Talk:First Age

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Latest comment: 08:45 by Ar-Zigûr in topic Concerning the beginning of the First Age

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I always thought that the First Age started with the rising of the Sun and the Awakening of Men. This is supported by the articles Timeline and Timeline/First Age. --Earendilyon 10:02, 15 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Timeline (and its sub-pages) are undergoing revision by me; currently the article is incorrect as it only shows Years of the Sun and not Years of the Trees. In terms of this article, it's a bit a mess but fundamentally the First Age started at least in YT 1050 at the awakening of Elves. --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 10:20, 15 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Silmarillion or the LOTR Appendicies don't specifically mention when the FA started. If you look at the Foster's Guide, he suggests that the FA started perhaps with the creation of Arda OR the creation of the Trees OR the Awakening of the Elves.
The conventional date F.A. 1 is used only in Tolkienology or fandom, not by Tolkien himself. It doesn't mean "first year of the First Age" (as happens with S.A. 1 and T.A. 1 which are the first years of their respective Ages) but rather "first solar year". Sage 12:51, 15 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just to clarify, the terminology "F.A. 1" is used by Tolkien but does not mean the start of the First Age (as you rightly point out). The first line of the Foreword to The Silmarillion states "The Silmarillion, now published four years after the death of its author, is an account of the Elder Days, or the First Age of the World." Morgoth's Ring states (p. 51) that the First Age began with the wakening of the Elves, but other texts imply that it began with the foundation of Arda (usually under the description of the "Elder Days"). --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 13:24, 15 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Guess I was mistaken, all that time :-p In my mind, the timeline was Years of the Lamps, Years of the Trees, Years of the Sun, subdivided in FA, SA, TA and FoA. Remains the problem of counting years before the Sun was created... Without the Sun, you have no days, let alone years! The light of the Trees waxed and waned twice "per day", if I'm correct, but how to count the hours of a day? --Earendilyon 07:19, 18 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is a common misconception, I don't know where I first saw it, perhaps David Day's works. The "hours" of the Trees are described in the chapter Of the Beginning of Days, which is laid down more comprehensively in the article Years of the Trees. Sage 10:36, 18 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On Michael Martinez's site Tolkien Gateway is accused of portraying a false interpretation of the several ages. Perhaps one of our admins could send him a message? --Earendilyon 12:54, 22 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed, for some reason Martinez claims that the counting of the Ages as Ages of the Children of Iluvatar was an abandoned concept. For this reason I suggested to remove the title from the timeline template and use the more neutral/vague term "Ages". Sage 20:52, 27 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Concerning the beginning of the First Age[edit source]

"When exactly the First Age began is not clear and perhaps it was not defined by the chronicles." I think that this statement in the article is incorrect since the Annals of Aman clearly define that the First Age began when the Elves awoke at Cuiviénen in Y.T. 1050. -- Ar-Zigûr (talk) 11:05, 3 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I disagree that the Annals of Aman "clearly" define when the "First Age" began. The phrasing of the sentence "In those days, in the Year one thousand and fifty of the Valar, the Elves awoke in Kuivienen and the First Age of the Children of Iluvatar began." in The Annals of Aman § 10 is not clear, but ambigous, especially when compared to other sentences in which the term First Age is used in Morgoth's Ring. This sentence mentions the beginning of the "First Age of the Children of Iluvatar", but does not clearly define if the "First Age of the Children of Iluvatar" is the same as the First Age in general without any qualifying statement after it (i.e. without any "of" what). For example in note 17 it is mentioned that the draft text had "And fifteen thousand years followed after during which the Light of the Trees yet lived, and nigh on six hundred more of the New Sun and Moon after the slaying of the Trees. And these are called the Elder Days, and with their ending ended the First Age of Time, and Melkor was thrust from the world." Here the phrase the "First Age of Time" is used. In The War of the Jewels in chapter V The Tale of Years after the entry 600. "Morgoth is thrust from Arda into the Outer Dark" the sentence "Here ends the First Age of the Children of Iluvatar", which was changed to "Here end the Elder Days with the passing of Melkor, according to the reckoning of most lore-masters; here ends also the First Age...", but Christopher Tolkien does not specify what was written afterwards where he wrote "...". It is possilbe that the term "First Age of the Children of Iluvatar" is supposed to mean the same as the term "First Age", but there is no clear definition of the beginning of the term "First Age" alone. It depends if frist age is a term that has been created by the Elves with the intent to only refer to measure events that were experienced by the Elves or if it was also applied to a time before the awakening of the Elves to events that the Elves were told about by the Valar or Maiar. Akhôrahil (talk) 14:03, 3 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, I see your point. However, I think, if Tolkien corrected the "Age of the Children of Ilúvatar" to the "Elder Days", then it means, for me at least, that these terms were in fact synonymous, because if the Elder Days are synonymous to the First Age, then the First Age of the Children of Ilúvatar is also synonymous to the First Age. Tolkien either added after the word "First Age" such wordings as "of Arda", "of the world", "of the Children of Ilúvatar" or "of the Awakening", or added nothing at all, using just "First Age". -- Ar-Zigûr (talk) 08:46, 5 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But in any case, events of the Years of the Trees following the Awakening of the Elves are in fact an integral part of the First Age. -- Ar-Zigûr (talk) 09:54, 5 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi again, I think that even if we could not consider terms "First Age" and "First Age of the Children of Ilúvatar" to be synonymous then the most probable date of the beginning of long First Age is Y.T. 1, because there was no time-counting before the first bloom of the Two Trees. As stated in the Annals of Aman: "… measurement of time first known to the Eldar began with the flowering of the Trees." -- Ar-Zigûr (talk) 15:23, 5 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hooray! I found this gem from the The Nature of Middle-earth on p. 123: "The First Age begins with the Awaking [of the Elves] and ends with the Downfall of Angband." Ar-Zigûr (talk) 08:45, 6 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]