Round One is underway! This year’s Middle-earth March Madness tournament focuses not on characters, costumes, or movie moments, as with previous years. Instead, milestone events are stepping into the competitive arena: major creations, critical turning points, the founding and breaking of kingdoms, births, deaths, victories and defeats. These events appear in four competing divisions, each representing one of the epic ages that comprise the history of Arda and Middle-earth: Ages One through Three, along with the foundations – the ‘Pre-First Age’ that unfolded before the rising of the Sun and Moon.
Even casual fans are likely to be familiar with many of the landmark events of the Third Age, especially those covered by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. With Amazon’s entry into the Tolkienverse, we will soon be drawn into a more extensive familiarity with Second Age affairs, like the rise and fall of Númenor and the forging of the Rings of Power. Thanks to the enduring body of work curated by Tolkien’s son, Christopher, we have a rich pool of resources covering First Age affairs, like the romance of Beren and Lúthien, the tragedies of the Children of Húrin, and the fall of the elven kingdom of Gondolin.
Now’s your chance to brush up on your History of Middle-earth, as we explore events which happened throughout the four ages leading up to the final departure of the Rings of Power. Stay tuned for posts taking a look at the events in the Pre-First, First and Second Ages; if you need reminding of the events of the Third Age, may we suggest it’s a perfect excuse to rewatch Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy?
For more discussion of the 64 events starting out in March Madness this year, join us TONIGHT on the TORn Tuesday live stream. And then – place your votes!
How does it work, you ask? Simple! Click on one of the orange division buttons below. Then click the ‘Vote Now’ option that appears above the divisional bracket. This year you get to vote in each divisional match-up in one convenient and visual interface. Note – you need to click each division to vote in their respective brackets. So let’s get voting!
‘We come to it at last – the great battle of our time.’ Or – in this case – the great battle of the Ages! On Tuesday 22nd March we’ll kick off this year’s Middle-earth March Madness; and the theme is A Battle of the Ages.
Each of the four brackets this year represents an Age in Tolkien’s Middle-earth. This is the perfect opportunity to brush up on your history, as we get ready for Amazon’s Rings of Power – and the events of the Second Age – in September.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll have some posts to explore these brackets in more depth. What happened in the time of the Two Trees? Who conquered Glaurung in the First Age? And just when were those rings forged in the Second Age? Get ready to explore some History of Middle-earth together, as we vote to decide fandom’s favourite event from thousands of years.
How does it work, you ask? Simple! Staffers at TORn already voted to narrow down the many, many happenings to their top 64, and instead of seeding this year, the events appear in chronological order in each bracket. For each round, we will have a poll, where you vote for your choice in each match-up. Is Gandalf falling to the Balrog more significant than the Last March of the Ents? Are you more interested in when Beren first sees Luthien, or when they recover a Silmaril together? Which is more terrible – the destruction of the Two Trees, or the Elven Kinslaying? You decide!
Join us on Tuesday to kick off the Middle-earth March Madness tournament for 2022. 64 events will start out – but only one will be crowned Champion!