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Archive for the ‘Fellowship of the Ring’ Category

Middle-earth Map March Madness – CHAMPION 2019

And like that, it was over. March Madness is put to bed for another year; all that remains for us to do is announce our Grand Champion 2019.

We started back on March 19, with 64 locations facing off in four brackets: The Shire, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Each round saw some fairly close fights, and some strange pairings (Lonely Mountain vs Misty Mountains! Bag End taking on Hobbiton!). In the very first round, what some say are Tolkien’s ‘two towers’ (Barad-dur and Isengard) faced off. The only battle which matched one found in the Professor’s books was in Round 2, when Fangorn Forest marched to Isengard. Alas, my personal favourite (the Green Dragon, naturally!) fell in Round 3.

Of our two finalists, both started off with pretty easy journeys through the rounds. Early on, Numenor gave Gondolin the biggest challenge, but even they could only take 40% against the elvish city. In the fourth round, however, Gondolin faced tougher competition, and just narrowly defeated the other very strong contender from the Silmarillion bracket, Valinor. And in the Final Four, Gondolin again had a hard time of it, securing victory by just 3% over the Lonely Mountain!

Rivendell, on the other hand, pretty much cruised through; even against Lothlorien, Elrond’s home in the valley was still able to take two thirds of the vote. Did that make Rivendell the favourite in the epic final?

The votes have been counted, and the margin between the two locations was just about 15%. Without further ado, we can reveal this year’s Middle-earth Map March Madness Grand Champion:

Yes, as the early rounds would seem to indicate, Rivendell was the firm favourite. They will be singing tra-la-la-lally there down in the valley to celebrate, no doubt!

Many thanks to all of you who played along, voted, and commented. We always enjoy seeing folks taking part in our version of March Madness, and reading what you have to say. Let us know what you thought of this year’s theme in the comments below, or on Facebook. We hope you’ll join the fun again next year!

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Middle-earth Map March Madness – GRAND FINAL

And then there were two… After two weeks of battles between some of the key locations of Middle-earth, we’re down to the two places which will fight it out to see who will be Grand Champion 2019.

Two tough duels made up the semi-final. On one side, Bag End took on Rivendell; and as hard as that hole in the ground tried, it just could not overcome the power of Lord Elrond. In the end, Rivendell took almost two thirds of the vote in this contest.

On the other side, Gondolin faced off against the Lonely Mountain; and this was an epic fight indeed! The difference came down to less than 3%! But once again, the magic of the elves won through, and Gondolin just defeated Erebor. The dwarves will not be pleased!

So now the hidden city takes on the hidden valley! Two elvish realms face off in the final: Rivendell vs Gondolin. Which location will be the ultimate victor? YOU DECIDE! Voting in the Final is open now, and only goes for TWO days, until 10pm EST on Friday 5 April. So don’t delay! Rally the troops and VOTE NOW on this post! The Grand Champion will be crowned on Saturday!

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Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Middle-earth Map March Madness – Final Four

The end is nigh; just two rounds of Middle-earth Map March Madness 2019 remain! We’re down to 4 locations; which are still in with a chance for the title of Grand Champion 2019?

Three of our four categories in this round ended up with roughly two thirds to one third results. In The Shire this saw Bag End conquer its home, Hobbiton. In the Hobbit section, the one overcame the many, as The Lonely Mountain defeated the Misty Mountains. And in the Lord of the Rings bracket, the power of the elves remained strong: Minas Tirith could not overthrow Rivendell.

In the Silmarillion group, however, the battle was much closer; and this time, elvish magic did not win the day. Valinor took an early lead, but in the end it was Gondolin which came out victorious, in a narrow victory with 52% of the vote.

Now the brackets mix, for our final two rounds! Bilbo will have to choose between his own home in The Shire, and the home he loves to visit down in the valley, as Bag End takes on Rivendell. Gondolin marches for the Lonely Mountain; can men overthrow the dwarvish kingdom of Erebor? Will it be elvish stronghold vs dwarvish realm in the final, or will a simple hole in the ground (but not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, mind you) be facing off against a mountain?  YOU DECIDE! Voting in the Semi Finals is open now, until 10pm EST on Wednesday 3 April. Tell your friends; get your supporters lined up; and VOTE NOW on this post!

