’s Middle-Earth Essay, Research Paper
The History of Middle-EarthMiddle-Earth is a world created by J.R.R. Tolkien in his works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. This world is rich in history that is barely revealed in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. From the creation of Middle-Earth through the end of the Third Age, people flourished. Great wars were fought against an overwhelming evil. The following is a brief glance into the rich world of Tolkien=s imagination.The creation of Middle-Earth was begun by Eru. Eru had always existed in the universe and was a god. From his thoughts the Holy Ones were born. Eru named his creations the Ainur. The Ainur were the servants of Eru. The Ainur were blessed with many gifts. Among these gifts was the singing. The singing allowed the Ainur to create, destroy, and manipulate the universe through song. Eru and the Ainur dwelt in the Heavens for many centuries making music and being cheerful. (Tolkien, Simarillion 3-4)One day, Eru told the Ainur of a great vision. A tale of a wondrous world filled with beasts and nature. He ordered to Ainur to gather and to make his vision a reality. After hearing of this vision, all the Ainur gathered together and began to sing. The world saw its first beginnings. During the singing, Melkor, greatest among the Ainur, had thoughts of his own creations and forced a new theme into the singing. This new theme was the corruption of Middle-Earth (Tolkien, Simarillion 5). As the singing continued, the land was formed, mountains rose, and life began. Eru then appeared before the Ainur and began to sing with them. Melkor=s theme was in disaccord with that of Eru. Melkor then raised his voice drowning out Eru=s. Then Eru responded in kind. Many of the Ainur quit singing while Eru and Melkor fought with their songs. This battle lasted for an eternity. The world below was devastated with storms, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.When the singing stopped Eru stood before the Ainur and spoke to them.Mighty are the Ainur, and let you know that I am Eru. All that you have sung is of me. All that you sing has its source in me and can not alter in my despite. Any that try shall prove to be my instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which you can not imagine. (Tolkien, Simarillion 6)His stare was focused on Melkor during this time and all the Ainur were afraid. Eru then went down into the world created by him and the Ainur. The Ainur followed him and Eru showed them the splendors of the world (Tolkien, Tales 52). Eru told them that ages will pass here and you will watch and see my grand design unfold (Tolkien, Simarillion 6).Eru and the Ainur returned to the Heavens and watched their creation grow. They saw the Ents and Elves being born. One day Eru offered to let those Ainur who wished to go down to Earth. Those that were to go would have to remain there till the end of Earth since they would be the life-blood of the world. Those Ainur who went became the Valar (Tolkien, Simarillion 10). Among the greatest of those who went were Ulmo, ruler of the waters; Manwe, ruler of the skies; Aule, ruler of the earth; and Melkor. The Valar began to build their city in a remote area in the far east of Middle-Earth. The chief part of this work was done by Manwe, Aule, and Ulmo (Tolkien, Simarillion 8). Melkor was there from the first and meddled in all that was done, turning it to his own desires and purposes. Melkor placed himself above all others, wishing to be lord of the creations of Eru (Tolkien, Simarillion 8). In time, after the completion of their great city, the Valar went about their own business.The Valar dwelt in their city for many generations. They were revered by the elves and taught them many great things. One elf by the name of Feanor was greatly admired by the Valar for his unmatched skill in the arts. Feanor took the light from the two Blessed Trees and made it into three jewels. These jewels are the Simarilli. The Simarilli instantly became holy symbols to the Valar. Melkor lusted after the Simarilli and wanted them for his own. After several years of careful planning, Melkor and his followers stole the Simarilli, destroyed the two Blessed Trees, and fled from the city. During this time he took the name Morgoth and was forever banished from the Valar. (Tolkien, Simarillion 72-79)The Valar, enraged at the theft of the Simarilli and the destruction of the Blessed Trees, followed Morgoth in force to retrieve the Simarilli. The elves fought with the Valar and man fought with Morgoth. The war lasted for seven years. During this time most of the casualties occurred in the elves and men (Tolkien, Simarillion 74-76). The war ended with the slaying of Morgoth in a great battle. His death marks the end of the First Age and the beginning of the Second Age. The end of the war left Middle-Earth divided into two factions. One with the Valar, elves, and a