When the Ainur experienced the Vision of Ilúvatar before the true making of the World, they gained great knowledge of events that lay in the future of Arda. The Vision, though, did not reveal the entirety of forthcoming history, but came to an end some time before Men reached their Dominion over the World. For that reason, the Valar (who had seen the Vision before they descended into Arda) had great foreknowledge extending into the Third or Fourth Ages, but could perceive little of its future beyond that. The Ages beyond their foresight, beginning at around the time of the War of the Ring, are collectively known as the Later Ages.
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