And that’s the end of that chapter, folks!
After a very spirited and, I must say, fun Cage Match, you all have chosen a champion:
Moiraine Damodred (who also happens to be our first female champion.
I won’t lie–I’m not quite surprised by this win for Moiraine. To begin with, she was a number one seed. Granted, she was the number one seed in probably the toughest division this year, with Kelsier, Kellhus, and Tyrion Lannister strong challengers to come out of Starfleet. But we saw her as one of the most likely characters to make it through, and (to be fair) some help from Ray Lilly and Jardir (who took out some higher-ranked characters so that Moiraine didn’t have to face them), she pulled through.
Not that it probably mattered (that is, that Moiraine couldn’t have taken care of Havemercy, for example). Because, let’s be honest: Moiraine had more power than just the One Power. She had all the Wheel of Time readers behind her.
And that’s not a bad thing.
It is, in fact, one of the reasons we put her as a number one.
It’s also a reason not to take anything away from Moiraine. In an actual, in-an-arena, Cage Match to the death where each character’s magic system works perfectly, does she beat Anomander Rake? Does she beat Sparhawk? Does she beat Granny Weatherwax or Kellhus or Atticus O’Sullivan?
I have no doubt she would have been in every one of those fights, and probably would have taken the victory in many of them.
To me–and to us at Unbound Worlds–that’s what is so fun about Cage Match. It’s the big “What if…?” that, as readers, always inspires us to tell stories, form allegiances, and read more. It sparks the imagination, and–hopefully–exposes us all to new ideas (in this case, new authors, characters, and books).
We want to give a big thanks to all the authors whose characters were featured in Cage Match 2012, and a very special thanks to those who contributed: Peter Brett, Brent Weeks, Stacia Kane, Harry Connolly, Brandon Sanderson, Matt Stover, Elizabeth Moon, Ari Marmell, Paul Kemp, Lev Grossman, Lia Habel, Ted Kosmatka, and David J. Williams.
We’d also like to thank all those who helped contribute write-ups: Aidan Moher, Nancy Lambert, Jay Franco, Ndi Sampson, Steven Boriack, Greg Kubie, Michelle Forde, Rhea Lyons, and Forrest Karbowski.
And finally, we’d like to thank all of you. You guys make Cage Match happen. You help spread the word, you help debate our character selection, you keep the discussions going, and obviously you vote.
We’re so glad you seem to enjoy this so much, and obviously we’re always looking for ways to improve (which means let us know what you think in the comments!).
Once again, congratulations to Moiraine, the Cage Match 2012 champion!
See you next year!