The Silmarillion Recap: Isildur’s Fate and the Beginning of the Third Age

Want to catch up on The Silmarillion so far? Check out the Silmarillion Recaps page here.

Last week, the Dúnedain teamed up with Elves, Men, and everyone else they could find to stop Sauron. This week, the aftermath and Isildur’s fate.

“Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age” part 6

If you’ve ever watched or read The Lord of the Rings, the next part should be very familiar but contain some extra details.

After Sauron’s defeat, it seemed like Sauron and his forces were gone for good. His armies had fled, and so had he (in his usual invisible way). His lands were abandoned and his tower, Barad-dûr, was torn down to the foundations. Interestingly, though, the foundations were left behind, perhaps foreshadowing what would eventually happen.

Once the battle was cleaned up, Elrond and Cirdan sternly warn Isildur to just destroy the Ring in Orodruin , but Isildur refuses to listen and takes it as a trophy before continuing on with his plans.

He takes the White Tree and plants it in Minas Anor in memory of his brother Anárion, who dies in the fight. Then he leaves Gondor under the control of his nephew, Meneldil, and heads north to his father’s former kingdom. He wants to be as far away from Mordor as possible.

On the way, the Orcs are waiting for him. They attack him at the Misty Mountains, killing most of his company. He temporarily escapes by putting on the Ring, but Orcs are more cunning than they’re given credit for and they hunt him down. When he jumps into a river to escape, the Ring betrays him, slipping from his finger and allowing him to be killed. Such bitter irony.

Next week, Isildur’s story might be finished, but his line isn’t.

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