SF & Fantasy

Cage Match 2013 Round 4: Gandalf vs. Medusa


The Contestants

gandalf-warner_edited2.jpg" medusa3.jpg

Gandalf
J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
Age: At least 20,000 years
Race: Maiar (wizard)
Weapons / Artifacts: Glamdring, a staff, and fireworks
Special
Attack:
Arriving precisely when he means to
Medusa
Greek Mythology
Age: Unknown
Race: Monster
Weapons / Artifacts: Her face
Special
Attack:
Can stop anything in its tracks. Her hair is made of snakes and she is so ugly that whoever looks at her turns into stone. Medusa’s body has wings with broad round heads, serpentine locks of hair, large staring eyes, wide mouths, the tusks of swine, lolling tongues, flared nostrils, and sometimes short coarse beards

The Breakdown

Advantages

  • Seemingly immortal
  • Has beaten a Balrog
  • Good at shifting big responsibilities to small hobbits
Advantages

  • She is a monster with two immortal monster sisters
  • Can stop anything in its tracks
Disadvantages

  • Love of the halfling’s weed
Disadvantages

  • Culture shock
Kills

Kills

  • GrendelA little Ophidiophobia would have come in handy
  • Smaug – Two heads are better than one, and apparently a headful of snakes beats one old serpent.

How we think the fight will go


The wizened mage slowly threaded his way through a gallery of stone statues, occasionally tapping one or another with his staff to ensure that they were indeed inanimate. Each was a portrait of agony and surprise: Warriors frozen in terror, weapons in hand. All were incredibly lifelike in detail.

Gandalf reached out a hand and stroked the cheek of one stony figure. An elf, apparently, petrified with bow in hand. A gnawing sense of familiarity settled in his stomach. Where did he know that face? His mind was perhaps too clouded by the fine Hobbit pipeweed he puffed out of a long, clay pipe. He put it out and then moved on, pushing further into the ancient stone chamber.

An ancient evil lurked here, of that, he was certain, but what manner of villain might it be? This desolate lair carried not the stench of Sauron’s ilk, nor of some aberrant foe from times even further past. This was something different; something alien to even his great wisdom. This was a horror beyond his reckoning, and an event like this was very rare, indeed. Part of him was excited by the possibility of a new class of foe. Much of the world had grown uncomfortably familiar during his service to the light. Danger would be welcomed, if it was a danger hence unknown.

Somewhere Gandalf heard a rustle, like dry scales on cold marble. He raised an eyebrow, and brushed his free hand against the hilt of his mighty blade, Glamdring. Whispering quietly the words of an ancient spell, the tip of his staff began to glow. He pushed it forward, probing the darkness. He caught glimpses of some furtive shape lurking just beyond the light. He had an impression of something almost human, but not quite. There was an aura of tragedy here … that and inexpressible hostility.

“Come forth into the light,” said Gandalf. “I mean you no harm, friend. Perhaps I might yet address what evil has come to you.”

A wet hiss was the only answer he received.

Gandalf unsheathed Glamdring. If he must fight, then fight he will.

All around him he heard the slithering noises, echoing throughout the chamber. Here to the left, and then to the right. He pushed forward, lighting his way with his staff. Occasionally, he would come face to face with one of the petrified stone figures, their faces gruesomely lit by the glow of his staff. Frightening, but harmless.

He came to the edge of a shallow stream, a subterranean waterway shimmering under the light. He stepped into it and began to walk across. The current moved swiftly, but rarely rose above his knees. He saw the barest outlines of the bank on the other side and made haste, eager to escape the cold of the stream.

It was then that he saw the horrific being who called the caverns its home. It was crouching on the far bank. He could not see its face, but it appeared to have the body of a comely woman. The creature’s hair — if a monstrosity like this might be called hair — writhed and wriggled. The mage looked upon in disgust, recognizing in horror that the woman’s locks were in actuality vipers. This was the thing that had bested all of those warriors. This creature had turned them to stone.

It had not noticed him yet, and with any luck, it wouldn’t.

Placing his staff into the crook of his arm, Gandalf reached into the water and grabbed a rock. Returning to his full height, he tossed it past the creature, further down the stream. It turned its head and began to creep in that direction, leaving its back to the wizard. Gandalf rushed forward with his blade held aloft, moving faster than his apparent years should have allowed.

He quickly closed the distance between himself and the wretched creature, and with a single swing of his sword he removed its head from its body. The head tumbled a few feet and landed in the stream. The creature’s body collapsed. Everything was still.

Magic is all well and good, thought the wizard, but sometimes a simple trick and a good sword arm is enough to do the job. He relit his pipe and after a long puff, turned in the direction of the cave’s entrance.


Predicted Winner: Gandalf



NOTE: THIS MATCH ENDS ON Friday, March 29th, 2013, AT 5 PM, EST

Check out all the Cage Match 2013 posts!

Check out the round 1 recap and Cage Match 2013 Bracket!

Check out the round 2 recap and Cage Match 2013 Bracket!

Check out the round 3 recap and Cage Match 2013 Bracket!



Gandalf is a character from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien; Medusa is a character from Greek Mythology.

Gandalf image courtesy of MGM/Warner BrosMedusa image courtesy of IronShod.


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!”

Thanks!


4 Responses to “Cage Match 2013 Round 4: Gandalf vs. Medusa”

  1. Metacognition says:

    Well, I can honestly say I saw the results of this one coming.
    I was expecting Gandalf to blind both of them to make it a fair (well, fairer) fight, but I really enjoyed this write up. It’s good to remember that Gandalf isn’t just all magic and if it’s not needed, he knows how to fight without it.
    Excellent write up. Now the only question is who his opponent in the finals will be.

  2. Comatose says:

    It would have been great to have two female characters in the final (especially two great ones like the White Witch and Medusa), but I also see the merits of a Gandalf VS. White Witch fight. You might notice I am hoping the White Witch beats Inigo. That is likely because I am.

  3. Rose says:

    Yeah, as much as I wanted a Medusa vs. White Witch match at some point, there’s no way Gandalf was going to lose this one. Even if Medusa surprised him with the stare before he could do anything about it, as a Maiar, Gandalf might be able to come back from that anyways I don’t have my books with me, so I can’t confirm his all his powers, but all the Maia take on bodies voluntarily, being spirits naturally. There’s no reason to suppose that the body of stone Medusa would give him would in any way impede his spirit and therefore his other powers, so he ought to be able to change back to a more useful shape, and destroy her. Although I suppose you could claim that Medusa’s gaze is not only transformative but also (in theory) fixes the state permanently, so then the argument would be over whose magic is more powerful, whether Gandalf can break Medusa’s grip or not. I’d still say Gandalf. He’s a lesser god with his own power. Medusa’s power is the result of a curse, a finite source of power.

    Plus the write-up is pretty good.

  4. Thomas says:

    Lol, it looks at the moment like our finale is Gandalf vs Jadis or Gandalf vs Inigo. I know exactly how I’d call *one* of those fights…

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