After two weeks of discussing, debating, and voting, the original 64 characters from The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power who began in the four categories of Middle-earth March Madness 2023: Rings of Power Edition have been whittled down to just one. Who is our Champion for this year?

Looking back on past tournaments

Before we reveal this year’s winner, let’s take a look back at previous competitions. started creating this Tolkien-centric version of March Madness back in 2012, making this year’s the 12th tournament. In that time, we’ve had a variety of themes, including book vs. movie, heroes vs. villains, Middle-earth’s best dressed, and even locations in Arda. You can read a recap of the contest 2012-2019 here.


When we were all stuck in lockdown, our theme for the Middle-earth March Madness Quarantine Edition was scenes from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. The categories were ‘Tearjerkers’, ‘Laughter’, ‘Scenic’, and ‘Drama/Action’. The Final Four that year were ‘You bow to noone’, ‘Lighting the Beacons’, ‘Would you like me to find you a box?’ and ‘The Charge of the Rohirrim’. This last scene, in the end, was declared Champion.

2020 was also the first year that we began having ‘results show’ live streams. What else did we have to do, during those pandemic days?! Since then, we’ve continued streaming to discuss each round, whenever possible; this year was no exception, with shows to reveal results for five of the six rounds.


In 2021, we had a battle for the ‘Best Dressed’ in Middle-earth: a closer look at costumes from the movies. This theme was designed to encourage cosplayers to send us pictures of their own versions of these outfits – and we were not disappointed. That year also saw the ‘Wild Card’ round, when voters at home had the chance to decide on one of the placements in the starting 64.

Fan Roger Perzan is seen in a woodland setting, dressed as Sauron from Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies, in Perzan's own cosplay build of full armour, complete with giant mace.
Fan Roger Perzan in his Sauron cosplay


Last year, as Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power show drew near, we thought we’d take a look at the ages of Tolkien’s realm. We didn’t know which stories from the Second Age we might see in the television show – or how they would be told – but we did think a revision of the ages might be helpful!

Staffers wrote very helpful recaps of various key events in the Pre-First Age, the First Age, and the Second Age – we felt that PJ’s movies could serve as a reminder of the Third Age, and events from each period were competitors in the four brackets. The final showdown was between the first event – Eru Ilúvatar’s Creation of Arda – and one of the final events, when the One Ring was destroyed in TA 3019. By the narrowest of margins (50.8% to 49.2%) the act of creation overcame destruction.

This year’s Grand Champion

So we come to 2023, and our battle of characters who appeared in Season One of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Tens of thousands of votes were cast throughout the contest, with the final battle seeing Galadriel take on Elendil. We can now reveal this year’s winner:

Though the Númenorean put up a brave fight, Galadriel won the day, taking 58% of the vote. This is the Lady of Light’s second time as Champion, having previously won the contest in 2016.

Here’s how the entire contest played out through the four brackets:

If you’re a fan of Middle-earth March Madness, and you’d like to support, you might like to check out some merch we have available, featuring the MeMM logo. (TORn is entirely not-for-profit, run by a volunteer team; any support for the site helps us keep our servers going!)

Thanks for playing along this year; if you have suggestions for themes for future years, you can always email See you same time, same place, for more Middle-earth March Madness next year!