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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lord of the Rings (Arda Timeline) - J.R.R. Tolkien

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Events outside of time

Arda events

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. All entries are derived from The Annals of Aman (see references) unless otherwise noted.

Valarin years

  • 1 - After many ages completing labours in the halls of Eä, including Varda's crafting of the stars, the Valar descended into Arda at the time of its origin.
  • First War: Melkor assaults his brethren and disrupts the ordered symmetry they seek to build within Arda.
  • 1500 - Tulkas arrives, the last of the Valar to descend into Arda: Melkor runs from him and hides in the halls of Eä.
  • The Valar began their labours anew and ordered the lands and seas to their liking.

Years of the Lamps

  • 1900 - The Two Lamps, Illuin and Ormal, are set upon pillars to provide light for Arda.
  • Ordering of Arda by the Valar. They form the isle of Almaren to dwell upon.
  • Spring of Arda: first forests grow, and non-humanoid animals are awakened.
  • Melkor's spies and secret friends, chief among them a great craftsman of the folk of Aulë later named Sauron, inform him that the Valar are weary from their labours.
  • 3400 - Wedding of Tulkas and Nessa. Melkor returns in secret with followers from Eä and begins building Utumno.
  • Melkor begins to corrupt the lands and living things of Arda, turning them into sickly or monstrous shapes.
  • The Valar become aware of Melkor's return and begin seeking his stronghold.
  • 3450 - Destruction of the Two Lamps and the isle of Almaren by Melkor and his followers; Spring of Arda ends.
  • Melkor retreats to Utumno while the Valar save what they can from the cataclysm.
  • The Valar establish a new home in Aman and raise the Pelóri to defend it.
  • 3500 - Yavanna makes the Trees of the Valar.

Years of the Trees

For consistency, dates below will continue to be given in Valian Years. In some cases, after V.Y. 4580, exact chronological order cannot be determined and the placement of undated entries is estimated.

  • 3501 - A new tally of years is begun with Year of the Trees 1.
  • Aulë the Smith makes the Dwarves but is not allowed to awaken them; Yavanna thinks of the Ents in response.
  • 4500 - The Valar hold council to discuss the concerns of Oromë and Yavanna regarding Middle-earth and the impending arrival of the Eruhíni, or Children of Ilúvatar.
  • Varda begins gathering light from the Trees of the Valar for the Great Stars.
  • Varda sets the Menelmacar and other constellations in the sky.
  • 4550 - Varda finishes her work on the Great Stars, setting the Sickle of the Valar in the north as a challenge to Melkor.

First Age

During the Years of the Trees the First Age of the Children of Ilúvatar begins, at the Awakening of the Elves.

