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Númenor

Númenor

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Númenor (also called Elenna-nórë or Westernesse) is a fictional place in J. R. R. Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College,...

's writings. It was a huge island located in the Sundering Seas
Belegaer
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, Belegaer, the Great Sea or the Sundering Seas, is the sea of Arda that is west of Middle-earth....

 to the west of Middle-earth
Middle-earth
Middle-earth is the fictional setting of the majority of author J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy writings. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place entirely in Middle-earth, as does much of The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales....

, the main setting of Tolkien's writings, and was known to be the greatest realm of Men
Man (Middle-earth)
The race of Men in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth books, such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, refers to humanity and does not denote gender...

. However, the inhabitants' cessation of the service to Eru Ilúvatar
Eru Ilúvatar
Eru Ilúvatar is a fictional deity in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He is introduced in The Silmarillion as the creator of all existence . In Tolkien's invented language of Elvish, Eru means "The One", or "He that is Alone" and Ilúvatar signifies "Father of All"...

 and rebellion against the Valar
Vala (Middle-earth)
The Valar are fictional characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. They are first mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, but The Silmarillion develops them into the Powers of Arda or the Powers of the World...

 led to the downfall of the island and death of the majority of its population.

The author had intended Númenor to be an allusion to the legendary Atlantis
Atlantis
Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written about 360 BC....

. An unfinished story Aldarion and Erendis is set in the realm of Númenor at the time of its zenith
Zenith
The zenith is an imaginary point directly "above" a particular location, on the imaginary celestial sphere. "Above" means in the vertical direction opposite to the apparent gravitational force at that location. The opposite direction, i.e...

, and Akallabêth
Akallabêth
Akallabêth is the fourth part of the fantasy work The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien. It is relatively short, consisting of about thirty pages.-Synopsis:...

summarizes its history and downfall. Otherwise only compendious or abandoned writings of Tolkien deal with Númenor, such as the appendices to The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is a high fantasy epic written by English philologist and University of Oxford professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's earlier, less complex children's fantasy novel The Hobbit , but eventually developed into a much larger work. It was written in...

and several accounts published in Unfinished Tales
Unfinished Tales
Unfinished Tales is a collection of stories and essays by J. R. R. Tolkien that were never completed during his lifetime, but were edited by his son Christopher Tolkien and published in 1980.Unlike The Silmarillion, for which the narrative fragments were modified to connect into a consistent and...

and The History of Middle-earth
The History of Middle-earth
The History of Middle-earth is a 12-volume series of books published from 1983 through to 1996 that collect and analyse material relating to the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, compiled and edited by his son, Christopher Tolkien. Some of the content consists of earlier versions of already published...

series.

Originally intended to be a part of a time-travel story, the tale of the fall of Númenor was for some time viewed by Tolkien as a conclusion to his Silmarillion
The Silmarillion
The Silmarillion is a collection of J. R. R. Tolkien's mythopoeic works, edited and published posthumously by his son Christopher Tolkien in 1977, with assistance from Guy Gavriel Kay, who later became a noted fantasy writer. The Silmarillion, along with J. R. R...

and the "Last Tale" about the Elder Days
Elder Days
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Elder Days are the first Ages of Middle-earth.During the Second and Third Age, the term referred to the First Age and before, but in the Fourth Age the term began to be applied to all three ages which came before: a time before the dominance of Men and the...

. Later, with the emergence of The Lord of the Rings, it became the link between these two works and a major part of his legendarium
Tolkien's legendarium
The phrase Tolkien's legendarium is used in the literary discipline of Tolkien studiesto refer to the part of J. R. R. Tolkien's high fantasy fiction being concerned with his Elven legends; that is, historic events that have become legendary from the perspective of the characters of The Lord of the...

.

History


The island was brought up from the sea as a gift from the Valar to the Edain
Edain
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Edain were men who made their way into Beleriand in the First Age, and were friendly to the Elves....

, the Fathers of Men who had stood with the Elves
Elf (Middle-earth)
In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, Elves are one of the races that inhabit a fictional Earth, often called Middle-earth, and set in the remote past. They appear in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings, but their complex history is described more fully in The Silmarillion...

 of Beleriand
Beleriand
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional legendarium, Beleriand was a region in northwestern Middle-earth during the First Age. Events in Beleriand are described chiefly in his work The Silmarillion, which tells the story of the early ages of Middle-earth in a style similar to the epic hero tales of Nordic...

 against Morgoth
Morgoth
Morgoth Bauglir is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium. He is the main antagonist of The Silmarillion, figures in The Children of Húrin, and is mentioned briefly in The Lord of the Rings.Melkor was the most powerful of the Ainur, but turned to darkness and became...

 in the War of the Jewels
Battles of Beleriand
In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, there were many battles between the Elves of Beleriand and the forces of Morgoth.These battles are often referred to as the Battles of Beleriand, but also as the War of the Jewels as the Silmarilli were behind them all.#The First Battle of Beleriand was...

. Númenor was meant to be a "rest after the war" for the Edain. Early in the Second Age
Second Age
The Second Age is a time period from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth fantasy writings. Tolkien intended for the history of Middle-earth to be considered fictionally as a precursor to the history of the real Earth....

 the greater part of those Edain that survived their defeat from Morgoth journeyed to the isle, sailing in ships provided by the Elves.

