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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Post [Theories and Suggestions] The End of the Third Age (Spoiler Alert)

    This is the first part of a series of threads that I am going to submit, with the intent of bringing up theories about the future of Middle-Earth and inspiration for the content designers.

    First off, I am not an expert in Tolkien Lore, but I have done my researches and the theories that I am going to present here are based in the current storyline and the materials I’ve read from Tolkien. Besides, I should mention that I haven’t done the quests in Northern Strongholds yet, aside from the Black Book, but after I do it, I will probably update this thread and change or add a few things.

    This thread will be divided in several parts, each part will be posted a few weeks from each other, so don't forget to check out this thread again in the future, as there will be new stuff coming up soon!


    So, here we are at the end of the Third Age, only two years until the Fourth Age begins... there are certainly many ideas for where we can go next, but which areas and which stories should we tell and which order makes more sense?

    The ring-bearers Mithrandir, Galadriel and Elrond do not leave Middle-Earth in the same year as the fall of Sauron (Or after the fall of Dol Guldur)… Instead, it takes them a little more than two years to leave Middle-Earth after his fall. If you think about it, it is almost like… they had a final mission to fulfill; a mission that can only succeed with their help, leaving humans with problems they can handle themselves, without their assistance, when they are gone from this world.

    The ring-bearers are not the only ones who leave Middle-Earth early in the Fourth Age, but also most of the elves and with that, magic greatly diminishes in Middle-Earth. Therefore, it would make sense that, to balance that out, the practices of dark sorceries would have to diminish somewhat proportionally.

    Now that does not mean that the dark magic would completely cease to exist beyond the Fourth Age. Arda will forever be tainted by the evil of Morgoth. “Its roots can never be fully destroyed so that evil will once again arise if the 'tree' is left untended or unwatched”. All that elves and those who are departing our lands can do now is find and destroy the trees and their fruits that were left untended and unwatched, and leave a mission for men to watch and tend those trees after they are gone to prevent its seeds from being spread and its fruits from being eaten.

    We already know some of those “trees”: the Gurzyul, Gothmog, Lhaereth, Borangos… but what are their plans? Well, there is one thing we know: they are not as united as they wish they would be and each one of them alone, is not strong enough to withstand against the Free Peoples of Middle-earth for long enough. Although all of them may share one common goal, not all of them are willing to submit to one leader in Mordor. Therefore, it seems reasonable to believe that factions who are less inclined to follow the rules of a single leader of Mordor would seek dominion in different lands outside of Mordor where they could exert their power with more freedom... lands where they will not be challenged, but also, lands where they can re-emerge stronger: lands where the residual influence of Morgoth is stronger.

    What lands are those?

    • Rhûn?

      - There doesn’t seem to be any places in the East where these leaders could seek refuge. One could say the Last Desert would be a good candidate because the existence of Were-worms in this place suggests that the shadow of Morgoth once had a great influence in this place. The path to the Last Desert, however, is filled with Easterlings who are no longer under the subjugation of Sauron and, even though their hatred towards the people of Gondor may be great, it may not be enough to convince them to be on their side, especially considering their hatred of Sauron may very well be greater. Let us not forget that the blue Wizards are also in this land.

    • Khand?

      - As far as we know, there aren’t any lands in Khand that are tainted enough to give them enough power and besides, like the people of Rhun, the Variags are no longer under the control of Sauron or his followers and would pose a challenge to those that seek to occupy that land.

    • Harad?

      - Half-trolls were likely created by Sauron or Morgoth, so their allegiance may still be with Mordor, but aside from that, the land of Harad is filled with Haradrim that wouldn’t be very friendly to trespassers. Perhaps the only thing the people of Mordor can do is summon those Half-trolls who are still loyal to their side in Mordor or other lands outside of Harad.

    • Umbar?

      - Even though the Corsairs may not be as loyal to the men of Mordor, this place still has a significant Black Númenórean presence, who were willingly loyal to Sauron and can suppress any revolutionary plots by the Corsairs. Even though geographically this land may not prove useful as a refuge, its ships can be used to escape to other lands.

    • Forodwaith?

      - This is one of the most tainted regions of Middle-Earth, which means the residual influence of Morgoth should be stronger here. A few dragons live and breed in this region, but due to the freezing colds of this land, it is mostly uninhabited by men, which means little to no challenge for the men of Mordor that come to this place.

    • Mount Gundabad?

