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History of Arda

Valian Years

Years of the Lamps
Years of the Trees

Years of the Sun

First Age
Second Age
Third Age
Fourth Age
Timeline of Arda

Arda during the First Age

The First Age began with the awakening of Men in Hildórien, and ended with the overthrow of Morgoth. Every Year of the Sun of the First Age and the last third of the Years of the Trees were also known as the Elder Days. Its significant events are chronicled in The Silmarillion.


This age lasted about 590 years. It ended with the final overthrow of Morgoth by the Valar in the War of Wrath, after the voyage of Eärendil.

Map of Beleriand, the regions northwest of the familiar later "Middle-earth"

J.R.R. Tolkien described primarily the events of the First Age that occurred in Beleriand. These were centered on a series of wars waged by the Sindar, the Ñoldor and the Three Houses of the Edain (Mankind), against the power of Morgoth. The wars had begun in the Years of the Trees, but were refreshed after the arrival of the Ñoldor in Beleriand. There had been Elves in Beleriand for uncounted millennia, but who were passive, and Morgoth had little to do with them. The Ñoldor, on the other hand, particularly the Sons of Fëanor, had come with the express purpose of opposing Morgoth.


Year Events
1 The Sun first sets sail.

Awakening of Men in Hildórien.

Fingolfin's host completes crossing of Helcaraxë.

20 A festival is held among the Elven lords at the Mereth Aderthad.
50 Turgon and Finrod are told by Ulmo to establish refuges. These later become Gondolin and Nargothrond.
52 Finrod discovers the caves of Nargothrond.
53 Turgon discovers valley of Tumladen.
60 Dagor Aglareb (Glorious Battle) is fought.

The Ñoldor, ruled by Fingolfin, start the Siege of Angband.

c. 60 to 200 Morgoth is absent from Angband, after discovering Men. Persuaded by Melkor's lies, some Men stop worshipping Eru Ilúvatar and turn to evil, but others revolt: the Atanatári. These travel to the West in search for the Valar, aided by Avari Elves and Dwarves. (According to Melkor's lies, Men now lose the gift to die at will as the result of divine punishment, and are doomed to lead short life-spans at the end of which death takes them by force.) Not true, According to The Silmarillion, based on Tolkien's notes, Men were intentionally created with shorter life spans ending with the Gift of Men.
64 Turgon begins building Gondolin.
65 Finrod builds the tower of Barad Nimras ("White Horn Tower") on a cape of the Falas between Brithombar and Eglarest.
c. 102 Founding of Nargothrond.
116 Completion of Gondolin. Turgon's people begin the migration from Nevrast in secret.
150 The Dwarves renew their trade in Beleriand.
155 An assault upon Hithlum from the Firth of Drengist is defeated by Fingolfin's forces.
260 Glaurung ravages Ard-galen, but is driven back to Angband.

The Long Peace begins.

305 Bëor leads The First House of the Edain into Beleriand.

Men discovered by Finrod.

FA 320 Maeglin is born in Nan Elmoth
341 Haldar and Haleth born.
345 Return of Aredhel and Maeglin to Gondolin. Later that year Eöl and Aredhel die.
361 Andreth, the daughter of Boromir son of Boron is born.
389 Birth of Hador, later Lord of Dor-lómin.
432 Birth of Beren Erchamion.
c. 455 Birth of Ereinion (later called Gil-galad), son of Orodreth.
455 Morgoth breaks the Siege of Angband in the Dagor Bragollach and kills Fingolfin in a duel.

Fingolfin's son Fingon succeeds his father as High King of the Ñoldor.

Húrin and Huor are brought to Gondolin by Thorondor.

456 Húrin and Huor return from Gondolin to Dor-lómin.
457 Capture of Finrod's fortress of Minas Tirith by the forces of Sauron. Finrod's nephew Orodreth flees for Nargothrond.

Minas Tirith is renamed Tol-in-Gaurhoth, Isle of the Werewolves.

460 Barahir and companions are betrayed and killed.

Beren becomes the sole outlaw in Dorthonion.

464 Birth of Túrin in Dor-lómin.

Beren departs for Doriath and first comes upon Lúthien.

465 Celegorm and Curufin are exiled from Nargothrond and journey to Himring.

Finrod and Beren are imprisoned in Tol-in-Gaurhoth.

Finrod is slain by a werewolf, but Beren is rescued by Lúthien.

466 Beren and Lúthien achieve the Quest of the Silmaril.

Beren dies, and Lúthien abandons life. Lúthien pleads with Mandos and Beren and Lúthien are restored to life.

469 Beren and Lúthien return to life in Middle-earth, taking up their abode in Dor Firn-i-Guinar in Ossiriand. Lalaith, sister of Túrin dies of the plague.
470 Birth of Dior Eluchíl on Tol Galen.
471 Birth of Tuor, son of Huor.
472 Siege and capture of the Havens of the Falas: Brithombar and Eglarest.

The Nírnaeth Arnoediad is fought.

Deaths of Huor and Fingon,

Húrin is captured and cursed by Morgoth.

c. 473 Birth of Niënor.

Death of Rían.

