Louisville may have won the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament last night, but the only match-up that Middle-earth fans were watching was that between Thorin Oakenshield and Gandalf the Grey. After an initial significant lead, Thorin’s army of fans brought him back from the depths. These two popular Hobbit characters scraped and scrounged for every single vote resulting in an amazingly close final.
As promised, we carefully reviewed the voting process and as it turns out, we are pleased to report there was not a lot of significant over-voting. Any small adjustments made did not affect the final result. So without further delay, we are pleased to announce that the 2013 Middle-earth March Madness Champion is….
See the UPDATE below for final tallies and some additional notes on voting.
Gandalf had the early lead, but Thorin’s army has pulled him into a dramatic 50/50 split! Who will win the 2013 edition of Middle-earth March Madness? Your guess is as good as ours.
A note on voting. We implemented a single vote per user rule in the Elite Eight round. Behind the scenes, we can tell which users are abusing the system and voting much more than once. In all instances, those voters will have their votes stricken and counted only as a single vote. For this reason, we will not have a final result to share until Tuesday morning. Voting ends at 10pm ET tonight, so if you haven’t already voted in this classic match, place your vote today!
We’ve come to it at last. The final match-up of the 2013 Middle-earth March Madness is now set.
The finalists are Gandalf the Grey vs. Thorin Oakenshield.
Thorin’s story in this competition is one of significant achievement. He managed to handle some historic Middle-earth talent by off’ing Fingolfin, Beorn and Smaug. In the semi-finals, Thorin held off a Number 1 seed, Lady Galadriel, with 53% of the vote. He is now riding a wave of popularity into this final match-up with Gandalf.
Gandalf had a bit of a cake-walk in the early rounds of the Angmar Division, easily taking care of Arwen and Merry. He didn’t escape unscathed however. He had a bit more compeition when he faced Gollum and ultimately The One Ring, but he bested both foes. The semi-final match-up with Elrond seemed to be a simple road bump, easily beating the Lord of Rivendell with 80% of the vote.
Now we have a true ‘Hobbit’ final. Who will win? Will Thorin continue to defy the odds and best yet another great of Middle-earth? Will Gandalf finally put an end to Thorin’s streak? Will the Richard Armitage fans out-vote the Ian McKellen fans? So many questions – who will win?!
Voting for the Finals will end on Monday April 8th at 10pm ET. Vote now!
Back in the First Age of TheOneRing.net when the interwebs were new and fansites were breaking ground on the way movies were covered, TORn used to consistantly swamp media or website polls that featured any “Lord of the Rings” characters. We would vote for J.R.R. Tolkien as the Author of the Century or something and chat about “what if Sean Connery is cast as Gandalf.” It was fun for a while but it actually got a little tiresome and the practice slowly faded away. There just wasn’t a need for Tolkien fandom to validate its place in the pantheon of fantasy or entertainment or popular culture. It was a nice memory or footnote in our online community’s culture.
Then, a couple of days ago, our staffer Justin, with the least Tolkien TORn handle of them all, started to hit the MTV movie awards category for “best hero,” by promoting the Twitter hashtag #votebilbo. He used our Twitter feed (@TheOneRingNet) to push the tag that tallies a vote for Bilbo as the best hero of 2012 every time somebody uses it on Twitter. Truthfully, I thought it was harmless but pretty useless (sorry Justin!) and a bit silly (sorry everybody!). Why take up the cause for fictional characters to fight it out in a meaningless contest that really only helps MTV? We have our own Middle-earth Madness for that kind of fun already. Plus, Snow White was leading the way and either kids liked that movie a whole lot more than the boxoffice showed or the votes were coming because “Twilight” star Kristen Stewart played the title role. She is big with the MTV market and any attempt to catch her would be futile. But, the community pushed Bilbo past Batman. About then, I gave Justin and his movement a second thought and support.
Joining in the Twitter voice, we redoubled our efforts and next thing you know, Iron Man was in the rear view mirror as well and Bilbo was in second place. A funny thing happened during the process: It became really fun on Twitter to #VoteBilbo! It is now something of a social media game to find clever ways to #VoteBilbo and we at TORn were able to re-tweet some of the better ideas, helping it all go viral. The group experience of the “old days” was back but in a much more interactive way. Fun with the community! Then, the hashtag started to trend in the UK and today in US as well. It has grown well beyond @TheOneRingNet and not long ago now the official Hobbit twitter account @TheHobbitMovie joined the cause. They promote the effort with dignity and restraint, something fans are not compelled to do.
