Middle-earth Timeline

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

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

by Laura Hayes

The awakening of Man, the Elves' struggle against Morgoth, and the love of Beren and Lúthien. These tales are to be found in The Silmarillion and in the History of Middle-earth series.

The Ages
Lamps / Trees First Second Third War of the Ring
First Age of the Sun
The Sun rises in the West.

The Host of Fingolfin arrive on the shores of Middle-earth.

The race of man awakens.
Fingolfin's son Fingon rescues Maedhros. Fingolfin is named high king of the Noldor.
Fingolfin holds the Feast of Reuniting. Emissaries from all the elves in Beleriand attend.
Turgon, son of Fingolfin, and his cousin, Finrod, are warned in dreams from Ulmo to look for places of strength and refuge. Finrod begins construction of Nargothrond. His sister Galadriel stays in Doriath with Melian. Turgon discovers the vale of Tumladen, and begins drafting plans for the hidden city of Gondolin.
Siege of Angband
Morgoth provokes the Dagor Agalareb ("The Glorious Battle"). The elves completely route his army of orcs and maintain a siege outside his fortress at Angband for nearly 400 years.
The truth of the Kinslaying and the Noldor's exile are revealed in Thingol's court. Thingol banishes the sons of Fëanor from his kingdom (Doriath).
Morgoth learns of the awakening of men. He gives his servant Sauron (one of the Maiar) command of the war and begins to create dragons.
The city of Gondolin completed.
Fingon and a company of mounted archers defeat Glaurung, first of the fire dragons to appear, on the plains of Ard-galen.
The Long Peace
The Long Peace
Bëor, eldest of the Fathers of Men, is born.
Finrod Felagund discovers the camp of Bëor in Ossiriand. Through this, the Elves become aware of humans. Bëor enters into the service of Finrod.
The migration of the Edain to elven lands.
By the time that humans first enter the records of the Elves they had already split into three tribes—the House of Bëor, the House of Hador, and the Haladin. The Elves called these peoples the Edain.
Aredhel, Turgon's sister, leaves Gondolin and is lost in Nan Elmoth. She is found by Eöl the dark elf, who married her. Their son, Maeglin, is born in 320.
Bëor the Old, Father of Men, dies of old age.
Hador Golden-haired born, most renowned of the Edain.
Galdor son of Hador born in Dor-lomin.
Fingolfin grants Hador the lordship of Dor-lomin.
Beren, son of Barahir of the House of Bëor, is born in Dorthonion.
Húrin the Steadfast, son of Galdor son of Hador, born.
Morwen Eledhwen, daughter of Baragund of the House of Bëor, born.
Huor brother of Húrin of the House of Hador born.
Rían daughter of Belegund of the House of Bëor, mother of Tuor the Blessed, born.
The Fell Year
The Dagor Bragolach ("Battle of Sudden Flame"). Elves and men are driven back from Angband with grevious losses. Hador dies at Ethel Sirion. The sons of Fëanor are defeated at the Pass of Aglon. The pact of Barahir and Felagund made. The folk of Dorthonion, among them Rían and Morwen, flee to Hithlum. Barahir and his surviving men become outlaws in their own land.
Fingolfin challenges Morgoth to single combat. Fingolfin wounds Morgoth 7 times before he himself is killed. Fingolfin's body is rescued by Thorondor, king of the giant eagles, who scars Morgoth's face with his talons. Fingon son of Fingolfin becomes high king of the Noldor. Húrin and Huor are taken by eagles to Gondolin, where they entered into the fosterage of Turgon.
Húrin and Huor are returned by the eagles to their people. Sauron captures Minas Tirith, the watchtower of Finrod. From then on it is known as Tol-in-Gaurhoth, the Isle of Werewolves.
The Men of Brethil, aided by Beleg Strongbow and elves of Doriath, defeat a legion of orcs at the Crossings of Teglin.
Húrin of the House of Hador weds Morwen of the House of Bëor. Túrin, their son, is born in Dor-lomin with omens of sorrow. Beren leaves Dorthonion and travels to Doriath. He meets Lúthien Tinúviel in the forest of Neldoreth and they fall in love.
The romance and quests of Beren and Lúthien, told in the "Lay of Leithian," begin.
