As per our announcement earlier today, TheOneRing.net’s 2021 Middle-earth March Madness competition theme is: Battle of the Best-Dressed – a theme conceived for audience participation!

Battle of the Best-dressed in Middle-earth - Middle-earth March Madness 2021
Battle of the Best dressed in Middle earth 8211 Middle earth March Madness 2021

Middle-earth March Madness is TheOneRing.net’s annual foray into the world of bracketed competitions – an event that has been running yearly since 2012. Like the NCAA March Madness competition in the US, the selection committee from TheOneRing.net chooses 64 contestants and then ranks them in regions, assigning them a seeding number based on an in-depth and exhaustive voting and discussion process.

During last night’s TORn Tuesday live stream reveal of this year’s theme, one of the commissioners (aka co-owner) of TheOneRing.net decided to throw in a curveball for 2021: this year we will feature a Wild Card round to replace one of the 64 contestants! Effectively eliminating one of the contestants for a true ‘wild card’ cinderella story.

Here’s how it works: first, we’d like you to vote in the Wild Card round. Which lucky – and unexpected – Hobbit character will be given a chance in this year’s March Madness: Alfrid in Drag or Bard the Bowman? After choosing your Wild Card, you will then vote on which contestant should be eliminated, to make room for Alfrid or Bard. Choose ONLY ONE from the remaining two questionsEITHER one character from the ‘Humans & Maiar’ and ‘Villains’ categories, OR one character from the ‘Hobbits & Dwarves’ and ‘Elves’ categories. Remember, you’re choosing ONE character to be eliminated from the competition, and replaced by our Wild Card!

This Wild Card round will end this coming Friday (26th) at 10pm ET. The main competition will begin next week; so hunt out those cosplay images, and prepare your campaign for the costume you want to see crowned overall victor! But first, help us decide – who has to go before we even get started? And does Alfrid deserve a chance, or is Bard the worthy wild card? You choose…