490 Death of Beleg.

Gurthang is reforged for Túrin, who becomes known as the Black Sword of Nargothrond, or Mormegil.

495 The Battle of Tumhalad and Sack of Nargothrond.

The coming of Tuor to Gondolin.

497 Dior weds Nimloth.
499 Slaying of Glaurung.

Deaths of Túrin Turambar and Niënor Níniel in Brethil.

500 Birth of Elwing, daughter of Dior.
c. 501 Death of Morwen.
502 Thingol is slain and Doriath sacked by Dwarves of Nogrod.

Beren, Laiquendi and Ents destroy the Dwarves at the Battle of Sarn Athrad.

Melian returns to Valinor in grief.

Lúthien wears the Silmaril.

Dior refounds Doriath.

c. 503 Final deaths of Beren and Lúthien.

Dior receives the Silmaril

Death of Húrin.

c. 504 Birth of Eärendil, son of Idril and Tuor.
505 Doriath is destroyed in the Second Kinslaying.

Dior, Nimloth, and their sons Eluréd and Elurín are killed.

Celegorm, Curufin and Caranthir are slain.

Elwing escapes for the Mouths of Sirion with the Silmaril.

510 Gondolin is betrayed by Maeglin and sacked.

Deaths of Gothmog, Turgon, Glorfindel, Ecthelion of the Fountain, and Maeglin.

530 Eärendil weds Elwing.
532 Elrond and Elros are born to Eärendil and Elwing.
538 Third Kinslaying: while Eärendil is away the remaining Sons of Fëanor attack the people of the Mouths of Sirion, trying to claim the Silmaril.

Amrod and Amras are slain.

Elwing casts herself in the sea but is brought to Eärendil by Ulmo.

Eärendil sets out for Valinor to beg for aid from the Valar.

Maglor begins raising Elrond and Elros.

545 to 587 The War of Wrath.

Morgoth is cast into the Void.

Most of Beleriand is sunk.

The Sea of Helcar is drained through the Great Gulf.

The plateaus of Mordor, Khand, and Rhûn rise from the former seabed.

The remaining two Silmarils are stolen by Maedhros and Maglor but are lost in the earth and in the sea.

The Elves are summoned to Valinor and settle on Tol Eressëa.

Galadriel refuses the summons and therefore remains banned.

A small part of the Ñoldor remain in Lindon.

Some Sindar depart east and establish realms, under Oropher and Amdír.


J. R. R. Tolkien does not give First Age dates in the Appendix B or in Quenta Silmarillion. In works such as The Annals of Aman, Tolkien measures the First Age with Valian Years (VY) and then Years of the Sun (YS).[1]

Robert Foster, among other Tolkienists, attempted to chronicle the First Age, using as convention the Years of the Sun as "First Age", keeping a format similar to the annals in Appendix B. For example, the twentieth Year of the Sun is referred to as I 20 or FA 20, though Foster admits that the definition YS 1 would be more accurate than FA 1. Unfortunately, this convention creates the ambiguation that FA 1 was the first year of the First Age marked as such by the first sunrise, leading to the term "Ages of the Sun", which does not appear in Tolkien's works.

However, Tolkien tells that the Exile of the Ñoldor happened at the end of the First Age meaning the year labeled FA 1 was indeed near the end of this long Age. Furthermore, in The Peoples of Middle-earth, Tolkien explicitly states the First Age was the longest of all Ages, signifying therefore the term "First Age" could be expanded before the first rising of the Sun. But when exactly the First Age began is not clear (perhaps, it was not defined by the chronicles). Possible beginnings of the First Age must have been the creation of Arda itself; the creation of the Two Trees of Valinor which also kept track of time; or most likely the Awakening of the Elves in YT 1050.[1][2]

Chief battles of this Age

  • The Dagor-nuin-Giliath, so named because it was fought before the rising of the Sun) was fought soon after the arrival of the Ñoldor. Morgoth sent a raiding party from Angband to attack the Ñoldor encampment in Hithlum, but the Elves drove it back. Fëanor was killed. It is considered the second battle in the Wars of Beleriand, after one that took place during the Years of the Trees.

Morgoth Bauglir, Enemy of the World and the first "Dark Lord"

