Middlemarch Madness

Middlemarch Madness II: Meet the Elite Eight

I know we’ve been waiting forever for this. Click through to see the top eight ladies. 

Tomorrow we’ll run four polls, and on Friday we’ll be all caught up when I announce the Final Four. Next Monday, we’ll vote on both of those races and run the final on Tuesday. That means we’ll know who the winner is one week from today.

But enough of that. Here are your Elite Eight.

Young Adult Literary Fiction

Ramona Quimby

Scout Finch

Young Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy/Dystopia

Katniss Everdeen

Minerva McGonnagal

Adult Literary Fiction

Elizabeth Bennett


Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy/Dystopia


Arya Stark

And here’s the updated bracket with all the scores: Middlemarch Madness II

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

42 replies on “Middlemarch Madness II: Meet the Elite Eight”

Okay, I know we went through this last year, but I still don’t get it.  Anybody want to take a stab at explaining this to me again – WHAT DO YOU ALL SEE IN OFFRED?  I seriously CANNOT take her seriously as any sort of badass.  She struck me as wishy-washy, unwilling to actually take risks or action, and pretty much just going with the flow without taking any active agency (yes, I realize there was not much opportunity for agency, but there was SOME) and basically putting all her hopes of happiness and being saved in a man.  I’ve never liked her, and beating Dany just makes her so much worse.

Other than that though…I’m pretty okay with these results.  I voted for Pippi, but Scout is pretty awesome, so I’m okay with that.  Other than that, everyone I voted for this round won.  Although if it comes down to a vote between Lizzy and Katniss, I will cry bitter bitter tears no matter what decision I make.

She’s the main character of The Handmaid’s Tale.  Not my most favorite book ever, but I’m not bashing the book – I can recognize that it’s good even if it didn’t strike a chord with me like it does with some people, and it was very provocative and in today’s world of people trying to police women’s uteruses, very relevant.

None of this changes the fact that I don’t find Offred, as a character, to be in any way shape or form a badass, or even a very appealing character.  I think if I had to describe her in one word it would be “passive.”  Bah.

But she DOESN’T take any action to extricate herself.  It’s all stuff that’s pushed on her by other people, never action she takes herself.  At least that’s how I read her.

And any which way, I’ll ALWAYS vote for the woman of action over someone like Offred.

Katniss makes ONE good decision.  ONE.  At the end of the LAST book.  Otherwise, she just kind of muddles through and is petulant and whiny.  She is badass SOLELY for her ability to kill things.  She doesn’t seem particularly intelligent and doesn’t want any part of her adventure.  (I’m not a Katniss fan.  I actually think the most appealing thing about the books is that you DON’T have to like Katniss to like the story.)

Meg Murray saved her father and her brother by being tough and smart and loving and not changing a thing about herself ever for anyone.  Meg 2013!!!!

Pft. Katniss’s final life decisions at the end of Mockingjay are so freaking awful and disempowering… There are enough young women characters that can be physically badass, but then make terrible life choices.
Meg is sooo much better at everything (except maybe archery…). Also, there need to be more badass math nerds, because really, we’re out there. We just need better representation.

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