MATCH 1: Teeth and Swords
I picked The Bride for this competition because she really is among my favorite female protagonists in one of my favorite films of all time. Not really much more to it than that, except that I don't feel she quite gets the recognition she deserves nowadays.
I mean, Kill Bill was big when it came out, but I feel like the public at large has pretty much forgotten it. I hope that changes.
I picked Smaug for this competition because he is a close second-favorite of mine amongst Tolkien's creations, dragons are pretty much my favorite life-form of all time real or imaginary, and he's pretty hot right now due to the recent cinematic representation.
That he's gotten this far is hardly a surprise.
MATCH 2: Meticulous Planning
I picked Scar for this competition because he is one of my favorite main villains in the Disney Animated Canon. Ironically, he's not my favorite character in his film (that honor goes to the Hyenas, who will certainly appear in a future tournament), nor his his film in my top five of the Canon. However, it was a film that left several lasting impressions on me, some for better some for worse and all involving Scar in some way or other.
Also Jeremy Irons. Just Jeremy Irons.
I picked Hermione for this competition because she is number 5 in my Top 5 Potter characters, and my clear favorite of the main trio by a country mile. She's also one of the greatest female protagonists of our age, and the only reason she didn't make it last year is because I wanted to see the Lupin v. Snape match first.
I think many of us who identify as a geek and/or nerd of some sort, regardless of gender, can identify with Hermione's character arc.
Similar to last time - Each candidate deserves the spot, and is a strong contender. It would be really awesome to see this year's Elite Four become a Girl's Club, but don't vote against Smaug or Scar for that sake only - go with who you truly prefer. I've had my own predictions on who it will come down to this year, but there's plenty of time for me to be proven wrong.
As always, make sure you're viewing the WEB version of the site and vote in the polls (remember, there are two now) on the right-hand side of the screen. Polls close Friday, and results posted on Saturday. Feel free to discuss your picks in the comments below.