  • The Dagor Aglareb was fought about seventy-five years after the return of the Ñoldor. Morgoth again attacked the Ñoldor, and (again) with no success. The Ñoldor became so bold as to besiege Angband. However, the Siege was of limited effectiveness, because the northern side of Angband on the north side of the Ered Engrin was unapproachable to the Elven forces.
  • The Dagor Bragollach began when Morgoth poured rivers of fire out of Angband, ruining the besieging Ñoldorin armies. The Ñoldor eventually mustered a defense, but their losses were severe. For instance, the green plain of Ard-galen had been permanently laid waste by the rivers of fire, and was now called Anfauglith, the Choking Dust; and the highlands of Dorthonion, which had been inhabited by Edain, were made inhospitable.
  • The Nírnaeth Arnoediad was the first battle to be started by the Ñoldor for the purpose of ending the power of Morgoth. They massed an army composed of Elves, Edain, and the Easterling houses of Bór and Ulfang allied to the Sons of Fëanor. The Elves and their allies came very close to Angband, but Morgoth's trickery had upset their battle plan, and Ulfang proved to be treacherous. The name "Unnumbered Tears" comes from the fact that the Elves' last hope of victory was destroyed. The land of Hithlum was lost, the Sons of Fëanor were largely scattered, and the free peoples of Beleriand had been decimated. The forces of Morgoth made a heap of the Elven and Mannish dead in the center of Anfauglith.
  • The War of Wrath took place after Eärendil sailed to Valinor and persuaded the Valar to help those whom they had forsaken. The Valar gathered an army comprised of Maiar, Vanyar, and those Ñoldor who had stayed in Valinor. The Teleri refused their aid, due to the Kinslaying at Alqualondë, but consented to ferry the Host of Valinor in their famous ships. This battle marked the first appearance of the winged dragons, most notably Ancalagon the Black, but the Valar had the day. Morgoth was captured, and cast out of Arda, but his lands, as well as most of Beleriand, had been destroyed and sunk under the sea in the heat of battle.


Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Eerste Era
Albanian Koha e parë
Amharic የመጀመሪያው ዘመን
Arabic العصر الأول
Armenian Առաջին դար
Azerbaijani Birinci dövrü
Basque Lehen Aroa
Belarusian Cyrillic Першая век
Bengali প্রথম যুগ
Bosnian Prvo doba
Bulgarian Cyrillic Първат Епоха
Burmese ပထမခေတ်
Chinese (Hong Kong) 第一紀元
Cambodian យុគសម័យដំបូង
Catalan Primera Edat
Cebuano Una nga panahon
Chichewa M'badwo Woyamba
Cornish Ooj Kensa
Croatian Prvo doba
Czech První Věk
Danish Førstealder
Dutch Eerstetijd
Esperanto Unuaepoko
Estonian Esimene Ajastu
Faroese Fyrstiárstíđ
French Premier Âge
Frisian Earste âldens
Finnish Ensimmäinen Aika
Filipino Unang Edad
Galician Primeira Idade
Georgian პირველი ხანა
German Erstes Zeitalter
Greek Εποχή Πρώτη
Gujarati પ્રથમ યુગ
Haitian Creole Premye laj
Hebrew העידן הראשון
Hindi पहला युग
Hungarian Első kor
Icelandic Fyrsturöld
Igbo Akpa Afọ
Indonesian Zaman Pertama
Irish Gaelic Chéad Aois
Italian Prima Era
Japanese 第二紀
Javanese Jaman Pisanan
Kannada ಮೊದಲ ಯುಗ
Kazakh Бірінші дәуірі (Cyrillic) Birinşi däwiri (Latin)
Korean 제1시대
Kurdish Temenê Yekem (Kurmanji)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Биринчи доору
Laotian ຄັ້ງທໍາອິດອາຍຸ
Latin Aetas prima
Latvian Pirmā laikmets
Lithuanian Pirmojo amžiaus
Luxembourgish Éischt Ära
Macedonian Cyrillic Првото време
Malagasy Andron'ny Voalohany
Malaysian Zaman Pertama
Malayalam ആദ്യം പ്രായം
Maltese Ewwel Età
Maori Tau Tuatahi
Marathi प्रथम युग
Mongolian Cyrillic Эхний үе
Nepalese पहिलो युग
Norwegian Førstealderen
Occitan Primièr Edat
Odia ପ୍ରଥମ ଯୁଗ
Pashto لومړی عمر
Persian دوران اول
Polish Pierwsza Era
Portuguese Primeira Era
Punjabi ਪਹਿਲੀ ਯੁੱਗ
Querétaro Otomi Ndui Bätsitho
Romanian Epoca Prima
Romansh Emprim Temp
Russian Первая Эпоха
Samoan Tausaga Muamua
Scottish Gaelic A 'chiad aois
Serbian Прва доба (Cyrillic) Prva doba (Latin)
Sesotho Dilemo la Pele
Shona Nguva yekutanga
Sicilian Primu Etati
Sindhi پهريون عمر
Sinhalese පළමු යුගය
Slovenian Prvo doba
Slovak Prvý Vek
Somalian Kowaad Da'
Spanish Primera Edad del Sol
Sundanese Kahiji Umur
Swahili Umri Kwanza ?
Swedish Förstaåldern
Tajik Cyrillic Давраи аввал
Tamil முதல் காலம்
Tatar Башта гасыр
Telugu మొదటి యుగం
Thai ยุคแรก
Turkish Birinci Çağ
Turkmen Birinji asyry
Ukrainian Cyrillic Перша доба
Urdu پہلا دور
Uzbek Биринчи даври (Cyrillic) Birinchi davri (Latin)
Vietnamese Thời đại đầu tiên
Welsh Yr Oes Gyntaf
Xhosa Ixesha lokuqala
Yiddish ערשטער עפאכע
Yoruba Akọkọ ọjọ ori


  1. 1.0 1.1 The History of Middle-earth, Vol. X: Morgoth's Ring, The Annals of Aman
  2. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. XI: The War of the Jewels, The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings