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Years of the Trees

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The 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 Years of the Trees are one of the three great time-periods of Arda. They follow the Years of the Lamps and precede the Years of the Sun, and are known to comprise several Ages.

Shortly after the destruction of the Two Lamps, Yavanna made the Two Trees, named Telperion (the silver tree) and Laurelin (the golden tree) in the land of Aman, where the Valar now lived. The Trees illuminated Aman, leaving Middle-earth in darkness, save the light of the stars.

The Elves awoke in Cuiviénen in the middle of Middle-earth, and were soon approached by Oromë of the Valar and by Melkor. Many, though not all, of the Elves were persuaded to go with Oromë on the Great Journey westwards towards Aman. Along the journey several groups of Elves tarried, notably the Nandor and the Sindar. The three clans that arrived at Aman were the Vanyar, Ñoldor, and the Teleri.

The Two Trees of Valinor during the Years of the Trees
PChristosAdded by PChristos

The Valar had captured Melkor and placed him in chains in Aman. After he appeared to repent and was released, he sowed great discord among the Elves, and stirred up rivalry between the Ñoldorin King Finwë's two sons Fëanor and Fingolfin. With the help of Ungoliant, he slew Finwë and stole the Silmarils, three gems crafted by Feänor that contained light of the Two Trees, from his vault, and destroyed the Trees of the Valar themselves.

Bitter at the Valar's inactivity, Feänor and his house left to pursue Melkor, cursing him with the name 'Morgoth'. A larger host, following Fingolfin, followed. They reached the Teleri's port-city, Alqualondë, and were forbidden to use the Teleri's boats to get to Middle-earth. The first Kinslaying thus ensued. A curse was then put on the house of the Ñoldor forever by Mandos.

Feänor's host sailed on the boats, leaving Fingolfin's behind — who crossed over to Middle-earth on the Helcaraxë (or Grinding Ice) in the far north, losing many.

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