Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cross Over Magical Duels

I've been re reading a lot of books about kids mastering the art of Magic. Which inevitably leads to wondering, in a "friendly" duel, who would win. So our starting Competitors are Harry Potter. Valkyrie Cain of Skulduggery Pleasant and Nita Callaghan of the Young Wizards.

Valkyrie vs Harry

We see both of these characters at about 12, and follow them until they finish high school. Right At the beginning, Harry has an edge as his magic sort of works even when he dosn't want it too. But their relative expirecne thereafter rapidly shift the edge towards Valkyrie. While Harry is at school, fighting Voldemort once a year, Valkyrie is going up against tougher and tougher opponents, taking down Gods even, and getting regular high impact combat training. 

So even though Harry's magic is potentially more flexible, its also limited in that Harry needs a wand. While Valkyrie can use most of her Powers without any items. So Harry loosing his wand, makes him near helpless. Valkyrie loosing her necromancer's ring, leaves her with elemental powers and hand to hand combat training, and bullet proof clothing.  So anywhere after the second or third book, she is going to win.


Young wizards Happens on a different scale. While Valkyrie basically protect Ireland, though occasionally against cosmic threats, and Harry never leaves England, fighting the same villain for the duration, Nita travels the Universe. Teleporting to Mars is no big deal, she has a shortcut spell for it on her charm bracelet. Time wise a lot more happens to her in a much shorter time span. So by the end of Nine books she is about 15.  

While her magic is a little bit slower then that used by Harry and Valkyrie, it is way more flexible, and powerful. And while the other two systems work outside science, Nita's underpins science, and boarders on total control of reality. So assuming she has enough time for a protection spell, which again she has a shortcut for, she is going to be proof against anything either Harry or Valkyrie could throw at her. Note Nita's force field can resist a supernova at close proximity. Once her sheild is up she has all the time she needs to do whatever. 

And importantly she actually understands her magic. And at 15 is inventing her own spells rather than just doing whats written in the manual. Indeed developing new spells is part of her job. And at 15 she has already come up with one that got  named after her. Callahan's Unfavorable Instigation, a spell for disestablishing fusion reactions. 

I'd note that when Nita has her one on one duel, its against a planet, or at least against someone in full control of one. And she wins it without access to any super weapons. Unlike Harry who had the deathly Hollows, and Valkyrie who had the scepter of the ancients.

The one thing working against Nita is that in her universe, as a rule, wizards get less powerful as they get older. However on the other hand they get better at using the power they do have. And there also apear to be clear exceptions to this rule. The exceptions seem to run on the idea that you get whatever power you need to get your job done. In particular the Planetary seem to have way more power then other wizards their age. And Nita does look like she is heading in the direction of being Earth's Planetary at some point in the future.  Granted, due to the open nature of the series, this is far from certain.

So Nita would beat Valkyrie, who would beat Harry.  

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