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Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Middle-earth Map March Madness ROUND 4

It’s Quarter Final time in Middle-earth Map March Madness 2019! 64 locations began this epic battle; now only 8 remain. Which are still with us?

News from The Shire which I personally find tragic: the Green Dragon Inn is out! Alas, the pub could only muster just over a quarter of the vote; Bag End looks like a hot favourite to go all the way in this contest. The Shire’s other pub, the Prancing Pony, is also out, beaten by Hobbiton.

In the Lord of the Rings section Minas Tirith easily conquered Fangorn Forest, once again securing a victory with almost three quarters of the vote. The other duel in this bracket was a tough one: Lothlorien vs Rivendell! How did YOU choose between those two elvish strongholds? In the end, it was Elrond who conquered Galadriel, with two thirds of the poll.

For the second round running, the closest face off in this round was to be found in the Hobbit bracket; this time Elrond was not victorious, as the Misty Mountains defeated the Last Homely House, but with only just over 1% in it! The Lonely Mountain had a more convincing win over Mirkwood, claiming almost 70% of the vote.

Finally, in the Silmarillion group Gondolin and Valinor are still cruising through, taking 86% and 85% respectively. Could one of these locations go on to be the overall winner?

Just one more round within brackets remains, and there are some tough choices to be made! Hobbiton takes on Bag End; Minas Tirith throws down with Rivendell;  the mountains face off as Erebor challenges the Misty Mountains; and in perhaps the most epics of duels, Gondolin confront Valinor. Which locations will be triumphant, and move on to the semi finals? YOU DECIDE! Voting in Round 4 is open now, until 10pm EST on Sunday 31 March. Rally the troops for your favourites, and VOTE NOW on this post!

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Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Middle-earth Map March Madness ROUND 3

Here we go – Middle-earth Map March Madness 2019 Round 3! We’re down to just 16 locations; let’s see which have made the cut:

Starting in The Shire, the closest contest was between the Party Tree and the Prancing Pony, with the pub taking two thirds of the vote. All of the other winning locations had over 80% in the polls; Hobbiton easily defeated Bree, and Bag End and the Green Dragon Inn are also going through. Now for some tough pairings! Can the Green Dragon beat Bag End? I’m keeping my fingers crossed…

The Lord of the Rings bracket saw Minas Tirith take three quarters of the vote to see off Helm’s Deep; clearly Rohan is no match for Gondor! The power of the elves was in evidence, as Lothlorien and Rivendell easily defeated Mount Doom and Moria respectively. And as one would expect, Fangorn Forest overthrew Isengard; the filth of Saruman is washing away… Now the ents must march to the white city; and we have an elvish smackdown! Who will be victorious when Rivendell takes on the heart of Elvendom on earth? YOU decide! Vote now!

The closest battle of Round 2 was in the Hobbit locations; the Misty Mountains ultimately vanquished Beorn’s House, but with only just over half the vote. Smaug’s Lair was conquered by its host, the Lonely Mountain; now Erebor faces Mirkwood, as that ‘tree infested’ area overcame Lake-town. Elves were winning in this bracket too, with the Last Homely House taking over 60% against Dale.

In the Silmarillion category the men of Numenor have been conquered by Gondolin, after putting up a brave fight but only being able to take 40% of the vote. The good guys are dominant in the rest of this category, with Doriath, the Halls of Mandos, and Valinor all cruising to victory, over Angband, Thangorodrim and Nargothrond. Valinor is definitely the location to beat in this bracket; can the Halls of Mandos put up a good fight in Round 3?

The biggest victor in this entire round was Bag End, so that seems to be the odds on favourite now. (Come on Green Dragon!!) The power is in YOUR hands, and voting in Round 3 closes at 10pm EST on Thursday 28 March: VOTE NOW! In this round you will be able to check the results as the polls unfold; so check back often to see how your favourites are doing, and to rally support around them if need be! [View Full Round 3 Bracket]

Vote Below!

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Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Middle-earth Map March Madness Round 2 update!

Middle Earth March Madness 2019 - Round 2 Match-ups Graphic

Middle-earth Map March Round 2 is underway – and here’s how this round is unfolding thus far.

