Cage Match 2012 Round 5: Anomander Rake versus Moiraine Damodred



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The Contestants

Anomander Rake
Son of Darkness, Knight of High House Dark, Mane of Chaos, Blacksword
Age: Three hundred thousand years, give or take a century
Race: Tiste Andii
Weapons / Artifacts: Dragnipur, the night-bladed sword containing the Gate of Darkness
A metric Warren-load of magic

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

The Breakdown


  • Combat experience stretching back longer than most religions
  • Ability to shape-shift into a dragon
  • Moon’s Spawn, a floating fortress

  • 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)

  • We’re guessing boredom at having to face such weak characters

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


  • Tarzan
    Del Rey editor Frank is crying right now
  • The Dagda Mor
    One Power trumps the Staff of Power
  • Jardir
    He lost to the very Core of his being
  • Kelsier
    She tested his mettle (metal) and he was found wanting

How we think the fight will go


With my deepest respect to Steven Erikson, Brandon Sanderson and the late Robert Jordan… game on…

Lan Mandragoran pushed hard. Kissing the Adder was met with a fast parry and countersweep from the Darkfriend’s heavy two handed sword. Crane Aloft was shoved aside by the heavy pommel, an answering lunge barely sidestepped. None of the Darkfriend’s forms were the least bit familiar. The style was wholly alien, not anything Lan had encountered before, not even the snakelike style of Myrrdraal. Strange as it was, the man’s skill was impressive. Lan had fought blademasters with less talent, and none of those wielded a massive two handed blade as if it were as light as a dagger. Lan kept close, trying to move in where the longer weapon would be ineffective, its wielder vulnerable, but the man stayed a step back and away, barely blocking Lan’s strikes – Leaf on the Breeze battered by a fast sweeping cut – keeping the distance between them to maintain his weapon’s advantage. Lotus Closes forced the Darkfriend to back quickly and Lan saw his opening. He leapt inside the Darkfriend’s reach, Cat on Hot Sand aimed for the center of his foe’s chest. He barely saw the man gesture and then everything went black.

Hard impact with the ground forced Lan back to consciousness. He rolled to his feet, ears ringing, vision hazy but ready to fight. He was well down the road from where the Darkfriend had challenged them, drawing Lan into the swordfight, Moiraine at his back, expecting an ambush any moment. Through their bond he felt Moiraine confronting the stranger, he felt her anger, her concern for him, her cool determination, her will as she channeled Saidar. Lan started to run… the fight replayed in his head in seconds… the man wasn’t just good, the man was a master, drawing Lan in, striking with some power at just the right moment to separate them… Ahead the Darkfriend staggered, almost fell, stood upright and stepped directly into a large tree by the side of the road… no further attackers had appeared… if the man was acting alone, and was as good as that… his aim the whole time had been to separate them. Lan saw Moiraine glance back his way and move after the Darkfriend without hesitation. A shout died on his lips… all his breath, all his recovering strength pushing him to run faster, to get through the Way and join her, all the while knowing what he would find.

The Way was closed. The bond to Moiraine almost too faint to feel at all.


The Darkfriend gestured and the Waygate seemed to be crushed under an immense pressure behind her. Moiraine felt nothing. If the stranger was using Saidin, or even Saidar, it was hidden from her. She scanned the broken staircases and stone platforms and pathways that angled out in every direction around them. No other enemies appeared.

The man straightened and appeared ready to speak. Moiraine didn’t give him the chance. She drew weaves of Air and Fire together, spread them wide like a wave and sent them flowing across the stone platform at her attacker. The man didn’t gesture this time, but a wave of what looked like darkness flowed up from around him and met her wave between them, the two constructs merging, flowing, vanishing together.

“A moment, Moiraine Sedai.” He spoke, his deep voice weirdly echoing in the stale air of the Ways.

“I have no need to converse with you, Darkfriend.”

She sent weaves of Air to bind him, more weaves of Spirit to cut him off from his power, whatever it was. He appeared ready for the Air, but her true attack, a ripple of Earth through the rotting stone below him, delayed his response just enough and the Air and Spirit connected, wrapped tight, raising the man off the ground and holding him in place, arms spread wide, sword held in one hand.

“And now?” he asked, apparently not concerned with his immobilization.

Satisfied the Spirit was tied off and doubled for good measure, she nodded tersely. This was a delay she could ill afford, and she could feel Lan’s concern even in the Ways. Still, she had the man, and if his power was a new element the Dark One had brought into play, she needed to know about it.

“Speak your piece.”

“My thanks. I will dispense with pretense then.”

A ripple passed across the man’s face and a moment later he was taller, much taller, with skin so dark it almost faded into the depths of the Ways, long white hair, features that were sharp and not quite human, and eyes that were nothing but shifting panes of colour. His light leather amour was no style she had even seen before. It took but a moment and Moiraine made the connection.

“Ah. The contest. You are Anomander Rake. Not a Darkfriend then.”

“Not in the way you mean, certainly. I would apologize for the deception, but your… protector… would have interfered in a matter that is between us only. No others need be harmed.”

Moiraine only nodded. They stared at each other, her ageless face showing nothing, his dark features almost as still but for his eyes cycling through colors. Finally Rake spoke.

“I would offer you the chance to concede. This need not end in conflict.”

Moiraine almost, almost smiled. “You do not appear to be in a position to offer me anything. As I see it, you have already lost and this contest between us is over. I can leave you here and depart the Ways.”

“Sadly, no. Still, we are not true enemies and you only defended yourself. This contest is meaningless…”

“I understood otherwise. I understood that the consequences for loss could be dire. And thus far, I have not lost.”

Rake sighed. “Nor I. Nor will I start now.”

Moiraine expected his to attempt to unleash the darkness he had used to crush the Waygate. Instead she had the sense of him… removing something… like a noise she had not been aware of suddenly gone from a room. And then… CHAINS.

Chains. The sensation hammered her, rang in her head, shook her limbs, a sense of something massive far away over a thousand horizons and yet moments from crushing her… vision blurring… almost falling to her knees, keeping herself up by sheer force of will only… blood in her ears, from her nose…

Gasping, she opened to Saidar, drank deep its power and wove pure Spirit all around her, cutting her off from the force of whatever Rake had unleashed. Even then the echoes rang in her ears. She drew more, and Air and Water to heal herself as well, stilling her shaking limbs, clearing her eyes, in time to see Rake fall free of her bindings. A veil like the one he had used to change his appearance lifted from the sword he carried one handed. The weapon was even bigger than she had realized, and in the faint light of the ways, it was an ink-dark stain of deeper blackness, not reflecting anything at all. A ter’angreal then… and an abomination.

She saw Rake’s lips move, drew more on the One Power to heal her ears.


She shook her head, tied off the Spirit weave that kept those hideous chains away, and then straightened and gave answer.

* * *

Rake wasn’t surprised by the attack, but even so it almost staggered him. Waves of fire fell at him from every angle, streams of air tried to bind him, the pitted stone rippled below him. In turn he drew deep on Kurald Galain, shielding from the flame, pushing away the air, steadying him. He let the attacks continue, feeling them, almost tasting them against his Warren. The power was different… more… primal then the warrens, but also refined, the flame not as savage as Tellan, the air so as wild as Serc… another time and perhaps he would study it. For now, the contest had gone on long enough. He gathered more Darkness and drew it down like a falling storm on his opponent.

Moiraine felt the attack and drew shields of Air and Spirit in. The assault fell from all directions. The force was punishing, a pure darkness that seemed to writhe around her. Straining, she drew on her angreal, feeling Saidar flow double, and redouble, pushing back the cold energy with pure life itself.

The two forces stood in balance for a moment, and then the contesting powers took their toll on the Ways and the corrupted stone platform crumbled out from under them.

Moiraine saw Rake fall away and looked round wildly… there! Another platform. She pulled air around her and pushed herself to it, setting cushions of more air in place to catch her fall. Even as she wove that, she searched, looking for Rake… and there… floating slowly down towards a staircase adjoining two smaller platforms. Even as her weave of Air caught her, she was weaving again.. Fire, Air… Balefire. She cast it, wide as she could, directly where Rake was. Then again. And again. There was no other threads of the Pattern here to burn out. Only this opponent. Moiraine allowed herself a rare indulgence, threw herself wide to Saidar, drawing on her angreal like never before, barely a breath short of too far… and attacked again.

* * *

The sensation of burning was not one Rake was familiar with. The Aes Sedai’s attack was unlike anything he had ever experienced. There was a sense of tearing, of something trying to remove him from existence itself, something that would shred him down to nothing.

He fought back. Before Light, before the Warrens, before existence itself, there was Darkness, and he was the Son of Darkness. The primal womb of the universe had birthed him and he… would not… be … defeated…

It wasn’t enough. The brief moments in the Aes Sedai’s world had given him some small part of that world’s substance, and that anchor now threatened to tear him apart…

So he called upon his other nature… Starvald Demelain… Chaos itself… the space outside of all existence… the birthplace of dragons. And then gave himself over to it.

And veered.

* * *

Balefire practically sung as Moiraine lashed out with it one last time, scorching from existence this dangerous opponent. This opponent from another world…

Realization hit her and she changed weaves. Casting Fire and Air into the darkness. He wasn’t from her world. He was NOT part of the Pattern. Her bolts of fire lit up the empty spaces around the Ways as a great black beast rose up into the air above her.

Moiraine Demandred had spent her entire adult life looking for the Dragon Reborn. She had found him, was working to keep him alive in a world gone mad… but to her, the Dragon Reborn was a man… a symbol… a mythological beast on a waving flag… not… this…

It was huge… the neck and head alone the size of a castle tower, the body pure shining black scales over muscle and bone… the forelimbs and legs ending in dark claws like swords, the wings a massive spread behind it, blocking out the Ways from view. The face had long jaws, wide brows covered in white horn that grew into a mane of spikes that ran down its back. It was like nothing Moiraine had even seen or thought to see. It looked down on her, its eyes shifting colour…

The color shift broke the spell… this was Rake! She wove fire and cast it… the flame played across the monster to no effect. She drew together a battering ram of air, too late as the dragon… Rake… opened its mouth and breathed pure darkness and chaos down on her.

* * *

Rake maintained the attack for an additional moment, then released his warrens and glided down to the platform where the woman’s body lay, sembling back to his Tiste Andii form.

He delved with Kurald Galain and found to his surprise that she was not dead. Burned, battered, near death, but not gone.

Kurald Galain was ill suited to healing, and Starvald Demelian not at all, but he repaired what damage he could, then gathered the woman up and veered again. There was another Waygate nearbye. He would return her to her world, and then return to his own.

The sooner he was done with this contest, the better.

Abyss contributed to this Cage Match

Predicted Winner: Anomander Rake



Check out the matches from Round 4!

Check out the second Semi-Final match between Granny Weatherwax and Kylar Stern!

Check out the Bracket

Anomander Rake is a character from the The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson; Moiraine Damodred is a character from the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan

Rake image courtesy of Michael Komarck and Subterranean Press. Moiraine image courtesy of Jason Chan and Tor Books

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!”


  • JOE

    this write up was… fantastic.
    I can’t vote… I am incapable of choosing a side.

  • Rancho Unicorno

    Since these matches tend to be a popularity contest, and I’m more familiar with WoT than the world of Malazan (Rake’s appearances here have me just starting Gardens of the Moon), I knew I’d have to vote for Moiraine.

    But I didn’t.

    This writeup has the battle lasting a lot longer than I would have expected. Rand and Rake might be closer, but even then I wouldn’t be too sure about Rake’s chances at losing

  • wcarter4

    If Moraine has learned a weave to heal herself, she should really share it with other Aes Sedi since everyone in the books including Moraine don’t know of a way to do it. With or without, I don’t see Moraine winning this one. She’d have a better chance of beating Rand (and we all know how that year’s cage matches went)

  • Trevis

    I’m in the same stance as Rancho, know next to nothing about Rake (I’ve just reserved Gardens of the Moon), about I’m an avid fan of WoT and to the best of my knowledge nothing can withstand Balefire…well nothing in WoT so far and the fact that Rake managed to do so, well it makes this fight moot.

    Moraine played her trump card to no avail.

    Anomander Rake wins this hands down. Dude faces one of the best blademaster in single-combat and wins, then faces one of the strongest Aes Sedai, who opens herself fully to the source and wins.

    I’m dreading Rake vs Granny Weatherfax (if she wins, that Headology is OP bull)…but God-of-gods be damned that the funniest match on the season so far (Weatherfax vs Kylar Stern that is)

  • Abyss

    Thanks much for the praise.

    And pls forgive the indulgence with the Rake v Lan bit at the start but ffs… it’s a Rake v Lan swordfight… how could i not?!?!? 🙂

  • Voight

    Wow. Just wow.

    Seriously Abyss, they should start paying you. Your write-ups beat the ones done by professional authors. Though, I know there’s a rumour that you *are* a professional writer. If so, I wish you’d say which one because I’d buy your books straight away.

    Thanks for the great write-ups 😀

  • Spectre of Eschaton

    “There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail – should we fall – we will know that we have lived.”

    –Anomander Rake

  • JLV

    The popularity of WoT far exceeds Malazan. This will be a tough win for Rake vote-wise, just as it was a tough win in the write-up.

  • Silchaspurake

    Fantastic write up Abyss.

    They should pay you to do the write ups for all of the other lack luster contests.

  • This is a fantastic write up. Only three flaws that I could see

    1. Rake is immune to heat, so no need to shield himself from flames. His clothes would burn away, so he’d emerge unscathed, but totally nude….with Dragnipur 😀

    2. One power wielders cannot heal themselves

    3. One power wielders cannot make themselves fly or support themselves in the air AFAIK

  • Phnx

    Just who is Abyss? His write-ups > published authors

  • Longshanks

    I voted for Moiraine for one reason only: incompatible magic systems. I’d have to argue that if Balefire doesn’t work (ie, because Rake comes from a different universe, he’s immune to being burned out of the pattern) then there’s no reason his own magic system (which I am admittedly unfamiliar with) would work on Moiraine. Without the conceit that all systems of magic are mutually functional in Cagematch, the system would not work. So, in the context of this particular write-up, I think he would have been destroyed.

    That said, I do hope Rake wins. And I fully expect him to.

    WoT fans take note: Moiraine is good, but without an incredibly lucky shot with Balefire, she wouldn’t stand a chance against a power of that magnitude. I started this year’s cagematches knowing nothing about Malazan, or Rake, but after reading this writeup (and last week’s contest with Beeblebrox) I plan to read the books. This is because of the talent and subtlety of Abyss.

    Sir, by pitting Rake against true opponents, and giving them the chance to defeat him, you made both his own powers clear to us (since he had to WORK in order to win), and made his character actually LIKEABLE (no mean feat in this contest). Kudos to you.

  • Rockz

    Never having heard of Rake before these cage matches and being a huge WoT fan still had to vote for Rake.

    I mean …. if the write up is anything to follow then no way he would lose this

  • (couldn’t resist doing my own, though Abyss’s one is much cooler (and/or accurate to the books, or at least a book of some description that has possibly existed)

    (hope you like scrolling)

    He found her standing by the Suvudu palace bar, nursing a glass of wine and surveying the milling throngs of the party progressing behind him. Moiraine tilted her head up to look her visitor in the shoulders, then up slightly more to look Rake in the eyes.

    “Lord Rake, I believe. My next opponent in this farce.”
    “Indeed, Lady Damodred. However, not til the morrow. This celebration of the tournament’s success…”
    Moiraine peered at him. “I’m sorry?”
    “Forgive me. After speaking to your fellow Aes Sedai for some time this evening, the habit of leaving a pause for a derogratory snort formed almost instantly.”
    She smiled widely. “Since we have no cause for conflict tonight, I feel you may call me Moiraine, my lord Anomander. Though I might ask that you stand a distance away, to spare my neck somewhat.”
    “Only if you call me Rake, and certainly. One need only look at the Imass to realise height is no reason not to be formidable.”

    The hulking, dust-strewn corpse striding past the pair to the bar, rotting fur draped over the massive shoulders and hewn flint sword as long as Moiraine clasped in one desiccated hand seemed to disprove Rake’s words, until he turned to them and poured a tankard of ale down his throat, then watched the last of it spill out his ribs and pelvis onto the floor. The T’lan Imass sighed.

    “I should really have learned by now.”
    “Legana,” Rake asked, “why do you have a rabbit on a chain around your neck?”
    “This?” Legana Breed replied, shaking the terrified rodent. He tilted his head at Moiraine, vertebrae creaking in protest.
    “I was drinking with your young Matrim, who promised me he’d found something to put hair on my chest. I didn’t want to disappoint him.”

    Rake laughed, the deep chuckles drowning out the noise of the festivities as Moiraine stared in disbelief.
    “W-where is Mat now?”
    “Oh, he went off with that annoyance Calm as well as two fellows called Aelfinn and Eelfinn or something. He wanted to challenge them to a game, I forget the name but he had a rolled up mat with coloured dots on it. It should be entertaining, so, if you’ll excuse me?”
    Legana moved off into the crowds, dripping beer, as Moiraine turned to Rake in shock.

    “Who are these Imass? Are they all like him?”
    “A long story. Imagine a race of men fooled into worshipping an oppressive and tyrannical faction of another race, hugely powerful and crushing all resistance mercilessly. Imagine this race of men finally freeing themselves from the yoke with the help of the rest of the Jaghut, but too burnt and too hurt not to fear their slavery happening again, so deciding to wage total war against the Jaghut. A race of men wielding spears and swords made of flint against sorcerous demigods capable of creating ice ages swamping continents, spells that cannot ever be destroyed but recur again and again and again throughout the millennia. A race that finally after countless losses coming together as one to perform a Ritual, freeing them from the hand of death and trapping them in dried out cadavers capable of turning to dust to chase the Jaghut over their ice floes and glaciers, wherever they hide. A hunt they very nearly succeeded at and have continued for over three hundred thousand years.”
    Moiraine blinked, stunned at these revelations. “By the Light… and Legana?”
    “He is unique among the Imass, as after all this time he still has a sense of humour.”
    “Humour? ‘Hare on his chest’?”
    “I never promised it was good. Shall we?”
    Gesturing to the party, Rake offered Moiraine his arm. Rolling her eyes, she reached up to take it and the pair strolled off into the throngs.


    Against all odds, Moiraine was enjoying herself.
    “So in your world, Darkness was the first thing that existed?”
    “Oh yes, and thanks to your description of your Dark One, you’ve answered a question that has been puzzling me for some eons.”
    “Oh?” she asked, as they passed a table where Karsa, Lan, Uno, Dassem, Cartheron Crust and Deira Bashere sat, silent save for the occasional grunt. Moiraine couldn’t tell who made each noise, and dared not find out.
    “Yes, while evacuating Kharkanas I found some of Mother Dark’s old journals-”
    “Wait, she’s an elder goddess and she kept diaries?”
    “It’s a little confusing, I know, don’t worry about it. Anyway, while moving some a few sheets of ancient paper fell out and when I glanced at them I realised they were love letters written to Mother Dark long before I was born, by what must have been her first boyfriend.”
    “That must have been embarrassing.”
    “Extremely. The prose was excruciating to read, extremely purple, and written in all caps. Sound familiar?”
    Moiraine’s laughter caught the attention of Min, who was standing by Thom, Apsalar and Crokus as Apsalar showed off knife tricks. She waved to Moiraine as they drew near the group, then, when the two men moved away a little to practice, she grabbed Apsalar’s arm and started whispering urgently.

    Moiraine drew in a little saidar to listen, and caught, “…please please please take me with you when you leave! Every other woman here is insane! Moiraine is literally the only one who doesn’t waffle on about dresses and stupid men and sniffing and I can’t stay any longer or I’ll go mad! You have to take me with y-” Min caught Moiraine’s eye and froze, then dragged a resigned Apsalar away, hiding behind Toc the Younger and Perrin’s urgent conversation about wolves and wolf-related shenanigans.

    “Poor girl,” Rake said, pausing to let a gaggle of Barghast women drag some Cairhienin off to their rooms, led by Hetan lifting Gawyn bodily overhead and being chased by a very angry Egwene.
    “She’ll manage, I hope. If you had any other questions, you could speak to Loial?” She pointed out the Ogier seated with a member of the Fourteenth Malazan Army, a stack of tomes to either side and hand in furious motion as the soldier spoke.
    Rake answered, “I did try, but he was determined to capture the philosophical thoughts of that Bonehunters soldier before the night was out. That was several hours and five books ago.”
    She looked closer and saw Loial faltering over the pages, as the soldier continued to relate his thoughts on various subjects and themes. Moiraine would never have believed an Ogier could look bored.
    “Which soldier is it?”
    “Does it matter? It could be any of them.”
    They continued on.


    Finally they reached the end of the hall, the last table before the main doors host to a thrilling four way argument between Rand, Pust, Rand and Pust. The doors stood open, so Rake and Moiraine walked out into the moonless night and stood together at the balcony edge, overlooking the garden. Moiraine stretched her neck when she felt Rake wasn’t looking, then looked up yet again to his face.
    “You are not what I expected.”
    (back in the party a young girl strangling a busybody with her own braid flinched)
    “Neither are you, Moiraine. A pleasant surprise, and one I’m glad we share.”
    A rustling from the bushes below drew their attention, both peering over the side to see a young man, approximately wearing ruffled clothing and clutching a widebrimmed hat, a foxhead medallion and a silver Twister award, stumble out of a bush, adjust his tunic, then lead a woman in a clearly hastily donned dress clear of the branches before they laughed, kissed, and raced back to the steps leading upstairs to the bedrooms.
    “Who is that lady with Mat?” Moiraine asked, intrigued.
    “That appears to be the Lady, the half of the god of chance Oponn that deals with good fortune.”
    “That explains a lot. So, where is the other half?”
    “The Lord? A good question… Ah, there, do you see?”

    A billow of power rose from Rake, restrained yet potent, and suddenly the gloom vanished around them and the night seemed clear as day. Moiraine followed his arm and saw a figure being beaten and kicked in by a crowd of soldiers, some adorned with the symbol of a red hand, others in burgundy and wearing a badge showing a burning bridge. Behind them they could see a queue forming.

    “Would you like a better view?”
    Moiraine met Rake’s gaze, and smiled at the question she saw there.
    “By all means.”

    The wave of power waxed and all went dark around her, before vanishing and leaving her in a sumptuously decorated chamber, another balcony to her right and an enormous four poster bed to the left. She strolled out to the edge, and looked out over the landscape below.

    “This must be what the view from Dragonmount is like,” she breathed.

    Behind her, Rake glanced around, then opened a portal to a warren far, far away, to the hiding place of an elder god whose single eye opened in shock right before Rake dropped the scabbarded Dragnipur onto him, pinning the Errant to the ground under its immense metaphysical and psychic weight, before closing the portal and wearing his most innocuous face as Moiraine turned.

    “What was that?”
    “Oh, just putting my weapon somewhere safe.”
    “Ah. I hope that wasn’t your intentions for later?” she inquired, a strand of Air taking her shawl off and draping it over a chair, before pouring a glass of wine and bringing it to her. Rake turned around, and lifted his hands in the air. She looked at his back quizzically as a series of leathery whispering noises followed, ended by a metallic tang as his leather belt and buckle struck the ground.
    “How did you do that?! I was watching the whole time and didn’t feel as much as a hint of power!”
    Rake tilted his head over his shoulder, and smiled.


    Spinnock Durav sat gloomily in the oddly oscillating shadow of Moon’s Spawn as it turned above him. A trudge of boots announced a visitor, and he turned to see the yellow-eyed wolfchild Perrin from the party, the one constantly chased by the nuisance.

    “What brings you to my camp, sir Perrin?”
    “I’ve been searching for Moiraine all day, if she doesn’t turn up soon she’ll forfeit the match!”
    “Ah, then let me put you at ease, she’s up there.”
    “What? What about Rake? And why is it shaking?”
    “He’s there too, and, well, you’ve got good eyes, do you see that banner draped under the balcony?”
    “What, the blue one? “If Moon’s Spawn’s a-rockin’, don’t come a-kno-‘ Blood and bloody ashes!”
    “Exactly. I believe they plan to jointly forfeit.”
    “Oh, Light. Well, I better return and inform the others. Maybe they’ll have found Faile by now, too.”
    Spinnock, who had witnessed the girl in question being bound, gagged and thrown in the warren of Serc, said nothing. Perrin turned and began to walk down the hill, stopping only to scream as he fell into the pit suddently materialising ahead of him. On the hill behind them, Kallor dropped a handful of gold into Spinnock’s hand with a snarl as Quick Ben bent over laughing.
    “That never does get old, does it?”

  • JLV

    For anyone unfamiliar to either series, Ser Illy just poked fun at the majority of the negatives of both series, while at the same time drawing comparisons between the positives and shedding the characters in an overall positive light.

    I laughed.

  • Not Telling

    Balefire wouldn’t work on Rake. Not because he is immune, but because he could open a Warren in front of it so it would pass through. Rake wins here, no contest.

    Oh, and BTW,
    Great writeup.

  • Not Telling

    If niether magic system worked, than Rake would win. If both magic systems worked, Rake would win. I think that means something along the lines of, “Rake wins anyway”

    Anyhow, currently, the only character capable of standing up to Rake is Rand. Moiraine doesn’t stand a chance, sorry.

  • Abyss

    Thanks for the love.

    I’ll totally mea culpa on the WoT ‘channelers can’t self-channel’ thing… sorry, it’s one of those entirely relevant little details that doesn’t rush into your brainz at 2am. For the record, that would have adjusted a few points, but not changed the outcome as i wrote it.

  • D.I. Waisanen

    Moiraine has the upper hand in terms of popularity, but Rake is definitely the superior combatant. He outclasses her in just about every way with one exception: balefire. I’d argue that Moiraine could destroy Rake with it, but the chances of her actually landing such a hit are against her. Also, channelers are limited by how much matter they can destroy with balefire at once. Moiraine has never destroyed anything larger than people or darkhounds, and if Rake turns into a dragon, well, the balefire would probably just cause a nasty wound by erasing a small part of him, not instant destruction. My vote goes to Rake.

  • cloudsword

    Love the typo
    Moiraine DEMANDRED!!

  • Shadow’sBane

    not this again….
    its supposed to be a CHARACTER VS CHARACTER cage match…
    not a MAGIC SYSTEM VS MAGIC SYSTEM cage match…
    there are more aspects to a character than mere power….vote for character you like.

  • Shadow’sBane

    @ Abyss
    I must say, the guy that wrote the duel for Moiraine vs Anomander obviously never read the WoT. She flung herself with a burst of Air and caught herself with a pad of Air? Sounds like flying. An impossibility in the WoT. No matter how strong a channeler, they cannot use Air to pick themselves up. Also, she Healed herself?! Another impossibility…..

    And the language is completely off … The Way was closed? Is he referring to Waygates, or something in the other book series? And if it’s Waygates, they don’t look like trees :-P. Up until now the fights have been well written, if a little off … but this is just terrible. Not to mention that Moiraine wouldn’t have stood by and watched Lan fight a duel with a DF when she could’ve burned them with Fire, or killed them in any number of ways with other weaves short of Balefire.

    Oh, and since when can a warder feel someone weaving through the bond?

    and … stairs in the Ways? That’s new too … as is the unusual ability to see for long distances without any light source.

  • Archon

    Great write-up Abyss… captured both characters very well and wrote a great combat sequence. Let’s see if it’s good enough to open enough minds to give Rake the victory over an opponent with a much larger fanbase…

  • Watson P.I.

    @Shadow’s Bane
    Really? The write-up was just terrible? Okay, so there were some minor inconsistencies with the WoT, but terrible? No. Not even close.

    I’ve read both series and Rake takes this pretty easily. Don’t be a sore loser fanboy and don’t bash a great write-up cause you didn’t like the outcome.

    Beautiful stuff. I truly hope you get to write the final match.

  • Terez

    Shadow’s Bane—give him a break, not everyone is a hardcore fanfreak. Most people who do these sorts of write-ups aren’t brave enough to get into as much detail as Abyss did in worlds they’re not intimately familiar with.

  • Jeribai

    I find it interesting that Drake’s trump card is turning into a massive dragon, and Moiraine’s is using something that wipes you from existence before the fact … Drake’s was instant win; Moiraine’s was totally ineffective. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be a close fight, but I still think Moiraine would’ve ended out on top. Being a big dragon means much more target to hit. Also, if you’re going to use the Ways, read up on them a bit first: 1) There’s no stairs 2) The Waygates don’t look like trees, they look like stone slabs with carvings of leaves and branches on them 3) The Ways are too dark to see more than a few feet *with* a light source 4) A Waygate can’t be destroyed (aside from having both trefoil leaves removed for a long period of time) 5) Channeling in the Ways … big no-no. That whole Machin Shin thing (which would’ve been really interesting if Drake had’ve used that, considering his power seems to come from darkness).

  • the more interesting

    Shadow’sBane is being pedantic. T’was a great write-up, Abyss! Really enjoyed it. (Oh, and, as said above… if you are a published writer, fess up! Many of us would love to read more of your writing. And if you aren’t published, you really deserve to be.)

  • Huh

    “Rake’s” trump isn’t turning into a massive dragon. His badass god-like magical prowess is. And seriously, nit-picking about the Ways, big freak’n deal. The write-up was great and I really hope Abyss does more.

    I agree with you; you are a total douche.

  • a Reindeer

    I am a big fan of both series, and Abyss, I have to say, I really liked your write-up. You did a splendid job of trying to weave the two worlds together believably, and managed to do it with only a few inconsistencies. Props to you, sir.

    For all of those who think that Moiraine might possibly win…I can’t think of a way for her to win without Anomander intentionally losing. As “Not Telling” said, Rake would soundly trounce her with or without magic, as even her balefire could be beaten simply by Anomander opening a warren in front of it. Further, Rand split a weave of balefire using Callandor. I would argue that Dragnipur is a weapon of at LEAST comparable power, so regardless of how it happened, Anomander would beat the balefire. I think the only Suvudu contestant thus far who might have a CHANCe against Anomander was Rand, and he’s not in the running this year (Aslan or Cthulhu might have survived against him, perhaps).

  • Hoid

    Put it this way, Moiraine shouldn’t be fighting Rake. What she should be doing is asking if Rake can come and destroy this annoying guy called the Dark One and save a certain under presure Farm King the trouble.

  • LusipherPE

    Another great write up, Abyss!
    Illy, your fowl rendition is meme-worthy, well done!

  • Eltar

    Once again, another splendid write up from Abyss which makes it 3 out of 3 sir (and a five star rating).

    As a WoT fan and a Malazan fan, I’ve been pulling for both characters to go as far into this tourny as possible. Moraine is a fantastic character, and i would recommend picking up the WoT just to read about her (especially the solo book dedicated to showing how she and her Warder, Lan, became partners). Rake is also a brilliant character. I would pick up every MBotF novel in the hopes of seeing a few scenes that included him and he never let me down from a readers point of view.

    Much can be said about the strengths and weaknesses of both characters. Rake is a powerhouse. Moraine is a schemer. The WoT’s magic system in the write up wasn’t %100 accurate. Rake didn’t show the full extent of his powers. I’ll let other people debate those points and more, a debate that I look forward to seeing.

    Yet like many people have said, this cage match comes down to who gets the most votes, not who would actually win in a straight up fight. If you have read both series then pick your favorite one of the two and please write something in support of them down here in the comments. If you have not read both series, then please do some research on the opposing character. Don’t make up your mind right away. And if you have not read either series, then I wish you luck in deciding which character to vote for. Read these comments, search fansites and/or wikis, but please make your decision based on a knowledge of both parties. Not just one side.

    As for me, I have made my choice and I am quite happy with it.

    The Son of Darkness, Anomander Rake. For the win. 🙂

  • PjotgerDane

    Hmm I just dont remember Moiraine that powerfull… I mean there are more powerfull aes sedai? isn´t both Egwene and Nynaeve stonger than her? And would´t even the strongest or the best fighter of the Green Ajah be in combat, than Moiraine is, she is “just” a Blue Ajah.

