The History of Númenor | Tolkien ExplainedFeb 22, 2022
It was the greatest of all the kingdoms of Men. A shining beacon in the world of Arda. The island kingdom that would show the heights that the race of Men could reach... and the depths to which they could fall. Today in Nerd of the Rings we are doing an overview of the great second age kingdom of NĂº
menor. Today in Nerd of the Rings we cover the rise and fall of NĂº
menor. At the end of the First Age, with the lands of Beleriand destroyed by the War of Wrath, the map of Arda is forever changed.
While most of the change would be a loss of land, there is one exception: an island southwest of the Middle-earth continent. This isle is a gift from the Valar to the Edain, the men of the First Age who fought with the Host of Valinor against Morgoth. These men are led by Elros, the brother of Elrond, who chose to be numbered among men. They sail from the coast of Middle-earth, following the Star of EĂ¤rendil, father of Elros, arriving in the year 32 of the Second Age. The island becomes known as NĂºmenor, and Elros is his first king, leading his people for the next 410 years, before dying at the age of 500 (SA 442).
The NĂºmenĂ³reans would come to be known as the most powerful of men in both their peerage and physical stature, believed to have a typical height of around 7 feet tall. Throughout their first centuries, they develop a close friendship with the Eldar of Tol Eressea, who bring many gifts to the isle: they give the NĂºmenĂ³reans birds, plants, knowledge, skills, and most of all, the White Tree of Nimloth, the ancestor of the NĂºmenĂ³reans. Trees of Gondor. First in a long line of kings, Elros takes the royal name of Tar-Minyatur, a Quenya title meaning "High First Lord." Throughout
history, taking a Quenya title would be a tradition of the Kings and Queens of NĂºmenor.
The NĂºmenĂ³reans would become excellent shipbuilders and sailors. The only restriction on their navigation was the Ban of the Valar, which decreed that they should not sail west so far that they could not see their own shores. Due to the Prohibition, they choose to explore the world to the east, arriving on the shores of Middle-earth in the year 600 SA. They sail to the kingdom of Lindon and establish a close friendship with the High King Gil-galad and the elves of his kingdom. The NĂºmenĂ³reans also came to meet the Men of Middle-earth, who had long lived under a Shadow.
They discover that while their languages â€‹â€‹are different, they share a common origin and have many common words. Through simple conversations they become friends, and the NĂºmenĂ³reans teach their new allies such things as agriculture and ironworking. The Men of Middle-earth come to revere these high sea-kings, even thinking of them as gods in the times between the NĂºmenĂ³rean voyages to their shores. In SE 750, Prince Aldarion founded the Adventurers Guild, a group of sailors who would accompany him on his voyages to Middle-earth and participate in building ever larger ships. Aldarion not only sails to Lindon, but also establishes the port of Vinyalonde where the Gwathlo River meets the sea.
We'll cover the story of Aldarion and Erendis in a future video, so for today's NĂºmenor recap, we'll stick to our overview of events in the Realm. Due to an order from his father, Tar-Meneldur, Aldarion was no longer allowed to fell trees in NĂºmenor to build his ships, leading the sailor to take trees from the areas of Minhiriath and Enedwaith. This development would come to fuel the animosity between the native men and the NĂºmenĂ³reans. These intermediaries would eventually begin to attack and ambush the NĂºmenĂ³reans where they could, prompting the NĂºmenĂ³reans further into the mainland, driving their attackers from their forest homes.
This animosity would continue throughout the centuries, until the same conflicts in the War of the Ring, when the Dunlendings allied themselves with Saruman. In SE 882, Tar-Meneldur receives a warning and a plea for future help from Gil-galad. The elven king warns of a new shadow rising in the east, a dark servant of Morgoth. In response, Tar-Meneldur gives the scepter to his son, making Tar-Aldarion the Sixth King of NĂºmenor, as his experience in Middle-earth would be necessary for what was to come. The NĂºmenĂ³reans begin to prepare forces and supplies in case of war. In the early 13th century, NĂºmenor establishes permanent settlements in Middle-earth.
