Celaena Sardothien, the main character in Sarah J. Maas’s new novel, Throne of Glass, has spent the last year slaving away as a prisoner in the salt mines. Her one shot at freedom? Compete in a tournament to become the next royal assassin. Since Celaena’s an awesome warrior, she actually enjoys the competition. But we can’t help thinking that the whole thing sounds a little intimidating, especially when Celaena’s competitors start dropping dead left and right.
Competing for the title of best assassin is probably a little harder than winning your average reality show. And we can think of a few other fictional tournaments that would push us to our limits. Which of these fictional competitions is the most grueling? Vote below!
The Gladiator Games in Gladiator
To be fair, the gladiator games aren’t entirely fictional—they’re based on ancient Roman competitions. But the games in the Ridley Scott movie are way more gruesome than the actual historical fights. In real life, it was pretty rare for a gladiator to be killed in the coliseum. The fictional gladiator games? Total bloodbath.
The War Simulator in Ender’s Game
As part of his military training, teenaged Ender has to play a tactical video game over and over again. The war-training game is completely exhausting, and Ender has to break rules and kill enemies in order to win. At least it’s only a video game. Or is it?
The Race in The Scorpio Races
Imagine you’re a contestant in a super competitive horse race. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Now imagine your horse wants to kill you. Not so much fun. Only one person can win the Scorpio Races, and the carnivorous demon water horses mean high stakes and a ton of blood. The Kentucky Derby, it’s not.
The Games in The Hunger Games
There’s no denying that the Hunger Games are a brutal competition. The idea of watching children fight and kill each other for the entertainment is pretty sick. Throw in the fact that the rules are constantly changing and the grand prize is pretty much just not dying . . . yeah, that’s got to suck.
The Program in Battle Royale
This Japanese book/film actually has a lot in common with The Hunger Games. Tournament orchestrated by an oppressive government? Check. Teenagers fighting to the death? Check. The one good thing we can say about this competition: It’s not being broadcast on national television. But that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement.
The Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Even by Wizarding standards, the Triwizard Tournament is pretty dangerous. From fighting dragons to battling merpeople to navigating a deadly maze, the competition is chock-full of potentially lethal situations. When you add a duel with the most powerful Dark wizard of all time, well—let’s just say it would take a LOT of galleons to get us to enter.
So which of these tournaments would be the biggest test of your endurance? Cast your vote for the most grueling fictional competition below, and let us know in the comments which ones we missed!
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