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  • Hannah Zunic

Frankenstein's Monster V. The Headless Horseman: Who Will Win?

Hello, Book Nerds! Welcome back to Reading Has Ruined My Life or welcome if you are new. As always, my name is Hannah and I am your captain on this journey into my bookcases.


Mean Girls screencap changed to say, "It's January 1st."

Happy Birthday, RHRML! The blog is three today! I love getting to create for my own site. I love writing reviews on what I’m reading and getting to share my opinion with fellow Book Nerds. And thank you for joining me on this journey! We’ve had so many good times here. There are hot takes, tons of book reviews, a Bridgerton obsession, lots of Gothic Literature, and some versus matches too!


Speaking of which, you’ve read the title, it’s versus match time, baby!


Let's get ready to rumble.

Please give a warm welcome back to my friends Amanda, Katie, and Frankie. You know them, you love them, I love them; and you know what this means! It’s time for an off the walls conversation where you question how you got here exactly.


Now this is no ordinary match though. Today’s special anniversary match is the death match to end all death matches. Today our OG champion, Frankenstein’s Monster, fights last Halloween’s winner, The Headless Horseman. Who will win? Who shall survive with a shred of dignity left? Who will cease to exist from this mortal plane? All shall be revealed in Reading Has Ruined My Life 3rd Anniversary/Birthday Gothic Literature Fight to the Death!


My friends have been provided with a handy-dandy list of the strengths and weaknesses of both creatures. Everyone knows this is a death match. They’re prepared. They’re ready. They know who will win between these two victors.


The rules are simple. Our two gothic characters are in a Battle Royale style fight. Around the arena are a few small, helpful objects that may aid our two competitors. The items could also be a hinderance, who knows. Fans of both fighters have spent good money to come watch this battle. Two famous gothic characters enter, only one may exit. This is the fight to the death. Each competitor has strengths and weaknesses that can help or hurt them in this competition. But who will win? Well…you’re about to find out!


Are you ready for Monster Brawl

Hannah: Welcome to the 2023 3rd anniversary post of Reading Has Ruined My Life. Today we find out who is the strongest gothic literature creature, villain, monster; whatever you want to call them. It is the versus match to the death between Frankenstein’s Monster, our 2021 Halloween versus match winner, and The Headless Horseman, our 2022 Halloween versus match winner!


Frankie: Woo!


Katie: Woo!


Amanda: I’m not woo-ing. I’m still mad about the Romeo and Juliet thing.


Katie: Horrible story.


Frankie: Should we be mad that you lost?


Amanda: I’m mad because at the end Frankie goes, “I totally agree with Amanda and Katie.”


Hannah: Well Frankie made a compelling argument in Antony and Cleopatra’s disfavor and convinced me they were the worst couple.


Frankie: I’m very convincing.


Katie: That’s his job. His job is to be good at talk!


Frankie: No, my job right now is to be good at recording other people talk.


Katie: Well right now that’s your job. You trained to be good at talk.


Hannah: I’d like to point out that Frankie has won every single versus match we’ve ever done.


Frankie: 3-0, baby!


Katie: Shocking. I wonder why. It’s almost like the lawyer man knows how to argue or something.


Frankie: Let’s keep the streak alive. Who’s going to win?


Amanda: Frankenstein.


Katie: Headless Horseman.


Hannah: Oooooohhh!


Katie: He’s [The Headless Horseman] got fire. He has those flaming pumpkins. Frankenstein’s Monster doesn’t like fire.


Hannah: True.


Katie: He also has a sword, he’s got reach. He has a horse, so again, reach.


Frankie: Woah, woah, woah; I have to come in now. It’s Frankenstein’s Monster.


Amanda: He’s the smartest man on Earth


Frankie: Also, he doesn’t need a horse. He’s faster than a stag…


Katie: How specific.


Frankie: …and faster than an eagle when running with purpose. This man is running 200 MPH. He’s faster than that horse.


Amanda: Imagine being hit by a sewn together pile of corpses running 200 MPH.


Katie: But fire. And a sword! Plus being a ghost.


Frankie: Being hit at 200 MPH, that ectoplasm horse is going bye-bye.


Katie: Not if the Horseman gets a pumpkin off first. Then Frankenstein’s Monster is gonna go, “oh shit!”


