Already we are at the Elite Eight stage of Middle-earth March Madness 2023, Rings of Power Edition – just eight characters from the original 64 remain. Who is still in with a chance of becoming 2023’s Champion?

Elves, Dwarves and Monsters

It was Elves versus Dwarves in the Sweet Sixteen round in this bracket, with the monsters already defeated. Galadriel faced Durin IV, while his wife Disa took on Elrond. We were expecting these battles to be real nail-biters; but in fact, the Elves had a reasonably easy time of it. Galadriel defeated Durin by taking 57% of the votes, and Elrond claimed almost two thirds of the votes in his dual with Disa. Sorry, Dwarf fans; Aulë’s children are out of Middle-earth March Madness for this year.

Now the Elven friends face each other, in the final match within the bracket. Does the Halfelven have any chance against the daughter of Finarfin? Which of them will continue on to a potential battle against Sauron himself, in the Semi Finals? You decide – place your votes now!

Farewell to Durin and Disa

Southlanders and Mordorians

This one is perhaps a surprise; we were predicting that Adar would be the victor in this bracket. He’s been defeated, however, by the archer Elf Arondir, in a 60/40 split of votes. Elves proved very popular in the Sweet Sixteen round!

The object of Arondir’s affections, Bronwyn, was on the other side of a 60/40 split, with Halbrand aka Sauron conquering her, and thus lining up a confrontation with Arondir in the Final Four. (It would have been fun to see Adar and Halbrand battle it out; alas, it was not to be…) Elf against the Lord of the Rings himself; surely there is no contest? Unless the voters get behind the sylvan Elf; rally the troops if you want to see Arondir in the final!

Arondir and Halbrand once seemed to be on the same side; now we know otherwise

Harfoots and Visitors

It seemed somewhat inevitable that this bracket would unfold as it has. The central story of the Harfoots in The Rings of Power is that of Elanor ‘Nori’ Brandyfoot and her friendship with the Stranger; so perhaps it is not surprising that those two should go all the way through the group, to face off against each other in the Final Four. Nori took three quarters of the vote in her victory over Sadoc Burrows. Poppy Proudfellow was able to put up a bit more of a fight against the Stranger, ultimately defeated but keeping him down to only 69% of the vote.

Who is the Stranger? Some kind of Istar? If so, how could a Harfoot possibly compete with him? But – if he is the Istar we think he might be, would he have the heart to overcome one of the ancestors of the Hobbits? Only you can decide!

Can Nori overcome the Stranger?


Two political leaders of Númenor faced off in the Sweet Sixteen round: Miriel, daughter of the King, came up against the scheming Pharazôn. We thought the cunning fellow might just manage victory in this dual; but a little over two thirds of the votes went Miriel’s way, so she remains undefeated.

Elendil’s battle was a symbolic one, the White Tree itself standing between him and the Final Four. He took a metaphorical ax to the tree, claiming almost three quarters of the tally. How will the Númenorean captain do against his ruler in the Semi Final? That’s up to you – vote now!

Will Elendil have the heart to overcome his Queen?

By now you know what to do (but should anyone be just joining the game at this stage, we still have instructions below!) Only eight characters remain, and this round is the final one within the four brackets. It gets harder and harder to choose who stays in the contest; that’s why we leave YOU to do the choosing!

How does it work, you ask? Simple! Click on one of the orange division buttons below. Then click the ‘Vote Now’ option that appears above the divisional bracket. This year you get to vote in each divisional match-up in one convenient and visual interface. Note – you need to click each division to vote in their respective brackets. So let’s get voting!

You have until the end of the day Friday March 31st to vote in this Quarter Final. The Final Four round will take place over the weekend – but who will be in it? You decide – VOTE NOW!