  • 4550 - Eru Ilúvatar awakens the Elves.
  • Melian the Maia departs for Middle-earth.
  • 4580 - Melkor discovers and begins capturing Elves in secret.
  • Melkor begins breeding the Orcs from captured Elves, and the Trolls
  • 4585 - Oromë first learns of the Elves
  • 4586 - Oromë returns to Valinor, informs the other Valar of the dangers faced by the Elves, and then returns immediately to Cuiviénen.
  • 4590 - The Valar march to war against Melkor on behalf of the Elves.
  • 4592 - The Valar lay siege to Utumno.
  • Melian begins dwelling in Nan Elmoth and caring for the living things that have been awakened in Beleriand.
  • 4599 - Melkor is captured and Utumno destroyed. Sauron escapes capture and remains in Angband, breeding Orcs and Trolls for Melkor.
  • 4600 - Melkor is taken to Valinor in chains and sentenced to serve a term in the Halls of Mandos for three Ages.
  • 4601 - The Valar decide to summon the Elves to dwell with them in Aman.
  • 4602 - Oromë brings three ambassadors of the Elves to Aman: Ingwë of the Minyar, Finwë of the Tatyar, and Elwë of the Nelyar
  • 4604 - The three ambassadors return and work to convince the Elves to accept the summons of the Valar. They accumulate many followers.
  • 4605 - Great Journey of the Elves: The Elves depart for Aman (not all answer the summon—see Sundering of the Elves)
  • 4615 - The Elves reach the great river which would later be called Anduin.
  • A group of Teleri under Lenwë (or Dan) abandon the March at Anduin and become the Nandor
  • Fathers of the Dwarves and first Ents awakened by Eru Ilúvatar; Elves discover the Ents and begin teaching them language.
  • 4625 - The Vanyar and Noldor arrive in Beleriand.
  • 4628 - The Teleri arrive in Beleriand after tarrying in the great forests of Eriador.
  • 4630 - Elwë meets Melian and is entranced.
  • 4632 - Ulmo is unwilling to wait until Elwë is found, and the Vanyar and Noldor are ferried across on the island of Tol Eressëa, while the Teleri stay behind, looking for their lord.
  • 4633 - The Vanyar and Noldor settle in Eldamar and begin building Tirion
  • 4640 - Tirion is finished, Mindon Eldaliéva is built.
  • Ingwë and many of the Vanyar leave Tirion to dwell with Manwë in Valinor.
  • 4642 - Yavanna gives the White Tree, Galathilion, to the Noldor.
  • 4649 - Ulmo finally returns for the Teleri, but many stay behind because Elwë is not yet found, and become the Sindar. Another group remains behind at the request of Ossë, and together with those who came too late they become the Elves of the Falas under Círdan.
  • 4651 - The majority of the Teleri are ferried across on Tol Eressëa, which is anchored in the bay of Eldamar. They take Elwë's brother, Olwë, as lord.
  • 4652 - Elwë awakes from slumber and reunites with the Sindar. He becomes known as Thingol, settling in Doriath.
  • 4661 - The Teleri of Tol Eressëa learn the art of shipbuilding, and ferry across the bay of Eldamar to Aman, where they found the city of Alqualondë.
  • 4665 - The last Vanyar abandon Tirion and settle in Valinor proper. The Noldor remain in Tirion under their lord, Finwë.
  • 4669 - Birth of Fëanor. Rúmil invents writing.
  • Death of Míriel.
  • Nogrod and Belegost founded by Dwarves; Khazad-dûm founded by Durin the Deathless.
  • 4690 - Fingolfin born
  • c.4700 - Lúthien born
  • 4730 - Finarfin born
  • 4750 - Dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost are met by the Sindar, establishing trade. Fëanor develops the Tengwar.
  • Daeron devises the Cirth.
  • c.4780 - Orcs begin to appear in Beleriand.
  • 4850 - The Nandor, under Denethor, arrive in Beleriand, becoming known as the Green Elves of Ossiriand. The Halls of Menegroth finished.
  • 4862 - Galadriel born.
  • 4900 - Melkor, freed from his sentence, begins corrupting some of the Noldor.
  • 4950 - Fëanor completes the forging of the Silmarils.
  • 4990 - Fëanor, deceived by Melkor, draws arms against his brother and is banished from Tirion: his father, Finwë, and many of the Noldor follow him in exile to Formenos.
  • 4992 - Fëanor argues with Melkor at Formenos. Melkor hides from capture by the Valar and joins forces with Ungoliant.
  • 4995 - The Darkening of Valinor. Manwë tries to heal the feud of the Noldor, and summons Fëanor to a festival in Valimar. Melkor and Ungoliant destroy the Two Trees, kill Finwë and steal the Silmarils. Fëanor and his sons swear an oath to regain the Silmarils and the majority of the Noldor depart from Valinor; Noldor kill many Teleri and seize their ships in the First Kinslaying.
  • 4996 - Prophecy of Mandos: the Noldor are banished from Valinor and face great doom.
  • 4997 - Melkor returns to Angband, and tries to take Beleriand: First Battle of Beleriand is fought; Denethor of the Green-elves slain and the Havens of the Falas are besieged. The Noldor arrive at Helcaraxë; Fëanor and his host betray the sons of Indis and sail across, then burn the ships. Return of the Noldor to Middle-earth. Morgoth's army attacks Fëanor. Dagor-nuin-Giliath ("the Battle under Stars") is fought. Fëanor is slain by Balrogs in sight of Angband. Maedhros taken captive.
  • The Valar hide Valinor behind the Enchanted Isles and raise the Pelóri mountains to greater heights; they begin devising the Moon and Sun.
  • 5000 - The remainder of the Noldor arrives in Middle-earth; the Moon arises.