As Sauron nears his eventual invasion of Eriador, he uses the Middlemen's animosity towards NĂºmenor to his advantage, sending them on raids against these settlements and disrupting their logging industry. Finally, in 1695, long after the time of Aldarion, news of Gil-Galad is received by Tar-Minastir, the eleventh king of NĂºmenor. Sauron (who at this time has forged the One Ring) has invaded Eriador. The time had finally come for NĂºmenor's help. As Sauron continues his devastating march through Eriador, the NĂºmenĂ³reans finally arrive in tremendous force in 1700 SA. His fleet turns the tide of the war, and Sauron is decisively defeated at the Battle of Gwathlo in 1701.
The dark lord retreats to Mordor, vowing revenge on NĂºmenor. It is said that in the very reign of Tar-Minastir, a shadow began to fall over NĂºmenor. Although the king was a friend of and cared for the Eldar, he also envied their immortality. Over the years this envy also grew in the hearts of the men of NĂºmenor. Around 1800, they began to establish domains on the shores of Middle-earth, and their views of the Men of those lands changed. More than being teachers and friends, they sought to place themselves above these men, making them subjects and demanding tribute.
The reign of Tar-Atanamir, the thirteenth king, marks a turnaround in NĂºmenor. During this time, those who followed the king spoke out against the Valar and the Eldar, though they still honored the Ban of the Valar out of fear. In SE 2221, under the fourteenth king, Tar-Ancalimon, the NĂºmenĂ³reans split into two groups: the King's Men, who followed the King and his teachings, and the Faithful, or elven friends, who remained faithful to the Valar and the Eldar. The King's Men would explore the southern shores of Middle-earth, far from the elves, turning trading posts into cruel viceroyalties, like Umbar.
Meanwhile, (2350), the NĂºmenĂ³rean Faithful build the great port city of Pelargir, in what would one day become Gondor. The pride and cruelty of the kings of NĂºmenor and their men would grow for centuries to come, reaching a new level in 2899, when the king's son Tar-Ardamin ascends the throne. This twentieth king of NĂºmenor abandons the Quenya name of his parents and in his place takes the Adunaic name Ar-Adunakhor, a blasphemous name meaning "Lord of the West", a title which properly refers to Manwe, the lord of the Valar. Ar-Adunakhor forbids his people to speak the elven tongue and begins to persecute the Faithful, leading the elven ships of Tol EressĂ«a to come only secretly and very rarely.
The Faithful would have no hope in their own lands until SE 3177, when the 24th King would come from his own people. Tar-Palantir, "the farsighted", would be secretly taught by his mother about elven friendship and part of NĂºmenor's former glory would be restored. During his rule, the White Tree would be duly cared for and would once again take part in the three annual religious ceremonies of his people. Tar-Palantir's foresight led him to conclude that if the White Tree ever perished, the line of the Kings of NĂºmenor would also come to an end. With the King's Men more numerous and their ways entrenched in the lands, the rule of Tar-Palantir is met with conflict and rebellion.
Despite being a just and good ruler, the Valar did not respond to Tar-Palantir's repentance on behalf of his people. Too great was the hostility of his people to the Valar, and the insolence of the kings before him. Chief among those who were against the king were his sister and his nephew, Gimilkhad and Ar-Pharazon. When Tar-Palantir dies in 3255, his daughter Tar-Miriel had a claim to the throne and should therefore have become the fourth ruling queen of NĂºmenor. However, his cousin Ar-Pharazon leads a rebellion, reluctantly taking her as his wife and claiming the scepter for himself, declaring himself Ar-Pharazon the Golden.
In 3261 Sauron had begun to declare himself King of Men and Lord of the Earth, among other titles, and began to boast of his desire to destroy NĂºmenor. Angered by this and by Sauron's attacks on the NĂºmenĂ³rean settlements in Middle-earth, Ar-Pharazon sails with a mighty force to challenge the Dark Lord himself. So powerful was the army of NĂºmenor that Sauron's servants fled before the battle began. Realizing the futility of the fight, Sauron submits to Ar-Pharazon and is taken as a prisoner to NĂºmenor (3262). In a remarkably short span of time, Sauron goes from captive to chief adviser to the king.
