Dominion of Men
- "The time of the Elves is over, but our time is at hand: the world of Men, which we must rule."
- ― Saruman in The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
The Dominion of Men refers to the fact that Men remained the only speaking race on Middle-earth, inheriting its mastery from the ancient Elves. For this they were sometimes called "The Usurpers" by the Elves. The Dominion specifically referred to the advent of the Fourth Age and beyond.
- "These were the fading years of the Eldar. [...] they attempted nothing new, living in memory of the past. The Dwarves hid themselves in deep places, guarding their hoards."
- ― The Tale of Years: The Third Age
The Dominion of Men and the fading of the First-born were foreseen by the Ainur in the Vision of Ilúvatar, before the Creation of Eä. Therefore Valar and Maiar knew about the coming of this changing of the World, but they could not know its result.
These times began in the late Third Age, the "Fading Years" for the Elves, when most left Middle-earth and sailed to the West. This was the case for example, of the Elvish realm of Dol Amroth, which was abandoned by the Elves before becoming a realm of Dúnedain. Meanwhile, other races, such as Dwarves and Ents, saw their numbers dwindling. The Dominion of Men was exemplified in the extent of the Mannish language of Westron, which by the end of the Age was adopted by most of the other speaking races of the Westlands.
By the time of the War of the Ring, the Dominion of Men was already projected. Saruman saw it as an opportunity and prepared Sauron's rule for the Younger Days. He attempted to invite Gandalf to join this Power.
Gandalf spoke of the Dominion of Men when he and Aragorn stood in the high hallow on Mindolluin, where there grew a sapling of Nimloth. Aragorn's ascent to the Throne of Gondor and the Reunited Kingdom marked that new era.
The Dominion of Men officially began with the destruction of the One Ring, when the Three Rings lost their powers of preserving the lore and beauty as understood by the Eldar and their Keepers passed over the Sea on the White Ship.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Men"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Ainulindalë: The Music of the Ainur"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Treebeard"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue", "Concerning Hobbits"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "On Translation"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Steward and the King"