No location has a lead in the 90% zone; the biggest leaders are all in the 80s. They are Bag End, leading against the Brandywine Bridge by 88% to 12%; Lothlorien thrashing Mount Doom with a lead of 84%; and Bree is proving to be no match against Hobbiton, only managing to secure 14% of the vote. Valinor is also cruising to another easy victory, currently leading by 83% to 17% against Nargothrond.

It is of course the close battles which are most interesting. Right now the Misty Mountains are only 2% ahead of Beorn’s House, so that duel could go either way! Mirkwood is ahead of Lake-town, but by only 58% to 42% – so get over there and vote if you want to see Esgaroth turn that fight around. The margin between the Halls of Mandos and Angband is similar; Morgoth’s fortress is giving the home of elvish souls a run for its money, so far managing to claim 41% in the poll. Numenor likewise has 41% against Gondolin; if you’d like to see the men of the West pull out a victory against Turgon’s city, you’d better vote now!

In the match-up which actually replicates an event from the books, Fangorn Forest has business with Isengard… And so far, the result is as you would expect: Fangorn leading with two thirds of the vote.

Round 2 closes at 10pm EST tomorrow, Monday 25th. So don’t delay – only you can decide which locations go through to Round 3 of Middle-earth Map March Madness! VOTE NOW!

 

Click here to Vote Now

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Middle-earth Map March Madness ROUND 2

Middle Earth March Madness 2019 - Round 2 Match-ups GraphicMiddle-earth Map March Madness 2019 Round 2 is up! 64 locations went into battle in Round 1; now only 32 remain. Let’s take a look at some of the Round 1 results:

No surprises in The Shire location bracket. Bag End, Hobbiton and the Prancing Pony all won their bouts with 80% or more of the vote. Bree and Buckland were in the 70s for their victories (over Bywater and Crickhollow respectively). This staffer is especially pleased to report that the Green Dragon Inn is safely through; I am of course pulling for it to go all the way to ultimate victory!

Bucklebury Ferry is out, conquered by the Party Tree, with the voting split two thirds to one third; and Samwise will be sad to know that Bagshot Row is also gone, as it was unable to stand up to the Brandywine Bridge.

The Lord of the Rings bracket results were also largely as one might expect. Moria, Rivendell, Lothlorien, Fangorn Forest and Minas Tirith all sailed through with no problems. Isengard and Mount Doom had to fight a little harder, but in the end they conquered their opponents, Barad-dur and the Barrow Downs. (Alas, still no barrow wights making an appearance. Maybe we’ll get to see them in the Amazon series…?)

Perhaps the toughest fight in Round 1 of this bracket was Helm’s Deep vs Edoras. How to choose between those two?? In the end, it was Rohan’s stronghold which won the day, knocking out the Golden Hall, but with a margin of only 10%.

On to Hobbit locations, where the Lonely Mountain, Lake-town, Mirkwood, Dale, Beorn’s House, the Last Homely House and the Misty Mountains were all triumphant without really being put to the test. The only close battle in this category was between Smaug’s Lair and the Elvenking’s Halls. Thranduil is going home after just one round; the fire drake conquered in the end, though the margin was in single digits. And now Smaug’s Lair has to take on Erebor in Round 2; a conflict of interest, surely?!

Finally, the Silmarillion bracket saw some closer engagements than in the other groups. Nargothrond eventually overcame Menegroth, and Angband beat Vinyamar, but both contests were tight. Doriath, Thangorodrim, and the Halls of Mandos all won their duels with about two thirds of the vote. Wider margins were seen in the battle between Numenor and Tol Eressea; the island which caused so much excitement with its appearance on the Amazon series’ map is through, with almost 80% of the poll. The biggest victories in the entire first round were those of Valinor over Falas and Gondolin over Hithlum, with the winners both taking over 90%.  (Remember, if you want to know more about any of the Silmarillion locations, you can read more here.)

So on to the second round! Will Hobbiton beat Bree? What will happen when Minas Tirith takes on Helm’s Deep? Can Gondolin defeat Numenor? And most importantly, is the Green Dragon on the way to the final prize? (Fingers crossed; no journalistic impartiality here!) YOU decide!

Voting in Round 2 closes at 10pm EST on Monday 25 March, so don’t delay: VOTE NOW!

