The First Age may have begun
with the awakening of the Elves. Its early
history, save for the Battle of the Powers and the Great Journey, is obscure,
for most of the Eldar were in The West, and other races kept few records.
Moreover, until the rising of the Moon and the Sun there seems to have been
no count of years in Middle-earth.
Feanor was the greatest of the
Eldar in arts and lore, but also the proudest
and most selfwilled. He wrought the Three Jewels, the Silmarilli, and filled
them with the radiance of the Two Trees, Telperion and Laurelin, that
gave the light to the land of the Valar. The Jewels were coveted by Morgoth
the Enemy, who stole them and, after destroying the Trees, took them to
Middle-earth, and guarded them in his great fortress of Thangorodrim.
Against the will of the Valar Feanor forsook the Blessed Realm and went into
Exile to Middle-earth, leading with him a great part of his people; for in His
pride he purposed to recover the Jewels from Morgoth by force. Thereafter
followed the hopeless war of the Eldar and the Edain against Thangorodrim,
in which they were at last utterly defeated. The Edain were three peoples of Men
who, coming first to the West of Middle-earth and the shores of the Great Sea,
became allies of the Eldar against the Enemy.
The First Age ended with the
Wars of Beleriand and the Great Battle,
in which the Host of Valinor broke Thangorodrim and overthrew Morgoth.
Then most of the Noldor returned into the Far West and dwelt in Eressea
within sight of Valinor; and many of the Sindar went over Sea also.
I have included some background below on a few things, But it is mostly incomplete. If it peaks your interest in the far History of Middle-earth, please read the Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. As a matter of fact even if you have read The Lord Of The Rings several times I would recomend reading the Silmarillion first then reading the Hobbit and THEN reading the LOTR trillogy! It helps you know what those obscure referances to earlier deeds are exactly about!
Elves: The Firstborn, there are two races of
Elves; The Eldar who obeyed the summons of the Valar
and journeyed to the west, they consist of three subraces; The Vanyar
who always after dwelt in the West never coming in to the Lord of
the Rings Books; The Noldor most of whom came back to
Middle-earth; And the Sindar most of whom lingered in
Beleriand (an area of Middle-earth), never having seen
the Light of the Two Trees, save their leader Elu Thingol who
married Melian the Maia, who was of the Valar,
thus they gained great wisdom.
Then there are the Avari, those Elves that refused the summons of the Valar, and were reduced in wisdom. Although less noble and wise in spirit and body than the Eldar, they were still good.
Valar: The fourteen greatest of the Ainur (Holy Ones). Seven male and seven female, although beings of pure spirit, the Valar usually assumed phisical forms of great beauty and majesty. The Valar created their dwelling in the west where they made the Two Trees to light their realm.
Morgoth: The name (Dark Enemy) givin to him by the Elves. He was of the Valar, although twisted and evil by jelousy, always wishing to dominate the will of others. After the creation of the Two Trees he withdrew to Middle-earth and built a fortress Thangorodrim, forged weapons, bred monsters and extended his dominion preparing for war with the Valar for they had cast him out. When the Elves awoke he appeared among them as a dark rider. It's most likely he captured some of the elves and from them bred Orcs.
The Great Journey: The migration of the Eldar early in the First Age. The Journey took many years, for the Eldar, loving the beauty of Middle-earth, tarried frequently.
The Great Battle: The massive conflict which ended the First Age, fought between the Host of the Valar and the forces of Morgoth.
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