What Middle-earth Age are we in now?

Tolkien-wise, which Age are we living in now?

Obviously, the Third Age ended with the lamentable fall of Sauron and Mordor and the despicable rise of the new King. (I’m not biased, no.) This ushered in the Fourth Age.

Are we still in the Fourth Age (especially since Sauron has been unable to rise again to be defeated to usher in another Age)?

According to this webpage, it may seem that Tolkien may have believed that we are currently in the Seventh Age (with the fall of the Third Reich marking the end of the Sixth Age and the beginning of the Seventh), but this is speculation, they also note.

Any Tolkien-masters have any opinions?

WRS/Thû

Actually, this is the correct URL.

WRS/Thû

The Age Of Aquarius?
The Age Of Tolkien Imatators?
The Age Of Uber-Geeks?

Seriously though [Uber Geek Mode on] how would you figure it out.
Let’s just say that the fourth age is some semi mythical period before recorded history. Then there would be some type of fifth age were everyone reverted to a nomadic exisence. Then the sixth age would begin with the founding of Mesipotamia (sp?). So I guess that since the third age ended with the death of Sauron then the sixth age ended with the death of Hitler. So we’re living in the Seventh Age.

You don’t think that Tolkien would have considered the Exodus & giving of Torah, and the coming of Christ to have inaugurated new Ages?

It’s interesting to compare this to Robert E. Howard’s histories. Howard sets Conan novels in about 12 000 years in the past, explaining (IIRC) that after that time some cataclysm happens and alters the face of the world, and a 2000 years ice age comes, forcing cultures of Conan’s era to evolve into the ones in real history. On the other hand Tolkien has a “dark age” of unspecified length between the last events of fourth age and real history.

Based on how religious Tolkien was, this could be the most likely possibility. In that case we have Fourth Age of significantly less than 3000 years between Elessar and the jews, during that time Gondor et al have probably fallen to barbarism but then quickly given rise to civilizations like Egypt and Mesopotamia (and Crete and Indus etc) and then things evolve to this era-changing event. More than thousand years of fifth age follows, then we have some events again and christians born. And now almost two thousand years of sixth age (Age of Pisces if you want) before the recent event that is supposed to have started seventh age.

There is also the traditional way of taking the mythical creation of the world, or the end of third age and the old world in LOTR, both 6000 years ago, and dividing what follows it in three periods of roughly 2000 years. This too sets the transition from sixth to seventh age around our times.

Maybe it’s a little bit too allegorical to claim that Hitler’s defeat in '45 was the age-changing event, though. Again it’s the most likely possibility but Tolkien could’ve had something else in mind. The whole industrial revolution, French revolution, Napoleon’s defeat or first world war could be other worthy candidates to start the seventh age. Anyway, while speculating these let’s not forget that Tolkienesque ages were only used as tools of reckoning; those in Middle Earth agreed to have a certain point as a start of a new age, and that made them important. Since no one seems to be counting years that way anymore, the ages have lost their significance, thus they don’t exist.

I doubt very much that JRRT seriously entertained the notion that our world was linearly connected with his “subcreation”. He stated explicitly a number of times that it was a work of fantasy, in which he tried to keep any inconsistancy with our own world to a minimum. His idle speculation about how far removed modern times are from the fall of Sauron should be taken as just that, idle speculation. Not as a serious belief in his own mythos.

Whatever age we are currently in, it is an age particularly noted for its use of fossil fuels which are the pressurized and carbonized remains of dinosaurs and hobbits.

I don’t think this is entirely true, how about the Bronze Age and the Iron Age? Do historians ever refer to the present as the Plastic Age?

Well, now that we know that those Indonesian hobbits lived 13,000 years ago, we have some frame of reference.

In Letters #211, Tolkien writes

All the videogames and dime Sci-Fi I’ve ever seen call this the “late Atomic Age,” probably transitioning to the “Information Age.”