With his lies and deceit, he poisons the king's mind and leads most of the NĂºmenĂ³reans to worship Morgoth. For now, having the ears of men, Sauron with many arguments contradicted all that the Valar had taught; and he asked men to think that in the world, in the east and even in the west, there were still many seas and many lands to be won, where there were countless riches. And yet, if they eventually reached the end of those lands and seas, beyond it all would be the Ancient Darkness. With Sauron's words in his ear, Ar-Pharazon leads his people to become even more warlike and brutal.
They hunt the men of Middle-earth and turn them into slaves. He also builds a 500 foot temple on the island for the worship of Melkor. There, they would practice human sacrifice, most often of the NĂºmenĂ³rean Faithful. In another sacrifice to Melkor, Ar-Pharazon has the white tree of Nimloth cut down and burned in the temple. Fortunately, Isildur, the very one who would later claim the One Ring, saved a fruit from the tree at great personal risk, allowing the ancient tree line to live on. Around Second Age 3310, Ar-Pharazon is nearing 200 years of age, and the shadow of death begins to loom over him.
Playing on his fear of death, Sauron convinces Ar-Pharazon that he must wage war against him. Over the next nine years, the king builds an army, known as the Great Armament. In 3319, he boards his flagship and sails for Aman. Sauron remains behind, reveling in the chaos and darkness he had wrought from within. Ar-Pharazon lands on the shores of Aman and camps on Tuna Hill. At that moment, Iluvatar opens a huge chasm in the sea and swallows the fleet of NĂºmenor. Ar-Pharazon and his host on earth are buried beneath the falling hills and the shape of the world changes from flat to round, with Aman and Tol Eressea created so that no mortal sailor can reach the Immortal Lands again.
Meanwhile, in Numenor, the island is covered by huge waves and plunges into the abyss below, under the sea. When catastrophe strikes her homeland, Tar-Miriel rushes to reach the sacred peak of Meneltarma, but is carried away by a great wave. Sauron is in the Temple of Melkor when the waves come to the island. His body is destroyed, but his spirit survives. He would return to Mordor in 3320. Unable to re-assume his beautiful form, he abandons his previous tactics of secrecy and treachery, and begins to rule through terror and force, much like his master before him. that he. Very few NĂºmenĂ³reans survived the destruction of his Kingdom.
The most famous of whom were Elendil and his sons Isildur and Anarion, with their nine ships of the Faithful. Apart from the faithful, there were other NĂºmenĂ³reans who survived, those who already lived in the settlements of Middle-earth and were among the King's Men. These men continue their loyalty to Sauron and become known as the Black NĂºmenĂ³reans. He was one of the Black NĂºmenĂ³reans who would become the Mouth of Sauron. As for the Faithful, they would bring Nimloth's seed, the seven palantiri, and other important artifacts to Middle-earth when they are blown ashore by the tumultuous storm that destroyed their home.
They establish the NĂºmenĂ³rean kingdoms in exile: Arnor and Gondor, kingdoms that would play vital roles in the remainder of the Second Age and beyond. From then on, NĂºmenor would be known as Akallabeth or Atalante, meaning "the Fallen One". Since then, the survivors of NĂºmenor would long for their lost home. Elendil would look at one of the palantiri in an attempt to see the isle of his youth, only to see the waters where he had been. In days after the Fall, those who survived the destruction of NĂºmenor came to believe that the sacred mountain of Meneltarma survived the destruction and rose to be an island of its own.
In time, Elendil's heirs would again build great ships in search of the mountain, but find no such land. They would sail west only to discover that the world was now round and that their great island kingdom was truly gone forever. Never again would the kingdoms of men reach such heights as NĂºmenor, though through the years, among its people, its rulers and its kings, there would be glimpses of the greatness of yore. The remnants of Numenor living in Dunedain: the MenWest of Gondor and Arnor. Now this is just the first of what I'm sure will be many videos on Numenor.
There are some great stories and lore to cover for this amazing island kingdom, so if you have a topic or character you'd like to see covered, let me know in the comments.
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