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Probably a question asked many times before but just who was the 'eldest' in Middle earth by the third age?


Oct 6 2012, 1:36pm

Post #1 of 7 (1159 views)
Probably a question asked many times before but just who was the 'eldest' in Middle earth by the third age? Can't Post

I know Tom Bombadil seems to be a maia so would be the eldest, but there's also treebeard 'oldest who still walks beneath the sun'-according to gandalf- and gandalf knew of both of them.

Gandalf seemed never to journey to the east where the Avari and four of the houses of the dwarves dwelt, so is possible this quote only refers to the areas he knows?. Although I doubt any elves of the awakening were still around ( very unlikely but possibly Cirdan-although contradicting Treebeard) The Dwarven fathers initially awoke before even the elves, so technically wouldn't they be older? Wasn't Durin supossed to be reincaranted again in the Fourth Age, he's technically the same person so wouldn't his 'spirit' be the same as the one initially created?

Then there's the Balrog- he's a sentient being and weren't the first balrog's created before the elves? The balrog of Moria could easily be that old...

Random I know but I can't help but wonder...

What do you think? Has anyone ever explored this in detail?

Thre's several different answers given here:



As they came to the gates Cirdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and we was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars; and he looked at them and bowed, and said All is now ready.


Oct 6 2012, 6:26pm

Post #2 of 7 (694 views)
I think you have to narrow it down by race and class [In reply to] Can't Post

Eldest being of any kind....hard to say but as you noted there are several candidates. Bombadil remains a mystery (intentionally it seems).
The Ents...Treebeard...are quite old.
It is not clear to me if the istari and maia were of the same created age or not. Sauron could be theoretically older than Gandalf or Saruman etc

Eldest elf? Cirdan would be my guess.
Eldest man? One of the rangers, not sure if any were older than Aragorn.
Eldest evil? It is not clear, as many were in existence at the same time in the very beginning as follower of Morgoth.


Oct 7 2012, 10:12pm

Post #3 of 7 (661 views)
i always get [In reply to] Can't Post

confused between whether Bombadil or Treebeard is the oldest.


Oct 8 2012, 6:24pm

Post #4 of 7 (578 views)
What about Sauron ? [In reply to] Can't Post

He's at least the eldest ex eaquo with Bombadil, he's here since the very beginning, before the first age

(This post was edited by Ffnir on Oct 8 2012, 6:25pm)


Oct 9 2012, 3:01am

Post #5 of 7 (556 views)
Depending on how you interpret it [In reply to] Can't Post

Bombadil could have been there before any of the Ainur arrived in the world (he says that he was there at the beginning, "before the Dark Lord came from Outside.")

Man is but an ass if he go about to expound this dream.

Registered User

Oct 9 2012, 1:46pm

Post #6 of 7 (581 views)
Older than he... [In reply to] Can't Post

"There I saw things gnawing at the Earth. Sauron knows not of them for they are older than he..." - Gandalf the White re: fighting the Balrog

I think M-E is full of old stuff left over from the days of creation actually. Bombadil is probably a spirit of the original forests and the Ents some trees or whatever infested with spirits from beyond... maybe, we really dont' know but there are things older than Elves, to be sure!


Oct 13 2012, 8:31am

Post #7 of 7 (838 views)
Treebeard [In reply to] Can't Post

While he is obviously very old, and quite possibly the oldest of his own kin, I do not think he is as old as any of the ainur. Wasn't it only after Aule had created the dwarves that the appearance of the Tree Herders was foretold?


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