Frankie: He’ll dodge it. He’s more agile than anybody.


Katie: He’s so afraid of fire it’ll debilitate him.


Frankie: He’s not afraid of it, he just finds it deceptive.


Hannah: Yeah, he does not fear it. He’s just not a fan of it.


Frankie: The Horseman can’t cross running water.


Amanda: Yeah, that’s a big weakness.


Katie: Ok, but is there a river here? No one said anything about a river.


Hannah: There’s a river. Do I need to describe the arena for y’all?


Amanda: Apparently.


Hannah: So we are once again in our colosseum/Battle Royale arena.


Amanda: Are we in Pittsburgh? We have three rivers.


Katie: Three isn’t that many. Plus all of them are muddy and gross and full of very large catfish.


Hannah: And dead bodies.


Amanda: I was gonna say that.


Hannah: Dead bodies and a jet.


Katie: And some rubber ducks.


Frankie: Anyway, Hannah, how is the arena set up?


Hannah: Think Colosseum. People have paid good money to watch this fight.


Amanda: Is it the same one as last time.


Hannah: We did not have to rebuild, that is a big plus, so it is the same arena. There is running water as that’s the Horseman’s only weakness. There are useful items strewn about to help or hinder our competitors. They’ve both been here before so they know what to expect.


Frankie: That’s true. The only thing The Headless Horseman’s got going for him is the flaming pumpkins.


Hannah: Explain.


Frankie: The sword isn’t that great. It’s a sword. It is deadly weapon. He’s also got a hatchet. The notes say “or” but I’ll give him both, I’ll be generous, tis the season. Frankenstein’s Monster is durable. Very durable. Much more than the normal man. He can heal fast. Oh, he’s also immortal. Come on. Man’s a BEAST!


Hannah: We have an immortal being fighting a ghost; how’s this gonna go?


Frankie: A ghost has already died once. That’s some loser energy right there.


Hannah: Yeah, but he got decapitated by a cannon ball.


Frankie: That’s still some loser energy. Guess who didn’t get decapitated by a cannon ball? Frankenstein’s Monster. Now here’s how Frankenstein’s Monster wins. The Headless Horseman can’t do anything to his opponent. Frankenstein’s Monster can just cross a river and kill the Horseman. He’ll vanish in a flash of fire and brimstone. The only way The Headless Horseman can beat Frankenstein’s Monster is by decapitating him or setting him on fire. But decapitation probably won’t happen cause Frankenstein’s Monster will be too quick for that. And the fire won’t happen either.


Katie: No, no, no. Here’s the thing, The Headless Horseman throws pumpkins at people so he has to have good aim. Have you tried to throw a pumpkin? It’s hard.


Frankie: I haven’t tried.


Amanda: Well what kind of pumpkin? There are many different pumpkins.


Katie: Well it’s the size of a head, so I’d think a mid-size carving pumpkin. It probably doesn’t have as much seeds and guts so it’s not as heavy as a pie pumpkin would be.


Amanda: Yeah, so it’s not super heavy then. Since it’s cut up, carved, and disemboweled, it’s pretty light. It be easy to throw.


Katie: Yeah, and he’s good at throwing them! Frankenstein isn’t a fan of fire, the pumpkin is on fire. He’s trying his best to avoid the flaming pumpkins, which the Horseman can use to his advantage by faking out Frankenstein. Like he’ll fake one way and when Frankenstein runs the other direction the Horseman will send him a pumpkin to the face.


Frankie: I don’t think The Headless Horseman will be able to trick Frankenstein.


Amanda: Yeah, he’s too smart for that.


Frankie: It’s not even the smartness.


Katie: The Headless Horseman beat Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde who were smart!


Amanda: Yeah, but they were weak!


Frankie: The thing with the fake throw, I think it could work, the issue is after the first couple times he misses the Horseman will fill with rage. He’ll get upset and angry which will throw off his thinking, and will make his aim worse.


Katie: Yeah, but the Monster gets angry pretty easily too.


Frankie: At Dr. Frankenstein, but he’s not here.


Hannah: Keep in mind, both creatures know they’re in a death match.


Frankie: Yeah, but I think the Monster would go in with a plan and thought process.


