|Timeline of Arda|
|Music of the Ainur|
|Ages of the Children of Ilúvatar|
This article includes several chronologies relating to J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium.
In Tolkien's cosmology, Arda (the Earth) is at first created without the Sun and Moon to illumine it, and its earliest history is measured in Valian Years (V.Y.). After the creation of the Trees of the Valar, a new tally of Years of the Trees is begun in V.Y. 3501. At about V.Y. 4550, the First Age of the Children of Ilúvatar begins with the Awakening of the Elves.
The Years of the Sun begin with the Awakening of Men in about V.Y. 5000. From this time, the First Age lasts for another 590 years. The Second Age extends to 3441 years, beginning with the foundation of Mithlond (the Grey Havens) under Círdan, and Lindon as the Noldorin Kingdom under Gil-galad, and ending with the defeat of Sauron at the hands of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. The Third Age extends to 3021 years, ending with the final defeat of Sauron in the War of the Ring and the establishment of the Reunited Kingdom of Arnor and Gondor. The Fourth Age is mainly outside the scope of Tolkien's legendarium, beginning the suggested transition to the historical period, but Tolkien gives a summary of the first two centuries of the Fourth Age.
Timeline entries are based on The Annals of Aman (published 1993) and The Grey Annals (published 1994) and Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings (published 1955) unless otherwise noted.
Tolkien revised his chronology numerous times. The Annals of Valinor were written in the early 1930s. In this early version, a Valian Year corresponds to 10 solar years, and the time from the creation of Arda until the creation of the Moon and Sun is 3,000 Valian Years. In a revision dated c. 1937, the earlier timeline is mostly left intact, with the addition of the explicit statement that "It is said that the Valar came into the world 30,000 Sun-years ere the first rising of the Moon".
The chronology underwent major revisions after the publication of The Lord of the Rings, in about 1958. In this revision, published as the Annals of Aman , Tolkien defined a Valian Year as equal to 9.582 solar years,and the Valian Year of the creation of the Moon and Sun was now given as 5000, so that the time between the creation of Arda and the rising of the Sun and Moon was now the equivalent of 47,910 solar years instead of 30,000.
Late in his life, Tolkien planned to again revise chronology, now assuming one Valian Year as the equivalent of 144 solar years. This is consistent with his earlier decision (published in 1955 in Appendix D of The Lord of the Rings) that the Elves would reckon time in "long-years" or yéni equivalent to 144 solar years (thus equating the yéni and the Valian Year), but Tolkien never finished this final revision.
|Annals of Valinor (1937)|
1 V.Y. = 10 solar years
|Annals of Aman (1958)|
1 V.Y. = 9.582 solar years
|Creation of Arda, Years of the Lamps||1||1|
|Destruction of the Lamps||500||3450|
|Birth of the Two Trees||1000||3500|
|Awakening of the Elves||2000||4550|
|Destruction of the Two Trees||2990||4995|
|Creation of the Moon and Sun and Awakening of Men||3000||5000|
|First Age||450 Years of the Trees + 590 Years of the Sun|
|Second Age||3,441 Years of the Sun|
|Third Age||3,021 Years of the Sun|
|Fourth Age||of unspecified length, suggested as overlapping with Earth's protohistory|
Before the making of the Sun, dates are given in Valian Years, and not all events can be precisely dated. In such cases events are given in chronological order between known dates. Although all dates prior to the first sunrise have been given in Valian years, these can be converted to Years of the Lamps by subtracting 1900, Years of the Trees by subtracting 3500, or Years of the Trees in the First Age by subtracting 4550.
The conversion between Valian Years and Years of the Sun is not clear, depending on the choice of conversion factors (among many that Tolkien used at different times), the First Age may have lasted anywhere between 4,902 and 65,390 sun years. The greater number is supported by the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings and later writings, the lesser by earlier writings. In Morgoth's Ring , Christopher Tolkien cites a passage stating a Valian Year being "longer than are now nine years under the Sun."