Beren fulfills the command of Thingol and with the aid of Lúthien manages to steal a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth. At the gates of Angband, Carcharoth, the greatest of the werewolves, bites off the hand of Beren that holds the Silmaril. Beren and Lúthien return to Doriath. Carcharoth, driven mad by the pain of the Silmaril in his gut, ravages Doriath. He is killed by Huan, the great hound of Valinor, though both Huan and Beren are mortally wounded.
Lúthien lays her body down and sends her spirit forth from Middle-earth to the Halls of the Dead in Aman. She sings a song of such sorrow and beauty that Mandos is moved to pity and grants her and Beren a second mortal life. Meanwhile a terrible winter falls upon the kingdom of Thingol.
Beren and Lúthien return to the world. They go to Doriath, where Lúthien ends the winter of Thingol, then settle on the island of Tol Galen.
Dior Aranel, son of Beren and Lúthien and father of Elwing Half-elven, is born in Tol Galen.
Huor weds Rían daughter of Belegund.
The Year of Lamentation. Elves and humans are utterly routed in the Nirnaeth Aronediad ("Battle of Unnumbered Tears"). Fingon, king of the Noldor, is killed in battle. The House of Hador is destroyed and Húrin Steadfast is taken captive by Morgoth. Only the army of Gondolin escapes intact. Turgon becomes high king of the Noldor.
Rían gives birth to Tuor and dies of grief soon afterword.
Morwen, wife of Húrin, sends her son Túrin with two aged servants to the land of Doriath.
Nienor daughter of Húrin born.
Turgon makes his last attempt to send an emissary to Valinor.
Celeborn and Galadriel cross the Ered Luin and settle in Eriador.
Túrin becomes the companion of the elf Beleg Strongbow but Túrin is exiled from Doriath and becomes an outlaw. Beleg finds Túrin, but they are betrayed by the dwarf Mim and Túrin is captured by orcs. Beleg frees Túrin, but Túrin mistakes him for an orc and slays him. Túrin goes to Nargothrond and in time he becomes its warlord.
Tuor son of Huor comes to Dor-lomin seeking his kin, but instead is captured and enslaved by Easterlings, men corrupted by the evil of Morgoth.
Lorgan, chieftain of the Easterlings of Hithlum, attempts to size Nienor by force. Morwen and Nienor flee to Doriath.
Tuor escapes from Hithlum. He is visited by Ulmo, Lord of Waters, and sent with Voronwë an elf, to seek the hidden city of Gondolin. Dire warnings reach Nargothrond of evil forces gathering. Glaurung the dragon and his host assault Nargothrond and the city is sacked. Tuor and Voronwë finally reach Gondolin during the "Fell Winter" which lasts five months. Handir of Brethil is slain in a pitched battle with orcs.
Túrin travels to Brethil, seeking news of his kin and joins forces with its people. Meanwhile, Morwen and Nienor travel to Nargothrond seeking news of Túrin. Glaurung attacks them, and Morwen is lost in the wild. Glaurung lays a spell of forgetfulness on both Nienor and Túrin. Túrin, now calling himself Turambar, finds Nienor and names her Níniel.
Dior, son of Beren and Lúthien, weds Nimloth of Ossiriand.
"Turambar" and "Níniel" marry in autumn. Glaurung learns that Túrin is in Brethil.
Glaurung assaults Brethil. Túrin slays Glaurung, but as the dragon dies his spells are lifted. When Túrin and Nienor realize what they've done they kill themselves. Standing stones, the Talbor, are raised to mark their graves.
The twin sons of Dior, Eluréd and Elurín, are born. Morgoth releases Húrin, who goes to Hithlum. Húrin seeks in vain the entrance to Gondolin, betraying its general location to Morgoth. He journeys to Nargothrond, and claims the Nauglamir—a bejewelled golden necklace made for Finrod by the dwarves—from the treasure of Glaurung. He brings the necklace to Thingol, then leaves, never to be seen again.
Tuor weds Idril, daughter of Turgon, in Gondolin. This is the second of only three human-elf marriages in Middle-earth's history.
Thingol gives the dwarves Nauglamir to rework and mount the Silmaril upon. When Thingol goes to fetch the completed necklace he is slain. The dwarves of Belegost and Nogrod invade Doriath. Thingol's wife Melian escapes and leaves Middle-earth. Dior goes to Doriath to recover Thingol's kingdom. Beren leaves Tol Galen to help battle the dwarves.
Dior restores the kingdom of Doriath. Beren and Lúthien die and Dior receives the Silmaril.

