On March 18 this year we began Middle-earth March Madness 2024: Magical Moments. TORn staffers had been working behind the scenes to choose and then vote on a plethora of happenings from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which could be considered magical events. We whittled that number down to 64, and created seeding based on the staffer votes, and back in March we opened the contest to YOUR votes.

Now, after six rounds and thousands of votes cast, we have a winner. Of all the moments when magical powers are used in Middle-earth, one has been chosen as the ‘most magical’. If you watched TORn Tuesday last night, you saw the winner revealed there. But if you’ve stayed ‘spoiler free’, we can now reveal the Middle-earth March Madness Champion for 2024 is…

Gandalf Confronts the Balrog with Glamdring and the Flame of Anor

With 54% of the vote in this final round, the event, which started off as a humble #6 seed in the Fellowship of the Ring region, is this year’s winner. This magical moment’s journey to the final included victories over more Gandalf magic (communicating with moths and creating horses out of water), the power of Elves (Galadriel’s mind-probing abilities), and the magic of the Dwarves and Elves combined (in the Doors of Moria). In the semi-final, it was the power of ‘No Man’ to defeat the Witch-king, which was overcome by the magic of Glamdring and the Flame of Anor; is it any wonder that the Balrog would be defeated by such enchantments?

Thanks to all who played along this year – we hope you’ve enjoyed our annual contest! Thanks also to all the staffers who helped to choose events, share posts, and discuss the contest on TORn Tuesday. If you have an idea for a theme for Middle-earth March Madness, let us know! We’ll be back next year – see you for more match-ups and duels then!