The realm was officially established in , and Elros Half-elven
Half-elven
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional universe of Middle-earth, the Half-elven are the children of the union of Elves and Men. The Half-elven are not a distinct race from Elves and Men, and must ultimately choose to which race they belong...

, son of Eärendil
Eärendil
Eärendil the Mariner is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He is depicted in The Silmarillion as a great seafarer who, on his brow, carried the morning star across the sky.-Etymology:...

, and brother of Elrond
Elrond
Elrond Half-elven is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He is introduced in The Hobbit, and plays a supporting role in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.-Character overview:...

 and descendant of all the royal houses of Elves and Edain, became the first King of Númenor. Under his rule, and those of his descendants, the Númenóreans rose to become a powerful people. The first ships sailed from Númenor to Middle-earth in the year 600 of the Second Age.

The Númenóreans were forbidden by the Valar from sailing so far westward that Númenor was no longer visible, for fear that they would come upon the Undying Lands, to which Men could not come. For a long time, Númenor remained friendly with the Elves, both of Eressëa and of Middle-earth, and between S.A. 1693-1700, they assisted Gil-galad
Gil-galad
Ereinion Gil-galad is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He is mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, and featured in The Silmarillion.- Character overview :...

 in the War of the Elves and Sauron, which broke out after the forging of the Great Rings
Rings of Power
The Rings of Power in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium are magical rings created by Sauron or by the Elves of Eregion under Sauron's tutelage...

, in particular the One Ring
One Ring
The One Ring is a fictional artifact that appears as the central plot element in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth fantasy novels. It is described in an earlier story, The Hobbit , as a magic ring of invisibility. The sequel The Lord of the Rings describes its powers as being more encompassing than...

. King Tar-Minastir and the forces of Númenor were without peer in war, and together with the Elves, they were able to temporarily defeat Sauron. Over time the Númenóreans became jealous of the Elves for their immortality, and began to resent the Ban of the Valar and to rebel against their authority, seeking the everlasting life that they believed was begrudged them. They tried to compensate for this by going eastward and colonizing large parts of Middle-earth, first in a friendly manner, but later as cruel tyrants. Soon the Númenóreans came to rule a great coastal empire that had no rival. Few (the "Faithful") remained loyal to the Valar and friendly to the Elves.

In the year 3255 of the Second Age, the 25th king, Ar-Pharazôn, sailed to Middle-earth and landed at Umbar
Umbar
Umbar is a fictional place in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. It was a great haven and seaport to the far south of Gondor in Middle-earth.'Umbar' was a name—of unknown meaning—given to the area by its original inhabitants...

. Seeing the might of Númenor, Sauron
Sauron
Sauron is the primary antagonist and titular character of the epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.In the same work, he is revealed to be the same character as "the Necromancer" from Tolkien's earlier novel The Hobbit...

's armies fled and Sauron surrendered without a fight. He was brought back to Númenor as a prisoner but he soon became an advisor to the king and promised the Númenóreans eternal life if they worshipped Melkor
Morgoth
Morgoth Bauglir is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium. He is the main antagonist of The Silmarillion, figures in The Children of Húrin, and is mentioned briefly in The Lord of the Rings.Melkor was the most powerful of the Ainur, but turned to darkness and became...

. With Sauron as his advisor, Ar-Pharazôn had a 500 feet (152.4 m) tall temple to Melkor erected, in which he offered human sacrifices to Melkor (those selected to be sacrificed were Elendili, Númenóreans who were still faithful to the Elves).

During this time, the White Tree Nimloth
Nimloth
In the fantasy world of J. R. R. Tolkien, Nimloth, Sindarin for "white blossom", was the name of the White Tree of Númenor. Nimloth was a seedling of Celeborn, which was a seedling of Galathilion, which was created by Yavanna in the image of Telperion, one of the Two Trees of Valinor.When the...

, which stood before the King's House in Armenelos and whose fate was said to be tied to the line of kings, was chopped down and burned as a sacrifice to Melkor at Sauron's direction. Isildur
Isildur
Isildur is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He appears in the author's books The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and Unfinished Tales....

, heroically and at great personal risk, rescued a fruit of the tree which became the White Tree of Gondor
White Tree of Gondor
In J. R. R. Tolkien's high fantasy universe of Middle-earth, the White Tree of Gondor stood as a symbol of Gondor in the Court of the Fountain in Minas Tirith....

, preserving the ancient line of trees.

Prompted by Sauron and fearing old age and death, Ar-Pharazôn built a great armada and set sail into the West to make war upon the Valar and seize the Undying Lands, and by so doing achieve immortality. Sauron remained behind. In the year 3319 of the Second Age, Ar-Pharazôn landed on the shores of Aman. As the Valar were forbidden to take direct action against Men, Manwë
Manwë
Manwë is a god or Vala of the Elven pantheon imagined by J. R. R. Tolkien. He is described in The Silmarillion.Manwë was the King of the Valar, husband of Varda Elentári, brother of the Dark Lord Melkor, and King of Arda. He lived atop Mount Taniquetil, the highest mountain of the world, in the...

