End of the Sixth Age?


Well-Known Member
Prof Olsen was puzzled as to why the Sixth Age ended with the birth of Christ, rather than with his death or Resurection. He noted that the pattern had been that Ages end when evil is defeated.

I suggest that evil was defeated at the Annunciation, rather than the Resurection. That is when God became Man and the Word became Flesh. I suggest that to JRRT, that was the moment when evil was defeated. The Resurection confirmed it to Men, but it happened 30 odd years earlier.

I think we can see that JRRT thought the Annunciation super important, by the fact that he celebrates it twice (Ring into Mt. Doom in the Gregorian Calendar; Celebration on the Field of Cormallon in the Julian Calendar).
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Bruce N H

Active Member
Or we could go with the defeat of evil being at the point of conception, where Christ "emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men." (Phil. 2:7). Not that it's very different from the Annunciation. But in any case, on an eternal time scale a scant three decades collapses down into a point, so you could think of everything from Annunciation to Resurrection as one extended action in the defeat of evil.

But back to Middle Earth, even the transition from the Third Age to the Fourth was not a single historical point. From Appendix B, "The Third Age came to its end in the War of the Ring; but the Fourth Age was not held to have begun until Master Elrond departed, and the time was come for the dominion of Men and the decline of all other ‘speaking-peoples’ in Middle-earth" Plus, I'm not finding it right away, but wasn't there some discrepancy between how the Age was defined, with Gondor counting the beginning of the Fourth Age with the coronation of Elessar? Hobbits, very sensibly, just kept with the same calendar they were used to.

Bricktales / Bruce
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A new age starts after a Eucatastrophe is my guess.
In On Fairy Stories Tolkien says that the Incarnation is the Eucatastrophe of world history and the Resurrection is the Eucatastrophe of the Incarnation.
So I am puzzled as well like the prof. My guess would be that Easter Sunday is dependant on Christmas and not the other way around even though Incarnation without redemption would be incomplete