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Great Plague

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The '''Great Plague''', also known as the [[Dark Plague]] was a disastrous pestilence that killed untold numbers of people that possibly went up into the hundreds of thousands.
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{{events
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| image=[[File:Steven Cavallo - Plague.jpg|250px]]
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| event=Great Plague
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| othernames=Dark Plague
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| location=[[Harad]], [[Gondor]], [[Eriador]], [[Rhovanion]], [[Rhun]] (possibly)
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| date={{TA|1635}}; effects visible for the next 200 years
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| result=Possibly hundreds thousands of lives incl. half of the population in Rhovanion
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| partof=
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| participants=[[Men of Darkness]], [[Gondorians]], [[Dúnedain of the North]], [[Hobbits]], [[Woodmen]]
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| description=Pestilence from south of Mordor, spreading north, west and then north
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}}
  
The Great Plague began in the east beyond [[Mordor]], reaching [[Osgiliath]] in 1636 of the [[Third Age]], just a year after King [[Minardil]] of [[Gondor]] had been killed at [[Pelargir]] by the [[Corsairs of Umbar]], and only two centuries after the [[Kin-strife]] of Gondor. The new king, [[Telemnar]] was killed together with his kin, as well as many others of the [[Dúnedain]]. After the Kin-strife this further destroyed the people of Gondor.
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The '''Great Plague''', also known as the '''Dark Plague''' was a disastrous pestilence that killed untold numbers of people, possibly up into the hundreds of thousands. The plague was brought by an evil wind from the east.  
  
The Plague had first hit [[Rhûn]] and [[Rhovanion (region)|Rhovanion]], and after it had passed more than half the folk of the [[Rhovanion (Realm)|Kingdom of Rhovanion]] had been killed. From [[Osgiliath]] the plague spread west and then north. [[Enedwaith]] and [[Dunland]] were scarcely affected, but the Plague regained strength as it went north, and [[Minhiriath]] (the southern part of [[Cardolan]]) was especially hit hard. The last of the Dúnedain of Cardolan died on the [[Barrow-downs]], and evil spirits from [[Angmar]] and [[Rhudaur]] entered the realm.
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[[File:Plague.png|thumb|left|The effects of the plague; more intense color shows worse effect (based on interpretation in the ''[[Atlas of Middle-earth]]''.]]
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The Great Plague began in the east beyond [[Mordor]] and first reached [[Osgiliath]] in {{TA|1636}}<ref>{{App|TA}}</ref> (just a year after King [[Minardil]] of [[Gondor]] had been killed at [[Pelargir]] by the [[Corsairs of Umbar]]). The new king, [[Telemnar]] was killed together with his kin, followed by the [[White Tree of Gondor]], as well as many others of the [[Dúnedain]]; two centuries after the [[Kin-strife]], this further destroyed the people of Gondor.<ref name="south">{{App|South}}</ref>
  
[[Arthedain]] further to the north and [[the Shire]] were scarcely affected, although the [[Hobbits]] recorded casualties in the South Farthing. Arthedain still defended [[Fornost]] to the north.
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The city of Osgiliath was especially hit hard, suffering the highest casualties outside of [[Rhovanion]]. Many fled the city and removed to [[Ithilien]] and [[Anórien]], and [[Minas Anor]] became the King's seat. The casualties were so high that the fortresses guarding [[Mordor]] were abandoned as the troops were recalled.<ref name="south"/>
  
The city of Osgiliath was especially hit hard, suffering the highest casualties outside of Rhovanion. Many fled the city and removed to [[Ithilien]] and [[Anórien]], and [[Minas Anor]] became the King's seat.
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From there the plague spread west and then north. It hit [[Rhûn]] and [[Rhovanion]], and after it had passed, more than half the folk of the [[Rhovanion|Kingdom of Rhovanion]] had been killed<ref>{{UT|Cirion}}</ref>.
  
