Six rounds, with well over 5,000 votes in each round; much impassioned discussion in chat rooms and on Facebook threads; multiple live results shows; and now it’s done. Middle-earth March Madness 2020 drew to a close last night; if you missed the live results show, you can catch it here. (Last night the panelists looked back on the past nine years of Middle-earth March Madness, and also discussed some of our least favourite scenes in Peter Jackson’s movies, before the big reveal of this year’s winner!) Or simply read on, to find out which scene was declared Grand Champion 2020.
This year’s theme was ‘Film Scenes’, and we started off with a selection of 64 favourite moments from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, chosen and voted on for seeding by TORn staffers. These were divided into four categroies: Scenic, Laughter, Tearjerkers and Drama/Action. Staff chose considerably more Lord of the Rings moments than Hobbit moments as favourites, and only one Hobbit scene (Bilbo saying farewell to the dwarves) made it out of Round One. (It was defeated in Round Two by Boromir’s death.) Perhaps the most notable upset in Round One was the defeat in the Tearjerker group of the number one seed, the Grey Havens, by the number 16 seed, ‘You bow to no one’. This latter scene went all the way to the Semi Final, suggesting that it should perhaps have started with a higher seed; but clearly it wasn’t a high favourite amongst the staff who voted on seeding. (What do TORn staff know…?! I’m still shocked that the ‘Dare we risk a little more light’ moment in the great hall of Moria didn’t make it past the first round!)
Our two eventual finalists were the winner of the Scenic bracket, ‘Lighting the Beacons’, vs the Drama/Action champion, ‘The Charge of the Rohirrim’. Feelings ran high for this one, with many fans expressing their love for one side of the other. As more and more comments appeared on Facebook, however, it seemed pretty clearly that voting was going more to one side – and in the end, it wasn’t a particularly close battle. The victorious scene took 68% of the vote.
And so, we can reveal the Grand Champion of Middle-earth March Madness 2020:
The stirring speech by King Theoden, and the heroic plunge into battle, defeated the call for aid which lead directly to that moment, as Rohan comes to help Gondor – making the Charge of the Rohirrim this year’s overall winner.
Here is the final bracket for 2020:
We also announced last night the winner of the fabulous Balrog statue, from our friends at Sideshow. Congratulations to A. Fuentes; look out for an email coming your way! Thanks again to Sideshow for letting us do such a great giveaway.
And thanks to all of YOU, for having some March Madness fun with us over these last couple of weeks. Don’t forget, you can still catch last night’s live results show, here. We’re already thinking about what our theme next year might be… Meanwhile, stay tuned for more fun and live events from TORn, as we get through these strange, locked-down days together. Your friends are with you! Fear no darkness!