, chief of the Valar, called upon Eru. The Undying Lands were removed from the world forever, and the formerly flat Earth
Flat Earth
The Flat Earth model is a belief that the Earth's shape is a plane or disk. Most ancient cultures have had conceptions of a flat Earth, including Greece until the classical period, the Bronze Age and Iron Age civilizations of the Near East until the Hellenistic period, India until the Gupta period ...

 was made into a globe. Númenor was overwhelmed in the cataclysm and sank beneath the sea, killing its inhabitants, including the body of Sauron who was thereby robbed of his ability to assume fair and charming forms, forever appearing in the form of a Dark Lord thereafter.

Elendil
Elendil
Elendil is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He appears in The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales....

, son of the leader of the Faithful during the reign of Ar-Pharazôn, his sons and his followers had foreseen the disaster that was to befall Númenor, and they had set sail in nine ships before the island fell. They landed in Middle-earth and founded the kingdoms of Arnor
Arnor
Arnor is a fictional kingdom in J. R. R. Tolkien's writings. Arnor, or the Northern Kingdom, was a kingdom of the Dúnedain in the land of Eriador in Middle-earth. The name probably means "Land of the King", from Sindarin Ara- + dor...

 and Gondor
Gondor
Gondor is a fictional kingdom in J. R. R. Tolkien's writings, described as the greatest realm of Men in the west of Middle-earth by the end of the Third Age. The third volume of The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, is concerned with the events in Gondor during the War of the Ring and with...

.

The downfall of Númenor was said to be the second fall of Men, the first being when Men first awoke and fell swiftly under the dominion of Morgoth
Morgoth
Morgoth Bauglir is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium. He is the main antagonist of The Silmarillion, figures in The Children of Húrin, and is mentioned briefly in The Lord of the Rings.Melkor was the most powerful of the Ainur, but turned to darkness and became...

.

Names and etymology


The name of the island derives from Quenya
Quenya
Quenya is a fictional language devised by J. R. R. Tolkien, and used in his Secondary world, often called Middle-earth.Quenya is one of the many Elvish languages spoken by the immortal Elves, called Quendi in Quenya. The tongue actually called Quenya was in origin the speech of two clans of Elves...

, a High-elven
Noldor
In the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Noldor are Elves of the Second Clan who migrated to Valinor and lived in Eldamar. The Noldor are called Golodhrim or Gódhellim in Sindarin, and Goldoi by Teleri of Tol Eressëa. The singular form of the Quenya noun is Noldo and the adjective is Noldorin...

 tongue devised by Tolkien and credited to have been used by the Númenóreans on solemn occasions and for geographical designations. Literally Númenor, or in full form Númenórë, means both 'West-land' and 'West-folk', and was often translated by the author as Westernesse, a name which he remembered to have been used in a Middle English
Middle English
Middle English is the stage in the history of the English language during the High and Late Middle Ages, or roughly during the four centuries between the late 11th and the late 15th century....

 romance King Horn
King Horn
King Horn is a Middle English chivalric romance dating back to the middle of the thirteenth century. It survives in three manuscripts: MS. Harleian 2253 at the British Museum, London; MS. Laud. Misc 108 at the Bodleian Library, Oxford; and MS. Gg. iv. 27. 2 at the Cambridge University Library. It...

of an unknown western land reached by sea. After its destruction the land is stated to have been usually called Atalantë "the Downfallen"; Tolkien described his invention of this additional allusion to Atlantis as a happy accident when he realized that the Quenya root talat- "to fall" could be incorporated into a name referring to Númenor, although some suspect that the name was intended as an elaborate pun
Pun
The pun, also called paronomasia, is a form of word play which suggests two or more meanings, by exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. These ambiguities can arise from the intentional use and abuse of homophonic,...

 the whole time.

Among Quenya kennings are recorded Andor or "the Land of the Gift", which refers to the isle's being a gift of the Valar to Men, Mar-nu-Falmar or "Home under Waves", used after the Downfall, and Elenna or "Starwards", which was given because Men first journeyed to it following the Star of Eärendil
Eärendil
Eärendil the Mariner is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He is depicted in The Silmarillion as a great seafarer who, on his brow, carried the morning star across the sky.-Etymology:...

 and because the island was in the shape of a five-pointed star. The last name was also recorded by Tolkien as Elenna-nórë and rendered "the Land of Star" or "the land named Starwards".

Tolkien also provided several names for the island in Adûnaic
Adûnaic
Adûnaic is a fictional language in the fantasy works of J. R. R. Tolkien.One of the languages of Arda in Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, it was spoken by the Men of Númenor during the Second Age.-Fictional history:...

, the language of the Númenóreans themselves: Anadûnê is a translation of Númenor, Yôzâyan corresponds to Andor, and Akallabêth to Atalantë. In other writings of Tolkien, the Elven-king Gil-galad called Númenor "the Isle of Kings", and the inhabiting Drúedain
Drúedain
The Drúedain are a fictional race of Men which were counted amongst the Edain, who made their way into Beleriand in the First Age, and were friendly to the Elves. They are part of the Middle-earth legendarium, created by J. R. R. Tolkien....

 referred to it as "the Great Isle".

