Middlemarch Madness

Middlemarch Madness II: Voting Day Five

Have you recovered from the perilous losses in the first round? Good, because it’s time to start voting again. By the end of this week, we’ll be down to the Sweet Sixteen. 

A note before we start: I’ve seen the complaints in the comments about too many characters from the same author being in the bracket, and the suggestion that we make a new rule only allowing one character per author. I will certainly take that into account next year.

This week, we’ll be voting on four pairings per day, one from each category. Like last week, each poll will be open until around 4 p.m. the following day, and the results will all be revealed on Friday.

Today’s Pairs

Scout Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee) vs. Charlotte (Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White)

Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins) vs. Mrs. Weasley (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen) vs. Elinor Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen)

Arya Stark (A Song of Ice and Fire, Books 1-4 (A Game of Thrones / Clash of Kings/A Storm of Swords /A Feast for Crows) by George R.R. Martin) vs. Catelyn Stark (A Song of Ice and Fire, Books 1-4 (A Game of Thrones / Clash of Kings/A Storm of Swords /A Feast for Crows) by George R.R. Martin)

To the voting!

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.

59 replies on “Middlemarch Madness II: Voting Day Five”

Ladies and gentlemen, Elinor Dashwood! Single-handedly saves her family from destitution! Puts up with the craziness of the people in her neighbourhoods with good humour and constant patience! Gives Willoughby the ultimate dressing-down and boots him out of Colonel Brandon’s! PLAYED BY EMMA THOMPSON NEED I SAY MORE. Elizabeth Bennett may be endearingly prickly but Elinor was the only voice of reason in her environment. I love her. #teamdashwood

Testing out a spoiler thinger

[spoiler intro=”SPOILER!” title=”There are spoilers here.”] Vader is Luke’s father.
Rosebud is a sled.
It was Earth all the time.
Soylent Green is people.
The aliens are allergic to water.
Dorothy makes it home.
Mel Gibson’s character’s wife will die or is already dead.
Spock isn’t really dead.
But Bruce Willis is.

Uh-oh. I just asked Boyfriend if I should pick Catelyn or Arya, since I haven’t read the books and he’s currently about halfway through the second one. Well, he was reading the article and got to the part where it says “Books 1-4” and went “WHAT?!?! Ahhh!” and ran out of the office. I haven’t seen him in several minutes…

Bwahahaha! Tell him not to worry, books 4 & 5 split the story so a LOT of characters are missing from one or the other. Doesn’t necessarily serve as a spoiler. I will say that if he’s only halfway through book 2, he’s in for a LOT of “WHAT?!?! Ahhh!” in the near future.

MANY SPOILERS AHEAD.  My important feelings about these characters require use of spoilers to explain why you should vote for Katniss and vote for Arya.

But pre-spoilers, I want to express my sadness that the seeding resulted in me having to, not once but TWICE, decide between two of my favorite Austen ladies.  Booo!

VOTE KATNISS.  [spoiler intro=”SPOILER!” title=”There are spoilers here”]  Mrs. Weasley – badass lady fighting teh evulz and protecting her family.  Kills a baddie.  Katniss – badass lady fighting teh evulz and protecting her family.  Contrives to bring down the big bad government and then kill the lady who would install an equally tyrannical one in its place.  She basically saves the world TWICE.  [/spoiler]  Katniss is the clear winner here.

VOTE ARYA.  [spoiler intro=”SPOILER!” title=”There are spoilers here”]  Catelyn Stark: adult woman who admittedly suffers terrible loss, but mostly just manages to screw up everything she tries to do and get turned into a zombie.  And hate Jon Snow.  Arya?  Little girl who suffers terrible loss, but mostly manages to free herself from a number of terrible situations, kill some of her worst persecutors including the Tickler, and escape to train to become an assassin like a badass.  Will probably come back to save her family and the world.  Has not yet managed to screw up everything she touches.  [/spoiler]  Arya is obviously WAY cooler than Catelyn.

