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The History of Arda
Ainulindalë
Years of the Lamps
Years of the Trees
Years of the Sun
Ages of Arda
First Age
Second Age
Third Age
Fourth Age
Timeline of Arda
Arda in First Age

Arda during the First Age.

The First Age began with the rise of the Sun and the arrival of the Ñoldor in Beleriand, in Middle-earth (Endor), and ended with the overthrow of Morgoth. The First Age was also known as the Elder Days.

It lasted about 590 years (making it the shortest of the three Ages described by Tolkien), and ended with the final overthrow of Morgoth by the combined armies of Valinor and Beleriand.

Map of Beleriand

Location of Doriath in Middle-earth

Tolkien describes primarily the events that occurred in Beleriand. These were centered on a series of wars waged by the Sindar, the Ñoldor and the Three Houses of the Edain, against the armies of Angband and the evil Men. The wars had actually begun before the First Age, during the Years of the Trees, but began again with renewed fury after the arrival of the Ñoldor in Beleriand. There had been elves in Beleriand for uncounted millennia, but they sought merely to exist, and Morgoth had little to do with them. The Noldor, on the other hand, particularly the Sons of Fëanor, had come with the express purpose of defeating Morgoth.

TimelineEdit

Year Events
1 The Sun first sets sail.----

Awakening of Men in Hildórien.


Fingolfin's host completes crossing of Helcaraxë.

20 A council is held among the elven lords at the Mereth Aderthad.
50 Turgon and Finrod are told by Ulmo to establish a refuge. This refuge became Gondolin.
52 Finrod discovers the caves of Nargothrond
53 Turgon discovers valley of Tumladen.
60 Dagor Aglareb (Glorious Battle) is fought.----

The Ñoldor, ruled by Fingolfin, the start Siege of Angband.

c. 60 to 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.
64 Turgon begins building Gondolin.
65 Finrod builds the tower of Barad Nimras ("White Horn Tower") on a cape of the Falas between Brithombar and Eglarest.
c. 102 Founding of Nargothrond.----

Fingon'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.

305 Bëor leads The First House of the Edain into Beleriand.----

Men discovered by Finrod.

FA 320 Maeglin is born in Nan Elmoth
341 Haldar and Haleth born.
345 Return of Aredhel and Maeglin to Gondolin. Later that year Eöl and Aredhel die.
361 Andreth, the daughter of Boromir son of Boron is born.
389 Birth of Hador, later Lord of Dor-lómin.
432 Birth of Beren Erchamion.
c. 455 Birth of Ereinion (later called Gil-galad), son of Orodreth.
455 Morgoth breaks the Siege of Angband in Dagor Bragollach, Battle of Sudden Flame, and kills Fingolfin in a duel.----

Fingolfin's son Fingon succeeds his father as High King of the Ñoldor.


Húrin and Huor are brought to Gondolin by Thorondor.

456 Húrin and Huor return out of Gondolin to Dor-lómin.
457 Capture of Finrod's fortress of Minas Tirith by the forces of Sauron. Finrod's nephew Orodreth flees for Nargothrond.----

Minas Tirith is renamed Tol-in-Gaurhoth, Isle of the Werewolves.

460 Barahir and companions are betrayed and killed.----

Beren becomes the sole outlaw in Dorthonion.

464 Birth of Túrin Turambar in Dor-lómin.----


Beren departs for Doriath and first comes upon Lúthien.

465 Celegorm and Curufin are exiled from Nargothrond and journey to Himring.----


Finrod and Beren are imprisoned in Tol-in-Gaurhoth.


Finrod is slain by a werewolf, but Beren is rescued by Lúthien.

466 Beren and Lúthien achieve the Quest of the Silmaril.----


Beren dies, and Lúthien abandons life. Lúthien pleads with Mandos and Beren and Lúthien are restored to life.


Beren and Lúthien take up bodies again in Ossiriand on the isle of Tol Galen.

469 Beren and Lúthien return to life in Middle-earth. Lalaith, sister of Turin dies of the plague.
471 Birth of Tuor, son of Huor.
472 Siege and capture of the Havens of the Falas: Brithombar and Eglarest.----

Nirnaeth Arnoediad, The Battle of Unnumbered Tears, is fought.


Deaths of Huor and Fingon,


Húrin is captured by Morgoth.

c. 473 Birth of Nienor.----

Death of Rían.

475 Birth of Dior Eluchíl on Tol Galen.
949 Gurthang is reforged for Túrin, who becomes known as the Black Sword of Nargothrond, or Mormegil.
495 The Battle of Tumhalad and Sack of Nargothrond.----

The coming of Tuor to Gondolin.

