‘We come to it at last – the great battle of our time….’ From 64 costumes at the start, we are down to the last two; which of those will be the Grand Champion of March Madness 2021, the Battle of the Best Dressed in Middle-earth? Here are the results of the Final Four:

Round Six – Grand Final

Strider took on the Witchking. It is said that no man can kill him; but the clothing of a ranger could defeat the wraith’s robes. By a margin of only about 150 votes, it is Aragorn who strides into the final.

Continue reading “Middle-earth March Madness Grand Final”

And then there were four! We move out of the regional divisions and into the Semi Final of this year’s March Madness, the Battle of the Best Dressed in Middle-earth. Here’s how the table stands now:

Round Five – Final Four

So who triumphed in the Elite Eight? This was a nail biting round; this very post was drafted with certain costumes as winners, but then there was a late surge in voting and a couple of outfits made a comeback!

Beginning with the Humans and Maiar, a fully armoured Eomer was taking on Aragorn in ranger garb. This duel had the widest margin in the Quarter Final, with just under 60% of the vote going to Aragorn’s outfit. He’ll meet the Witchking in the Semi Final; in the Villains region, the Balrog was finally defeated, with the epic helm and long robes of the Witchking claiming about 10% more votes.

Continue reading “Middle-earth March Madness Semi Final”

Guest writer Matthew Bossons brings us this fascinating look at how Tolkien fandom has made its way to China; and he reflects on whether Amazon’s upcoming Middle-earth series is likely to find fans there.

Panjiayuan is Beijing’s biggest and best-known antique market, regularly attracting orc-like hordes of tourists and locals alike to wander the warren of booths and stalls, both indoor and outside. All manner of old and made-to-look-old items are on offer here: jade carvings, stone Buddha statues, ancient coins, Chinese Communist Party pins and propaganda posters, replica Korean war medals and mounds of books. 

On a brisk October day, while standing at a hawker stand specializing in old Chinese books – mostly Chairman Mao’s iconic ‘Little Red Book’ – I came across a curious title: The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, in English-language and hardcover form. The book, a collection of sketches and maps made by Tolkien, was published in 2015 and compiled by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull – both well-known scholars of the ‘father of high fantasy.’

Cover of 'The Art of the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien' - by Wayne G Hammond and Christina Scull
Continue reading “From Middle-earth to the Middle Kingdom: How Tolkien’s Grand Mythos Found Its Way to China”

We’ve teamed up with our new friends at Numskull Designs to show off a couple of their very cool cosplaying ducks from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The subjects of this review are going to be the awesome-looking Aragorn and Sauron Cosplaying Ducks, as well as their very cool The Lord of the Rings pin sets.

You can get these two ducks for $12.99 each, and the pin sets for $7.99, from various collectibles stores on the net. However, we’re pleased to announce that starting tomorrow Friday 9th April, through Friday 30th April, if you follow TheOneRing.net AND Numskull Designs on Twitter, and like TORn’s tweet announcing the contest, you will be in with a chance to win a set of what you see in this review. (One lucky winner will be chosen at random, and contacted by Numskull Designs.) Good luck!

Continue reading “Collecting The Precious – TUBBZ Aragorn and Sauron Cosplaying Ducks”

Quarter Final time! Only the Elite (or Elegant?) Eight remain in the Battle of the Best Dressed in Middle-earth; one final round in the region divisions. Here’s the latest table:

The bracket for Middle-earth March Madness 2021, showing the costumes which have made it into the Elite Eight round.
Round Three – Sweet Sixteen

Let’s take a look at the Round Three results; starting with the Villains this time. The Mouth of Sauron was no match for the Balrog, only managing to muster a third of the vote; and the regular Witchking took 70%, to crush his Twilight self. This means we’ll see the ruler from Angmar taking on the demon of the ancient world in the Quarter Final; and just to prove that there are Balrog cosplays, here’s a brilliant one from a TORn staffer:

TORn staffer Rasputin created an amazing cosplay as a Balrog showgirl - complete with sparkly costume, and horned headdress with red and orange plumes. And what looks like wings...!
Staffer Rasputin looks incredible as a Balrog showgirl
Continue reading “Middle-earth March Madness Quarter Final”

The Sweet Sixteen round is upon us! The costumes are dropping like flies in the Battle of the Best Dressed in Middle-earth; here’s how things stand now:

The Middle-earth March Madness bracket for 2021, showing the costumes still in play for the Sweet Sixteen round.
Round Three – Sweet Sixteen

So, what happened in Round Two? Let’s begin this time with the Elves. Galadriel’s Lorien gown beat Arwen’s dress when on the bridge with Aragorn; but now she has to take on her granddaughter again, as Galadriel meets Arwen’s blue and red dress in Round Three. Here’s a certain TORn founder looking very fetching in that gown:

TORn founder Calisuri in a cosplay of Arwen's blue and red gown; with a lovely wig, and a flower behind his ear!
Calisuri makes a lovely elf
Continue reading “Middle-earth March Madness Round Three”