    Anomander Rake is just a bigger form of power than she is, he is the equlliant of a male and female working with the power in WOT.. He has beaten gods, and given respect or fear from all, in the malazan universe, he has battle Tiam, the mother of dragons and lived, he is the biggest and baddest of the ancient shapeshifting dragons. He has 300 thousand years of battle experience, Moiraine have about 20 years.

    I really don´t think Moiraine would even try to fight him face to face, nobody does that, unless they are temporary insane, he forces them into it or if they are of the Seguleh (a warrior society in the malazan universe)

    Rake wins

  • Fool’sFoe

    I agree. Moiraine couldn’t have flown nor healed herself; Abyss gave her way too much credit. She didn’t stand a chance yet the write-up gave her one. Tsk Tsk. And it shouldn’t have been magic system vs. magic system, but character vs. character. 44 yrs of character building (and oh how those WoT women have character!) vs. 300,000+ years of god-like existence. How do you propose they fight without using magic? Have Rake come at her with Dragnipur and then…..what?

  • Andarist

    Clearly Rake outmatches every opponent listed this year. Next time they should go with someone like Kruppe, Karsa or Gruntle

  • B. Reed

    BEFORE you write a match you need to actually READ the damn series you are writing about.

    1.) The Ways taint everything, including weaves of the One Power. It doesn’t work properly while you are in there which is why every time they enter them, the younger ones are cautioned to NEVER EVER CHANNEL while inside the Ways. Moiraine has channeled in the Ways before. In The Eye of the World, and it was extremely difficult for her to do so. So putting this match in the Ways automatically puts her at a BIG disadvantage. And it is completely unfair, and one-sided.

    2.) YOU CANNOT HEAL YOURSELF WITH THE ONE POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just like you cannot use weaves to make yourself fly. It has been tried. I believe the example that was used was someone tried it and went splat on the ground below because you can’t use certain weaves on yourself. Healing your own wounds and using the Power to fly are two big impossibilities.

    3.) The above also goes for using Air to push yourself while falling.

    What did you do to prepare for this match? Read The New Spring and then determine that you had enough of a gasp on how The One Power works to write up an accurate match? Maybe read a couple of online articles regarding it? Next time, consult someone who has actually READ THE SERIES, before you write a match!

    Also, in the Ways there is a creature called Machin Shin. It is beyond evil and it is something possibly spawned by the Ways. Machin Shin translates into The Black Wind. If it finds you it will rip your soul from your body and destroy your mind. If it doesn’t destroy your body as well. Nothing can defend against it, it’s only weakness is that it is trapped in the Ways and cannot leave.

    My predicted winner is Machin Shin. But it’s not an option. So because this match was so incredibly one-sided, and there were so many errors regarding the use of the One Power, I am voting for Moiraine in the hopes that the next match is a little more accurate.

  • tiam

    I know very little about the WOT series so am not going to get into a debate about whether the magic systems are compatible or any other one sided argument on my part. As a Malaz junkie I am of course biased towards Rake but remember reading up about all the characters of this years match and thinking there was only one or two who could, potentially, stand against him, the likes of Feist’s Tomas for example. This seems to be what people have said about Rake in the comments throughout these cage matches.

    Abyss write ups are not perfect. As some WOT fans have noted there are moderate inconsistencies with the write up. It was the same with his Bast vs Rake write up in that he had Bast thrown sticks impeding Rakes flight when dragons in the Malaz universe are held aloft by magic.

    However Abyss write ups are top notch because he knows both series very well and can channel two entirely and distinct fantasy universes together into a believable narrative which is no mean feat. While people have been negatively bitching about how its simply about a popularity contest or that certain characters are overpowered or get annoyed when their fan favourite goes out to the comic relief of another series they are missing the point.

    The point is to highlight the essence of each character, what there about, what unique skills and abilities they have and portray these attributes against another fictional character. This is to promote fantasy as whole so that readers are exposed to more characters and different fantasy worlds than they have come across. I have been pleasantly surprised to see some of the neutrals and some of the WOT fanbase deciding to give Malaz a go on the strength of these write up and that is a testament to Abyss’ knowledge of both series and skills as a writer.

  • B. Reed

    Also, after reading through the comments. You Abyss Fanfreaks need to stop abusing Shadow’sBane. He gave you his opinion and if you aren’t ‘man’ enough to take it, then quit reading the comments. Just because someone voices their opinion does not automatically make them a ‘douche’ or a jerk or whatever.

    I did enjoy the descriptions within the match. But I agree with Shadow’sBane, concerning the accuracy of the use of The One Power, this match was terrible.

    Concerning descriptions and battle scenes, this match was epic and a very good read, even if it did have me screaming at the computer.

  • Silchaspurake

    @Abyss. Thats what you get for trying to do a fair write up.

    @B. Reed. TLDR: Moiraine was given to much credit and wouldn’t of even had a chance to weave any magic what so ever. Same outcome however rake wins.

    I assume thats the level you wanted the comments section to descend to.

  • Abyss, nice work. Much better to have to someone who tries to integrate two huge universes, and falls short on one or two minor things, than a write up that is so petty in ambition and pedantic in only speaking of what is one hundred percent accurate, that doesn’t reflect either of the characters.

    Illy, the bonehunters gag killed me.

    Next year Suvudu, can we have Iskaral Pust from the Malaz universe? Less omnipotent, yet still a force in his own right, and it will provide some excellent write ups.

  • D.I. Waisanen

    I don’t think that Moiraine holding herself aloft with air is quite that farfetched. While it is impossible for channelers to fly with air weaves, they can form bridges made out of air up to a certain length that can hold their weight, and female channelers are especially good with them.

    \Further, Rand split a weave of balefire using Callandor. I would argue that Dragnipur is a weapon of at LEAST comparable power, so regardless of how it happened, Anomander would beat the balefire.\

    I have to disagree with this. The reason why Callandor could deflect balefire was because it was composed of indestructible Cuendillar, which is specifically the only substance that can withstand balefire. Dragnipur is undoubtedly a more powerful weapon than Callandor, but I would say that it isn’t comparable in durability because


    Caladan Brood destroyed Dragnipur with his warhammer, proving that it is not indestructible.


  • Lady Bliss

    I have to say that I find some of the comments on here to be petty and immature. This write-up was written in the same spirit of fantasy that the match and both of these books were created in. It is a sheer flight of the imagination that should be encouraged not picked apart. Yes, maybe there were a couple of errors, but so what! Neither the late Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson or Steve Erikson can claim to have written their books without mistakes or inconsistencies! I’d like to challenge any of you purists to a more realistic match up.

    Excellent work by the way! Abyss, your write up was very believable as a ‘could have happened’ scenario. I liked that Rake healed Moiraine at the end as opposed to killing her with Dragnipur. I felt like you captured the personalities of both characters BEAUTIFULLY!

    Illy, your write-up really made me laugh. I wish I could have attended that party!

  • Eltar

    @B. Reed

    Where to begin?

    1) Shadowbane gave us his opinion. And people disagreed with it. Hence the comments. Additionally, please note that several other commented that he brought up salient points before you made your first comment.
    2) Not everyone reading/commenting in here is a man. Some of them are very beautiful and intelligent ladies.
    3) Please handle yourself with decorum. Insults breed insults and rarely – if ever – help your argument.
    4) I am not aware of the term Abyss Franfreaks, but thank you for creating it. Because of the excellence of his writing and the polite way that he has responded to criticism, I would view that term as a badge of honor if it were to be applied to me.
    5) Please don’t scream at your computer screen. It isn’t healthy.
    6) If you have any further reasons as to why Abyss’ write up is wrong, bad, silly, or pitiable, then please, create your own write up and post it here. The more people who get into the spirit of writing, the better! One of the great things in previous years was reading how different fans thought the fight would go. So instead of telling Abyss and other Malazan fans why we are dumb and wrong, demonstrate it to us. Prove to us both why Moraine should win and how she would do so.


  • Not Telling

    @B. Reed
    We aren’t bashing on Shadow’sBane, we’re giving our honest opinion on his comment that was bashing Abyss. First of all, he says that Abyss gave Moiraine to much credit, then says he made her grossly underpowered. I say that Shadow’sBane has never read Malazan, Rake has even more ways to kill her than that, if he wants to. Rakes trump card is not turning into a dragon, it’s unleashing enough destructive magic to destroy an army. Only madmen or Segulah go head to head with Rake.

    Anyone who says I have obviously never read WoT, I’m on the fifth book. I know how powerful Moiraine is.

  • Macros

    Abyss, you’re getting worse man, I didn’t think you could, but you’ve gone and amazed me with your ineptitude.
    When I read morainne healing herself I looked at my hand
    It was insufficient.
    I had to go and purchase a very expensive plane ticket to the Gutenberg muesem.
    Steal the big old book in there
    Go to book 19, using tip ex remove ever s in evdence in the book.
    Then, once it was dry, I reached behind my head, grabbed a handful of hair and proceeded to slam my face repeatedly into the hefty tome.
    And flying?
    Please, what kind of an amateur are you ffs?
    And man is like the greatest swordsman ever, with years of experience and fighting against a giant two handed sword, he would have handed rakes ass to him.
    I’m voting for Perrin

  • Metacognition

    !Spoilers Ahead!
    I find it entertaining that all of Rake’s fan boys fail to mention that in the end, he dies. He’s not some immortal badass, who can’t be defeated, they just want you to THINK that he is.
    I’m not saying he’d win here, but I think that it’s a very unfair picture of Rake that is being portrayed, after all, he died from a sword fight by his own sword! So sure, he’s good, but he’s obviously not the best, even in the Malaz world.
    I’m not voting, but let’s try to keep this fair. Rake is a great character and one that is incredibly powerful one. Moraine is a much loved and also very powerful character. Let’s not get too carried away here!

  • Not Telling

    Again? Actually, what did you say? Couldn’t understand it at all. Who was man? Did you mean Lan? If so, Rake is still better than him. I’d like to see Lan last SECONDS against Mok, who would be a rough aproximation of Rake’s skill. Let’s see, dude with fourty or so years of experience against 300,000 years. My moneys on the 300,000 year old. Besides, you’re voting for Moiraine because Abyss gave her too much credit? How does that make sense?

    Awww, why not Kruppe?

  • Fool’sFoe

    You are obviously beyond redemption or help; It’s Rake’s ass not rakes.

    I would like to meet you and Shadow’sBane, line you up, and stooge slap you.

    @Lady Bliss
    I am petty and immature, and I apologize. But some people take this shit way too seriously.

  • JLV











    He fought the greatest swordsmen in the world, the mortal side of the god of tragedy. And he let it happen, his death. It was part of his plan to, well, save the world.

    Rake HAS been defeated, or at least fought to a standstill. It was referenced in the series a few times.


    I hope potential readers don’t get spoiled here…

  • Not Telling

    He died because he decided to, against someone with a sword that made them unbeatable. That’s not a weakness.
    And yes he is some immortal badass, who can’t be defeated unless he wants to be. You are also downplaying Rake’s power. He isn’t some average Channeler from WoT, he’s arguably the strongest mage in MBotF. The only time he got close to losing when he didn’t want to was in a magical duel against I think three high mages, another mage strong enough to be one, an elder god in disguise, and a squad of other mages.

  • Plan R

    Well so far I must say that this comments section is devolving nicely. Do we have another Rand vs Jaime flame war going? Its to early to tell, but we do have 2 epicly bats**t crazy fandoms butting heads, so im optimistic.

  • What?


  • OK, just to save time, don’t read past the comment by Macros on the first comments page due to late series Malazan spoilers below it. Do read the comment by Macros as he is a man of wealth and taste.

  • In fact, read the write up, read my comment, read Macros’ comment, then vote. Then go outside! Don’t waste your time arguing, do more constructive things with your day! Fly a kite! Throw a frisbee! Try parkour! Jump between buildings! Thank the kind medical staff at the hospital you’ll be at afterwards for their excellent work! Learn to walk again! Meet a girl! Meet a boy! Meet both and have a really good evening! Get away from the computer for a bit and enjoy yourselves. Go on, you’ll have fun, I promise.

  • Alice Moore

    Wouldn’t an all ladies final be great? It’s about time!

  • Rose

    All this tizzy over the all powerful characters is a little boring, in my opinion. The write-up was well done even if it did have some inconsistencies, and let’s face it: letting Rake or any other character into the WOT universe is a major inconsistency, so I don’t think it really matters that much.

    All that aside, Not Telling’s most recent comment on how Rake is only defeated if he wants to be made me think of another all-powerful character. (That most people don’t seem to know much about, unfortunately). Jennifer Fallon wrote a series wherein characters become immortal at some point via immolation, and after that, they are simply physically incapable of dying. But unlike people like those in Tuck Everlasting for example, these immortal, god-like Tide Lords have lived for thousands of years, are incredibly bored with life, and Cayal the Immortal Prince wants to die. Or at the very least be decapitated and grow a new head so he can start over.

    Is this the sort of character that even Rake would lose to? I’m genuinely curious, because I haven’t read Malazan. I want a better idea of his abilities. Let’s say Cayal comes in, all hopeful, and tells Rake to be creative and do his best to kill him. What would he do?

  • Not Telling

    Rake would decapitate Cayal with Dragnipur and either suck the soul from his body, chaining him to Dragnipur, or help Cayal lose his memories. All right Cayal may not be dead in either case, but in the first, his body would be an empty shell, and in the second, Cayal wouldn’t be Cayal anymore. Win in either case.

  • JLV

    I don’t think, in that situation, Rake would agree to kill him. Senseless violence is not his m.o.

    If he is truly immortal he may throw him into a warren and just leave.

  • KL

    And there was me thinking that the characters I supported in the cage match would get through without the bratty fankids. It makes for amusing reading though 😉

    I’d really appreciate it someone from Suvudu could take down the MAJOR SPOILER being discussed by not telling and metacognition. Nice work guys.

    Abyss, awesome writeup! it made for believable, enjoyable reading (I’m not gunna lie, I’ve skipped a lot of cage match write ups in the past), and it was fun!

    Illy, I love your work, as always. I giggled all the way through it

  • Kanese S’s

    I have read both series, and am very fond of both.

    I love Moiraine, I think she’s really awesome. One of my favorite WoT characters. She’s a very capable sorceress.

    But Rake would win. I think, with minor discrepencies, Abyss’ write-up is basically how it’d go down. Despite how much I like Moiraine, Anomander Rake just has more going for him in this situation.

  • Yasmina

    Question: what sorts of destruction can Rake survive? How immortal is he? I know nothing about the series. I think I might pick it up, though.
    And I second a Tide Lord/ Rake matchup. If Rake is as immortal as they are, it could be quite interesting. Especially at High Tide, when the Tide Lords can make things explode at will.

  • Annabel

    re Tide Lord / Rake – they wouldn’t fight, they’d just sit down and mope together for a few hours, possibly over a game of chess/Go/Kef Tanar…

    to answer Rose a bit more succintly, Rake (and many of the Elder beings in Malazan) are similar to Cayal – bored after so many millenia of existance and they figure they’ve seen it all. Most have retired from trying to shape the world or rule a religion or such and now just concentrate on their hobbies, or just go to sleep for a thousand years at a time. Rake would be in that boat, except that he has a race of people who follow and look up to him – the Tiste Andii. The Andii themselves are quite long-lived and prone to despairing, so Rake finds causes for them to fight in, over and over, millenia after millenia, so that they don’t go completely into self-ennui and all give up on life. More or less. If he didn’t have that burden, Rake would probably be right beside Cayal in having nothing to do.

    @Yasmina – like just about anybodyin Malazan, Rake is about as vulnerable of body as a regular human. Cut off his head and he’ll die. Shoot an arrow into his eye, he’ll die. He’s tough, so he can take a lot of non-immediately-lethal wounds and keep fighting by force of will alone, but anything that kills quicker than he can heal himself will kill him. How quickly can he heal himself? Not sure – we don’t really ever see him healing himself, but as a master mage with hundreds of millenia of experience, odds are he’s probably pretty good at it. Fast enough to heal himself if you stabbed him in the heart? I’m not sure. That’s all with him in his natural Andii form, of course. That’s why turning into a dragon is such a powerful move: his magic probably isn’t all that much stronger as a dragon, but a dragon has a lot fewer physical weaknesses than an Andii.

  • ScarUponTheSky

    Even though I know more about Moiraine, I had to vote for Anomander simply because of the immortality. Despite her abilities, I always stand strongly by the idea that it is difficult to kill an immortal being, especially a truly immortal one as Anomander seems to be (based off his stats above.)

    I am thoroughly glad to see this is indeed the close fight it should be. 🙂

  • Lokester

    i have read both WOT and MBotF, still finishing up MBotF, and from what i have seen, i don’t think Moraine has a chance against Rake. Just simply put, she doesn’t.

    Also the person who put.


    that Brood’s hammer broke draginpur there making it an inferior weapon, remember something. While i have reached that far in the malazan series, i do know that Brood’s hammer was given to him by BURN… so that he can end the world and restart everything from scratch… basically a big bang hammer. WHAT CAN STAND AGAINST THAT (except Kruppe) Weapons like callandor has nothing on the high level weapons found in the malazan series.

    end of spoilers.

    well yeah Rake ftw, while i love both series, Moraine doesn’t stand a chance.

    (lol one of the captcha words is CUTTER!!!!)

  • Charles

    I’m going to spread some more love to Abyss and Illuyankas. Your write-ups were both very well done. I’m not familiar with either world, but I feel as though I got a sense of what the characters could do (including the inconsistencies pointed out by Shadow’s Bane along with others) and a good sense of who the characters are from Illuyankas’s write-up. If you look at the Kylar vs Granny Cagematch, you’ll see just how poorly they can be written up. (I mean no disrespect to the author of that write-up, just against the work itself.) I really hope that the next write-up will be as good as the ones for this one. Looking forward to the outcome.

  • Shadow’sBane

    @Watson P.I
    the write up was okay…as far as fight was concerned…but WoT character voices were totally off..and there were many magic system related mistakes in the write-up.
    ….and if you had wits enough to understand what i had written in above comment you would have understood that write-up was good…but i criticized the mistake.
    abyss can do good write-ups sometimes(Rake VS Bast was excellent) but that doesn’t mean that every thing he writes is as good.
    and u are being a bloody fanboy here.

    i m just pointing out the mistakes.
    i never said write-up sucked…i just pointed out the MISTAKES.

    since when does making your own opinion makes you a Douche ?
    last time i checked it was called Freedom of Speech.
    u are being a Douche.

  • Morsk

    I see one advantage for Moiraine if she knows about convergence, and has some knowledge of the future from her time in the Rings. WoT prophecy is much better at giving details than Malazan prophecy, and doing exactly the right thing during a convergence lets you kill basically anything. Besides, godlike beings get killed or screwed over by mortals all the time in Malazan.

  • Shadow’sBane

    @not telling
    u dont give ur opinion on some one by call him Douche…thats called abusing..
    not that i care about abusing me… what’s the worse can u do ?
    CAPSLOCK me to death ? 😀

    and i havn’t yet read Malazan yet…i plan to do so….that’s what cage matches are for…promoting books amoung readers…
    i have read many books becoz of Cage Match 2010….and enjoyed them much.

    line us up?
    what a damned moron..

    and when i said this

    “not this again….
    its supposed to be a CHARACTER VS CHARACTER cage match…
    not a MAGIC SYSTEM VS MAGIC SYSTEM cage match…
    there are more aspects to a character than mere power….vote for character you like.”

    i meant that dont just vote on power of a charcter ….vote for character u like…
    if u didn’t understand that..then u are a FOOL…well that makes you your own FOE 😀

  • Abyss

    Heh… i love it when the fanatics jump in. And it is just a write-up. I’m not telling anyone how to vote.

    I have actually read WoT, but it’s been a while which is why some of the ‘errors’ slipped in, and my apologies to any WoT fan who is disturbed by this. I did my best to make it entertaining enough for the match.The slips change nothing in the write-up in terms of conclusion as i saw it, but you’re absolutely entitled to your opinions and welcome to do your own write-up and post them here if you think you have a different vision (or you’re Illy and have a disturbed vision). I vaguely recall that last year’s cage-match had more of them, which was what prompted me to jump in two rounds ago.

    Anyrate, from what i’ve seen in the comments, at least a few fantasy lit fans are going to pick up some new authors from these matches, which is the bestest outcome regardle of who winz.

    Also, Macros licks goats.

  • B. Reed


    @ Eltar: 1.)Did you not see that I put the word ‘man’ in quotations? Obviously not, otherwise you would see that your point no. 2 is void and not applicable.
    2.)Real mature there. Pointing out a simple typo and making it seem as if I am an idiot. Good job. -slow clap-
    3.) The only reason I used the term ‘fanfreak’ is because someone above used it to call Shadow’sBane a WoT fanfreak. I simply re-purposed the term to indicate that the person who would so lightly call Shadow a fanfreak, is in fact, an fanfreak for Abyss. Whoever he/she is.
    4.) I would be more than willing to write up a match myself, but I have no background with the Malazan universe and do not feel that I have any right to create a match between the two when I have no experience with both universes. If you will notice, all of my criticisms were aimed at Abyss’s interpretation of what can, and can not, be done with The One Power. I made no criticisms of Rake’s world or his power. That is because I have no experience with it. Which brings me, again, to my point. If you have not read both series, the matches will always have inconsistencies. In order to write a truly GOOD match, you need to have read both series in their entirety. Abyss, obviously has not. He seems to be much more familiar with Rake’s world than with Moiraine’s.

    @ Not Telling: So calling someone a ‘douche’ and a ‘fanfreak’ isn’t bashing? Please. And until you have read all current 14 books, you don’t have any idea what can truly be done with The One Power, or how many more channlers are out there that are WAY stronger than Moiraine. Hopefully, you will stick with it past Winter’s Heart. That is where most people quit because it is so damn slow.

  • MillionSpots

    I wanted to let the drama unfold and not step in…

    But I love the write-ups of both Abyss and Illuyankas. Just wanted to say that. 🙂

  • B. Reed

    @ B.Reed
    Restricting write-ups to only people who have extensive knowledge of both series is rather unfeasable. I mean, hell, that would exclude most of the Suvudu guys, the people who actually RUN this contest – the very same people who kindly asked Abyss to do the write-up for this match.

    It’s a bit unfair of you to patronise Abyss for writing something that doesn’t meet your clearly impeccable standards of accuracy. While he HAS read the series, he’s not the kind of guy to pore over the books like they’re some kind of religious text, memorising every tiny little detail for EXACTLY this sort of occasion where his AMAZING recollection of fictional minutiae would be called upon and everyone would realise how INCREDIBLE he is for retaining ALL THIS USEFUL AND INTERESTING KNOWLEDGE.

    Sorry, I strayed into the realms of sarcasm there.

    Abyss submitted a good – no, a FANTASTIC write-up – and all you can do is belittle him. Nice.

    For anyone else who would like to comment, perhaps try to stick to debating the strengths and weaknesses of the characters in question, instead of questioning the character of the people you disagree with.

    Personally, I look at it like this, taking each character on their merits as combatants:

    Rake is a 300,000 year old demi-god, never defeated in battle. He can turn into a sorcerous dragon and breathe pure chaos and darkness on his enemies. He is the only person who can carry Dragnipur without bending under its unfathomable weight of hundreds of thousands of souls chained within the blade (the slightest scratch of which will kill your body and chain your own soul alongside the rest). He is considered a powerhouse in a world FULL of badasses. You find all of this out IN THE FIRST BOOK.

    Moiraine is a Blue (not Green) Aes Sedai, not trained in warfare. She may have a Ter’Angreal, but she is STILL outmatched by SEVERAL people in her own world. She’s what, 42 years old?

    Actually yeah, my mistake, she totally stands a chance against this guy:
    “Mane of Chaos. Anomander Rake. Lord of the black-skinned Tiste Andii, who has looked down on a hundred thousand winters, who has tasted the blood of dragons, who leads the last of his kind, seated in the Throne of Sorrow and a kingdom tragic and fey – a kingdom with no land to call its own.”

  • Shiara

    Oops, somehow put B. Reed’s name instead of mine – what the hell?

  • Grrm Girl

    I find it interesting that every year during the Cage Matches certain match ups always produce comments from people who are more interested in attacking authors, write-ups or each other then focusing on discussing the characters and series. I also find it interesting that it always seems to be the match ups that involve a WoT character.

  • Loki

    I wonder if Suvudu would be open to doing a short ‘by fan request’ cage match were we could all request certain match up between past characters and the most requested ones go through. Seems a lot of people would enjoy a Rake versus Rand cage match.

  • macros

    Too easy.
    Rake would get one of the tiste andii women to belittle rand and make him her bitch.

  • Voight

    @ Grrm Girl

    I’ve noticed that too which is unfortunate because the majority of WoT fans are actually really nice and intelligent people. It’s the few less tactful and considerate members who give the entire fanbase a reputation for being petty, offensive fanboys/girls.
    I think it stops a lot of the WoT fans from commenting because they don’t want to be associated that element. I’m a die-hard WoT fan myself but I’m also a massive Erikson fan and some of the comments on this cage match are making me feel a little embarrassed on behalf of both writers since the actions of fans tend to affect the perception of an author as well.

    That would be awesome. A kind of ‘Best of the Best’ situation. Suvudu usually start a thread asking for suggestions for the next years cage match – I think you should mention it to them.

    I think I may have already commented on the fact that I loved the write-up. Sure, I noticed issues here and there but none of them were great enough to detract from the overall scene. Abyss gave Moiraine abilities she doesn’t possess….big deal. All that means is that without that ability Rake would have won sooner.

    Regarding balefire not working because Rake is outside the pattern – someone said that if that is the case than Rake’s magic shouldn’t affect Moiraine either. I disagree. Balefire is directly linked to the pattern, Rake’s chaos magic isn’t (I’m simplifying things). If Rake’s magic depended on something endemic to the Malazan world then it should be able to work just like balefire but Rake’s magic isn’t dependant on something specific to the Malazan world whilst Moiraine’s is. I honestly see this battle playing out a lot quicker than what Abyss wrote – Lan wouldn’t have survived and Moiraine would have been dealt with a lot quicker. But I like that the write-up drew it out and the Malazan fan and the WoT fan in me enjoyed it immensely.

  • Lucifer’s Heaven

    That was an hilarious write-up Illy, genious XD
    I’m glad I’ve read enough WoT to get that side of the jokes too 🙂

    Abyss, another awesome write-up, I enjoyed it very much 🙂

    D.I. Waisanen
    Considering you used a weird sort of logic about the swords, I thought I’d point out a couple of logical flaws in what you said. If the substance Rand’s sword is make of is truly indestructable, if nothinng can bend, shape or manipulate it it could never have been made.
    If it is an allow or something that is only indestructable once solidified (ala adamantium in Marvel), then with old school equipment could STILL never have been made. Even with a mold, swords still need to be shaped and then sharpened. At the very least sharpened. So I guess you could make a sword shaped club?
    Anyway, none of that is pertinent, just stuff that popped into my head while I read what you said 😛 I haven’t read enough WoT to know if that is addressed or not.

    … I can’t remember who said it, but people of Rakes caliber are considerably harder to kill than the average. They can still go down by mundane means, but it is VERY difficult:



    Yes Rake was killed by a sword to the face, but it was Dragnipur to the face. And we know that Dragnipur will kill with just a moderate normally non-lethal slash.
    And there are numerous situations where magic users keep themselves easily alive from what would have been instant death. Many times the powerful die it is to something very overwhelming. Cussers, powerful weapons, being beaten on by six Toblakai gods for a good while (and he doesn’t even die :P), etc.
    Even when Karsa kills some of the deragoth, they die eventually, but survive way more than ordinary, and damaging them takes a lot more effort than it ordinarily would.
    I guess that’s a big part, they are more resistant to harm.

  • Anomander Rake vs Rand al’ Thor
    (I haven’t read Malazan yet, though I ordered a copy a few days ago 😀 , so Rake may sound a bit off. Apologies to Mr. Erikson for that, but this is how I think the fight would go. Peace.)

    Rand walked along the mountain ridge. Slowly, surely, and carefully, every step was measured as he neared what he thought was Shayol Gul. He would face and defeat the Dark One here. He would end it alone, without anymore grief and suffering.
    He had accepted his fate, and the memories of all his past lives flooded his memories, yet now he did not drown under their deluge, he accepted them as a part of him and walked onwards.
    Lighting strikes and the sound of crackling thunder filled his ears, but that was just a remnant of a past life, a long past futile attempt on Shayol Gul, where he had lost his best men.
    He smiled. Even today the place looked similar to the one from his visions. A red sky, barren wastelands and huge mountains, standing above the peak of one, he looked below at the desolate land. This would not remain so after he was done here.
    He smiled.
    A dead girl’s body flickered in his vision, as he failed to save it in the Stone of Tear.
    His smile faded, replaced by a grimace, and he ploughed onwards, the Sun burning harshly on his back. From afar he would have looked like a lone wanderer to anyone watching, yet he had not been attacked yet. They knew, but they did not dare attack him.
    ‘They are afraid. They fear us’, said a voice in his head. Lews Therin Telamon. He accepted Lews Therin as a part of his self too. He could feel The Kinslayers knowledge and experience as a part of his own memories, not knowing where Rand began or Lews Therin ended. They were one.
    Flecks of black whisked through his vision, Lews Therin told him that it was saa. It happened frequently these days.
    As his vision cleared, he noticed a hulking man standing in front of him.
    In height, he was taller than Rand, who was taller than most men, and in size, he would dwarf even Perrin. With dark black skin, Rand for a moment thought that it was the Dark One given human form. With plate armour and heavy gauntlets covering his hard arms, he reminded Rand of Lan. But his mane of silver hair fluttered in the wind, and his striking features made even Lan look tame. And his eyes. Those eyes, which were piercing him from a distance. They looked to him like a…a Dragon’s. And a huge power emanated from him, Rand could feel it even from afar. And he carried a huge blade on his shoulders, the size as big as Perrin’s hammer. Perhaps bigger. It was surely power-wrought?
    This person, whoever he was, had enough power to make the world weep. To break the world on his own. Could he truly be the Dark one?
    Rand could feel the churnings of the wheel, this would be a moment on which ages would be wrought, or all ages crumble to dust.
    The Man – nay, the thing – strode ahead, and the wind began blowing ferociously.
    Rand stopped and looked ahead, the void filling his entire being. Lews Therin chuckled.
    Walking slowly ahead, Rake saw the man stop and stare at him. He had finally noticed Rake. He had heard news of another Dragon in another world, and he had to see it with his own eyes. But what he saw disappointed him. This was no dragon; this was just a man clad in finery and Dragon tattoos on his arms, of which one ended in a stump. Laughable. Rake even felt a modicum of pity for him. But the one thing he was sure about was that this impostor could handle that sword well, his manner of carrying it spoke about his skill, but a one-armed human, however good a swordsman, was no match for Anomader Rake and his Draginpur – The sword of Damned Souls. This was going to be too short. Why was he even wasting his time here?
    And then he felt it.
    This was no ordinary human. He could feel an immense power bursting forth from the young lad. A power to crumble mountains to dust; a power huge enough to make the very fibre of the worlds tremble. A power to match that of the Son of Darkness? Was it possible?
    But that wasn’t all. The very pattern of life, or destiny seemed to revolve and spin around this young lad in a maelstrom of fury. Rings of chaos and creation sprang forth from him. Rake could discern some warping around this boy. Nay – no boy was he – this being, this so called Dragon Reborn.
    And Rake smiled.
    Finally, a worthy opponent. He moved towards the lone figure standing ahead of him.

