The Sweet Sixteen round is upon us! The costumes are dropping like flies in the Battle of the Best Dressed in Middle-earth; here’s how things stand now:

The Middle-earth March Madness bracket for 2021, showing the costumes still in play for the Sweet Sixteen round.
Round Three 8211 Sweet Sixteen

So, what happened in Round Two? Let’s begin this time with the Elves. Galadriel’s Lorien gown beat Arwen’s dress when on the bridge with Aragorn; but now she has to take on her granddaughter again, as Galadriel meets Arwen’s blue and red dress in Round Three. Here’s a certain TORn founder looking very fetching in that gown:

TORn founder Calisuri in a cosplay of Arwen's blue and red gown; with a lovely wig, and a flower behind his ear!
Calisuri makes a lovely elf

The closest fight in this region was between Haldir and Arwen’s riding outfit when she rescues Frodo; Haldir lost out, but only by 2%. And in a shock example of patricide, Legolas defeated his father Thranduil; though not by much. Two beautiful elves enter, one elf leaves…

Turning to Hobbits/Dwarves, we see that our Wild Card Bard the Bowman is out! Gimli, never one to be defeated by pretty boy archers, took three quarters of the vote in that duel. Thorin’s quest costume is the outfit from The Hobbit movies remaining in the contest. Can he possibly beat Gimli in the next round?

Perhaps many will be shocked to know that Bilbo’s dressing gown did not make it through! Again, this was an easy victory, with Pippin (in Gondorian armour) claiming over 70% of the vote. Now Pippin’s soldier of Gondor must face off against Merry’s rider of Rohan; which costume will claim your support?

The Witchking is triumphant in the Villains category – both his regular form and his ‘twilight’ form won their battles with about two thirds of the vote. Now he has to go up against himself in the Sweet Sixteen round. (We haven’t seen any Witchking cosplays yet; anyone got one to share?) The Balrog is flying (or is he?) onwards, having easily conquered the Haradrim. The surprise in this section was that the Mouth of Sauron vanquished Denethor; so ol’ toothy goes on to face the demon of the ancient world next.

And finally, our Humans and Maiar group saw Theoden beaten twice – once by Eomer’s armour, and once by Aragorn’s coronation robes. Not one of Eowyn’s lovely outfits has made it to the Sweet Sixteen round; Boromir gained almost 60% of the vote to see off her last dress in the contest, the coronation robe. The battle of the rangers saw the second biggest margin of this round (after Gimli’s trouncing of Bard); Strider strides on into Round Three, with almost three quarters of the vote going to him. Longshanks the rough ranger will go up against the returned king at his coronation in the next round; do you prefer Aragorn rugged or freshly shampooed…?

Voting in Round Three is open until 5pm ET on Tuesday 6th April. Don’t delay – VOTE NOW! Get your friends to vote! Share your cosplays, and let us know which of the remaining sixteen costumes you’d like to see as Grand Champion. (As ever, you can share your cosplay images on our facebook page; you can email them to spymaster@theonering.net; or you can simply tag us on Twitter or Instagram, and use #middleearthbestdressed. By sharing your images, you give TheOneRing.net your permission to use them online.)

Then join us LIVE during TORn Tuesday on the 6th April, to reveal the Sweet Sixteen winners, and discuss the Quarter Final line ups.

Are Boromir’s vambraces better than Eomer’s? Are the Witchking’s robes better in black or white? Is Legolas the fairest of them all? YOU decide – vote now!