Sauron ~ Sauron in the First Age ~ Sauron in the Second Age ~ Sauron in the Third Age ~ Important Dates ~ Names and Titles


The History of Sauron Stretches into the Far Past!

Originally a Maia of Aulë’s people, Sauron was early corrupted by Melkor and became his most trusted lieutenant.
In the Wars of Beleriand, Sauron was the most feared of Morgoth’s servants, but after the War of Wrath and the expulsion of the first Dark Lord, Sauron rose to become the greatest enemy of Elves and Men in the Second and Third Ages.

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Additional Sources ~ Notes ~ Important Dates


TolkienCanon3The Silmarillion covers Sauron’s history from his creation through the First Age. It also includes an account of the Downfall of Númenor as well as details on the
making of the Rings and Sauron’s rise to power.

Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings also provides a summary of the Downfall of Númenor and details about the attacks on Gondor and Arnor that were orchestrated by Sauron through the Witchking in the Third Age.

“The History of Galadriel and Celeborn” in Unfinished Tales gives details about the war with the Elves in Eriador in the Second Age, while “The Hunt for the Ring” provides more details about Sauron’s search for the Ring-bearer.

Sauron’s motives are explored in the essay entitled “Myths Transformed” (part VII) in The History of Middle-earth, vol. X, Morgoth’s Ring.

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien contain numerous references to Sauron including Letter #131 about Sauron’s nature and his connection to the Ring; Letters #153 and #183 which give further insight into Sauron’s nature; and Letters #200 and #246 which mention Sauron’s loss and rebuilding of his bodily forms. Important


Important Dates:

Note that there is no definitive chronology of the First Age or the period before it. These dates are based on “The Annals of Aman” in The History of Middle-earth, vol. X, Morgoth’s Ring and “The Grey Annals” and “The Tale of Years” in The History of Middle-earth, vol. XI, The War of the Jewels. Other chronologies differ.

Years of the Trees

1090-99   The Battle of the Powers. Morgoth is captured by the Valar, but Sauron escapes.

1400   Morgoth is released from captivity.

1495   Morgoth steals the Silmarils and returns to Middle-earth. Sauron resumes his role as Morgoth’s lieutenant.

First Age

457   Sauron captures the island of Tol Sirion and it is renamed the Isle of Werewolves.

460   Sauron tricks Gorlim and learns Barahir’s whereabouts. Sauron’s minions kill Barahir and take his ring. Beren pursues them and retrieves it.

465   Sauron imprisons Beren on the Isle of Werewolves. Luthien and Huan come to his rescue. Sauron struggles with Huan and is forced to surrender. He flees in vampire form to Taur-nu-Fuin.

545-590   The War of Wrath. Morgoth is defeated and is banished from the world and cast into the Void. Sauron repents to Eonwe but flees rather than be taken to Manwe for judgment.

Second Age

500   Sauron begins to stir in Middle-earth.

1000   Sauron establishes his realm in Mordor and begins to build Barad-dur.

1200   Sauron assumes a fair form and sets out to ensnare the Elves. He is turned away by Gil-galad and Elrond of Lindon, but is welcomed by the Elven-smiths of Eregion.

1500   Under Sauron’s instruction, the Elven-smiths of Eregion begin forging the Rings of Power.

1590   The Three Rings of the Elves are made without Sauron’s aid.

1600   Sauron forges the One Ring in Mount Doom. Celebrimbor and the Elven-smiths become aware of him and realize they were deceived.

1693   The War of the Elves and Sauron begins. The Three Rings are hidden.

1695   Sauron invades Eriador. Elrond leads a force to confront him.

1697   Sauron’s forces destroy Eregion. Sauron seizes many of the Rings of Power and has Celebrimbor killed when he refuses to reveal the location of the Three. The Elves and Dwarvesretreat before him.

1699   Sauron overruns Eriador.

1700   Sauron tries to invade Lindon but is stopped when a fleet arrives from Numenor. His army is driven back.

1701   Sauron’s forces are defeated at the Battle of the Gwathlo. Sauron leaves Eriador and returns to Mordor with only his personal guard.

1800    Sauron extends his power eastward.

2251   The Nazgûl appear around this time.

3261   Ar-Pharazon, King of Numenor, lands in Middle-earth.

3262   Ar-Pharazon comes to Mordor with a great force and demands Sauron’s surrender. Sauron submits to being taken to Numenor in hopes of bringing about their defeat by other means. In time he becomes a trusted counsellor of Ar-Pharazon and begins to corrupt him.

