The story starts with Iluvatars creation of spirits, who had less power than him. These spirits he named Ainur, which means «Holy Ones».
Iluvatar taught them music, which they sang for him, each alone. Iluvatar asked them to sing it together, and their thoughts became visible, because of the Flame Imperishable.
Then Melkor(later named Morgoth), one of the greatest of the Ainurs broke the harmony twice, making Iluvatar make new themes, but the third theme, Iluvatar made a theme that the Ainurs could not comprehend.
Iluvatar then showed the Ainurs the essence of the music, which symbolized, the vision of the whole world. The Ainur became fascinated, and wished that Iluvatar put this into being, which led Iluvatar to say: «Eä, let these things be!» And that’s how he created the Universe, and how it became known as Eä. Then the Ainur who possessed the greatest power entered into Eä and they were called the Valar. The Valars’ mission was to form the world, for the coming of The Children of Iluvatar, which was the elves and men. This region was called Arda.
The shape of Arda, chosen by the Valar had a symmetrical continent lit up by two lamps, shaped as trees, one gold and one silver. The silver tree was named Telperion, and the gold tree was named Laurelin. The Sun and the Moon were made out of the last flower of Telperion and the last fruit of Laurelin. When the Valar have finished the world, they reside in Valinor, across the sea of Middle-Earth, where Melkor resides. In Valinor, the elf Fëanor creates three beautiful jewels called the Silmarills which contain the light of the sacred Trees of Valinor. Melkor tried to take this region for his own, but Manwë, Melkors brother, then asked the other Ainur for help, and Melkor had to flee to other regions. The Valar took the form, of the children of Iluvatar, which made Melkor envy their beauty and work and made him also take on a visible form. This envy started the First War, where Melkor tried to destroy all the Valar’s work, and Melkor convinces some of the Maiar, some lesser spirits, to follow him and with the help of the giant spider Ungoliant he succeeds in destroying the trees and steals the Silmarills. The First War started and then the world was darkened and split into two continents, Aman in the west and Middle-Earth to the east of the Great Sea. The First War was stopped by Tulka, the last to be sent to Arda. Tulka was so fast and strong, that he did not need any weapons, and his laughter and wrath drow away darkness and clouds, this made peace for a time.
In the Second age, we get to know about the history of the downfall of Numenor. The story is about the men who fought on the elves’ side, in their war against Morgoth. The men of Numenor were forbidden to sail westward, so their voyaging was to the east, and in time they returned to the shores of Middle-Earth. The Men of Numenor established remote colonies in Middle-earth and made contact with the Men of Middle-Earth and taught them many crafts and skills. They made an alliance with Gil-Galad and the Elves and aided them in the war against Sauron where he was defeated by the power of the men of Numenor.
Sauron re-emerged to challenge the power of Númenor in Middle-earth and their colonies along the shores were assailed by him and his armies. The King, Ar-Pharazon, came to Middle-Earth and brought Sauron back to Numenor as a hostage because Sauron did not swear fealty and obedience. Sauron gave the impression that this hostage situation was against his will, but it was exactly what he wanted. Sauron corrupted the King’s will, and soon he became his adviser, and most of the Numenorians obeyed his will and turned to worship Morgoth.
A few people stayed uncorrupted by Sauron and managed to flee from Numenor by ship. This group of people was led by Elendil and his sons, Isildur and Anarion. When they came to Middle-Earth they established two kingdoms, Gondor in the south and Arnor in the north.
Sauron instigates the creation of the Rings of Power, which he gives to elves, men, and dwarves, and creates the One Ring to control them. When the elves realize the trap, they unite with Arnor and Gondor to lay siege to Sauron’s tower. Anárion and Elendil are killed, but Isildur cuts the One Ring from Sauron’s hand, defeating him.
The One Ring disappears. Isildur refuses to give it to Elrond and Cirdan, who plan to throw it into the fires of Mount Doom to destroy it and consequently weaken Sauron. Isildur calls the Ring compensation for the loss of his father and brother. After planting the White Tree in Minas Anor and placing Menedil, Anarions son, in command of Gondor, Isildur travels north to rule Arnor. On the way, he’s ambushed by a host of orcs, and most of his people, including his three eldest sons, are killed. His wife and youngest son, Valandil, are still safe in Rivendell.
Escapes by putting on the One Ring and becoming invisible, but the orcs follow his smell until he jumps into the river to evade them. The Ring betrays him by slipping from his finger as he swims. Now visible, Isildur is shot by the orcs. Three of his people survive the ambush and bring the shards of Narsil to Valandil in Rivendell. Elrond foretells that the sword won’t be reforged until the One Ring is found again and Sauron returns.
Valandil becomes the king of Arnor, but there aren’t enough men and Númenoreans left after the war to maintain the cities Elendil built. In the time of the seventh king after Valandil, the men of Númenor become divided into groups and picked off by enemies until only a group of wanderers remain, forgotten everywhere except in Rivendell. Still, the line of Isildur continues and the shards of Narsil are passed down.
Gondor abandons Minas Ithil and the forts on the border when evil creeps in from Mordor. The Ringwraiths take over Minas Ithil to prepare for Sauron’s return and use it to wage war on Minas Anor, now renamed Minas Tirith, where the remnants of the Numenoreans protect the west.
Minas Tirith survives after the death of Eärnur, the last king of Gondor, who fights a Ringwraith in single combat and is captured. The Stewards rule Gondor in the absence of kings, and the Rohirrim arrive to live in Rohan and aid Minas Tirith in the war. In the north, there are ancient enemies of Sauron that the men of Gondor don’t know much about, and the Ringwraiths don’t leave their city after Eärnurs death.
After Saurons fall, the rings are put to work to preserve Rivendell and Lothlórien from “the griefs of time.” If Sauron ever finds the One Ring again, or if the One Ring is destroyed, the power of the elven rings will fail, and the lands will begin to fade. At that point, the power of the Elves will diminish, and the Dominion of Men will begin in Middle-earth.