    “Who are you?” said Rand, his voice ice-cold from within the void. His caring eyes, now hard as stone.
    Rake walked forward nonchalantly, and stopped a few feet away from Rand.
    “I seek the man called ‘The Dragon’ I have transcended a vast distance in his search”, replied Rake in an equally cold and impassive voice. His eyes changing colour, into burning suns of fury.
    “You have found him. I am the Dragon Reborn, The Lord of the Morning, and The Prince of the Dawn. You may simply call me, Rand ‘Al Thor. Now answer me. Who are you?”
    “You honour me with your numerous titles. Let me do the same. I am Anomander Rake, The Son of Darkness, The Black Winged Lord, The Mane of Chaos, also known as Blacksword. I am glad to have finally found you Lord Dragon, for I am also a Dragon”
    The void within Rand shook and almost shattered at this piece of information, but for his intense skill and training at it. Son of Darkness? Another Dragon? Rand did not know much about such a person, but anyone who called himself, The Son of Darkness and carried such enormous power had to be brought down.
    “I am sorry, but any friend of the Dark is an enemy of mine. Your search has been futile, Son of Darkness. It will be your end.”
    Lews Therin laughed manically, ‘It begins, it comes…AGAIN’
    “That is what I have come to do here, O’ Dragon. Testing myself against another Dragon would be…interesting.”
    And with that, unsheathing Draginpur, Rake ran towards Rand.
    Drawing Callandor, Rand blocked Rakes blow, catching Draginpur on its side and fuelling his own sword Saidin, he matched Rake blow for blow.
    Inside the void, he felt calm and composed, yet Saidin coursed through his body, a river of flowing and coursing fire, a torrent of lighting and a frozen avalanche of water. Pure, raw power, which threatened to tear him apart, and destroy his body forever. Yet he drew on more of it and continued the fight.
    Rake did not seem to tire, and within the void, Rand felt no tiredness. Yet he knew that this fight would not be decided by the strength of their blades. This was just the opening joust. If he had any chance to destroy this creature, with its immense strength, he had to do it soon. His body would soon tire, and with that thought, he brought about a hail of lightning strikes upon the land, bathing Rake in their fury and whipped up Callandor, slashing ahead, sprouting fire from its tip towards the figure ahead of him.
    And then silence.
    The entire mountain range on which they had stood a few seconds ago had been destroyed and an ashen heap lay in its place, the dust of all that once was. And in its midst stood a lone figure. Standing upright, as if untouched and unaffected by the power, stood Rake, looking at Rand. A smile playing on his lips.
    “Let us continue this dance”, said Rake and jumped ahead.
    Somewhere in Tar Valon, Elayne and Egwene looked towards the burning skies in the north and a wave of fear came over them. Elayne’s bond with Rand confirmed to her that Rand was at the heart of all that was happening. Pale with fear, she turned towards Egwene, who seemed to have arrived at the same conclusion. What could they do when such fearsome powers blazed out?
    Anomander Rake had had enough.
    Using his own magical powers, he unleashed a rain of death upon Rand. Ripping the very mountains from their base, he uprooted and threw them at Rand, huge shards of stone flying at him. Enough destruction to level the blight.
    Following the falling death stones, he sent an entire pillar of flowing fire towards Rand, the entire sky gleamed blood red, the land melting in its heat, the flying mountains would collapse and them melt on Rand – A living grave for the Dragon.
    As Lan raced towards the Trollocs at Tarwins Gap, the mountains themselves collapsed inwards among the coming army, and he had to do his best to rally his troops and search for a safe location. Something was happening. It had to be Rand, he thought.
    Rake looked around himself. There was no semblance of what was once ‘The Blight’. For miles around him, the land was flat and gave off heat, still burning from his burst of power. And in the midst of it lay a mountain. A mountain made from the very bones of the earth, encasing the Dragon within it. He would call it, ‘Dragonmount’. A fitting name for the Dragon’s grave.
    But then suddenly –
    Huge lines of gold came burst along the sides of the mountain, glowing ever so golden and white as if Light itself were freeing itself from the shackles of Darkness beneath, and the mountain burst apart, showers of stone and debris flying in all directions, a white light screaming forth from its centre, leaving destruction in its wake.
    And as Rake had stood after Rand’s attack, The Dragon Reborn stood in the midst of all the destruction and gave a wild, cackling laughter, his sword still glowing white as light.
    “This is just the beginning”, Rand muttered, and laughing wildly, he ran towards Rake.
    Smiling widely now, almost sneering, Rake too ran towards his foe.
    Their swords met, sparks flying all over and the world around them burnt. The very essence of time and space began ripping apart as the two behemoths met head on, streams of fire flowing from the ground and violent lighting storms and windbursts erupting from the sky, as the two blades striked each other. A battle of wills, a battle of blades, a battle of power.
    And the world cried in pain, calling for an end to its angst and misery.

  • Terez

    Shadow’s Bane—I’m aware you were talking about MISTAKES, hence my comment dealing precisely with those mistakes. You are aware that even Brandon needs a team of WoT HCFFs to beta-read his WoT books, aren’t you? And that even those HCFF beta readers allowed several MISTAKES to slip through?

  • Tomas

    Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live!

  • Balefire

    Balefire. Early ,often, Straight from the evil overlord handbook.
    Rule 3 “If you have an unstoppable super weapon, use it, Use it early, use it often. Popularity contest aside, Balefire will erase your thread from the pattern, Unless you are holding CallAndor You are not even dead meat, just a memory in some folks minds. And as far as BS goes, I’m glad he is finishing the series, but he isn’t half the writer Mr Rigby was.

  • Rose

    Yasmina, do you think it’s even possible to suck the soul out of a Tide Lord? I think Creation would resist it somehow, since they can’t even die floating in empty space for millions of years.
    I don’t really understand what Dragnipur does, so….

    Second question, would Rake survive the magical backlash of chopping off Cayal’s head? When they chopped off Pellys’ head, the entire continent was destroyed. And Cayal would actually be more dangerous after having his head cut off than before because he’d be like a toddler armed with nuclear weapons and no control over what he did with them (literally: the Tide Lords can split atoms with magic).

    Rake would decapitate Cayal with Dragnipur and either suck the soul from his body, chaining him to Dragnipur, or help Cayal lose his memories. All right Cayal may not be dead in either case, but in the first, his body would be an empty shell, and in the second, Cayal wouldn’t be Cayal anymore. Win in either case.

  • Fool’sFoe

    So this cage match should be a popularity contest? I’ve read both series and I like both characters. I’m voting for who would win in a fight.

    And you were bashing the write-up, over completely forgivable inconsistencies. I’m not a Abyss fanboy, I’ve no freak’n clue who he is, but I thought the write up was pretty damn good.

    I’d love to see the numbers on people who voted for Moiraine and had actually read the Malazan books. I’m guessing it would be zero.

  • Shadow’sBane

    @fool’s Foe
    extract from Patrick Rothfuss’s Blog…
    “What I did find oddly galling were some of the comments along the lines of, “Bast could never win against X. X has a power level of 9000!!1!”
    This bothered me for two reasons:
    First, you have to realize that any time something like this is an open vote, it’s ultimately a popularity contest.
    Here’s a mnemonic to help you remember: “When the internet votes on who will die, it comes down to Vox Populi.”
    But vastly more irritating to me is the odd opinion that strength/power is the key factor when two people come into conflict.
    The truth is, I find that sentiment more than irritating, I find it troubling. It means a lot of you haven’t been paying attention to the books I know you must have read.
    If power is the only important thing, then Frodo loses against Sauron. Hell, if power’s the only important thing then Gandalf loses against Sauron. If magic is the deciding factor of a fight, then four plucky kids from England get their asses turned to stone by the White Which.
    So yeah, Rake can turn into a dragon, but the point of fairy tales is that they teach us that dragons can be beaten.
    I see too much fatalism these days, folks. The truth is that the world is full of dragons, and none of us are as powerful or cool as we’d like to be. And that sucks. But when you’re confronted with that fact, you can either crawl into a hole and quit, or you can get out there, take off your shoes, and Bilbo it up.”

    it is Decided by votes isn’t it?
    any thing decided by votes is popularity contest…
    else it Bloody stupid for suvudu to add people like Tryion(barely able to lift an axe) and Rake(Powerful enough to destroy Mountains in one strike) in the same Tournament…they should have just added him and then Declared Rake as winner…
    there are more to character than mere Magical power…stop being idiotic and vote for character you like….vote for Rake if you like Rake more tha Moirane and not just becoz the Magic system in Malazan is stronger than Magic system in WoT.

  • Destiny

    So I was originally not going to get involved, but I figured I might as well put my opinion out there:

    @ Shadow’s Bane & B.Reed (not Shiara :p)

    As far as I can tell, Abyss is just a regular guy with a regular job (but I could be mistaken). Which means he used his free time to write this. I don’t know about you, but when I’ve been out all day I sure as hell don’t feel like writing anything on this scale.
    He did his best, and sure he made some mistakes, but as others have pointed out, even the professionals need betas and they still make some mistakes. It seems kinda unfair to expect a perfect masterpiece, when he had none of that help. And yes, he probably could have recruited someone to proof read, but it was kinda short-notice.

    I figure we should all be grateful that he made the effort to make it as realistic and as entertaining as he could. It could just as easily been some idiot who knew nothing about Rake or Moiraine. At least people who only know one character can see a semi-realistic depiction of the battle, and vote accordingly.

    It also seems kinda silly to jump down Abyss’s throat on all the minor mistakes he made, but still encourage people to vote for their favourites. If you’re gonna vote for your faves, regardless of the opponent’s skill, why bother complaining about mistakes. And we all know that the WOT fans outnumber the Malazans, so…
    But you’re right, it is still a popularity contest, and the most popular character will win, whether they deserve it or not.

  • trench

    +1 to shadows bane

    Finally someone who realizes that power does not trump all.

  • sacredhonour

    As someone who has not read Rake’s book, and has read WoT through multiple times, I still voted for Rake.

    As much as I love WoT and Moiraine, she is not in the caliber of power Rake is from what I have learned through the cage-match. Balefire would be her one advantage, pending it hit Rake.

  • D.I. Waisanen

    @Lucifer’s Heaven:

    “If the substance Rand’s sword is make of is truly indestructable, if nothinng can bend, shape or manipulate it it could never have been made.
    If it is an allow or something that is only indestructable once solidified (ala adamantium in Marvel), then with old school equipment could STILL never have been made. Even with a mold, swords still need to be shaped and then sharpened. At the very least sharpened. So I guess you could make a sword shaped club?”

    Cuendillar is not shaped the way it is. It is created through processes of the One Power applied to iron which is first shaped into the precise thing of Cuendillar to be created, and then altered with weaves. Once the complex weaves are completed, the iron becomes Cuendillar, and is indestructible. Cuendillar itself is never shaped or sharpened or changed in any way. The only thing that has been able to damage Cuendillar in even the slightest way is the literal alteration of reality by the Dark One.


    Callandor resisting balefire is a matter of durability, not power. It can only do so because it is an indestructible sword, and it would do still do if it was worthless as a weapon. Someone won’t be able to resist balefire just because it is better at causing damage than Callandor.

  • Archon

    *Potential Spoilers* But important rebuttals…

    @ DI Waisanen… you left out the VERY significant fact that Caladran Brood’s Hammer was perhaps the only Item in existence on par with Dragonpur, since it was literally capable of destroying the world…

    @ Everyone commenting on Rake’s death… Rake died on purpose an in the very specific manner that would allow him to save the world… up to the point that he allowed himself to be killed, he was in a swordfight against the greatest swordman in the world who was using an unbeatable sword and fighting to a standstill… and BTW, he was so incredible in that fight, that a guy who is basically a bigger, stronger, faster, and completely fearless version of Conan (Karsa) said that a person would have to be a complete idiot to step in against either of those two (Rake and the guy he was fighting)…

  • Annabel

    @Dragon Reborn

    That’s a great Rake vs Rand write-up, especially for someone who’s never read Malazan!


    So Cayal unleashes a continent-destroying explosion when his head is cut-off (and then another one grows back)? Wow, no wonder they live so long – even if there is a way to kill them nobody would want to try!

    From your description, I think Cayal would beat Rake in a \fair fight\ – either of them could probably figure out a way to defeat the other by surprise, but assuming they both know they are in a death-match against each other, there’s not much I could see Rake doing to prevent Cayal from splitting all the atoms in his body on command (I’m assuimg it is pretty impossible to stop Cayal’s atom-splitting magic).

    If Rake could manage to get close enough to hit Cayal with Dragnipur, though, that could end it in Rake’s favour…


    Dragnipur doesn’t precisely kill people (in Malazan lingo – they don’t pass through Hood’s Gate), it moves them to another realm and chains them to an enormous wagon which they must pull for an eternity to keep it from getting gobbled up by Chaos (and them with it).

    For most opponents it doesn’t make much difference – if Moiraine, Rand, Bast, Jaime Lannister, etc get Dragnipur’d they will be stuck in there forever, and if Chaos ever does catch up witht he wagon they will be devoured by it, so one way or another they are gone. There’s no way to break the chains (some extremely powerful beings have tried all sorts of ways) and no way out.

    But Cayal in there might be a bit of a different story. What would happen if Cayal got devoured and ripped apart into uncountable pieces by Chaos… humongous explosions so powerful they tear the fabric of the Dragnipur pocket-universe itself, break the sword and he comes out again? I have no idea and I could see it go a lot of different ways…

  • Archon

    @ Yasmina

    Rake is not biologically indestructable… he is an extremely fast, strong, tough, and intelligent version of a race of beings that are already superior (on average) to most… but if Rake decided to let somebody chop his head off with a sword, it would kill him… The thing about Rake is, between his abilities, skills, intellect, and talents, both magical and physical, nobody (including gods) in a very over-powered world has been able to to land a significant blow on him, magically or physically, for over 300,000 years… So it’s actually difficult to say how much damage he could actually take, because he never takes any… It’s not that nobody else has the MEANS to destroy him, it’s just that nobody has the CAPACITY to do so… Nobody has the magical power to overcome his, nobody has the physical capability to overcome his, and nobody has the intellectual capability to overcome his…

  • Annabel


    You might be over-hyping him a little bit. If nobody could match him physically, he wouldn’t have so many arguments with Osseric. Intellectual capability? Well it’s hard to just match wits plainly – he might be better at Kef Tanar than Kruppe but that doesn’t mean he can undermine economies as well as Tehol.

    Thing is, there really aren’t many possible comparisons made in the series between Rake and anyone else because he spends so much time just sitting in his giant flying rock. And even in the first book he casts doubt on whether he would win in a straight-up fight against a particular opponent…


    (Raest, who wouldn’t even have his Finnest, though hard to say if Rake knew that or not).


    Not that Rake isn’t seriously powerful, but he’s not un-matchable even at his own strengths like swords, sorcery or turning-into-a-dragon, let alone things that are beyond his league (Rake vs Korabas anyone?)

  • Chandran

    Well, as a fan of both series, I wasn’t sure who to pick. But that write up was amazing, so I went with Rake. Although, I’ve only started toll the hounds, so not sure if Rake changes in the later books.
    Post finnland Moiraine isn’t really strong any more anyways.
    ********end spoiler************
    but yeah, again, amazing write up. Mutch more entertaining than Granny vs Kylar!

  • AnomanderRakeSoD

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!Malazan Spoilers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Erm lol Rake was the one who captured and chained KORBAS lol – the Bane of all Magic (at least the newer ones) (not Rakes Magic) – it took centuries of planning.

    Also lol – Broods Hammer destroyed Dragnipur for one reason – IT WAS USED TO FORGE DRAGNIPUR……. There is a theme in Malazan with these unbreakable weapons — they can only be destroyed by the item or power that FORGED them – a bit like the ONE RING AND Mount Doom. —

    Rakes DEATH was planned by him — HE IS THE PREEMINENT POWER In the Malazan world. He is above them all… Here is a list of his feats…

    A master of Kurald Galain, Starvald Demelain and Chaos
    He is the only known slayer of Tiam (The mother of all Dragons – the combination of all Dragons in the world) – and without Dragnipur (although she re-manifests) –
    He slew Draconus (an Elder God/one of the most powerful entities in the series)– he earned his respect as well.
    He slew Apsal’ara (the Elder? Goddess of Thieves)
    He slew Hood (the GOD OF DEATH)
    He defeated Kilmandaros (THE GOD OF THE FORKUL ASSAIL) one of the most powerful races in the series – where an average joe of that race would have a good chance of killing Moiraine (and perhaps Sechul Lath – Kilmandaros’s son )
    He has defeated the Soletaken Elient Galain Lord – Pretty much a KING OF DEMONS
    He defeated Osserc (THE ELDER GOD OF THE SKY and of the TISTE LIOSAN RACE) numerous times
    He slew 2 hounds of shadow in a split second while fighting the bunch of them
    He forced the hounds and Ammeanas/Cot – THE GODS of SHADOW to withdraw and threatened to HAMMER THEM IN THEIR OWN WORLD IF THEY DIDNT
    He sealed the gates to Starvald Demelain
    He warred with the pure blood eleints – defeating/killing and trapping many (including the 3 in Shadow)
    He trapped defeated and trapped and CHAINED KORBAS LOL (the otataral dragon) – THE BANE OF MAGIC IN ALL THE FUCKING WORLD LOL
    He filled Dragnipur with a huge number of deadly beings from elder gods to powerful mortals
    He took on THE HIGH MAGES Tay,A’Kar,Hairlock,Tattersail,Calot,Nightchill(an Elder god),Bellurden with cadres of lesser mages supporting them – His power was used to at least deflect onto A’Kar/Hairlock/Tattersail/Calot – killing them all save for Tattersail – leaving Tay unable to stand.
    He had Gothos respect – THE FATHER OF ICARIUM AND RAEST
    He had the power to defeat Dessembrae/DASSEM ULTOR
    He had the power to destroy Azath
    He hammered back Chaos with the pure power of his being, giving gate of Kurald Galain back to the Tiste Andii

    Rake is as much of TACTICAL GENIUS as anyone in the series. It is often overlooked as he has so much Raw power. Endest Silan, Tulus Shorn and Ruin rate Rake as the most intelligent being they have EVER encountered in over 300,000 years of existence. THATS OUT OF Gods/Ascendants or Mortals. Rake laid the impossible trap to capture Korbas. He has warred for 300,000 – 1million years being the most deadly ascendant in MbotF.

    Finally in MoI i think it is quick ben who is absolutely petrified of Rake, wanting absolutely nothing to do with him. THE GUY WHO WON LAST YEARS CAGE MATCH


  • Chris

    I’m going to clear up the issue about callandor and Balefire: I’m near certain that happened in T’A’R, the world of dreams (Though Rand was not aware of that at the time, which likely only helped him), where thought and will become reality. That effectively means that because Rand believed that he could split the weave he could, no more no less. We have no idea what would have happened had that occurred outside of T’A’R. It is likely it would have been unable to destroy callandor, but would have kept going regardless, as the time when it hit a shelf with objects made of cuendillar.

  • Bob

    Thanks Abyss, excellent write-up! Really outstanding!

    I’ve read the WOT books, but haven’t re-read them for a while, so didn’t pick up on the inconsistencies. For those people who did, congratulations. However, instead of jumping on the write-up, maybe just mention the inconsistencies as a by-the-way. I mean seriously, the write-up is totally invalidated because Moraine healed her ears?

    (As an aside, and just because I’m curious, what do people think an Aes Sedai could do if she fell off a cliff – or was dropped at altitude by a Seanchan tor-raken? Granted, she cannot lift herself, which means she can’t fly, but could she create side-drafts or up-drafts using air? Any examples from the books, for or against?)

    My other thought is that if you think an existing solution is wrong, offer a better solution. Doing nothing but attacking the current solution doesn’t solve the problem.

    Thanks again Abyss!

  • a Reindeer

    So, to all of those who keep insisting that Callandor is made of Cuendillar–I’ve read the series four times now, and I don’t recall that it EVER mentions that Callandor is made of heartstone. In fact, it is always stated as being made of Crystal (Cuendillar is not transparent, or even translucent–it is a milky white). So, it is by its properties as a sa’angreal imbued with the One Power that it can split balefire.

    Anyway, to people like Shadow’sBane….even if the match is determined by things other than power, I still can’t see any reason for Rake not to win, except for the fact that more people have read WoT than MBotF. There is a very significant level of complexity to Rake’s character, and it probably is at LEAST equal to what we get from Moiraine, considering her appearances. So, what ways do you think Moiraine might beat Rake, disregarding power?

  • Archon

    @ Annabel

    You clearly didn’t follow the happenings very well… Krupe is close, and Shadowthrone MIGHT be on par, but Rake’s plans encompass everyone from lowly mortals to powerful gods, and in different planes of existence, and (to bastardize a line from the A-Team) he always makes his plans come together… Raest was a Jaghut Tyrant, one of the most magically powerful creatures to ever walk the planet with his Finnest that significantly enhanced his power, and Rake was ‘not positive’ who was more powerful… Draconis was widely considered the most feared and powerful god of his time, and Rake defeated him… Who argues with him is irrelevant. Rake is not a sociopath who cuts down anyone who argues with him, else Kallor would have been dead many times over… And when I say that nobody matches Rake physically, I mean the total package… I’m sure Karsa is physically stronger, and the Seguleh zero is probably a better swordsman… but when you combine the combinations of size, strength, skill, speed, experience, endurance, etc… nobody matches up with Rake across the board. It’s the same way magically… there might be1 or 2 people more versatile than Rake, and there might be 1 or 2 on par power-wise, but nobody can match him across the board… And it’s the same thing intellectually… Think of it this way, Rake might not be the absolute best in existence at EVERYTHING, but he is top 2 or 3 in the things that he’s not the best at, whereas anyone who is better than Rake at something, that’s the ONLY thing they have going for them, and he devestates them in every other way…

  • Tapper

    I was planning to not get involved in a zomg fanboy struggle like this, but considering the flak undeservedly coming Abyss’ way, I will anyway. Someone is taking the time to write an above average quality and longer than normal story on how they’d think the match would go – for our entertainment. That’s something to be praised, especially when it lets the match go through various shifts of momentum.

    I do think someone has to be forgiven for not sifting through 14 books and a compendium just to get magic details right entirely. And if someone (Jeribai) did want to point that out, they could at the very least spell Rake like Rake instead of Drake, since all it takes to get that correctly, is scrolling to the top of the page instead of reading an entire series.

    Anyhow, hopefully a lot of people have discovered new writers and books. I’m very happy about the huge amount of people who have commented that they’ll now read the Malazan Books of the Fallen, either before or after Abyss stepped up (warning: Gardens of the Moon is a tough cookie to get through, but Deadhouse Gates and Memories of Ice will reward and then enslave you), and I do hope a lot of people will be reading Stover as well – the Caine versus Zaphod fight was an absolute highlight this tournament – the latest Caine novel was released today, iirc – and Stover really, really delivers in his Acts of Caine books!

    Myself, I noticed a couple of writers I really want to try and pick up – that’s what these matches are all about, imho: discovering writers, discovering characters and reading fun stuff.

  • tiam

    While AnomanderRakeSOD is as rabid a malaz fanboy as your gonna get on here he raises a crucial point.


    Dragnipur was forged using Brood Hammer and one of the most important features of the MAlaz universe is nigh on indestructible weapons can only be broken by using the hammer that forged them or by the same smith. It is that link between the weapons that allowed Dragnipur to be broken. There is no other way it could have been broken so it is atleast as durable as Rands unbreakable sword which, as someone else has pointed out, had its materials folded to make the blade in the first place.

  • Sean

    Rake vs Nicol Bolas would be epic

  • Annabel

    Okay, I think at this point enough people have made the point that critiquing every last detail in Abyss’ write-up is bad. The number of comments stating this and/or criticizing those who did so far outweighs the number of comments that were actually critiquing the write-up.

    Feel free to keep praising Abyss, Illy and DragonReborn’s write-ups though, because they are all great and deserve praise!





    @AnomanderRakeSoD – that is quite the nice fan-boy list of Rakcomplishments. Allow me to destroy it with my fan-girl rebuttals:

    re: capturing Korbas – numerous other dragons were needed for this, not just Rake – ie he couldn’t do it alone and therefore would lose in a straight up fight against Korbas

    re: Brood’s Hammer destroying Dragnipur – not a theme in the books as it only happened once (and that was actually a case of the Anvil/Forge that created it being the key to destroy it)

    re: only known slayer of Tiam – no he isn’t (Silchas), and given how little we know of Tiam that might not be much of an accomplishment at all

    re: slew Draconus – yes, with help from Spite, Envy and Osserc (and Brood?)

    re: slew Apsal’ara – and that is an accomplishment why?

    re: slew Hood – it was arranged. Counting this means also counting that Rake was killed by Dassem

    re: defeated Kilmandaros – and the only other time we see her fight in the series she goes down in about 2 blows. Not impressive.

    re: defeated the Galayn Lord – true

    re: defeated Osserc – yes, and was defeated by Osserc in turn many times

    re: slew 2 Hounds of Shadow – yeah, that was pretty awesome

    re: threatened Ammanas & Cot – again, yeah that was pretty awesome

    re: sealed Starvald Demelain – no, that was Draconus

    re: warred with the pure blood eleint – Draconus was the one who hunted them down and chased them back into SD, but yes Rake encountered a few of them here and there, but we have no idea how that went down. The three he fought in the Sundering might’ve taken a Hust legion to take down for all we know.

    re: filled Dragnipur – it wasn’t enough, now was it?

    re: Pale enfilade – and not only was lowly mortal Tayschrenn pre-occupied with killing an Elder Goddess and her enormous High Mage Tartheno Toblakai companion, but Tays also dealt Rake and his rock so much damage it had to retreat. I can’t fault Rake for that one, though, because when you’re against MOTHERFUCKING A’KARONYS, HIGH PIMP MAGE WITH A 7-FOOT PIMP CANE the only choice other than retreat is to get pimp slapped by his MAGIC GIANT OPEN-PALMED FIRE HAND PIMP SLAP straight through the Nascent into Aral Gamelon.

    re: power to defeat Dassem – obviously not 😛

    re: power to destroy an Azath – it was a baby Azath, anyone can hurt a baby

    re: hammered back Chaos – that’s not a very quantifiable event…

    re: tactical genius – when the hell was this ever stated? His one tactical move that we’ve ever seen was to completely destroy the flying mountain home that kept his people safe for millenia, just so he could pull it out and squash a crazy Matron with it. If he was so powerful and a TACTICAL GENIUS, he would’ve just flown the damn thing straight to Coral and blasted the magic pidgeons with his PREEMINENT POWER.

    Endest Silann (guy who has been serving Rake for 300 000 years and doesn’t get out of Moon’s Spawn much/ever), Tulas Shorn (guy who has been sleeping underground in Hood’s Realm for 300 000 years) and Silchas Ruin (guy who has been in an Azath for 300 000 years) are really not the best choice of characters to believe if you want a modern, up-to-date and relevant opinion.



    Yeah, I’ll agree with that, good point.

    -Annabel, signing off like Abyss to note that that scene in Gots of Glory where A’Karonys’ giant fiery pimp hand high-fives the Jade Giant’s hand in outer space was pretty fucking awesome

  • AMR

    Regarding the Tiam point,hmmm no.Re-read the scene in Toll the Hounds were Mother Dark and rake have a chat. It’s clearly stated that Silchas is going to drink immediately after rake did. Which means Rake killed Tiam and then other Andiis also drank her blood.
    I also agree with AnomanderRakeSOD on the Dragnipur/Burn’s Hammer relationship.
    For all the rest, I more or less agree with you

    To all those who are ganging on Abyss for a few inconsistencies( which,by the way, made Moraine stronger than she is in canon) I repeat what Tapper already said and remind you that writing a complex, long,entertaining,more or less faithful write up is not easy. I know because I wanted to post a write-up of this match here but gave up midway because it was going nowhere.

  • RabidTairyFan

    Well, looks like I got here just in time to defend the Overlord of the Beards territory from all you insane WoT braid tuggers and Malazan junkies.

    There is nothing to read except the Goodkind worth mentioning, all the classics are as nothing – what is Lord of the Rings, never heard of it, Edgar Rice Burroughs is an imitator, even the Rosetta Stone just a knockoff of the Volumes of Lustiness le Randy’s Tale

  • a Reindeer

    Disregarding everyone else completely, RabidTairyFan….I have no idea what you are trying to say in your second paragraph. o_O At all. Can you re-state that, please? I’m very curious.

  • Eltar

    @ a Reindeer

    Another possible explanation for why Callandor was able to deflect Balefire: Rand was fighting in Tel’aran’rhiod at the time, a place where will trumps reality. SPOILER: Just look at Perrin’s fight in the latest novel 🙂

    @ B. Reed

    1) I saw it. But my point is actually quite valid and applicable. Putting something in quotes is not a get out free jail card, my friend. Please keep that in mind for the future.
    2) Questioning my maturity is not a good sign of your own. Please use your head in the future when making such accusations 😉
    3) I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt here. But I still agree with what I said. I take someone calling me an Abyss fanfreak as a badge of honor. Whether or not he would agree with that… well, that’s an entirely different discussion.
    4) I noticed your comments. I responded to them. If you might notice, my comment was directed at how you made your own comments, not the veracity of the information contained within. Use civility and grace when you argue instead of hyperbole and badgering. It’ll get you farther in life.
    5) You’ve got some logical inconsistencies in your 5th point’s language. Your last sentence sheds doubt on everything else that you wrote. And as Abyss has stated, several times, he has indeed read the series. Please read the comments of the person you are bashing before making assumptions. It helps when you create an argument.

  • RabidTairyFan

    @ Reindeer – you can’t restate the truth, nothing can compare to the masterwerk that is Sword of Trooth. If you cant understand, its because the puny combined 700000000000000 words of Wot & MBotF have choked off your brains reasoning centers and filled them with lassitude. Look it up it means sleepy

  • MoreRabidTairyFan


    Don’t you DARE insult the Sword of Trooth with your lackluster praise! YOUR FANDOM IS NOT ENOUGH FOR THE WONDER AND MAJESTY THAT TAIRY HAS CREATED.

    Kindly leave before I am forced to remove your head for voicing an opinion.

  • bartios

    wow, it is a diference of 31 votes right now.

  • Rose

    I’m just going to ignore most of the ranting that goes on here and continue the topic I started earlier about Rake vs. Cayal the Immortal Prince.

    Just so you know, the issue is not whether Rake can get past Cayal’s defenses, because Cayal is unlikely to put any up against actual killing. He wants to die. So if Rake can convince Cayal that the Dragnipur would kill him (not just incapacitate, because pulling a wagon for eternity or being pulled apart by chaos for eternity would get old fast), then Cayal would give up in a heartbeat. Otherwise, I’m getting the impression that Cayal would flatten him.

    So, I figure Cayal would call a friendly meeting, ask Rake if he has any ideas how an immortal might commit suicide, and go from there. If Rake can think of a foolproof way to get rid of him, Cayal will gladly place his head on the chopping block. If not, Cayal will send him packing, and keep looking for more creative opponents to kill him. He’d probably be really interested in Balefire and avada kedavra, but I don’t know if those would work really either, since he’s tied so strongly to life.

    By the way, in response to whoever commented that probably no one even wants to try killing Tide Lords because of magical backlash, the truth is that no one wants to try cutting off their heads any more. They’re happy to try other methods, just as unsuccessful: the more immediate the danger, the faster they heal. They therefore don’t burn.

    There I’m done. Now you can go back to complaining about the quality of fans in these comments.

  • Annabel


    You can’t really bring normal motivations into a Cage Match – most of these characters, Rake included, would have no reason to try and kill each other under their own “normal” circumstances. Just as Cayal would not put up any defences, Rake would not try to kill him. Maybe Cayal could hold Rake still magically and then throw himself on Dragnipur…?