3310   Ar-Pharazon begins to build the Great Armament.

3319   Ar-Pharazon sets out to take the Undying Lands by force. Eru causes the fleet to sink and Numenor is destroyed under the waves. Sauron’s body is destroyed but his spirit escapes. Elendil, Isildur, Anarion, and the Faithful also escape.

3320   Sauron returns to Mordor. Elendil and his sons found the realms of Gondor and Arnor.

3429   Sauron attacks Gondor and captures Minas Ithil. Anarion defends Osgiliath and Minas Anor and drives Sauron back to Mordor.

3430   The Last Alliance of Men and Elves is formed.

3434   Sauron’s forces are defeated in the Battle of Dagorlad outside the Black Gate. The Siege of Barad-dur begins.

3441   Sauron comes down from Barad-dur and fights Elendil and Gil-galad. Sauron is cast down and the One Ring is cut from his finger by Isildur. Sauron’s spirit flees his body and goes into hiding.


Third Age

2    Isildur is slain by Orcs in the Gladden Fields. The One Ring is lost in the waters.

1050    Sauron establishes the stronghold of Dol Guldur in Greenwood. A shadow falls over the forest and it becomes known as Mirkwood.

1100    The Wizards and chief Elves learn of the evil presence in Dol Guldur but do not know that it’s Sauron.

1300   The Lord of the Nazgûl establishes the realm of Angmar in the north to weaken the North-kingdom of Arnor. Other evil things begin to multiply and Orcs infest the Misty Mountains.

1409   The Lord of the Nazgûl invades the North-kingdom and causes much devastation until he is driven back by the Dunedain and the Elves.

1636   The Great Plague is sent out of the East by Sauron. Gondor is devastated. The King and many others die. The Plague spreads north to Eriador and the Shire and many Men and Hobbits perish.

1640    After the great loss of life in the Plague, Mordor is left unguarded.

1851    Sauron sends the Wainriders from the East to begin attacking Gondor.

1856    Gondor loses its eastern territories, and Narmacil II falls in battle.

1899    King Calimehtar defeats the Wainriders on Dagorlad.

1944    King Ondoher is killed in battle with the Wainriders. Earnil defeats the Wainriders in the Battle of the Camp and drives them from Gondor.

1974    The Lord of the Nazgûl invades the North-kingdom and captures Fornost. The North-kingdom ends.

1975    The Lord of the Nazgûl is driven from the north by a force of Elves and Men of Gondor.

1976    The Heirs of Isildur take the title Chieftain of the Dunedain and the Dunedain become a wandering people.

1980    The Lord of the Nazgûl returns to Mordor and gathers the others to prepare for Sauron’s return. The Balrog awakes in Moria.

2000    The Nazgûl besiege Minas Ithil.

2002    The Nazgûl capture Minas Ithil, which is renamed Minas Morgul. The palantir called the Ithil-stone is also captured.

2050    Earnur goes to Minas Morgul in response to a challenge from the Lord of the Nazgûl and is never seen again. The Stewards rule Gondor in the absence of a King from this time on.

2060    The power of Dol Guldur grows and the Wise begin to suspect that it is Sauron.

2063    Gandalf goes to Dol Guldur. Sauron retreats and hides in the East. The Watchful Peace begins. The Nazgûl remain quiet in Minas Morgul.

2460    Sauron returns to Dol Guldur with increased strength and the Watchful Peace ends.

2463    Déagol finds the One Ring and is killed for it by Sméagol.

2470    Sméagol. takes the Ring deep under the Misty Mountains.

2475    Gondor is attacked by black Uruks from Mordor.

2480    Orcs begin to make secret strongholds in the Misty Mountains to bar all the passes into Eriador. Sauron begins to people Moria with his creatures.

2510    Orcs and Easterlings attack Calenardhon in northwestern Gondor. Eorl the Young comes from the North to the aid of Gondor. In return, he and his people are given Calenardhon which is renamed Rohan.

