Second Age
The Second Age is a time period from J. R. R. Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College,...

's Middle-earth
Middle-earth is the fictional setting of the majority of author J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy writings. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place entirely in Middle-earth, as does much of The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales....

 fantasy writings. Tolkien intended for the history of Middle-earth to be considered fictionally as a precursor to the history of the real Earth.

The Second Age began after the banishment of Morgoth
Morgoth Bauglir is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium. He is the main antagonist of The Silmarillion, figures in The Children of Húrin, and is mentioned briefly in The Lord of the Rings.Melkor was the most powerful of the Ainur, but turned to darkness and became...

 into the Void by the Lords of the West
Vala (Middle-earth)
The Valar are fictional characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. They are first mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, but The Silmarillion develops them into the Powers of Arda or the Powers of the World...

 led by Eönwë
Eönwë is a supporting character in J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium. He first appears in print in the posthumously published The Silmarillion, though his character had existed long before its original publication in 1977.-Biography:...

 the Herald of Manwë
Manwë is a god or Vala of the Elven pantheon imagined by J. R. R. Tolkien. He is described in The Silmarillion.Manwë was the King of the Valar, husband of Varda Elentári, brother of the Dark Lord Melkor, and King of Arda. He lived atop Mount Taniquetil, the highest mountain of the world, in the...


It lasted for 3441 years, and ended with the downfall of Sauron
Sauron is the primary antagonist and titular character of the epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.In the same work, he is revealed to be the same character as "the Necromancer" from Tolkien's earlier novel The Hobbit...

, when he was defeated by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men following the downfall of Númenor
Númenor is a fictional place in J. R. R. Tolkien's writings. It was a huge island located in the Sundering Seas to the west of Middle-earth, the main setting of Tolkien's writings, and was known to be the greatest realm of Men...


This age was characterized by the rise of Númenor, the rise of Sauron in Middle-earth (which saw the creation of the Ringwraiths), and the early wars of the Rings
Rings of Power
The Rings of Power in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium are magical rings created by Sauron or by the Elves of Eregion under Sauron's tutelage...

 between Sauron and the Elves
Elf (Middle-earth)
In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, Elves are one of the races that inhabit a fictional Earth, often called Middle-earth, and set in the remote past. They appear in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings, but their complex history is described more fully in The Silmarillion...


The 3441 years of the Second Age are, for the most part, unchronicled, unlike the First Age
First Age
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, the First Age, or First Age of the Children of Ilúvatar is the heroic period in which most of Tolkien's early legends are set...

 which is largely recounted in The Silmarillion
The Silmarillion
The Silmarillion is a collection of J. R. R. Tolkien's mythopoeic works, edited and published posthumously by his son Christopher Tolkien in 1977, with assistance from Guy Gavriel Kay, who later became a noted fantasy writer. The Silmarillion, along with J. R. R...

, and the Third Age
Third Age
The Third Age is a time period from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth fantasy writings. The history of Middle-earth is to be taken fictionally as a history of the real Earth....

, which is the time period during which The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is a high fantasy epic written by English philologist and University of Oxford professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's earlier, less complex children's fantasy novel The Hobbit , but eventually developed into a much larger work. It was written in...

is set. Besides the hints about the Second Age found in The Lord of the Rings, several shorter writings fill in some of the gap between the downfall of Morgoth at the end of the First Age and the first downfall of Sauron which marked the beginning of the Third Age.

"The Tale of Years" in Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings outlines the major events of the Second Age, especially as they relate to the Rings of Power and the events and characters of The Lord of the Rings. Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings contains genealogies of the royal house of Númenor, and several sections of Unfinished Tales
Unfinished Tales
Unfinished Tales is a collection of stories and essays by J. R. R. Tolkien that were never completed during his lifetime, but were edited by his son Christopher Tolkien and published in 1980.Unlike The Silmarillion, for which the narrative fragments were modified to connect into a consistent and...

 of Númenor and Middle-earth
deal extensively with Númenor and several of its kings. Also, at the end of The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth
Akallabêth is the fourth part of the fantasy work The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien. It is relatively short, consisting of about thirty pages.-Synopsis:...

" , or 'the falling of a star,' recounts the fall of Númenor and its kings, and also the rise of Gondor
Gondor is a fictional kingdom in J. R. R. Tolkien's writings, described as the greatest realm of Men in the west of Middle-earth by the end of the Third Age. The third volume of The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, is concerned with the events in Gondor during the War of the Ring and with...

 and Arnor
Arnor is a fictional kingdom in J. R. R. Tolkien's writings. Arnor, or the Northern Kingdom, was a kingdom of the Dúnedain in the land of Eriador in Middle-earth. The name probably means "Land of the King", from Sindarin Ara- + dor...

. There are several other writings dealing with the Second Age, but because of the many stories only hinted at in the extant sources, the Second Age remains vague.

See also: Timeline of the Second Age.
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