‘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!
Middle-earth Madness officially starts today! We’ve split our field of 64 characters into four divisions:
Movies Only – characters who appeared only in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and/or The Hobbit movies Books Only – characters who didn’t make the final cut for the movies Movies and Books – characters who graced both the written page and the silver screen Wider Mythos – Middle-earth characters not in the movies from Tolkien’s works outside of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
There are some very interesting match-ups in round one this year. In one of the more intense match-ups in the Movies Only division, Tauriel is up against the Warg Matriarch, Azog’s vicious white warg. A perennial TORn fav, FIGWIT (stay-tuned for the story behind the name if you don’t know it already) takes on Alfrid, and it’s anybody’s guess as to who will come out on top in the match-up between Sebastian the Hedgehog and the Goblin Scribe.
The Books Only division is chock-full of interesting matches such as Ghan-buri-Ghan vs. Quickbeam, and The Fox (who wondered at Hobbits traveling through The Shire in FOTR) vs. Prince Imrahil.
It was almost impossible to narrow down the Movies & Books division with so many amazing choices, but there are some gut-wrenchers in the contests as they stand with Beorn going up against the Balrog and Shelob battling Sauron.
Finally, some of Tolkien’s Titans go mano-a-mano in the Wider Mythos division, with two powerful dragons, Ancalagon and Glaurung battling it out, and Beren and Huan facing each other in what is sure to be a close call.
A note on how the bracket combatants were determined. TheOneRing.net created a document containing all combatants, sub-divided into divisions. We asked staff to cast sixteen votes per division, with the votes having a weight of 1-4. Each staffer cast four 4 votes, four 3 votes, four 2 votes and four 1 votes in each division. We then totaled all the votes from each division to determine their rank, and ultimately placed the top 16 into each bracket for seeding.
As you can imagine, our staff is diverse and the results were very interesting! Not only are there some great match-ups in this first round, the final four will pose some amazing choices between the various literary and film sources.
In this new TORn library piece, guest writer Dr Timothy Furnish explores dragons and dragon-slaying in the Tolkien-verse. Are there reasons why only Men slay dragons in the world of Arda, and not elves or dwarves? Read on and find out!
Why did Tolkien imagine only men killing dragons?
by Dr Timothy Furnish, PhD.
Dragons were very important to J.R.R. Tolkien, who acknowledged that his very first attempt at fiction-writing, when he was seven, centered around a “great green dragon.”
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