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Talk:Fourth Age 220

Discussion page of Fourth Age 220
Latest comment: 9 July 2023 by IvarTheBoneless in topic Nothing about this makes sense
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Nothing about this makes sense

As I have previously mentioned on Discord, I simply don't understand why TG is using the timeline of 'The New Shadow' according to the 1972 letter summarizing the events of a tale that he wrote many years ago.

The 1972 timeline is completely and utterly incongruent with everything established in the legendarium:

1) Borlas should've been over 220 years old during the events of the tale, suggesting that he outlived Aragorn (210 years old at the time of his death), who himself lived longer than any of his noble, royal, Dunedain ancestors since 1,000+ years ago! Heck, since this timeline is set at the end of Eldarion's reign, Borlas would've probably outlived him too!

2) In the actual tale of 'The New Shadow' (and not the 1972 letter summary of it), it is said that the events of the tale take place about 100 years after the fall of Sauron (so definitely not in FoA 220).

3) Tolkien wrote that letter in 1972 (as I have already said numerous times) when he was 80 years old - in other words, he was no spring schicken (no offense to the professor). It's well known (or should be) that he kept forgetting much of his own lore the older he got, which is understandable - I mean, I'm c. 30 years old and I can't remember much of my own writings!

There's simply no amount of headcanon gymnastics here that works - and this gymnastics is rampant on TG on every article dealing with the characters, timeline, and events of 'The New Shadow'.

Anyway, tirade over. IvarTheBoneless (talk) 12:03, 8 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually, it kind of does make sense

So, I've had some discussions about this topic with the user Dour1234 on Discord lately, and have since changed my mind on it.

Here's part of a quote from a Discord post that Dour1234 made:

"The date alone in the 1972 letter is less contradictory to TLOTR than the date in "The New Shadow". In my post, I was listing multiple possible solutions, not just one. I think that the current Fourth Age 220 page incorporates both the story and the letter in a good way which does not mention the specific contradictions.

I do not agree with you that Tolkien wrote the story long before the letter as he wrote the latest draft of the story in 1968.

One thing that I do think should be done is that the pages on subjects not exclusive to The New Shadow could be adjusted (such as Beregond) to deal with the apparent contradiction of Borlas's age and how it is unknown how Tolkien would how solved that contradiction.

Christopher Tolkien even brings up the issue of the time of the story in a note."


Followed by my response:

"Yeah, now that I think about it, according to the 1968 text, the events of the story should've taken place at around FoA 103 - while Aragorn was still alive (he died in FoA 120); however, the text states that it took place during Eldarion's reign.

The only plausible explanation for this is that Aragorn relinquished the sceptre long before his death - but that contradicts LOTR and the 'Tale of Aragorn and Arwen'.

Not to mention the fact that Aragorn is seen as some ancient, legendary figure among the populace - implying that he passed away a long time ago.

However, in *The Nature of Middle-earth* it is said that Eldarion lived a much shorter life than his father (around 126 years old) - which fits thematically with the idea that each successive generation declines more and more as time goes by.

Aaaaarghh...on the other hand, Eldarion *is* a descendant of both the line of Elros and Elrond - heck, he is a half-elf after all!

All in all, I think you're right, and I take back my criticisms that I posted on both TG and Discord - personally, I think I've come around and I think the problems with Borlas' age and/or genealogy are far less important than the rest of the issues surrounding the timeline as a whole." IvarTheBoneless (talk) 07:19, 9 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]