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Dates
Began after the fall of Eregion in II 1697; apparently came to an end with the first downfall of Sauron in II 34411 (a period of some 1,700 years or more)
Location
Elves from across most of Middle-earth travelled to Lindon and thence into the West
Race
Meaning
A reference to the flight of the Elves from the Dark Lord Sauron
Other names

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  • Updated 19 August 2016
  • This entry is complete

Days of Flight

The dark time of Sauron’s rule in Middle-earth

When Sauron forged the One Ring in Orodruin, his plans for domination were made plain to the Elves of Eregion who had made Three Rings for themselves. Until this time, Sauron had attempted to seduce the Elves, but in II 1693 he abandoned that course and instead resorted to open war. Within six years the Elf-kingdom of Eregion (where the Rings of Power had been made) was utterly destroyed, and wider Eriador was overrun by Sauron's forces.

The conquests of the Dark Lord were reversed by the Númenóreans, who sent an overwhelming force of their own to Middle-earth and drove Sauron back to his own land of Mordor. Having declared himself openly, Sauron now began to build his power. Over the following centuries he brought eastern lands under his yoke, and with the Rings of Power he had gathered from Eregion he brought the Nazgûl into existence. At last Sauron began to extend his power westwards again, even threatening the strongholds of the Númenóreans on the coasts of Middle-earth.

During this time of Sauron's power many of the Elves chose to flee from Middle-earth and make the journey across the Great Sea. These later years of the Second Age were therefore known as the Days of Flight, in which Elves from across Middle-earth made their way to the Grey Havens and took the Straight Way into the West, never to return.


Notes

1

Neither the beginning nor the end of the Days of Flight are explicitly dated, though the textual evidence we have places their beginning at a point after Sauron's invasion of Eriador (that is, his shift of policy from one of subtle influence over the Elves to direct aggression). In the aftermath of this period Sauron concentrated his power mostly in the East of Middle-earth, so there were at least several centuries in which the Elves had relative peace before the Days of Flight began in earnest.

It could reasonably be argued that the Days of Flight actually ended with Sauron's departure for Númenor in II 3262. Though their master had departed, his servants remained in Middle-earth, and the full threat of Mordor in the Second Age was not ended until Sauron's downfall in the War of the Last Alliance

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About this entry:

  • Updated 19 August 2016
  • This entry is complete

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