Years of the Sun in the First Age

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.

  • 1 - The Sun first sets sail, start of reckoning by 'Years of the Sun', Awakening of Men in Hildórien.
  • 5 - Fingon rescues Maedhros. The feud between the Noldor is healed.
  • 7 - Sons of Fëanor depart to Eastern Beleriand.
  • 20 - The Mereth Aderthad (Feast of Reuniting) is held at Eithel Ivrin.
  • 50 - Turgon and Finrod are told by Ulmo to establish a refuge.
  • 52 - Finrod begins building Nargothrond.
  • 60 - Dagor Aglareb: the Noldor defeat Morgoth's forces and start the Siege of Angband
  • 60–c. 200 - Melkor is absent from Angband, after discovering Men. Persuaded by Melkor, Men stop worshipping Eru Ilúvatar and turn to evil, but some revolt: the Atanatári. These travel to the West in search for the Valar, aided by Avari Elves and Dwarves. According to legend, Men now lose the gift to die at will as the result of divine punishment, and are doomed to lead short life-spans at the end of which death takes them by force.[1]
  • 64 - Turgon begins building Gondolin.
  • 65 - The havens of Brithombar and Eglarest are fortified; the Tower of Barad Nimras is built.
  • 67 - Quenya is prohibited by Thingol.
  • 102 - Completion of Nargothrond: Finrod's folk depart from Hithlum.
  • 116 - Completion of Gondolin. Turgon's people begin the migration from Nevrast in secret.
  • 150 - The Dwarves renew their trade in Beleriand.
  • 155 - An assault upon Hithlum from the Firth of Drengist is defeated by Fingolfin's forces.
  • 260 - Glaurung ravages Ard-galen, but is driven back to Angband. The Long Peace begins.
  • 310 - Bëor leads The First House of the Edain into Beleriand: they are discovered by Finrod. They move to Estolad, and after a few years the Second House enters Thargelion and the Third settles in Estolad.[2][3]
  • 316 - Aredhel departs from Gondolin and comes to Eöl.
  • 320 - The Edain begin migrating from Estolad to Dorthonion, Hithlum and Talath Dirnen.[2]
  • 369 - Many of the Edain, led by Bereg, leave to Eriador.[2]
  • 375 - An attack of orcs on Thargelion; many of the Second House of the Edain perish, but next year Haleth leads the remnants to Estolad.[2]
  • 390 - Haleth lead her people from Eriador and in 391 they come to the lands south of Taeglin. The majority later enter the forest of Brethil.[2][4]
  • 400 - Return of Aredhel and Maeglin to Gondolin; later, Eöl and Aredhel die.
  • 410 - The province of Ladros is officially granted to Boromir of the House of Bëor.[2]
  • 416 - Dor-lómin is granted to the House of Marach.[2]
  • 432 - Birth of Beren Erchamion.[5]
  • 455 - Morgoth breaks the Siege of Angband in Dagor Bragollach ("Battle of Sudden Flame"); Dorthonion is laid waste, people of Barahir become outlaws. Capture of Finrod's fortress of Minas Tirith by the forces of Sauron; Tol Sirion is renamed Tol-in-Gaurhoth, "Isle of Werewolves".[6]
  • 456 - Fingolfin challenges Morgoth to single combat and is slain.
  • 458 - Húrin and Huor are separated from the Folk of Brethil during a battle and are brought to Gondolin by Thorondor.