So there are a lot of funny #vote Bilbo tweets out there now, a few shared in this story. It became a thing. Staffer personal twitter accounts like @SlaveBoyFilms, @MrLDC, @Quickbeam2000, @maegwen, @CruisingCathy and probably lots of others I haven’t seen (add them in the story staffers!), have joined the cause. And fellow fans have been funny and brilliant. At one point, #votebilbo took the lead but Stewart has stormed back. Its hard to imagine a Tolkien fanbase, less rooted in Twitter, having the numbers and frankly the passion to carry this to a win when voting ends April 14. I don’t know if we care enough, but it still is fun! As this is being written, less than 100 votes separate the two figures with over 40 thousand tweets cast. But, hey, this is kind of fun! Being clever and supporting a fictional character is pretty good entertainment. And, we have renamed the other character Snow WhiteTreeOfGondor since she carries a LOTR shield in her MTV photo.
Rumor has it that retweets don’t count unless the new tweet is a quote that includes a new one. And, only one tag per Tweet is counted. We don’t really know the rules exactly, but consider this a call to arms. Tweeters have been asking for help from the Sherlock crowd, Potter fans, Game of Thrones viewers (George R.R. Martin praises Tolkien at every opportunity) and anybody else they can think of really. In the meantime, be entertained and remember: #VoteBilbo! If you haven’t joined Twitter, you can follow TORn and its staff members for starters, where we usually tease our best content and even break news. We will Tweet live from the convention circuit including the Comic-Con in San Diego.
Orlando Bloom will make his Broadway debut this fall in Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ alongside Tony nominated actress Condola Rashad. The classic love story returns to the Broadway stage for the first time in 36 years.
The show will open Sept. 19 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, following preview performances slated to start Aug. 24. You can read the full article here. For updates and ticket information, please visit the shows official website.
Welcome to our collection of TORn’s hottest topics for the past week. If you’ve fallen behind on what’s happening on the Message Boards, here’s a great way to catch the highlights. Or if you’re new to TORn and want to enjoy some great conversations, just follow the links to some of our most popular discussions. Watch this space as every weekend we will spotlight the most popular buzz on TORn’s Message Boards. Everyone is welcome, so come on in and join in the fun!
The Final Four combatants in the 2013 edition of Middle-earth March Madness are set! With thousands of votes cast in the last round, we can now announce the champions of each division….
The Shire Division
As the number one seed in The Shire, (1) Galadriel skated through the entire division easily handling Nori, Huan, Morgoth and now Luthien. Based on her popularity in these match-ups, she is going to be a tough one to beat in the Final Four.
The Erebor Division
The Lord of Rivendell, (6) Elrond, the lowest seed left in the tournament, had a tough second and third round to make it the division lead. But can Elrond handle his old friend Gandalf the Grey?
The Mordor Division
In a surprise victory, the third seed (3) Thorin Oakenshield took out number one seed (1) Smaug. It seems Thorin is still benefiting from the RA Army, but he now has his hands full with The Lady Galadriel. Thorin’s journey to the Final Four has been nothing short of miraculous, often causing most of the heated discussions in the comments of the entire tournament.
The Angmar Division
In a battle of top Angmar division seeds, (2) Gandalf took out early tournament favorite (1) The One Ring. It can be said Gandalf had an easy time dispatching his opponents to make it to the Final Four, but how will he fair against his friend Elrond?
Voting in the Final Four starts right now and will close on April 5th at 10pm ET!
If you missed the Live Sneak Peek at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on March 24, and you can now access the archived version of the event at http://thehobbit.com/sneak if you have an access code from purchasing one of several versions of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. But for those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to get your hands on a copy of the film (perhaps you’re holding out for the Extended Edition, or you are in a country that it hasn’t been released in yet), don’t despair! Peter Jackson has released an excerpt from the live event on YouTube. The 6-minute clip includes Peter answering several “fan” questions, including those from Stephen Colbert and Billy Boyd.
