Facts & FAQs
Ages of Middle Earth
If Lord of the Rings was set in the Third Age then what are the ages of Middle Earth?
The Silmarillion mostly speaks of the events of the First Age. The major events of this age were the wars between elves and men in Middle Earth and the forces of the dark lord Morgoth. The First Age ended when the Valar came to the aid of the people of Middle Earth and defeated Sauron. The First Age is often referred to as the elder years.
During the Second Age, Sauron was beginning to spread his influence throughout Middle Earth. At the same time, the men of Numenor were prospering and growing in strength. Numenor was destroyed near the end of the Second Age and it was at this time that Elendil and his followers came from Numenor to Middle Earth. The Second Age ended when the armies of Elendil and Gil Galad defeated Sauron.
The events of The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings all took place at the end of the Third Age. Sauron was defeated on 25th March in year 3019 of the Third Age. The Third Age ended two years later on 29th September 3021, when Frodo and Bilbo crossed over the sea with the bearers of the three elven rings.
Some of the events of the Fourth Age are described in the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings. These include many events in the shire (mostly relating to Sam, Merry & Pippin and their families) and also some events in Gondor (such as the death of King Elessar/Aragorn in the 120th year of the fourth age)
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