I was going to start out looking at MOCs with some of the first Tolkien based creations I remember, but there's a problem with Brickshelf right now. So instead I'll jump to one of the most amazing MOCs of 2011. Remi Gagne, Brandon Griffith, Alyse Gagne and Bruce Lowell teamed up this year, calling themselves OneLug, and created the Last March of the Ents.
This collaborative effort deservedly won them Best in Show at this year's BrickCon gathering. As a community we are often easily won over by very large MOCs, but don't let that fool you. This is an amazing construction at every level. Each of the Ents, in particular, has strong characterization, and the flow of action is extremely well done. If you haven't done so before, be sure to look through all of the pictures in the Flickr stream.