Peter Jackson says, “Warner Bros have kindly let me post a six-minute excerpt of the Live Event we did to preview The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, to give anyone who missed it a sense of what it was like.”
Whether it was the photoshopped image of JRR Tolkien signing a document, many years after his passing, or the last line of this release, this was one of our 2013….
Global leader in high-quality family entertainment agrees to acquire world-renowned Middle-earth Enterprises, including THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT franchises.
Acquisition continues Disney’s strategic focus on creating and monetizing the world’s best branded content, innovative technology and global growth to drive long-term shareholder value.
Middle-earth Enterprises to join company’s global portfolio of world class brands including Disney, ESPN, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and ABC.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN TO MIDDLE-EARTH feature animated film targeted for release in 2016.
Burbank, CA and Berkeley, CA, April 1, 2013 – Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has agreed to acquire Middle-earth Enterprises in a stock and cash transaction. Middle-earth Enterprises, formerly known as Tolkien Enterprises, is a division of The Saul Zaentz Company, headquartered in Berkeley, California.
Under the terms of the agreement, the transaction value is $10 billion (US). The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.
“Middle-earth Enterprises reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of JRR Tolkien, the greatest author of the 20th century,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”
The Eighth Sort-of-Annual Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Trilogy Marathon takes place today, staring 9am Eastern. Feel free to join us any time during the day – we’re happy to tell you what part of the movies we’re at.
People from around the world are online with one common goal: to virtually gather with other fans to watch all three films straight through. Geeky? Yes. Fun? Absolutely.
Please browse through our FAQ below, you’ll find the answers to many of your questions.
TV3 reports that Park Road Post’s film laboratory is closing, after more than 70 years of processing New Zealand made films and playing a part in many of the country’s most successful movies. The lab, which processes stock 35mm film, was purchased by Sir Peter Jackson and partner Fran Walsh in 1999 from the government-owned national film unit, and became part of Park Road’s Post Production facilities. The Lord of The Rings trilogy was processed for a total of $7 million, at the expensive rate of a dollar per foot of 35mm film stock – a price which few filmmakers nowadays can afford.
“If you’re shooting digitally…once you’ve got your camera, once you’ve got your memory card or memory stick then really there’s no cost, or very little, and that’s one thing that’s driving people away from film and more toward digital,” says laboratory employee Brian Scadden.
The article goes on to say, ‘Kodak and Fuji are the world’s largest producers of film stock, but because filmmakers are using digital more and more, Fuji’s already stopped and Kodak’s future is in doubt.’ [Read More]
We’ve reached the Elite 8 line-up for Middle-earth March Madness 2013! 68,000 votes were cast in our last round which eliminated some big names in Middle-earth: Sauron, Gollum, Gwaihir, Beorn, Pippin and more! Our list of eight remaining combatants contain three members of the white council, two unlikely romantics, an inanimate object, and two of the main characters from The Hobbit.
Here are your Elite Eight Match-ups…
The Shire Division
So after all is said and done in The Shire, the battle comes down to (1) Galadriel vs. (6) Luthien. While Galadriel may be the more popularly known character, Luthien will give her a run for her money. This is a match-up of some of Middle-earth’s most powerful female characters!
The Erebor Division
Luthien’s lover (4) Beren, a mortal man, has his hands full facing battle-tested (6) Elrond. Elrond is hot off a significant victory over another star-crossed elf lover, Aragorn. But can Beren pull out the victory to give us one of the most memorable semi-finals of all time?!?
The Mordor Division
That gold hungry worm, (1) Smaug, managed to defeat the Dark Lord Sauron and will now face the flawed stubbornness of (3) Thorin Oakenshield. As this played out in ‘The Hobbit,’ Smaug handled the dwarves with ease, but will it happen again?!
The Angmar Division
As this reporter predicted, the number one seed (1) The One Ring has made it to the divisional final with a resounding victory. This inanimate object however has its hands full (wait, it has no hands…) as it faces off against one of Middle-earth’s most popular characters, (2) Gandalf the Grey. In this round we’ll finally see just who would conquer whom in this epic battle.
Voting starts right now and will run until April 1 at 10pm ET.
This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law.