It is time … time to vote in Round One of the Battle of the Best Dressed in Middle-earth!

Following our initial bracket reveal on last week’s TORn Tuesday, our Wild Card round at the end of last week saw Bard replace the Dwarf Women for a spot in the contest. So now we begin the match ups! Will Theoden’s splendid armour overcome Faramir’s coronation robes? Can the Haradrim defeat the Easterlings? And in an epic confrontation of elvish beauty, which will triumph: Galadriel’s dress in An Unexpected Journey, or Arwen’s gown on the bridge with Aragorn? Here’s how the bracket looks, for Round One of our contest:

The round one bracket for 2021's Middle-earth March Madness, with 64 characters/costumes sorted into 4 regions.

We’ve been encouraging you to rally the vote for your favourite costumes, by showing us your cosplays for some of these characters. Let’s take a look at some we’ve received thus far! Voting begins below as well!

Continue reading “Middle-earth March Madness Round One”

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…

Exciting news: tomorrow, Tuesday 9th February, Viggo Mortensen and his son Henry will be joining Quickbeam on TORn Tuesday!

Poster for the movie 'Falling', showing characters played by actors Lance Henriksen and Viggo Mortensen. They seem to be arguing; the image is splintered. We also see a little boy holding a dead duck, with an adult standing behind (only partially seen); and a couple on their wedding day. Reviews give 'Falling' four and five stars.

Last week saw the online release of Viggo’s powerful and moving directorial debut, Falling. You can rent or buy the movie now on Amazon or iTunes. It’s a profound, compelling piece about families, love, and dementia. Viggo and Henry will be chatting about the movie, and about the power of story telling, at 5pm PT/ 8pm ET tomorrow; find TORn Tuesday on YouTube or Facebook. Don’t miss it!

As we reach the 15th day of our Tolkien Advent Calendar celebration, we are thrilled to offer up something a little different: our 2020 official merchandise!

'Be Of Good Hope' TheOneRing.net's 2020 T-Shirt
‘Be Of Good Hope’ TheOneRing.net’s 2020 T-Shirt – https://teespring.com/be-of-good-hope

Early this year, Middle-earth Enterprises gave us the official go ahead to produce a new shirt for 2020, but unfortunately, due to time and resources, we never had a chance to post it. (As you may or may not be aware, TheOneRing.net is a not-for-profit website run by 100% volunteer energy – and we’ve been this way for our entire 21 year history. psst – it is one reason we’re pretty much the same team as we’ve always been!) We support our efforts by selling shirts and more at conventions and gatherings. Clearly this year was a bit different; BUT we’re delighted to be able to bring you this new design now – and just in time, as ‘hope is kindled’ for better days in 2021!

Excitingly, the design is available not only in a number of different shirt styles, but also as a sticker, a mug, a tote bag, and – perfect for right now – a face mask! The link to purchase is below – there are many colors and cuts of shirt available to customize your on-demand order. Oh, and you can even place orders in the EU!

TheOneRing.net is proud to offer our ‘Be of Good Hope!’ design. Officially licensed, these quotations from JRR Tolkien remind us all that when we are able to be together again, it will be a merry day indeed! Perfect for any fan of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, or any of the worlds and works of our favorite author. Say goodbye to 2020 by treating yourself and your loved ones, and enjoy these words of comfort from the Professor. Hope is kindled!

There will be better days ahead; ‘It’s only a passing thing, this shadow … And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer.’ We here at TORn are holding on to that, and we’re wishing happy days in 2021 for you and your loved ones. Start the year with a positive message: purchase your shirt and more today at TeeSpring.com. Thank you for supporting TheOneRing.net!

Our 'Be of Good Hope' Shirt is offered in a variety of styles and colors at https://Teespring.com/be-of-good-hope
Our ‘Be of Good Hope’ Shirt is offered in a variety of styles and colors at https://Teespring.com/be-of-good-hope

Editor Note: Join TheOneRing.net as we focus on the recent cast member announcements for Amazon TV’s The Lord of the Rings inspired TV series. Throughout the month, and as part of our Tolkien Advent Calendar celebration, we will be taking a deep-dive into their previous work, relating that to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien. And some days, we bring you something a little different, as an Advent Calendar surprise! Today’s calendar is below!

Day 15 of TheOneRing.net's Tolkien Advent Calendar Celebration
Day 15 of TheOneRing.net’s Tolkien Advent Calendar Celebration