Geography


The nature of the land itself is most fully related in A Description of the Island of Númenor, a text published in Unfinished Tales
Unfinished Tales
Unfinished Tales is a collection of stories and essays by J. R. R. Tolkien that were never completed during his lifetime, but were edited by his son Christopher Tolkien and published in 1980.Unlike The Silmarillion, for which the narrative fragments were modified to connect into a consistent and...

and claimed by Tolkien to have been derived from the archives of Gondor.

The island of Númenor was situated in the Great Sea
Belegaer
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, Belegaer, the Great Sea or the Sundering Seas, is the sea of Arda that is west of Middle-earth....

, closer to the Blessed Realm than to Middle-earth. In shape it resembled a five-pointed star, with five large peninsula
Peninsula
A peninsula is a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland. In many Germanic and Celtic languages and also in Baltic, Slavic and Hungarian, peninsulas are called "half-islands"....

s extending from the central region. The latter is stated to have been around 250 miles (402.3 km) or 400 kilometres across, and promontories were nearly of the same length each. The island itself was "tilted southward and a little eastward".

Regions


Númenor was divided into six regions, five corresponding to promontories plus the central area.
Several smaller provinces were loosely defined within the main regions.

]

Natural features


This is a list of all individual geographical objects of Númenor named in Tolkien's writings. It is stated, in addition, that there were several rivers in the island, but all except Siril and Nunduinë were "short and swift torrents hurrying to the sea".

Settlements


Several towns, ports and cities of Númenor are described in Tolkien's writings. He stated that the most populous towns were situated by the shores, and that dirt roads ran between most of them; the only paved track connected Rómenna, Armenelos, the valley of Noirinan, Ondosto and Andúnië.

Flora and fauna


The plant and animal life in Númenor is stated to have been abundant and diverse, with many species being unique to different regions. In addition, the island contained many life forms that could not have been found in Middle-earth, many of them having been brought by the Valar of Elves from Aman. The most famous of these was the White Tree, Nimloth, that grew in the King's Court at Armenelos. Many other unique trees throve in the southern regions, among which Tolkien recorded oiolairë, lairelossë, nessamelda, vardarianna, taniquelassë, yavannamírë, laurinquë, lissuin and the renowned mallorn-trees (see List of Middle-earth plants).

The most numerous kind of animals in Númenor (in comparison to other lands) were the sea-birds, and it is stated that fish was the chief source of food for the inhabitants. Of unique species only the kirinki are recorded, as well as the Great Eagles
Eagle (Middle-earth)
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional universe of Middle-earth, the eagles were immense flying birds that were sapient and could speak. Often emphatically referred to as the Great Eagles, they appear, usually and intentionally serving as agents of deus ex machina , in various parts of his legendarium,...

, present in many parts of Tolkien's legendarium.

Culture


The inhabitants of Númenor, usually called the Númenóreans or Men of the West, were descended from the Edain
Edain
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Edain were men who made their way into Beleriand in the First Age, and were friendly to the Elves....

, a group of Men that dwelt in the north-west of Middle-earth and became the most advanced mortal culture. After their settlement in the isle, their knowledge and skills were further developed through the teaching of the Valar and of the Elves of Tol Eressëa.

The majority of the Númenóreans, descended from the original Folk of Hador, were fair-haired and blue-eyed. The settlers of the western regions, especially of the Andustar, came mostly from the Folk of Bëor
House of Bëor
In J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, the House of Bëor were the family of Men who ruled over the eldest of the Three Houses of the Edain that had allied with the Elves in the First Age.-The Folk of Bëor:...

, resulting in their darker hair and grey eyes. It is also recorded that a few remnants of the Folk of Haleth
House of Haleth
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, the House of Haleth or the Haladin were the family of Men that ruled over the second of the Three Houses of the Edain...

 had journeyed to Númenor, and that they were accompanied by several families of the Drúedain
Drúedain
The Drúedain are a fictional race of Men which were counted amongst the Edain, who made their way into Beleriand in the First Age, and were friendly to the Elves. They are part of the Middle-earth legendarium, created by J. R. R. Tolkien....

. The latter, though at first increased in number, departed back to Middle-earth over time.

As a result, the common language of the Númenóreans — Adûnaic
Adûnaic
Adûnaic is a fictional language in the fantasy works of J. R. R. Tolkien.One of the languages of Arda in Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, it was spoken by the Men of Númenor during the Second Age.-Fictional history:...

 — was mainly derived from the speech of the Hadorians
Taliska
Taliska is a constructed language devised by J. R. R. Tolkien. It is one of the many fictional languages set in his secondary world, often called Middle-earth.Taliska was based on the Gothic language. Gothic was an early interest of Tolkien...

. According to some of Tolkien's writings, the descendants of the people of Bëor spoke an accented form of Adûnaic, while in others it is stated that they had dropped their own tongue before coming to the island and used the Grey-elven Sindarin
Sindarin
Sindarin is a fictional language devised by J. R. R. Tolkien, and used in his secondary world, often called Middle-earth.Sindarin is one of the many languages spoken by the immortal Elves, called the Eledhrim or Edhellim in Sindarin....

 as daily speech in Númenor. All texts, however, agree that Sindarin was known to the majority of the Númenóreans, and was widely used in noble families; the latter also knew the High-elven Quenya
Quenya
Quenya is a fictional language devised by J. R. R. Tolkien, and used in his Secondary world, often called Middle-earth.Quenya is one of the many Elvish languages spoken by the immortal Elves, called Quendi in Quenya. The tongue actually called Quenya was in origin the speech of two clans of Elves...

, employing it in "official documents", works of lore and nomenclature. The situation changed when the friendship with the Elves was broken. The usage of both Sindarin and Quenya gradually lessened, until at last King Ar-Adûnakhôr forbade to teach them, and the knowledge of the Elven-tongues was only preserved by the Faithful.

The Númenóreans were extremely skilled in many arts, but in later centuries their chief industries were shipbuilding and sea-craft. They became great mariners, exploring the world in all directions save for the west, where the Ban of the Valar was in force. They often travelled to the shores of Middle-earth, teaching the men there the arts and crafts, and they introduced farming to improve their everyday lives.

The Númenóreans, too, became skilled in husbandry, breeding great horses that roamed the open plains of Mittalmar.

Traditions


Before the coming of the Shadow, the Númenóreans maintained several traditions connected with the worship of Ilúvatar and respect to the Valar. Among them are recorded the setting a bough of oiolairë upon the prow of a departing ship, the ceremonies concerned with the passing of the Sceptre, and laying down one's life.

The most famous traditions were the Three Prayers, during which a great concourse of Men ascended to the summit of Meneltarma and the King praised Eru Ilúvatar. These were:
  • Erukyermë, held at the beginning of spring, the prayer for a good year;
  • Erulaitalë in the middle of summer, the prayer for a good harvest;
  • Eruhantalë in the autumn, the thanksgiving for a good harvest.

Lords of Andúnië


The rulers of a noble house of Númenor, the Lords of Andúnië — named for their ancestral home of Andúnië — were descended from Silmariën, daughter and oldest child of Tar-Elendil the fourth King of Númenor. The laws of Númenor at that time would not allow her to rule as queen, so she wedded Elatan of Andúnië and took up residence there. Their son Valandil would be named the first Lord of Andúnië.

Throughout the Second Age
Second Age
The Second Age is a time period from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth fantasy writings. Tolkien intended for the history of Middle-earth to be considered fictionally as a precursor to the history of the real Earth....

, the Lords of Andúnië became leaders of the Elendili, or Elf-friends, who remained faithful to the Valar
Vala (Middle-earth)
The Valar are fictional characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. They are first mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, but The Silmarillion develops them into the Powers of Arda or the Powers of the World...

. Their continued importance is reflected by the Lords' ownership of two of Númenor's most precious heirlooms — Narsil
Narsil
Narsil is a fictional sword featured in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. It is introduced in The Lord of the Rings as having once belonged to King Elendil of the Dúnedain...

 and the Ring of Barahir. This was despite opposition and eventually persecution from the King's Men. The names of most of the Lords of Andúnië are not known, though Eärendur is mentioned at one point.

At the end of the Second Age, Númenor's estrangement from the Elves and the Valar under the evil guidance of Sauron
Sauron
Sauron is the primary antagonist and titular character of the epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.In the same work, he is revealed to be the same character as "the Necromancer" from Tolkien's earlier novel The Hobbit...

 corrupted Númenórean society. Seeking pardon of the Valar for the wickedness of the Númenóreans, Amandil
Amandil
Amandil is a fictional character from J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. Amandil was a Lord of Andúnië, succeeding his father Númendil upon his death. Amandil is most noted for being the father of Elendil, founder of the Númenórean Realms in Exile....

 the Faithful (son of Númendil), the last Lord of Andúnië, sailed into the west but was never heard of again. His son Elendil
Elendil
Elendil is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He appears in The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales....

, the heir to the Andúnië Line, did not join Ar-Pharazôn's grand armada to attack Valinor
Valinor
Valinor is a fictional location in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, the realm of the Valar in Aman. It was also known as the Undying Lands, along with Tol Eressëa and the outliers of Aman. This is something of a misnomer; only immortal beings were allowed to reside there, but the land itself,...

, and instead fled with his sons Isildur
Isildur
Isildur is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He appears in the author's books The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and Unfinished Tales....

 and Anárion
Anárion
Anárion is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. His name is derived from Anar, which means "Sun" in Tolkien's invented language of Quenya...

 and many of the Faithful (Elendili) to Middle-earth
Middle-earth
Middle-earth is the fictional setting of the majority of author J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy writings. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place entirely in Middle-earth, as does much of The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales....

.

Elendili


Also called the Elf-friends, the Elendili were a faction of Númenóreans who advocated continued friendship with the Elves
Elf (Middle-earth)
In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, Elves are one of the races that inhabit a fictional Earth, often called Middle-earth, and set in the remote past. They appear in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings, but their complex history is described more fully in The Silmarillion...

. They were also called the Faithful for their continued devotion and obedience to the Valar
Vala (Middle-earth)
The Valar are fictional characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. They are first mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, but The Silmarillion develops them into the Powers of Arda or the Powers of the World...

. This name was given to them in the time of Elendil
Elendil
Elendil is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He appears in The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales....