  • AnomanderRakeSoD

    @ Annabel – Hi Bubble

    re: capturing Korbas – numerous other dragons were needed for this, not just Rake – ie he couldn’t do it alone and therefore would lose in a straight up fight against Korbas

    We have no way of saying if he would lose in a straight fight at all… ESPECIALLY SINCE it is speculated in the Crippled God that a few people would take Korbas including Icarium and Draconus… if they had too. The point is they HAD TO CAPTURE and not kill Korbas… that was the challenge and it was RAKES ultimate plan that made it work.

    re: Brood’s Hammer destroying Dragnipur – not a theme in the books as it only happened once (and that was actually a case of the Anvil/Forge that created it being the key to destroy it)

    WRONG AGAIN… We see the Crippled Gods sword being broken this exact way… it needed the items used to forge it to break it… Reread the passage

    re: only known slayer of Tiam – no he isn’t (Silchas), and given how little we know of Tiam that might not be much of an accomplishment at all

    No again Silchas NEVER SLEW TIAM… he along with a load of others drank after Rake… RAKE IS THE ONLY KNOWN slayer… Tiam may have died giving birth but not in the same way Rake killed her… MD states that he killed her.

    re: slew Draconus – yes, with help from Spite, Envy and Osserc (and Brood?)

    AGAIN NO – Reread the scene in MOI where Rake says Envy stood aside and watched the duel… unfold from the side… not helping daddy or Rake. RAKE TOOK out draconus one vs. one in a week long duel… Where he took his own sword from him and killed him.

    re: slew Apsal’ara – and that is an accomplishment why?

    Well she is an Elder Goddess of thieves.. She is pretty dangerous..

    re: slew Hood – it was arranged. Counting this means also counting that Rake was killed by Dassem

    yes except that Hood reconsidered last second haha … which we don’t know anything about… but Rakes speed was so quick Hood didn’t stand a chance

    re: defeated Kilmandaros – and the only other time we see her fight in the series she goes down in about 2 blows. Not impressive.

    Not at all lol… KILLY kills Scabby (father shadow) she also kills (alongside Rake) a bunch of whatever assailed Kurald Emhuralin

    re: defeated the Galayn Lord – true

    re: defeated Osserc – yes, and was defeated by Osserc in turn many times

    This is never actually stated — show me a quote one — it may have been implied that Osserc held his own but it is stated that Rake handed him his arse on many occassions.

    re: slew 2 Hounds of Shadow – yeah, that was pretty awesome

    re: threatened Ammanas & Cot – again, yeah that was pretty awesome

    re: sealed Starvald Demelain – no, that was Draconus

    No that was RAKE AND THE HUST LEGION – regards

    re: warred with the pure blood eleint – Draconus was the one who hunted them down and chased them back into SD, but yes Rake encountered a few of them here and there, but we have no idea how that went down. The three he fought in the Sundering might’ve taken a Hust legion to take down for all we know.

    We know that Rake killed them… evidence being in dragnipur… and no the Hust legion went into SD… it is stated in COTS meeting that RAKE took down all 3.

    re: filled Dragnipur – it wasn’t enough, now was it?

    re: Pale enfilade – and not only was lowly mortal Tayschrenn pre-occupied with killing an Elder Goddess and her enormous High Mage Tartheno Toblakai companion, but Tays also dealt Rake and his rock so much damage it had to retreat.

    No that isn’t true… A’karonys released the demon that took down Nightchill… because nightchill went renegade. And actually it was A’karonys who overwhelmed moon spawn with fire. Rake almost certainly killed A’karonys because Nightchill was dead… and this is ignoring that at the beginning they were all attacking Rake and he hammered them back… killing a’karonys… leaving Tay the most powerful human mage unable to stand… YES RAKE RETREATED BECAUSE moonspawn was about to break and all the innocents inside would die.. Rake was not prepared for standing up to an enemy that had no concept of proportionality… they were prepared to sacrifice dujeks armies… So Rake didn’t think they would continue to fight…. hence why he had to retreat… if he had been alone he would have killed them all… including the 10000 men at Pale…

    re: power to defeat Dassem – obviously not

    Obviously not lol — are you being serious??

    re: power to destroy an Azath – it was a baby Azath, anyone can hurt a baby

    Lol except for a Jaghut Tyrant… oh and yes K’rul told Raest that if he faced Rake he would be imprisoned in a hell even he would not be able to comprehend..

    re: hammered back Chaos – that’s not a very quantifiable event… Yes it is… in a similar way to how Hood and his legions did

    re: tactical genius – when the hell was this ever stated? His one tactical move that we’ve ever seen was to completely destroy the flying mountain home that kept his people safe for millenia, just so he could pull it out and squash a crazy Matron with it. If he was so powerful and a TACTICAL GENIUS, he would’ve just flown the damn thing straight to Coral and blasted the magic pidgeons with his PREEMINENT POWER.

    What are you chatting about lmfao??!?!? He has been a noted tactical genius in all of his battles in his almost 1 million year history!! Korbas is a point in case.

    Endest Silann (guy who has been serving Rake for 300 000 years and doesn’t get out of Moon’s Spawn much/ever), Tulas Shorn (guy who has been sleeping underground in Hood’s Realm for 300 000 years) and Silchas Ruin (guy who has been in an Azath for 300 000 years) are really not the best choice of characters to believe if you want a modern, up-to-date and relevant opinion.

    The fact that he was the man doing everything and not sitting in the Azath… or in Hoods realm for 300,000 shows the fact that Rake was able to evolve with the times.. He was never arrogant… Oh and Endest got around the block quite a bit. Maybe ask Gothos? Steven Eriksons shaved knuckle in the hole… according to him Rake is the only man in history that made all the right decisions… I rest my case

  • Bob

    Dragon Reborn,

    Nice write-up! I enjoyed reading it. Thank you for posting it.

    PS Who do you think won in the end?

  • Asteron

    @ Shadow’s bane

    You might be right if you weren’t ignoring the whole premise of the Cage Match!

    This is not an epic story or some other “fairy tale” where it is possible to outwit your opponent without fighting them. This is about two characters that go into an arena (sometimes figuratively) and fight to the death. It IS about power. In a straight up fight, Gandalf does lose to Sauron. The Pevensie (sp) children do get turned to stone. Moirane does lose to Rake.

    Please, climb of your high horse before you fall and hurt yourself…

  • Archon

    For those of you who are intrigued by Rake and are considering reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen, I would give you a couple prepratory comments…

    First: Steve Erickson (the Author) is an Anthropologist/Archeologist by trade. As such, the Malazan universe is written in the nature of such a person’s wet dream… the scope of time and space are ENORMOUS. So if you don’t have an exceptional attention span or memory, have a notebook with you when you’re reading so you can keep track of everything that’s going on…

    Second: Ol’ Steve does NOT have a happy view of history… if you like feel good stories, this is not the series for you. He really plays up the misfortune and misery of the common folk they don’t have the means to protect themselves from the powers that be… also, the powers that be are certainly no shoe-in to survive. Think “The Departed” in fantasy series style…

    That being said, it really is a fantastic series and I would highly recommend it.

  • David

    wow only 30 votes between the two of them this is a great write up and im hoping you write the final match abyss. While i understand from what im reading rake is near invincible its looking like the fight between Kylar and him would be the most rewarding….

  • Kosmiczny Duch

    I voted Moiraine

    Have started reading Gardens of the Moon

  • Toste


    If Rake cut Cayal with Dragnipur, sending his soul into the world contained therein, Cayal could find a way to kill himself. if he can put up with it, he can take his chains to the gate of darkness (which is so cold it will snap them, the only possible method it seems from the books), and toss them in. he might lose an arm or something, but then he’s free to walk directly into the pursuing storm of chaos, which will literally unmake him, since that’s what it does.

  • Not Telling

    @B. Reed
    Obviously, you didn’t read my comment. I said that I understand what MOIRAINE can do, not what EVERY OTHER CHANNELER in the books can do. It seems you have two options, have Moiraine strong enough to use the weaves discovered later in the books, but not know them, or have her know them, but barely be strong enough to use them.

    Sorry, that was a combination of misreading, misconception, and mixing up your comment with B. Reed’s. However, can you come up with a reasonable writup in which Moiraine wins?

    @Kosmiczny Duch
    Why didn’t you research Rake first, or at least read some of Gardens of the Moon before you voted. Also, why would Moiraine win?

    @Dragon Reborn
    Great writeup for someone who has not read MBotF, but Rake controls darkness and chaos, not the elements. I would say that if you’ve read both characters in a match next year, see if you can write it!

    Thanks for the great writeup, my only criticizm is that you downplayed Rake’s power. I understand why, so I don’t really mind, it’s better than a one sentance battle.

    Yes, they should do that. Maybe each month they offer twelve matchups to vote on, and the top four get written.

    @WoT fans complaining about Rake not being affected by Balefire
    He was, if you read the writeup, Moiraine just thought he wasn’t. He survived because he opened a Warren in front of it. (though it’s not stated that happened, it’s highly reasonable and very likely would have) Balefire would pass through it like it would an emprt gateway; that is, without stopping or doing anything. To put it simply, it dissapears into another realm.

    Another thing I’ve found strange: All of the Malazan fans, all of the fans of both, and a good deal of WoT fans have commented they see Rake winning, and yet Moiraine is in the lead. Anyone care to explain?

  • Not Telling

    And another thing … do the WoT fans wan’t to see Moiraine lose to Kylar because of the excuses that the Black absorbs everything? If not, please vote for Rake. I have no desire to see two extremely rabid fandoms clash in a massive battle that melts the brains of all who see it.

    And my challange still stands. How would Moiraine beat Rake?

  • Lucifer’s Heaven

    D.I. Waisanen
    I had a feeling it would be something like, and was hoping for an explanatory response, so thanks 🙂
    It also shows the problem with assumptions based on half knowledge. Which is exactly what you did when pointing out





    that dragnipur gets shattered therefor it is weaker (and that really wasn’t meant as any sort of smarmy comment, just an honest example).
    As a whole bunch of people have pointed out since, dragnipur was broken by the hammer that forged it, which is a common way to “unmake” otherwise unbreakable things in fantasy. Plus Malaz likes to mix things like that up. There are no perfects in the malaz universe. Everyone is fallible, nothing lasts forever, everything can be destroyed, no-one is invincible.
    And as others have also pointed out, Brood’s hammer can wake Burn. The entire realm this all takes place in is hosted/created by Burn’s dreams. Waking Burn would end that realm. I’d say that’s pretty similar to “altering the fabric of reality”.

    It’s now been mentioned about it all being in TAR, so while the metal is resistant to balefire splitting it may not be possible with it anyway.
    Still, it does effectively show that balefire can be overcome with the correct application of power, as that is how the metal is made. And I won’t at all be surprised if at some point before the series ends Rand manages to do just that. Along with a big moment of someone shattering that “unbreakable” metal (though that may have already happened in the part where “the fabric of reality” is altered).

  • Burgundy

    I was watching Anchorman tonight and it made me think of this comment section, specifically the, “LOUD NOISES!” part.
    It’s great to rant and rave for your favorite. Hopefully they win! But I’ve noticed a few very vocal voices that seem to hurt their own case rather than help.
    Not Telling, AnomanderRakeSoD, Illuyankas, etc: I think it’s unfortunate that you paint such a broad portrait of Rake. Hell, I know for a fact, Illy, that you yourself called Rake a “Mary Sue” character. It’s not that you’re backing your favorite that gets to me, it’s the way you’ve dragged it through even battles he’s NOT in, like the Kylar/Weatherwax fight and that you’re willing to only voice the positives about the character.

    What about the fact that Tays, a mere mortal, pretty much caused Rake to retreat at the Pale? IIRC, even Korbas was surprised that Rake stayed as long as he did against a mere mortal?
    How about the fact that these “gods” are all closer to roman/greek gods than the Awesome, Amazing powers that be that are portrayed? These “gods” make mistakes and are beaten by mortals all the time in the Malaz world. In [i]some[/i] rights, they barely deserve the name.
    How about the time fluctuation between warrens and the timeline? Rake has been active for quite awhile, I’ll give you that, but the warrens are, in most rights, portals to another dimension (forgive me for simplifying, but I can’t think of a better way to put it in terms others would understand) and some of them even placement based! How much of the time Rake’s been active was due to these time fluctuations?

    All I’m trying to get at is that you’re putting the best face forward, rather than REALLY giving people a chance to know the character and part of the entire reason for these battles is to convince others that the books are worth reading. You’ve failed on that point so far, IMO. The way you talk about Rake is the way Quick Ben was talked about last year (and I know QB doesn’t even have HALF the story Rake does), which represents all the powers without the flaws and it’s the flaws that make a character more interesting. Moraine has her cause, Kylar his internal conflict, Zaphod had his eccentricities.

    Give us a REASON to want to route for Rake! Not just through the battles, but why should we care about him having all this power?

    In that right, I kinda agree with Shadows Bane. Not because we should let it come down to a popularity contest, but because (other than “stated” power) there’s no reason to WANT Rake to win!
    Based on results so far, I’m going to use Kylar as my example: Kylar has a goal, he has heart. So far, Rake has… nothing as far as character. In the battles Rake has overcome, we STILL don’t get a sense of reason to want him to win. Is he protecting? Is he conquering? Is he bored (other than with weak opponents)?
    Quick giving us a straw man of epic configuration and give us a CHARACTER! Then, I’ll vote for him!

  • Voight

    Rake is trying to stop an entire race of people from losing hope. Everything he does is to try and give his Tiste Andii a purpose to live and not to give up. Heart? Rake has A LOT of heart.

  • Jules

    Wow. I don’t usually comment on these things but I can’t believe someone is saying Rake has no character.

    The man has pathos coming out of every pore. He is burden by responsibility to his people. They believe they have no reason to keep going, that life holds no joy or excitement. Rake has to carry his people so they won’t just give up and lay down and die. Rake may not want to shape the world with some grand scheme – his goals are much more intimate and selfless. And the burden that his sword causes him – thinking of that, knowing the weight of it but putting up with it because it would be too great a threat for someone less responsible to possess. Rake is complex – much more so than Kylar and Damodred.

    I want Rake to win because I’ve never felt such a longing to lift the burden of a person (real or fictional) in my entire life than I do when I think of Rake.

    (english is not my first language so I hope I have expressed myself in manner to be understood)

  • Trippy

    Burgundy – Have you read the books? The Malazan ones, that is? You say Quick Ben doesn’t even have half the story of Rake – what do you base that off?

    Rake has great character – it just isn’t in your face, over-the-top or spoon fed. His is a story of tragedy, responsibility and morality. After 300,000 you don’t need to be as ambitious and short-term as Kylar and Moiraine. When your life span is eons you start to realise that nothing ever truly changes the fabric of things. Rake has watched the same scenes over and over and over again just played out by different people. And yet he STILL cares about the Tiste Andii – he doesn’t have to but he does. He STILL weilds his sword because he has a great sense of responsibility. So what if he isn’t ambitious like Moiraine and Kyler? Rake is more selfless than selfish. His own concerns come second to the concerns of what is best for his people. The only other character that I have come across that is even close to being as tragic as Rake is Itkovian (also from MBotF).

    If you want plans and schemes and goals then vote for Moiraine but if you can respect and admire just how hard it must be to be the embodiment of responsibility and loyalty and sacrifice that Rake is then vote for Rake. I hate giving up a good car space – Rake gave up everything but his sense of loyalty, responsibilty and morality. Those three things alone wouldn’t be enough for me – I’d want things like joy and happiness as well.

  • Burgundy

    Jules, Trippy: YES! This is the type of stuff I’m asking for! Give me a REASON to believe in Rake! So far the entire argument is that he’s awesomely powerful (which he isn’t within the entirety of the Malaz books, there are MANY other characters worth mentioning before him), but NOTHING on his character development!

    Great, so he’s powerful. So is Moraine and Bast and others, where’s Rake’s development?!? Show me that he has a cause worth fighting for!
    Even though he loses at the end (debate-ably by his own hand), he come off as one sided. His entire purpose to exist is to keep the Tiste Andii going and… what?

    At least give me (and others) something to work from! So far, it’s all been about his power. Give us a feel of his CHARACTER, or else why should anyone want to read the series other than to see him invincible?

  • Po


    You obviously didn’t read the books too closely, or comprehend them, if you think that’s all there is to Rake.

  • random coment

    let me just say this warning spoilers for MtotF

    the tiste andii race abandon by there god, the embodiment of Darkness. There holy city in ruins by internal conflict, Anomander Rake confront’s is mother, mother dark the god of the realm but refuses responsibility and rake take’s it apon himself for hundreds of thousand of years went the the race weeps the lose of said figure. he set a goal to let his race live to find them hope and to literally prevent the self genocide of the andii. he never let in to is personal ambitions save teh continuation of the andii race. after many years of planing with the god of death and other powerful god and acsendants he loosed himself in Dragnipur and with his heroic sacrifice he tore the berriour mother dark cast herself and returned her to her people.

  • Burgundy

    @Po, Random Coment:
    I’m wanting more said about the “WHY” of Rake. I want to let others know MORE about his character other than that he is: UNGODLY, AMAZINGLY, UBER POWERFUL!

    Shadow Bane has said it quite clearly before (though I think his first attempts were poorly done); it’s not just the magic system vs magic system, but also the character vs character, and so far Rake has ONLY been portrayed by his “supposed” power (which isn’t much compared to the rest of the Malaz world). As stated before, even Illuyankas (who wrote an Awesome/AMAZING write up and is a hardcore Malaz fan) has stated that he’s a “Mary Sue” character.
    The problem I get into with this is there is NO REASON to want Rake to win. Even within his own books, mortals beat Gods, so there’s nothing to make Rake special out of all the rest, especially considering that he’s pretty much considered a god himself.

    Take Cale’s loss to Kylar (I make absolutely NO claims as who should’ve won, in fact I find the judgement of the vote pretty fair, but I could see it go either way). Kemp wrote into it a reason for Cale to win and if you read the comments, even those that though Kylar would win agreed that his books were worth reading.
    I’ve yet to really see the same character build up with Rake and that’s disappointing. If he’s so amazing, so powerful, so great: SHOULDN’T we expect his character to be on par? Not from what I’ve heard so far…

    [I give Po, Random, Trippy, and Jules a pass, as they’ve at least started an outline for Rake]

  • MTS


    “yes except that Hood reconsidered last second haha … which we don’t know anything about… but Rakes speed was so quick Hood didn’t stand a chance”

    If Hood had truly wanted to avoid the route he took, he would have thought of something less stupid than walking up to Rake in physical form and saying ‘oops I’ve reconsidered, lol’. Less an example of Rake’s power than his propensity to see things through and not bullshit.

    “re: Pale enfilade – and not only was lowly mortal Tayschrenn pre-occupied with killing an Elder Goddess and her enormous High Mage Tartheno Toblakai companion, but Tays also dealt Rake and his rock so much damage it had to retreat.

    I disagree with any argument that starts with the words ‘lowly mortal Tayschrenn…’ 😛

    “re: warred with the pure blood eleint – Draconus was the one who hunted them down and chased them back into SD, but yes Rake encountered a few of them here and there, but we have no idea how that went down. The three he fought in the Sundering might’ve taken a Hust legion to take down for all we know.

    We know that Rake killed them… evidence being in dragnipur… and no the Hust legion went into SD… it is stated in COTS meeting that RAKE took down all 3.”

    And yet as of DoD we have evidence that Rake fought at the very least with Kilmandaros, Silanah and Silchas Ruin during the Wars of Shadow, not to mention other Tiste Andii. I’ve re-read that scene, and it doesn’t explicitly state Anomander defeated them on his own, only that he chained them. Big distinction, but important nevertheless.

    “re: tactical genius – when the hell was this ever stated? His one tactical move that we’ve ever seen was to completely destroy the flying mountain home that kept his people safe for millenia, just so he could pull it out and squash a crazy Matron with it. If he was so powerful and a TACTICAL GENIUS, he would’ve just flown the damn thing straight to Coral and blasted the magic pidgeons with his PREEMINENT POWER.

    What are you chatting about lmfao??!?!? He has been a noted tactical genius in all of his battles in his almost 1 million year history!! Korbas is a point in case.”

    There’s a difference between being a genius and being a tactical genius. The latter refers specifically to genius in a military context, which we really have not seen Rake show. Doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be, but you have no basis for making that claim at this point.

  • Chris

    Rake in his own words (from GotM where he is explaining to the mage Baruk why he will not betray their alliance against the Malazan empire) sheds some light on Rake’s character with regard to his motivations, sense of duty and whether he himself thinks he is utterly powerful:

    (No real spoilers contained but I’m quoting dialogue mostly verbatim)

    Rake on treachery: “Once committed, whether against an enemy or an ally, it becomes a legitimate choice for everyone in your command… If I were to betray it [the alliance], I would not long remain the Lord of Moon’s Spawn. And rightly so.”
    Baruk: “And who could challenge your power, Rake?”
    “Caladan Brood, for one,” Rake replied immediately. “And then there’s my four assasin mages. Even Silanah… I can think of others, Baruk, many others.”
    Rake continues: “Does fear hold me in check? No. As powerful as fear is, it is no match for what compels me. Duty… You have a duty to your city Baruk. It drives you, shapes you… Within Moon’s Spawn are the last of the Tiste Andii on this world. We are dying… No cause seems great enough to return to my people the zest for life. I try, but inspiration has never been a great talent of mine.”
    Rake on being addressed as “Son of Darkness”: “that title is held by those fools who think me worthy of worship. I would not hear it from you again.”

    While I’m here, can people be more careful about marking spoilers for certain events that occur in Toll the Hounds? It’ll utterly ruin the part of the Malazan series regarding Rake for anyone who hasn’t yet read it…

  • Chris





    Also (@AnomanderRakeSoD, MTS), Hood’s line “I have reconsidered”, although not obviously so at the time, is a classic example of the fine art that is Jaghut humour.

  • KL

    Moar rabid Tairy fans, plz.

  • First off, Burgundy, thanks for the compliments about the write up (in fact, thank you everyone who liked it, you’re all groovy people). I have to clarify my view on Rake, though, since I adjusted it recently but I’m not sure I wrote it anywhere so you couldn’t know. While Rake in his description is fairly damn well Mary Sue – seven feet tall, son of the creator goddess, supermage, superswordsman, a lot like if Elric and Drizz’t had a kid, colour-changing eyes? I mean, really, Steve – the difference between him and a lot of other terrible characters is that the way he’s written to act and the way he impacts the storyline both when he appears and especially when he isn’t even there, he’s very much not a Mary Sue. It’s a meaningful motivated character hidden under a layer of overtly silly appearance, if that even makes sense. Maybe I should write thematic a bunch of times.

    In any case, thank you all for the nice things you said about my clearly excellent and totally awesome sweet Alabama liquid writeup.

  • Kah-thurak

    “It’s a meaningful motivated character hidden under a layer of overtly silly appearance, if that even makes sense.”

    This does not only make sense, it is in essence what Erikson probably intendet with Rake… the orverturning of a cliché.

  • anynomous

    Not to nock on whoever wrote this, I think they need to read more about the characters they are writing about. Aes Sedai can’t heal themselves, that is explained halfway through the first book and reiterated throughout the series. On the other hand this has sparked my interest in this Rake character, I think I will look up The Malazan Book of the Fallen.

    That is my two cents… thank you.

  • Annabel


    It’s not really worth arguing with AnomanderRakeSoD – he clearly has no grasp of the timeline (Rake seals SD, then Draconus chases dragons through that seal, then seals it some more, then Rake takes Dragnipur and kills now-double-sealed pure-blood eleint with it, what?!), nor was he able to pick up on Jaghut humour and even worse he doesn’t realize how fiery pimpalicious A’Karonys is.

    He’s a lost cause, let’s stop trying to debate with him.


    Thanks for quoting GotM, getting some Rake characterization in here can be nothing but a good thing. If you want to keep at it, there’s a good section in DoD where that big ol’ hag (you know who I mean) is talking about him with everyone’s favourite manservant (you know who I mean some more) that would be quotalicious.

    WoT fans, can we get some Moiraine quotes in here for counterpoint? I haven’t read WoT in a decade and would love to be reminded of Moiraine’s character.

  • Archon

    I’m going to respond to a couple of points recently stated without specifically directing them at the people who wrote them, since I don’t feel like going back through the posts to see who actaully said what…

    1st: For purposes of deciding who to vote for in this tourney based on character, comparing Rake’s character to Moiraine’s (or pretty much any other WoT female Aes Sedai for that matter) is seriously like having a beauty contest and comparing a supermodel to a puke-filled ash-tray… Rake wins the battle of character hands down, and it’s not even close. In fact if everyone were to vote on character, Moiraine would have even less of a chance than if everyone voted on power… I literally spit my drink out of my nose this morning when I saw somebody questioning Rake’s character next to Moiraine’s…

    2nd: The attempts at minimizing Rake’s power… just… stop. Yes, there are many levels of power in the Malazan world, and SOME mortals can contend with SOME gods… but you’re still talking about an over-powered world where some beings have the power to completely annihilate cities, races, and worlds… and Rake is among the most powerful of all. When Rake discusses who could challenge his power, he is talking about his political/positional power, not personal power… Rake would own Baruk in the blink of an eye, and they both know it.

    For those of you that know anything about fantasy football, I can sum Rake up easily… imagine if you had the 4th or 5th pick in your draft, but you got to pick your whole team on your first pick before the rest of the draft was played out… There might be a few teams in that league who have a player or 2 that can compete with some of the players on your team, and maybe if 2 or 3 of those teams decided to combine all of their best players on to one team, they might defeat you, but your team across the board is simply too much for anyone else to handle, and you’d be an easy favorite to win every game you played.

  • MoreRabidtairyfan

    Not even worth voting on this stoopid vote crap. Neither one has the sword of Trooth and that draginpoop is a pale intimidation of the Sword of Trooth. That Moriane broke the rules anyway since she laid with thom so :/ she would regardless.

  • BlindCthulhu

    Alright, Anomander takes the lead! Also, great narrative, Abyss.

  • Danza

    Why is everyone so hung up on the fact that the write-up has Moiraine healing herself? Build a bridge people!!!

  • Trippy

    These ‘Tairy’ comments are suppose to be a joke, right? I only ask because they aren’t in the least bit amusing.

  • Abyss

    Y’know, Aes Sedai really need to work on this ‘can’t heal themselves’ thing… it’s clearly a major flaw in the WoT series. 🙂

  • Someone

    Mmm… Moiraine could only win this if she’d the right horse with her. Bela, I choose you!

    Still voted for Moiraine, though, because she’s the most awesome and epic character ever, never liked anyone as much as her.

  • Shadow’sBane

    May be….i will have to think a bit…i Haven’t read malazan yet..and i plan soon…but i still have SoT-5+ and Dark Tower still to read…i will do a bit reseach on Malazan and may be post a write up.
    Many WoT Fans are voting for Rake just because the Magic System in “Malazan” series is stronger than Magic System In WoT.(some who have not even read Malazan)

    these Cage-Matches are suppoesed to Character VS Character cage-matches…..its makes no sense voting for Magically Strong Character.

    its okay if you vote for Rake because you like him more as a character than Moiraine. But voting for him Just because Magic System of Malazan is stronger tha WoT’s OnePower system Makes no sense.

  • Dicklover

    I’m sorry but neither Moiraine, Rake, nor Rand, for that matter, could touch Richard Rahl should they confront him if he were in the Temple of the Winds. And that’s the Truth.

  • Archon

    Blah… looks like the popularity aspect is going to take this one… that’s too bad. Up until now, the previous annual champions were very deserving, even if they weren’t undisputably the most powerful person in the field… it’s a shame to see that run officially end here…

  • Shadow’sBane

    u mean to say the Book that has most powerful Magic system should win ?
    that’s ridiculous.

  • Archon

    Nope, I mean the more powerful character wins… I don’t consider the magic system in Malaz to be more powerful than the system in WoT… and I’ve read both… I don’t even know why anyone would consider it stronger… but Rake would win the cage match, and it wouldn’t be as close as some people might think…

    Amongst his immunities, Rake is certainly impervious to brow-beating and icy glares… just sayin…

  • Rogosh Orlong

    As a fan of Both series, Rake would just destroy Moraine. It should not even be close. LoL,at people voting for Moraine.

  • I don’t understand why fandoms have to go at each other so hard.

    I’m an enormous WoT fan – I’ve never read Gardens of the Moon. So I voted for Moiraine: partly because I don’t know Rake, but mainly because I think Moiraine is awesome, and could probably figure a way out of this situation despite her inferior power. Also, on a side note, it is unlikely that Moiraine would follow a swordsman able to keep LAN at bay into the WAYS, of all places. Just sayin’.

    But, returning to my original point, it IS possible for more than one series to be incredible. If you read something, fall in love with it, and so refuse to acknowledge anything else… well, you’re an idiot. I read LotR as a child, and loved it – and The Hobbit is still among my favourite books. WoT may be the series I fell in love with, but Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy is incredible. Trudi Canavan’s Black Magician books are amazing. David Eddings’ stuff is pure genius, and Terry Pratchett is great, too.

    If you read a book/series, and don’t like it – fine. Whatever: each to their own. But hating on it just because other people love it is pretty retarded – all it says is that you have a childish mindframe that enjoys provoking conflict. We’re all intelligent people here – aren’t we above that?

    Currently, I’m midway through Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay: enjoying it so far! After I’m done with that, I was going to move onto A Game of Thrones – yes, I know I’m late, but I’ve been reading other things. However, this “Rake” chap has intrigued me – maybe I’ll go with Garden’s of the Moon, instead.

    So please, guys: could we try to go with “I didn’t really enjoy that series” instead of “omg those books are shit you’re a moron and I hope you all die for disagreeing with me” from now on?

  • Shadow’sBane

    that’s the samething dude…
    see it makes no sense if vote that way…
    Tryion and Rake in same tourney?
    that’s bloody Ridiculous…
    hence its a Character Vs Character….vote for character u like…instead of voting of the Magically stronger character…that makes it voting for book’s magic system.

  • Archon

    I’ll clairify my previous comment for the WoT fans that have not read MBotF…

    Magically speaking, Rake and Rand are too close to call… Remove Rand’s ability to be inexplicably cowtowed by simple gestures from female Aes Sedai, and give him hundreds of thousands of years of tactical combat experience… what chance does Moiraine have against him?

    Next to Zero.

    That’s Rake.

    I’m not even going to discuss any matter of physical combat, because Rake is basically an extra-strength version of Rand in that category, and Rand would own Moiraine effortlessly every time that way…

    So WoT fans, in short, pretend that Rake is Rand, but with zero regard for anything a female Aes Sedai thinks, feels, or does, and has been around long enough to have seen any tactic that anyone has ever come up with using the one power… and then try to come up with a scenario where Moiraine takes this…

    Not gonna happen…

  • Lucifer’s Heaven

    I do see where you’re coming from, but it doesn’t really feel like that’s the spirit of it, if that’s the case they shouldn’t pick write ups that revolve around combat, and they shouldn’t call it a cage match. Which is litterally a contest of best combatant.
    Call it the Suvudu Popularity Contest, the Suvudu Dinner Party, or the Suvudu Clean & Proper Debate. Don’t name it after an event where you lock people in a cage till one forfiets, or is physically incapable of doing so.

  • Archon


    You’re calling for an unabashed popularity vote… why bother to have the contest at all then? Just say \We made a list of people for a popularity cage match, and then crowned whatever character comes from the WoT series the winner to save everyone the time and trouble of writing up any matches or actually wasting their time voting…\

    If it was INTENDED to be a popularity cage match, they wouldn’t waste time doing combat write-ups of the matches or coming up with a combat-oriented breakdown of all of the participants…

    People who want to MAKE this a popularity contest are the people who simply want their favorite characters to win, regardless of whether they would or not… Ironically, none of the WoT fans were talking popluarity contest when it was RAND at the plate vs. Jaime or Gregor… then it was all about who would win based on Rand being clearly more powerful…

    If you WANT to vote based on popularity, you obviously have that right… but it doesn’t take a rocket-scientist to see that the competition wasn’t DESIGNED that way, and it is ridiculously self-serving to your own opinion to suggest to people that they should see it as a popularity contest…

  • Abyss

    Y’know… if this cage match had been set up slightly differently, i would have had Nyneave strangle Rake into submission with her braid.