Amanda: Plus he’s done this before, not that The Headless Horseman hasn’t, but Frankenstein’s Monster beat the shit out of Dracula. He wasted Dracula.


Hannah: After they talked for a week.


Amanda: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.


Frankie: They had a gentlemen’s discussion.


Hannah: They became boyfriends.


Frankie: They become boyfriends!?


Hannah: Yes, they did! The lore of these versus matches states that.


Amanda: We sure about that? Because the Gay Icon of Horror is the Babadook.


Gay Pride Babadook

Hannah: There is that, but Dracula is hands down a Bisexual Icon at least. Anyway, if we remember the lovely lore that is Reading Has Ruined My Life’s Gothic Character Versus Match To The Death Extravaganza #1, Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster talked for a week and became boyfriends and then Dracula turned on Frankenstein’s Monster and the latter killed the former.


Frankie: He died.


Amanda: Again, keep your enemies closer.


Frankie: I think The Headless Horseman was good enough to kill Jekyll and Hyde cause Jekyll and Hyde had nothing. He [Jekyll] can occasionally turn into someone who was a little bit evil. But that’s it. He’s got nothing going for him. Frankenstein’s Monster is basically a superhero.


Katie: Mary Shelley did make him kinda OP.


Frankie: He’s a superhero. He’s got the brain of the smartest person ever, he’s got strength, and a thirst from violence.


Katie: I don’t think he’s a superhero. He’s more of an anti-villain.


Hannah: Anti-hero.


Katie: More villain leaning.


Frankie: Frankenstein’s Monster is basically the Hulk with a brain.


Amanda: You guys are treating Frankenstein’s Monster like a monster. He didn’t ask for this. He didn’t want to be born.


Katie: That doesn’t excuse what he’s done. He burned down a family’s house cause they made him upset.


Amanda: No one taught him how to regulate his anger! He never went to therapy.


Katie: Well if he’s so smart all he has to do is watch other people and realize you don’t burn down houses when you’re upset.


Amanda: So you’ve never done something so impulsive that you instantly regret?


Katie: Not to the extent of burning someone’s house down!


Amanda: Regardless, the poor guy was never taught right and wrong.


Katie: He had time to learn. If he had time to read Paradise Lost, he had time to learn right and wrong.


Frankie: He’s the smartest dude. He had time to learn.


Amanda: I disagree. From a therapeutic standpoint, a lot of times you have to teach the basics because people were never taught.


Katie: He had many books and a lot of time to learn. He just didn’t want to learn. He didn’t want help, he wanted murder.


Hannah: I want “He Didn’t Want Help, He Wanted Murder” on a shirt.


Katie: My mom has a Cricket, we can do that.


Frankie: Well if we’re going with that statement then Frankenstein’s Monster is gonna win this battle. So thank you for helping me with my argument, Katie.


Amanda: Okay, so here’s the thing. If we took the river out of the arena, The Headless Horseman probably has a fighting chance. But with the river, he doesn’t.


Katie: Where’s the river in the arena?


Amanda: It doesn’t matter, all Frankenstein has to do is go the other side of the river.


Katie: I don’t know why exactly you guys are so fixated on this river. The way I see it is even if the river is directly in the middle and Frankenstein’s Monster decides to cross it then The Headless Horseman is safe! He’s on the other side of the fucking river away from his competitor! He’s also the only one with a ranged attack, he can throw pumpkins over the river.


Frankie: Ok, now maybe I’m wrong about this, but to get The Headless Horseman across the river, it doesn’t have to be consensual. Frankenstein’s Monster can just drag The Headless Horseman across the river.


Katie: Excuse me, it says he can’t cross running water. We don’t know if he’ll die, maybe he just hit a barrier.


Frankie: “He vanishes in a flash of fire and brimstone if he does cross.”


Hannah: Yeah, I technically don’t know if that means he dies or simply vanishes. He just keeps coming back.


Katie: Exactly. He could just vanish and come back in a few days.


Amanda: How do you kill a ghost?


Katie: You don’t.


Frankie: He can’t just come back in a few days or some shit! That’s not how this battle to the death works!


Amanda: True, it would mean Frankenstein’s Monsters wins then. If The Headless Horseman vanishes from the arena that would be forfeiting.


