Study Guide

The Scorpio Races Competition

By Maggie Stiefvater


Human beings love competition. From the Olympics in ancient Greece to, well, the Olympics in London, with every single sporting tournament and reality show in between, people love watching others fight, battle, and beat the shmoop out of one another in every conceivable way imaginable.

We hate to keep bringing up The Hunger Games (okay, no we don't—we heart The Hunger Games), but it paved the way for this kind of nail-bitingly intense competition to enter the young-adult lit universe. Now that the way is paved, hungry horses from the sea are free to gallop down it and splatter it with the blood of their victims. A book called The Scorpio Races is ultimately about, you guessed it, races, and what people will do to win.

Questions About Competition

  1. What is the main motivating factor for the men who compete in the Scorpio Races?
  2. Is Sean competitive by nature? What about Puck?
  3. If Thisby were not the home of the capaill, would the men of the island still compete against each other?
  4. Is the prize for winning the Scorpio Races worth it?

Chew on This

The Scorpio Races themselves are less about competition and more about tradition. These men are fighting to stay alive more than they're fighting each other.

Mutt Malvern is the most competitive person in the race, going to great lengths to sabotage Sean. But he's not competing to win the race so much as he's competing for the affection of his own father.

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