small faction of men, the other with the rest of the men and the fallen Valar. The Valar went back to their great city. They gave the elves large areas of Middle-Earth to settle naming them protectors of it. In the early days of the Second Age, the High Elves founded the Grey Havens and Lindon (Tolkien, Return 453). Also during this time, Rivendell was founded by Elrond. Both of these countries would remain strong through the end of the Third Age and the departure of the elves from Middle-Earth. The capitals of these countries became great centers of arts, learning, and prosperity. Throughout the first half of the Second Age these countries would be in peace with fair, swift justice for all. In the later half of the Second Age, these countries would lead the elves to victory over their enemies. (Tolkien, Simarillion 139-148). The Valar also gave land to their men allies, the Dunedain. The Dunedain were given the land of Numenor. They were given control of their own affairs and were free to do as they wished, except seek the Valar=s realm and the immortality of the Valar. The Men of Numenor lived their lives in solitude, having little contact with either the Valar or the elves. In their land they lived long lives in peace and harmony. They were blessed among men, ruling the other tribes of men. Under their leadership many of the tribes that had followed Morgoth during the war turned from their evil ways. (Tolkien, Simarillion 80-84) The remnants of Morgoth=s army went into hiding after the war. After many years Sauron, chief advisor to Morgoth, reorganized the army and went to Morodor. Shortly after the beginning of the second millennium, Sauron ordered the construction of a great fortress called Barad-dur. During this time Sauron tried to persuade the elves to follow him. Most refused, but among those that followed him was Erigion, the ring-maker. From Erigion, Sauron learned the art of ring making (Tolkien, Simarillion 356). During this time Erigion forged the nineteen rings of power. The elven kings received three, seven were given to the dwarf lords, and nine were given to the kings of men. A century after the rings were forged, Sauron began work on his master ring. Sauron added much of his own essence to the ring. Sauron was left with ver little power without the ring (Tolkien, Reader xiv). When he wore the ring his power was increased greatly; without it he was vulnerable. After completion of the master ring, Sauron invaded Middle-Earth. During the next ten years many battles were fought. Sauron increased his territory greatly during this time. He forced the elves from their lands. The elves were pushed into the lands of the Numenorians. The elves made an alliance with the Numenrians. Together they fought the forces of Sauron. Sauron was finally captured by the Numerian and took to their capital.
Sauron was held prisoner for many years. He used his powers of persuasion on those around him, including the King of Numenor. He told the king of the greatness the Valar were denying them. Sauron=s words attracted many of the Numenor. Soon the Numenor were on the edge of civil war (Tolkien, Return 391). During this time the nine rings given to men took the lives of their owners, and they became the Nazgul (Tolkie, Return 454). The Numenorians built several fortresses. The greatest of these was Umbar and Pelargir. Within these cities, the division of the Numenorians was apparent. Many called for the building of a fleet of ships to sail to the Valar=s land. The others were called the Faithful, as they wished to honor the old agreement between the Valar and themselves (Tolkien, Return 391).When the Numenorians reached the shores of the Valar=s lands they were met by a host of Valar. The Valar called upon Eru to destroy the Numenorians for their disobedience. Eru agreed with the Valar and with a single thought destroyed all but the Faithful (Tolkien, Return 391-392). The Faithful fled from the Valar and Sauron found himself free once again. The Numenorians were led by Elendil. Elendil founded the country of Gondor. He ordered the building of many great cities including Minas Ithil and Minas Tirith. When Sauron had rebuilt his army he attacked the Numenorians and their elven allies. Sauron succeeded in capturing Minas Ithil which became Minas Morgul (Tolkien, Return 454). Following the capture of Minas Ithil, the greatest battle of the Second Age was fought. In this battle the elf lords Gil-Galad and Elrond fought side by side with Elendil and his sons Anarion and Isildur. During this battle Isildur cut Sauron=s hand off, killing Sauron=s physical body (Tolkien, Return 455). The Numenorians and elves won the battle. Sauron=s defeat and the claiming of the ring by Isildur marked the end of the Second Age.The Third Age began with the victory over Sauron. Isildur took Sauron=s ring for his own and did not destroy it as was advised. Two years after the war, Isildur was attacked by orcs. He