With Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings drama series set to take place during the second age, we here at HN thought it might be helpful to go over why the second age is so important. This is intended to be a primer for the Second Age more so than a wiki, so certain moments may not be referenced. On Arda, LOTR’s name for Earth, there are various “ages.” Not bound by a fixed amount of time, the Second Age lasted for 3,441 years and began after the War of Wrath.
This war was between the Elves, Mankind, Dwarves, and Valar against the Dark Lord Morgoth. After countless casualties and vast destruction across all of Arda, Morgoth was overcome by the forces of good and banished to the Void. This event set in motion the rise of Sauron, which was a primary focus for most of, if not all, the Second Age.
During the first thousand years of the Second Age, the House of Elros was founded by the first King of Númenor, Elros. He was half-Elven and half-Man, giving him various abilities such as longevity. He used his long lifespan to rule his kingdom for 410 years. When he died Sauron coincidentally began his actions indicating his rise. Before 1000 years of the Second Age would pass, Númenor would have six more Kings.
When the Second Age reached 1000 years, Sauron began building his infamous tower known as Barad-dûr. Built in Mordor, near the volcano Mount Doom, construction took 600 years. During this time, Númenor experiences four more rulers of which two of them were Queens and 2 Kings. Sauron also deceived the Elven-smiths of Eregion into creating 19 rings of power, weapons which Sauron hoped would help him control the Elves of Middle-Earth.
By the time Barad-dûr completed the One Ring was forged by Sauron. At the year 1693 of the Second Age, upon Sauron’s betrayal of the Elves becoming public, a War of the Elves and Sauron began. Sauron’s army was primarily assembled with Orcs and Trolls, although they didn’t stand a chance against the Elven forces. During this war, Eregion was destroyed resulting in many Elves establishing Rivendell (seen in Hobbit and the LOTR trilogy). Middle Earth also begins to have colonies assembled by Númenor around the end of the second millennia.
During the last full millennia of the Second Age, Sauron enlisted the assistance of nine men granting them Rings of Power. These nine became well-known as the Ringwraiths, with their powers and life being connected to Sauron’s own. Númenor also experiences rulership under seven different Kings and one Queen. The twentieth King of Númenor signals a shift from previous rulers as it begins a distancing between the Elves and Númenorian society.
During the last 400 years of the Second Age, Númenor prohibits the Elven language and Elves as people from the kingdom. Sauron is also captured but is able to deceive and corrupt the leadership of Númenor. He’s even established as an advisor to the King. Sauron not too long afterward begins his second war against the forces of Mankind and the Elves. Called The Last Alliance, Sauron is defeated when the One Ring is cut from his finger by Isildur. Future developments from this moment are considered a part of the Third Age.
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