  • 459 - Húrin and Huor return out of Gondolin to Dor-lómin.
  • 460 - Barahir and companions are betrayed by Gorlim and killed, but Beren survives.
  • 462 - Morgoth tries to assault Hithlum but is withstood by Findon and Círdan.
  • 463 - The first hosts of Easterlings appear in Beleriand.
  • 464 - Birth of Túrin Turambar in Gwaeron (March).[7] Beren departs for Doriath and is enchanted by Lúthien.
  • 465 - Beren sets on a Quest of the Silmaril, comes to Nargothrond and receives help of Finrod Felagund. They are imprisoned in Tol-in-Gaurhoth. Finrod is slain by a werewolf, but Beren is rescued by Lúthien. Celegorm and Curufin are exiled from Nargothrond and try attacking them.
  • 466 - Birth of Lalaith in the beginning of spring.[7] Beren and Lúthien come to Angband and achieve the Quest of the Silmaril. They return to Doriath, but Carcharoth ravages the land. Beren dies, and Lúthien abandons life. She pleads with Mandos and Beren and Lúthien are restored to life as mortals; they take up bodies again in Ossiriand.
  • 468 - The Union of Maedhros is begun.
  • 469 - Death of Lalaith in autumn.[7]
  • 472 - Nírnaeth Arnoediad, "The Battle of Unnumbered Tears", is fought at midsummer. Morgoth utterly defeats the Elves and Edain. Fingon and Huor are slain, but Gwindor and Húrin are captured. Easterlings invade Hithlum, in autumn Morwen sents Túrin to Doriath. Birth of Tuor, son of Huor.
  • 473 - Birth of Nienor in the beginning of year; Túrin reaches Doriath. Siege and capture of the Havens of the Falas.
  • 481 - Dor-lómin is cut off; Túrin goes to the marches of Dimbar.[8]
  • 484 - In summer he slays Saeros, flees from Doriath and joines the outlaws.
  • 485 - In spring Túrin becomes their leader, meets Beleg in summer.[7]
  • 486 - In summer Mîm leads the outlaws to Amon Rûdh.[7]
  • 487 - In the beginning of year Beleg joins Túrin; by autumn Dor-Cúarthol prospers.[7]
  • 489 - In autumn Amon Rûdh is taken; Túrin captured, but is rescued by Gwindor and Beleg, and slays the latter.
  • 490 - In the beginning of year Túrin is healed at Eithel Ivrin, comes to Nargothrond. Gurthang is reforged, Túrin becomes known as the Blacksword.
  • 494 - In autumn Morwen and Nienor flee to Doriath.
  • 495 - Fall of Nargothrond in autumn; Orodreth and Gwindor perish. In the beginning of winter Túrin passes Ivrin; Tuor comes to Gondolin.
  • 496 - Túrin rises a revolt in Dor-lómin;[9] in the beginning of spring he comes to Brethil, Morwen with Nienor journey to Nargothrond; Níniel comes to Brethil.
  • 497 - Turambar asks Níniel in marriage, but she delays.[7]
  • 498 - Turambar marries Níniel in autumn;[9] before the end of the year he returns to warfare.
  • 499 - In spring Níniel conceives; in the beginning of summer slaying of Glaurung, and deaths of Túrin Turambar and Nienor Níniel.[7]
  • 500 - Húrin released from captivity.[9]
  • 501 - Death of Morwen. The Kin-strife in Brethil is brought about by Húrin.[9]
  • 502 - Húrin brings the Nauglamír from Nargothrond to Thingol.[9]