In some cases, after V.Y. 4580, exact chronological order cannot be determined and the placement of undated entries is estimated.
During the Years of the Trees the First Age of the Children of Ilúvatar begins, at the Awakening of the Elves.
From this time on years are of normal length. Events from Valinor during the Years of the Sun cannot be accurately dated. All entries are derived from The Grey Annals (see references) unless otherwise noted. The dating begins anew at 1, although these years are still held to be part of the First Age.
From this point the entries are derived from The Tale of Years of the First Age (see references) unless otherwise noted.
The Second Age was 3441 years long. Most dates relating to Númenor derive from part 2 of Unfinished Tales ; all other entries are derived from Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings unless otherwise noted.
The Third Age was 3,021 years long; virtually all its recorded events take place in Middle-earth. All entries are derived from Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings , except for the following or otherwise noted:
Note on Shire Reckoning: Year 1601 of the Third Age, in which the Shire was founded, is year 1 of the Shire Reckoning. Thus, Third Age years can be converted into their Shire equivalents by deducting 1600.
All entries are derived from Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings unless otherwise noted.
Length uncertain. All entries are derived from the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings, unless otherwise noted.
In the reckoning of Gondor, the Fourth Age began on 'March' 25, T.A. 3021. Since most of the following events had been dated according to the Shire-reckoning, their years in the Fourth Age cannot be stated with certainty. Some events may have occurred in the following year of the Fourth Age.
Years of the Trees
Years of the Sun
See also Battles of Beleriand.
In J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth fiction, such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the terms Man and Men refer to humankind – in contrast to Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, and other humanoid races – and does not denote gender. Hobbits were a branch of the lineage of Men.
Valinor is a fictional location in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, the realm of the Valar in Aman. It is located far to the west of Middle-earth.
In the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Noldor are High Elves of the Second Clan who migrated to Valinor and lived in Eldamar. The Noldor are called Golodhrim or Gódhellim in Sindarin, and Goldui by Teleri of Tol Eressëa. The singular form of the Quenya noun is Noldo and the adjective is Noldorin. 'Noldor' meant 'the Wise', that is those who have great knowledge and understanding. The Noldor indeed early showed the greatest talents of all the Elves both for intellectual pursuits and technical skills. They were the Second Clan of the Elves in both order and size, the other clans being the Vanyar and the Teleri. Like the Teleri, they typically had grey eyes and dark hair. The Noldor Elves were the most intellectually gifted of all the Elves, as well as the strongest and the most proud. The Noldor were the bravest and most powerful people among the Sons of Ilúvatar, with a light in their eyes similar to that of the stars. They fought the greatest wars of which dwarves or men have heard.
Fëanor is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium who plays an important part in The Silmarillion. He was the eldest son of Finwë, the High King of the Noldor, and his first wife Míriel Serindë. Fëanor's mother, Míriel, died shortly after giving birth, having given all her strength and essence to him. "For Fëanor was made the mightiest in all parts of body and mind: in valour, in endurance, in beauty, in understanding, in skill, in strength and subtlety alike: of all the Children of Ilúvatar, and a bright flame was in him."
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, the First Age, or First Age of the Children of Ilúvatar is the heroic period in which most of Tolkien's early legends are set. Versions of these stories were later published in The Silmarillion, and tales from this period lend a deep sense of time and history to the later period in which the action of The Lord of the Rings takes place.
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional legendarium, Beleriand was a region in northwestern Middle-earth during the First Age. Events in Beleriand are described chiefly in his work The Silmarillion, which tells the story of the early ages of Middle-earth in a style similar to the epic hero tales of Nordic literature. Beleriand also appears in the works The Book of Lost Tales, The Children of Húrin, and in the epic poems of The Lays of Beleriand.
Elu Thingol is a fictional character in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He appears in The Silmarillion, The Lays of Beleriand and Children of Húrin as well as in numerous stories in the many volumes of The History of Middle-earth. He is notably a major character in many of the stories about the First Age of Tolkien's Middle-earth and he is an essential part of the ancestral backgrounding of the romance between Aragorn and Arwen in The Lord of the Rings.
