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Elder Days

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History of Arda
Music of the Ainur
Timeline of Arda
Days before days
Years of the Trees
Years of the Sun
Ages of the Children of Ilúvatar
First Age (Y.T. 1050 - Y.S. 590)
Second Age (S.A. 1 - 3441)
Third Age (T.A. 1 - 3021)
Fourth Age (Fo.A. 1 - ?)
Later Ages (up to present day)
Dagor Dagorath
Second Music of the Ainur
See also: Round World version
of The Silmarillion

The Elder Days are gone. The Middle Days are passing. The Younger Days are beginning.

The Elder Days, also called the Eldest Days,[2] was a term that, during the Second and Third Ages, properly referred to the times that preceded the Downfall of Angband at the very end of the First Age,[3] perhaps covering not only the entire Age, but also the events before the Awakening of the Elves,[4][5] by which its beginning was marked.[6][7] In that context, the Middle Days were the Second and Third Ages, whereas the Younger Days were the foreseen Dominion of Men.[1]

However, in the Fourth Age the term began to be applied to all previous Ages, as the time before the Dominion of Men and the dwindling of the Elves and other races.[3] Aragorn for instance, referred to himself as the last King of the Elder Days, according to the latter sense.[8]

Etymology

Tolkien notes that the word "Elder" has deliberately an archaic flavour, since it is now only applied to persons (Elders = seniors). He also pointed to an association with the poetic word eld 'old age, antiquity'.

Early English had the expression Þe eldern dawes 'in the days of our forefathers, long ago, Days of the Seniors'.[9]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names", entry "Elder Days"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B: The Tale of Years (Chronology of the Westlands)
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Southern Line: Heirs of Anarion", p. 1039
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: Notes [on Section 1]", note 17, p. 57-8
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: First section of the Annals of Aman", p. 51
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part One. Time and Ageing: XVII. Generational Schemes", p. 123
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 780