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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Tale of Years (Appendix B): Part I – The 2nd Age, 1 -1600

Morthoron
Gondor


Feb 23 2009, 6:42am


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The Tale of Years (Appendix B): Part I – The 2nd Age, 1 -1600 Can't Post

The ‘Tale of Years’ section of the LotR Appendix has always been intriguing for many Tolkien enthusiasts, condensing thousands of years of Middle-earth history into a maddening, ambiguous and altogether too brief few pages. But what was once merely an interesting mine of Tolkien data for various long-winded Middle-earth disputes has taken on the added luster of possibly finding its way into the second of two planned Hobbit films, and a single vague sentence describing a certain year may well be the hinge-point for any number of aspects of the film, most importantly character development. I shudder at the prospect.

Not surprisingly, I will be offering an overview of ‘The Tale of Years’ chronologically, which is only logical, time wise. I will section off the discussion as follows:

Part I – The 2nd Age, years 1 – 1600
Part II – The 2nd Age, years 1601 - 3441
Part III – The 3rd Age, years 1 - 1976
Part IV – The 3rd Age, year 1977 - 3017
Part V – The 3rd Age, the Great Years 3018 - 3021
Part VI – The Last of the 3rd Age and Concluding Comments

There is a brief preface describing the end of each Age, but we shall dispense with dwelling on it, save for the sly literary device Tolkien often employs which ends the preface: “the histories of the time are not recorded here,” and later when he states, “Of events in Middle-earth the records are few and brief, and their dates are often uncertain,” as if implying the specific author of this piece (Frodo?) did not have access to the historical accounts of the 1st Age and barely anything for the 2nd Age (or perhaps I’m just reading more into the statement for the sake of a decent question).

Does Tolkien’s insistence that various other authors recorded the events of his mythos (Bilbo, Frodo, Elendil, Samwise, etc.) increase the depth of the story for you, or give the illusion of factuality? Why or why not?

I personally find the 2nd Age more intriguing than either the 1st or the 3rd Age. This is perhaps due to the dearth of information surrounding that epoch in comparison to the other Ages. Sador did an admirable job reviewing the Numenorean Kingdoms; therefore the necessity of reiterating the anomalies and errors of the royal line as fleshed out more fully in ‘Unfinished Tales’ would be redundant. But essentially the 2nd Age could be rightly described as the Age of Numenor, because its politics, empire-building and wars defined the era (of the 38 entries for the 2nd Age, 26 deal in whole or part with Numenor or Numenoreans in exile). And although it may be a Numenorean Age, predicated on the foundation through to the destruction of the ‘Land of the Gift’, the prime mover was, of course, Sauron, whether in his guise as Annatar, or in his last incarnation as the dark and dreadful Lord of Mordor.

You know, I had never really noticed it before, but Sauron started his seduction of the Elves in the year 1200 SA, but Celebrimbor and the Elven smiths of Eregion did not begin the crafting of the Rings of Power under Sauron/Annatar’s tutelage until 1500 SA (Celebrimbor completed the Three Rings in 1590), and Sauron himself did not forge the One Ring until 1600 SA – an interim of a full 400 years!

Discuss the significance of four centuries of lasting interrelationship between the Elves and Sauron. Do you not find it strange that both Galadriel and the Elven High King, Gil-Galad, immediately refused Sauron’s advances, yet the elves of Eregion (who certainly owed vassalage to the High King) remained on friendly terms with Sauron for such a long period of time (albeit in his incarnation of Annatar)?

From another standpoint, when reviewing the ‘Tale of Years’ or Tolkien’s other chronological records, do you perhaps find an inconsistency in Tolkien’s method of stretching out eras well past their plausible limits? Other cases in point would be the rather stagnant line of succession among the Ruling Stewards of Gondor, wherein no political or title change occurred for almost a thousand years, or the interminable line of Dunedain Chieftains. Do you consider this a weakness of an author perhaps lost in the vastness of his own creation?

Another interesting aspect of the 2nd Age is the Odd Couple relationship between the Elves of Eregion and the Dwarves of Moria. The primary motivation of the Noldor settling in Eregion at first seems to be based strictly on the Dwarves finding mithril: “This they did because they learned that mithril had been discovered in Moria.” But a genuine friendship eventually flourished, perhaps because the Noldor did not share the Sindar’s hatred of the dwarves stemming from the sack of Menegroth.