Círdan the Shipwright is a fictional character created by J. R. R. Tolkien. He was a Telerin Elf, a great mariner and shipwright, and Lord of the Falas during much of the First Age and Lord of Lindon during the Third Age. He was the bearer of the Great Ring Narya, which he in turn gave to Gandalf.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the real-world history and notable fictional elements of J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy universe.
In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, the history of the fictional universe of Eä began when the Ainur entered Arda, following the creation events in the Ainulindalë and long ages of labour throughout Eä, the universe. Time from that point was measured using Valian Years, though the subsequent history of Arda was divided into three time periods using different years, known as the Years of the Lamps, the Years of the Trees and the Years of the Sun. A separate, overlapping chronology divides the history into 'Ages of the Children of Ilúvatar'. The first such Age began with the Awakening of the Elves during the Years of the Trees and continued for the first six centuries of the Years of the Sun. All the subsequent Ages took place during the Years of the Sun. Most Middle-earth stories take place in the first three Ages of the Children of Ilúvatar.
The following is an overview of the fictional peoples and races that appear in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy world of Middle-earth. Seven peoples or races are listed in Appendix F of The Lord of the Rings as inhabiting Middle-earth: Elves, Men, Dwarves, Hobbits, Ents, Orcs and Trolls. In addition, Middle-earth is overseen or inhabited by various spirits, known as Valar and Maiar. Other beings inhabit Middle-earth whose nature is unclear, such as Tom Bombadil and his wife Goldberry.
Gimli is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, featured in The Lord of the Rings. A dwarf warrior, he is the son of Glóin.
Middle-earth is the fictional setting of much of British writer J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. The term is equivalent to the term Midgard of Norse mythology, describing the human-inhabited world, that is, the central continent of the Earth in Tolkien's imagined mythological past.
Aragorn II, son of Arathorn is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He is one of the main protagonists of The Lord of the Rings. Aragorn was a Ranger of the North, first introduced with the name Strider at Bree, as the Hobbits continued to call him throughout The Lord of the Rings. He was eventually revealed to be the heir of Isildur and rightful claimant to the thrones of Arnor and Gondor. He was also a confidant of Gandalf and an integral part of the quest to destroy the One Ring and defeat the Dark Lord Sauron.
Galadriel is a fictional character created by J.R.R. Tolkien, appearing in his Middle-earth legendarium. She appears in The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and Unfinished Tales.
Morgoth Bauglir is a character from Tolkien's legendarium. He is the main antagonist of The Silmarillion, The Children of Húrin, and The Fall of Gondolin, and is mentioned briefly in The Lord of the Rings.
Sauron is the title character and main antagonist of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, where he rules the land of Mordor and has the ambition of ruling the whole of Middle-earth.
The Valar[ˈvalar] are characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. They are "angelic powers" or "gods" subordinate to the one God ; they are the greatest of the Ainur who chose to go into the World (Arda) and complete its material development after its form was determined by the Music of the Ainur (Ainulindalë). For this reason they are also referred to as "the Powers of the World." They are mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, but were developed earlier in material published posthumously in The Silmarillion and The History of Middle-earth.
The Silmarillion is a collection of mythopoeic works by English writer J. R. R. Tolkien, edited and published posthumously by his son, Christopher Tolkien, in 1977, with assistance from Guy Gavriel Kay. The Silmarillion, along with J. R. R. Tolkien's other works, forms an extensive, though incomplete, narrative that describes the universe of Eä in which are found the lands of Valinor, Beleriand, Númenor, and Middle-earth, within which The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place.
Time indeed began with the beginning of Eä, and in that beginning the Valar came into the world. But the measurement which the Valar made of the ages of their labours is not known to any of the Children of Ilúvatar, until the first flowering of Telperion in Valinor. Thereafter the Valar counted time by the ages of Valinor, whereof each age contained one hundred of the Years of the Valar; but each such year was longer than are now nine years under the Sun.