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Father vs Son! The Middle-earth March Madness Final is set! Thranduil vs. Legolas!

thefinals2014 In what is possibly of the biggest boilovers imaginable, Middle-earth March Madness for 2014 has come down to a father-son battle for the title honours!

That’s right: it’s a Thranduil vs Legolas final.

After a very slow semi-final start, Thranduil clawed his way back through the field to eventually topple Aragorn out of the contest, while Legolas and Thorin waged a neck-and-neck battle for quite some time before the former pulled away in the vote.

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Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Two Towers, Uncategorized

Speaking of Legolas…

gimli_et_legolas_sur_le_mur_du_gouffre_howe Here’s the second of our four semi-final contestants in our 2014 March Madness contest — Legolas, member of the Fellowship of the Ring.

In this piece, Tolkien scholar Michael Martinez discusses the paradox of Legolas — “both old and young, both wise and yet inexplicably ignorant of the wide world around him”.

Don’t forget to click the link at the bottom to continue to the full essay.

Speaking of Legolas…

by Michael Martinez

I decided to set myself a challenge and write something about Legolas which hasn’t been said before. There seems to be a lot of curiosity about this Elf. People want to know all sorts of things about him, such as what color was his hair, who was his mother, when was he born, was he at the Battle of Five Armies?

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Posted in Characters, Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers

Vote in the Middle-earth March Madness Final Four! Some like it ‘Hot!’

final-fourThe Final Four are set! And in a stunning turn of events, Middle-earth has gone ‘Hot!’ In an unexpected twist of fate, the final four combatants are arguably the most swoon-worthy group of Middle-earth combatants ever.

First up, we have Thranduil facing off against Aragorn. Some staff are already dubbing this match-up as ‘Team Sparkle’ (Thranduil) vs. ‘Team Stubble’ (Aragorn).

And with Legolas dispatching Gandalf in the Elite Eight, we now have a Hobbit (film) showdown of epic proportions – Legolas vs. Thorin Oakenshield.

Will this be the first year we have an all Elven final? Can Aragorn finally put Team Sparkle out of the competition? Will the Richard Armitage Army dispatch Legolas? All is up in the air as the final four voting has begun!

Voting will last until 10pm ET on April 5th in this round. So let the Middle-earth March Madness continue! Happy Voting!
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Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Two Towers, Uncategorized

Sparklepost: here’s Thranduil!

It’s Thranduil like you’ve never, ever seen him before!

If you’ve ever needed proof that Thranduil (the undisputed King of all Sparklewood) is, by far, the prettiest being in all of Middle-earth, check these out. Legolas: no longer the prettiest.

And don’t forget to vote Team Sparkle Sparkle in our 2014 March Madness competition — Thranduil can take this one! (more…)

Posted in Characters, Creations, Fans, The Hobbit

We’ve reached the Elite Eight! Vote Now in Middle-earth March Madness Round 4!

middleearthmarchmadness14-verticalWe’ve reached arguably the most exciting round of this year’s Middle-earth March Madness – The Elite Eight! Eight combatants have tested their gruff against some impressive opponents, and now face a battle for the ages! In the Lonely Mountain division we have the (16) Elrond taking on fan fav (6) Aragorn. In Erebor, (1) Thorin Oakenshield faces a much bigger challenge than gold fever when he faces (3) The One Ring. The Bag End match-up is a battle of the top seeds as (1) Bilbo takes on the trending (2) Thranduil (aka Sparkles). And last but not least, Mirkwood gives us a battle of two all-time Middle-earth juggernauts – (1) Gandalf vs. (14) Legolas. This is a round for the ages!

Voting in this round will end on April 1st (we promise to give you real results) so don’t delay – fight for your choices. Share! Tweet! Comment!

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Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Two Towers, Uncategorized

Lord of the Rings/Hobbit Book Characters vs LOTR/Hobbit Movie Characters

BooksVsMoviesOur latest Library feature is a question piece that’s been rolling around my head for the last couple of months.  As anyone who knows me well, I’m an extremely curious little cat and enjoy hearing other peoples opinions on a topic, both for and against, so with that in mind:

Book Characters versus Movie Characters

Have your perceptions of characters changed after seeing them on the big screen?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, ever since I interviewed Peckish Owl and she replied to my question about her favourite characters in LOTR/The Hobbit with;

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Posted in Characters, Fans, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Community

Vote now in Round Three of Middle-earth March Madness 2014 edition!

middleearthmarchmadness14-verticalThe second round of the 2014 edition of Middle-earth March Madness mostly saw sweeping victories for those who moved through into the third round — except in one extremely close-fought vote.

Voting for Round Three is now open below. Here are the match-ups!

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Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Two Towers, Uncategorized

Middle-earth March Madness Round 2 closes today! VOTE NOW!

2014Bracket2Middle-earth March Madness continues! The competition is going strong, as your favourite Middle-earth characters (and objects!) battle to make it through to Round 3. Today is your last chance to vote in the second round – who will survive?