In other news, Sauron chose the land of Mordor as the site for Barad-dur in the year 1000 SA, sending local property values plummeting. It would seem even then that Sauron considered Numenor a greater threat than the Elvish kingdoms.

What do you think Mordor was like prior to Sauron’s negative influence? Rather fortunate for Sauron that mountain ranges form three sides of a square around Mordor, don’t you think? Is there any real world geological precedence for such a seemingly incongruous formation?

Read the ongoing serialization of MONTY PYTHON'S 'The HOBBIT', found here:
http://www.fanfiction.net/...y_Pythons_The_Hobbit

(This post was edited by Ataahua on Feb 23 2009, 5:53pm)

Subject User Time
The Tale of Years (Appendix B): Part I – The 2nd Age, 1 -1600 Morthoron Send a private message to Morthoron Feb 23 2009, 6:42am
    My thoughts Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Feb 23 2009, 5:04pm
        Drawing the line squire Send a private message to squire Feb 23 2009, 10:34pm
            Suddenly *I'm* the one looking for errors? Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Feb 24 2009, 3:48pm
                I have no desire to be creamed like the Spanish, or anyone else. squire Send a private message to squire Feb 25 2009, 12:24am
                    Mordor Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Feb 25 2009, 12:42am
                    Excellent points! Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Feb 25 2009, 12:47am
        real world boxy mountains hanne Send a private message to hanne Feb 24 2009, 4:17pm
            I'm always a bit surprised Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Feb 25 2009, 5:36pm
            The best I could come up with Eowyn of Penns Woods Send a private message to Eowyn of Penns Woods Mar 15 2009, 9:15pm
    "...any historical value it may possess must always be of secondary importance." Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Feb 23 2009, 6:24pm
    ANOTHR Wiped Out Post! Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Feb 23 2009, 7:51pm
    Thoughts. Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 23 2009, 10:42pm
        Hey, darken down! Stop having fun! Take this more seriously! squire Send a private message to squire Feb 23 2009, 11:01pm
            Perhaps I am sensitive about the Reading Room's Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 24 2009, 1:49am
        In addition... Morthoron Send a private message to Morthoron Feb 24 2009, 1:32am
            Was Annatar pretending to be an elf? Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 24 2009, 6:32am
                What 'Miscellaneous Spirits'? Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Feb 24 2009, 2:05pm
                    It's just a theory. Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 24 2009, 3:24pm
                        Never Heard That Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Feb 24 2009, 8:01pm
                            Check Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 25 2009, 7:53am
                                Door Number Three Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Feb 25 2009, 2:07pm
                        This is one of the most inexplicable editing decisions in the published Silmarillion Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 24 2009, 8:05pm
                            Wouldn't It Be Great Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Feb 24 2009, 8:37pm
                            Very interesting!// Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 24 2009, 9:51pm
            Not so implausible to me Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Feb 24 2009, 4:02pm
                Hmmmm.... Morthoron Send a private message to Morthoron Feb 25 2009, 2:06am
                    Difficult Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Feb 25 2009, 4:04am
                        Tolkien was powerfully conflicted squire Send a private message to squire Feb 25 2009, 4:32am
                            Ah, but... Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Feb 25 2009, 3:13pm
                                Nonetheless.... Morthoron Send a private message to Morthoron Feb 25 2009, 3:53pm
                                    Still seems plausible to me... Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Feb 25 2009, 4:20pm
                                    Why Not? Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Feb 25 2009, 5:02pm
        Some Thoughts About Some of Your Thoughts Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 24 2009, 4:34am
            The broader legendarium is a first class mess. Not the work of a niggling and perfectionist writer. squire Send a private message to squire Feb 24 2009, 5:34am
            I am not "looking at the broader Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 24 2009, 6:25am
        I don't get it. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 24 2009, 8:51am
            Tolkien in his later years was not the literary equivalent of a dog chasing his tail Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 24 2009, 2:27pm
                Morgoth's Ring is my favorite book in the HoME series, Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 25 2009, 2:38pm
                    Actually, he never comtemplated eliminating the Two Trees Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 25 2009, 3:32pm
                        Perhaps the HoME stories you love Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 25 2009, 6:18pm
                            Quite true Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 25 2009, 6:30pm
                            ?????? Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Feb 26 2009, 12:54am
                                We discussed this recently. Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 26 2009, 2:04am
                                    Oh Boy.... Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Feb 26 2009, 4:15am
                                    Enough.... Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Feb 26 2009, 4:28am
                            Isn't calling an early 20th century English author "classist"... squire Send a private message to squire Feb 26 2009, 1:13am
                                Well, the emphasis of Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 26 2009, 1:56am
                Where would I find each of these stories? Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 25 2009, 6:29pm
                    "The Wanderings of Húrin" is in HoMe XI. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 25 2009, 7:56pm
                        Thanks! I'm not Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 25 2009, 8:16pm
                        Among other unique features, that story has a *hero lawyer* and a trial scene! FYI // squire Send a private message to squire Feb 25 2009, 10:34pm
                    Sorry for the delay Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 25 2009, 11:06pm
            I should stop talking about serious / not serious. And I didn't say "mere." Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 24 2009, 3:02pm
                "Mere" was probably my addition, I agree. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 24 2009, 3:36pm
                    Letter #160, as Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 24 2009, 6:49pm
                        Oh, *that* game... FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 26 2009, 10:20am
                            Not that real history works that way squire Send a private message to squire Feb 26 2009, 11:24am
                                Agreed. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 26 2009, 12:00pm
                            And that's why I have bigger issues with you Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 26 2009, 12:23pm
                                Not at all. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 26 2009, 1:05pm
                                    I have a bias Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 26 2009, 5:10pm
                                        Well I'm glad... FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 26 2009, 6:18pm
                                            What, exactly, have you noticed? Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 26 2009, 7:40pm
                                                That's difficult to answer. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 26 2009, 10:33pm
