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  • Updated 27 October 2018
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Days of Men

The ascendancy of the Younger Children of Ilúvatar

The time in which Men began to assert their ascendancy in Middle-earth, and the other speaking peoples dwindled. The Days of Men, a time more commonly called the Dominion of Men, was generally held to have truly begun as the Third Age came to an end and the Fourth Age began. At that time, the destruction of Sauron's One Ring rendered the Three Rings of the Elves powerless, and so the Elves in Middle-earth could no long stave off their inevitable fading.

The Days of Men were also prophesied to bring about the decline of the other peoples of Middle-earth, such as Dwarves and Hobbits, though it's unclear precisely how this would come about. Some of these at least seem to have survived even into modern times,1 but reduced to living hidden and secretive lives. Indeed some of the Elves may have remained eastward of the Great Sea, but those that did so would literally fade into a faint essence of what they had once been.


Notes

1

In chapter 1 of The Hobbit (An Unexpected Party) Tolkien introduces Hobbits to his readers, saying that they have '...become rare and shy of the Big People, as they call us'. In context, this is clearly meant to suggest that Hobbits still exist even in the modern day, though rarely seen. This is confused slightly because it is immediately followed by: 'They are (or were) a little people...' The inclusion of '(or were)' seems to cast doubt on matters, but then the following description continues in the present tense. At the very least this leaves open the real possibility that Hobbits survived well into the Days of Men, if not to the present day. Dwarves are also mentioned in this passage, albeit rather more ambiguously than Hobbits, so we might even take it that Dwarves are also still to be found today, doubtless lurking underground in secret strongholds.

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  • Updated 27 October 2018
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