Tower of the Hand

Deadliest Warrior Semifinals

Deadliest Warrior Tournament
Nov 3, 2009, 11:09 AM ET
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Elite Eight

Eight warriors faced off in the Regional Battles, fully aware that only half of them would survive to the Final Four. Did your favorites make it? MikeLight77 once again provides details on all the skirmishes, including a close battle in the East.

THE SOUTH - Oberyn Martell vs. Areo Hotah
Oberyn Martell faced off against his brother's captain of the guards. Oberyn again favored the long spear that served him so well in previous battles. Hotah, as always, was armed with his massive longaxe. Martell moved fluidly and struck surgically, always staying out of range of the axe. The experienced Norvoshi quickly realized that he must get inside the superior range of Martell's spear. On Oberyn's next thrust, Hotah dodged to the side and instead of attacking, swung down at the shaft of the spear, shattering it... then reversed direction, spinning with a backhand swing at Oberyn's head. Oberyn ducked under the swing and rolled to his broken spear point, recovering it. Although Hotah now claimed the reach advantage, Oberyn still possessed the all-important speed advantage. Hotah was wounded from Oberyn's early strikes, and knew he was weakening. Oberyn moved within range of the devastating axe. The axe came whistling around, neck high, but Oberyn was quicker. He again went low, under the axe slash, bringing his shortened spear up into Hotah's chest.

THE EAST - Syrio Forel vs. Barristan Selmy
The two distinguished fighters faced off. Each raised his sword to his opponent as a sign of respect... then the fight was on! Barristan was fully armored, shielded, and armed with his broadsword. Syrio was lightly garbed, carrying the lighter blade of the Braavosi style. The smaller man darted in, stabbing at armpit, elbow, knee and neck, then barely avoided Selmy's counter. None of the wounds Forel inflicted were serious, but they were numerous. On Syrio's next attack, Selmy changed tactics. Rather than attempting to parry or counter, he instead dodged to his sword side, then lunged ahead with his shield, smashing it into Syrio?s face, staggering the smaller fighter. Selmy began his own offense - although he was no fool - no careless rushing ahead... he knew this was still a dangerous opponent he faced. He moved ahead with his shield in a good defensive position, and slashed at the dazed Syrio. Syrio managed to avoid and parry most of the attacks, but some found flesh. He continued to retreat, using his superior speed and lighter garb to put some distance between his larger, more heavily armored opponent. He used this time to regain his senses somewhat, shaking off the blow to the head he took earlier. He returned to his strategy of sticking and moving, this time being wary of Barristan's shield. Selmy's defense was sounder this time, and Syrio's attacks now only found plate armor and shield. Both men were starting to slow from their wounds... unfortunately for Selmy, the weight of his armor was becoming a disadvantage. Syrio sensed this and began a furious attack. He moved to Barristan's shield side, anticipating a counter. Barristan again attempted the shield smash, but this time, Syrio was ready. He avoided the strike and aimed a precision thrust at the elbow of Barristan's sword arm, piercing the chain. Selmy's sword dropped from his numb fingers, but he was not finished. He leveled a kick at Syrio's unprotected leg, but the Braavosi was still quick enough to avoid the kick and counter with a thrust to the knee. When Selmy attempted to put weight on that leg, he collapsed. With one arm and one leg incapacitated, he was unable to overcome the weight of his armor. Syrio moved to make an end of it...

THE NORTH - Qhorin Halfhand vs. Greatjon Umber
Speed and agility vs. size and strength. The Greatjon knew it would be in his best interest to end the fight quickly. The combatants circled each other only for a few seconds before the larger Umber rushed in for an attack, swinging his massive longsword. Qhorin barely avoided the attack and countered with a cut to the Greatjon's knee. The scene repeated itself several more times, with the Greatjon occasionally landing a glancing blow, but doing no real damage, and each time, Qhorin inflicting a small but weakening cut to one of Umber's extremities, expertly finding the weak points in his armor. Eventually, these wounds took their toll? The Greatjon was slowed to the point that Qhorin began to mount an offensive attack. Like a blur, Qhorin moved in, slashing at the face and chest of the larger man, forcing him backwards. It was too much? During the retreat, the Greatjon stumbled backward and fell to the ground, and Qhorin made an end of it.

