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Of the Rings of Power and the Second Age

S.A. 1 The Elves deem that evil has been ended forever, after the fall of Thangorodrim and the expulsion of Morgoth into the Void. Most of Beleriand has fallen into the sea, so one assumes that a pretty major session of Tidying Up and Rescuing People from Rubble occurs at this point, although I do not think this is mentioned in canon.

The Grey Havens and Lindon are founded, by Elves going 'WHOA!  STEP BACKWARDS!' out of vanishing Beleriand.

A lot of ship building presumably occurs. Not only do the Valar need to get the majority of the Elves back to Valinor, but they also needed to transport Men to Númenor. It's possible that they towed islands around to achieve this, as they did last time they needed to bulk transport Elves - but this seems to be a rather messy technique and prone to bits breaking off or getting stuck. Since ships have now been invented, I'm guessing they used those.

S.A. 32 The Edain reach Númenor and Elros is crowned first King of Númenor.  32 years of rubble settling and ship-building sounds about right, also presumably they wanted to land with, I dunno, at least tents to live in while they got things organised.  Unless the Valar supplied the tents? You'd imagine Oromë the Hunter would have a pretty good tent.

S.A. 40 Many Dwarves living in the ruined cities of Belegost and Nogrod in the Ered Luin migrate to Khazad-dûm, providing an awesome Noldorin-influenced technology boost to the primitive dwarf city.

You can't fault the Dwarves on efficiency. You imagine that having checked carefully for survivors, treated them and fitted them with suitable prosthetics as required, they organised a carefully planned bulk transport East. They aren't rushing, but 40 years seems a not inappropriate period to spend on rescue, treatment, rehabilitation and major move of an entire people.

S.A. 500 Sauron starts stirring in Middle-earth.
Whoa! Hang on! 500? What is everyone doing? Does it really take 500 years to recover from the downfall of Beleriand? All their cities and civilisations have been downfallen, but 460 years seems like quite a lot of wandering singing through the woods. You'd think by the third winter, someone would have said 'hey, we used to have houses!'

Also, I wonder HOW he started stirring. Or what. Rabbit stew?

S.A. 750 The Noldor found the realm of Eregion and begin the construction of Ost-in-Edhil.

Finally! Where have you BEEN, Celebrimbor? 710 years since the fall of Thangorodrim, 805 years since his previous home in Nargothrond got dragoned, suddenly it's finally time to establish a realm and build a city. That's a LOT of planning time. And all this time Gil-galad, Elrond et al are hanging about Lindon making mournful eyes at the sea.

S.A. 1000 Sauron founds Mordor and begins the construction of Barad-dûr.
Sauron has spent a good long time planning too. Maybe Middle-earth planning regulations are *really* strict, and require the signatures of 7 witnesses in red ink? Although, Sauron is excused, in a way, because he does at least have a good reason to not immediately go building nightmarish evil black towers in a way that might provoke his enemies.

S.A. 1200 Sauron is turned away by Gil-galad in Lindon, but is welcomed by the Noldor in Eregion.
Not quite two hundred years of building, seven hundred years since he started stirring and Sauron has still not got Barad-dûr quite how he likes it, but he has at least started to plot. You can't accuse him of being in a rush. It must have taken him a while to trog all the way to Lindon from Mordor, only to get the raspberry, but not that long. I suppose Eregion is more or less on the way back though.

S.A. 1500 The Noldor in Eregion start forging rings. Blimey, three hundred years of R&D after Sauron turns up and starts making suggestive comments about what a good idea Rings of Power would be? I am getting the impression that old Celebrimbor really liked his tea-breaks.  Either that, or there was an absolute pile of awesome Noldorin technology being put together by the Gwaith-i-Mírdain during this period that just vanished into the not-yet-complete Barad-dûr when Sauron defeated Eregion, and was never seen again.  Maybe that's why the Barad-dûr is still not complete at this point.  It lacks those essential Noldorin wide-screen palantiri and voice-activated lighting systems.

S.A 1590 Three Rings for Elves completed in Eregion. Not sure when the Seven and the Nine were finished, they don't appear to get a date. The Dwarves are of the opinion that the Ring given to Durin VI in Khazad-dûm was the first one of the Seven finished, and that Durin got it directly from the Elves, not from Sauron.  Elrond was quite huffy about the suggestion that Sauron had had anything to do with the Three, although really he can only have known about that by hearsay since he didn't arrive in Eregion until a hundred years later.