  • Shadow’sBane

    @Lucifer’s Heaven
    i know that you have a point…but voting on just physical power makes no sense…when u have characters like Rake and Granny Weatherwax along with characters like Gimli and Tryion.
    u you only vote based on that then its stupid.
    and mostly the combat write-ups are for FUN only…
    and any thing decided by vote is popularity contest.

    its is logical to vote on basis of Strength if both characters are up-to par or atleast near each other in magical strength….or else just declare the strongest character as winner…no need to vote.

  • Fool’sFoe

    I wish people were required to have some knowledge of the combatants before being allowed to vote. Judging from some “To Read” lists, some people have read very, very little. This whole cage match thing is fun for us who’ve read most of the characters’ stories before but also ridiculous because we see people voting in complete ignorance.

    It’s not supposed to be a popularity contest, that why it’s called a cage match. It just gets turned into one by fanboys.

  • Fool’sFoe

    Wasn’t aiming that at you. I only read the first two in ASoIaF and decided to wait until it was finished having been given decades long metaphorical blue balls by Jordan previously.

  • Archon

    @ Abyss

    As ridiculous as that sounds, I’ll bet you could make a pretty entertaining write up of it lol…

  • telobsidion

    Fairly well done, I think. I’m not very well briefed on Malazan, though I know Rake is incredibly powerful. Even as a WoT fan, I have to feel that Moiraine was given justice in this write-up, even if some of the things she does with the One Power here are impossible in the books (it’s impossible to Heal oneself with the OP, or at least it’s unknown how to do it, and impossible to catch yourself with a weave of air or anything of the sort). But don’t think I’m complaining. This was well done. I’d like to make sure the author knows he has my appreciation.

  • Matthew

    In this instance we’re talking about a moderately powerful magic-user vs. a god-like magic-user. Past matches have involved mice. How could it possibly be anything other than a popularity contest given the disparity in opponents’ abilities. Accept it for the ridiculous fanboygasm that it is.

  • Me

    Why I support Moraine: balefire.

    She’ll use it if she has to, and if Rake is distracted with Lan she’d have an easy shot just completely removing him from existence.

    Having thousands of years of experience and unlimited power doesn’t guarantee victory. Not when the one power is involved. Hence why Moraine has been able to kill Forsaken who are vastly more powerful than she is.

    When the amount of power is insignificant (unlimted vs balefire) it all comes down to who fires first, which means voting for your favorite is a reasonable way to go.

  • Aelfinn

    “Me” made a good point in regards to Moiraine. She has beaten people who should have beaten her, and she has used balefire when she knows she has to. Rake may be on Rand’s level, but Moiraine is also pretty close in terms of her capabilities. Using her angreal, in the first book, she created an absolutely massive wall of fire, and she caused an earthquake, or something close to it. She is no shrimp when it comes to destructive capabilities, and balefire is the great equalizer.

    Rest assured, though, that this fight is the true “final” match. Both of these characters, using any brain power, would be able to beat the other two semi-finalists. It is just misfortune that the loser of this match won’t be in the finals.

  • Darthcaz

    I’m assuming you have no idea who Kylar Stern is, then? Because he can eat balefire for breakfast. Final match: Rake v. Kylar, and let’s hope the universe doesn’t become a casualty in the process.

  • trunuyawkr

    My only quibble is with Moiraine healing herself with Air and Water. In WOT, you cannot heal yourself…. you need others to do it for you.

    Other than that – not bad. :O)

  • Archon

    And here come the inconsistencies that the WoT crowd loves to throw out to justify their vote… I promise you that if this were Rand vs. Moiraine, Moiraine would be getting less than 10% of the vote… but because it’s only someone on par with Rand who is not actually Rand, it’s all about how Moiraine would have a chance… give me a break… If you want to be a fanboy and just vote for your favorite, there’s no law saying you can’t, so just do it… stop trying to insult everyone’s intelligence (including your own) by trying to justify your vote. If these two fight, Rake wins, period… if you don’t like that, then just vote for your favorite without the ridiculous excuses…

  • Aelfinn

    That’s a pretty big assumption you’re making there. He can eat balefire for breakfast? Really? This is his protection-against-magic thing, isn’t it? Sorry to inform you, but if balefire doesn’t work, any indirect magic will. In WoT, if you make lightning with the One Power, it is normal lightning, just directed by the One Power. Same goes for the earthquake, or the giant fireball, or pretty much anything else channelers can do. There is nothing magical about the lightning except for its origin.

    Rake has no answer to balefire. He doesn’t know what it is, and he has nothing that can stop it.

  • Ciaran

    Putting Rake at Rand’s level is SERIOUSLY under powering Rake.

    Anomander Rake has defeated gods that make Rand look like a child in comparative power. He defeated a group of women that we EACH much more powerful than Moiraine.

    This is a popularity contest, through and through, and for that reason only she’ll win, and that’s fine. It’s just funny to me that it’s even being taken seriously enough to try to justify it.

  • Aelfinn

    It appears my last comment didn’t show, so I will reiterate the main points.

    Do you have any proof that Kylar Stern can resist matter-erasing magic so powerful it does it back in time? Even if he did, his magical immunity isn’t going to help him when a non-magical lightning bolt hits him in the face.

    I didn’t want to resort to this, but Rake has no counter to balefire. He doesn’t know it exists, and even if he did, he has nothing to stop it. It comes back to balefire, bitches.

  • Ciaran

    Aelfinn, there are things about Rake that Moiraine doesn’t know. She’d never even have the chance to use balefire…. As a fan of both series, I suggest you actually learn a bit about Anomander Rake before you make comments like that.

    She loses this as a fight.

    She wins it as a popularity contest.

    It’s that simple.

  • Archon


    There is no way in a cage match (or any other time, unless she caught him sleeping) that Moiraine would ever hit Rake with Balefire… He could make her not able to see him in the first place, He could also open a warrent to let the Balefire pass harmlessly into another dimension… and if we’re talking about unstoppable power, Rake’s power of raw chaos would likely cancel out the burst of balefire anyway… Moiraine has zero chance against Rake, regardless of how you try to convince yourself or anyone else otherwise… “Balefire bitches” only applies to bitches, and Rake is NOBODY’S bitch…

  • Mote

    #1: Moiraine cannot heal herself with saidar – it’s explicitly stated in the series that channelers cannot heal themselves.

    #2: Her name is Moiraine Damodred, not Demandred.

    and #3: Moiraine would totally kill him. KILL HIM DEAD.

  • fugufish

    Having read both series, have to support Moiraine here.Rake I think is by far stronger, but contrary to the writeup EVERYTHING is apart of the pattern. Balefire would have eliminated Rake.

  • Archon

    And the fail-a-thon continues…

    Mote and fugufish… whatever helps you guys sleep at night… I hear the the Wheel of Time sold less than 100 copies because it was so terrible… same level of truth to those statements…

  • Kresh

    Personally I have not read the Rake series. I am a big WoT fan, but after having read the write-ups on Rake along the way, my vote went to Rake. From a character standpoint, Moiraine is very weak. She has insights etc on Tarmon Guidon, but that won’t help for a cage match. Honestly, Rake is more than Moiraine could ever strive to attain (or would want to for that matter). I took the cage matches based on what I felt each person brought to the match. Now don’t get me wrong because I’m also a Kylar fan and Kylar VS. Moiraine is no biggie, Kylar in a heartbeat. But Kylar VS. Rake and again it’s rake. Thanks for running this as it has broadened my reading horizons and I am currently beginning Gardens of the Moon and have a back-list of series to read now!

  • You


    Balefire’s useless.


    Rake would just open a warren before the beam hit him. Essentially, it would be directed to another plane of existence. /endfight

  • Mote

    @Archon: Could you please step up your game a little bit? I think you could suck the fun out of this thread a little more efficiently if you REALLY tried.

  • AMR

    Actually,he can just dodge the balefire. Surely it wouldn’t be a problem for someone who can move so fast that godlike beings can barely see him. And this is while wielding a sword that makes stone pillars groan and whose weight was such that its maker believed Rake to be dead with all his bones broken.

  • The broken

    I honestly think this will be a very close match, but I think Rake would take it.

    People keep talking about balefire with regard to wheel of time channelers, but here’s the thing. Even Darkfriends don’t use balefire often, it’s a dangerous weave. As powerful as it is, Moiraine only ever uses it on Forsaken and Darkhounds (who can’t be destroyed by any other means). She would not use it on just any mysterious assailant. Even Rand reserves balefire for forsaken and shadowspawn. It’s the ultimate weapon, channellers don’t just throw it at every single threat that crosses their path.

  • Hoyle

    I never read the other series but i get the feeling Moraine would lose. Also whoever wrote the cage match fiction should get their facts right. The one power cannot be weaves on yourself. The healing and direction changes while falling would not have been possible. NERDRAGE HAS SPOKEN!!!!!

  • Me

    And yet, Rake was killed in his universe while Moraine is still alive in hers.

    Rake opening a warren would be useless.

    Balefire removes whatever it hits (exception: cuendillar) from existence prior to the moment of contact between balefire and that object. This works for people, plants, large swaths of pillars, and even portals to other dimensions.

    The portal would vanish and balefire would continue on like the portal never existed (since, after all, it didn’t) and it would kill Rake.

  • Kvothe_the_Bloodless

    was there a facebook or a blog post by Sanderson? cause it was really close and then Moiraine just shot up in votes

  • Lily

    @Kvothe: Both Ta’veren-Tees and the official WoT site posted a link.

  • macros

    To everyone hating oh abyss for not researching and making the one power mistake.
    Research when you make the rake died claim, circumstances my friends circumstances.

    Looks like the WoT legion of fans will take this, not surprised but it was an impressive run for rake, and its good to see we’re gaining some new readers of the back of abyss’ quite terrible writing.
    Seriously bro, steps in the ways?

  • Lady Bliss

    Indeed Macros. I strongly encourage all of you that haven’t read the Malazan books to pick them up. Join us on the Malazan Empire forum if you have any questions, these books are really full of details and ‘aha moments’ that make them even more enjoyable for those of us that like to puzzle over meanings and connections.

  • You


    That’s like saying balefire would destroy a gateway used to Travel, which is completely speculative, by the way.

  • outfoxedthebird

    Well.. as a long, loooong time WoT fan, and a relatively new one of Steven Erikson, I can say that I know enough about both character to believe that…

    Rake would win, hands down.

    Sorry WoT fans, but we’re talking about God-like capabilities against the will and mettle of a single Saidar user. I believe that Moiraine is an incredible character, but I do not think she’d win against Rake. Sorry.

  • Plan R


    No way, I would totaly vote Moiraine over Rand even if its dark Rand holding the True Power with the Choden Kal in his pocket.

  • serpents and canids

    I love Moiraine as much as any other wheel of timer, but there are big problems with this story. Firstly Aes Sedai cannot heal themselves unless they have a ***SPOILER ALERT*** ter ‘angreal well with a healing weave already programmed into it. Secondly, in the series up to the last book, no one had rediscovered the ability to fly, and air cannot be used to wrap around oneself to cushion a fall. Air can be woven from one solid object to the next, however. But if Balefire couldn’t touch the foe in this short, then none of the other weaves would either, and she would be a shishkabob. Having said that, the foe Rake wouldn’t be able to exist in that reality at all….bad example… Sorry my nerd is coming out, but like the idea of a gaming multiverse, some statistics just don’t translate between worlds…

  • stonewielder

    at the end of the day, it is a popularity contest when fans of one character posts links over websites to get said fans to vote, when it probably means nothing to them compared to you lot besides seeing a char they have heard of win against someone they may not have.

    i thought it was an ok effort on a story, with the right winner at the end. shame it got hijacked.

    to everyone who says balefire would win they are mistaken. i see reasons like everything is of the pattern or it would destroy the warren etc. why should one worlds rules overwrite the others? rake is basically an infusion of dark and chaos. 2 things that exist before anything else but im going with the choas theory as it is essentially before time and form etc of anything we would understand. balefire cant negate chaos.

    also to those whon say rake is dead and moraine is not. thats just silly and retarded as rake set up his own death to fufil his own plans. someone who cannot be beaten by anyone i think of had to plan his own murder to die. how can that person lose in a cage match against her?

    i love both saga’s and this silly thing isn’t going to make me change my mind but when i read this match and voted i did based on what it was meant to be, not “i love that book more” mindset which is ridiculous.

    congratualtions to moraine but was a fix 🙂 lol

    can gank me all you want i dont care just felt like i had to say my piece

  • Po

    Rake WOULD win, hands down. There’s no debating that. But as usual, things like this degenerate into a popularity contest.

    I love both series, and I’d vote for who I actually think would win, not who I like better. Sadly, more people don’t adhere to this sentiment. =/

  • Archon

    @ Plan R

    You’d be part of the 10% I mentioned, and you’re smoking crack if you think it would be higher than that…

    @ Me

    As usual, a WoT fan tries to invoke ‘rules’ while convenietly using only the part of the ‘rules’ that supports their point… Balefire requires a proportional amount to erase whatever it hits… an elder warren that is older that the weave itself (before ANYTHING, there was Darkness, the domain of Rake) would take WAY more Balefire to erase than Moiraine could ever hope to produce… even Rand couldn’t throw that much… so if we’re going to try to site rules, let’s keep them honest and accurate shall we?

    @ Mote

    Talk about the crow calling the raven black… But I’m sure we can come to an understanding… how about this; I will if you will….

  • Jake

    I have been watching this bit of silliness since i saw the first match linked on facebook. I have been polite in comments so far, but i have had enough. My life revolves around fantasy, i know a great deal about it. I have read both of the series in this fight, and like wot, and love mbotf.
    My vote was for Rake, based entirely upon my knowledge of the two individuals, the specifics of their power, and who i know would win. RAKE, no contest, hands down, without question. Rake is more powerful physically, magically, has more experience, and greater resources to draw on, so im not going to go into that, what i will go into is Balefire. IT WOULD NOT WORK! Not because Rake is immune to it, or for some other questionable reason, there is a simple, clear reason that Balefire would not affect rake, nor would it affect anyone else in this bracket. Consider what Balefire does, it burns whatever it is used upon out of the pattern of time, completely and going the entire way through the pattern. Quite powerful yes? So how is Rake not affected? Simple, he is NOT, i repeat NOT in the pattern.
    The creator of the wot saga did not create the worlds of the Malazan series, thus the weave of time that he wove would not run through it, would not affect it, has nothing to do with it. Thus balefire, which only removes someone from the weave of the wot series, would have no affect on these other characters. Stop citing it as an argument for wot characters success. The other uses of the one power are fine, as they do not have that specific wording, and of course the magic of the Malazan series could be used anywhere for anything. Start looking at these matches in the proper light.

  • a Reindeer

    Macros, why do you harp on about the presence or lack of steps in the Ways? Seriously? That’s what you choose to be irritated at? RJ never says whether or not there are stairs in the Ways, but there are ramps. Is it such a leap to assume that there might be steps at the islands, too? What grounds do you have to take your pretentious position and argue that there could not possibly be steps in the Ways? You ridicule with no ground under your own feet.

  • Lita

    Just wondering – If this Rake guy is all so powerful, what are his flaws, his draw backs? What is the point of making a magical being that just well beats everything? Where is the story in that – It’s like playing with a child who thinks they can change the rules anytime it doesn’t suit them so they come out the winner.

    As to those that comment that Balefire wouldn’t work because Rake isn’t part of the pattern. They clearly do not understand the age lace of the pattern. The only thing that is outside the pattern, and that is still in question really is the Creator. And Rake certainly is not the creator.

  • Archon

    @ a Reindeer

    Didn’t you see the earlier post about Macros? He’s a man of wealth and taste… that’s why you’re puzzled by the nature of his game…

    And if the level of posting on here is any indication, only about 20-25% of you will any idea what that means…

  • macros

    The man coulda taken the time to write it properly, falling down non existent steps then catching herself with an impossible weave of air.
    then balefire not obliterating Rake
    I mean its BALEFIRE, it melts stuff, the whole notion is preposterous to say the least

  • Archon

    @ Lita

    Rake is a proverbial good guy, so he has to try to protect people instead of just laying waste to everything to get rid of the bad guys… plus, if you saw my earlier post, Rake isn’t so powerful that he can auto-deafeat a handlful of power-house bad-guys if they band together against him… Plus the Malazan world is HUMONGOUS, and he can’t be everywhere at once…

    As to the second part, it can be partially answered by your first part… Balefire isn’t an auto-win, otherwise there would be no point in writing a story about people that use it…There are ways to avoid getting hit by Balefire, and Rake can use pretty much all of those ways with minimal effort…

  • Marler

    While Rake is undoubtedly one of the most formidable characters I come across, he is by no means all-powerful.
    Moiraine could very well ‘take him out’ in the right circumstances – after all the triumphant underdog is a staple of the genre.
    The point, though, is that she is just that : an underdog (and by a vast margin)
    Having had the pleasure to enjoy both series, I would say that the level of experience/power required to deal with Rake in a head-on cage match, is something I would not expect anyone short of the Forsaken to possess.
    At the very least, I would expect the Choedan Kal to make an appearance in any scenario where Moiraine walks away the victor.

  • Aelfinn

    Saying Rake is “god-like” means little. A god in one universe doesn’t compare to a god in another. Rand al’Thor has reacted to lightning before, and Moiraine’s reaction times should be similar because of them both being channelers, so Rake would have to have some extreme speed to not be hit. Especially considering balefire’s speed.

    People saying Rake isn’t part of the Pattern need to realize that the Pattern is just a metaphor for reality.

    And people saying Rake would just open a warren to make balefire transport away should know that she’ll just fire balefire again. Or cause a giant explosion to erupt where Rake is standing. Or lightning. Or whatever.

  • Po

    Hmm…Hard not to wonder if someone is using a macro to spam votes or something…Considering they were neck and neck and then all of a sudden it’s not even close. Kind of fishy.

  • Lokester

    yeah this result is a farce 🙂

  • Ciaran

    Yeah, it is a faecw, and the WoT fan justifications really make me sad.

    I’ll be seeing some of them at Jordan Con, and I’ll weep for them there too.

  • Ciaran

    Wow, somehow typing and I aren’t so friendly today!

  • Chandran

    Come on now, no need to start bashing the wheel of time fans. Personally, I love both series, and think Rake would win with little effort against Moiraine. I mean, really…. Balefire is fast and all, but even Nynaeve in skirts can dodge the stuff. She does so twice within the span of a minute in Shadow Rising. And Rake is A LOT faster than Nynaeve in skirts :P. But I digress. Heck, if people want to vote for her, that’s that. It seems a little fishy how it jumped up like that, but regardless, in the end, this is just a tournament for fun, and at this point, the “discovering new authors” aspect is kind of gone anyways.

  • Alckie

    I dunno if anyone already told this, but an Aes Sedai cannot use the One Power to heal herself. 😛

  • Helios

    Once again, the Wheel of Time fanbase is being misrepresented a few fanatics. (So too is the Malazan Book of the Fallen). Thankfully, if you read all the comments there are enough reasonable ones in their to at least help balance the bad rep we WoT fans have with other fandoms unlike in previous years. Though I can’t help feel we are only moments away from calling each other names and pulling each others hair. Just for one year I’d like to see my own fanbase maintain, at least in appearance, their maturity, respectfulness and manners.

    I voted for Moiraine. I’ve been reading WoT every year since I was 12 years old. I’m not a blind follower – I know Jordan’s work has it’s faults, contradictions, spelling mistake, even an entire repeated page in one edition – but it’s my favourite series, my favourite characters and my favourite story. So I voted for Moiraine, who is actually one of my least favourite characters, because I want my representative to win. It’s like when you have an annoying cousin you can’t stand but then a stranger starts to have a go at them and you step in because they are your annoying cousin. Loyalty to a book character may be silly but it is obvious from this comments I’m not the only one who suffers from it.

    Despite all the talk about ‘Why would you read Erikson based on Rake alone since he is ‘so overpowered’? I have every intention of reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen series – it has been on my bookcase since last years cage match – because anyone who looks at a single character from a story involving MANY characters to get a feel for a series is naive. If you were to look at Rand on paper there would likely be less incentive to read the Wheel of Time series than Rake creates for the Malazan Book series. Rand is very two-dimensional, stereotypical, plus saying ‘He is EXTREMELY powerful and all the women love him etc’ would make it seem like a bad trashy fantasy novel you buy for $1 at the drugstore. And it would be wrong, because there is much more to Rand and his interactions with the world then can be easily told without giving things away and hard to appreciate without having read the books. I’m sure the same applies to Rake.

    If we love both authors so much why don’t we care enough about them to behave in a civil fashion? How an authors fanbase behaves often reflects on the author themselves. Is this really the way you want people to view Jordan and Erikson?

  • JLV

    Nothing unfortunate about the jump in votes, Terez posted on the Wheel of Time facebook page and got quite a few votes.

  • bibliophile785

    Let me preface my comment by saying that I don’t like the necessity of having to say this:

    Rake, it seems, is going to lose. I suppose there’s a chance that some little-known but simultaneously huge Malazan forum is sitting out there, and they’ll throw 1000 votes in for Rake by tomorrow. Barring that, though, Moraine is going to win. And she doesn’t deserve it. This isn’t a close fight…the write-ups and comments where she wins stretch probability past its breaking point (and there’s no Heart of Gold in this scenario.)

    For the finals, however, Kylar vs. Moraine will be a much closer fight. Whether the ka’kari can absorb balefire, whether Moraine can work around the magic absorbtion with her other skills, how powerfully Kylar’s Talent will come into play…these are legitimate questions. This final round can go either way. So…

    Rake fans, vote for Kylar next round. He’ll need it to combat the enormous WOT fanbase. Anyway, these are Death Matches. Since, if the final matches ended in a sensible manner, Rake would have killed Moraine before moving on to kill Kylar…Kylar wins by virtue of having been spitted upon Dragnipur AFTER Moraine was crushed beneath the Elder power of Kurald Galain.

  • JLV

    Kylar has my vote, if only to spite Terez 😉 <3

  • bibliophile785

    Also, for clarification, I love Rake. I’ve read tMBotF, and Rake is my third favorite character (after Tehol Beddict and Kruppe.) I’m not just a Kylar fanboy scheming to get votes.

    I also have great respect for the WOT writing style, although I’ve only read through New Spring. But Moraine should not be winning.

  • JLV

    I don’t have a great respect for the WoT writing style, but I love the story oh so much. And I can respect the attempt (and at times success) to subvert tropes.

    Still voting Rake, but no hate for WoT.

  • Danza

    @ Po and others

    Yeah, seems simply winning this by overwhelming popularity alone wasn’t good enough. One of the WoT girls was ‘kind’ enough to tell us all about how to use proxies and the like though I’m sure we all could have figured it out for ourselves. There just didn’t seem any drive to do so until it was spread like wild-fire that we ‘should’. Didn’t expect so many to jump on it. I guess winning by a small margin just wasn’t good enough for a lot of us. Personally, I would have prefered Moiraine to win by less then a few hundred – I haven’t read the Rake series but I’ve been over to the forum for Malazan and the amount of effort you guys have put in to ‘encourage’ (yeah, I saw the word ‘blackmail’ a few times 😀 )people to vote and all is amazing. You obviously really care about your favourite series and want to help get it out there. Don’t ever stop. Just don’t become too big for your own shoes like some of my own bretheren or you’ll start getting the same bad rep as us WoT fans.

  • JLV

    I’m sure there were Malazans using proxies as well.

    The difference is that the Wheel of Time has sold over 44million copies (by 2008) and the Malazan Book of the Fallen had sold 250 thousand (by 2006). I wonder which fanbase is large.

    I’d say the Malazans have done pretty well for themselves.

  • Loki

    @JLV – Kylar will be getting my vote for a few reasons:

    1. Brent Weeks ‘The Way of Shadow’ has been sitting less than 30cms away from my keyboard for the last year and I have yet to read it but having Kylar in the final has finally (ha ha) pushed me to read it (I’m on page 12…).
    2. Matador and my brother REALLY like Kylar Stern and have asked me to vote for him.
    3. I don’t like Moiraine – I know she is a crowd pleaser amongst WoT fans but I remember skipping her scenes when I read the Wheel of Time the second and third times (only made it to book 6) because I just couldn’t stand her! I can’t stand any of the females in the first 6 WoT books. Jordan may have been a great writer but he couldn’t write a decent female character – ever. Lanfear was cool but then she had her moments, too many in the end for me to remember her fondly. (Unless he wrote better females in the later books and thus I retract my statement). That being said I didn’t really like any of the male characters either. Well, male characters that weren’t Forsaken.
    4. I like the name Kylar – so sue me 😛

    I’m looking forward to seeing how Suvudu respond to this years cage matches and what they come up with next year 😀

    In the end, regardless of who wins the final the real winners are people like me who have now found new and exciting books and authors to read. I’m already worked my way through Ari Marmell’s Corvis Rebaine series thanks to these cage matches and I’m reading Brent Weeks now. Can’t wait to see what I walk away with next year.

    (This post has been brought to you on less then 4 hours sleep in the last 48 hours.)

  • Archon


    No point…

    If a rabid WoT fanbase has decided that Moiraine is going to win regardless of common sense, then she is going to win… WoT has by far a larger fanbase than anyone else on here barring ASoIaF, which is only close… and unfortunately, the majority of those fans aren’t very objective when it comes to non-WoT literature… and before the few of you that ARE open-minded about it go off, I’m quite aware that you’re not ALL like that, but as you can see from the ridiculous vote here, clearly, most of you are…

  • Loki

    I’d like to point out that Archon’s feelings and opinions are his/her own and do not represent the rest of us Malazan fans.

    Seriously? Why must you insist on behaving like this?

  • Archon

    @ Loki

    Well, it would seem that they should make sure that either no WoT characters are in the mix, or that every character is from WoT and the rest of us can be spared the time of dealing with the tourney while the WoT fans decide it… again…

    At the very least, they shouldn’t include anyone who can use Balefire, since there are so many delusional WoT fans who think that Balefire=autowin against everything and anything…

  • Loki

    @Archon –

    If it was ‘so clear’ that most WoT fans aren’t objective because Rake isn;t winning…..why isn’t Moiraine ahead by 44 million? (Using your stats here, JLV)

    What you mean is that it is clear to you that they aren’t objective because they don’t agree….with you.

    In the arena of narrowmindedness it isn’t the WoT fans who are winning.

    I can’t believe I’m defending WoT fans……nothing makes sense anymore… 😛 (That’s was for you, Terez 😉 )

  • JLV

    Don’t be bitter, Archy.

    They got us fair and square. I agree with many of your points, but WoT fans are human beings (I would assume) who deserve respect. They’re fellow fantasy fans for god’s sake, don’t be a dick to part of the culture that has allowed these books to come into existence.

  • Archon

    @ Loki

    1: I never claimed to represent anyone but myself, and I certainly don’t need a disclaimer from you try to categorize/uncategorize me from any group…

    2: Behaving like what? Like telling the truth? if you disagree with what I’ve said, make a valid point in trying to show that I’m wrong rather than try to generalize my comments as worthy of distain for no particular reason other than that you obviously don’t like them…

  • Apsalar

    @Archon – Because the WoT fans dictate the outcome….. On the unlikely chance that is correct I would like to THANK all the WoT fans for ensuring that Quick Ben won the cage match series last year. It was very, VERY kind of you to do that. I owe you all cookies. 😀

    @Loki – Your lack of sleep and my current boredom should combine to create amusing responses to all of Archon’s comments from now on……but no…..I like these cage matches too much to do that. But it would have been amusing 😀

  • Archon

    @ Loki

    Perhaps you should try reading comprehension…

    My quote “WoT has by far a larger fanbase than anyone else ON HERE barring ASoIaF, which is only close… and unfortunately, the majority of THOSE fans aren’t very objective when it comes to non-WoT literature…”

    Clearly I was referring to the segment of WoT fans that attend this site and vote in these cagematches rather than the entirity of the 44 million who have bought the books… Maybe expecting you to quote outside supporting your point is asking too much… anyway, try again…

  • Tye

    Well… If people are going on straight popularity, Gimli should probably still be here.
    If people are voting on actual legit power of the characters, Richard Rahl should probably still be here.

    This tournament is a combination of the two.

  • Loki

    @Apsalar – I don’t know you (do I?) but I like how you think 🙂 But I too, enjoy these cage matches too much to hijack the comments for my own amusement.

    @Archon – My problem is that I don’t like the way you use words like ‘cleary’ and ‘obviously’ when what you mean is ‘it appears to me’ and ‘in my experience’. You are not an authority on WoT fan behaviour or their ability to be objective so don’t speak as though you are.

    I’m going to start rallying for the next Malazan character to be Fiddler. I think Fid would make an awesome cage match contender – plus, we wouldn’t have to worry about the whole ‘over-powered’ arguement. Fid would survive because he isn’t lucky enough not to 😀

  • Tye

    Oh, and last year Perrin made it a little farther than he should have *cough* *Paul Atreides* *cough* but he didn’t win.

    Malazan took home the gold last year.

  • Archon

    @ Apsalar

    Which is why I included the part about the Balefire… Apparently, the only way anyone has a chance to defeat a WoT character is if they are clearly more powerful and that WoT character doesn’t have Balefire… Again, would be nice if you’d stop taking parts of my comments to trash while leaving out the parts that clearly rebut what your trashing… but then I guess it wouldn’t be so amusing for you…

  • Tye

    Whoops! Sorry, didnt see the Balefire part. Suvudu comments didn’t show that part.

  • Danza

    @Archon –
    ‘My quote “WoT has by far a larger fanbase than anyone else ON HERE barring ASoIaF, which is only close… and unfortunately, the majority of THOSE fans aren’t very objective when it comes to non-WoT literature…”

    Clearly I was referring to the segment of WoT fans that attend this site and vote in these cagematches rather than the entirity of the 44 million who have bought the books’.

    Please, feel free to share those statistics with all of us. I wasn’t aware anyone had done research into the types of WoT fans that frequent Suvudu Cage Matches.

  • Trippy

    @Tye – They have MASSIVE cookie issues on this site. Happens to a lot of people.

    Is it just me or have the WoT and Malzan fanbases found a common foe…… Archon?

  • Silchas Ruin

    No way. Rake would eat her soul for lunch, and go eat a couple hundred other Aes Sedai for dessert. Have any of you read both series? Rake is a god. Moraine is a great and all, but Rake has that fricking sword; he kills gods with it. Moiraine is a great Aes Sedai, but she isn’t THAT good.

  • Voight

    Wha……What happend? One minute Rake was ahead and now he is 1000 votes behind?
    Awwww, bummer.
    Well, I think we did good to keep it as close as we did for as long as we did given the massive size difference between fanbases.

    This years cage matchs have been a lot of fun. Sure, members of several fanbases behaved in less than admirable ways but all in I think most of us maintained our civility. I’ve got a new list of must read books and authors and a pile of books that i need to ‘re-read again soon’.

    I noticed a few WoT fans mention their concern about being seen poorly because of a handful of WoT fanboys – don’t worry too much. Most of us can allow that every fanbase has it’s fanatics and that they don’t represent the fanbase as a whole. The few that don’t realise this are people like Archon and well…..he’s the Malazan version of your fanboys so it’s not an opinion I’d worry too much about.
    To be honest, the WoT fans have been far more civilised then I expected after last years Perrin saga. I expected more name calling and the likes but it seems that element of WoT fans has decided not to join us this year. So if anything, your rep (as far as I’m concerned) has increased positively. 🙂

    The Malazan reputation though…..I fear it may have been harmed this year due to a small amount of fanboys who seem to have no consideration for how they are causing the Malazan fanbase to be perceived. Sure, they don’t have to care but it is frustrating that people may mistake their behaviour as being normal behaviour for Erikson fans.

    Suvudu!!! Thank you again for putting on these matches – don’t ever stop!

  • macros

    simple rebutal to all arguements.
    Morainne is scared to make the lobe with the dragon reborn
    Rake has sex with a dragon

    There is only one winner here

  • Helios

    Loki said:
    @Archon – My problem is that I don’t like the way you use words like ‘cleary’ and ‘obviously’ when what you mean is ‘it appears to me’ and ‘in my experience’. You are not an authority on WoT fan behaviour or their ability to be objective so don’t speak as though you are.