                                                    In the films, do we really witness those events? N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 26 2009, 10:38pm
                                                        We witness them FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 1 2009, 6:26pm
                                                    Yes, the book is hobbitcentric. Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 26 2009, 11:26pm
                                                        Sounds good to me. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 1 2009, 7:05pm
                                                            Gandalf, Gimli and Legolas, the hosts of Mordor. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 1 2009, 7:31pm
                                                                Myth of idealized heroes Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 2 2009, 12:30am
                                                                    They may have foibles, but have any of them Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 2 2009, 3:29pm
                                                                        Sin is relative Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 2 2009, 3:52pm
                                                                            Hmm. Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 2 2009, 4:54pm
                                                                                Are we on the same page? Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 2 2009, 5:33pm
                                                                                    How do we know N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 2 2009, 5:42pm
                                                                                        Different intention Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 2 2009, 6:18pm
                                                                                            Who wants "better than average"? Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 2 2009, 6:39pm
                                                                                                Matter of degree and opportunity Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 3 2009, 4:23am
                                                                                                    He also has divine and elven blood. Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 3 2009, 11:23am
                                                                                                        I think it's a bit more complicated. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 3 2009, 12:34pm
                                                                                                            Semi-divine, Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 3 2009, 4:18pm
                                                                                                                Well, at least the female ancestors knew. Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Mar 3 2009, 5:36pm
                                                                                                                    Dirhael is male.// Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 3 2009, 5:45pm
                                                                                                                        I know. Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Mar 3 2009, 6:09pm
                                                                                                                            I see your point. Although Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 3 2009, 6:56pm
                                                                                                                I can't see anything FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 3 2009, 5:42pm
                                                                                                                    Is Gandalf human, then, by your definition? Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 3 2009, 5:50pm
                                                                                                                        Yes. // FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 3 2009, 6:15pm
                                                                                                                            That explains alot. Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 3 2009, 7:00pm
                                                                                                        Philosopher-King Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 4 2009, 2:04am
                                                                                            Faith in Christ, and the ennoblement of the noble squire Send a private message to squire Mar 2 2009, 7:26pm
                                                                                                Very interesting point! Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 2 2009, 11:03pm
                                                                                                Normalcy Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 3 2009, 4:34am
                                                                                                    Heroes may inspire us, but Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 3 2009, 11:32am
                                                                                                Spiderman comes across as human too. Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 3 2009, 5:43pm
                                                                                                    Nice point about the Ring FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 3 2009, 5:49pm
                                                                                                        Except Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 3 2009, 5:54pm
                                                                                                            Agreed. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 3 2009, 6:23pm
                                                                                                                I don't think so. Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 3 2009, 6:48pm
                                                                                                    Aragorn as Elessar does not receive the Power of the Ring squire Send a private message to squire Mar 3 2009, 5:51pm
                                                                                                        That line can be fuzzy. Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 3 2009, 6:02pm
                                                                                                            Well, he is a King, for gods' sake. squire Send a private message to squire Mar 3 2009, 7:12pm
                                                                                                                No, not sinister at all. Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 3 2009, 7:31pm
                                                                                                            Police Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 4 2009, 2:19am
                                                                                                                Where is the inquest Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 4 2009, 2:23am
                                                                                                                    Something subtler Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 4 2009, 2:28am
                                                                                                                        I find your point more persuasive than squire's. Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 4 2009, 2:13pm
                                                                                                                            Thank you! Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 4 2009, 3:52pm
