Congratulations! You are a true Rider (or runner, or maybe a walker). You answered the call to traverse the miles from Dunharrow to Minas Tirith. Here is your Finisher Certificate. Print it out and share a photo of yourself on our World and Works of J.R.R. Tolkien Facebook page, and tell us a tale of your adventures, or perhaps share a poem or song.

There is still time to run this race here or the three previous Middle-earth Virtual 5k races. The Shire Sprint , Racing to Rivendell and 5000 Meters through Moria are still up and available for download. The certificates for those races are in the posts.

If you complete all four races by May 31, you can download a final additional certificate that shows you completed all four races. Congratulations again! We hope you had fun.

Certificate design/illustration by staff member Mithril (Nancy Steinman).
Additional illustration by BSGStudio and freedesignfile.

Whether you have run the previous three races or not, you can still participate in this one, so get psyched up for The Run of the Rohirrim Virtual 5k. This course follows the route that King Théoden and the Riders took from Harrowdale to the Pellenor, while Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and the Grey Company tread the Paths of the Dead.

This is a Virtual 5k Race (3.1 miles). You can run, jog, walk in your neighborhood or your backyard, use a treadmill, climb the stairs in your home, or use an elliptical – whatever is most convenient and safe for you. (Please follow your town’s current rules.) 30 minutes of exercise can also count as 1 mile. Run your own race, at your own pace, and time it yourself – our 5k’s are on the honor system.

Before you start wracking up miles, download a RACE BIB here or from TheOneRing.net’s “The World and Works of J.R.R. Tolkien” Facebook page. Write your name or nickname and/or race time in the white box, then you can stop by our Facebook page and post a photo wearing your bib. Once you have completed each race, let us know! Download your Finisher Certificate and share another photo. Finisher Certificates will be posted early next week.

This is the last race, but it is not too late to participate in the previous three. Just click these links to get your bibs and certificates. All races are 5k (3.1 miles). If you complete all four, an additional crowning certificate will be available next Friday to download.

Race #1: Shire Sprint
Race #2: Racing to Rivendell
Race #3: 5000 Meters Through Moria

If you’re so inclined, reading the section in “The Return of the King” that corresponds to this race might add a bit of color to your journey. Above all else, have fun. On your mark, get set, go!

Bibs and certificates designed and illustrated by TORN staff member Mithril, aka Nancy Steinman.
The mountains on this bib were illustrated by BSGStudio.

Six rounds, with well over 5,000 votes in each round; much impassioned discussion in chat rooms and on Facebook threads; multiple live results shows; and now it’s done. Middle-earth March Madness 2020 drew to a close last night; if you missed the live results show, you can catch it here. (Last night the panelists looked back on the past nine years of Middle-earth March Madness, and also discussed some of our least favourite scenes in Peter Jackson’s movies, before the big reveal of this year’s winner!) Or simply read on, to find out which scene was declared Grand Champion 2020.

This year’s theme was ‘Film Scenes’, and we started off with a selection of 64 favourite moments from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, chosen and voted on for seeding by TORn staffers. These were divided into four categroies: Scenic, Laughter, Tearjerkers and Drama/Action. Staff chose considerably more Lord of the Rings moments than Hobbit moments as favourites, and only one Hobbit scene (Bilbo saying farewell to the dwarves) made it out of Round One. (It was defeated in Round Two by Boromir’s death.) Perhaps the most notable upset in Round One was the defeat in the Tearjerker group of the number one seed, the Grey Havens, by the number 16 seed, ‘You bow to no one’. This latter scene went all the way to the Semi Final, suggesting that it should perhaps have started with a higher seed; but clearly it wasn’t a high favourite amongst the staff who voted on seeding. (What do TORn staff know…?! I’m still shocked that the ‘Dare we risk a little more light’ moment in the great hall of Moria didn’t make it past the first round!)

Our two eventual finalists were the winner of the Scenic bracket, ‘Lighting the Beacons’, vs the Drama/Action champion, ‘The Charge of the Rohirrim’. Feelings ran high for this one, with many fans expressing their love for one side of the other. As more and more comments appeared on Facebook, however, it seemed pretty clearly that voting was going more to one side – and in the end, it wasn’t a particularly close battle. The victorious scene took 68% of the vote.

And so, we can reveal the Grand Champion of Middle-earth March Madness 2020:

The stirring speech by King Theoden, and the heroic plunge into battle, defeated the call for aid which lead directly to that moment, as Rohan comes to help Gondor – making the Charge of the Rohirrim this year’s overall winner.

Here is the final bracket for 2020:

We also announced last night the winner of the fabulous Balrog statue, from our friends at Sideshow. Congratulations to A. Fuentes; look out for an email coming your way! Thanks again to Sideshow for letting us do such a great giveaway.

And thanks to all of YOU, for having some March Madness fun with us over these last couple of weeks. Don’t forget, you can still catch last night’s live results show, here. We’re already thinking about what our theme next year might be… Meanwhile, stay tuned for more fun and live events from TORn, as we get through these strange, locked-down days together. Your friends are with you! Fear no darkness!

And then there were two… Middle-earth March Madness 2020 began just over two weeks ago, and here we are, arrived at the FINAL. We started out with 64 scenes from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, divided into four categories: Tearjerkers, Scenic, Laughter, and Drama/Action. Five rounds later, and just two scenes remain, to battle for the title of Grand Champion 2020.