Hannah: Yes.


Katie: Okay but picture this, The Headless Horseman uses his fiery pumpkin to light the whole arena on fire. Now he’s fine with fire, but what’s Frankenstein’s Monster gonna do?


Frankie: Sit in the river.


Amanda: That’s what I was gonna say.


Katie: But then he’s in perfect pumpkin range.


Frankie: The water will put the pumpkin out.


Katie: So the river is high enough to cover him!?

Frankie: This isn’t the Cuyahoga River that catches fire! Also, I don’t think this river is a perfect 8-foot-tall Frankenstein’s Monster height.


Katie: So the Horseman has a target then!


Amanda: Not if he dives into the water.


Katie: But you move slower in the water.


Frankie: He swam the English Channel without rest, what do you mean he’ll be slower in the water?


Katie: He’s slowed down regardless. He’s making himself an easy target.


Amanda: But when the pumpkin is extinguished it’s just gonna be a light weight pumpkin as we said before. Once you take the fire away, it’s nothing.


Katie: It’ll still be on fire when it hits him.


Amanda: Not if he’s underwater.


Katie: He’s not underwater!


Frankie: He can dive underwater though.


Katie: Well he’ll have to see the pumpkin coming. He’s gonna get tired eventually. The Headless Horseman’s a ghost, he doesn’t tire.


Amanda: He swam the English Channel uninterrupted! He doesn’t tire.


Frankie: He doesn’t need to rest in order to regain stamina, he won’t get tired.


Amanda: Thank you, Frankie!


Katie: Then I guess they’re gonna be stuck like this forever cause The Headless Horseman doesn’t tire either.


Frankie: Frankenstein’s Monster has too many abilities.


Hannah: He really does.


Frankie: Mary Shelley really said let me create the perfect specimen of a man except he’s ugly.


Katie: And a murderer.


Frankie: Look, even a ghost is gonna be annihilated by a muscle man running 200 MPH at you.


Katie: But The Headless Horseman’s a ghost!


Frankie: So?


Katie: Frankenstein’s Monster will just phase threw him.


Frankie: No, no, no. He’s a ghost who can touch the physical world and thus be impacted by the physical world.


Amanda: The Headless Horseman is tangible correct?


Hannah: Yes.


Katie: Can he be intangible? Can he be a Danny Phantom and just be intangible whenever he wants?


Amanda: Are you trying to say he’s gonna “go ghost?”


Katie: No, I’m trying to find out if he can be intangible or not.


Amanda: No you’re trying to say, “can he ‘go ghost.’”


Frankie: Katie, I’ll give you that he can go intangible, but I don’t think he can do it fast enough to avoid Frankenstein’s Monster coming at him. The Headless Horseman is hella fast, he’s faster than a human, but I don’t know if he’s eagle fast.


Amanda: True. Eagles are very fast. I saw one pick up a fish within a second; it was crazy.


Frankie: I just think Frankenstein’s Monster’s speed, and strength, and smarts are just too much for The Headless Horseman to deal with.


Katie: I feel like they would at least reach a draw; especially if the Horseman can become intangible. Hannah, what do you think?


Hannah: I feel like we’ve reached a draw. There are too many plus and minuses in each competitors category. On one hand, you have a literal walking corpse who is too OP. On the other hand you have a ghost with one weakness.


Frankie: A draw is so unsatisfactory.


Hannah: It is. Which is why I ask you all to give me your scenario on how you believe your chosen victor to win.


Frankie: I have a scenario drawn up.


Hannah: Please give me the scenario.


Frankie: We enter the arena. I think The Headless Horseman, because he’s a soldier but he’s also full of rage, is going to go on the hunt immediately. The Monster is going to create a strategy. He’s going to observe, he’ll hide for a little bit, which he’s good at, he’s gonna stalk his prey. Eventually they’ll have to come to blows. The Horseman is going to have an early advantage, I’ll concede that, he’ll have an early advantage cause he has ranged weapons. But Frankenstein’s Monster will use his speed and agility to dodge them. I’m sure he’s gonna get hit by a couple of them, but he’ll survive them with his durability. As the Horseman sees his pumpkin attack, his signature move, is ineffective it’ll anger him. He’ll fill with rage and rely on that anger to fuel him. That emotion will clear away any sort of strategy he may have once had. That’s where the superior intellect of Frankenstein’s Monster will take hold. He’s gonna beat up the Horseman, maybe he’ll miss a few shots if the Horseman turns intangible, but again the speed and agility the Monster possesses will put a stop to that. This fight will come to a point where Frankenstein’s Monster will forcibly throw the Horseman across the river in hellfire and brimstone where he will fly straight down to hell thus making Frankenstein’s Monster The Supreme Gothic Victor.


