Third Age

Third Age

The Third Age is a time period from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth fantasy writings. The history of Middle-earth is to be taken fictionally as a history of the real Earth.

The Third Age began after the first downfall of Sauron, when he was defeated by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men following the downfall of Númenor.

This age was characterised by the waning of the Elves. In the beginning of the Third Age, many Elves left for Valinor because they were disturbed by the recent war. However, Elven kingdoms still survived in Lindon, Lothlórien, and Mirkwood. The city of Rivendell also became a prominent haven for the Elves and other races. Throughout the Age, they chose not to mingle much in the matters of other lands, and only came to the aid of other races in time of war. The Elves chose to devote themselves to artistic pleasures, and tended to the lands which they occupied. The gradual decline of Elven populations occurred throughout the Age as the rise of Sauron came to dominate Middle-earth. By the end of the Third Age, only mere fragments of the once-grand Elven civilisation survived in Middle-earth.

The Third Age was also characterised by the rise and decline of the Númenórean kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor. Meant to be one kingdom, the two countries split in the beginning of the Third Age, each experiencing different fates.

It lasted for 3021 years, until Sauron was again defeated, this time finally, when his Ruling Ring was destroyed. When Elrond, Lord of Imladris, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins (the last two bearers of the One Ring, excluding the brief stint of Samwise Gamgee) Gandalf the White and the Lady Galadriel of Lothlórien (not including the Lord Celeborn, who only left with his wife Galadriel in Peter Jackson's adaptation at this specific time) left Middle-earth for the Uttermost West, the Fourth Age began.

ee also

*Timeline of the Third Age
*Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age


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