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Very uncertain, but definitely in use by the later Third Age; the term would have fallen out of use after Sauron's final downfall
Said to include Elves, Dwarves and Men (and presumably also Hobbits)
Specifically, those free of the power of Sauron


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  • Updated 22 June 2016
  • This entry is complete

The Free

Those not subjected to Sauron

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

A general term for those peoples of Middle-earth during the late Third Age who had not fallen under the yoke of Sauron. The term is rarely used, and its precise definition is open to question, but it clearly included at least the Dúnedain and the Eldar who remained in Middle-earth. A reference by Boromir to the 'Free Lords of the Free'1 might be taken to imply that the Free were those who followed lords opposed to Sauron. Elsewhere, however, Elrond gives a broader and more inclusive definition: 'Elves, Dwarves and Men'2. Even that is open to question, however: he presumably meant to include Hobbits in his list, and to exclude those Men explicitly under the power of Sauron.



The Fellowship of the Ring II 2, The Council of Elrond


The Fellowship of the Ring II 3, The Ring Goes South

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