      - Even though I personally do not see this place as fit for a refuge for men of Mordor, it is very likely that they would send emissaries to seek an alliance with the orcs of this place, who would pose a threat to the peoples of Middle-Earth, but especially those of the Vales of Anduin and the Beorning Lands. It is possible that some of them are going to be summoned to Mordor to fortify their forces

    • Central and South Eryn Lasgalen?

      - Aside from the Great Spiders, this land doesn’t pose any threat to the rest of Middle-Earth and the number of elves watching this forest makes this a place of no interest to the men of Mordor. Talking about Great Spiders, these are likely being summoned by Shelob, just like all the great spiders in Fangorn, Angmar, Old Forest, etc.

    • Western Isles of Belegaer?

      - As mentioned before, the ships of Umbar can be used as an escape to other lands. Those isles are the remains of Beleriand. Tol Fuin was greatly tainted by Morgoth when it was “Taur-nu-Fuin” (Mirkwood). There are two other remains of Beleriand in Belegaer as well: Tol Morwen and Himling. We don’t know much about Tol Morwen and Himling (remnant of Himring), but it is implied that at least Himring had been forsaken after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, falling to enemy’s hands. However, due to the size of those two isles, it is hard to tell what purpose they would serve to the men of Mordor, other than to draw magic and maybe build some minor fortresses. It is fair to say that they would spend spend most of their efforts on settling in Tol Fuin. The fact that this is an island so corrupted makes it a great candidate to those of Mordor that are seeking refuge and power, and that power can be used to turmoil the sea around it, hindering the approach of any Gondorian ships that seek to seize it. Its power can also be used to awake great sea beasts (Maybe of the same kind as the Watcher in the Water or Sea serpents, if any would exist in Arda) who would probably have been created by Morgoth and would naturally feel attracted to the isle because of its deep corruption and serve as its guardians.

    Besides the regions mentioned above, we know that we still have some places to go before the end of the Third Age, like the Shire, during the scouring, and all of the lands of Mordor. Gorgoroth will probably be the most difficult place to overthrow because it is the heart of Mordor, the most corrupted and populated place, especially if orcs from Gundabad and half-trolls are summoned to this place. While the shadow lingers in the skies of Gorgoroth, it will be easier for the Host of the West to remain hidden. As Tolkien said, after the fall of Sauron, the skies of Mordor are cleared and it is a matter of time until it fully clears, and when it does, the host will have to retreat or come in full force to destroy the remaining forces of Mordor and their strongholds.

    Summing up, these are the regions we could and should be going before we see the Grey Havens, not necessarily in this order:

    1. Mount Gundabad / Beorning Lands / Vales of Anduin
    2. Mountains of Shadow / The Morgul Vale.
    3. Nurn
    4. Lithlad
    5. Scouring of the Shire
    6. Western Isles of Belegaer.
    7. Forodwaith
    8. Gorgoroth (Full Invasion)

    Mordor Factions - Plans and Motivations:

    Even though some of the leaders of Mordor have agreed to recognize Lhaereth as the heir of Sauron and highest authority in Mordor, their lack of trust in one another is evident. Will Lhaereth still keep her place as heir of Sauron after her failure in the Court of Seregost? Maybe, but her authority is still going to be questioned.

    It is fair to say that each leader wants to rule Mordor for themselves, but no one has enough power and respect to have that authority over all of them as Sauron had. Maybe there will be no King or Queen of Mordor, but… that does not mean there will be no Union.

    Each leader wants power for themselves but all of them share a common goal: to defeat the Free Peoples and conquer Middle-earth. Could they reach an agreement where everyone gets a piece of land to rule? Looks like they would have no other choice.

    So, how exactly do they plan to defeat the Peoples of Middle-earth? Taking a few number of steps:

    1. Drive spies away from Gorgoroth by summoning as many of their foes as possible: Gundabad orcs, Hobgoblins, Half-trolls, Evil Men, etc.
    2. Plan a second meeting of the Masters without any spies this time and elaborate a grand plan. (This could happen off-screen while our characters are still in the north of Rhovanion)
    3. Divide Mordor into groups, with their own leaders, but cooperative with the each other. Decide what each group is going to do individually and in partnership.
    4. Create a distraction in Rhovanion and Gondor while you move part of your troops to lands outside of Mordor.
    5. Secretly execute the grand plan and catch the peoples of Middle-earth off guard.

    So what are these groups and what is the grand scheme?


    Cults are the groups of sorcerers. Their role is to draw and channel magic in places of great corruption to grow in power and bring catastrophes to Middle-Earth.