                                                                                                                                Is the Guard a police force? Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 4 2009, 6:05pm
                                                                                                                                    I concede both points... Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 5 2009, 4:32am
                                                                                                                    So what? squire Send a private message to squire Mar 4 2009, 3:10am
                                                                                                                        Sure I can imagine it. Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 4 2009, 11:14am
                                                                                                                            That explains a lot. squire Send a private message to squire Mar 4 2009, 11:40am
                                                                                                        Good points--important distinction! // Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 4 2009, 2:10am
                                                                                    I won't repeat Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 2 2009, 6:04pm
                                                                                        Agreed. Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 2 2009, 6:21pm
                                                                                            Yep, there's a bright line between them.// Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 2 2009, 6:32pm
                                                                        My edits vanished Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 2 2009, 4:02pm
                                                                            Oops--they didn't disappear! Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 2 2009, 4:04pm
                                                                            Tolkien's characters *are* believable within Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 2 2009, 5:16pm
                                                            Think of hobbits as a lens, not as authors squire Send a private message to squire Mar 1 2009, 7:40pm
                                                                That works for me. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 2 2009, 5:28pm
                                                                    FYI: "mythology for England" isn't Tolkien's phrase. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 2 2009, 5:46pm
                                                                    I take back the "gag" remark squire Send a private message to squire Mar 2 2009, 6:54pm
                                                                        Fair enough. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 2 2009, 7:13pm
                                                                        I tend to agree with the 'hobbit-lens' rather than 'hobbit-author' distinction you make sador Send a private message to sador Mar 2 2009, 7:28pm
                                                            I discussed most of these points Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 2 2009, 12:16am
                                What's the big deal? Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Feb 26 2009, 2:01pm
                                    I don't have any problem with your approach. Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 26 2009, 5:24pm
                                        Dog Chasing the Tail Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Feb 26 2009, 10:45pm
                                            Can we not take this subject any further? N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 26 2009, 11:05pm
                                                Agreed. Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 26 2009, 11:09pm
                                                I agree totaslly Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Feb 26 2009, 11:14pm
                                            No, I hate Tolkien. Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 26 2009, 11:07pm
                                Enchantment and Disillusionment Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Feb 26 2009, 5:16pm
                                    I like finding a middle ground. Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 26 2009, 5:37pm
                                        Thank you for a gentlemanly response... Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Feb 26 2009, 5:56pm
                                            It's possible. Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 26 2009, 6:21pm
                                                It's not unpublished. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 26 2009, 6:33pm
                                                    Written before LOTR was published. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 26 2009, 6:45pm
                                                        You are quite correct Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 26 2009, 9:13pm
                                                            I don't think Tolkien lived in his own fantasy land all the time. squire Send a private message to squire Feb 26 2009, 10:08pm
                                                                You mistake my meaning Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 26 2009, 10:27pm
                                                                    I get you now squire Send a private message to squire Feb 26 2009, 11:35pm
                                                                        I agree with both you and Curious about the narrator of LOTR Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Feb 26 2009, 11:42pm
                                                                            I'll have to disagree... Morthoron Send a private message to Morthoron Feb 27 2009, 2:00am
                                                                                Who saw and reported on the "most tragic moment" in LOTR? N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 27 2009, 2:11am
                                                                                    Very true... Morthoron Send a private message to Morthoron Feb 27 2009, 2:39am
                                                                                        Hmm. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 27 2009, 2:55am
                                                                                            Not quite that. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 1 2009, 4:33pm
                                                                                                Do you really think Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Mar 1 2009, 4:49pm
                                                                                                    Well, it's certainly arguable squire Send a private message to squire Mar 1 2009, 5:05pm
                                                                                                    Sure. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 1 2009, 5:09pm
                                                                                Focusing on the hobbits protagonists is not the same Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 27 2009, 8:13am
                                                                                    In the Prologue, Merry is considered to be a bit of an author sador Send a private message to sador Feb 27 2009, 8:29am
                                                                And I would argue Curious Send a private message to Curious Feb 26 2009, 10:57pm
                                    What if your premise is wrong? N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 26 2009, 6:18pm
                                        Yes Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Feb 27 2009, 4:27am
                                            Harder and more elusive. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Feb 27 2009, 5:02am
    Now it was my turn! sador Send a private message to sador Feb 24 2009, 1:43pm

 
 
 

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