May 22, 2017

Second Age Week!

Pages To Read:
-RK.AppA “The sons of Eärendil were Elros and Elrond” (~p.2) – “so ended the second age” (~p.5)

Events: (There’s a lot. To be fair this is a summary of 3500 years of history)
– (Remember Eärendil is the half-elf half-man that saved the day at the end of the First Age, then became a star in the sky)
– At the beginning of the Second Age, Eärendil’s sons Elrond and Elros get to choose between being Men and Elves. Elrond chooses to be counted as an elf, and becomes a lord of the Eldar in Middle Earth (You may remember him from the Hobbit). It’s important to remember his children also will get the choice whether or not to be mortal. Elros meanwhile chooses to be counted a man, and lives his (long) mortal life as the first king of Númenor.
– Númenor is a sweet island in the middle of the sea that is given to the Edain (Men) as a reward for being faithful to the Valar. It gets them closer to Valinor (the Undying Lands), but they are forbidden from actually going there because they have to, you know, die. You can see where this is going.
– After many generations, the Númenoreans get jealous of the Elves’ immortality. They also start to terrorize the ‘lesser’ Men who live back in Middle Earth. Colonialism sucks people.
– At some point Ar-Pharazôn (i.e. last king of Númenor and massive prick) personally goes to Middle Earth and defeats Sauron, who apparently had gained enough power to be a threat. However, Sauron is tricky, fakes repentance, and gets taken as a prisoner to Númenor. You can again probably see where is this going.
– Sauron basically fuels the entire island (except for some faithful peeps like Elendil) into hatred of the Valar. Ar-Pharazôn leads a fleet into the land of the gods expecting to somehow accomplish something, and the Valar respond (calling upon Eru a.k.a. God) and literally ‘change the world.’ Númenor sinks, the world is made round, and Valinor gets lifted sort of into a different dimension (it’s complicated).
– Elendil and some followers (who survive the apocalypse that killed most Númenoreans and hopefully but probably not Sauron) sail back to Middle Earth and establish Arnor and Gondor.
– Sauron’s spirit survives (although he’s now super ugly forever) and he comes back. Needless to say he’s a bit peeved when he finds out his enemy Elendil is ruling a kingdom right on the border of Mordor. Sauron attacks too early though, and Elendil is able to defeat him via the Last Alliance. (We’ll hear lots more about this later).
– “So ended the Second Age.”

Links to Other Content:
Elenna, by Qitian – great watercolor of the Edain sailing to their new home
The Drowning of Númenor, by John Howe: classic Tolkien illustrator

Notes: Sorry for the exorbitant amount of detail above, I tried to be as concise as possible but hit all the main points. I would recommend reading this section of Appendix A, it’s got some good bearing on LOTR. (The corresponding chapter ‘Akallabêth’ in The Silmarillion is really good too) Anyway to celebrate the crazy drama that is the Second Age, I’ll have some art during the week and we’ll finish up with the timeline. After that we’ll have a break then go back to the Shire. ~Tom

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