March 25th is a special day in Middle-earth history. The date holds that significance thanks to it being the day in the Middle-earth calendar that Sauron was defeated in The Lord of the Rings. And while many people may just see this as "yet another Wednesday," Tolkienists and Tolkien fans everywhere are taking to the stories the Professor wrote to celebrate this momentous day in the story.
The Lord of the Rings Online is one of the most fully realized works of Middle-earth to date that it would be asinine to not hop into the world Standing Stone Games has created as well to celebrate. And, with much of the content being free to anyone for the time being, it's never been a better time to start up.
If you follow me on Twitter, you've seen me building up to this. While I don't play LotRO as often as I'd like anymore, I retweet every tweet from The Shire-Reckoning - an account that tweets each event in the timeline of the Third Age as it happens in real time. March 25th is a cool day - seeing the words "DOWNFALL OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS" scroll across my Twitter feed each year always makes me happy. And it always makes me want to jump right into LotRO to relieve some of the most iconic moments from the book.
Gollum bites off Frodo's finger then falls, with the Ring, into the fire. THE DOWNFALL OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The Barad-dûr crumbles.— The Shire-Reckoning (@ShireReckoning) March 25, 2019
For those fans who want to relive some of the great battles in the War of the Ring, you can check out the Battle at the Hornburg (also known as Helm's Deep) or the pivotal battle on the Pelennor Fields. While the systems that power these battles can feel a little dated and clumsy in The Lord of the Rings Online, they are a spectacle - especially the Pelennor - and worth seeking out when you get to that point in your adventure.
For many Tolkienists, March 25th is also Tolkien Reading Day. Every year the Tolkien Society chooses a theme for those who participate to adhere to, and this year it's all about "nature and industry." While many will read passages such as The Scouring of the Shire, or even branching out to Leaf by Niggle, another one of Tolkien's works, you can spend some time in the Shire enjoying nature in The Lord of the Rings Online rather easily. Or - if you're in more of an Elvish mood, travel along the Flet platforms of Lorien or rest your Fellowship in The Last Homely House of Rivendell.
Industry is not hard to come by as well - one need only to visit Isengard to see how industry has rent the Earth, devastating the forest of Fangorn to its borders. Venture into Angmar and you'll see plumes of smoke and ash in the distance, machines of the Witch-king of Angmar churning the world around you to drive Sauron's war machine. With both Mordor and Minas Morgul now in The Lord of the Rings Online, you can see slowly, especially in the Morgul Vale, how nature can become twisted, slowly giving way to the corruption and perverted uses of industry as you move closer to the cursed city.
The Lord of the Rings Online gives you plenty of options to celebrate the Gondorian New Year in your own way. How will you celebrate in game? I know me - I'll curl up with my Hunter overlooking the Party Tree in the Shire, reading my own favorite passages and listening to Chance Thomas' excellent soundtrack. So Happy Gondorian New Year, all!