    Thank you, Loki. Unfortunately, people often make assumptions that are unsubstantiated and refuse to accept that they have done so. I appreciate knowing that others can see this and are more critical about what they say.

    Voight said:
    To be honest, the WoT fans have been far more civilised then I expected after last years Perrin saga. I expected more name calling and the likes but it seems that element of WoT fans has decided not to join us this year. So if anything, your rep (as far as I’m concerned) has increased positively.

    Thank you, Voight. I’m glad that some people are seeing a better side to WoT fans then they have seen in previous years.

    Danza said:
    Please, feel free to share those statistics with all of us. I wasn’t aware anyone had done research into the types of WoT fans that frequent Suvudu Cage Matches.

    I doubt those statistics exist outside the mind that fabricated them to begin with. And Danza, it’s unlike you to be drawn into debates with people who can’t see beyond their own opinions. You must be slipping in your old age 😉

  • al Rand Bashir

    Apsalar said:
    @Archon – Because the WoT fans dictate the outcome….. On the unlikely chance that is correct I would like to THANK all the WoT fans for ensuring that Quick Ben won the cage match series last year. It was very, VERY kind of you to do that. I owe you all cookies. 😀

    Hahaha! That is great! Yeah, we totally dictate the end result and we let Quick Ben win because we didn’t want people getting suspicious 😀

    I prefer choc chip, btw 😉

  • Jake

    Well, as it appears Moiraine is going to win, i am disgusted. Even more so because i appears that this victory is due to the size of the wot fanbase. While i enjoy wot, in my opinion it is in the bottom of the top 10 of modern fantasy, and i was shocked to discover its fanbase was so large. I will have nothing further to do with these silly cage matches, as i first thought the actual abilities of the characters mattered, but now that i know the popularity of the series is the main criteria my interest is gone.
    Finally, i will stress again, because it seems many wot fans are too blind to see it, Balefire should NOT work on anyone not in the wot series. The \creater\ in wot did not create any worlds in any other fantasy works. His weave exists only in wot, and therefore Balefire, which burns something/someone from the weave, would not work outside wot. There is no reasonable room for argument on this.

  • Shiara

    This is probably too late in the game to make a difference, but I had a trawl through the Suvudu site (not for the faint-hearted, I can tell you) and discovered this:


    The original premise for the Suvudu Cage Match.

    Please note, in particular, the following:

    “We’re getting fictional characters to beat the crap out of each other.
    My colleague Kaitlin Heller and I–two obviously busy editors at Del Rey and Spectra–thought that it would be fun to take some time out of our schedules to speculate on who would win if the greatest fantasy and science fiction characters were put into a March Madness®-style bracket, and asked to duke it out.
    The answer, though, would be determined by the experts, namely, you.
    As readers, I’m sure you know many of these characters intimately. You know their strengths, you know their weaknesses. And most of all, you know that there’s no way in hell Drizzt Do’Urden would ever lose a sword fight with Hiro Protagonist.”

    So…is this a popularity contest? Doesn’t sound like that was the original intent.

    SHOULD IT BE a popularity contest? I don’t think so. It’s easy enough to set up a simple poll allowing you to choose between ALL the characters and get people to vote for their favourites. A popularity contest does not involve justifying your choices or debating the outcome of a fight; one click and your opinion is made clear. Much less fun though 😛

    As for the inclusion of characters such as Gimli and Tyrion, I agree – they should never have been in a contest of strength/magic/skill. My guess is, they just chucked them in there to make up the numbers and ensure participation across as many fanbases as possible, and there JUST AREN’T ENOUGH powerful characters from those series to join in every year – unless they start making comebacks, of course.

    Then again, the 2010 cage match had Cthulu as a contender, and we all know how THAT went.

  • Tapper

    @ Lita
    APRIL 4, 2012 AT 7:44 PM
    Just wondering – If this Rake guy is all so powerful, what are his flaws, his draw backs? What is the point of making a magical being that just well beats everything? Where is the story in that – It’s like playing with a child who thinks they can change the rules anytime it doesn’t suit them so they come out the winner.

    To answer your question: essentially, Rake is a side character. So, is he off the charts powerful? Yes, he really, really is. He may not be the WoT Creator, but you might say he is his nephew. As for what’s the fun about such a character? Well, truth be told: Rake’s essentially a side character in the series. However, he is one whose motivations, sacrifices and goals (and their resolution) are noble and moving.

    So, to make a bit of a list (long post is long and SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS):
    Rake is the last heir of his people, who are dwindling because they have no reason to live anymore, apart from the reason he gives them. That’s one main weakness. In addition to that, Rake is playing a game over hundreds of millennia and the stakes are incredibly high: risking himself willy nilly is not a thing he’d do.

    Secondly, (and crazy as it may sound), Rake has (had) feuds with rivals as strong as he in proto-history (aka, before there was time, hence reasoning why he might not be part of the Pattern), some of whom also play a role in the books. Most of them died (usually not by Rake’s hand), some of them were locked into eternal prisons, some of them found other things to pursue. It is known that Rake has been bested by a few of them a couple of 100.000 years ago, by his own admission, just never finally so.

    3) Essentially, Malazan power scales are unlike anything I’ve come across so far, apart perhaps from the Illiad. One day, X can beat Y because he has a few favors to call in or ground he can prepare, the next Y will beat X. Not only that, but….

    4) Malazan confrontations are about convergence: a gathering of very powerful individuals at one place, and from there, it is at times a throw of the dice. Rake is just scarily good at predicting events, call it experience :).

    5) by his own admission, Anomander is a relic: a person who does well in chaotic times, when the world itself is locked in a pattern of order and tearing down of order. He is unlikely to find allies and the ones he has are ancient, like him, each with their own grudges and causes and therefore, likely to turn on him or turn away when the moment of crisis/ opportunity allows.

    Hope that helps a bit. There’s much more to Malazan than Rake, although that may not be apparent at first when you read just this cage match 🙂

  • bibliophile785

    As far as Rake’s weaknesses, Topper did a good job summarizing. I think it’s also important to mention that many of Rake’s weaknesses are internal (character-based) rather than external. Either due to a sense of restraint or mere indifference, he has left many powerful enemies still breathing (Osserc, Shadowthrone and 5 of his Hounds.) This has allowed them to rise up against him multiple times. For example, *Midnight Tides spoiler* Mael, the Elder God of the Seas, at one point set Osserc to delay Rake from enacting justice against another powerful Soletaken Eleint….Osserc lost the battle, as he had done multiple times in the past, but succeeded in preventing Rake from achieving his goal. While this isn’t a fatal flaw, it can certainly be viewed as a critical weakness.

  • bibliophile785

    *Tapper, not Topper…too much Malazan on the mind XD

  • David

    While I am still annoyed that Sparhawk lost to Zaphod, I’ve gotta say that this entire tournament has been silly. There were several characters whon possess abilities that are supposedly unbeatable. Balefire, Headology, Black Khakari, Zaphod was a hoopy frood, Rachel was a daywalking demon, the Bhelliom, etc. The only way to advance your favorite character is to convince evryone that their special ability trumps the others. So the question now is: Black Khakari or Balefire?

  • Danza

    @David – It would depend on whether we allow for Balefire to affect characters outside the weave. Personally, I don’t think it would. Someone said that the weave was just another term for reality. I disagree. I have always viewed the weave to be endemic to the WoT universe. Completely tied to that world. I haven’t read Brent Weeks so I don’t know much about the Black Khakari but so long as it wasn’t tied to something directly related to and endemic to Stern’s world I would say that it would trump over balefire…..unless they fought in the WoT universe and then Stern wouldn’t stand much of a chance (though I am unfamiliar with his abilities so I could be wrong).

    Balefire isn’t the ultimate weapon some of us think it is. For one, you can dodge it, you can open portals in front of it, it is limited to the weave……I am all for Moiraine winning because I am a die-hard WoT fan but I’m not going to pretend it came about as a result of anything other than popular support. Moiraine would not win against many of the characters in this years contest. Once you eliminate balefire she becomes a middle tier contender.

  • Suttree

    It may have been posted already but Pat Rothfuss wrote this on his blog…

    “What I did find oddly galling were some of the comments along the lines of, “Bast could never win against X. X has a power level of 9000!!1!”(so good, if I had a dollar for every fanboi post like that)….
    But vastly more irritating to me is the odd opinion that strength/power is the key factor when two people come into conflict.

    The truth is, I find that sentiment more than irritating, I find it troubling. It means a lot of you haven’t been paying attention to the books I know you must have read.

    If power is the only important thing, then Frodo loses against Sauron. Hell, if power’s the only important thing then Gandalf loses against Sauron. If magic is the deciding factor of a fight, then four plucky kids from England get their asses turned to stone by the White Which.

    So yeah, Rake can turn into a dragon, but the point of fairy tales is that they teach us that dragons can be beaten.”

    I totally agree and think it puts everything in perspective a bit. As a side while reading through the comments I was shocked to see posters like Archon make sweeping generalizations towards an entire fan base. As someone who spends a bit of time on Theoryland and DM I can honestly say most people in those communities are pretty open minded when it comes to other series. In fact just today someone got shouted down for doubling up on threads trying to rally people over here.

  • Name Already Taken

    @Shiara –
    Seriously? You went and found the original thread – one that states these matches are about pitting characters against each other so the ‘experts’ could decide who would win – and think that supports the arguement that these ‘aren’t’ popularity contests? You obviously have more free time then most.

    No matter how you look at these matches they ARE popularity contests. Doesn’t matter what you claim the ‘spirit’ of the matches is – the fact is that in practise the majority of people vote for who they LIKE the most. Some vote for those they think would win but I am confident that most vote for the character or series that they are familiar with.

    So you don’t think this is a popularity contest – fine. But don’t go condescending those of us who do view it that way and give a better arguement for your case at least.

    If this wasn’t a popularity contest Cthullu would have won – so despite what you want it to be or what Suvudu want it to be – it IS a popularity contest.

    My money is on Moiraine to win the final though Stern would likely have a better chance of winning if thefanbase were of an equal size.

  • Shiara

    @ Name Already Taken
    I didn’t think that comment was condescending, and if you took it to be so, I apologise, for that was not my intent. I merely stated my opinion that this contest seems, to me at least, to have been intended as a catalyst to encourage fans to debate how the characters from various series would fare in a one-on-one fight. This is still my opinion, though it does not change how people choose to vote, and I don’t expect it to. I’m pretty sure you get this sort of debate a lot among comic book fandom, which is probably where the Suvudu guys got the idea from (wild speculation there, please forgive me my temerity).

    As for how much free time I have, technically I’m at work – it’s just very VERY quiet this afternoon 😛

  • macros

    I wouldn’t worry about shiara, she’s a snooty cow at the best of times.
    She must be really tall, all she does is look down he nose at people, and her tone is always so abrasive and ignorant, she can’t ever seem to make her point politely, always has to belittle everyone around her. I reckon she’s a midget and is trying to make everyone else feel small with her condescension. Look here shiara, your headology won’t work here, we’re on to your underhand tricks and won’t be made feel small with your high horses attitude, climb down lest you injure yourself. Its not the smartest kid I school that nails the cheerleader, its the quarterback.

  • Quicksilver

    I’ve decided to vote for Rake in this competition. While I have great respect for Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series I do not feel it is as compelling a read as Steven Erikson’s Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. I tend to steer away from more mainstream authors which is why I have previously read Erikson. I read the Wheel of Time series after Brandon Sanderson was named the new writer as I am a fan of his work.

    I believe that this battle would result in Rake’s victory as regardless at how I look at it I cannot foresee a likely outcome that would favour Moiraine.

    I would like to say a quick word regarding the manner in which both the WoT fans and Malazan fans have been responding to this match. On the whole, I find WoT fans to be intelligent, courteous and civil people (Helios, for example) but they are greatly hindered by the few fanatics that take it upon themselves to represent the fanbase. With the exception of an obvious few, the WoT fans have represented themselves quite well this year, especially in comparasion to last year.
    As for the Malazan fans – despite having read the books prior to last years cage match the first exposure I had had with them was during the cage matches, especially the final between Vin and Quick Ben. I remember being pleasantly surprised at the way they represented themselves – considerate, respectful, insightful and, well, just a fair bit enthusiastic! It may have been increased due to the comparasion with last years WoT fans but over all I believe it to be an accurate description (as exhibited this year by people such as Voight, Loki, Lucifer’s Heaven etc). I also thoroughly enjoyed the discussions in last years final.
    Despite the few fanboys and fanatics I think both authors ought to be happy with the manner in which their respective fanbases have represented themselves this year.

  • telobsidion

    Moiraine will lose, but a clarification on the WoT metaphysics. It lays the ground for the “infinite and every possible universe” are part of a greater Pattern, including worlds incredibly alien to the WoTverse of the books. It’s certainly a bit of a touchy issue to claim another author’s world is a subset of your “own”, though. Of course, Jordan never really envisioned these cage matches or having to deal with anything like this, so I really guess it depends upon which work your writing from. From the basis of the WoT world, every universe is part of the Pattern. From the basis of other series, of course that’s not true.

    As for balefire, there was a slight mistake about how it works in one of the comments. Older objects and people don’t have any more permanence against it than newer ones. The strength put into the weave determines how far back in time the thread is burnt. You don’t need to burn it all the way back to the moment of its creation. So the idea that Moiraine couldn’t muster enough strength in her balefire to destroy a 300,000 year old character is just false. She could, theoretically by WoTverse rules, just burn it back a few seconds or minutes.

    With all that said, again, Moiraine would still lose this match. Rake may even be able to avoid getting hit by balefire using his magic. I’m not sure what his abilities are, but the basic descriptions sound like his own magic may be able to counter its effects or to cause the weave to unravel on contact or something. I don’t know enough to go into detail.

  • telobsidion

    Moiraine will lose, but a clarification on the WoT metaphysics. It lays the ground for the \infinite and every possible universe\ are part of a greater Pattern, including worlds incredibly alien to the WoTverse of the books. It’s certainly a bit of a touchy issue to claim another author’s world is a subset of your \own\, though. Of course, Jordan never really envisioned these cage matches or having to deal with anything like this, so I really guess it depends upon which work your writing from. From the basis of the WoT world, every universe is part of the Pattern. From the basis of other series, of course that’s not true.

    As for balefire, there was a slight mistake about how it works in one of the comments. Older objects and people don’t have any more permanence against it than newer ones. The strength put into the weave determines how far back in time the thread is burnt. You don’t need to burn it all the way back to the moment of its creation. So the idea that Moiraine couldn’t muster enough strength in her balefire to destroy a 300,000 year old character is just false. She could, theoretically by WoTverse rules, just burn it back a few seconds or minutes.

    With all that said, again, Moiraine would still lose this match. Rake may even be able to avoid getting hit by balefire using his magic. I’m not sure what his abilities are, but the basic descriptions sound like his own magic may be able to counter its effects or to cause the weave to unravel on contact or something. I don’t know enough to go into detail.

  • Po

    Wow, WoT people are using proxies? That’s pretty pathetic.

    Considering that the Malazan votes have never jumped by a bunch, I reject the notion that the Malaz folk are doing the same.

  • yocxl

    If there haven’t been proxy votes of some sort for probably 90+% of the characters in this and every other cage match (including Rake), I’ll eat my hat.

  • dry009

    I am a WoT fan to the core and couldn’t get through the first Malazan book, but…

    I am very, very disappointed that this went from an intense neck-and-neck race to what really does appear to be flat-out proxy abuse.

    This is not the way things were meant to be =/

  • Shadow’sBane

    @Po—u are the one who is pathetic
    Ta’varen tees and official WoT page has posted this match on their page….hence the vote hike.

  • Danza

    Shadow’s Ban – Haven’t we already shot you down once today in the WoT forum? Just stop trying to make out this win is completely genuine. Posting the cage match on Ta’varen or the WoT official page doesn’t explain 200 votes in 3 seconds…because that’s how many more were there between a single page refresh….and 3 seconds is being kind.

    I want Moiraine to win this but this victory rings hollow. I only voted once but I know people were using a loophole in earlier matches that allowed you to vote multiple times by using a private browser. Everyone knew about it and so it was less about who could get the most votes and more about which fanbase was more determined. Now I’m told that loophole is gone and that people are using proxies….still not a big deal. But I’m now hearing rumours of other methids being used in the WoT circles that just seem down right dishonourable. Without an equal field of battle winning isn’t glorious or deserved. Suvudu should have just let the original loophole stand – then it really wouldn’t be about which author has a bigger fanbase – it would be about which author has a more dedicated fanbase.

  • Shadow’sBane

    listen u witless idiot…
    do u know what a Proxy is ?
    200 votes in 3 sec…by proxy voting…f**king impossible.
    with continuous proxy it is possible to get 1 vote per sec..not more than that.
    and this system of Voting does not allow proxy….try it if u wish.

  • Po

    Sigh…That’s the problem with having to talk to people on the internet…You get the idiots like Shadow. =/

  • Shadow’sBane

    and u are the one to talk.

  • Guys, the vote hike is due, not to us “pathetic” WOT fans making proxies, but because it’s been advertised in many places and has reached many people in a short space of time. As was stated above, Ta’veren Tees and Dragonmount have advertised, and most of the members have responded. That’s a substantial amount. For all the WOT haters (most of whom I’d bet have never been able to read the entire series and so shouldn’t judge), don’t make vast generalisations against an entire fanbase.

  • macros

    Shadow, for a second there I thought the Y and O key on your keyboard were broken. But then YOu typed proxy several times. There seems to be another malfunction with it, I would get the situation investigated none the less

  • Shadow’sBane

    i didn’t uderstand what said…
    but u can get situation investigated as much as you want.

  • Uri

    I came and voted for Moiraine as soon as I saw dragonmounts call on facebook yesterday.
    I dont think its a proxy issue.

  • ShadowStroll

    (Yo)u need to learn basic spelling. Is that plain enough for (yo)u?

  • Terez

    Po, Danza—Believe it or not, the vote surge was legitimate. I posted the match on the main WoT Facebook page, which has nearly 30,000 likes. I posted on the Malazan forum when I did so, so that all the Malazan fans could see where the votes were coming from. The Facebook page syncs to Twitter, and then Dragonmount retweeted my tweet on the match. That right there explains where the votes came from. Proxy voting is slow, and none of the WoT fans are doing it at this point because we knew we had better (easier) options to get more votes.

  • Macros

    I don’t believe you Terez, condemned by one of your own, your filthy secret is out.
    You were spotted sacrificing a goat on a hill just recently, reeks of desperation if you ask me.

  • Loki

    @Athena – I think you’ll find that the majority of us have made a point of saying that we are aware that the few fanatic WoT fanboys are not a true indicator of what WoT fans are like. Plus, from what I can gather – the people complaining about proxies are all WoT fans who feel that if that is what happend then they have been cheated out of a ‘glorious victory’.
    You may wish to go back over the comments and read them a little more closely. There are only a small few who are commenting here that think all WoT fans are ‘radib’ and/or ‘pathetic’.

    In regards to Terez’s comment – Terez kept the Malazan fans updated with each and every ‘ace’ she had before she played it. We knew that Rake was about to get a lot of competition before the vote surge started which is why the Malazan fans aren’t complaining about proxies – we knew what was happening.

  • al Rand Bashir

    @Terez – I think Danza was more concerned that a certain plan by a SMALL group of WoT fans to organise a (I don’t know computer terms well) macro (?) or automated program to run through proxy lists and vote for Moiraine had occured. Which I would also be angry about but I saw the post on Dragonmount and Twitter so I think Danza can lay his fears of an unworthy victory to rest.

    @Athena – You may not have wanted to go through all the comments but you’ll find that Archon (malazan fan) and Shadow’s Bane (WoT fan) are really the only people calling the other fanbase names. You said that people shouldn’t make vast generalisation despite making one yourself. Just so you realise.

    By the way Malazan fans, I’m still waiting on those cookies 😀

    Also, I went to lurk about the Malazan forum – seems all the Tairy posts are actually posts by one of the members there – not sure why though.
    And Macros isn’t as bad as he appears….more of a friendly garden variety troll.
    And Terez did inform the Malazan fans of her plan to gain more votes for Moiraine – she was kindly tried and convicted of being a witch and a such was burnt at the stake but it’s okay, there were marshmellows. It was actually all quite friendly and civil. 😀
    Suffice it to say, I plan on making an account there once I read Gardens of the Moon 😀

  • MoreRabidtairyfan

    This is bull the goodkind will come for the in the night and shall smite thee with the SWORD OF TROOTH

  • Terez

    Now I am wondering what these ‘other’, ‘downright dishonorable’ methods are that Danza was referring to. 😀 I think he just made that up because he couldn’t think of anything else we could have done…

  • Tapper

    al Rand Bashir

    By the way Malazan fans, I’m still waiting on those cookies

    Also, I went to lurk about the Malazan forum – seems all the Tairy posts are actually posts by one of the members there – not sure why though.
    And Macros isn’t as bad as he appears….more of a friendly garden variety troll.
    And Terez did inform the Malazan fans of her plan to gain more votes for Moiraine – she was kindly tried and convicted of being a witch and a such was burnt at the stake but it’s okay, there were marshmellows. It was actually all quite friendly and civil.
    Suffice it to say, I plan on making an account there once I read Gardens of the Moon


    Re: cookies – it might just have been an inside joke to a single sentence by a cranky old (and yes, zomgwtfpwn over 9000 überpowered hoary old bastard of a) historian called Gothos in MBotF :D.
    As for joining the board: that’s awesome, I hope more cage match readers will do the same!

  • Sarah

    Woah, proxy much Moriaine fanboys?

    I love WoT, but think Rake would win. While I appreciate this is a popularity contest, cheating to win is really super lame don’t you think?

  • al Rand Bashir

    @Tapper – Aww, man. I was looking forward to those cookies. I haven’t read the books yet so it kinda went over my head. I looked at joining the forum before reading the book but it asks a human verification question that I obviously can’t answer unless I’ve read the books so I’ll just lurk about until I read the book and figure out the answer.

    So, Kylar Stern versus Moiraine. I’m going with Moi Moi of course but I wonder if Stern would actually have a chance. If we don’t allow for balefire, and Moiraine isn’t fast enough or is taken by surprise……I think it could happen but I think Mpiraine is more likely to win tha fight – to many favourable conditions would have to be in Sterns favour to win. That’s my opinion anyways.

  • Sarah

    Also, Terez, this vote was promoted on twitter by TOR and the likes way before you posted it to the facebook page. Yet everything was still quite equal. I find it odd that people with over 30k followers post about this match and a huge surge doesn’t happen, but one post on a WoT page does have that effect.

  • Loki

    @al Rand Bashir – *cough* Surly *cough*
    What….I didn’t say anything…..especially not the answer to the human verification question……. ^_^

    @Sarah – Terez has some pull in the WoT circles. And more WoT fans pay attention to Dragonmount than they do TOR.

  • Kah-thurak

    I find it sad that there is so much bitterness in this debate. It is all good and well that Rake is more powerfull than Moraine. For me he is also the more interesting character. But obviously opinions differ in these things. And if you asked Steven Erikson if a Sorceress of considerable power and a singleminded intend could bring down a powerfull Ascendant in his world you all know what the answer would be.

    It is nothing new that WoT has many more fans than the MBotF, so a vote like this will allway end in “their” favor. But if a few more people read Gardens of the Moon because of this it will be a good outcome I guess.

  • WatcherintheWater

    Great write up from abyss and illy. As a follower of both series I thought it captured the essence of both and made an interesting read for anyone not familar with either.

    I mean thats the point of this whole cage match thing right? I hope so literature like this should be shared and I think the majority of fans from both series would agree.

    My vote for this is Rake. It is a shame however that this vote is taking place now and not a couple months after the release of The Forge of Darkness.

  • That guy

    @tapper whilst I agree , it only takes a quick google search to find pages dedicated to how the magic system works.

    On another note I voted for Moraine just because Rake is rather omnipotent and I find his entry into this cage match a bit strange.

    But I will definitely pick up some new books from these Cage Matches, which was the whole point of these matches anyway.

    So yeah, just my 2 cents.

  • @Loki and Al Rand Bashir, I didn’t say everyone was calling names, and I don’t think you can accuse me of making generalisations. I said “to all the WOT haters out there”, and when I said that, I was referring to those people who labelled us “pathetic”. Perhaps that was an inaccurate statement in the circumstances, as I should perhaps have said “all the WOT haters out there, as well as the WOT fans who think we cheated”. This was not trying to imply that all Malazan fans are WOT haters. I realise that a number of the people complaining here are WOT fans, but I suppose I was reacting more to a trend I’ve been seeing around the internet, where it seems to me that the WOT fanbase is being hated upon unjustly, and that some of the comments here just sparked the anger. I apologise if I offended anyone. And yes, I didn’t read all the comments (there were 260 when I made my first comment) but on the page I saw the comments that offended me the most were Po’s.

  • Archon

    Whatever… use your high school tactics to deflect the points and make it look like there are enough of you condemning me that I must clearly be wrong… all the while completely ignoring the obvious facts that are stated on here by your own people that the WoT fanbase clearly decided that they were going to disregard the intent of this tourney (which has been shown to absolutel NOT be a popularity contest) and come here and turn it into a popularity contest, which, seeing as how everyone is aware that the WoT fanbase is larger than any other, isn’t self serving at all (tremendous amount of sarcasm inserted here)… point is you’re like the older kids who come down to the playground and basically take the basketball court from all of the younger kids who are using it… While not technically against the law, it’s totally lame… Flame away, it doesn’t change the facts of what I just said, the proof is in black and white in these comments that YOUR fanbase has made on here…

  • Terez

    Sarah—We observed last year that the WoT Facebook page garnered far more votes than Tor.dom, Dragonmount, or any other source with the possible exception of Brandon. In other words, it has proven itself to be the most effective social media weapon the WoT fandom has. Those who remember the details about last year’s cage match are not surprised at all at how many votes it pulled in.

    It’s impossible to gain that many votes that quickly by proxy voting unless you have about 300 people doing it. And it’s a pain. None of us were interested in doing it when there were more effective tools at our disposal, as last year’s match proved. As has been confirmed by many Malazan fans, I posted a link to the Facebook post on the forums and a screenshot of the current vote count, which was at that time 1900 to 1591, in Moiraine’s favor. At that time, Tor.com had already posted – 3 hours before, in fact. That gap was the result of their post, along with @twotcast and @taverentees on Twitter, because before Tor.com posted, Rake was leading by about 100 votes if I recall.

    As soon as I posted, the votes began to climb, as we knew they would. No one at Malazan was surprised, because I’d warned them. Between Facebook and the Twitter sync, and Dragonmount retweeting it, we reached about 50,000 fans theoretically. Some of those on Facebook probably have the page blocked from their feeds. In that context, the surge isn’t surprising at all.

  • Terez

    Also Sarah, it occurred to me to check the numbers. Tor.com does not have 30,000 likes on Facebook; they have a little over 7,000, and over 11,000 followers on Twitter, for a combined total of let’s say 20,000. The WoT Facebook page I used has over 27,000 likes, and the Twitter sync has over 3,000 for a combined total of 30,000. Most of the votes obviously came from Facebook, partly because it reaches an entirely different crowd of people. Most WoT people on Twitter follow all the important WoT accounts – tordotcom, Dragonmount, etc. – and thus they voted early on in the cage match when we started tweeting it. Tor.com apparently reached about 500 voters, and the WoT Facebook page probably reached a little less than 1000 additional voters. To compare, Tor.com’s post about the match on Facebook has 5 likes and no comments. The post on the WoT page I used has 68 comments and 68 likes. And of course, most people would have just voted, but that gives you an idea of how many people are paying attention to each page, relatively.

  • wcarter4

    Wow, I’m a WoT fan and even I’m calling shenanigans on the current vote split. This time yesterday there was a 30 vote difference between Rake and Moraine with both around 1,300 and now Moraine magically has 3,000?!
    Come on guys it just a friendly popularity contest/game and a way for Suvudu fans to be introduced to new series. It’s not like there’s anything to lose and no need to cheat…
    This just makes all WoT fans look bad.

  • Terez

    wcarter—Try actually reading some of our comments, particularly my last two, and you’ll see that there was no need for cheating at all. The reason it was so close before is because we waited until yesterday afternoon to play our power cards.

  • Macros

    Now look, as a SoT fan I feel I’m the only one with the authority to speak on the subject of shenanigans.

    What would Richard do?
    besides kicking a child in the face (awesome by the way, I mean lets face it, we all hate children, bitch had it coming)
    He’d look at the facts.

    theres simply no way WoT fans could throw out 1500 in that space of time. That would take 1500 people, or 750, assuming computer and smart phone, voting soon after each other.
    Now they CLAIM that the facebook “page” has 30,000 members, but there’s no way to actually check these figures at all, I bet its got like 4 members, and they’re all basement geeks who live with their mother, coding polly daddy hacks all day long to beat the rest of us.
    so we’ve established that the WoT fandom has some nerds in basements coding for them, and the was a vote surge.
    I’m going to go ahead and put 7 and 4 together.
    That’s right, eleven.

    Eleven suggests to me that not one Malazan fan from earlier in the comments has complained about the vote jump, because anyone involved from the go was voting as many times as they could via whatever mediums they could.
    If it was possible to throw out a script to mangle the votes, it would be ticking up at a steady number, constant increments. Not splurges. Splurges would suggest something informed a lot of people and they all ran and voted at once because their beloved verin, sorry, siaun, sorry, morainne (hey, im sorry, too many bitches to count, I am such a palya!) Now facebooks 4 people couldn’t have achieved this so there must be a decent number on the facebook page.
    so I clearly can not choose the wine in front of YOU

    this leads me to conclude that san dimas rules!

    also, considering the voting splurge the pages pulled in last year for Quick ben these voting patterns aren’t that surprising, you should all get your heads out of your asses and acknowledge that if there were an exploit malazan fans would have been all over it like a rash, because believe me, they were trying

    the filthy cheating scum

  • Terez

    It was Quick Ben vs Jon Snow that I used the WoT Facebook page for last year, wasn’t it? I forgot. There was a bit of a row about it…it pulled in a lot of votes for Quick Ben, but some angry WoT fans for using the page to promote non-WoT stuff. :p I used it for Vin too if I recall. And never used it to promote Perrin, hence him losing. :p

  • Stacy

    Wow. Talk about be careful what you wish for.

    I’m going to open up the proverbial can of worms and discuss the proverbial elephant in the room.

    I thought that the concept for this tounament was an incredibly fun idea. Unfortunately, it was no secret that, up until last round, it was very easy to cheat the votes. This seriously tainted my view of the tourney and I thought how much better it would be if they fixed the issue so that it was at least far more difficult to cheat. Even more unfortunately, I’ve come to find that fixing this issue does not restore the tourney to it’s original awesome potential, because the Jordan fanbase can now run unchecked through these tounaments by turning it into a popularity contest (which is far less awesome), which they are clearly more than willing to do. Last year’s result was an aberration based on cheating… I personally know multiple people who each voted in the triple digits for Quick Ben last year. And it is very apparent that they weren’t alone when I see that the Malazan crowd was able to come up with over 4 times as many votes for their semi-final match last year than this year, where cheating has been made much more difficult.

    Jordan crowd, you’re the biggest, nobody is disputing that. So perhaps we can come to an agreement where we would preface future cagematches by declaring up front that the WoT participant is the popular champion, and then maybe the rest of the tourney can continue on as intended? It would be nice to actually experience this tournament as it was intended rather than see an obvious outcome from a popularity vote. If they put the Lakers into the March Madness tounament, how many people other than Lakers fans do think would have any interest in it? If we all just admitted right up front that you would win a popular vote, would you vote straight?

  • Macros

    but stacy


  • Macros



  • Terez

    Stacy—We did that last year, hence Perrin not winning. He could have won, but some WoT fans felt that he shouldn’t, partly because he wasn’t the type of character to stand a chance against powerhouses. If Suvudu continues to put powerful WoT characters in the cage match, then they will continue to do well. Do you think every contestant should bow out if they happen to have a popularity edge? Aren’t the least popular characters suffering all the way down?