Amanda: I have an idea also. Different from Frankie’s but similar. First of all, Hannah, it’s any amount of running water that’ll stop the Horseman, right?


Hannah: Theoretically yes, but I think it has to be continuous to some extent.


Amanda: Got it. Okay, see I believe Frankenstein’s Monster can and will build an irrigation system to the point he boxes the Horseman in. At this point, he’s able to kick the Horseman over the water of the irrigation system.


Katie: Would he be able to do that while the Horseman is throwing pumpkins and stuff though?


Amanda: Yeah, he’s fast and agile.


Katie: Fast enough to dig a trench for the river?


Amanda: He’s fast enough. It doesn’t have to be a giant irrigation system. All he has to do is get a stick to create running water. I can just imagine him doing this.


Hannah: I appreciate the ingenuity he possesses in this scenario. And the creativity of this scenario.


Amanda: It is a good scenario. Thank you.


Katie: I don’t think he can dig that speed. Nor do I think the Horseman would be stupid enough to not realize what Frankenstein’s Monster is doing.


Hannah: Katie, that leaves you. How do you imagine this going down?


Katie: Okay, I agree with Frankie on how this starts. But once the Horseman sees his strategy hasn’t worked thus far he would start throwing his flaming pumpkins around the arena to catch it all on fire. At some point, Frankenstein’s Monster catches on fire so he runs to the river. Well now he’s in the river. The Headless Horseman can’t do much now, but he can keep throwing pumpkins at Frankenstein’s Monster. So he keeps hitting Frankenstein’s Monster until he [Frankenstein’s Monster] is burned to a crisp. Boom! You got it, The Headless Horseman wins.


Hannah: Okay, three very different hot takes for this match to the death. I must deliberate for a few minutes. This one is genuinely hard.


Spongebob SquarePants transition/timeskip that says "many hours later."

Hannah: After much deliberation I have reached a conclusion. Drum roll please!


Michael Scott drum roll.

Hannah: Frankenstein’s Monster is the winner! What will happen is the following: a very long game. Frankenstein’s Monster will be creepin around the arena, hiding, while The Headless Horseman will be on the offense. There will be a few scrimmages. They will tussle. But they’re both going to go their separate ways each time. At one point, The Headless Horseman will just start throwing all his flaming pumpkins. This is going to break Frankenstein’s Monster and send him into a rage. A rage that will cause Frankenstein’s Monster to grab The Headless Horseman and drag him across the river. At which point Frankenstein’s Monster wins and is crowned winner of the 2023 Versus Match; 2-time Death Match Champion!


The End

Thank you for joining me today, Book Nerds. I hope you had as much fun reading this as much as I enjoyed creating it. I love getting to have these conversations with my friends; I never know what’s going to come out of their mouths. I had a wildly good time with this versus match and I hope all you did too.


Once again, a huge thank you to Amanda, Katie, and Frankie for helping me out with this post. Please give them some love cause they really made this post. Amanda and Katie didn’t want their socials linked so give them some love on Reading Has Ruined My Life’s Twitter or Instagram; at @RHRMLBlog and @ReadingHasRuinedMyLife respectively. I’ll pass along all your messages. If you wanna give Frankie some love then you can check out his podcast, The PACRats, on YouTube, Spotify, and Twitch.


Be prepared for a lot more this year! I have big, big plans so get ready for more reviews on books new and old, versus matches and poorly explained literature, hot takes, and of course self-deprecating humor to go along with the trials and tribulations of falling in love with a new book every week.


Happy New Year to all of you and Happy Birthday to RHRML! I’ll see you again on Wednesday with the first book review of 2023.


Until then, stay safe, wash your hands, and read some good books for me.


Bears waving.
See y'all on Wednesday, bye!

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