The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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  • Updated 12 August 2010
  • Updates planned: 2

The Plague

The sickness that swept Middle-earth

A name for the devastating disease that spread across Middle-earth between III 1635 and III 1637, more commonly called the Dark Plague or the Great Plague. It came out of the East of Middle-earth, ravaging Rhovanion and Gondor (King Telemnar of Gondor and his children were all lost to it) before passing on northwards.

The northern lands suffered less than the south, but Cardolan still suffered greatly, and all of its surviving Dúnedain were lost to the Plague. The sickness lost its power as it passed northwards, and by the time it reached northern Arthedain it had become far less dangerous.

By the end of III 1637 the Plague had passed, but the great losses it had caused left many lands of Middle-earth all but abandoned. At this time Gondor's guard on Mordor ceased, and the lands between Gondor and Arnor were left unpeopled (including the region of Calenardhon where Rohan would be founded long afterwards).

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