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Third Age

Fictional time period from J. R. R. Tolkien's universe of Middle-earth.

Ages: First Age - Second Age - Third Age - Fourth Age

The Third Age began after the first downfall of Sauron, when he was defeated by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men following the downfall of Númenor.

This age was characterized by the waning of the Elves, the rise and decline of the exiled Númenorean kingdoms, and the slow recovery of Sauron's power.

It lasted for 3021 years, until Sauron was again defeated, this time finally, when his Ruling Ring was destroyed. When the Ringbearers left Middle-earth for the Uttermost West, the Fourth Age began.

Red Book of Westmarch

The 80 chapter Red Book of Westmarch (or Red Book of the Periannath) was written by Bilbo Baggins and Frodo Baggins, and completed by Sam Gamgee. Bilbo memoirs manuscript,"There and Back Again: A Hobbit's Holiday", and notes along with the three red-bound volumes of Translations from the Elvish comprise the "Red Book of Westmarch".

Frodo organized Bilbo's manuscript and added the War of the Ring. It is bound in red leather. Inscribed within, it reads:

My Diary. My Unexpected Journey.
There and Back Again.
And What Happened After.

Adventures of Five Hobbits.
The Tale of the Great Ring,
compiled by Bilbo Baggins from his own observations and the accounts of his friends.
What we did in the War of the Ring.

(as seen by the Little People; being the memoirs of Bilbo and Frodo of the Shire,
supplemented by the accounts of their friends and the learning of the Wise.)
Together with extracts from Books of Lore translated by Bilbo in Rivendell.

After completion, the book was left in the possession of Sam Gamgee's eldest daughter, Elanor Fairbairns, and kept in a red case (with a three-volume Elvish Translation and a fifth volume [genealogical tables and commentaries]). Copies were passed on to future generations, of which, the "Thain's Book" is the most important.