The casualties were so high that the fortresses guarding [[Mordor]] were abandoned as the troops were recalled. For the next two centuries Gondor, as well as its enemies, did little but try and regain strength.
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[[Dunland]] suffered less from the Plague than most due to their self-isolation.<ref>{{UT|Isen}}</ref>  However, the Plague regained strength as it went north, and [[Minhiriath]] (the southern part of [[Cardolan]]) was especially hit hard.  The joint garrison (of the North and South Kingdoms) at [[Tharbad]] ceases to exist.<ref>{{UT|6d}}</ref> The last of the Dúnedain of Cardolan died on the [[Barrow-downs]], and evil spirits from [[Angmar]] and [[Rhudaur]] entered the realm.<ref name="north">{{App|North}}</ref>
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While [[the Shire]] suffered greatly, the plague lessened passing northward until the northern part of [[Arthedain]] was scarcely affected.<ref name="north"/> Arthedain still defended [[Fornost]] to the north.
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The exact date the plague ended is not known but for the next two centuries Gondor, as well as its enemies, did little but try and regain strength. Historians believed that the Plague was caused by Sauron since the [[Shadow]] deepened in [[Mirkwood]], foretelling his return in the (now unguarded) Mordor.<ref name="south"/>
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{{references}}
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{{seq-start}}
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{{seq
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| prev=[[Kin-Strife]]
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| list=Major events of [[Middle-earth]]
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| dates={{TA|1635}} - c 200 years later
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| next=[[Watchful Peace]]
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}}
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{{seq-end}}
  
 
[[category:Events]]
 
[[category:Events]]
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[[Category:History of the Shire]]
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[[de:Große Pest]]
 
[[de:Große Pest]]
 
[[fi:Suuri Rutto]]
 
[[fi:Suuri Rutto]]

Latest revision as of 18:29, 4 October 2013

Steven Cavallo - Plague.jpg
Great Plague
Event
Other namesDark Plague
LocationHarad, Gondor, Eriador, Rhovanion, Rhun (possibly)
DateT.A. 1635; effects visible for the next 200 years
ResultPossibly hundreds thousands of lives incl. half of the population in Rhovanion
ParticipantsMen of Darkness, Gondorians, Dúnedain of the North, Hobbits, Woodmen
DescriptionPestilence from south of Mordor, spreading north, west and then north

The Great Plague, also known as the Dark Plague was a disastrous pestilence that killed untold numbers of people, possibly up into the hundreds of thousands. The plague was brought by an evil wind from the east.

The effects of the plague; more intense color shows worse effect (based on interpretation in the Atlas of Middle-earth.

The Great Plague began in the east beyond Mordor and first reached Osgiliath in T.A. 1636[1] (just a year after King Minardil of Gondor had been killed at Pelargir by the Corsairs of Umbar). The new king, Telemnar was killed together with his kin, followed by the White Tree of Gondor, as well as many others of the Dúnedain; two centuries after the Kin-strife, this further destroyed the people of Gondor.[2]

The city of Osgiliath was especially hit hard, suffering the highest casualties outside of Rhovanion. Many fled the city and removed to Ithilien and Anórien, and Minas Anor became the King's seat. The casualties were so high that the fortresses guarding Mordor were abandoned as the troops were recalled.[2]

From there the plague spread west and then north. It hit Rhûn and Rhovanion, and after it had passed, more than half the folk of the Kingdom of Rhovanion had been killed[3].

Dunland suffered less from the Plague than most due to their self-isolation.[4] However, the Plague regained strength as it went north, and Minhiriath (the southern part of Cardolan) was especially hit hard. The joint garrison (of the North and South Kingdoms) at Tharbad ceases to exist.[5] The last of the Dúnedain of Cardolan died on the Barrow-downs, and evil spirits from Angmar and Rhudaur entered the realm.[6]

While the Shire suffered greatly, the plague lessened passing northward until the northern part of Arthedain was scarcely affected.[6] Arthedain still defended Fornost to the north.

The exact date the plague ended is not known but for the next two centuries Gondor, as well as its enemies, did little but try and regain strength. Historians believed that the Plague was caused by Sauron since the Shadow deepened in Mirkwood, foretelling his return in the (now unguarded) Mordor.[2]

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Southern Line: Heirs of Anarion"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix D: The Port of Lond Daer"
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Northern Line: Heirs of Isildur"
Preceded by:
Kin-Strife
Major events of Middle-earth
T.A. 1635 - c 200 years later
Followed by:
Watchful Peace