Click here to Vote Now

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Middle-earth Map March Madness: Round 1 update!

Today is the last day to vote in Round 1 of Middle-earth Map March Madness! We’re using a slightly different voting format this year, and we realise that means you can’t see who’s winning the various polls as they unfold; so here’s some insight into Round 1 thus far…

The biggest leaders at the moment are Minas Tirith, beating Shelob’s Lair 92% to 8%; Valinor beating Falas by the same margin; and strongest of all, Gondolin is thrashing Hithlum, so far having 94% of the vote.

Readers may be surprised to know that the Brandywine Bridge is currently beating Bagshot Row, though there’s only 14% in it. Helm’s Deep is 12% ahead of Edoras, so get over there and vote if you don’t want the Golden Hall to go out in Round 1!

The closest fought battle right now is between Smaug’s Lair and the Elvenking’s Halls, with the fiery fellow currently beating Thranduil’s home by just 8%. Your vote could be the one which tips the balance!

Voting in Round 1 will close later today, so don’t delay! VOTE NOW! [Click here] Round 2 launches tomorrow!

Vote in Round 1

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Middle-earth Map March Madness – Silmarillion locations

Middle-earth Map March Madness 2019 launched yesterday! As you know by now, the four brackets for this year contain different locations from Tolkien’s world. We’re aware that for some readers, the Silmarillion locations may be less familiar than others; so should you need a little guidance, here’s our handy summary of Silmarillion sites (with thanks to staffer Joel):

Gondolin – The hidden city of the elves, surrounded by mountains, founded by King Turgon. The tragic and spectacular fall of this city was one of Tolkien’s earliest writings of Middle-earth.

Valinor – The blessed home of the Valar and Maiar, the greater and lesser angels of Tolkien’s legendarium. The elves were invited by the Valar to live with them in this land, but only some answered their call.

Angband – The many-dungeoned fortress of Morgoth, the great enemy of all that is good in Middle-earth. Sauron was but a servant of Morgoth. This fortress was captured by the Valar in an early defeat of Morgoth, but they failed to destroy it utterly, allowing it to be repopulated over time.

Thangorodrim – A trio of oppressively tall mountains, raised by Morgoth above Angband, to protect the latter. It was destroyed at the end of the first age in the War of Wrath.

Doriath – A forested land near the center of the lands that are part of the story of Middle-earth’s first age. Luthien is from here, daughter to Thingol, the elf, and Melian, the angel. Melian wove a misty wall of secrecy about the kingdom, known as the ‘girdle of Melian.’

Halls of Mandos – The souls of dead elves and humans reside here, kept separate from each other for no good reason other than ‘that’s how it’s supposed to be’. Elves linger in the halls until they are ready to be housed in a new body; the souls of men will not linger here and go elsewhere, to a location not known to the Valar or elves, and only guessed at by humans.

Nargothrond – A hidden underground elvish fortress ruled by Finrod. It was a place that had regular interaction between the races of Middle-earth: between the elves who lived there, the men Beren and Turin, who visited there and encouraged its people to fight Morgoth, the dwarves who helped expand its halls, and even the great dragon Glaurung!

Numenor – A star-shaped large island, raised from the ocean by the deity of Tolkien’s stories, Illuvatar, as a gift to the humans who helped fight Morgoth in the First Age. Mighty were its people, and mighty was the envy of it and hatred for its people by Sauron, who was slowly regaining his strength as the Numenorian people began conquering the lands on the Western shores of Middle-earth.

Tol Eressea – An island, near the shores of Valinor, that was home to many of the elves of Middle-earth who answered the call of the Valar to leave their homes for the Blessed Realm of Valinor. Like a giant pontoon, it was ferried back and forth between Middle-earth and Valinor to transport the elves who, at that early time, had not learned how to build ships.

Menegroth – Yet another underground elven fortress (so much for elves being forest creatures loving to sleep under the stars!) – this time the home of Thingol and Melian in their realm of Doriath.

Belegost – Along with Nogrod, one of two fortresses of the dwarves in the Blue Mountains, to the east of Beleriand, the land of Middle-earth with which the Silmarillion is concerned. After the War of Wrath, the Blue Mountains, just west of the Shire, were the only geographic feature of Beleriand that survived that war’s destruction.