From this point the entries are derieved from The Tale of Years of the First Age (see references) unless otherwise noted.

  • 502 - Reforging of the Nauglamír and quarrel of Thingol and the Dwarves. Thingol is slain.[10] Melian returns to Valinor in grief.
  • 503 - Doriath is sacked by Dwarves of Nogrod. Beren, Laegrim, and Ents destroy the Dwarves; Lúthien wears the Silmaril, Dior travels to Doriath and tries to restore it. Birth of Eärendil and Elwing. Final deaths of Beren and Lúthien; Dior receives the Silmaril in autumn.
  • 506–7 - Sons of Fëanor attack Doriath at Yule. Doriath is destroyed in the Second Kinslaying; Dior, Celegorm, Curufin, and Caranthir are all slain. Elwing escapes for the Mouths of Sirion with the Silmaril.
  • 509 - Maeglin captured by Morgoth's spies.
  • 510 - Gondolin is betrayed by Maeglin and sacked; Glorfindel slays a Balrog in the Echoriath, Ecthelion slays Gothmog, both of them killed as well. Death of Turgon. Tuor and Idril escape.
  • 511 - Tuor and Idril bring Eärendil and refugees of Gondolin to the Mouths of Sirion which prosper as 'New Havens'.
  • 525 - Eärendil marries Elwing. Tuor feels 'Unquiet of Ulmo' and sails into the West in the ship Eärrámë with Idril.
  • 532 - Elrond and Elros are born to Eärendil and Elwing.
  • 534 - Eärendil begins his great voyages
  • 538 - Third Kinslaying: while Eärendil is away the remaining Sons of Fëanor attack the people of the Mouths of Sirion trying to claim the Silmaril. Elwing casts herself with the Jewel in the sea but is brought to Eärendil by Ulmo. Of the Sons of Fëanor only Maedhros and Maglor now remain.
  • 540 - Morgoth destroys the dwellings of Fëanorians upon Amon Ereb. The last inhabitants of Beleriand flee to the south or to the Isle of Balar. Morgoth's triumph is complete.
  • 542 - Eärendil arrives in Valinor and delivers the errand of the Two Kindreds.
  • 545 - The Host of the Valar arrives in Beleriand.
  • 545–587 - The War of Wrath. Morgoth is defeated; the remaining two Silmarils are stolen by Maedhros and Maglor, but are lost in the earth and in the sea; most of Beleriand and the lands to the north are sunk.
  • 590 - Morgoth is cast into the Void; the Elves are summoned to Valinor and settle in Tol Eressëa; a small part of the Noldor and Sindar remain in Lindon or depart east and establish realms.

Second Age

The Second Age was 3441 years long. All entries are derived from Appendix B (see references) unless otherwise noted.

Third Age

The Third Age was 3,021 years long. All entries are derived from Appendix B (see references) unless 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.

"The Great Years"

All entries are derived from Appendix B (see references) unless otherwise noted.

  • The Ringwraiths are given the task of retrieving the One Ring;
  • April 12 - Gandalf reaches Hobbiton. He returns to the Shire, telling Frodo Baggins he must take the Ring away
  • June 20 - Sauron attacks Osgiliath.
  • July 4 - Boromir leaves Minas Tirith
  • July 10 - Saruman imprisons Gandalf in Orthanc
  • September 18 - Gandalf escapes from Orthanc
  • September 19–21 - Gandalf reaches Edoras and is given Shadowfax the horse
  • September 23 - Frodo leaves Bag End
  • September 26 - Frodo meets Tom Bombadil
  • September 30 - Aragorn meets Frodo Baggins in the Inn of the Prancing Pony in Bree.
  • October 6 - Frodo wounded at Weathertop
  • October 20 - Frodo crosses the ford of Bruinen
  • October 25 - Council of Elrond at Rivendell
  • December 25 - The Fellowship of the Ring sets out in the evening from Rivendell

  • January 15 - The Fellowship parts after Gandalf falls in Khazad-dûm while fighting a Balrog.
  • February 25 - The Fellowship pass the Argonath and camp at Parth Galen. First Battle of Fords of Isen; Théodred son of Théoden is slain.
  • February 26 - The Fellowship split up; Boromir is killed.
  • February 29 - Merry and Pippin escape the orcs and meet Treebeard.
  • March 1 - Gandalf meets Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli and they head off for Edoras. Frodo begins travelling through the Dead Marshes.
  • March 3 - Battle of the Hornburg.
  • March 5 - Rohan army reaches Isengard.
  • March 7 - Faramir takes Frodo to Henneth Annûn.
  • March 8 - Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli enter the Paths of the Dead.
  • March 9 - Gandalf and Pippin arrive in Minas Tirith.
  • March 10 - Frodo and Sam see the Morgul host lead by the Witch-king leave Minas Morgul. An army from Morannon takes Cair Andros and marches in Anórien.
  • March 12 - Gollum leads Frodo into Shelob's lair.
  • March 13 - Frodo captured by Cirith Ungol orcs. Aragorn captures the Umbar fleet at Pelargir.
  • March 15 - Witch-king breaks the gate of Minas Tirith in the early hours. Denethor burns himself on a pyre. Confrontation between Gandalf and the Witch-king at the gate; Horns of the Rohirrim are heard at a cockcrow. Battle of the Pelennor Fields: Théoden King of Rohan is killed; Éomer succeeds him as the eighteenth king of Rohan. Éowyn and Merry kill the Witch-king. Aragorn, Rangers, sons of Elrond and men from the southern fiefdoms of Gondor arrive in the black ships and turn the tide of battle. Sam and Frodo escape and journey along the Morgai. Battle under the trees in Mirkwood; second assault on Lórien.
  • March 16 - Debate of the commanders.
  • March 17 - Battle of Dale. King Brand and Dáin Ironfoot fall in battle against invading Easterlings. Many men and dwarves take refuge in Erebor.
  • March 18 - Armies leave Minas Tirith. Frodo and Sam join the orc company.
  • March 25 - The Host is surrounded on the Slag-hills. Frodo and Sam reach the Sammath Naur. Gollum (Sméagol) seizes the One Ring and falls into the Cracks of Doom. Downfall of Barad-dûr and the passing of the Dark Lord Sauron.
  • May - Arwen Undómiel and her father Lord Elrond of Imladris arrive in Lórien, where they are welcomed at Caras Galadhon by the Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn, grandparents of Lady Arwen through her mother, the Lady Celebrian.
  • May - Aragorn is crowned King Elessar of the Reunited Kingdom of Arnor and Gondor. Gandalf helps Aragorn to find the sapling of the new White Tree.
  • (Date unspecified) - Faramir marries Éowyn.
  • Mid-year's Day (between June and July) - Aragorn marries Arwen Undómiel.
  • July - King Théoden is laid to rest beside other Kings of Rohan in Edoras.
  • September 21 - Hobbits arrive in Rivendell.
  • September 22 - Saruman arrives in the Shire.
  • November 1 - The four hobbits arrested at Frogmorton.
  • November 3 - Battle of Bywater; death of Saruman and Wormtongue, final end to the War of the Ring.


Fourth Age

— length uncertain. All entries are derived from Appendix B (see references) unless otherwise noted.

In the reckoning of Gondor, the Fourth Age began on March 25, T.A. 3021. Since most of the following events were 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.

  • 6 - Peregrin Took marries Diamond of Long Cleeve
  • (Date Uncertain) - Birth of Elfwine, son of Éomer and Lothiriel
  • (Date Uncertain) - Birth of Elboron, son of Faramir and Éowyn
  • (Date Uncertain) - Birth of Durin VII, descendant (perhaps son) of Thorin III Stonehelm
  • 13 - Peregrin Took becomes thirty-second Thain of the Shire
  • 15 - Death of Glóin, father of Gimli.
  • 34 - Death of Prince Imrahil. Imrahil's son Elphir assumes the Principality.
  • 41 - Birth of Holfast Gardner, son and heir of Frodo Gardner
  • 43 - Birth of Eldarion, son of Aragorn and Arwen
  • 61 - Samwise Gamgee leaves Middle-earth via Mithlond
  • 63 - Meriadoc Brandybuck, aged 102, and Pippin leave the Shire to live in Gondor; death of Éomer, aged 93, whose son Elfwine ascends the throne of Rohan.
  • 67 - Death of Prince Elphir son of Imrahil, twenty-third Prince of Dol Amroth. Elphir's son Alphros assumes the Principality.
  • 80 - Birth of Harding of the Hill, Sam Gamgee's heir and great-grandson
  • 82 - Death of Faramir, aged 120. His son Elboron assumes the Principality.
  • 91 - Death of Dwalin, brother of Balin, aged 341.
  • 95 - Death of Prince Alphros of Dol Amroth, son of Elphir.
  • 120 - Death of Aragorn, King of the Reunited Kingdom of Arnor and Gondor, after 210 years of life and 122 years of reign; Aragorn's son Eldarion ascends the throne. According to legend, on the death of Aragorn, Legolas builds a ship and sails into the west to the Undying Lands, taking Gimli (now a very old Dwarf) with him
  • 121 - Death of Arwen, aged 2901
  • 172 - A copy of the Red Book of Westmarch is made
  • 185 - Death of Harding of the Hill, Sam Gamgee's heir.


First Age

Years of the Trees

Years of the Sun

See also Battles of Beleriand.

Second Age

Third Age

War of the Ring

Other conflicts during the War of the Ring


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