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Darkness, or "the Dark and the Shadow", is the ever-present evil in Arda beginning with the rebellion of Melkor in his conceit before . It is generally used to refer to the evil of Morgoth and of Sauron over the Ages.

History of Darkness

The rebellion of Melkor tampered with and poisoned the original perfect symmetry of Arda, and corrupted all the works of the Ainur, but his chief works of Darkness fell upon the souls of the Children of Ilúvatar. After his decline and fall, his successor Sauron continued his works of evil until he too was defeated.[1]

Darkness and Men

Of all the races in Arda, Men were the easiest to corrupt and drive into temptation and thus were most afflicted by the Darkness. Not long after they awoke, Morgoth appeared among them and convinced them to worship him as their god instead of Eru. But some escaped and repented, becoming the Edain, the ancestors of the Dúnedain, but most still remained in darkness. Those that did remain and never went to the west remained loyal to Morgoth became known as Easterlings and were ever allied with the dark powers throughout the long ages either for hope of conquest or plunder.[2][3] The Middle Men remained uncorrupted by Morgoth throughout the Númenórean removal to Westernesse, and when Númenórean Exiles returned to Middle-earth they found the Middle Men to be willing allies.[4]

In the Second Age when the men of Númenor fell under the shadow, their faith wavered and their hearts turned to evil. Sauron came (as "Annatar") and was soon the master of the King's council, and the King's Men fell even further into the Shadow, convincing many of the faithless to worship Morgoth. Men came to be afraid of death, and this fear lingered. An embassy from Valinor speculated that this was the first sign of the shadow in Númenor. After Númenor's downfall, which transpired as a punishment for their king Ar-Pharazôn's acts against the Valar, Darkness continued to compel Men to follow it, and in various regions they served Sauron, up until his defeat in the War of the Ring.[5]

Legacy of darkness

Marring its original design, the advent of Darkness brought the world its greatest woe, but would bring many together who opposed it.


  1. The Silmarillion, Ainulindalë (The Music of the Ainur)
  2. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XII: "Of Men"
  3. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XVII: "Of the Coming of Men into the West"
  4. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter IX: "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony"
  5. The Silmarillion, Akallabêth (The Downfall of Númenor)