It is time … time to vote in Round One of the Battle of the Best Dressed in Middle-earth!

Following our initial bracket reveal on last week’s TORn Tuesday, our Wild Card round at the end of last week saw Bard replace the Dwarf Women for a spot in the contest. So now we begin the match ups! Will Theoden’s splendid armour overcome Faramir’s coronation robes? Can the Haradrim defeat the Easterlings? And in an epic confrontation of elvish beauty, which will triumph: Galadriel’s dress in An Unexpected Journey, or Arwen’s gown on the bridge with Aragorn? Here’s how the bracket looks, for Round One of our contest:

The round one bracket for 2021's Middle-earth March Madness, with 64 characters/costumes sorted into 4 regions.

We’ve been encouraging you to rally the vote for your favourite costumes, by showing us your cosplays for some of these characters. Let’s take a look at some we’ve received thus far! Voting begins below as well!

Barbara McCoskey thinks you should vote for Arwen’s riding outfit (when she rescues Frodo); it’s up against Elrond’s Rivendell robes, so it’s a tough challenge, but perhaps Barbara’s beautiful cosplay will persuade you to give Arwen your vote:

Fan Barbara McCoskey poses in the snow, in her version of Arwen's riding dress (seen when Arwen rescues Frodo in Fellowship of the Ring).

Sauron wouldn’t seem to be someone who would need much help; but he is up against the Balrog in this opening round. Roger Perzan may convince you to ‘vote Sauron!’ with this picture of his amazing armoured cosplay:

Fan Roger Perzan poses in a beautiful Sauron cosplay, complete with mace.

And finally, we just couldn’t resist sharing a couple of adorable Bilbos. This Unexpected Journey Bilbo didn’t actually make it into our March Madness bracket; but you CAN vote for Bilbo in his dressing gown, or in his Fellowship of the Ring party outfit. If you didn’t love Bilbo enough already, here are first Tina Castro’s daughter, and then Tammy Wilson’s son, perfectly attired as the bravest little hobbit of them all:

Fan Tina Castro's daughter dressed as an adorable Bilbo, complete with a soft toy Smaug.
Fan Tammy Wilson's son makes a wonderful Bilbo, complete with walking stick and hairy hobbit feet!

If you’d like to rally the vote for a particular costume, by showing us your cosplay, you can share your images on our facebook page; you can email them to; or you can simply tag us on Twitter or Instagram, and use #middleearthbestdressed. (By sharing your images, you give your permission to use them online.)

Now you need to get voting! Simply complete the survey below. You have until 5pm PT on Wednesday 31st March to cast your votes in Round One. Be sure to join us on TORn Tuesday tomorrow night for a live discussion of these Round One pairings. Let battle commence!