, Lord of Andúnië, who later founded the kingdoms of Arnor
Arnor
Arnor is a fictional kingdom in J. R. R. Tolkien's writings. Arnor, or the Northern Kingdom, was a kingdom of the Dúnedain in the land of Eriador in Middle-earth. The name probably means "Land of the King", from Sindarin Ara- + dor...

 and Gondor
Gondor
Gondor is a fictional kingdom in J. R. R. Tolkien's writings, described as the greatest realm of Men in the west of Middle-earth by the end of the Third Age. The third volume of The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, is concerned with the events in Gondor during the War of the Ring and with...

 in Middle-earth.

By the close of the Second Age
Second Age
The Second Age is a time period from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth fantasy writings. Tolkien intended for the history of Middle-earth to be considered fictionally as a precursor to the history of the real Earth....

 Númenóreans had become split between the Elendili and the King's Men — a faction centred around the King that strove to assert Númenórean supremacy over other peoples, and to overcome the mortality placed on Men. With Númenor reaching the apex of its might, the King's Men eventually espoused open defiance of the Valar. This split would eventually precipitate the Fall of Númenor
Akallabêth
Akallabêth is the fourth part of the fantasy work The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien. It is relatively short, consisting of about thirty pages.-Synopsis:...

. The Elendili, however, not only preserved their ancient friendship with the Elves, they also regarded the burgeoning arrogance of the King's Men as blasphemy. But the King's Men became more powerful and Númenor with them. By the end of the Second Age the King's Men had begun to persecute the Elendili as rebels and 'spies of the Valar.' Fearing their influence early on, the King's Men secured the Faithful's deportation from their strongholds in the western regions, notably around the western port city of Andúnië, and relocated to them to the eastern port city of Rómenna. There many departed to the Hither Lands (Middle-earth) and founded settlements that would later become part of the faithful Kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor. Many others would remain until the downfall of Númenor.

The Elendili enjoyed a brief respite when Elf-friend Tar-Palantir assumed kingship and began to turn Númenor back to the ways of the Faithful. But after Tar-Palantir died, his nephew Ar-Pharazôn usurped the throne and the Elendili were more vigorously oppressed, this time with the help of the Dark Lord Sauron
Sauron
Sauron is the primary antagonist and titular character of the epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.In the same work, he is revealed to be the same character as "the Necromancer" from Tolkien's earlier novel The Hobbit...

, who had established an evil cult on the island to corrupt and eventually destroy Númenórean society. The Eldar tongue was forbidden. When Sauron corrupted Ar-Pharazôn, the last King of Númenor, some of Elendili were murdered and burned as sacrifices to Melkor. Burned too was Nimloth the Fair, the White Tree of the King that was the ancestor to the White Tree of Gondor, and the tree for which it was foretold to be bound to the fate of the Kings. Isildur, son of Elendil and one of the Elendili obtained perilously a seedling from Nimloth the Fair and thus bound the fate of the Tree to the fate of the Heirs of Elendil.

As Ar-Pharazôn led his grand armada to Aman
Aman
-External links:*...

 to challenge the Ban of the Valar, Elendil
Elendil
Elendil is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He appears in The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales....

 was warned by his father Amandil
Amandil
Amandil is a fictional character from J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. Amandil was a Lord of Andúnië, succeeding his father Númendil upon his death. Amandil is most noted for being the father of Elendil, founder of the Númenórean Realms in Exile....

, Lord of Andúnië, not to interfere in the upcoming war, but to expect, and prepare for, a forced departure from the island. Amandil then sailed to Aman to beg the Valar for forgiveness, but was never heard from again. Elendil and his sons, Isildur
Isildur
Isildur is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He appears in the author's books The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and Unfinished Tales....

 and Anárion
Anárion
Anárion is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. His name is derived from Anar, which means "Sun" in Tolkien's invented language of Quenya...

, heeded Amandil's advice and prepared nine ships laden with goods and their Elendili followers. They were thus spared the downfall of Númenor when, as punishment for an attempt to defy the Ban of the Valar, Ilúvatar sank the island kingdom into the sea. The Elendili, under the leadership of Elendil and his sons, were carried to Middle-earth by great winds and great waves, sparing them from the cataclysm (their boats were waiting on the shore of the island when it sank). Implying that the Valar sympathized with Amandil's pleas, or that Ilúvatar himself saved them, knowing that the Elendili had always remained faithful. They eventually made their way to refuge in Middle-earth where they were welcomed by the Elves. There they established the Dúnedain
Dúnedain
In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, the Dúnedain were a race of Men descended from the Númenóreans who survived the sinking of their island kingdom and came to Eriador in Middle-earth, led by Elendil and his sons, Isildur and Anárion...

 kingdoms of Arnor
Arnor
Arnor is a fictional kingdom in J. R. R. Tolkien's writings. Arnor, or the Northern Kingdom, was a kingdom of the Dúnedain in the land of Eriador in Middle-earth. The name probably means "Land of the King", from Sindarin Ara- + dor...

 and Gondor
Gondor
Gondor is a fictional kingdom in J. R. R. Tolkien's writings, described as the greatest realm of Men in the west of Middle-earth by the end of the Third Age. The third volume of The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, is concerned with the events in Gondor during the War of the Ring and with...

, Elendil creating Arnor in the north, and Isildur and Anárion creating (and jointly ruling) Gondor further south (although Elendil was seen as High King of both Arnor and Gondor).

King's Men


The King's Men were a Númenórean royalist faction. They rebelled against the angelic Valar
Vala (Middle-earth)
The Valar are fictional characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. They are first mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, but The Silmarillion develops them into the Powers of Arda or the Powers of the World...

 because of their desire for immortality. As their power and knowledge of the Númenóreans had grown throughout the course of the Second Age, all had become increasingly preoccupied with the limits placed on their contentment—and eventually their power—by mortality, the purpose of which they began to question. This growing wish to escape death, known as 'the doom of Men', also made most of the Númenóreans envious of the immortal elves, or Eldar, who they had come to physically resemble as part of their reward from Ilúvatar for having been their allies. The Eldar sought ever to remind the men of Númenor however, that death was a Gift from Ilúvatar
Gift of Men
The Gift of Men in Middle-earth refers to a gift of Ilúvatar to his Younger Children, which remains a source of some confusion for Tolkien enthusiasts. The concept includes both mortality and free will...

 to all men, and to lose faith in Ilúvatar would be heretical. Nevertheless, after , when Tar-Ancalimon became King of Númenor;
...the people of Númenor became divided. On the one hand was the greater party, and they were called the King's Men, and they grew proud and were estranged from the Valar and the Eldar. ('Akallabêth' ~ The Silmarillion)


The 'King's Men' therefore became increasingly predisposed to the corruption of Sauron
Sauron
Sauron is the primary antagonist and titular character of the epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.In the same work, he is revealed to be the same character as "the Necromancer" from Tolkien's earlier novel The Hobbit...

, who in Númenor's last years seduced the elderly King Ar-Pharazôn;
...back to the worship of the Dark, and of Melkor
Morgoth
Morgoth Bauglir is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium. He is the main antagonist of The Silmarillion, figures in The Children of Húrin, and is mentioned briefly in The Lord of the Rings.Melkor was the most powerful of the Ainur, but turned to darkness and became...

 the Lord thereof, at first in secret, but ere long openly and in the face of his people. ('Akallabêth' ~ The Silmarillion)


Within Númenor, the majority immediately followed suit, and this worship quickly passed across the ocean to most of Númenor's colonies in Middle-earth;
...for in the days of the sojourn of Sauron in that land the hearts of well nigh all its people had been turned towards darkness. Therefore many of those who sailed east in that time and made fortresses and dwellings upon the coasts were already bent to his will... ('Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age is the fifth and last part of The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien. It is relatively short, consisting of about 20 pages....

' ~ The Silmarillion)


Their corruption led the King's Men to disaster as they followed Ar-Pharazôn in his suicidal invasion of Aman, in consequence of which Númenor, the mightiest realm of men that had ever been, was destroyed and swallowed up into the sea. Royalist survivors remaining in Middle-earth failed to learn from their example, continuing to serve Sauron as the Black Númenóreans
Black Númenóreans
In author J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional world of Arda, the Black Númenóreans are mentioned briefly at several points in both his published and unpublished writings, as one of many peoples and races inhabiting his Middle-Earth setting....

.

Númenórean descendants in The Lord of the Rings


Descendants of the various Númenórean factions appear in some chapters of The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is a high fantasy epic written by English philologist and University of Oxford professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's earlier, less complex children's fantasy novel The Hobbit , but eventually developed into a much larger work. It was written in...

. In Chapter 5 of Book Four, Sam says to Faramir
Faramir
In J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, Faramir is a fictional character appearing in The Lord of the Rings. He is introduced as the younger brother of Boromir of the Fellowship of the Ring and second son of Denethor II, the Steward of the realm of Gondor...

 soon after their first meeting: "You have an air, sir, that reminds me of, of — well, wizards, of Gandalf
Gandalf
Gandalf is a character in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In these stories, Gandalf appears as a wizard, member and later the head of the order known as the Istari, as well as leader of the Fellowship of the Ring and the army of the West...

". To which Faramir responds: "Maybe you discern from afar the air of Númenor". Throughout this chapter, Faramir tells Frodo
Frodo
Frodo may mean:*Frodo Baggins, a character in The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien*"Frodo", a song by New Zealand folk-duo Flight of the Conchords*Fróði, the name of a number of Danish kings, Latinized as Frodo*Frodo...

 and Sam much of the history of Númenor and of its descendants, his ancestors.

Later in the book, in "The Black Gate Opens", there appears a representative of the opposite faction, The Black Númenóreans
Black Númenóreans
In author J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional world of Arda, the Black Númenóreans are mentioned briefly at several points in both his published and unpublished writings, as one of many peoples and races inhabiting his Middle-Earth setting....

.
The Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dûr
Barad-dûr
Barad-dûr is the fortress of Sauron in the heart of the black land of Mordor and close to Mount Doom in the fantasy world of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings...

 was he; he had entered the service of the Black Tower when it arose again, and because of his cunning he grew ever higher in the Lord's favour; and he learned great sorcery, and knew much of the mind of Sauron; and he was more cruel than any orc
Orc (Middle-earth)
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy writings, Orcs or Orks are a race of creatures who are used as soldiers and henchmen by both the greater and lesser villains of The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings — Morgoth, Sauron and Saruman...

