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Watchful Peace

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The Watchful Peace is a relatively peaceful period during the Third Age.

The Watchful Peace began in 2063 T.A., when Gandalf went to Dol Guldur and the evil dwelling there (later known to be Sauron) fled east. It lasted until 2460 T.A., when Sauron returned with new strength.

During the Watchful Peace Gondor strengthened its borders, keeping a watchful eye on the east, as Minas Morgul was still a thread on their flanc and Mordor was still occupied with Orcs. But no major escalations occurred except for minor skirmishes with Umbar.

In the north, Arnor was long gone, but the Hobbits of the Shire prospered, getting their first Took Thain, and colonizing Buckland.

The Dwarves of Durin's folk under Thorin I abandoned Erebor, and left for the Grey Mountains, where most of their kin now gathered.

Sauron was not idle in the east: he created a strong alliance between the various tribes of Easterlings, so that when he returned he was more powerful and had many Men in his service.