Third Age

   Last of the Elder Days.
   The Third Age began a little over four thousand years after the Rising of the Moon in the first year of the First Age. Of the Ages, it is the best known, as the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings took place in its later years.
   The Third Age began with the first overthrow of Sauron by the Last Alliance, and was marked by Isildur's planting of the White Tree in Minas Anor. It ended more than three thousand years later with the destruction of the One Ring, the final end of Sauron, and the passing of the Ringbearers over the Sea.
   The history of the Third Age is in large part the history of the Dúnedain in Gondor and Arnor. Though both these realms were founded in the late Second Age, it was during the Third that they grew to their greatest heights, and fell to their lowest depths, before being reunited by Aragorn II Elessar.
   Key Events of the Third Age:
   ☺ 1: Isildur plants a seedling of the White Tree in Minas Anor. Returning northward to Arnor with the One Ring, he is waylaid by Orcs and slain.
   ☺ 490: Gondor is assailed by Men out of the East; the first of many wars with the Easterlings and Southrons.
   ☺ 861: Division of Arnor into Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan.
   ☺ c.1000: Five Wizards, including Saruman and Gandalf, arrive in the north of Middle-earth.
   ☺ 1050: Gondor conquers the Harad, and reaches the height of its power.
   Also at about this time, the first Hobbits, wandering west across the Misty Mountains, first appear in records.
   ☺ c.1100: The first stirrings of Sauron are felt again in Middle-earth, though they are thought at this time to signal the return of a Nazgûl.
   ☺ 1409: The Witch-king of Angmar invades the northern kingdoms.
   ☺ 1432: Civil war in Gondor.
   ☺ 1601: The foundation of the Shire.
   ☺ 1974: The forces of Angmar capture Fornost; the remnant of the Northkingdom is destroyed.
   ☺ 1975: Eärnur of Gondor brings a fleet to the north. Too late to save the North-kingdom, he avenges its loss at the Battle of Fornost. Angmar is destroyed.
   ☺ 1980: The Dwarves of Moria unleash Durin's Bane.
   ☺ 2002: Capture of Minas Ithil by the Nazgûl. It is renamed Minas Morgul.
   ☺ 2050: The last King of Gondor is lost. The Stewards now rule in the King's name.
   ☺ c.2463: Gollum comes upon the One Ring.
   ☺ 2510: The Rohirrim ride to the aid of Gondor. They are given the land of Calenardhon (Rohan) to dwell in.
   ☺ 2941: Journey of Bilbo Baggins to Erebor with Thorin and Gandalf. The Battle of Five Armies.
   ☺ 3019: Destruction of the One Ring and passing of Sauron. Aragorn is crowned King in Gondor, and the North and South Kingdoms are reunited.
   ☺ 3021: Departure of the Ring-bearers.

J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary. . 2003.

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