tried to escape by swimming across the river Anduin. The ring slipped off his finger and was shot with an arrow by an orc. The ring sank to the bottom of the Anduin river where it stayed for over two thousand years (Tolkien, Fellowship 83-84). During the first millennium of the Third age the kingdom of Gondor prospered. It=s wise leadership of the Faithful led them to great wealth and fame. The realm of Gondor encompassed all but the baron wastelands of Morodor. Also during this time the race known as Hobbits were first recorded in the region of Eriador, later known as the Shire (Tolkien, Return 456). After the first century of the first millennium five individuals appeared from out of the west. They were called the Istari. They were Saruman the White, Gandalf the Grey, Radagast the Red, Altar the Blue, and Pallando the Blue. These five individuals were Valar (Tolkien, Unfinished 411-412). They came in the shape of men to advise and support the people of Middle-Earth against the enemies of Eru (Tolkien, Unfinished 406). For a millennium the Istari wondered Middle-Earth gaining in knowledge. They advised when asked and kept to themselves. After the first millennium the Istari began to become more involved in the politics of Middle-Earth. As time went on, the Istari became background figures again. The fate of Altar and Pallando is unknown. They passed into the east and were never heard from again (Tolkien, Unfinished 407). Radagast forsook his duties to men and elves and wondered in nature. Saruman and Gandalf both were key figures in the shaping of the end of the Third Age.At the same time the Istari appeared in Middle-Earth, Sauron=s presence began to stir. Although his physical body had been destroyed, he lived on through the power of the ring. His presence was first felt with the appearance of a Nazgul in the forest of Greenwood. The Nazgul=s presence there corrupted the forest, twisting it. The forest was renamed Mirkwood by the peoples of Middle-Earth. Also during this time, a great increase in the number of orcs were noticed. The Black Gates were closed and Minas Morgul was re-fortified (Tolkien, Return 456).The second millennium of the Third Age was a time of preparation. During this time the White Council was formed (Tolkien, Return 459). The White Council included the remaining three Istari and the High Elves. Saruman the White was head of this council. The council was formed to debate what the peoples of Middle-Earth should do about Sauron. During this time the Istari learned about the One Ring of Sauron. The search for the ring was begun by Gandalf and Saruman. In the same year that the White Council met for the first time the One Ring was found in the River Andiun by the Hobbit Deagol (Tolkien, Fellowship 84). He was murdered by his cousin Smeagol who wanted the ring for himself. Smeagol used the ring to spy on the people in his village till they banished him from his village. Smeagol wandered around for a time till he settled deep in the Misty Mountains. He resided there undisturbed for three centuries. The hobbit Bilbo Baggins met Smeagol in the mountain during his adventures with the dwarves. Bilbo won the ring from Smeagol in a game of riddles (Tolkien, Hobbit 79). After his adventures with the dwarves he took the ring with him to his home in the Shire.Thirty years after Biblo returned to his home he passed the ring on to his nephew Frodo. Frodo learned from Gandalf the true history of his ring and was told to take it to Rivendell (Tolkien, Fellowship 81) Frodo and his companions made it to Rivendell despite facing many hardships. In Rivendell the ring was debated by many people. In the end it was decided to destroy the ring (The Lord of the Rings).The quest to destroy the ring was long and perilous. Frodo and his servant Samwise made their way into Morodor to Mount Orodruin. At the same time a great war was being fought in Gondor. The leaders of this war knew that they could not win. The only victory for them lay in the success of Frodo. Frodo does succeed in destroying the ring with the Perverse collaboration of Smeagol (Time 101). The destruction of the One Ring ended Sauron=s life, both natural and unnatural, for good. The war ended, and Gondor was restored to its previous splendor. The Third Age ended with the passing of the elves and Istari from Middle-Earth. The Third Age was the last age in Middle-Earth. The Fourth Age is the beginning of the world we live in today. This history of Middle-Earth is far from complete. Middle-Earth=s entire history is detailed enough to justify several books. Tolkien believed that in order to give his readers a realistic view of his world that every detail had to be incorporated (Time 101). Tolkien succeeded in giving his readers this realistic view. Tolkien=s world is one with a rich and colorful history which is responsible for making his works such a great work of art.
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