It is odd that Celebrimbor made three rings, since he didn't seem to know quite what to do with them.  Supposedly, he sent two to Gil-galad, and gave one to Galadriel.   Why two for Gil-galad?  Why not keep one for himself?  Celebrimbor surely should be counted as an Elven-king, he had the whole of Eregion to protect.    I am suspicious about the whole 'Sauron never touched the Three' thing.  Incidentally, I note that there is never any suggestion that Legolas's father Thranduil should get a Ring, although clearly he is an Elven King.   I always get the impression that most Elves roll their eyes a bit at Thranduil.

S.A. 1600 Sauron forges The One Ring and openly proclaims himself. Finally! Again, not rushing, are we Sauron?  Ten years after the Three.  I guess he wanted to be absolutely certain it would work.  Maybe he was experimenting with controlling Rings for Mice or something.  I'm still feeling dubious that Celebrimbor, still friends with Sauron at this point, sat on his greatest work for ten years without showing it to his greatest collaborator.   Perhaps Celebrimbor already had suspicions about Sauron's intentions by this point?   Or maybe he was just taking another ten-year teabreak...

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie

I'm assuming this verse is a translation of Sauron's spoken spell that he made when he made the One.  The Elves heard it, realised that they had been betrayed and took off their rings, which they did not put back on until S.A 3441.  I wonder where they kept them?  Maybe on necklaces or something like that.  Keeping them in a drawer  does not seem very safe, but I think the implication is that the rings have to be activated by the insertion of a finger.

And again I'm wondering why DID Celebrimbor make three rings, and who did he intend to wear them?   Sauron presumably doesnt' think Galadriel is wearing one of them, since he specifically says 'kings'.  Unless the Black Speech doesn't have a gendered word for 'ruler' I suppose.  Or unless Sauron for some reason thought the Ring belonged to Celeborn rather than Galadriel.  I can't see Sauron being that stupid though, particularly after the whole Luthien incident.  After all, even Gandalf says he is very wise, and Galadriel clearly outranks Celeborn by several orders of magnitude.  

But the verse suggests that the Three had already been allocated to Elven kings at the point when the One was made.  So that suggests that the two Elven Rings were sent off to Gil-galad, and one to Galadriel, before 1600, since after that date they would be not a lot of use.

Either the Seven were made before the Three, maybe while Sauron was still in Eregion, but Durin VI was given his one early, since he was local, so to speak, before Sauron had Revealed His True Identity.

 Or,  the Seven were made after the Three and Sauron nicked six of them out of the wreckage of Eregion, apart from the one that had already gone to Durin.  I can't see any reason to disbelieve the dwarves of
Khazad-dûm when they say they were given their ring directly by the Noldor and never had any dealings with Sauron.  After all, their families were right there, and Elrond, Gandalf and Galadriel weren't.
S.A. 1693 The Three Rings are hidden and the War of the Elves and Sauron begins.
What? What?  93 years?  NINETY THREE YEARS?   What is happening during those 93 years?  Sauron has made the One, everyone knows he's intent on 'bringing them all and in the darkness binding them' which is surely pretty unequivocal threat.

I assume that those 93 years were largely spent enthusiastically fortifying Eregion, and on Sauron's part, building armies.  Very rash of him really to put on the One if he didn't already have his forces lined up.

The war starts in 1693, but the Siege of Eregion doesn't start till 1695.  I wonder what the first 2 years of the war consisted of, and how they were different to the previous 93.  Elrond is in Eregion around this time, so I suppose he collected his information about the Rings at this point.

S.A 1695 Sauron finally besieges Eregion.  Again, not being at all hasty. You'd almost think he was an Ent.

S.A. 1697 Eregion destroyed. Elrond flees the wreckage and founds Rivendell.
I'm really rather disappointed in the Noldor in Eregion.  You would think that with 93 years of preperation and 2 years of phony war, they would have been able to put up defences that would hold off Orc armies for more than a couple of years, particularly as they could bring up supplies from Khazad-dûm, or indeed retreat inside it.  Yet apparently not.  Maybe Celebrimbor was just too fond of those tea-breaks.

