Wherein Isildur Pockets the One Ring, the Kingdoms of Men Fall Apart, Some Wizards Show Up, the Dark Lord Rises Again, and a Halfling Goes On a Big Journey
The second half of The Silmarillion’s final chapter isn’t the end of all things. It’s just the end of this one book, a wrap-up to one of the finest in fantasy literature. Even Tolkien’s most casual readers will find many parts of this section familiar, what with all the sly winks, cameos, and name-dropping. But it’s more than just a massive spoiler about what happens with Sauron’s favorite piece of jewelry: “Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age” overtakes the events of the War of the Ring and brings the story of the Elves to a close. After all, the end of this age also means it’s time “for the dominion of Men and the decline of all other ‘speaking peoples’ in Middle-earth.”
More than ever, I’m going to tie in information from Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings, so as to arrange events in a clearer chronology than the chapter alone gives us. Likewise, The Silmarillion’s sidekick, Unfinished Tales, will chime in to fill in some gaps.
Buckle up, this is a big one. The Primer Installment to End Them All.