just sit down to tea together. On the other hand, I’m scared whoever eventually wins (from their exceedingly unlikely duel) will then have to face either a giant armored bear or a madman on a dragon… and I really don’t want to think about either of them being ripped to shreds!

  • David

    Zaphod: I’m a hoopy frood!
    Barney: Well happy happy joy joy!

    And that’s when I woke up in a cold sweat and screaming, \NNOOOOOOOOOO!!!\

  • Ilidsor

    Kylar is going to crush Harry Potter, unless people vote for Harry just cause they like him. Really though, how is a guy whose only attack is magic, defeat a guy who EATS MAGIC. It’s a no brainer.

  • David

    @Ilidsor Apparently, by proclaiming himself to be a hoopy frood.

  • D.I. Waisanen

    My original predictions were correct 20 times out of 32. Looking back at Del Ray Spectra’s brackets, I guess I didn’t do too bad, considering that all of them were right 19-22 times out of 32

    I’m happy with 25 of them, and the other seven (definitely including Kellhus vs. Lilly and Tyrion vs. Morrolan) are just wrong votes.

    I’m hoping Moiraine goes far, as she probably will, because her balefire is probably the only thing left in this competition that could defeat Rake, with Sparhawk and Kellhus gone.

    After her strong performance against Bram, however, I’m thinking that Granny Weatherwax may go farther than I originally thought.

    Should be some interesting matches for the second round. I’ll be looking forward to it.

  • Gringo en Mexico

    I think that the some of the futuristic characters with guns, become a bit unfare when placed to battle against characters who don’t guns.

  • bibliophile785

    I have Rake and Kylar as my favorites to win…With Sparhawk gone, Rake’s only competition will be balefire (note: not Moiraine, just the balefire…it worked for Rand, it might work for her.) Richard is powerful, but even with his Gift fully functioning, he can’t best the Son of Darkness.

    Kylar has a couple challenges in the forms of Erevis Cale and Granny Weatherwax. He SHOULD best Cale, but Cale’s talents sound more suited to a cage match, even if they aren’t, which may win him the vote of unfamiliar readers. Granny may have what it takes to wipe Kylar out…at least, if the ka’kari doesn’t give him the timely advice of, “stick her in the back, don’t let a word come out of her mouth.” He’s an adolescent boy with severe emotional trials and a trying profession…perfect target for headology.

  • Ian

    Doesnt balefire “remove people from the wheel/pattern” (whatever and the hell its called). So why would it work against someone who isnt from the WoT universe?

  • King Verence

    Granny is unbeatable. She cheats and lies and uses whatever she can to win. And Nanny Ogg is always in the background helping things along. She can move pain, borrow others minds, shapeshift, doesn’t burn very well and has a good working relationship with Death. Any of the so call Bad Asses from other worlds have no chance. She also has a hat pin for emergencies.

    Granny all the way. The rest may as well concede gracefully and enjoy a nice cup of Tea.

  • Nathan Wetzel

    Watching the Cage Match unfurl is always pleasant, both for the matches themselves and for the drama amongst the spectators. Watching people loudly and stridently declare that there’s no way their favorite character could ever be beaten, ever, in a zillion years, especially by THAT GUY, is absurd amounts of fun.

    Wrap your heads around it, my dears; these matchups were never meant to provide a realistic view of the respective powers involved; otherwise the ‘fights’ would start to look awfully boring indeed. This is about amusing matchups, fun, and which character is most enjoyed.

  • Spectre of Eschaton

    It’s actually about which fan-base can cheat-vote hundreds or thousands of times per person since Suvudu apparently is incapable of providing fair grounds for even a popularity contest. >_>

  • Aldric

    Aww don’t be a bad sport. If you calculate the votes given so far, most contests had people having less than 1000 votes, lots less than 500. So I don’t think people are voting hundreds or thousands of times. At least not yet! I guess we’ll see on the final rounds.

    As the guy above you said, it’s all just about fun matchups and popularity contests. Just have fun.

  • Kalbear

    He’s just upset because he inadvertently mobilized the other author’s fanbase to vote en masse due to telling the author that wrote up the story that they sucked while telling other fans that they were undeserving of reading Bakker.

    Because that’s what every author with a newborn and barely scraping by wants – their fans to tell people to not buy their books.

  • mcfries

    Well as long as my favorites for a final are Moiraine Damodred and Granny Weatherwax (2 women????!!!!????) with Moiraine a designated winner, the fights are having a good ending for now…

  • Not Telling

    @Spectre, it was kinda your fault Kellhus lost. I voted for him at first, but when I read your comments they made me wish I had voted for Ray. Kellhus still should have won, but that doesn’t mean you should complain about someone writing thier own character winning; I bet most of us here would have our favorite character win if we wrote these matchups.

    @Suvudu, maybe next time try writing about 3/4 or 7/8 of a match, and don’t predict a winner. That way, people can see what each character is like and what they can do, but they won’t be influenced by the predicted winner. You would have to leave off at a balanced point, so it’s not an obvius `This character won, but we aren’t announcing it.` Either do that, or do write ups for each character winning, please.

  • Not Telling

    By my last post I mean write up to the point of where either character could win, and at the most climatic point, stop the writeup. This would also open the way to people writing thier own endings to post in the comments, hopefully NOT leading to a flame war, and would leave people waiting for the winner. After the winner was declared, in the recaps you could finish the writeup, and people could be satisfied with the ending.

  • Not Telling

    Oh, and random question. Next year, could we have Rashek as a Mistborn rep? He is one of two characters who have not been in this yet who I think could stand up to Rake, the other being Galbitorix, and MAYBE Danny North.

  • Not Telling

    I agree with Shadow’sBane in the fact that a Bartimaeus character NEEDS to be in this sometime, and I’m leaning towards the Mercinary. Not only is he almost immune to magic to the point it would take Balefire to work on him, he is also physicaly strong, has TONS of weapons training, and has boots that allow him to walk several miles in a single step. He survives getting thrown off of a mountain, and has tons of magical artifacts. He would be an awesome character to put in.

  • Nick

    i would love to see a Bartimaeus character. i would also love to see the Mule from Isaac Asimovs Foundation series, Corwin from the Chronicles of Amber by roger Zelazny, and thomas covenant from The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by Stephen R Donaldson.

  • Coithus Saubon

    There goes my hopes for a Kellhus – Rake matchup. Sigh…

    Well, it’s not like even if Kellhus won, he could get past Tyrion. I can see the Ray Lilly fans getting (very) frustrated with their next matchup.

    Oh, well, let’s see how Kylar fares against Harry.

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  • Gemini


    Covenant competed last year. Lost in the first round, unfortunately.

  • dpomerico

    I just want to say that I’ve heard a few things about cheating and Suvudu not doing anything.

    The first year it was a big problem, and we changed the polling system to take care of the problem.

    While yes, it probably is possible to vote numerous times, the times I’ve tried to test it have met with “Thanks, but you’ve already voted!” message. We feel like the process would be fairly involved, and overall, don’t think that “cheating” is affecting the outcomes of these votes.

    Obviously we want this to be fun–and we think it is–and we strongly discourage people from voting more than once. We love how passionate everyone is, and we hope any disagreements with the write-ups (which are generally meant to be provocative) are met with the spirit Cage Match is intended–enjoyment and love of the genre.


  • Jlingo

    When is round two?

  • Chris

    @JLingo, it is currently up.

    Honestly, there are not too many characters that could stand up to Rake in any SF/F setting, and any full out fight would likely end in a draw, since they would utterly destroy the planet they were standing on as they fought.

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  • KevinB

    Kellhus loosing like he did is completely off the mark, but other than that those are some fun results.

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  • David

    I’m convinced that you could do a round of sixteen from all four tournaments that deserve a second chance. All the SoFaI fans as well as the HGttG fans would be out of luck. Perhaps we could have more realistic results.

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