When we started this March Madness competition, we had no idea how amazing it would be. With the hundreds of character submissions and thousands of votes each round, we found it difficult to narrow down the options session by session โ€“ and our audience clearly had the same heartbreak while voting. Time and again a game would end with one character just barely overcoming the odds and defeating her opponent before moving on to the next round. We've had upsets and epic rivalries and more sudden-death tie-breakers than I thought possible.

Still, it is time to wrap this wonderful project up.

This past round was another amazing series of upsets, and I'm sick of seeing characters I love bite the dust! Let's take a look at who made it to our Final Four! All the reasoning below is purely hypothetical. We encourage you to scream your own opinions in the comments.

Game 1

Wonder Woman, from DC Comics

vs

Hermione Granger, from the Harry Potter series

Wonder Woman is an iconic character that defines what it means to be a superhero. Hermione Granger has broken the mold of the "sidekick character" and has become an inspiration to a whole new generation of readers and movie goers.

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THE WINNER: Hermione Granger with 60% of the vote

HOLYCRAP! Ok, ok, I got to contain myself now. What the hell happened??

Hermione is an awesome character, there is no doubt about it. But to see her take on an icon and defeat her, well, it's surprising to say the least. In many ways I understand it, Hermione has a lot more depth to her character that what her role might imply. Sure, in theory she's just another sidekick to a male main-character, but in actuality she's just as interesting and well developed (if not more so) than our protagonist. The entire Harry Potter series is like that; playing on our expectations for the genre. I think this win might be a generational gap, specifically represented by the fact that an entire generation of adults and children have never seen Wonder Woman portrayed in anything other than that 1970s series (and the stellar Justice League cartoon).

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Game 2

Ellen Ripley, from Aliens

vs

Mulan, from Disney's Mulan

Mulan took on an empire and won (and by empire, we mean Disney). Ripley just might be the ultimate survivor.

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THE WINNER: Ellen Ripley with 69% of the vote

What's interesting about both these characters is that both represented the start of a possible cinematic trend, strong female leads that save the day. Ripley did it for scifi and horror, and Mulan did it for the animated "princess" gang, but ultimately Ripley had far more success than her cartoon rival.

Game 3

Sarah Connor, from The Terminator

vs

Arya Stark, from Game of Thrones

Two characters that begin their journey as victims, and end up being the baddest-asses around.

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THE WINNER: Sarah Connor with 50.5% of the vote!

Sarah Connor, truly represents a damsel in distress that won her own salvation, but I also have such high hopes for Arya! (don't we all?). Under a special tie-breaker round, Sarah barely squeaked by with a win.

Game 4

Buffy Summers, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
vs

Zoe Washburne, from Firefly

The battle of the Joss Whedon characters!

THE WINNER: Buffy Summers with 57% of the vote

I'm very pleasantly surprised that Zoe was the character that ended up representing Firefly. She's cool, she's competent, and I understand why she's that way and totally want to see more and more of her. Buffy, however, was the crown jewel of her series no matter how you look at it. She's the character that launched an empire, and changed the way a generation looked at television.

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Vote now to help break our tie and determine who will move on!

That's right, with only a few days left of our competition, we need your vote to determine the winner or the next two rounds! With so few characters remaining, things will fly by, so vote today!

http://non-productive.com/vote/