In the Lonely Mountain bracket, Aragorn and Elrond both look like they’ll have quite comfortable victories (over the Balrog of Moria, and Fingolfin, respectively); it’s a little closer between Treebeard and Gollum, though it looks like the Ent will overcome the tricksy one.  Much tighter is the contest between Frodo Baggins and Bard; Frodo is on top at the moment, but there’s still time for Bard to make a late comeback! Vote now if you want the Bowman to stay in the competition!

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Posted in Characters, Events, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, Other Events, The Hobbit

Vote Now – Round 2 of Middle-earth March Madness is upon us

Things are really heating up in the 2014 edition of Middle-earth March Madness with some competitors moving into the second round by the skin of their teeth. Voting for Round 2 is now open at the bottom of this post.

2014Bracket2

LONELY MOUNTAIN BRACKET

The perfect example is the very first match up in the Lonely Mountain bracket. Elrond squeaked past Smaug by just 1%, while his second round match up in Fingolfin made it past Bombur by just under a 3% differential. So what can we expect from a meeting of two great Elven Lords? Fingolfin became High-King of the Noldor once they arrived in Middle-earth and was a well renowned warrior before he fell to Morgoth. Elrond Half-elven is one of the great Elven Lords and by the time we get to the War of the Ring he holds one of the Elven rings of Power, Vilya, the most powerful of the three Rings. With two such regal Elves going toe to toe, this should be one match up to keep your eye on.

The Lonely Mountain bracket have a few other match ups worthy of taking note of. Treebeard beat Saruman, proving that the March of the Ents and subsequent taking of Isengard was no fluke. The eldest of the Ents will take on Gollum, just about the craftiest survivor in Middle-earth, this will be one unpredictable showdown. Aragorn defeated Melian, an ancestor of his wife Arwen while Bain fell to the Balrog of Moria, which face it, was not a fair fight. Aragorn wanted a chance to face the Balrog when the Fellowship was chased to the Bridge of Khazad-dum, but Gandalf stepped in stating that “this foe is beyond you”, now he gets a second chance to face this foe. The final match up in the bracket is that of Frodo Baggins, who defeated Manwe with a decent margin against Bard the Bowman, who handily dispatch Bill the Pony back to Bree. Will the grim holder of the Black Arrow prevail against the final Ringbearer? Only you can decide the fate of these contestants.

BAG END BRACKET

Most of the first round contests were handily won by those who move into the second round, with the closest match up being that of Radagast defeating Balin by just a 5% differential. But now the Brown Wizard will be facing Galadriel, who easily moved past Beren. What can Brown do against the Lady of the Golden Wood, you must decide. The most fascinating duel will be that of the Black Arrow against Anduril. The Flame of the West quickly dispatched the Spiders of Mirkwood while the Black Arrow made quick work of the Watcher in the Water, but these two mighty weapons head to head should be the most hotly contested match in the Bag End bracket. Thranduil didn’t even break a sweat in moving on past Tom, William and Bert, and his new foe, Gwaihir, easily flew past Barliman Butterbur. Can the Wind Lord outpace the King of the Mirkwood Realm?

Of the contests in the Bag End bracket, the most unpredictable is most likely Bilbo against Glorfindel. Bilbo made it past the Fell Beasts fairly easily, while Glorfindel had a harder time against Kili. Having slain a Balrog, and dying in the process only to be sent back to Middle-earth by the Valar probably aided that. Both Bilbo and Glorfindel were living in Imladris, with Bilbo being a special guest of Elrond and Glorfindel acting as Lord Elrond’s Lieutenant. Gandalf has called him “one of the mighty of the Firstborn, an Elf-lord of a house of Princes”. Thus it was that Elrond sent Glorfindel out to assist Frodo in finding his way into Rivendell because he was strong enough to face the Ringwraiths. And yet, Bilbo has faced Trolls, goblins, won the Ring of Power from Gollum, defeated giant spiders and faced a dragon and lived to tell the tale. This should be an battle of epic proportions, vote wisely.

EREBOR BRACKET

This bracket is full of darkness with three of the four contests having at least one Dark character. But none is more full of evil intent than Morgoth versus Ancalagon. While Morgoth easily slipped past the Arkenstone in round 1, Ancalagon reduced the Bunny Sled to ashes and now the Master will face his creation. Ancalagon the Black was bred by Morgoth and was considered the largest and mightiest of all the dragons in Middle-earth, and Morgoth began as Melkor, the most powerful of the Ainur before succumbing to darkness. His is a cautionary tale against pride, wrath, envy, lust for power and greed. Will the mightiest of all Fire-drakes be able to defeat the Dark Lord that preceded Sauron who was, in fact, Morgoth’s lieutenant?