2758    Rohan and Gondor are both attacked.

2845    Sauron captures Thrain II and takes the last of the Seven Rings of the Dwarves from him.

2850    Gandalf enters Dol Guldur in disguise and learns that the Necromancer is in fact Sauron.

2851    Gandalf urges that the White Council attack Dol Guldur but Saruman overrules him.

2885    Stirred up by emissaries of Sauron, the Haradrim invade Ithilien but are driven back by the forces of Gondor and Rohan.

2901    Uruks from Mordor conduct raids on Ithilien and most of the inhabitants flee.

2939    Saruman learns that Sauron’s servants are searching the Gladden Fields for the One Ring.

2941    Bilbo finds the One Ring in Gollum’s cave. The White Council attacks Dol Guldur, but Sauron is prepared and abandons Dol Guldur.

2942   Sauron returns in secret to Mordor.

2951   Sauron declares himself openly and begins to gather power and rebuild Barad-dur. He sends a contingent of Nazgûl to reoccupy Dol Guldur.

2954   Mount Doom bursts into flame

2984   Denethor becomes Steward of Gondor and begins to use the palantir around this time. Eventually he comes in contact with Sauron and is shown images of the might of Mordor.

3000   The Shadow of Mordor lengthens. Sauron ensnares Saruman with the palantir.

3001   Bilbo passes the One Ring on to his heir Frodo Baggins.

3017   Gollum is captured by Sauron. He is tortured and questioned about the Ring and Sauron learns the names Shire and Baggins. Gollum is allowed to escape.


Late April: Sauron receives word that Gollum was captured by Aragorn and is being held by the Elvenking Thranduil of Mirkwood.

June 20:   Sauron sends the Nazgul to attack Osgiliath and then begin the hunt for the Ring. Orcs attack the Elves of Mirkwood and Gollum escapes both the Elves and the Orcs.

September 23:   Nazgûl entered the Shire and begin their pursuit of Frodo Baggins.

October 6:    Frodo is wounded by the Lord of the Nazgûl on Weathertop but escapes capture.

October 20:   Frodo crosses the Ford of Bruinen into Rivendell.

October 25:   At the Council of Elrond, Frodo volunteers to destroy the Ring in Mount Doom.

December 25:   The Fellowship sets out on the quest to destroy the Ring.


February 23:   A Fell Beast ridden by one of the Nazgûl is shot by Legolas.

February 26:    Frodo puts on the Ring on Amon Hen and is nearly seen by the Eye of Sauron. Grishnakh learns that Saruman’s Uruk-hai are taking two Hobbits to Isengard and he sends a message to Sauron.

March 5:   Pippin Took looks into the palantir and is confronted by Sauron, who mistakes him for the Ring-bearer.

March 6:   Aragorn reveals himself to Sauron in the palantir and shows him that Narsil has been reforged. Sauron begins to doubt and prepares to strike Gondor.

March 9:   Darkness begins to flow out of Mordor.

March 10:   The Dawnless Day. An army from the Morannon takes Cair Andros and passes into Anorien. Sauron signals for the Lord of the Nazgûl to lead forth his army to attack Minas Tirith.

March 11:    Eastern Rohan is invaded from the north. First assault on Lorien.

March 12:    The army led by the Lord of the Nazgûl pushes the defenders of Minas Tirith back to the Rammas Echor.

March 13:    The Rammas Echor is breached and the Pelennor Fields are overrun. Aragorn captures the fleet of the Corsairs. Frodo is captured and brought to the Tower of Cirith Ungol.

March 14:    Frodo is rescued by Sam Gamgee. Minas Tirith is besieged.

March 15:    Battle of the Pelennor Fields. The Lord of the Nazgûl is vanquished. Aragorn arrives in the Corsairs’ ships. Sauron’s forces are defeated. Battle under the trees in Mirkwood; Thranduil repels the forces of Dol Guldur. Second assault on Lorien.

March 17:    Battle of Dale. Shagrat brings Frodo’s cloak and mithril shirt, and Sam’s sword to Barad-dûr.

March 18:   The Host of the West marches from Minas Tirith.

March 22:   Third assault on Lorien.

March 25:    The Host of the West fights the forces of Sauron in the Battle of the Morannon. Frodo reaches Mount Doom and claims the Ring. Sauron becomes aware of him and sends the Nazgûl to get him. Gollum bites the Ring from Frodo’s finger and falls into the Cracks of Doom. The Ring is destroyed and Sauron is utterly and finally defeated.

The information above comes from the The Encyclopedia of Arda and The Thain’s Book


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