SA 1699  Rivendell and Lindon besieged.  This is, frankly, a bit odd.  Eregion had 95 years to prepare for siege, and went under very quickly.  Rivendell has only just been thought of, and doesn't appear particularly defensible in the illustrations: it might be difficult to get a big army down the paths, and you'd have to be careful of the river crossings, but is there some reason you couldn't just put siege engines on the cliff opposite and smash it into smithereens?  Clearly Rivendell has hidden depths.   Maybe it was only besieged very briefly.

S.A. 1700 Battle of the Gwathlo. The Númenóreans defeat Sauron who retreats at speed to Mordor.  Apparently there is absolutely no attempt to follow this up though.  And Sauron just sits there and ... does what?  Plots?  Experiments with swatches for orc uniforms? Redecorates his tower in a different shade of black?   For 1500 years!  Blimey!

What was Gil-galad up to all this time? Nothing recorded, apparently.   No wonder his lance was keen, he spent 1500 years polishing it!

S.A. 3261 Ar-Pharazôn the Golden lands a monstrous Numenorean army in Middle-Earth.
S.A. 3262 Sauron is taken to Númenor as prisoner. You can't say the Numenoreans hang about.  Sauron, suddenly realising that he's been playing with swatches for the last 1500 years and he really should stop procrastinating and get some work done,  begins corrupting the Númenóreans.
S.A. 3310 Ar-Pharazôn begins building the Great Armament, advised by Sauron.
S.A. 3319 Downfall of Númenor.  Elendil, Isildur and Anarion arrive back in Middle Earth
S.A. 3431 The Last Alliance set off from Rivendell
S.A. 3434 the Last Alliance of Elves and Men besiege Sauron in the Barad Dur.
S.A. 3441 Sauron defeated.  Isildur takes the One Ring from Sauron.   The Elves put their rings back on and the Age is over.

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Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
huinare
2nd May, 2015 04:24 (UTC)
presumably they wanted to land with, I dunno, at least tents to live in while they got things organised. Unless the Valar supplied the tents? You'd imagine Oromë the Hunter would have a pretty good tent.

I would advise a crossover with this pun:
bunn
2nd May, 2015 16:20 (UTC)
I'm still not sure if that shop is photoshopped or real... :-D
wellinghall
2nd May, 2015 05:48 (UTC)
Mordor's planing regulations must be the opposite of Australia's in the late 1940s, as seen in A Town Like Alice. The heroine starts building her workshop, *then* goes to see the county surveyor about building regulations and planning permission. The limit of these seems to be that, as long as the workshop is within the old town limits, everything will be fine; and he suggests 1 shilling per 100 foot of frontage as business rates.

Also, that's a heck of a post.
bunn
2nd May, 2015 16:36 (UTC)
I liked A Town like Alice but I have to admit I can't remember the planning regulations!

A fair bit of the post wasn't by me, which made it easier :-D

I thought I'd do some Second Age drawing, so obviously that required a timeline in order to
A) decide what to draw and
B) ensure that I don't put in something that's incorrect.

I would probably get a lot more drawing done if I could get over this attitude :-D
the_marquis
2nd May, 2015 23:08 (UTC)
Now why do you have a problem with all the elves taking their time in that case? ;-)
bunn
3rd May, 2015 08:28 (UTC)
Jealousy! :-D

Wouldn't it be awesome to have 300 years with nothing to do but make things...
ladyofastolat
4th May, 2015 08:55 (UTC)
I like this post very much. :-D

I wonder if the reason why everyone takes soooo looooong to do things is because Peter Jackson is actually right in his portrayal of the walking speed of elves. It always bothers me that when he shows Arwen almost leaving Rivendell - and when Frodo and Sam glimpse a party of elves in the Shire - everyone is moving at a pace that means that they would take 300 years to get to the Grey Havens. So maybe it wasn't that Celebrimbor liked long tea breaks. It's just that it took him 20 years to walk to the fridge to get the milk for his tea.
bunn
4th May, 2015 11:57 (UTC)
Legolas and the Lorien elves seem to move at a normal speed though.

Maybe extreme slowness is a Noldor trait. Galadriel does it... :-D
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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