Once again we had almost 5,500 people vote in the last round; if you missed last night’s live results show, you can watch it here. (Panelists on last night’s show also discussed what they would choose for their own personal top four scenes from PJ’s movies; see if your choices coincide with theirs!)

In Round Five, we saw the Laughter division winner take on the champion from the Drama/Action category: ‘Would you like me to find you a box?’ vs The Charge of the Rohirrim. Comedy, it turned out, was no match for an epic battle sequence; the Rohirrim took almost three quarters of the vote to secure their place in the final.

But Theoden shouldn’t be cheering too soon; the Rohirrim face a very tough opponent in the Final. The other Semi Final was between the Scenic and Tearjerker brackets, and this was a really closely fought contest. It went right down to the wire, with strong feelings on both sides; the final vote split was 51% to 49%! By this narrowest of margins, Lighting the Beacons defeated ‘You bow to no one’; so it is Gondor’s call for aid which goes through to this year’s final.

Here is the bracket as it currently stands:

Feelings are likely to run high for this face off. Which epic sequence gets YOUR vote? You have until 10pm TOMORROW night (Wednesday 15th) to make your voice heard, so don’t delay! We’re also still taking entries for our GIVEAWAY of an awesome Balrog statue, from our friends at Sideshow. Vote again, submit your details again, and be in with a second chance to win!

We’ll have our final LIVE RESULTS SHOW tomorrow night at 10pm ET; you can find that, as ever, on our facebook page. Hope to see you there; or check back here on Thursday morning to find out who is Middle-earth March Madness Grand Champion 2020. VOTE NOW!

Click here to vote now in the Grand Final.

THE BEACONS ARE LIT, and Gondor calls for aid – but the aid is needed for the ‘You bow to no one’ scene! We know that many of you want to see ‘You bow to no one’ go through to the Final of Middle-earth March Madness 2020. Right now, however, it’s being beaten by the Lighting the Beacons scene; but there is only 10% in it!

Muster the Rohirrim! (Whose charge, by the way, is currently easily beating the ‘Would you like me to find you a box?’ scene; but that could all change, if there is a final day surge in voting as there was in the previous round. No scene is safe!)

Rally the troops! Get your fellow fans to VOTE before 10pm ET TONIGHT!

And don’t forget, everyone who votes can enter to win an amazing Balrog statue, thanks to our good friends and sponsors Sideshow. So check out the Final Four scenes, make your choices, and vote! VOTE NOW!

Then tune in to our facebook page at 10pm ET tonight to watch our live results show!

Click here to vote now in the Final Four.

It’s time for the Semi Final! The champions of each of our four brackets have been decided, and now just four entries remain in Middle-earth March Madness 2020. Which scene will go on to be our Grand Champion this year?

Thanks to everyone who voted in the Elite Eight round, and who tuned in to our Live Results show last night; strong feelings were shared on Facebook threads and in the chat room, and we had almost 5,500 votes placed! Let’s take a look at our bracket winners:

The easiest win this round was in the Scenic category, where in spite of many finding this to be a tough choice, the Lighting the Beacons scene took 69% of the vote against the Sailing past the Argonath scene. It’s hard to see the Kings of Old go out of the contest, but the beacons are continuing to look like a very strong contender for overall Champion.

The contest was only a tiny bit closer in the Drama/Action group, where Gandalf and the Balrog fell to the Charge of the Rohirrim. The wizard and his foe could only muster one third of the vote, so the horsemen charge on, into the Semi Final.

In the Tearjerker category, feelings not surprisingly ran high, and there was much discussion. Boromir’s death had many fans, who posted how this scene always makes them weep; but in the end, it was ‘You bow to no one’ which came out victorious, by a margin of 10%. Could the four humble hobbits at Minas Tirith be our future Grand Champion?

The closest battle was in the Laughter bracket, and I know many will be upset by this result: Pippin is out! His Second Breakfast, though it secured 48% of the vote, just could not overcome the Artoo and Threepio of Middleearth; Gimli and Legolas’s ‘Would you like me to find you a box?’ scene goes on to the Semi Final.

So here’s how our Final Four pair up in the Semi Final:

‘Bow to no one’ vs Lighting the Beacons will surely be the closer of these two battles; how to choose between those two?! At the same time, how does one pick between a scene of humour and a sweeping, majestic battle scene? Tough calls indeed. But if you’re thinking, ‘I wish the decision had never come to me!’ and considering not voting in this round, let me urge you to reconsider… Because our good friends and sponsors Sideshow have given us an awesome prize to giveaway!

Every person who votes in the Semi Final will have the chance to enter to win a Balrog statue! He may not have made it to the Semi Final, but he could be making his way to your home; and he even comes complete with a mini Gandalf, so you can reenact their face-off to your heart’s content. Simply complete the voting survey and then, if you wish, fill in your details in the form at the end, and you’ll be in with a chance to win. And if you vote again in the Final, you can enter again! But let’s get through the Final Four first… Big thanks to Sideshow for such an amazing giveaway!

Don’t take too long over your choices; this round only goes until 10pm ET TOMORROW, Monday 13th April. Tune in to our facebook page at 10pm ET tomorrow night to watch our live results show! Which two scenes do you want to see facing off in the Final? YOU decide: VOTE NOW!

Click here to vote now in the Final Four.