Cage Match 2012: Round 2: Saphira versus Atticus O’Sullivan


The Contestants


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One of the last dragons in Alagaësia
Age: Never ask a lady-dragon’s age!
Race: Dragon
Weapons / Artifacts: Talons; teeth; scales (armor)
Breathes fire

Atticus O’Sullivan
Iron Druid
Age: 2,089
Race: Human (Irish)
Weapons / Artifacts: Fragarach the Answerer
“Freagroidh tu!”: Fragarach can freeze an opponent and make him tell the truth; also makes target easy to stab

The Breakdown


  • Mastery of flight and in-air combat maneuvers
  • Dragon scales that are virtually impenetrable
  • A near-constant telepathic connection with Eragon

  • Cold Iron amulet makes him immune to magical attacks
  • Ability to draw on the earth means he doesn’t tire in battle, and can enhance his strength and speed
  • Camouflage makes him difficult to see/track

  • A near-constant telepathic connection with Eragon

  • Easily seduced; has no defense against the wiles of maenads


  • Aureste
    Gold is no match for iron

How we think the fight will go

Atticus was surprised to wake on his own front lawn, sometime in the middle of the night. Shaking the fog from his head he looked around, trying hard to recall how he’d gotten there.

At least I’m dressed, he thought, not entirely sure that it was a good thing.

It was only when he moved to stand that he noticed the dainty but useless dagger on the ground beside him. Atticus did a quick check, making sure all his most important appendages were still intact and attached. Refastening his pants, he stood to brush himself off. But as he dropped the dagger into the recycling bin, he noticed a glimmer of blue motion from behind his house.


The wolfhound did not answer his call. Slowly, pieces of the previous night’s matchup started coming back to Atticus.

It seems as though my fight is not yet done.

He recovered Fragarach from the lawn, not far from where he’d awoken and checked that the cold iron amulet he’d spent centuries crafting still hung around his neck. Thus armed, Atticus moved around the side of the house to investigate.
He paused briefly when he heard strange and terrible noises emerging from the backyard. Rounding the corner carefully, fully expecting to see two asthmatic bears copulating, instead Atticus found a giant blue dragon.


Saphira stirred, snorted, and looked at Atticus groggily. “Siodhachan Ó Suileabháin?”

“Shh!” he whispered, hoping no one heard her; “I go by Atticus around here.”

Saphira gave him a puzzled look before lazily stretching her neck to peer over the roof and around the yard.

“And where is here exactly?”


“I have never heard of this land, Ar-i-zon-a.”

“What are you doing here Saphira? I specifically chose Arizona so I could avoid run-ins with creatures from other dimensions.”

“Creature, who are you calling a creature, you…you..leprechaun!” she sputtered. “I am a dragon. Mighty, magical, and practically invincible.”

Atticus remembered hearing about Saphira’s delicate ego.

“My apologies, of course I meant nothing by that.” Atticus bowed low, using the action to distract while he kicked off his shoes. He wasn’t taking any chances this time. “Morrigan did not foresee you surviving Round 1,” he said, “She was very specific about that.”

Saphira sniffed haughtily, “You were not predicted to win either…and yet here we are.”

Atticus circled Saphira slowly. Her eyes were alert now, and she watched his every move carefully.

“It seems as though we were both protected by strong—if sometimes misguided—” he added, looking at Saphira pointedly, “fan-wards.”

Saphira roared at that, bringing herself to full height, she towered over the druid.
“What exactly are you implying Atticus?” Saphira’s sharp teeth bared in a sneer, she reared her head back and inhaled deeply, ready to strike. “I have my own magic, I don’t need fan-wards, especially not here in your fragile dimension.”

Atticus smiled, “And as such a being of magic, did you forget your weakness to iron in my dimension?” He tapped his amulet; “Your magic is no good against me here.”

Saphira grinned with pure malice.

“Perhaps not, but I’ll bet my teeth are.”

She dove forward, snarling, jaws gaping, ready to separate Atticus’ head from his precious amulet. But Atticus used her own momentum against her. Ducking under Saphira’s snapping teeth, he drew Fragarach and thrust it deep into her chest, shattering her Eldunari on contact. Saphira emitted a howl of pure rage before slumping to the ground.

Atticus withdrew his sword slowly, wiping the blade on his leg before sheathing it again.

“So is your magic is strong enough to survive this, Saphira?”

Saphira smiled smugly in response. Though her body was already dissolving into ash, disappearing into the dark night, she knew her fan-wards would prevail. Before she crumbled completely, she lifted her eyes to Atticus.

“Póg mo thóin, druid—I will return!”

Atticus shrugged and unwound the nearby garden hose. As he washed the pile of Saphira into the lawn he wondered when she’d learned to swear in Gaelic.

Nancy Lambert contributed to this Cage Match

Predicted Winner: Atticus O’Sullivan


Check out the previous match!

Check out the next match!

Check out the Bracket

Saphira is a character from the Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini; Atticus O’Sullivan is a character from the Iron Druid Chronicles series by Kevin Hearne

Saphira image courtesy of John Jude Palencar. Atticus image courtesy of *CodyVrosh

Don’t forget–we’re always looking for fans’ depictions of these characters. Check out the details here

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!”