After defeating Gothmog, Dain Ironfoot is set to take on The One Ring after it handily defeated Nenya. Can this Heir of Durin resist the lure of the Ring of Power? In the other contest with dark overtones is that of Beorn against the Witch-king of Angmar. Beorn handily survived Glamdring while the Witch-king crushed the Master of Laketown. Glorfindel is the one who made the prophecy that the Witch-king could not be killed by man, but Beorn is not of the Race of Men, should make for an interesting smackdown.

The final contest in the Erebor bracket is that of Thorin, King Under the Mountain, and Boromir, a Son of Gondor. Thorin dismissed Pippin quite easily, while Boromir sent the two Blue Wizards packing, but these two have so much in common that this is set to be a very unpredictable match up. Boromir, the greatest Captain of the Gondorian army during the War of the Ring becomes enthralled by the temptation of the Ring, and betrays Frodo before coming to his senses. He redeems himself with his sacrifice in order to save Merry and Pippin and becomes the last to use and hold the Horn of Gondor. Likewise, Thorin is a mighty warrior and hero among the Dwarves exiled from their home, but his desire to reclaim his kingdom, and the enthrallment with the treasure sees him succumbing to Dragon sickness. His is a last minute realization that there is more to life, and like Boromir, he is redeemed in the eyes of those he values. This is going to be an epic showdown of two of Tolkien’s most flawed heroes, and their fate is now in your hands.

MIRKWOOD BRACKET

This bracket is a little bit of a wildcard with some  much loved characters going head to head, most notable Gandalf versus Luthien. Gandalf simply trounced the Great Goblin, much as he did in Goblintown, while Luthien barely snuck past Gil-Galad. Can Gandalf, holder of Narya, one of the three Elven rings and wielder of the Flame of Arnoth move on past one of the most beloved of Elven Maidens? She is actually Half-Elven, with the other half being Maiar, and yet she fell in love with a mortal man, in turn inspiring countless tales and songs after she chose to become mortal in order to die alongside her husband Beren. Elves to this day still mourn the loss of Luthien, and a few Men as well, such as Aragorn. It was her choice to become mortal that allowed her descendant Arwen to make the same choice. This match up is sure to inspire great debate and will be more unpredictable than the rest in this bracket.

Glaurung defeated Shelob in a battle of monsters in order to face off against Faramir, who surpassed Varda in round 1. With the incorruptible Son of Gondor be able to survive squaring off against the first dragon of Middle-earth? Glaurung may be the first dragon, but he has no wings, where as Faramir will still have to defeat a fire breathing drake. The next contest has Sting, which easily outwitted the Talking Wallet taking on Legolas, who actually got past Sauron. The small, elvish blade of little consequence for the likes of Elves and Men earns a mighty reputation when put into the hands of a Baggins, but is it capable of defeating a princely Elven hunter? The final pairing is that of Samwise Gamgee against Tauriel. She easily handled Saruman’s Palantir, but Samwise the Brave made mince meat out of Azog. Where as Tauriel is the more skilled warrior, it is doubtful she can top Sam’s ability with a skillet and a brace of Coneys.

In the end, it is up to you to decide what befalls all these characters and artifacts of Middle-earth. Vote, discuss and share and lets see what surprises Round 2 has in store for us all.

Download the Bracket! [Round 2] [Round 1]



The Lonely Mountain – Round 2
March 21st – March 24th 2014


Bag End – Round 2
March 21st – March 24th 2014


Erebor – Round 2
March 21st – March 24th 2014


Mirkwood – Round 2
March 21st – March 24th 2014


Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Two Towers, Tolkien

More magical work from the Knitting Witch!

knitwitch3Back in January, we told you about the amazing figures created by a fan in the UK  – incredibly detailed characters from The Hobbit movies,  all made by knitting!  (Check them out in our article, here.)  Now Denise Salway, known as ‘The Knitting Witch’, has created another amazing piece – a jacket, telling the tale of The Hobbit in details all over this fabulous item of clothing. Denise says:

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Posted in Characters, Creations, Fans, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit

Tolkien characters found at every turn in Dutch neighborhood

LotR GoogleSo, you’re going out for a Sunday drive. You travel down the street, you make a left turn on Aragorn… what’s that you say? You don’t have streets in your neighborhood named after Tolkien characters? Well, plainly you don’t live in the town of Geldrop, in the Netherlands.

As residents of the area can tell you, every street in this neighborhood is named after a character or location from Professor Tolkien’s Middle-earth. You’ll find names from The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and even The Silmarillion. (more…)

Posted in Characters, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Miscellaneous, Tolkien

Smaug comes to life in the pages of a book

smaug sculptureWe all know, of course, that Tolkien’s characters and locations spring vividly to life in the imagination, whenever his books are read. One artist, however, has taken that a step further, and created a sculpture of Smaug from the pages of a copy of The Hobbit. The scaly, menacing dragon leers around the cover of the book, seeking a tiny Bilbo, who cowers under his searching gaze. See more pictures and read about this amazing art work here – it’s really stunning.

[Incredible Smaug book sculpture]

Posted in Characters, Creations, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien