the War of the Elves and Sauron
okay so I’ve been trying to piece together the Unfinished Tales account of the War of the Elves and Sauron. This started as a project to figure out why the Elves sat around for so long between figuring out that Annatar was Sauron and starting a war with Sauron, but then it just turned into me scribbling on maps a lot, because that section of UT is several dense pages of:
When Sauron learned of the repentance and revolt of Celebrimbor his disguise fell and his wrath was revealed; and gathering a great force he moved over Calenardhon (Rohan) to the invasion of Eriador in the year 1695. When news of this reached Gil-galad he sent out a force under Elrond Half-elven; but Elrond had far to go, and Sauron turned north and made at once for Eregion. The scouts and vanguard of Sauron’s host were already approaching when Celeborn made a sortie and drove them back; but though he was able to join his force to that of Elrond they could not return to Eregion, for Sauron’s host was far greater than theirs, great enough both to hold them off and closely to invest Eregion. […]
Now, maybe everyone else is way more competent than me but my brain translates that to “then military babble happened and Sauron won”, which is rather unfair to Tolkien because not only does he not military babble at all compared to most fantasy writers but actually this is the closest he’s ever come to telling us how a war proceeded, in terms of the movement of armies and their comparative size and where, geographically, things played out.