The first round of the Harry Potter World Cup has drawn to a close, narrowing the playing field down from the original 64 wizards and witches to a smaller pool of 32 heroes and villains. For the most part, the people you expected to move on have moved on — with some notable exceptions, of course — and as we step forward into Round 2 today, I think you'll find that there are some very, very difficult decisions on the horizon.
But before we look forward, let's look back at what happened in the first round. Get the highlights from Round 1 of the Harry Potter World Cup after the jump!
Many of the surprises in the World Cup's first round were of the minor variety. The lower-ranked Professor Flitwick charmed enough fans to float past Divination master Professor Trelawney in the Privet Drive division, while Fawkes the phoenix proved that having numerous lives is much more useful than having, well, none, as Nearly Headless Nick took a dive in Godric's Hollow. Elsewhere in Godric's Hollow, wand master Ollivander prevented dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald from advancing to the second round and facing old rival and lover Albus Dumbledore. Despite the victory, however, Ollivander has his work cut out for him when he goes up against the Hogwarts headmaster in Round 2.
Who would have guessed that Ron Weasley, the first-seed in the Hogsmeade division, would meet so much resistance at the hands of girlfriend-gone-bad Lavender Brown? Sure, Ron was able to beat his Gryffindor stalker, but only with a meager 60% of the vote. Likewise, Draco Malfoy, the two-time MTV Movie Awards-winning Best Villain, was never fully in danger, but it was surprising to see Peeves the Poltergeist secure over 30% of the vote. Both of these top-ranked players will have to do much better when squaring off against Quidditch captain Oliver Wood and Beauxbatons beauty Fleur Delacour (who narrowly defeated Viktor Krum) in the second round.
Hail To The King(sley)
The biggest numerical upset of them all came in the form of future Minister for Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt, a 14-seed, defeating the Auror Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, a three-seed, in the first round. These two members of the Order battled back and forth throughout the week, but in the end, just as Moody was the first shocking death of "Deathly Hallows," he was the first stunning defeat of the World Cup — but not the only stunning defeat, sadly...
Lights Out For Luna
Of all these matches, there's no question as to which one contained the biggest surprise: the neck-and-neck competition between Luna Lovegood and Narcissa Malfoy. What should have been an absolute blowout on Luna's part turned into a fierce duel in which the two witches traded positions of dominance all the way through the poll's closing. In the end, evil triumphed over good, and Luna lost. Some believe that she fell due to Cedric Diggory (also known as You Know Who in this tournament) fans hoping to clear the way for an easier second round victory. Others argue that, hey, Narcissa is simply underrated and awesome. Either way, it was a hard fought battle that sets the stage for an even more intense showdown between Narcissa and Cedric this coming Wednesday.
Harry, Hermione, Dumbledore and Hagrid have all performed with the kind of strength and fan support that we expected from these powerful pillars of the Potterverse, but some surprising figures have emerged as contenders to keep an eye on.
Dobby the House Elf, for instance, broke big in his duel against Dean Thomas, soaring to a majority position and never looking back once. Professor McGonagall absolutely obliterated Cornelius Fudge — not a surprising outcome, no, but the decisive blowout should have Neville Longbottom fans shaking in their boots over today's duel. And as much as it pains me to admit it, I can definitely see Hedwig powering through my personal favorite, Remus Lupin, in their second round duel, judging solely on the beloved owl's impressive showing against Seamus Finnigan in Round 1.
Cedric, as suggested earlier, saw a surge of support from his on-screen alter ego's plentiful fan base, making him a dangerous threat in this coming round. But if there's one lesson to be learned from her duel against Luna, it's this: Narcissa Malfoy cannot be underestimated. If conspiracy theorists have it right and the Malfoy matriarch was voted into the next round to give Cedric an easier fight, those former Narcissa champions could be in for a very, very rude awakening when she goes up against the deceased pride of Hufflepuff this week.
Regardless of how this week's duels ultimately turn out, one thing is definitely clear: Round 2 is a much harsher and more contentious landscape than the tournament's first round. The World Cup is certainly heating up, and it's only going to get hotter as the list gets narrower and narrower.
Second round polls open later today and close on Friday (July 1) at 12:01 AM EST, so there's no time to waste — keep those wands at the ready and prepare to vote!
Who is the best "Harry Potter" character of all time? The "Harry Potter" World Cup" will find out! Voting is going on now right here, and you can also get the debate going on Twitter with the hashtag #mtvpottercup.