THE MIDLANDS - Jaime Lannister vs. Sandor Clegane
The scion of house Lannister faced off against his father's sworn bannerman ? the Hound of Clegane. Jaime, knowing his opponent possessed the size and strength advantage, wisely chose to stay out of reach, and use his speed to survive. The Hound was not a man to tire easily though, and continued to come forward, slashing savagely at the pristine white shield and armor ? both were soon scarred with gashes from Sandor's blade. Jaime was not injured badly, however? and he was experienced enough to realize that his opponent was slowing, ever so slightly. He continued to let Sandor rush in and attack, only parrying and feinting with counters. Sandor did not bother with defense and counterattacks ? he was all offense. He caught Jaime with a blow that glanced off the Kingslayer's shield and into the side of his head. Thinking his opponent was stunned, he moved in for the kill. Jaime had been waiting for his opponent to make this mistake. Sandor rushed ahead with sword high, intending on an overhead strike? but Jaime was ready, and lunged forward aiming at the Hound's chest. Jaime's blow landed first, and he danced out of the way of the Hound's still descending sword. Sandor collapsed to his knees, then fell the rest of the way to the ground. It was over.

Final Four

After many hard-fought battles, sixteen of Westeros' finest warriors have been whittled down, one by one, until only four remained standing. MikeLight77 reports on the semifinals below. Now the final championship begins. Who will take the crown?

SEMIFINAL #1 - Qhorin Halfhand vs. Jaime Lannister
It was a clash of appearance and style. The rugged northerner, clad in black from head to toe, including black cloak over black ringmail, faced the pristine white Kingslayer, who chose to don his Kingsguard armor for this battle. Black and White approached each other cautiously, each respecting the ability of the other. Qhorin lunged at his heavily armored opponent, seeking out the joints, and then expertly danced out of range of the counterstrike. Jaime's sword could not find its target, early on, however, none of Qhorin's strikes were inflicting much damage either... Suddenly, and without warning, Jaime switched to offense, deflecting one of Qhorin's thrusts with his shield and coming forward with a right overhand slash, that Qhorin barely managed to avoid. But the Kingslayer continued the onslaught, sensing the advantage. Qhorin was forced to retreat, deflecting some slashes, avoiding others... but some found flesh. Qhorin was soon bleeding from several wounds. Jaime's years of training with the finest knights in the realm were too much for Qhorin, despite years of experience ranging beyond the wall. No wildling was half the fighter that he faced now... and soon Qhorin's defenses were worn down. Jaime ended the fight with a final strike.

SEMIFINAL #2 - Oberyn Martell vs. Syrio Forel
The shadows began to make their way across the battlefield as the sun dropped low in the West, and the Braavosi swordmaster faced the Dornish Prince. Martell chose again to arm himself with his spear, hoping to use the superior range to counter the speed of the fencer. The two combatants stood about 15 feet apart, Syrio making no attempt to mount an offense. Oberyn unleashed several stabs at the unprotected head and chest of the smaller Braavosi. Syrio barely seemed to move, but avoided the strikes easily, flicking his sword out, tapping the spear shaft to the side while dancing the opposite direction. The same scene played out over and over again: Oberyn staying away, stabbing with the spear, Syrio easily avoiding the attacks, and using his sword to knock the spear to the side. Unbeknownst to Oberyn, Syrio's apparent lack of offense was not without purpose. Syrio's blade was razor sharp, and each strike to the shaft of Oberyn's spear was precise. Soon Oberyn's spear had a significant notch just behind the steel spearhead. On Oberyn's next thrust, Syrio struck at the spearhead rather than the shaft, snapping it off. As the spearhead fell to the ground, the stunned Oberyn re-gripped and now wielded a quarterstaff. However, before he could get fully into position, Syrio was on him. Syrio moved into range, thrusting at Martell's legs and torso. Oberyn was equally skilled with the staff, and he managed to fend off the majority of Forel's attacks, but several got through Oberyn's defenses. Oberyn was bloodied, but his toughness would not allow him to go down easily. He managed to mount a counterattack, catching Syrio in the knee and shoulder, forcing him back... but Syrio was not easily rattled. He gathered himself and moved in for another attack. Like water, he flowed around the whirling staff, and thrust his blade into Oberyn's chest... then danced out of range and waited. He didn't have to wait long before Oberyn collapsed to the ground.

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