The well-known histories of Middle-earth, those records that exist in written form to this day, focus almost exclusively on a few prominent heroes. The fight against the Second Darkness is often perceived as being the work of only a handful of iconic characters. Occasionally, though, even in the few written documents that survive, there are hints and traces of others who very much had a role in what Galadriel called the Long Defeat. To be sure, they played their part quietly, secretly and almost anonymously, but play a part they did.Some of the uncelebrated heroes are well-known among scholars. Some, for instance, were Aragorn's kin; rangers of the north, descendants of Numenor. Others were Elrond's folk; scouts and wayfarers, ever watchful.In addition, though, there are hints of another group, with members drawn from all the races of the Free Peoples of Middle-earth, or so it is said. Although not under the direct control of Aragorn, Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel or any of the Kingdoms of Men in the south, it is apparent that they fought tirelessly alongside, and sometimes even shoulder-to-shoulder, with these more well-known figures, in the hope of keeping the growing shadow at bay...
Professor Tolman Gardner,
Lost and Found: The Rediscovered Chronicles of The Silent Minority
In the years since the publication of Professor Gardner’s seminal work, study into the history of this most elusive of organisations, The Silent Minority, has revealed tantalising new clues as to who they were and what they achieved in the later years of the Third Age. This is almost entirely as a result of the level of interest generated, amongst historians and the public alike, by Gardner’s masterwork. Those of us who work in this field today are truly standing on the shoulders of a giant.
As ‘Lost and Found’ became more widely read, not only amongst the people of the Shire, but also amongst the peoples of Eriador as a whole, new evidence began to emerge shedding light on the history of The Silent Minority. In libraries and public collections as far afield as Ered Luin and Breeland, long-forgotten documents were unearthed, previously thought to be insignificant though entertaining tales of individuals who lived during the War of the Ring. In light of Gardner’s studies many of these documents began to take on a new significance.
After many years of sifting through dusty shelves in libraries, and less dusty shelves in homes up and down the land, I believe I have managed to compile the most complete collection of tales of The Silent Minority to date. Whether some of these tales have grown in the telling, as they have been written and re-written down the generations, is open to debate. Very few come from primary sources, but I am confident that most, if not all, of them are genuine. They are The Silent Chronicles.
Professor of Third Age Studies,
Mathom Society of Arnor.