    Tok Bos (Earth Cult):


    • Send a great plague to Middle-earth contaminating the soil, rivers, plants and animals.
      (Unlike the previous Great Plague, this one has no cure and does not kill, but will turn any creature (including people) into a non-communicative, unemotional and violent being in a decaying body, feeling nothing but hunger and agony).
    • Turn all contaminated animals and peoples into slaves.

    Bases of Operation: Mordor (Seregost and Nelegroth)

    Jut Bos (Water Cult):


    • Turmoil the sea to turn it violent, making it impossible for others to sail on it.
    • Send great waves towards much of the coast of Middle-Earth, leaving many areas flooded
    • Disturb and awake sea monsters.

    Base of Operation: Western Isles (Tol Fuin)

    Ia Bos (Air Cult):


    • Intensify the coldness of Forodwaith
    • Send currents from it into the rest of Middle-earth, creating the third and greatest Fell Winter in Middle-earth.
    • Release as many evil things lingering in the tunnels beneath where Utumno was destroyed as possible.

    Bases of Operation: Forodwaith (Barad Heleg* and Utumno Pits)

    *Castle of Ice

    Ghâsh Bos (Fire Cult):


    • Bring this offer to every person of every race:
      “Pledge your allegiance to the Dark Flame and you will be rewarded with the gift of strength, resistance to all diseases and to the cold. Let the flame imbue you with its power and you may live with no more pain as its servant, but rule over all lesser kind. Refuse it and the plague will come for you, and nothing but agony will await you.”
    • Hide the truth about the Dark Flame: its power is ancient and pure malice, older than the One Ring, strong enough to destroy it. It cannot cease to exist while Arda is marred. Therefore, any soul corrupted with it is bound to its will (and devoid of their own) permanently, until Arda is healed and its power extinguished. Those who suffer this fate wish they were mere Ring-wraiths. (More details about this coming later)

    Bases of Operation: Mordor (Nargroth and Orodruin)


    This is the group of non-sorcerers: Orcs, Uruks, Trolls, Half-trolls, Hobgoblins, etc.


    • Secure the borders of Mordor.
    • Guard the bases of Mordor, Forodwaith and the Western Isles.
    • Keep slaves in sight.
    • Thwart rebellions.
    • Punish insubmissive lackeys.

    Main Bases of Operation: Mordor (Durthang, Naerband and Cirith Ungol)


    Coming out soon (Sometime in December/January):

    • Factions of Mordor: Leaders and Organization.
    • Sequence of events and the roles of Vilya and Narya.
    • Questions and Answers.
    Last edited by DiogoVP; Nov 28 2018 at 11:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Post reserved for Part 2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Post reserved for Part 3

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    we needed 11 years ingame to travel the year journey to Mordor
    so the 2 years till 4rth age is a long time, ofc they can make it lot shorter (n lot longer)
    U23 is close to live n we r going to the Ered Mithrin!
    i m quite happy with this, hoping the return to Mordor will be fast n only for the upcoming raid
    would love to travel to the east or south or even norther n play new stories!
    would love to see more of the "not open yet" Eriador too!
    20 years lotr enthousiast, 11 years lotro player, lifetimer, Loyal member of the Spartans Kinship, now in Evernight imigrants from Eldar

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Valakircka View Post
    we needed 11 years ingame to travel the year journey to Mordor
    so the 2 years till 4rth age is a long time, ofc they can make it lot shorter (n lot longer)
    U23 is close to live n we r going to the Ered Mithrin!
    i m quite happy with this, hoping the return to Mordor will be fast n only for the upcoming raid
    would love to travel to the east or south or even norther n play new stories!
    would love to see more of the "not open yet" Eriador too!
    Yeah, the story between these two years can be told quickly or slowly as you said. The story the preceded Mordor was told in 10 years, even though chronologically only a few months had passed since the beginning of the game til the destruction of the ring.
    Personally, I hope devs take their time to explore the end of the Third Age to make a really epic experience. I don't think it should take another 10 years though, that's why I hope they leave regions like Rhun/Harad/Khand/Umbar to the Fourth Age. Lore-wise it would also make more sense to leave these regions to the upcoming age. If we do end up going to all of these regions I mentioned in the OP during these last 2 years of the third age, we have at least 4 years worth of content, although it can be reduced by making some of those areas simply dot updates with only black book quests and instance cluster, but I really hope we do get 4 years so we can get the full experiences in these areas. It would be a great landmark to begin the Fourth Age in LOTRO's 15th Anniversary
    Last edited by DiogoVP; Nov 28 2018 at 11:32 PM.



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