I think Jon Snow is super boring and bland and I’m kinda glad that there is a possibility that he will be er…. less involved in the central plot (if you catch my drift). As for the way Catelyn treated Jon Snow, I realize that in a perfect world she would have been totally accepting and all, “Wow! My husband cheated on me with some random woman, but that’s a-okay. Welcome to my life, Jon, and please, feel free to be a constant reminder of my husband’s infidelity!” I think she dealt with him in the only way she knew how.

As for Arya’s supposed badassery, I think throughout the series, she is routinely manipulated by her elders (and you know, the people she tends to idolize are kind of evil). Her “decision” to murder people (no matter how evil the people happen to be) is really disturbing. I certainly find her story interesting enough, but I still feel like she’s not in control of her own life yet.

I actually am not a huge Jon Snow fan, but Catelyn’s treatment of him still bugged the crap out of me.  I can’t exactly blame her, but I always thought she could try a little harder.  Even if he is Ned’s bastard, HE didn’t do anything wrong to create that situation.

I’m not denying that Arya is a little crazy, but at least she does things, and I think she does take a lot of agency in her life.  Yes, she’s young enough to be manipulated, but she doesn’t make it easy and she does her best to better herself and get into a situation where she has more control.

I really hope that after the movie is released, a bunch of girls go out and see how awesome archery actually is. And then they can start bamfing all over with mad archer skills that make them stronger, better coordinated and proud of themselves.

Because that’s how I felt the first time I used a bow and arrow (got REALLY close to the bull’s eye on my first try too).


Wow…you kind of make me want to take up archery.  Except that if I ever have the time and money for an equipment and specialized facilities-requiring hobby or sport, it will be ice hockey, end of story.  But archery is totally on the “if I win the lottery” list now.

You know I love me a good invertebrate, but it’s Scout all the way. HOWEVER, I have to pick between two Austen heroines?!? That’s like asking which flavor of Doritos I love more, Cool Ranch or Cool Ranch (the answer is Cool Ranch). And I’m also disgruntled that Anne Shirley didn’t make it into the competition this year. She is the bestest!

Picking between Lizzy and Elinor was mad hard. On one hand I love Lizzy. On the other Elinor is my literary doppelganger. I had to vote Elinor just because I have never empathized with a character quite that much before or since, being sensible about things and nice to people even when you would rather not. I’m not sure she was the bigger bad ass, but there it is.

I only wavered between Elizabeth and Elinor.

For the record, I’d be in favour of an author limit if it’s necessary, but I think 1 per author would be very restrictive, and punishing those authors who have more than one badass female character.

ETA: not that the authors get anything from this, but… hopefully ye know what I mean…

Oh, I have no doubts over Molly’s badass-ness. But in the way that she took in Harry as her own, I can’t help but think she would do the same with Katniss. That she would see Katniss as more deserving of recognition for being badass. I may have a little too much thought into this.

Quite obviously the vote should go to Catelyn. Arya is cool and all, but she’s still just a child. I would go into more details (look, P-magineers, you have got to go and read the series so I can discuss these things in a less vague fashion!), but I think the answer should come to you easily if you have read the entirety of the series thus far.

I may be projecting a little of bit my own opinions onto Catelyn based on where she is at the end of the most recent books, since we don’t hear much from her.

I just think Arya is still too easily lead. When she’s a bit older, perhaps, I will bestow the bad-ass crown upon her, but in my opinion, she’s still acting as a follower (and understandably so, she’s only a child).

I suppose some debate could be made about that since she hasn’t totally given up herself (see: sword hiding), but none the less, Catelyn still has my vote.

I totally voted for Arya too.  The fact that Catelyn messes up pretty much everything she touches, therefore failing to actually do much of value during the books, makes her less badass in my eyes.  Also I just kind of found her annoying, so there’s some personal taste as well as a comparison of badassitude involved.

Leave a Reply