The Fourth Age?
Does the unfinished sequel of LOTR, The New Shadow, count as Middle-Earth lore? It kind of ruins it for me how all the men in Middle-Earth just end up fighting each-other again like 300 years later. I guess it makes sense with Rhun and Harad still around, but it really stinks how everyone ends up forgetting about Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, and Orcs.
Tolkien abandoned that project after only a dozen or so pages were written. Apparently he wasn't happy with the direction the story was taking shape (in his imagination presumably, not on paper).
I did begin a story placed about 100 years after the Downfall, but it proved both sinister and depressing. Since we are dealing with Men it is inevitable that we should be concerned with the most regrettable feature of their nature: their quick satiety with good. So that the people of Gondor in times of peace, justice and prosperity, would become discontented and restless — while the dynasts descended from Aragorn would become just kings and governors — like Denethor or worse. I found that even so early there was an outcrop of revolutionary plots, about a centre of secret Satanistic religion; while Gondorian boys were playing at being Orcs and going around doing damage. I could have written a 'thriller' about the plot and its discovery and overthrow — but it would have been just that. Not worth doing.
Originally Posted by Wolfhelm
- Tolkien, in a letter