Sauron’s Dungeons – During the first age, Sauron was the chief lieutenant of Morgoth. During this, umm, interesting, time, he occupied a castle in a scary land, could transform into a bat at will, and had servants who were werewolves and vampires. He also had many dungeons, with many famous occupants, including Beren, whom Luthien rescued.

Nogrod – Along with Belegost, one of the two fortresses of the dwarves in the Blue Mountains of Middle-earth. From there was created Nauglamir, a necklace that played an important (and as always, tragic) part in the later history of the First Age.

Vinyamar – an elvish settlement on the shores of Middle-earth, founded, and later abandoned, in the early part of the First Age. However, left there by the king who later founded Gondolin, were a set of armor and a sword, later found by a man who, with his son, changed the course of the world.

Falas – A seaside elven kingdom ruled by Cirdan, the same one who built all the ships that ferried elves to Valinor during the Third Age (the pontoon-island of Tol Eressea having been firmly anchored down ages before).

Hithlum – the land between the polar-ice of the Helcaraxe, and the land of Beleriand, where most of the First Age’s action occured. Hithlum was chilly and rainy, but crops grew there, and it was regularly under attack by Morgoth. Yes indeed, Hithlum was the fun capital of the First Age.

Ready to make some Silmarillion choices? Voting in the first round runs until March 22, so don’t delay – VOTE NOW! [Click here]

Vote in Round 1

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Middle-earth Map March Madness starts now!!

Middle-earth Map March Madness 2019 begins today! As promised, the four brackets for this year are all locations from Tolkien’s realm, divided into sites which appear in The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and a fourth bracket just for the many wonderful spots in The Shire and Bree.

All you have to do to take part is vote for your favourite in each of the pairings! We start with 64 competitors; by next round we’ll be down to 32, then 16, and so on until we have a final showdown between the two locations which make it to the grand final. How you choose which way to vote for each duel is up to you; logic, chance or emotion can be your guide! All that matters is that you cast your votes!

Unsure of some of the locations? We’ll be bringing you a few posts to help you sort your Brandywines from your Barad-durs, so stay tuned! Meanwhile voting is officially open NOW! Want to see The Last Homely House take on Cirith Ungol in the final? VOTE NOW! [Click here]

Vote in Round 1

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Middle-earth March Madness is coming soon

Blast from the past, Middle-earth March Madness circa 2012

TORn staff have been busy mixing things up a little bit this year. With Amazon Prime floating all these versions of Middle-earth Maps, we decided it would be fun to take some familiar and some not so familiar Middle-earth locations and spread them out in a Bracket and let you readers decide which destination is your favorite. This year’s madness will be known as Middle-earth Map March Madness for this reason, so you may want to pull out your books and start looking at your maps. Sure, we’ll have some handy little guides to help remind you of some of the more obscure locations, but in the end, this will help you get ready for Amazon’s series, if their teased maps are any indication.

We’ve decided upon a rather simple format of divvying up by books, giving one quarter draw to locations within Silmarillion, one to places found in the Hobbit, and one to locations found in the Lord of the Rings. To fill out the fourth quarter draw, we separated the Shire from the other books and gave it a place of it’s own. So, our final Four will include one location from each of these draws, but will your favorite Middle-earth locations even make the cut? We are still finalizing the draw, which basically consisted of various staff members tossing out loads of names until we had a good 20-25 from each segment, then we began voting to narrow each Quarter draw down to just 16 selections. We hope to have things ready to go in the next few days, so make sure to vote and keep track of the game as it moves through each round.

Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Betty Ballantine, paperback pioneer, dead at 99

Courtesy of Tolkienlibrary.com

AP – Elizabeth Jones, “Betty,” Ballantine, passed away on Tuesday, February 12 at her home in Bearsmouth, New York. She was 99 years old. Together with her husband, Ian, who passed away in 1995, they Founded Bantam Books and Ballantine Books, expanding and mainstreaming the market for paperback books in the U.S. Of course, the name ‘Ballantine Books’ is near and dear to readers of J.R.R. Tolkien. What lover of Tolkien’s books doesn’t have several beloved, dog-eared Ballantine editions of “The Hobbit” and/or “The Lord of the Rings” on their bookshelves?

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Posted in Books Publications, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien