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Fourth Age

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History of Arda

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

The Fourth Age was the time period that followed the War of the Ring and was the age of peace and the 'Age of Men'.


The coronation of King Aragorn of Gondor and Arnor.

The Fourth Age began after Sauron was finally defeated, the land of Mordor was nothing but a wasteland, and his Ruling Ring had been destroyed.

This age was marked by the recovery of the Númenorean in exile kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor, the final ascent of Men, and the total wane of the Elves. Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel, Bilbo and Frodo sailed for the Undying Lands after the One Ring was destroyed, the Battle of Bywater. and the deaths of Saruman the White and Grima Wormtongue. The darkness was lifted and was gone forever, so ending the Third Age.

In total contrast, the allies of Sauron suffered a devastating blow that would take them centuries to recover, if they did at all. Harad suffered a devastating defeat and concluded a peace with King Aragorn II Elessar, by which Umbar, whose fleet had been completely destroyed in the mouths of the Anduin, was returned to Gondor, and South Gondor also annexed. The Easterlings also suffered a terrible defeat as their Orc allies fled in terror from the Battle of the Morannon. However, King Elessar, his descendants and allies such as King Eomer still on occasion warred with their enemies over land, particularly over the bitterly contested region of the Sea of Rhûn.

Tolkien said that he thought the distance between the end of the Third Age and the 20th century A.D. was about 6000 years, and that 1958 should have been around the end of the Fifth Age if the Fourth and Fifth Ages were about the same length as the Second and Third Ages. He said, however, in a letter written in 1958 that he believed the Ages had quickened and that it was about the end of the Sixth Age or beginning of the Seventh. (This letter is referred to in the "Fourth Age" article of The Encyclopedia of Arda as mentioned below.)

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