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  • Updated 15 October 2017
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Days of the Rings

The time of the Rings of Power

The long period during which the Rings of Power were present in Middle-earth. They came to an end with the passing of the Keepers of the Three Rings across the Sea into the West, the event that also marked the end of the Third Age. This implies that the 'Rings' of the Days of the Rings were specifically the Three Rings of the Elves, and though the term is ambiguous, this interpretation makes sense. While the One Ring was lost, the Elves had used the powers of the Three to maintain timeless realms in Middle-earth, so the end of the Days of the Rings meant an end to the lives of the Elves as they had been.

The ambiguity of the term means that judging the beginning of the Days of the Rings is difficult. They might in principle date back as far as about II 1500, when the first Rings of Power were forged. If the Days of the Rings equated to the use of the Three Rings of the Elves, however, then they would have begun at about the same time as the Third Age (the Three Rings could not be used while Sauron held the One, so they remained dormant until after his defeat in the War of the Last Alliance). If this is the case, then the time of the Days of the Rings was, practically speaking, synonymous with the Third Age. This interpretation is supported by our only reference we have to the Days of the Rings: '...for the Third Age was over, and the Days of the Rings were passed...' (The Return of the King VI 9, The Grey Havens).


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About this entry:

  • Updated 15 October 2017
  • Updates planned: 1

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