    I personally wouldn’t have an issue if Suvudu picked someone weaker for us for next year, like Perrin again. But this year they happened to pick a character that has a lot of love in the WoT fandom at the moment. Not the best choice if they want to give other fandoms a chance.

    Personally, I’d rather they allowed votes by private browsing, all the time. I agree it’s more fun when everyone has a fighting chance to win. I’m not sure why they keep disabling it.

  • Jada

    H8RS GONNA H8.

    (I’m a long time WoT fan, but right now I’m just happy that I have a new series to read. Malazan here I come. Can’t we all just get along here, guys? Seriously?)

  • Not Telling

    The only cheating way I know is voting from different IP adresses, and thats only theoretical. I’m kind of dissapointed in the result, as WoT fans are trying different ways to justify Moiraine winning, and when one is shot down, they go to another. First, it was mistakes in Abyss’s writeup, until it was mentioned that those mistakes made her stronger. Next, it was character, claiming that if Rake was so powerful, he would have no character. Despite being so powerful, he has much MORE character than Moiraine, much more, in fact, than most characters from a common sf/f setting. Last, they all flocked to Balefire, insisting that its an autowin against anything, yet WoT characters dodge it all the time. It was also mentioned that Rake could simply open a Warren (for WoT fans that don’t know what that means, it means make a portal to another dimension. Balefire can’t destroy what isn’t there.), and Balefire would pass harmlessly through it.

    I also think that there was SOME cheating on both sides, but slightly more on the WoT side.

    I am next round voting for Kylar, as his abilities seem to completely render Moiraine’s useless.

    I am also wondering how Moiraine could win. Any WoT fan, please write a reasonable writeup in which Moiraine wins.

    This is sort of a popularity contest, but also meant to be which character would win. You are naturally going to be biased towards your favorite series, but if you’ve read another series which has a character you know would win, you are most likely going to vote for them instead.

    Please Suvudu people, don’t have a WoT character in next year. We know that they will win, or make it to the semis at least, simply because of fanboyism. (Fanboyism can be a compliment as well, it means you are dedicated to your series. However, dedication in excess is being relentless, and no one likes that.)

    @Whoever suggested Fiddler be the Malazan rep next year
    No, it must be Kruppe.

  • Stacy

    @ Terez

    That explaination doesn’t mesh with the fact that Perrin got twice as many votes in last years semifinal as Moiraine got this year… Without the capacity for cheating, assuming that the Malazan group put up a comparible number of votes, Perrin would have crushed Quick Ben last year… It clearly doesn’t matter which WoT person they put in.

  • Terez

    Not Telling—If anything, there’s been a great deal more cheating on the Malazan side, as any of them could tell you. Those of us who are paying attention know that. (Not that I have anything against it; when you’re an underdog, you gotta do what you gotta do to win.) And just because some WoT fans have offered some stupid scenarios as to why they think Moiraine should win doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for her to win. She’s a clever girl, and Rake is not immune to attack.

  • Not Telling

    Yes, my last post was asking for there NOT to be a WoT rep next year. They simply get too many votes. How about this; they pick a WoT character, and 64 others, and the winner of those 64 others gets to face the WoT rep.

    Quick Ben is one of the most popular characters in MBotF, from my experience. It’s not suprising, considering he’s a main character in the series.

  • Terez

    Stacy—Both sides were cheating quite heavily last year in the semi-finals. They didn’t limit voting by IP until some time during the finals. And as I said, we didn’t promote Perrin on the Facebook page last year. If we had done so, he would have won. We didn’t do so because we didn’t think it was fair for Perrin to win. Obviously, those who were cheating on the WoT side felt differently about it, but only certain ones of us had power cards to play, and we abstained for the most part. Dragonmount and some others promoted Perrin on Twitter, but it wasn’t enough.

  • Deadricfox

    I did not read all of the comments but I just have to say this, towards the end whoever wrtoe this battle story wrote “Moraine Demandred…” Her names is Moraine Damodred!!! Demandred is one of the Forsaken. I am very upset with whoever wrote this because they obviously do NOT know anything about Moraine, so there. Moraine wins, end of story

  • Stacy

    @ Terez

    You’re only strengthening my point. If a ‘renegade fraction’ of the WoT fanbase is still capable of demolishing other fanbases short of wholesale cheating, Then why bother to have the tourney? Again I say, if a blanket statement prefacing the tournament were made declaring the WoT character the popular champion, would you guys vote straight? We could even post this proclimation on your sites so that the WoT ‘powers that be’ could be appeased enough to grant us lowly followers of less popular series a boon and not unleash your hordes that you could choose to do at any time to crush us all ( again, your words only strengthen my point).

    I really like the concept of this tourney, but if nothing can be done to stop the WoT fanbase from turning it into a one-sided popularity contest, then there is really no point in me coming here anymore.

  • Terez

    There’s plenty that can be done to stop the WoT fandom from dominating, as has been discussed in detail above. And it’s hardly a renegade faction of the fandom that controls the vote, here; if we were renegades, no one would be paying attention to us at all. As for playing straight, we’ve been doing that all along this time around. Playing straight is how we win. As for there the ‘point’…well, there’s not really much point to cage match in the first place, is there? WoT will likely dominate for a few years, and then fade as other popularity powerhouses rise. What’s the fun in a cage match if there is no clear frontrunner to defeat? I’m sure Suvudu won’t miss you much if you don’t find it fun any more, but I’m also pretty sure the Malazan fans will be back in force next year, along with others.

  • Stacy

    I see… a very diplomatic way of saying that you have no intention of not turning this into a popularity contest, since nobody can stop you from doing so and (vague referrences to hope for the future aside) you know you’ll always win, and anyone that doesn’t like it can see themselves to the door… understood. Thanks for being honest. Bye.

  • Jason

    Wow… that about says it all I guess.

    The fact that the WoT fanbase sees turning this into a popularity contest as ‘playing it straight’ doesn’t leave much room for discussion. Guess this is one site I can remove from my bookmark list.

  • FastWave

    Zealot WOT Fans: Rake is overpowerd!!!!

    Zealot WOT Fans: Moiraine can Balefire, one shot kill!

    Malazan Fans: Does anyone else see the disconnect?


    Rake would obviously mop the floor. I mean Moiraine got taken out for (what) 7 books cause she fell through a doorframe?

  • Terez

    Jason—WoT fans don’t turn this into a popularity contest just by being the most popular. It’s a popularity contest either way, just by its nature. The astute observer could have picked that up from the way it’s set up, but I suppose some people require trial by fire.

  • JLV

    Come on guys, really? Unfortunate that Rake is done for, but don’t try to belittle the WoT achievement.

    Did they vote using proxies? Probably.
    Did the Malazans? Of course.

    People don’t seem to understand how small the Malazan fanbase is compared to the WoT fanbase. The biggest organized push for Malazan comes from the Malazanempire.com forums. There aren’t very many active members there, and we have nothing comparable to the WoT facebook numbers.

    Rake has 1900 votes, and I can tell you right now Malazanempire doesn’t have a thousand active members. The Quick Ben stuff came from fanbase dedication, as does the amount of votes for Rake.

    I’d also like to point out that all of the people railing against Terez are (as far as I know) not members of the Malazanempire forums. There’s a great community there, and we have such creative individuals as Abyss and Illy who like to spend time writing things for a site unrelated to them.

    Seriously, check us out. And read the books.

    Also, the human identification thing at signup is Surly.

  • FastWave

    Previous comment should have been labelled SPOILERS.

    My bad, sorry folks.

  • I know that I’ve never been able to vote on a match twice from the same IP, not early in this year’s Cage Match and not in previous years. If I tried, it would show results for me but would tell me that my vote had already been counted so Idk what all of the cheating accusations are based on. WoT fandom is huge and with fans promoting the Match to their friends, I don’t see that the jump in votes is suspect… it’s just the fandom showing up. It’s not like it was 5k votes in a day or anything… many of the matches have garnered that many votes for a character so I’m not sure why 3k votes in 3+ days is out of the question. Especially when Mo accumulated over 2,500 votes in Round 1. *shrug*

    Also, why the WoT fandom hate? I’ve never read MBotF but have had my eye on the series for some time… and this year’s Cage Match featuring Rake has made me want to read it more. I certainly wouldn’t bash that series’ fandom because they’re enthusiastic about their character and his abilities. All of that enthusiasm makes me more interested in the series, it doesn’t make me hate it (and/or the fandom) just for the hell of it.

    Though to the SoT fans that are WoT haters, I have read the first book in that series and OMG, it took me something like 2 months to slog through that yawn-fest. So your enthusiasm and WoT hatred just make me chuckle.

  • Kenny

    Awwwww That’s a shame.

    A friend of mine told me about this cage match. He said I missed most of it, but the semifinals were still on. The idea seemed so epically cool, I had to check it out. Then I see that Rake is getting his ass handed to him by Moiraine, and I think ‘what the hell is going on here?’ Following through the comments, I see that the WoT crowd has changed this to a straight popularity contest. So much for great ideas eh? I saw someone quote that it’s like big kids stealing a playground from little kids. It’s actually worse than that. This was a fantastic thing that was ruined by the ideology of an entity that nobody can argue with. It’s more like if somebody bought the Sistine Chapel and painted over the main figures with images of Bart Simpson and Peter Griffin. They own it, so nobody could really say anything about it, but they just robbed everybody else of an incredible object so they could suit it to their own tastes. Well, okay, that’s a pretty over-the-top example, but you get the idea. Anyway, I guess I’m fortunate that I haven’t invested any real time here, so I’m not really missing out on much. Would have been nice if it were real though, and it did give me the idea to look into different sites to see if maybe I can one that does it right, so I guess it’s not a total loss. If I find one, I’ll pop back in here and let you guys know.

  • QuickTidal

    Oh and even though Terez is diehard WOT fan, she’s still okay in our books. 😀

    At the Malazan forums we are hardcore, but I doubt we’d ever match WOT numbers.

    Ah well, I still think Rake would have mopped the floor with her…but that’s based on powers alone (oh and personality naturally)

  • Annabel

    Many WoT fans believe balefire to be an instant-kill move with no limitations (they are wrong, and the really dedicated WoT fans know that it is more complicated than that).

    Many Malazan fans believe that time in the warrens flows differently (they are wrong, and the Malazan fans who understand the Silanda side-plot realize there is no need for time to be any different in warrens).

    Let’s put both of these ignorances together and Moiraine balefires Rake’s existance back 100 years out of his 300 000+ year existance. Foreseeing his approaching ripping from reality, past-Rake hops into the Nascent, time-travels forward and confronts Moiraine again. She balefires him again. 200 years down, 298000 to go. Again, past-Rake reads the Tiles and hops into the accelereated Nascent time, confronts Moiraine again and she balefires him again.

    Rinse and repeat 2998 more times, or however many times it takes for hatred to become love and they go elope in Ebou Dari, both deciding they are sick of fighting and they raise a family and grow shit.

    Lan, bored, becomes the Seguleh First.

    The end.

  • Terez

    Kenny—How would you suggest making it ‘real’? Again, WoT didn’t ‘change’ this into a popularity contest; it just is one.

  • WatcherintheWater

    Dunno Annabel maybe a blackmask at a push but first nah.

  • bahaha

    The problem here is that Rake is almost omnipotent.
    If people were voting on the side of who would win an actual fight of course Rake will beat everyone, and that ladies and gentlemen is why these cage matches are usually a popularity contest.

  • @Annabel:

    “Rinse and repeat 2998 more times, or however many times it takes for hatred to become love and they go elope in Ebou Dari, both deciding they are sick of fighting and they raise a family and grow shit.”

    This is awesome. :o)

  • Terez

    300000-200=299800, not 298000. Just saying. Also, Lan as Segulah First? Awesome…

  • Vinny

    @ Terez

    Doesn’t sound like Kenny is coming back to answer you, but I felt the urge to chime in here…

    This was posted once before, maybe you missed it.


    As has also been mentioned before, the Character breakdowns and the combat write ups are a pretty obvious indication that this tournament was not, repeat; NOT designed as a popularity contest.

    Now, I’m not going to suggest, as others have, that it was solely the WoT fanbase that turned it into a popularity contest, but (once again, this has been mentioned before) it IS very self-serving for the WoT fanbase AKA the largest fanbase on the site to simply declare it a popularity contest, because you know that as long as it stays that way, you’ll never lose unless you ‘choose’ to (in your own words from a previous post).

    To clarify the point, it is NOT in fact, a popularity contest by design, and there are plenty of posts from people on here to prove that not everyone votes by popularity. And even though the WoT fanbase it not solely responsible for it ‘turning into’ a popularity contest, the problem for everyone else is that they ARE one of the few fanbases large enough to make anything but popularity voting moot. If somebody from The Salvatore fanbase says its a popularity contest, nobody cares because their fanbase isn’t big enough to auto-win based on that perception… but because the WoT fanbase IS large enough to win based on that perception, it probably seems to some people that they are solely responsible for that being the case, since they are actually large enough to make it true.

  • Annabel


    (in ref to bahaha’s comment)

    I love it when people call a character who dies omnipotent… obviously not!


  • Terez

    Yes, everyone knows it was not designed as a popularity contest in spirit. But it was designed as a popularity contest in practice, because I doubt the Suvudu guys were ever quite naive enough to think that it would ever be anything different. We didn’t declare it that way; it was simply that way from the beginning, and knowing human nature, there’s no real reason to believe it will ever be different for most voters. Yes, some of us try to take the actual viability of our representative contenders into consideration, but most do not. Most don’t even read the comments and many don’t even know who the opposing character is. I never said that we won’t lose unless we choose to lose. In fact, I said that WoT would likely dominate for a few years, and then fade in the wake of other rising stars. The WoT fandom is only out in force right now because we’re a little angsty about the last book. After that, it will continue to be a popularity contest, whether or not we like it. It would be less so if Suvudu would allow multi-voting by private browsing, but even then it would be a popularity contest.

  • Vinny


    Wow, talk about taking something out of context.


    First, he said “Almost omnipotent”…

    Second, Again, he dies because he kills himself to save the world. Which is not even close to the same thing as what you’re implying.

    Don’t let annoying details like that stop you though.

  • Vinny

    @ Terez

    I’m not going to argue the nuances of why it is or isn’t a popularity contest and who did or didn’t make it that way… I was only pointing out facts that would show why people see it the way they do.

    The fact is, the WoT fanbase is one of maybe 2 fanbases on here that is actually CAPABLE of making it an actual popularity contest, so when your fanbase is declaring it a popularity contest, it’s at THAT point that most people have to accept it as such. Anyone else making such a declaration is just blowing wind. Thats just a fact, with no opinions relevant. Ergo, from THAT viewpoint, it COULD be said that the WoT fanbase are the ones making it a popularity contest. THAT’s an opinion, but clearly it’s a commonly held one.

    And I am gonna call you out on the statements you made… when I said that you said that you ‘chose to lose’ I was referring to your comment that you could have won the Perrin fight if you had wanted, but you decided that he wasn’t suitable to win… and that if Suvudu wanted to give other fanbases a chance, they would have to use WoT characters who were not favorites, so that your fanbase would likely decide to not back them as hard… I’m paraphrasing of course, but you DID say that, and you don’t have to look very far back to find it.

  • Mujtaba

    i know what you mean.
    but it is just not right to put handicapped Dwarf in a tournament with characters like Granny Weatherwax , Anomander Rake and Moiraine Damodred….if you all wish this to be anything but a popularity contest take characters that are near equal in power.
    like Create Divisions in cage matches like
    Heavy Weight.
    that would solve most of the Problems.

  • Here’s an idea. Make registering mandatory and allow voting only for registered users. That should really take care of the most blatant cheating efforts no?

  • jeandiata

    I’ve read all the posts and can’t believe that no one has realized why Moraine wins – it’s very simple. The wheel itself. It’s not done with her. She cannot be killed until the wheel weaves her out of the pattern. There’s one book left to go….then perhaps the wheel will release her (and the others in the WoT world)

    As for Rake not being part of the pattern – he’s shown up in Moraine’s life, so he has become a thread in the pattern. It’s a small thread – and since the wheel has no use for him….the thread gets burned out by Moraine.

    Regarding the matches being popularity votes and that the WoT fanbase is too large to be fair. Just be glad Bela (the horse, not the sparkly vampire lover) hasn’t been entered in the matches. Not only would the WoT fanbase turn out in record numbers…..you ALL would cave to the awesomeness of Bela and turn your votes to her.

  • JLV

    I think we’ve gone over this in the past. Divisions by power or caste (eg mages/warriors) would be boring as shit and take the fun out of this idea.

  • Terez

    @Vinny—You’re not making any sense. WoT doesn’t have any more power to make this a popularity contest than other fandoms do. In other words, if you took out the most popular fandoms, you’d still have most popular fandoms. Would the margins be closer? In some cases, probably. But it would still be a popularity contest.

    As for the comment about Perrin, it was specific to that particular match. The point being, of course, that in that case it wasn’t a popularity contest, only by virtue of the fact that certain of us decided that it shouldn’t be. In other words, the popularity aspect is still underlying the outcome of the match. There were various people in the fandom at the time who thought I was being silly (even traitorous) for going against Perrin. There were some who could have fought it, but chose not to. But the popularity of WoT won’t last forever, in terms of how many online fans we can turn out. If it was really a popularity contest, Twilight and Harry Potter would be destroying all of us.

    @Mujtaba—The Suvudu guys have spoken on this, and they don’t think it will ever happen. They like throwing the regular guys in with the heavyweights, for some reason.

  • Vinny

    @ Jeandiata

    If we gave absolute homefield advantage to anyone, the match is pretty-much over. That’s not the answer, because you could just as easily say that Rake’s domain of Chaos and Darkeness predate existence, including the wheel and any threads in it, so Rake would be absolutely immune to anything Moiraine does. And that would be equally pointless…

  • Annabel


    I’m not sure you understand what omnipotent means. It has nothing to do with motivations, just with abilities. And Rake has the ability to die from a sword to the face, or a bullet through his skull, or having all his limbs ripped off by dhenrabi, etc, so he is clearly nothing close to omnipotent. So unlike what bahaha said, there is definitely not a problem here of Rake being “almost omnipotent”.

    Just like Ba’alzamon makes super-thin razor blades with Saidin in TDR, Moiraine could conjure a razor-thin blade with Saidar behind Rake’s head and slice it off, and that would kill him. Whether Rake has the sense to notice it and the power to stop it or the agility to dodge such an attack can be debated extensively, but the point is that there’s no “Rake is omnipotent so he wins no matter what” effect in play.



    That is awful. You could make that argument for pretty much every character in this tournament. The Wheel isn’t done with Moiraine? Well Mother Dark isn’t done with Rake so as soon as he dies she re-creates him 10-ft taller than he was before. Alternaitvely, after Moiraine kills him Hood doesn’t let him pass through the gate and now Moiraine must fight Zombie Rake.

  • Annabel

    re: “because you could just as easily say that Rake’s domain of Chaos and Darkeness predate existence, including the wheel and any threads in it, so Rake would be absolutely immune to anything Moiraine does”

    Not really. Eleint are pure Chaos, which predates all else, and they still get their butts kicked by things that they predate aplenty.

  • Vinny

    @ Terez

    It’s pretty simple math…Let’s see if you can understand it from a different angle… look at the vote totals in some of the (post cheating fix) matches… lets say that the 3000 WoT voters decide to vote for the person who would actually win in nearly any given fight on here (post cheating fix)… who would likely win those fights? The side with the most fans voting for the popularity? No. The side that the majority of the WoT fans felt would win. The other numbers are too small to be significant next to 3000 WoT fan votes in most cases.

    To put it another way, if you and 15 of your friends are hanging out at a club, and some college dude comes up to you and says that you’re not welcome there and that you need to leave or he’s going to kick all your asses, you’re probably going to ignore him because it’s one guy who’s not wearing a badge and whether he is right or wrong, he doesn’t have the ability to make his assertation matter… but if 200 guys come and say the same thing, you’re probably going to listen, not because what they say is any more or less true than when 1 guy said it, but because they have the ability to make that assertation matter to you. It’s really not that difficult to follow.

    And your comment about Perrin proved my point, you did chose to lose, knowing you could have won if you wanted, but you just didn’t like Perrin enough to feel he deserved to win. And as for that being an isolated example, of course it is, because that’s the only time a WoT character has lost, so that point is moot.

  • Annabel

    “The side that the majority of the WoT fans felt would win.”

    WoT fans aren’t some amorphous glob. Almost every WoT fan has read some other novel that has a character in this tournament, but not every WoT fan has read the same other novels. Those 3000 each have their own opinions about every other novel and they aren’t united about it, so each will vote as they choose in every non-WoT match-up, the very same as LotR fans vote in non-LotR match-ups and Malazan fans vote in non-Malaz match-ups, etc…

  • Vinny

    @ Annabel

    My fault, I should have clarified that I was referring to the power of anything Moiraine might do that would involve the designs of the Wheel, which is simply a similar point to the one you made in your own retort to Jean, leaving me to think that your just trying to pick, since you clearly had the same thought I did about her comment.

    Also, Omnipotent means “All Powerful” which is not intrinsically the same as “Invincible”, or “Immortal”. In Rake’s case, yes, he can literally die, but his ability to counter pretty-much anything that could make him die (proven out over 300,000 years), added to his ability to destroy NEARLY anything else, is what makes him “Almost” omnipotent. And again, you’re picking… it’s pure somantics. However a person achieves the ability to do such things is fairly insignificant to the fact that they CAN do those things.

  • Vinny

    @ Annabel

    Not exactly sure why you keep nitpicking, but if you’re going to try to pick on my comments, maybe you should keep them in context… I’m not sure how you interpreted that me saying that “The side that the majority of the WoT fans felt would win” equals me saying that they would all think the same… unless you don’t know what the word “majority” means.

  • Annabel

    Well of course I’m being a pedantic bear! Where’s the fun in anything else?

    Thanks for the clarification on the predating-the-Wheel thing, I get what you mean now and yeah that makes sense.

    Yeah, you can interpret “omnipotent” in various ways, but it’s almost always supposed to be taken as meaning unbeatable, and Rake most certainly is not. Do I think he’d kick Moiraine’s butt without even raising his heartbeat? Yes. Do I think Caine would’ve shot him through the head with a sniper rifle before Rake even knew he was there, without even raising his (Caine’s) heartbeat? Again yes. When you’re only hard to kill in certain contexts, that to me is not anywhere near “omnipotent”.

  • Vinny

    @ Annabel

    Fair enough… as you were… pedantic bear 😉

  • Jake

    After reading through the posts, i have decided to bring some light to what is clearly some lack of understanding. To those of you who have not read the Malazan series, Rake may seem omnipotent and unbeatable, however that is not true. What is true is that no one in this bracket would have a prayer against him. The Malazan series operates on a much higher level of power than many others. Powerful mages can sweep away armies, smash cities, cause destruction on a scale unimagined, and those are just skilled human mages. While Rake is one of the more powerful beings in the Malazan universe, there are others of equal power. Put Draconus in here, or Osserc, or Olar Ethil. They each wield similar magical power to Rake, and while they do now wield a weapon as terrible as Dragnipur, they are still ancient and godlike entities who in no way could be overmastered by Morraine Damodred. Lets face it, if Rake was in the wot series, they would have no need of Rand, or Balefire. Even the dark one would fall to Dragnipur and spend eternity chained to the wagon, pulling the gate of darkness.

  • jeandiata

    @Annabel – true….but Moraine will continue to win until the Wheel decides to cut her thread. (LOL at Zombie Rake)

    @Vinny – For the chaos and darkness predating the wheel….how so? Maybe I’ve forgotten – but I don’t remember reading anywhere about how old the wheel is.

    Assuming the predating to be real, for arguments sake – then the creator would have created the wheel in light and order (which is why it is a pattern) to conquer chaos and darkness. Therefore, anything of the wheel will ultimately prevail.

  • Harsahib

    like im a huge WoT fan too but this is sad i like anomander rake and he deserves to win this fight this is just sad on part of fans who vote based on series @.@

  • Vinny

    @ Jeandiata

    The point was, you’re arbitrarily saying that the rules of the Jordan universe apply to everyone, and anyone could make that claim. There are at least a dozen people in this competition who would be unbeatable if everyone had to follow all the rules of their author’s universe… the ‘home field advantage’ if you will. By your reasoning, Moiraine would have no chance against Zaphod in Douglas Adams’ universe because the improbabilty drive would make the most improbable happen, even if it were effectively impossible, improbability physics generates an irrational number that would make it happen.

    And even in the Jordan universe, you don’t know what the next book will contain, so who knows, maybe the Wheel decided that Moirane’s ultimate use was for her to get killed by Rake so that a more important character doesn’t. In which case her thread would now be burned out ;p

  • Brother of Battles

    These write-ups, while usually entertaining, needs to be more fact based. It always seems like whoever writes them up, knows only 1 on the characters and has cliff notes of the other character. In this writer up, it is obvious that the author knows Rake very well, but has only been told what the One Power is capable of, not what the individual channeler can do. Since when can a channeler heal herself? I voted for Mor only because of this write up being obviously in favor of Rake and she being the underdog.

  • Vinny

    @ Harsahib

    It’s even more sad when you consider how the WoT fanbase could use it’s power in this tournament for good instead of evil lol…

  • Vinny

    @ Brother

    This has been discussed quite a bit… truth is, the errors in the write up actually give Moiraine a better chance than she would actually have had… if you take away those errors, she loses even more quickly. And this is what is galling many non-WoT fans on here, your attempt at justifying why you voted for Moiraine is clearly just that; an attempt at justification. Clearly you voted for her because she’s your favorite character of the two, and there’s nothing against the rules about that… just be honest. “And the truth shall set you free!”

  • jeandiata

    @Vinny – The Wheel weaves as the Wheel will. ;oP

    Seriously – I haven’t seen anyone present the rules of Rake’s universe. So I’m going with the rules I know. Since we are dealing with a \God\ and a woman that the Wheel has deemed important…..how would the universal doctrine of Malazan treat them?

  • Brother of Battles

    I did vote for Moiraine because she is the one between the two that I know. But that is neither here nor there. It is similar to when Moiraine faced Bal’al in the WOT universe. She was easily out matched but the wheel wanted her to win. Since this was set in the WoT universe, maybe the wheel wants her to win this match as well…

  • Annabel


    Moiraine isn’t ta’veren though, right? So does the Wheel really protect her from everything because she’ll “be needed”? I thought Moiraine herself said to Rand, Mat and Perrin at one point that even though they are strong ta’veren they can still be killed, that the Wheel won’t protect them just by default. Wouldn’t the same apply to her, even more so since she’s not ta’veren?

    The closest Malazan equivalent to ta’veren would be being favoured by the god Oponn (the Lady side). Oponn is the two-faced god of chance, the Lord for bad luck and the Lady for good luck. If you’ve got the favour of the Lady, you might have ridiculously good luck, ie: 3 guys shoot arrows at you and they all happen to hit the sheath of the sword on your back, narrowly missing your neck. Or as you try to fire your crossbow at one of three approaching enemies, you trip, drop your crossbow and it goes off at just the right angle for the bolt to bounce of a wall and impale all 3 of your enemies instead.

    Rake is not favoured by Oponn, though, so he wouldn’t have any of that benefit.

    As for dealing with Moiraine, thematically Malazan has very little sense of “fate” so if she were in a Malazan book she’d be just as vulnerable to everything as everyone else, regardless of how important she may be to overcoming some later challenge. However, this is a thematic part of the series, not an actual “rule” of the Malazan universe, per se.

    That answer your question?

  • Shade

    Well, since this one is pretty much decided (I’m not even going to get into the debate of whether it was honestly come by or not), I know who’d I’d like to see in next years match: Cal from the Nightlife series. His ability to make gates would be very interesting when going up against others and he can be downright diabolical.

  • thehiso

    If Rake is basically unbeatable due to all of the things mentioned in the comments above, then why is he only a 3 seed? Why even have a tournament if no characters could beat him? If this was a true popularity contest how come Harry Potter has already gone home? He has literally millions of fans.

    Vinny, I’m sorry your favorite character is going to lose but don’t blame the WOTers for voting on who they think would win. Just because you believe he would win doesn’t make it true. The makers of this tournament obviously thought there were at least 8 characters stronger than him(Moraine included) because that is how it was seeded.

  • chosen

    If no one else will say it I will. The WOT fanbase wins when ever it wants to. The WOT fandumb has only one challanger the aSoIaF fandumb but GRRM didn’t mobilze them this year and they had a weak character, well weak in power not in character. and yes this a populatity contest. The seedings were set on 2 factors power and fandumb strength. The purpose of the matches is to pit well known characters against lesser known one’s, in order to introduce them to new audiences. Not to determine strength, determining strength is easy.

    So the Malazan fandumb can whine about the results all they want, and if they didn’t I would say their fandumb lacks heart. So yes WOT wins this round, in the next round we punt Kylar into orbit. We win when we want because we are the strongest. Maybe one year we wont, maybe Malazan will be, its certainly deserving of it, but not this year this is the year of the Dragon.

  • Alstax

    I thought it was very obvious that its a popularity contest when Revan (Jedi) defeated Tomas (Demigod?). I mean I love Tomas and I voted for him but I only know 2 other people who have read The Magician, as opposed to all the people I know who have read Star Wars books.

  • Mablung

    Rake’s gonna lose to a woman.

  • Stonetwig

    This comment really has nothing to do with the fight at hand, but i am re-reading the coldfire trilogy and they should most definitely put Gerald Tarrant in the bracket next year. Or Damien. Damien should probably win just because his name is so awesome. Damien Kilcanon Vryce. Ooooooooh…. its makes my spine tingle.

  • Mablung

    There’s also a typo – it’s Moiraine DAMODRED. Demandred is one of the Chosen.

  • Aelfinn

    Two things:
    1. Moiraine, just like any WoT channeler, can create air shields out of the One Power that are impervious to any outside force (barring balefire). They are immune to it, so she could throw a shield up that Rake would never be able to get through.
    2. Just because Rake is capable of bigger explosions doesn’t mean that will do much good here. Moiraine causing an explosion right where Rake is standing (the weaves will go through/around any defenses) will kill him just as fast as a giant explosion. Accuracy negates pure power.

    Call this a justification if you want. In some aspects, it is. But I am going to argue for any WoT member that has a fair chance (honestly, balefire gives all the channelers a fair chance). I didn’t vote for Perrin last year when he went against Quick Ben. I know a magic-user will take out a non-magic user nine times out of ten. Comparing the two is useless. So I voted for QB, even though I didn’t know him. But here, Moiraine has a solid shot. And at that point, I follow my preferences.

  • Changeup

    @ thehiso

    the post right under yours, along with many others, completely destroys the fallacy you were trying to feed everyone… Moiraine is winning due to popularity, and there are tons of posts on here to back that up. There is NO legitimacy to your post.

    @ Jean

    LOL the ‘universal doctrine’ of Malaz?

    Life sucks and then you die… if you’re lucky your life won’t suck too badly and you won’t die horribly.

    Seriously, the concept in MBotF is almost the polar opposite of WoT. There are no guarantees for anyone. I saw a post earlier where somebody compared it to “The Departed”, and that’s pretty accurate. Some of the most epic heroes in the story die in the most awful ways. If Moiraine were in the Malaz universe, she would die with a quickness if she were counting on some sort of ‘fate’ to hook her up.


    To say that Rake is ‘not favored’ by Oponn is misleading. Only common mortals are affected significantly by Oponn, as Oponn is one (one in this case being fraternal twins) of those younger, weaker gods whom some mortals can contend with. And even if you look at the elder version, The Errant, he still has little or no pull over ultra-powerful ascendants like Rake. Oponn’s influence is far too subtle to be used effectively in a match of cagematch magnitude, especially since many of the people in these cage matches are too powerful to be affected by them.