497 Dior weds Nimloth.
499 Slaying of Glaurung.----

Deaths of Túrin Turambar and Nienor Níniel in Brethil.

500 Birth of Elwing, daughter of Dior.
c. 501 Death of Morwen.
502 Thingol is slain and Doriath sacked by Dwarves of Nogrod.----


Beren, Laiquendi and Ents destroy the Dwarves.


Melian returns to Valinor in grief


Lúthien wears the Silmaril.


Dior refounds Doriath.

c. 503 Final deaths of Beren and Lúthien.----

Dior receives the Silmaril


Death of Húrin.

c. 504 Birth of Eärendil, son of Idril and Tuor.
505 Doriath is destroyed in the Second Kinslaying.----


Dior, Nimloth, and sons are killed.



Celegorm, Curufin and Caranthir are all slain.


Elwing escapes for the Mouths of Sirion with the Silmaril.

510 Gondolin is betrayed by Maeglin and sacked.----

Deaths of Gothmog, Turgon, Glorfindel, Ecthelion, and Maeglin

530 Eärendil weds Elwing.
532 Elrond and Elros are born to Eärendil and Elwing.
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.----

Amrod is slain.


Elwing casts herself in the sea but is brought to Eärendil by Ulmo


Eärendil sets out to Valinor to beg for rescue by the Valar.


Maglor begins raising Elrond and Elros.

545 to 587 The War of Wrath.----

Morgoth is cast into the Void.


Most of Beleriand is sunk.


The Sea of Helcar is drained through the Great Gulf.


The plateaus of Mordor, Khand, and Rhûn rise from the former seabed.


The remaining two Silmarils are stolen by Maedhros and Maglor but are lost in the earth and in the sea.


The elves are summoned to Valinor and settle on Tol Eressëa.


Galadriel refuses the summons and is still banned.


A small part of the Ñoldor remain in Lindon.


Many Sindar depart east and establish realms, under Oropher.

Chief Battles of this AgeEdit

  • The Dagor-nuin-Giliath (Battle under the Stars), so named because it was fought before the rising of the Sun) was fought soon after the arrival of the Ñoldor. Morgoth sent a raiding party from Angband to attack the Ñoldor encampment in Hithlum, but the elves drove it back. Fëanor was killed. It is considered the second battle in the Wars of Beleriand, after one that took place during the Years of the Trees.
  • Picture 6

    Morgoth Bauglir, Enemy of the World and the first "Dark Lord"

    The Dagor Aglareb (Glorious Battle) was fought about seventy-five years after the return of the Ñoldor. Morgoth again attacked the Ñoldor, and (again) with no success. The Ñoldor became so bold as to besiege Angband. However, the Siege was of limited effectiveness, because the northern side of Angband was on the north side of the Ered Engrin, and was unapproachable.
  • The Dagor Bragollach (Battle of Sudden Flame) began when Morgoth poured rivers of fire out of Angband, ruining the besieging Ñoldorin armies. The Ñoldor eventually mustered a defense, but their losses were severe. For instance, the green plain of Ard-galen had been permanently laid waste by the rivers of fire, and was now called Anfauglith, the Choking Dust; and the highlands of Dorthonion, which had been inhabited by Edain, were made inhospitable.
  • The Nirnaeth Arnoediad (Unnumbered Tears) was the first battle to be initiated by the Ñoldor. They massed an army composed of Elves, Edain, and the houses of Bór and Ulfang allied to the Sons of Fëanor. The Elves and their allies advanced very close to Angband, but Morgoth's trickery had upset their battle plan, and Ulfang proved treacherous. The name "Unnumbered Tears" comes from the fact that the Elves' last hope of victory was destroyed. The land of Hithlum was lost, the Sons of Fëanor were largely scattered, and the peoples of Beleriand had been decimated. Morgoth's Orcs made a heap of the Elven and Mannish dead in the center of Anfauglith.
  • The War of Wrath took place after Eärendil sailed to Valinor and persuaded the Valar to help those whom they had forsaken. The Valar gathered an army comprised of Maiar, Vanyar, and those Ñoldor who had stayed in Valinor. The Teleri refused their aid, due to the Kinslaying of Alqualonde, but consented to ferry the armies of the Valar in their famous ships. This battle marked the first appearance of the winged dragons, most notably Ancalagon the Black, but the Valar had the day. Morgoth was captured, and cast out of Arda, but his lands, as well as most of Beleriand, had been destroyed and sunk under the sea in the heat of battle.
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