Talk:First Age

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In the first paragraph the following sentence appears concerning the length of the first age:

"It lasted 450 Valian Years, at which point Morgoth assailed the Two Trees. The First Age then continued for 590 years of the sun."

I persume this means the first age was 1040 Valian years long? I think this passage could do with a rewriting as it does appear to initially state that the first age was only 450 Valian years long. Canderra 01:42, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Valian Years and Years of the Sun were of different lengths. Tolkien adjusted the length of a Valian year at various times... his final version used 1 Valian Year = 144 Years of the Sun, but in many texts each Valian Year was the equivalent of a little under 10 Years of the Sun. In any case, you can't just add the two units of measurement together. I'll restate the passage slightly as a single sentence (the timing of Morgoth's assault on the Trees is off anyway). --CBD 02:08, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, thats much clearer. I linked the words to their respective articles as non-astute people such as myself take a while to realise they are listed in the side infobox. From a grammtical point of view though, should 'Valian Years' be capitalised as such or should just the word Valian be capitalised or should neither words be capitalised? (same applies for the 'years of the sun') Canderra 04:22, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure about 'years of the Sun'... Sun should certainly be capitalized and probably 'Years' as well for consistency, though I'm not certain Tolkien always capitalized it as he definitely did for 'Valian Years'. I'll change to 'Years of the Sun'. --CBD 11:18, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't think this discussion is much of interest since I am quite sure that the Valian Years are not counted when talking of the "First Age". The First Age starts with the first sunrise. I will leave this correction to the author of the article Turukano 13:23, 12 January 2006 (GMT)
You are mistaken. The full title was given variously as 'First Age of the Children of Iluvatar' or 'First Age of the World' with corresponding start dates of the Awakening of the Elves or the creation of Ambar (both long before the first sunrise). Tolkien also repeatedly said that the First Age was by far the longest, whereas if only the Sun Years were counted it would be the shortest. The idea that the First Age began with the first sunrise is a common misconception, but not supported by anything in Tolkien's texts. --CBD 12:37, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Do you have any references on that? (book, page) - Turukano

Direct statement that the First Age began with the Awakening; "In those days, in the Year one thousand and fifty of the Valar, the Elves awoke in Kuivienen and the First Age of the Children of Ilúvatar began." - Morgoth's Ring, Annals of Aman, Of the Beginning of Time

Statement placing return of the Noldor to Middle-earth at the end of the First Age rather than the start (again implying it began long before the first sunrise); "The High-elven was an ancient tongue of Eldamar beyond the Sea, the first to be recorded in writing. It was no longer a birth-tongue but had become, as it were, an 'Elven-latin', still used for ceremony, and for high matters of lore and song, by the High Elves, who had returned in exile to Middle-earth at the end of the First Age." LotR, App. F

Statement equating First Age and Elder Days, both starting with the Awakening; "In the manuscript as it was originally written the Elder Days began with the Awakening of the Elves: 'Here begin the Elder Days, or the First Age of the Children of Ilúvatar'; but 'the Elder Days' was struck out and does not appear in the typescript." - WotJ, The Tale of Years

Statement that the First Age was the longest (not shortest as it would be if measured from first sunrise); "The First Age was the longest. It ended with the Great Battle..." - PoME Chapter 6

Et cetera. With some concerted effort it is possible to build a plausible case for the 'short First Age' theory (I've done it before), but the fact is that Tolkien repeatedly made statements directly contradicting it and never said anything directly supporting it. --CBD 18:20, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Alright, accepted ;-)

When did the First Age start?[edit]

It has been a while since I read the Silmarillion, but I distinctly recall that the first rising of the Sun marked the beginning of the First Age. That was long after the Awakening of the Elves: the Sun and Moon were brought forth by Yavánna and Nienna out of the poisoned ruins of the Two Trees, and the Sun first rose as Féanor and his band pursued Morgoth back in to Middle Earth. TechBear 13:35, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

We do not know exactly when the First Age started as there are conflicted accounts. Two possible options are the Awakening of the Elves, when we read the first references to "First Age"; or the creation of the Two Trees, when the reckoning of time started.
In any case it seems clear to me the Years of the Sun are just the latter part of the First Age. There was no "First Age of the Sun": this is one spot where The Encyclopedia of Arda is wrong. Although understandable, as the wording and timeline is unclear. -- Jordi· 14:54, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
We definitely need a quote from the book on this. -- Jordi· 15:04, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Okay, found some sources.

From the Annals of Aman (HoME X, p.51): In those days, in the Year one thousand and fifty of the Valar, the Elves awoke in Kuiviénen and the First Age of the Children of Ilúvatar began.
From the appendix to the same text (ibid p.58) it becomes further clear that the First Age was already thousands of (Sun) years long by the time the Moon first arose.
In the (full) Tale of Years (HoME XI, p.342/343) the following quote stands: (...)the Elder Days began with the Awakening of the Elves: 'Here begin the Elder Days, or the First Age of the Children of Ilúvatar'. The "Elder Days" was later striped through, the "First Age" not.

I have ignored older sources as they predate the LOTR (X and XI both postdate LOTR), and not checked XII. The published Silmarillion makes no statement on when the First Age started in the 'Awakening' Chapter, and I don't feel like re-reading it now to check if this is elsewhere mentioned. Given all the confusion on this I suspect this is not made clear in that work at all. -- Jordi· 17:07, 23 October 2006 (UTC)