It’s Semi Final time! Time to reveal the winners from each of the four ‘Divisional’ brackets, and launch the round to decide our finalists. Just two rounds remain in Middle-earth March Madness 2022, A Battle of the Ages – so don’t delay, get in on the action and cast your vote today! With voting numbers holding strong through each round – 12,000 votes in the Elite Eight stage – it’s clear there will be some compelling feelings about which event from the history of Arda should claim the title of Grand Champion. Final Four voting is open now until the end of the day Saturday April 2nd. As ever, you’ll find the updated bracket, and the button for voting, below.

Instructions: Click on the orange voting button above. Then click the ‘Vote Now’ option that appears above the final four bracket.

So what were the Elite Eight results?

One side of the contest features the power of the Silmarils, and the other side is all about the One Ring. Only the Last Alliance is standing strong against the power of the Ring on the right hand side of the table; but will those Elves and Men still be standing in the Final Four? Let’s take a look…

The Pre-First Age Bracket

In the first of our brackets, the final showdown was between Eru Ilúvatar’s Creation of Arda, the very beginning of entire saga, and Fëanor’s hubristic creation of the Silmarils. Having seen off the competition fairly easily up to this point, Fëanor had at last met his match. Eru’s work which started it all could not be beaten, with Fëanor only managing to claim a little over a third of the vote.

The Creation of Arda, by John Pitre

The First Age Bracket

In the First Age, the Silmarils – or one of them, at any rate – proved dominate, with Beren and Lúthien’s temporary capture of one of the wondrous gems defeating the War of Wrath by almost the same margin by which Eru conquered Fëanor.

Beren and Lúthien with a Silmaril, by Justin Gerard
Beren and Lúthien with a Silmaril, by Justin Gerard

The Second Age Bracket

On the right hand side of the board, we saw both the closest and the widest margins in battle. Here in the Second Age, the Last Alliance put up a fierce fight against Sauron’s forging of the One Ring. Our army of Men and Elves were able to claim close to half the vote; but in the end, the power of the Ring proved too great. They were ultimately defeated by around 7%.

Sauron Forges The One Ring - Alan Lee
Sauron forges the One Ring, by Alan Lee

The Third Age Bracket

The widest margin of this round – and almost of the entire contest so far – was found in the final Third Age matchup. Bilbo’s finding of the One Ring could not quite manage one quarter of the votes; judging from the scale of the victory, the destruction of the One Ring is looking like a likely contender for overall winner this year.

'Cast it into the fire!'
‘Cast it into the fire!’

So our Semi Final sees the very Creation of Arda taking on Beren and Lúthien’s Silmaril recovery, and the One Ring’s forging going up against its destruction. Which events should make it to the final? YOU decide – cast your votes! Remind yourself of the tales behind these events in our ‘Middle-earth History primers’: click for Pre-First Age, First Age, and Second Age. (And maybe rewatch Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King to remind yourself of the Ring’s fiery end…) Then use the button above to cast your vote – you have until the end of the day Saturday 2nd. Which will be our final two? VOTE NOW!