Less than 48 hours to go until this year’s Middle-earth March Madness competition gets going; and today we bring you the result of the Wild Card round. Who has found a spot in the Battle of the Best-Dressed, and who has been knocked out before the fun even begins?

Battle of the Best-dressed in Middle-earth - Middle-earth March Madness 2021
Battle of the Best-dressed in Middle-earth – Middle-earth March Madness 2021

In a landslide victory (which will perhaps surprise no one), with 84% of the vote, Bard is the man joining the fray. Not much love for Alfrid in drag… As to the slot that Bard will take, that was a much closer call. We nearly saw Tauriel going home to Mirkwood; but with 6% of the vote, it is the dwarven women who are leaving. As Gimli might say, ‘There ARE no dwarf women!’

An image of Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman, with his children seen in the background.

Middle-earth March Madness begins on Monday. You can find the complete bracket below. Don’t forget, if there’s a costume or character in there which you have cosplayed, share some pictures with us to help secure the votes! You can email spymaster@theonering.net, post to TORn’s page on Facebook, or tag us on Twitter or Instagram, using #middleearthbestdressed. Campaign for the one you want to see go all the way to victory! Then come back here on Monday to cast your votes in Round One.

As per our announcement earlier today, TheOneRing.net’s 2021 Middle-earth March Madness competition theme is: Battle of the Best-Dressed – a theme conceived for audience participation!

Battle of the Best-dressed in Middle-earth - Middle-earth March Madness 2021
Battle of the Best-dressed in Middle-earth – Middle-earth March Madness 2021

Middle-earth March Madness is TheOneRing.net’s annual foray into the world of bracketed competitions – an event that has been running yearly since 2012. Like the NCAA March Madness competition in the US, the selection committee from TheOneRing.net chooses 64 contestants and then ranks them in regions, assigning them a seeding number based on an in-depth and exhaustive voting and discussion process.

During last night’s TORn Tuesday live stream reveal of this year’s theme, one of the commissioners (aka co-owner) of TheOneRing.net decided to throw in a curveball for 2021: this year we will feature a Wild Card round to replace one of the 64 contestants! Effectively eliminating one of the contestants for a true ‘wild card’ cinderella story.

Continue reading “Middle-earth March Madness 2021 – Wild Card Round”

As we approach the end of March, once again, TheOneRing.net prepares for our take on ‘sports ball type activities’; yes, Middle-earth March Madness is almost here!

Last year, we had a hotly debated contest to decide the best scene from Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth films. Newly quarantined and locked down, many of us found solace and entertainment in discussing the match ups; and for the first time in MeMM’s history, we hosted live shows to discuss each round. We also shared a look back at all the previous MeMM contests – you can read that article here.

2021 is the TENTH edition of Middle-earth March Madness – and on last night’s TORn Tuesday, we revealed the theme for this year. It is ‘Battle of the Best Dressed in Middle-earth.’ Looking at costumes from Peter Jackson’s two Middle-earth trilogies, we want to know which outfit is your favourite. You can see the four ‘regions’, with 16 entrants in each, below.

Here’s the key thing: we’re hoping for lots of participation from you this year, and particularly, we want to see YOUR versions of these costumes and characters. In choosing from our ‘long list’, to decide the final 64, we thought particularly of all the amazing cosplays we’ve seen over the years. (That’s why the bracket includes characters such as Gollum and the Balrog – not exactly costumes as such, but we have seen some brilliant cosplays for these characters!) We tried to pick costumes which seem to have been popular with cosplayers; and we’d like you to campaign for your favourite. You can do this by sharing pictures of your cosplays; show us video if you have it; tell us about your creative process; whatever you’d like to share! Convince us that THIS is the costume which deserves to win, because it so inspired your own creativity.

You can share your images on our facebook page; you can email them to spymaster@theonering.net; or you can simply tag us on Twitter or Instagram, and use #middleearthbestdressed. As last year, we’ll have live shows to discuss each round, and we hope to share some of your images on these shows. Staffers are already prepping their armour, as they’re expecting some battles royale! Join in the fun: campaign for your favourite, and get ready to vote when the contest launches at the start of next week.

AND – stay tuned for an announcement coming later today, as we mix things up a bit before Middle-earth March Madness 2021 has even got going…

fotr-movie-posterOn December 18, 2001, TheOneRing.net introduced a new feature on our site: Ringer Reviews“A database of reviews from Tolkien fans all over the world, whether you loved, liked or hated the film this is where you can express your feelings in words and celebrate with your fellow fans the release of the first installment in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.” Twenty-four hours later, fans had posted 3,000 reviews. By Christmas the count was up to 6,700 and on January 19, 2002, a month after FOTR opened, over 10,000 reviews had been submitted.

Today the count stands at 15,084 reviews. Unfortunately, the individual reviews reside on our old site and have been archived. But, we thought it might be fun to revisit some of the overall results, more of which can be found at the Ringer Reviews link above.

Continue reading “Fellowship of the Ring: 15,084 reviews and counting”

John Howe. Photo: Fataneh Howe.
John Howe. Photo: Fataneh Howe.
Check out this interview with interview that Ethan Gilsdorf conducted with John Howe over two sessions in January and July last year. It’s a corker.

Howe is, of course, a long-time Tolkien illustrator and is currently working with Alan Lee as Conceptual Designer for The Hobbit movie trilogy.

Continue reading “Meet the man whose illustrations have helped define Middle‑earth”

TheOneRing.net with Galatia Films offer this exclusive interview with the Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones actor John Rhys-Davies. Learn about what inspires him to work as an actor. He talks about how it felt to be wearing all the wardrobe and battle axes for the fight scenes, his view on the Dwarves and his love for the films. The original interview was done for Galatia’s Live Reclaiming the Blade Day. Check out its Kickstarter page for more details and the full interview and of course you can also support its Kickstarter campaign for a new film that will feature The Hobbit swords and Narnia actors Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian) and William Moseley (Chronicles of Narnia).

John Rhys-Davies is Welsh and a screen actor and voice actor. He is perhaps best known for playing the dwarf Gimli and Treebeard in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the charismatic Arab excavator Sallah in the Indiana Jones films. He also played Agent Michael Malone in the 1993 remake of the 1950s television series The Untouchables, Pilot Vasco Rodrigues in the mini-series Shōgun, Professor Maximillian Arturo in Sliders, King Richard I in Robin of Sherwood, General Leonid Pushkin in the James Bond film The Living Daylights, and Macro in I, Claudius. Additionally, he provided the voices of Cassim in Disney’s Aladdin and the King of Thieves.