In a competition where the winner will be the king’s killing machine, Celaena Sardothien and Cain were the two people to watch because they were both experienced with killing people. However, not everything is a fair match, as the reader quickly finds out as they read the book. Celaena and Cain have completely different backgrounds, strengths, and supporters.
Celaena Sardothien has a complicated background, a handful of supporters, and isn’t very strong; however, she’s still willing to fight in the competition.
Celaena’s life before the competition has been hard and tiring. In the book, Endovier can be compared to Auschwitz as being a deadly and very bad death camp. This camp is where Celaena has been transferred from to participate in this competition. At the beginning of the book, the narrator is telling the reader about Celaena’s current status by saying, “After a year of slavery in the salt mines of Endovier, Celaena Sardothien was accustomed to being escorted everywhere in shackles and at sword-point…That was expected by Adarlan’s most notorious assassin.
” Celaena has been to Endovier for so long that she has grown to be accustomed to being led around by many guards that are probably very willing to kill her if she were to move at all. This proves that Celaena’s life before the competition has been long and hard. After being in Endovier for a year, Celaena’s body has been badly damaged. In the book, Celaena has just been cleaned so that she can meet with the prince to discuss the competition.
Right after being cleaned, the narrator states, “The wounds on her back throbbed and her face felt like it had been scrubbed to the bone.” The way the narrator describes Celaena’s situation makes it seem like her body has been almost destroyed by Endovier. Although Celaena has many enemies for being a famous assassin, she also has a handful of supporters as well. While Dorian, the crown prince of Adarlan, was talking with Celaena, he was talking to her about her freedom and fighting for him in the competition. Dorian Havilliard says to Elena, “If you’re willing to fight for me, to be my champion…” This quote explains how Dorian wants and supports Celaena and is willing to have her represent him in the competition.
Apart from Celaena, Cain is strong, comes from a strong area, and has very good supporters. Cain’s background is totally different than Celaena’s. The White Fang Mountains are known for having very strong people who are known to be good at fighting. When Brullo, the person running the competition, calls on Cain to share his background, Cain states, “Cain. soldier in the king’s army. I hail from the White Fang Mountains.” The fact that Cain is a part of the king’s army shows that he’s strong and can fight. Also, Cain grew up in the White Fang Mountains only adds to the point that Cain is very strong and can fight well. Cain’s strength is superb compared to his competition. Celaena’s room during the competition holds a secret door that leads to a hallway below the castle. Celaena has just entered the hallway and sees a mysterious man in a room doing something she doesn’t know. She gets closer and finally notices who it is. When Celaena finds out the mysterious person is Cain, she says, “Cain. The person who’s gotten stronger and better as the competition went on… he’d been using [magic] and the beast it summoned to steal the dead champions’ strength.” This quote explains the fact that Cain, above his already impressive strength, uses magic to get stronger by summoning a beast to kill the other competitors that would otherwise be problematic for him. Cain has a plethora of good supporters, so he knows he has an advantage with them. At the beginning of the book, Brullo is introduced as the person to decide who goes to the final fight. After just finishing talking about her training conditions, Celaena just mentioned Cain’s name. When Cain’s name is mentioned, Celaena talks of her disgust for him by saying, “Cain. How she loathed him! Brullo practically worships the man-and even the other champion nodded their respect when he passed by.” This quote helps to explain that Cain has plenty of supporters, including Brullo, and that all of the other champions have respect for him.
Overall, Celaena and Cain are completely different because they have completely separate backgrounds, Cain is stronger, and Cain has the better set of supporters on his side. If one were to choose who has the best chance of winning the competition, they would choose Cain because he has the best qualities and experiences when it comes to fighting and winning the entire competition.