The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
This term is uncertain, but the period it refers to came to an end at latest by the close of the First Age
Meaning
Apparently a literal reference to the darkness before the rising of the Sun, and also a metaphorical one to the rule of the Dark Lord Morgoth

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  • Updated 20 November 2008
  • This entry is complete

Great Darkness

Middle-earth under the yoke of Morgoth

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Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond

An uncertain term used by Treebeard, apparently referring to the time that Middle-earth was under the dominion of Morgoth. It was in the Great Darkness before the Sun and Moon that Melkor bred the Orcs and the Trolls, so that these creatures feared sunlight and shunned it. The Darkness described by Treebeard was not dispelled by the coming of the Sun: Morgoth held his fortress of Angband for centuries afterwards, and even after he was overthrown, the Darkness lingered (even at the time of the War of the Ring, remnants of the Great Darkness could still be found in the deep valleys of Fangorn Forest, and elsewhere).


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