  • Changeup

    @ Aelfinn

    You’re assuming that nothing in any other universe is as powerful as Balefire. Not true. Rake’s power of chaos is at least as powerful as Balefire. Moiraines air shields would be worthless.

    Also you keep suggesting that Moiraine could come up with some sort of magical combat strategy that no mortal, god, or otherwise has ever come up with in Rake’s 300,000 years of combat, many of whom were easily more powerful than Moiraine. Pretty sure he’s going to be able to counter any ‘obvious’ attack she’s going to throw at him… easily.

  • Dicklover

    Rake’s loss may be a travesty but Richard Rahl being knocked out by Bast, ridiculous. The order of winners should have been 1)Richard 2)Rake 3)Cale 4)Kellhus 5)Thomas 6)Caine (though if you take Caine at the end of Blade of Tyshalle, he may have been able to challenge even Rahl) 7)Granny/Moiraine 8)………..and last would’ve been Racheal and Lilly.

  • Kayne

    Ok, kiddos, Balefire wipes it’s target from EXISTENCE. Sorry, but anything this Rake guy does just changes the structure of of an object or person. Their molecules and energy still remain, just in an altered state. Meaning, Balefire is an instant kill, as long as moiraine can hit Rake in a vital spot. Moiraine may not be as powerful as him, but skill sometimes beats power. And Balefire is definately an ace in the sleeve.

  • Annabel


    Oponn can affect anyone, be they gods, Ascendants, mortals, capemoths, whatever. That’s why they revel and meddle so much in convergences, because they might have the opportunity to make an Ascendant stumble.


    But when I was talking about those favoured by Oponn, I mean like Corabb or Ganoes Paran (in GotM), where it’s more than just the usual luck or even the ordinary occasional push/pull of Oponn, but rather good fortune twisted to the extreme, so much so that it defies plausibility and has a tangible effect on the person (Fiddler, with magically enhanced vision, can actually see the luck raging in Corabb like a cancer, in RG). This would be the closest thing Malazan has to the ta’veren effect in WoT, where the Pattern itself twists events and people to match what Rand, Perrin and Mat need to happen, so some assassins can screw up due to weird chance happenstances and such.

    Now the Errant is a whole different kettle of fish – but he is the Elder God of fate, not of chance (that honour goes to S. Lath), and given that there is no Path or younger god of fate, it doesn’t seem to be a necessary component of the Malazan universe. Judging from religion and the Errant on Lether, it doesn’t really seem like there ever was universal “fate” in the Malazan universe, just people who believed in it enough to make a God and a Hold for it – giving the Errant the power to alter their fate, but not to make it undeniable.

  • Dicklover

    Oh, sorry; And that’s the Truth!

  • Dicklover

    I love you

  • Aelfinn

    Balefire gets through the shield because it removes the target molecules from existence completely. It breaks the laws of physics and destroys matter. It does not convert it. The nature of the shields, because they are powered by the OP, make it so that outside forces can not affect it unless the force outright removes the particles of air from existence. And just stating “Rake will have seen it” means nothing. I am certain he has never faced balefire before, and it is probable that people fight differently across universes.

  • Dicklover

    and you.

  • Changeup

    @ Kayne and Aelfinn

    Sorry guys, but there are plenty of us on this site who have read both series, and to a person (don’t take my word for it, read back through the posts), every single person who has read both series knows that Balefire can be avoided, and that Rake is WAY more capable of avoiding it than people from WoT who have done so, whereas the reverse is not true. Moiraine is simply not powerful enough to take what Rake can dish out. You guys are just spouting what you WANT to be the case in light of enormous evidence against it. If you’re just going to declare that something is true when just because you really want it to be, why stop at a cagematch fight? You guys should be saying \I am the wealthiest person in the world\ or something like that. And again, don’t take my word for it… look back through the posts and see that EVERYONE who has read both series knows that Rake would win, even though Moiraine can Balefire… sorry, doesn’t fly, no matter how many times you say it.

    @ Annabel

    We’ll have to agree to disagree, Oponn is frequently disregarded by several higher powers in the books, and the people you mentioned are not high-end ascendants… plus, let’s remember that some people, who will go unnamed, that are favored by Oponn still die horribly… Oponn’s power may be the closest thing the Malazan world has, but it’s really not that close.

  • Aelfinn

    I love you, too? I can’t tell if you’re trolling. Whatever.

    When has balefire been dodged? Not often, and there have always been special cases. In one, the balefire was moving laterally, as in sideways, so that is not its true speed. In another, Rand reacted to it and blocked it with Callandor. The only advantage HE had was that he felt the weave forming before it happened. Balefire is near lightspeed, or at least lightning-fast. Rake isn’t dodging that, unless you want to tell me just how fast he is?

    Just saying that people who have read both say that Rake would win does nothing to disprove my points.

  • yocxl

    Kinda late to the party on this, I know, but if it wasn’t designed as a popularity contest why are some of the matchups so ridiculously mismatched? Regular, nonmagical fighters versus godlike magic users, mice versus men, children versus robots… It’s either popularity-based or poorly thought out.

  • Po


    I’m not a WoT hater. I love the WoT AND the MBotF…I’ve read them both multiple times and eagerly await the end of the WoT series.

    My anger has to do with the proxy voting which someone ADMITTED to telling people on WoT fan boards how to do. I hate that a good, close contest was ruined by cheating. THAT’S what I think is pathetic. And as has been said elsewhere, it’s not just about the fandoms “showing up.” Trust me, the Rake folks were spreading the word, too. The votes were incredibly close, and then in the space of just a few hours M jumped ahead by hundreds of votes. Up to that point, it’d remained very neck and neck.

    I’m not the type to be angry when a win or loss is well earned, but you bet I’ll be bummed out if a loss is fake or gained by cheating. And, let’s face it, this IS the internet. It’s not as if people care much about things like cheating and fair play for the most part around here. Play any online game ever. =/

  • Terez

    yocxi—I believe the words the suvudu guys use are ‘David and Goliath’. They find it fun. I think the point is supposed to be getting authors to do write-ups, but in order for that to happen they generally have to win. Which is sometimes not incredibly feasible, since certain online fandoms are more active and more tuned in.

  • Po


    I’m not a WoT hater. I love the WoT AND the MBotF…I’ve read them both multiple times and eagerly await the end of the WoT series.

    My anger has to do with the proxy voting which someone ADMITTED to telling people on WoT fan boards how to do. I hate that a good, close contest was ruined by cheating. THAT’S what I think is pathetic. And as has been said elsewhere, it’s not just about the fandoms “showing up.” Trust me, the Rake folks were spreading the word, too. The votes were incredibly close, and then in the space of just a few hours M jumped ahead by hundreds of votes. Up to that point, it’d remained very neck and neck.

  • Po

    Ack, sorry for the double post!

  • Carl Williams

    @ Aelfinn

    I’m a fan of both series, you want facts to disprove your points? Easy. Nynaeve dodges it as well, and Rake has shown that he can move too fast for high-powered ascendants to follow. Also, as has been mentioned, much like Rand blocking it, Rake can open a warren to darkness in which the balefire would simply enter another dimension and never reach Rake, at the same time Moiraine now cannot see Rake anymore to target him. All of this is ignoring the fact that Rake only needs a fraction of a second to press his own attack on Moiraine, which she cannot withstand. Chaos energy is similar to Balefire in that it totally dismantles anything it hits. No structure or organization can stand in the face of chaos energy, so Moiraine’s air shield would be dispersed just as easily as if it were hit by Balefire. Your points have actually disproved several times on this board, but you have clearly chosen the see-no-evil / hear-no-evil approach to your decision. I’m a huge fan of WoT and of Lan in particular, but the others on here that have read both series are correct. Rake wins this easily. To say otherwise is simply an effort to convince yourself and others that you aren’t just voting for your favorite because they’re your favorite.

  • macros

    so what you’re saying is.
    All along we’ve been playing rock, paper, scissors, sucker punch to the throat?

  • Terez

    Po—What you’re missing is that it’s the cheating that makes for steady votes. The surges are legitimate votes.

  • Dicklover

    says the dumass that voted for Perrin; HE’S NOT EVEN FIGHTING!!!!!

    Pwned and double pwned,

    the pwner

  • Dicklover

    And that’s the Truth!

  • Dicklover

    (Samurai sword hug)

  • JOE

    MOIRAINE WON?! Totally not expecting that. Tai’shar Cairhienin! wait… does that make sense?

  • Po

    Does it make sense that she won? No, no it does not. =/

  • Loki

    Well, I don’t know about the rest of you but I have once again thoroughly enjoyed the Cage Matches. It was great to see Rake make it this far and I have enjoyed most of the conversations between our two fanbases as well as the covnersation from previous matches. I think my main highlight would have to have been Rake versus Zaphod. Of all the ridiculous sounding match ups I think I enjoyed the write-up for that battle the most, plus it was the first and only battle were I was a massive fan of both characters, so I enjoyed it twice as much.

    As for next year, I’d love to see Fiddler be entered into the Cage Matches. I think describing Fid to people who haven’t read MBotF would be the best way to convince them they should read the series. The man is just so awesome. And there’s no concern of people finding him ‘overpowered’ given that he kinda has none and yet I can see him winning his way through purely because people will appreciate his character and his seasoned war veteran knowledge. *cough* Cussers*cough*

    I’m walking away this year with Ari Marmell’s Corvais Rebaine series, Brent Weeks Kylar Stern series (though someone fully spoiled the main plot twist earlier in the comments), Paul Kemp’s Erevis Cale series and I’m planning on do a re-read of the entire Hitchhiker’s series too.

    Thanks, Suvudu!

  • Lucifer’s Heaven

    As one last comment, I think one of the saddest things after reading through all these comments, is that Abyss’ and Illy’s two write-ups were the only serious (okay, maybe not the right word in the case of Illy’s :P) attempts at a solid write-up.
    I was really hoping for moe more good reading.

  • D.I. Waisanen

    Well, I guess that’s that.

    It’s too bad to see Rake go, but it’s also good to see more female characters go far, and the fanbase behind Moiraine should help in preventing Kylar Stern from taking an undeserved victory in this tournament. Besides, Rake taking it all would mean two years in a row going to the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

    I’d still contend that Moiraine is not comparable to Rake in any way or possesses any advantages aside from balefire; in terms of physical capabilities, weaponry, experience, raw power, and just about everything else, Rake would win. Even if Moiraine created a shield that could perfectly block all of Rake’s attacks, she would only have so much Saidar to pump into them, and eventually Rake’s attacks (which are easily on the same level as Rand al’Thor w/ Callandor) would exhaust her energy. However, I’m also convinced that Moiraine would stand at least a chance due to balefire and Rake’s inexperience with it, unless Rake assumes the form of a dragon. (A target too large for Moiraine to reliably erase.)

  • Nardwar

    @ Carl Williams

    When did Nyn dodge balefire?

  • Suttree

    Fanboi: “Moiraine could never win against Rake. Rake has a power level of 9000!!!”

    Rothfuss: The truth is, I find that sentiment more than irritating, I find it troubling. It means a lot of you haven’t been paying attention to the books I know you must have read.

    If power is the only important thing, then Frodo loses against Sauron. Hell, if power’s the only important thing then Gandalf loses against Sauron. If magic is the deciding factor of a fight, then four plucky kids from England get their asses turned to stone by the White Which.

    So yeah, Rake can turn into a dragon, but the point of fairy tales is that they teach us that dragons can be beaten.

  • Shade

    Po: I want to prove something to you real quick

  • Shade1

    … See, I can change my name at any time…

  • Shade2

    …So technically, ANYONE could comment and say that they did a thing…

  • Still Shade

    … but not actually do it. I’m not saying that someone from Malaz’s fanbase would, but that doesn’t stop people from trolling.

  • Still Shade… maybe?

    So I’m not willing to give it credit, considering that Terez has already given a good explanation for why that surge of votes couldn’t be proxied. Let it go, as unless you’re planning on hunting down whoever posted that and PROVE that they were from some WoT fanbase, I (and hopefully others) won’t have any reason to believe it over anything else.

  • Kvothe the Arcane

    @ Suttree rather conceited don’t you think to post that quote from rothfuss and leave the important part at the end.
    When the internet votes on who will die, it comes down to Vox Populi.

    So in this sense the dragon if you like was Moiraine or to go by another name lets call her Goliath and she crushed david with to quote the rabid WoT fans. “Balefire bitches” Which pretty much is the proverbial win spell of WoT.

    Funny how you consider that she got captured by the Eelfinn and Aelfinn and had to be rescued. You would think which so many powerful Aes Sedai they would have defeated The Dark One already.

    So lets not kid ourselves, the bigger fandom crushed the malazan fandom and won the popularity contest. Which in retrospect has no bearing on the two titles. All it means is that the larger fandom won. No big deal.

  • Terez

    As for someone posting on ‘WoT fanboards’ and telling people to vote by proxy…I am a regular at all the fanboards, and all I have seen is Shadow’sBane throwing a fit at Dragonmount because Moiraine was losing. I don’t believe he said anything about voting by proxy. Someone might have posted something like that on an obscure forum, but if so I’m not aware of it, and I doubt it garnered many votes, since proxy voting is a pain (I’ve never done it because I’m way too lazy for that), and few are hardcore enough to do it.

  • Farmer Monkey

    The tragic thing about Moraine’s trip to the finals is that she is so BORING of a character. If you haven’t read WoT, I can’t imagine that these write-ups would inspire you to. (Not that WoT is hurting for readership.) She’s effectively another powerful, but mortal, wizard with a stick up her bum.

    Mat Cauthon, on the other hand, would be quite entertaining. Much more personality, and *SPOILERS* his supernatural luck, knowledge of tactics from the memories of dead generals, and magic-warding amulet would make for interesting write-ups.

    Maybe he’s already been done. This is the first year I’ve followed the tourney, and it’s definitely convinced me to try a few new series. Thanks for all the good work so far, fellas.

  • Rose

    I aggree Mat would be much more entertaining. Most of the other characters in that book (and a lot of others, now I come to think of it) take themselves WAY to seriously. I mean, sure, you can have a dignified character, but at least once in a while you should tweak his nose, even if he doesn’t realize it.

    eg: Zegarnald, the God of War, visits Damin Wolfblade, his sort-of chosen one, who cannot for the life of him take things seriously.
    “You honor me, Divine One!”
    “Yes, I do.”
    Damin struggled a moment to contain his smile at the god’s austerity.

    Or something like that. It’s a scene from Warlord by Jennifer Fallon.

    I ended up reading two of the books I found here over Spring Break, about Ray Lilly and Erevis Cale because their powers interested me and I thought I’d investigate. I liked Lilly a lot more. Sure he’s not as powerful, but he’s got eccentricities that make him a more believable character. IMO, only Tolkien can really get away with having fairy-tale style heroes, because he did it first. Now it just seems old, and I must confess, Erevis Cale and co. seemed a little flat to me. That said, the bad guys were awesome. I liked the slaadi and their master, especially the slaad whose name I can’t remember but was obsessed with fashion.

    Odd little quirks make characters more fun. Not everybody has to be really weird, but someone should so they can comment on all the normal people…

  • JOE


    YES. Mat needs to be in the next Cage Match. That would be so epic.

    @Po No, I was asking if it made sense to use the phrase, “Tai’shar Cairhienin!”

  • Mike

    I love Moraine, but c’mon. Really? Rake wins this one, hands down. Though what happens when Dragnipur gets hit with balefire?

  • Suttree

    @ Kvothe the Arcane

    Actually you should go back and read the post. What you say was at the start not the end and Rothfuss specifically said the text I quoted was the important part.

    Terez is right about Shadow Bane. No one on any of the main forums said to vote by proxy. In fact SB got shouted down for starting two threads trying to rally people over here.

  • Suttree

    @ Kvothe the Arcane

    Also for the record I know last year many of us voted for Quick instead of “our guy”. I can’t speak for anyone else. Was just giving my reason and happen to agree with what Pat said. Not sure how conceited plays into anything when talking about an online fantasy poll?

  • al Rand Bashir

    @Terez, Suttree – I don’t know about posts saying that proxies should be used but I know that I got a PM from another member (who I won’t name, so don’t ask) telling me I should use proxies to vote and how to do so. I’m not saying Moiraine only one this because of proxies and the macro but I am saying that it happened. Why won’t you guys allow for it since some of us know about it or are your own egos so large that unless YOU knew about it, it didn’t happen? Honestly, Terez – there’s a reason a lot of us in the WoT circles think you have an inflated opinion of yourself. Why not go back to theoryland and start attacking newcomers for their view points and opinions since it seems to be your favourite past time.

  • Suttree

    @ al Rand

    I can only speak to my experience at DM & Theoryland. I have no idea who you are and am not sure why you would think ego has anything to do with it. I was only speaking to what happened on the main boards. Where do you usually spend your time online in relation to WoT?

  • jeandiata

    @Annabel – Thanks for the thoughful posts :o)

    Going by the Malazan “rules”…theoretically – Moraine could get the backing of Oponn AND Errant. Being an Aes Sedai, it’s plausible for her to manipulate them into that position. While she is not Ta’veran, the pattern is not done with her yet, so while she could die, she won’t until her part in/towards the final battle has been played…..which won’t be until next year. *weg*

    So now we have a strong AS with some protection from the wheel (bet the wheel and Errant are distant cousins? LOL) and Luck and Fate on her side vs. Rake who is really powerful but old and that whole spoiler thing allowing for both universes to be done with him. I also have to assume Rake has some arrogance that’s come along with his age and he would very likely underestimate his opponent or at least not feel the need to dispense with her immediately.

    The whole combination gives Moraine a fighting chance to win. (even if she only got one of the minor gods on her side) With the various weaves at her disposal, she might not even have to resort to balefire. Although if Rake manages to turn into a giant dragon – one bolt of BF to the eye and through the brain….he’s toast.

    Extra bonus scenario: I don’t know how the other gods feel about Rake. BUT….if those minor gods want to make a power grab (or are convinced by someone that they want to)- isn’t it possible that Moraine could convince all of them to back her against Rake? Even better, Mo could just arrange the whole coup and then just step back while the gods themselves take down Rake. She thanks them and moves on to the next round.

  • Terez

    al Rand Bashir—Yes, we’re aware that there was proxy voting on both sides from the beginning of the match. That’s why the votes increased incrementally and the match stayed neck and neck until the power cards were played. No one wrote a macro for it, unless you believe they started running it the instant I posted about the match on Facebook, which is a bit ludicrous. Why wait until then? And polldaddy has made it very difficult to write one that would do the trick, from what I understand. Clearly no one bothered; it’s a great deal of work. I can guess who sent you the PM; that’s the same person I figured was proxy voting in the early part of the match. I knew someone was doing it because of the way the votes were coming in, and probably more than one someone, but I didn’t know who it was. I just knew it wasn’t me. But the proxy voting is not responsible for Moiraine’s surge and win. That was a result of promotion, plain and simple.

    As for your opinion of me, I’m aware there are quite a few burned noobs out there who think I have an overinflated opinion of myself. I do really, but not nearly to the extent that most people assume. 😉 Because most of the time, people who argue with me are just wrong, as I prove over and over again. Some people just can’t handle losing an argument.

  • Silchas Ruin

    Moiraine gets taken out for seven books, by falling through a doorframe. Then a bunch of lizard dudes eat most of her soul. Rake would have fallen through, had the lizards for breakfast, and used his Warren to walk out. And she wins?

  • Silchas Ruin

    Excuse me, lizard dudes and fox dudes. And then two old men and Mat have to bust her out.

  • Pete

    I don’t get how Moiraine wins. Sure, she’s great. But Rake kills gods, armies, cadres of high mages, cities. I agree with Silchas. Moiraine fell through a doorway and got eaten by extra-dimensional critters. Rake would have wondered why anyone would think being pushed through a Gate into a random Warren was a good trap, razed the Tower of Genjei to the ground, and gone sauntering out again.

  • Tired of the B.S.

    If Moraine had Lan, Rand, Mat, Perrin, and all their bitches at her side and some of the Malazan gods………she’d still lose. There is no scenario where she wins….save a popularity contest.

  • The Nameless One

    Even though Rake should have won, if he had to be defeated, I’m glad that it was against Moiraine rather than Kylar.

    Now my only hope is that Damodred > Stern.

  • Po

    So now we know that proxy voting did, in fact, happen.

    It’s sad. I’d rather lose a close, honest contest than one that ended dishonestly. Sigh.

  • frothbyte

    It’s sad. Rake, one of the most powerful characters in the malazan universe, a universe filled with overwhelmingly powerful gods, demi-gods and ascendants…. loses to a midtier character from WoT.

    I’m a huge fan of WoT, but I know what “fairness” means. And Rake did not deserve to lose against Moiraine.

    Moiraine has trouble keeping her shields up against some of the weaker forsaken. Considering the amount of power Rake possesses, he’ll crush any shield of Moiraine through sheer force.

    As for balefire, we have seen it dodged before. Granted it wasn’t easy, but still possible. If people like Nynaeve can do it, than some with Rake’s incredible speed feats should be able to do this. Don’t forget that Rake can also levitate, which should make it harder to hit him

    Besides, I doubt Moiraine can aim her balefire properly when Rake can just make the whole hill she’s standing on explode.

  • Terez

    Po—Again, you seem to be missing the point. There is always some form of cheating in these matches. Since both sides usually know how to do it, it comes down to fan dedication in the end, usually. This match was not one of those matches. For one thing, proxy voting is incredibly difficult, and most people don’t bother with it. (In previous matches, there was an easier way to cheat.) Therefore there was probably only a small handful of people cheating on either side in this match, and their impact was minimal. But more importantly, the match was neck and neck for three days when both sides were proxy voting. Moiraine won because the match was promoted on Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday afternoon. She might have won without that, but the margin would have been much smaller thanks to dedicated proxy voters on each side. So the match ended as honestly as you could possibly hope for, because the margin of legitimate votes was so wide as to totally negate any effect that cheating might have had. And we observed those legitimate votes coming in with our own eyes the moment I posted the Facebook link. We went through the same thing last year when I used it; everyone assumed we just HAD to be cheating. But the page has 30,000 likes, folks. The fact that it pulls in close to a thousand votes in a few hours should not be surprising.

  • Po

    That’s a pretty sorry state of affairs, Terez. “Well, everyone knows how to cheat, so might as well do it!” I’m sorry, but that’s pathetic. Also, you have no proof that proxy voting was occuring while things were neck and neck, but there is proof that it occured later when Moiraine jumped way ahead.

    To me, it honestly sounds like you’re trying as hard to as you can to justify dishonest actions after the fact in any way possible, and it’s unbecoming.

  • dpomerico

    We hear you all, concerning the state of the write-ups (and while we don’t necessarily agree, we definitely hear you!). So, as such, we want YOU to give us how you think the fight will go.

    The one we like best will be kept on the site permanently, with the writer getting full credit.

    If you want to start submitting, just start placing your write-ups in the comments of this post:


    Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  • Terez

    Hey Po—You’re not actually making logical arguments, you know. You’re just attempting to insult. I do happen to have plenty of proof that there was cheating during the beginning of the match, and absolutely no reason to believe there was any increase in cheating later on. I also have proof that the votes began coming in as soon as I posted the Facebook link. All of the Malazan Empire members here have seen that proof, as well as the result of various other power cards. The fact that you still refuse to believe that Moiraine’s victory was legitimate just makes you a wanker.

  • Nardwar

    Why do people keep saying Nynaeve dodged balefire? I don’t recall that happening.

    In addition what is this proof Po that proxy voting happened when Moiriane made the jump?

  • Loki

    So we are finally throwing names at each other like Helios suspected we would? Wonderful.

    @Nardwar – I haven’t read WoT in a long time but I think it was when she was on a boat? I doubt that helps. I’m sure if you go to Dragonmount and look around you’ll be able to find more on it. 🙂

    Is anyone taking Suvudu up on doing their own write-up? I’m looking forward to seeing what people come up with.

  • Lita

    Nynaeve didn’t dodge the balefire, it missed her and because the caster was startled by, birds if I’m not mistaken and the blast of balefire went off on a tangent to the original target.

    As to comments about Rake winning – perhaps, I haven’t read the books he is from, but I do know that I won’t read a book where the main char is so powerful there is no point to a story with him in it. Where is the fun in someone or something that is all powerful that they can just snuff out any foe as people suggest this guy can.

  • Nardwar

    Thanks Lita, that’s how I remembered it as well…

  • Rizzen

    @Lita – Except, Rake isn’t the main character. The Malazan series really has no main character. Read the books before you criticize them.

  • Kaladin

    so true rizzen .. so many good characters in the malazan books.

    and lita you wrote
    \As to comments about Rake winning – perhaps, I haven’t read the books he is from, but I do know that I won’t read a book where the main char is so powerful there is no point to a story with him in it. Where is the fun in someone or something that is all powerful that they can just snuff out any foe as people suggest this guy can\

    honestly how can you say that with a straight face when rand is basically just that? ;p

    in all honesty i dont see moraine ever beating rake 1v1 it would be like her going against rand 1v1 .. now rake and rand. that would be a better fight.

    and to end it id suggest anyone who hasnt read the malazan books to read them. same with the wot.

  • Brujah

    Moraine defeats Anomander Rake in the 2012 Suvudu Cage Match.

    Although STRICTLY IMPOSSIBLE, somehow Moraine comes out on top.

    So for those of you that are unfamiliar with Anomander Rake, the title The Son of Darkness might make you think of an evil character. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the Malazan world, Dark is just another aspect of the Universe. The stereotype of Light meaning good, and Night even evil is not the case here. The various aspects of the universe are such as Dark, Light, Shadow, Life, Death, etc. Each have the full spectrum of good to evil aligned characters. So you could have someone from Kurald Liosan(The Light) actually being the bad guy whilst someone titled Son of Darkness is the good guy.

    Anomander Rake is one of those rare characters that deserves to be known across all realms. One of the coolest characters of all time, if not the coolest.

    ….and as Anomander faces down Moraine, he knows that he could kill her with ease. All too terrible ease. And then he feels the crushing weight of such power baring down on his extremely worn soul. For after hundeds of thousands of years of life, he felt as if he were stretched too thin. But he’d held on and learned to love the frailty of mortal men with their all too short lives, as well as his brothers and sisters for whom time stretched on forever. He also understood that the rules dictating the extremely odd circumstances surrounding the upcoming battle with this Woman from another realm would only allow for one to live. One had to die.
    And there lies the problem. He admitted he did not want to die, but he had sensed something in his opponent. No mere mortal. She possessed an inner light that in what he had already determined was going to be his last living moments was one of the most beautiful things he’d ever seen. She was a kindred spirit. She too would one day make the same choice he was about to make. This made it all feel right. Sacrifice. The most potent weapon against the agents of Chaos that writhe through the universe with the single purpose of destroying……..everything. Forever.
    And Anomander also knew that all worlds and realms were linked. It was common knowledge among the ancients. And that if one were to fall, then the rest were soon to follow.
    Therefore with his great wisdom, unyielding patience, and infinite love and compassion for every living creature, he allowed himself to be killed instead of taking this woman’s life.
    For those of the womans vast world whom can see such distant things, as well as Anomander, all know that she is critical to the saving of her world. For she must be there as The Dragon Reborn, Lord of the Morning, Rand al’Thor makes his final stand against the Dark One himself, her realms manifistation of the same Chaos that gnaws at the frayed edges that link all realms. But nothing is assured. Failure is still possible. But a chance is a chance. Because if they fail, it will not only mean the death of a world, but the unraveling of time itself.

    “There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail — should we fall — we will know that we have lived.”
    ? Anomander Rake, Son of Darkness

  • Lee

    I love both Malazan and the WOT as well as the characters that are in this fight. However there is no way in hell that Moraine has the capability to defeat Rake. Hell he killed the God of Death and only died himself because Draginpur betrayed him at the exact moment he was fighting the greatest warrior to ever hold a sword. The one comment earlier that stated that the rest of the WoT characters were there to help defeat Rake it would still not be enough to take him down. She isnt in his league.

  • korlat

    Lee I think you may have misread/misunderstood that section, Hood allowed Rake to kill him, because death was the only freedom for those trapped in the sword, and Rake intentionally turned his blade so that Traveller/Dassem,s blow would drive the blade into his skull, sending him into the sword to save Mother Dark and the Gate from the forces of chaos. That is why Traveller was so Distraught after the end of the fight because he saw Rake change the position of his blade just before he swung the final blow, He never wanted to kill Rake and only attacked him because Rake took his only chance at avenging his sisters death by killing Hood. Also Hood and Rake new they would die, as it was all part of their agreement with Shadowthrone to save Mother Dark and the Gate from Chaos.

  • finally31

    Darn spoilers. Now i just want to finish the series to see this epic fight.

  • sukitiki

    WoT has been my favorite series for years until I read MBotF. I love moraine but anyone who has read both series completely will tell you that she has no chance against him. His usage of warrens to direct balefire, his insanely fast speed, combat experience, insane amount of magic and the greatest willpower of any character can take out any character. A character with the choden kahl, rand/morodin power, mats wit and memories, Lans sword skills will be more fair. I would recommend everyone to give the series a shot because it is the best 🙂

  • Archon

    I cant even begin to imagine how MBotF and WoT are your top two faves… That’s like saying your favorite band is the Rolling Stones and your second favorite is the Beatles…

  • Amaranth

    I`ve read all books of both series. Everyone who has done the same ( and they are the ones who should really vote here) knows that this is not even a contest.

    Rake would crush Moiraine in a matter of seconds.

  • Owain

    I really like this contest, and I’ve read both series. Don’t get carried away about the technicalities involved in how powerful Rake is over Moiraine. The point of this passage is not the polls, regardless of who wins, but the homage.

    While I think the writing is typical past-tense fantasy, the characters are both portrayed rather close to their original. Also, the writer has included little bits here of ‘the contest’ and changes that brings to the rules. By the rules in the WoT balefire should simply remove Rake from existence, but it doesn’t because he’s brought something wholly unique into the universe (much as Dragons do in Malaz, simply entering existence, one of many elemental anchors in that continuity). Likewise, Rake’s soletaken form would wipe out (or match) most of the more powerful entities in The Book of the Fallen, but he’s not in that world.

    Also, the ending here is perfectly construed. Rake is (in The Book of the Fallen) incredibly powerful, but there is no such thing as all-powerful in the Malazan Books. Instead, Rake is more often a dissident when you read him closely, a rebel. Rake refutes the constraints of his archetype in fantasy (which Rand, Lan, etc… do not do, or at least not as successfully) and so it’s really no surprise that he would refuse to actually kill Moiraine (and, indeed, offer what healing he can and return her safely) for something as pathetic as ‘the Contest’. Rake’s flaws are, I think, partly pride and partly faith and partly the fact that he is a dissident. That’s why he chooses to fight her, pride, but it’s his dissent that offers her the option not to fight (and to return her to Lan).

    Moiraine succeeds against her archetype much the same way that Rake does. They don’t want to wield, and therefore also abuse, the power they have. But they are both people who have learned the value of resistance. And if they must fight, than they fight. Moiraine and Lan attempt to avoid confrontations throughout the WoT, and so does Rake (look at his relationship with Baruk in Gardens of the Moon and with Whiskeyjack in House of Chains).

    Moiraine wins here because of the poll. However, in passage makes it clear that Rake doesn’t give a fuck about the contest. She wins because she pushes the fight, supports the contest. But Rake allows her to live, despite that.

  • Owain

    Also, to those who may be interested (Lee, Korlat…), should it ever be read, the scene between Rake and Dassem Ultor was decided by one person rolling a critical success. And all the machinations that Rake sets up (especially in delaying Kallor) are all true (or mostly true :P). The gamble was the fallout of the meeting, it could have gone the other way just as easily and the entire series would have spiraled off into a different ending.

    No other fantasy series makes it even close; read it if you haven’t (Lita! haha) nothing is stable or all-powerful, and it’s all through the eyes of characters that are witness to characters like Rake, people who are not archetypes).