. ( ~ The Return of the King)


In Appendix A at the end of The Return of the King, Tolkien recounts the death of Aragorn
Aragorn
Aragorn II is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, one of the main protagonists of The Lord of the Rings. He is first introduced by the name Strider, which the hobbits continue to call him...

, when he tells Arwen
Arwen
Arwen Undómiel is a fictional character in J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium. She appears in his novel, The Lord of the Rings, usually published in three volumes. Arwen is one of the Half-elven who lived during the Third Age.-Literature:...

 "I am the last of the Númenóreans, and to me has been given not only a span thrice that of Men of Middle-earth, but also the grace to at my will and give back the gift". But the grieving Arwen, unreconciled to the impending death of her beloved — however long his life had been by normal human standards — responds: "But I say to you, King of the Númenóreans, not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last".

The many names of Númenor


At the end of Númenor's tragic story, the painstaking philologist Tolkien provides the list of names by which the lost land was known during its existence and after its loss:

(...) Even the name of that land perished, and Men spoke thereafter not of Elenna, nor of Andor the Gift that was taken away, nor of Númenórë on the confines of the world; but the exiles on the shores of the sea, if they turned towards the West in the desire of their hearts, spoke of Mar-nu-Falmar that was whelmed in the waves, Akallabêth the Downfallen, Atalantë in the Eldarin tongue.


The reference to "Atalantë", saved until the last, provides the direct link between Tolkien's Númenor which sunk under the waves and the Atlantis
Atlantis
Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written about 360 BC....

 which had the same fate in a millennia-old myth — which the reader may have suspected already, but could not be sure of until this moment. (Earlier depictions, from Plato onwards, assumed that "Atlantis" was the name used by the people of the lost island already in its time of glory; however, given the long passage of time to be assumed between its sinking and the writing down of the myth by Plato, Tolkien's linguistic interpretation is entirely plausible).

Other Literature

  • C. S. Lewis
    C. S. Lewis
    Clive Staples Lewis , commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland...

    's novel That Hideous Strength
    That Hideous Strength
    That Hideous Strength is a 1945 novel by C. S. Lewis, the final book in Lewis's theological science fiction Space Trilogy. The events of this novel follow those of Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra and once again feature the philologist Elwin Ransom...

    makes reference to "Numinor and the True West", which Lewis credits as a then-unpublished creation of J. R. R. Tolkien
    J. R. R. Tolkien
    John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College,...

    . According to the novel, Merlin
    Merlin
    Merlin is a legendary figure best known as the wizard featured in the Arthurian legend. The standard depiction of the character first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written c. 1136, and is based on an amalgamation of previous historical and legendary figures...

     of the Arthur
    Arthur
    Arthur is a common masculine given name. Its etymology is disputed, but its popularity derives from its being the name of the legendary hero King Arthur....

    ian Legend was the last in a long line of wizards familiar with the magic of Middle Earth, brought to the shores of prehistoric Britain by refugees from the sunken continent. Merlin's body was preserved for 1,500 years until the N.I.C.E. established an excavation in Bragdon Wood of Edgestow, England searching for the body in the mid-twentieth century. This is one of many examples of cross-overs between the novels of Lewis and Tolkien, both of whom were members of The Inklings, a literary discussion group at Oxford University and often shared with each other their literary work in progress.
  • In the Marvel 1602
    Marvel 1602
    Marvel 1602 is an eight-issue comic book limited series published in 2003 by Marvel Comics. The limited series was written by Neil Gaiman, penciled by Andy Kubert, and digitally painted by Richard Isanove; Scott McKowen illustrated the distinctive scratchboard covers...

    limited series
    Limited series
    A limited series is a comic book series with a set number of installments. A limited series differs from an ongoing series in that the number of issues is determined before production and it differs from a one shot in that it is composed of multiple issues....

     comic book
    Comic book
    A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

     1602: Fantastick Four Númenor is the name of the 1602 world analogue of Namor; Namor the Sub-Mariner is the ruler of Atlantis in the mainstream Marvel Universe
    Marvel Universe
    The Marvel Universe is the shared fictional universe where most comic book titles and other media published by Marvel Entertainment take place, including those featuring Marvel's most familiar characters, such as Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, and the Avengers.The Marvel Universe is further...

    .
  • Pauwels and Bergier talk about Numinor and its relevance in both Celtic myths and the history of European and Indo-European culture in their book: De eeuwige mens which is Dutch for The everlasting/eternal human. There is also a reference to the works of both C. S. Lewis
    C. S. Lewis
    Clive Staples Lewis , commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland...

     and J. R. R. Tolkien
    J. R. R. Tolkien
    John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College,...

     and a mentioning of Atlantis.

See also


  • Akallabêth
    Akallabêth
    Akallabêth is the fourth part of the fantasy work The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien. It is relatively short, consisting of about thirty pages.-Synopsis:...

  • Dúnedain
    Dúnedain
    In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, the Dúnedain were a race of Men descended from the Númenóreans who survived the sinking of their island kingdom and came to Eriador in Middle-earth, led by Elendil and his sons, Isildur and Anárion...

  • List of rulers of Númenor
  • Timeline of Arda: Second Age

External links