middle earth map in lord of the rings

Ultimate Fandom Timeline: How ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Fits In

The mythos of the Lord of the Rings trilogy is a big part of the ultimate fandom timeline. Most of the history of middle-earth consists of the first history of our world. I have already mentioned how the Earth was created by Illuvatar, one of the supreme beings, with the help of his first children, the Ainur. One of those, Melkor, was responsible for all things of evil on the planet.

Concerning Time on Earth

Time in the early years of the Earth was measured by the perception of light. In the beginning, there was no light. Of course, the sun was already formed as part of the Earth’s creation, but there is no evidence that the sun was seen by the early residents of the Earth. We know the Earth changed from time to time. In the early years, perhaps the Earth only rotated once a year, so it was always night at first.

Time, in the early years, had no concept of years, months, days, or hours. It was only recorded as long periods of time with different forms of light. First, there were the giant lamps, created by the Ainur. Then, there were the trees of Valinor, created by Varda, queen of the Ainur. Once those were destroyed by Melkor with the help of Ungoliant, the Sun was placed in the sky. We can assume that this was the time that the Earth began to rotate, and time was determined with days and years.

The Ages (or the Years of the Sun)

The first years after the sun appeared in the sky are known as the years of the sun. This time period lasts roughly until the end of the plot of The Lord of the Rings + Appendices. In it, there are three ages. The fourth age began moving in a different direction.

The First Age

The first age lasted about 590 years. This age is known for all the wars between elves and Morgoth (their name for Melkor). Though the elves had some victorious battles, and there were many adventures, they were never able to get the upper hand on Morgoth. Many heroes such as Beren, Luthien, and Turin were present during this time. This is also the age that the great elf city of Gondolin fell.

It wasn’t until Earendil sought help from the Ainur that they came to help. This was the final battle with Morgoth, after which he was sealed beyond space and time, from which no one could ever return. He would eventually come back though, but that is another story told in the Wheel of Time.

The Second Age

The second age lasted 3,441 years and saw the rise of Sauron in power. Sauron has previously been the second in command to Morgoth, but had seemingly repented and was allowed to go free.

This was also the time of Numenor, and island located west of Middle-earth. This is the same island that is known in modern myth as Atlantis. A civilization of men lived there, and they became very prosperous. However, they were not allowed to travel west to where the Ainur lived. Sauron became the adviser to the King of Numenor and persuaded them to sail west. However, doing so brought chaos to the Numenoreans, and the island of Numenor was sunk into the sea. Only a few Numenoreans escaped, including Elendil and his son Isildur. Sauron didn’t expect the island to be sunk, and his body was also destroyed.

This was just after the forging of the great rings. The elves had three, the dwarves seven, and men had nine. However, Sauron has secretly created the One Ring to rule them all. This is what preserved his life at Numenor and allowed his spirit to build up power in Mordor.

This was when the last alliance of men and elves was formed. In the final battle against Sauron, Isildur cut off the ring from Sauron’s finger. Isildur took the ring, and it eventually led to his murder as well. The ring was then lost, and the second age was over.

The Third Age

The third age lasted 3,021 years. 2,500 years after the ring was lost at Isildur’s death, it was found by Smeagol. He killed for it, because the evil of the ring compelled him to, and fled into the mountains. The ring granted him long life, though it wasted away.

500 years later, Smeagol (now known as Gollum), lost the ring in his cave, just as a Hobbit came and picked it up. The ring was trying to get back to its master. The Hobbit’s name was Bilbo Baggins. Several years later, he gave the ring to his nephew Frodo Baggins. It was Frodo who eventually destroyed the ring by throwing it into the fires of Mordor where it was forged. However, Frodo could never have done this without his gardener Sam Gamgee, as well as the fellowship of the ring that included Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Pippin, Merry, and Boromir.

At the end of the quest, Aragorn (a descendant of Numenor) was crowned King, the elves moved sailed into the west, and the age of men began.

The Fourth Age and the Continuation of Man

The age of men began as the beginning of the fourth age. This was early in the history of the Earth. Obviously, there would be an age of dinosaurs, when men were driven nearly to extinction. However, men managed to survive, and became the dominant species once again. What most people don’t realize (because of a lack of geological evidence) is that man existed long before the dinosaurs. Only the elves and the Ainur have been here longer.

Of the Rings of Power

The rings were a concentration of power. In the case of the elven rings, power was concentrated in the rings to control nature and create harmony. Once the one ring was destroyed, this power left the elven rings and simply returned to nature.

The One Ring was a concentration of all the ring’s power, but it was also imbued with the power of Sauron himself. Many years later, another warlock would study this idea and create something similar. His name was Voldemort, but we will get to his story later.

Summary

4.6 Billion Years Ago

  • The Earth is formed by Illuvatar and the Ainur.
  • Time defined by light, (the Lamps, the Trees, the Sun)
  • During the Time of the Trees, Melkor is captured and imprisoned by the Valar.
  • He is released and continues to spread his evil.

2.7 Billion Years Ago (Years of the Sun)

First Age (lasting 590 years)

  • The war with Morgoth (Melkor) continues.
  • There are many heroes like Beren, Luthien, Thurin, etc.
  • Gondolin falls.
  • Beleriand is sunk as the Earth continues to be shaped.
  • Melkor is finally imprisoned in the space beyond space and time.

Second Age (lasting 3441 years)

  • Numenor becomes an important civilization of men.
  • Sauron gains power.
  • The rings of power are forged, including the One.
  • Numenor is sunk by Illuvatar because of the pride of man.
  • Sauron retreats to Mordor and tries to take over civilization.
  • The Last Alliance of men and elves defeat Sauron at Mordor.
  • The One Ring is taken by Isildur.

The Third Age (lasting 3021 years)

  • The One Ring is found by Gollum.
  • 500 years later, Bilbo Baggins finds the ring.
  • Smaug dies at Laketown, and the dwarves are restored to their home.
  • Sauron is driven out of Dol Guldor into Mordor where he gains power again.
  • The War of the Ring: Where Frodo Baggins destroys the ring in the mountain of doom.
  • The Third Age ends and the age of men begins.

Fandoms Mentioned

  • The Silmarillion
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Wheel of Time
  • Harry Potter

What is the Ultimate Fandom Timeline:
The Ultimate Fandom Timeline is a hypothetical amalgamation of stories from across all major fandoms. It answers the question, “What if EVERYTHING was connected?” So it places the major timelines in order of how they could relate to each other. It is told from the perspective of a fictional character, Alice, who thinks that all the major stories are somehow real and connected and that it’s a huge coverup that prevents us from realizing this fact.

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