Elwing the White, daughter of Dior, is born in Doriath. Eärendil, the son of Tuor and Idril, is born in Gondolin.
The sons of Fëanor demand the Silmaril from Dior, who doesn't reply.
The Second Kinslaying. The sons of Fëanor assault Doriath and kill Dior and his wife Nimloth. Dior's daughter Elwing flees west with the Silmaril to Arvernien. In Arvernien, Círdan the Shipwright established a port on the mouth of the Sirion River, which became known as the "Havens of Sirion".
Ulmo gives a final warning to Gondolin, but Turgon is confident his city will remain hidden from Morgoth. Morgoth's spies capture Maeglin.
Morgoth's forces assault and sack Gondolin. The kingship of the Noldor passes to Gil-galad, son of Fingon, on the Isle of Balar.
Refugees of Gondolin reach the Havens of Sirion, which prospers with the power of the Silmaril. The Sons of Fëanor learn that the Silmaril is in Arvernien.
Tuor departs into the west with Idril. Eärendil weds Elwing and becomes lord of Arvernien.
Torment falls upon Maedhros and his brethren because of their unfulfilled oath to recover the Silmarils.
Elros and Elrond, twin sons of Eärendil, are born.
Eärendil builds the great ship Vingilot and begins his legendary voyages.
The Third and Last Kinslaying. The Sons of Fëanor attack Arvernien and take Elros and Elrond captive. Elwing carries away the Silmaril and comes to Eärendil in the likeness of a bird.
The last free elves and those men who remain friendly to them are driven out of Beleriand. They take refuge on the Isle of Balar.
Eärendil comes to Valinor. He pleads the case for aiding the Elves and Edain against Morgoth to the Valar. As a sign to his kindred in Middle-earth, Varda sets Eärendil with his ship and the Silmaril in the heavens as a star.
The mighty host of the Valar sails out of the West and lands in Beleriand.
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War of Wrath
The Last War of the Elder Days, also called Great Battle and the War of Wrath.
Morgoth's Angband is razed. The last two Silmarils are recovered. Eärendil slays Ancalagon the Black, greatest of the winged dragons, and all but two of the dragons are destroyed. The Valar aid in the defeat and destruction of Morgoth, who is thrust beyond the Gates of Night never to return. In the process, the land of Beleriand is broken and slips under the seas. The only remaining evidence are some peaks of the Blue Mountains, which marked Beleriand's eastern border.
Maedhros and Maglor, the last surviving sons of Fëanor, seize the last two Silmarils. Tainted by the evil deeds of their family, the Silmarils burn their hands. Maedhros, horrified by the violence he has committed, leaps with his gem into a fiery chasm, while Maglor tosses his into the sea and wanders alone along the shore until he dies of grief.
As a reward for their great sacrifice in defeating Morgoth, the Elves are summoned to return to Aman while the Edain are given the island of Númenor. The Edain set sail, following Eärendil the Evening Star.

The Second Age and the forging of the Rings of Power

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