We’ve reached the Elite Eight in our inaugural Middle-earth March Madness tournament! The match-ups in the second round proved to be quite historic, but none more than the Rankin/Bass Division. The top seed (1)Gandalf, narrowly won by a single vote. Yes, one vote out of 19,405 is all that defeated the great (4)Feanor! Proving once again that even the smallest of things can make a difference. In the other match-up, (6)Smaug lost to (2)Galadriel by only 100 votes in a competition that saw 20,616 total votes! The rest of the divisions were competitive, but did come down to less than 100 votes. (see all results here) Ultimately we’ve ended up with the number 1 and number 2 seeded competitors facing off in the Elite Eight!

(1)Gandalf will take on (2)Galadriel in a battle of characters that will be returning to the screen in the upcoming ‘Hobbit‘ films! In the Ralph Bakshi Division, (1)Bilbo Baggins will test his muster against a crowd-favorite (2)Aragorn. In the Tolkien Family Division, heavily favored heart-throb (1)Legolas will face off against the hardened savior of Middle-earth (2)Frodo Baggins. The Peter Jackson Division’s final competition comes served with a bit of irony. Peter’s division is the only one to have a competitor that was not represented on-screen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The match-up finds the top-seeded (1)Glorfindel versus a heavy crowd favorite (2)Samwise Gamgee.

Follow after the break to place your vote and see the latest version of the bracket. (download) Voting will remain open until March 30th at Noon ET. You may vote as often as you like, so please share with your friends and family.

Rankin/Bass Division – Round 3
March 22nd – March 30th 2012

Ralph Bakshi Division – Round 3
March 22nd – March 30th 2012

Tolkien Family Division – Round 3
March 22nd – March 30th 2012

Peter Jackson Division – Round 3
March 22nd – March 30th 2012