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Uncertain, but assuming a connection with the curse of Isildur, the Accursed Years would have run from c. II 3430 (when the Last Alliance was summoned) until 13 March III 3019 when Aragorn released the Dead from their curse (a total of about 3,030 years)
The e in 'Accursed' is usually pronounced, hence 'accurséd' rather than 'accurst'
Thought to relate to the curse of Isildur
Other names
Possibly equivalent to the Dark Years


About this entry:

  • Updated 15 December 2012
  • This entry is complete

Accursed Years

The long years of Isildur's curse

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond

A term of uncertain meaning, but apparently a reference to the long years during which the Dead Men dwelt beneath the Dwimorberg. Cursed by Isildur for their faithlessness at the end of the Second Age, they remained accursed throughout the Third Age until they were released by Aragorn, and hence from the perspective of the Dead, the Accursed Years were practically synonymous with the Third Age.

Some sources suggest the alternative possibility that the Accursed Years equate to the Dark Years, the time in the Second Age when Sauron ruled in Middle-earth. That's a perfectly possible explanation (at one point the Dead are even referred to as 'Dead Men out of the Dark Years'1). However the natural connection between the name 'Accursed' and the curse of Isildur seems to favour the former explanation.



Specifically, they are so called by Théoden in The Return of the King V 3, The Muster of Rohan.

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