Middle-Earth Timeline

March 16, 2011

Tolkien's Lore

After I completed the Genealogy of Middle-Earth, I contemplated what else I might explore from the lore which was of interest to me. I decided I would like to see a poster with all the major kingdoms and battles of Middle-Earth laid out on a timeline. The goal would be to see the relative duration of each realm.

I knew the general order of events from reading the Silmarillion, but I needed a lot more detail if I was to have the exact years of the founding and destruction of each dominion. The two primary resources I used were the Timeline of Arda on Wikipedia and Chronology from the Thain’s Book. With these two sources I was able to (painfully) sort through the dates of the major occurrences for the realms I was interested in. Sackings, invasions, foundings, and collapses as well as the major battles were all included. If a founding or collapse date was not available I gradually transitioned the bar into or out of existence. Some kingdoms ended in a major battle, so those dates are not always on the kingdom bar.

As I began to lay out the poster I decided to group them by what region they occupied. I organized them from west to east as you go down the page. So the realms at the top of the chart are in Aman, then Beleriand, Eriador, and Rhovanion. I also attempted to size the thickness of the bars based on the physical size of the realm, though in the end, this was difficult as I realized how many kingdoms there were.

The other issue was that of date systems. I ended up using both the ages and an absolute system. The timeline based on ages is listed on the bottom of the chart, while an absolute timeline based on the year of the sun rising as year 0 is listed at the top. Dates on the kingdom bars are according to what age they are in with the exception of first age dates from before the first sunrise, which are absolute. I also heavily compressed the Valian Age since that would be about 80% of the chart, and not much happens there in any case.

The poster ended up being quite a bit messier than the Genealogy due to how many realms are involved, but it is interesting to look at. Some things really jump out, like how long Khazad-Dum existed and how influential Cirdan is as a leader in Middle-Earth.

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Timeline of Middle-Earth 

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Avatar of Haakon Stormbrow

8 Responses to “Middle-Earth Timeline”

  1. Avatar of Kiarane
    Kiarane Says:

    This. Is. Awesome.

    Reply

  2. Buckyball Says:

    Haakon does it again. Simply Brilliant. Stuff like this really gives me a greater understanding and therefore a greater enjoyment of Middle-Earth and LOTRO.

    Reply

  3. ReDGryffyN (Laurelin RP) Says:

    Wow Haakon, much respect to you once more

    Great piece of work

    ReD

    Reply

  4. Alphaman Says:

    I’m already learning so much, just by seeing the timeline. Pretty cool! I really need to catch up on my Tolkien readings (only done the basics).

    Reply

  5. Zimmeram Says:

    excellent work……but….but…. i dont see the Second and Third Battles of Beleriand: the Dagor-Nuin-Giliath and the Dagor Aglareb!!!!

    Reply

  6. Alfirinelleth Says:

    Yet another great go-to tool for LoTR lore-buffs! I love it! Thanks so much!

    Reply

  7. Ivo Says:

    I am thoroughly impressed again Haakon. Thanks for putting your time and resources into yet another wonderful LOTR reference item.

    Reply

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