Middle-earth Timeline
From the creation of Middle-earth to the War of the Ring

by Laura Hayes

The Second Age of Middle-earth saw the glory of Númenor, the rise of Sauron, and the forging of the Rings of Power.

The Ages
Lamps / Trees First Second Third War of the Ring
Second Age of the Sun
1
Middle-earth
Círdan establishes the Grey Havens.
32
Númenor
The Edain reach Númenor. The Valar grant the Edain a longer life span than that of other humans, but ban them from sailing west to the Undying Lands. Initially they are allies and friends of the Elves.
40
Middle-earth
Most of the Dwarves leave their old cities in the Blue Mountains and settle in the Misty Mountains at Khazad-dûm.
500
 
Sauron, having gone into hiding at the end of the War of Wrath, begins to make himself known again in Middle-earth.
600
 
The first Númenorean ships appear off the coast of Middle-earth.
750
 
The remaining Noldor settle in Eregion. Celebrimbor, grandson of Fëanor, is their leader.
1000
 
Sauron, troubled by the growing power of the Númenoreans, chooses Mordor for a stronghold and begins to build Barad-dûr.
1000
 
Sauron takes on a fair form and tries to seduce the elves. The king, Gil-Galad, refuses his overtures but the smiths of Eregion are won over by Sauron's own metalworking skill.
ca 1500
 
The elven smiths, with the aid and instruction of Sauron, begin to forge the Rings of Power (3 for Elves, 7 for Dwarves, 9 for Men).
1590
 
The Rings are completed.
1600
Mordor
Sauron forges the One Ring and completes Barad-dûr. Celebrimbor begins to comprehend Sauron's evil plan.
1693
Middle-earth
The elves hide the three elven Rings of Power (Vilya, Narya, Nenya) and they remain uncorrupted. Sauron cannot dominate the Dwarves with their rings, as they were fashioned by Aulë to resist evil. The Rings made for Men however, bend their wearers to the will of Sauron.
1697
 
Sauron's forces lay waste to Eregion and slay Celebrimbor. The gates of Khazad-dûm are shut. Elrond retreats with the remaining Noldor and founds the refuge of Imladris.
1699
 
Sauron conquers Eriador. Gil-Galad requests aid from Númenor.
1700
 
Númenor sends a great naval force to Eriador and defeats Sauron. Sauron is driven out and the lands of the west enjoy a brief peace.
1800
 
The Númenoreans begin to establish strongholds on the coasts, including Umbar, Pelargir, and Isengard.

Sauron extends his power eastwards.
2251
 
The Nazgûl, or Ringwraiths, appear.
2350
Middle-earth
Pelargir is built and becomes the main city of Númenoreans faithful to their traditions (the Faithful, or Elf-Friends). The following centuries are marked with increasing civil unrest.
3177
Númenor
Tar-Palantir takes the throne and prophesies that when Nimloth—the white tree that grows in the king's court and is descended from Telperion—dies, so too will the line of the kings of Númenor.
3102-3177
 
The Númenoreans grow discontent with their wealth and become jealous of the immortality of the Elves. Elves are forbidden to land in Númenor, and elven languages are banned.
3151
Birth of Elendil, son of Amandil. Amandil is one of the Faithful and his son carries on his work.
3255
Númenor / Middle-earth
Ar-Pharazôn the Golden seizes power. One of his first acts is to set sail and land at Umbar.
3262
Númenor
Ar-Pharazôn takes Sauron prisoner.
3262-3310
 
Sauron becomes Ar-Pharazôn's principal counselor. Sauron convinces Ar-Pharazôn to attack the Undying Lands. Elendil works in secret to reinstate the true wisdom and knowledge of Númenor that has been corrupted by Sauron.
3319
Númenor / Aman
Ar-Pharazôn assails the Undying Lands.

Amandil urges the Númenoreans to take to ships and flee. He himself sails to Aman to beg mercy from the Valar and is never seen again.

The Valar destroy Númenor and change the shape of the world, making it a sphere and removing Aman from the world.

Nine ships escape Númenor; they belong to Elendil and his sons Isildur and Anárion. They bring a fruit from Nimloth, the White Tree, with them and the seven Palantiri, or seeing stones.

Sauron is caught in the cataclysm and loses the ability to appear in a fair form.
3320
Middle-earth
Elendil establishes the Realms in Exile, Arnor and Gondor, and makes himself high king of both. He gives joint rule of Gondor to Isildur and Anárion. Isildur plants a seed of the White Tree in Gondor's capital, Minas Ithil.
3429
Gondor / Mordor
Sauron attacks Gondor and takes Minas Ithil for his own fortress. He burns the White Tree. Isildur escapes with a seedling of the tree and retreats North to Arnor. Anárion defends the other main cities of Gondor, Minas Arnor and Osgiliath.
3430-441 / Last Alliance
 
Elves and humans, who had grown mistrustful, form the Last Alliance to combat the forces of Sauron.
3434
Gondor / Mordor
The Alliance crosses the Misty Mountains and defeats Sauron at the Battle of Dagorland. Siege of Barad-Dûr begins.
3440
Mordor
Anárion is slain by a falling boulder while sieging Barad-Dûr.
3441
 
Both Elendil and Gil-Galad are slain in battle. Elrond serves as Gil-Galad's herald, standing by him as he falls in battle. Isildur cuts the One Ring off of Sauron's hand and claims it for himself. Sauron and the Nazgûl disappear.

The Third Age and arrival of Hobbits




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