Second Age of Middle-earth:
A period of 3,441 years from the defeat of Morgoth, to the first defeat of Sauron.
Middle-earth is in a dark age after the War of the Jewels. Beleriand has been overtaken by the sea leaving a new coast line. Elves are counseled to return to the west. But rather than going again to Valinor they go to the islands of Eressea and Numenor. Still many of the elves remain in Middle-Earth. This is a time of the flourishing of the dwarves.
The three most important aspects of the history of the Second Ages:
2) The second fall of the elves: the fashioning of
the rings of power
Sauron tempts the elves to fashion the rings of power: To make Middle-earth as beautiful as Valinor, and to enhance their natural powers. Sauron fashions the one ring, the Ring of Power, to contain and control all the others; forged in the fires of Mount Doom in the land of Mordor.
3) The war between Sauron & the elves / the fall
Sauron himself escapes from Numenor, back to Middle-earth, where he regains strength in his fortress in Mordor. In a great battle before the dark gate, the ring is cut from his hand by Isildur and Sauron’s disembodied spirit flies back to the dark tower in Mordor. Later Isildur is drowned in the River Anduin. The One Ring of power is lost for over 2,000 years until found by Deagol (a creature akin to hobbits). Smeagol (Gollum) obtained the ring almost immediately when he killed his friend Deagol to take it for himself.
A Second Age Bibliography
“Akallabeth” in The Silmarillion (1977)
[The History of Middle-Earth ; 5]
PJS [rev. 7/06]