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Númenóreans

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{{disambig-two|the inhabitants of Númenor|descendants they had on [[Middle-earth]] during the [[Third Age]]|[[Dúnedain]]}}
 
{{disambig-two|the inhabitants of Númenor|descendants they had on [[Middle-earth]] during the [[Third Age]]|[[Dúnedain]]}}
 
{{people infobox
 
{{people infobox
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| caption="[[:File:Liz Danforth - Isildur.png|Isildur]]" by Liz Danforth
 
| caption="[[:File:Liz Danforth - Isildur.png|Isildur]]" by Liz Danforth
 
| pronun={{respell|noo|meh|nor|ee-ans}}
 
| pronun={{respell|noo|meh|nor|ee-ans}}
| othernames=Men of Westernesse, Kings of Men, Men of Númenor, Men of the Sea, Mighty of the West, Sea-kings, Tall Men
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| othernames=''Adûnâim'' ([[Adûnaic|A]]), ''[[Dúnedain]]'' ([[Sindarin|S]]), ''Go-hilleg'' ([[Dunlendish|D]]), [[Tarkil|Tarkildi]] ([[Quenya|Q]]), Kings of Men, Men of Númenor, Men of the Sea, Men of Westernesse, Mighty of the West, Sea-kings, Tall Men
| origin=Descendants of the [[Edain]]
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| origin=[[Edain]] of [[Beleriand]] granted a new homeland by the [[Valar]] after the [[War of Wrath]]
 
| location=[[Númenor]], [[Eriador]], [[Harad]], [[Umbar]], [[Pelargir]], later [[Arnor]] and [[Gondor]]
 
| location=[[Númenor]], [[Eriador]], [[Harad]], [[Umbar]], [[Pelargir]], later [[Arnor]] and [[Gondor]]
| affiliation=[[Eldar]]
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| affiliation=[[Faithful]], [[King's Men]], [[Realms in Exile]], [[Last Alliance of Elves and Men]]
 
| rivalry=[[Sauron]]
 
| rivalry=[[Sauron]]
| language=[[Adûnaic]] (native tongue), [[Quenya]], [[Sindarin]]  
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| language=[[Adûnaic]], [[Númenórean Sindarin]], [[Quenya]]  
| members=[[Elros]], [[Tar-Aldarion|Aldarion]], [[Ar-Pharazôn]], [[Elendil]], [[Isildur]]   
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| members=[[Elros]], [[Tar-Aldarion]], [[Ar-Pharazôn]], [[Elendil]], [[Isildur]]   
 
| lifespan=Númenóreans - c. 200+ years<ref name=Line>{{UT|Kings}}</ref></br>[[Kings of Númenor]] - c. 400 years (later diminished)<ref name=Line/><br/>''[[#Characteristics|See below]]''
 
| lifespan=Númenóreans - c. 200+ years<ref name=Line>{{UT|Kings}}</ref></br>[[Kings of Númenor]] - c. 400 years (later diminished)<ref name=Line/><br/>''[[#Characteristics|See below]]''
| distinctions=
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| distinctions=The mightiest of [[Men]] in both nobility and body
| height=Taller than other [[Men]]
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| height=Tall, typically 7 feet.<ref name=Dwarves>{{PM|X}}</ref>
 
| hair=
 
| hair=
 
| skin=
 
| skin=
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}}
 
}}
 
<center>{{quote|So great was the might and splendour of the Númenóreans that Sauron's own servants deserted him.|''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', [[Appendix A]]}}</center>
 
<center>{{quote|So great was the might and splendour of the Númenóreans that Sauron's own servants deserted him.|''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', [[Appendix A]]}}</center>
'''Númenóreans''' were the [[Men]] of [[Númenor]], descendants of the [[Edain]] of the [[First Age]], who were granted the island of [[Elenna]] as a dwelling place. They turned against the [[Valar]], and their island home was destroyed in the last years of the [[Second Age]].
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'''Númenóreans''' or '''[[Dúnedain]]''' were the [[Men]] of [[Númenor]], descendants of the [[Edain]] of the [[First Age]], who were granted the island of [[Elenna]] as a dwelling place. Eventually, they turned against the [[Valar]], and their island home was destroyed in the last years of the [[Second Age]].
  
 
==Origins==
 
==Origins==
The Númenóreans were descendants of the [[Edain]] of the [[First Age]], who proved themselves allies of the [[Elves]], from whom they gathered knowledge of all things surrounding them. The two races fought together against [[Morgoth]].
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{{seealso|Edain}}
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The Númenóreans were descendants of the [[Edain]] of the [[First Age]], who proved themselves great allies of the [[Elves]], from whom they gathered knowledge of all things surrounding them. The two races fought together against [[Morgoth]].
  
 
During that Age, unions of Elves and Men were made; [[Lúthien]] and [[Beren]] whose son, [[Dior|Dior Eluchíl]], married [[Nimloth of Doriath]] and [[Elwing]] was born. [[Idril]] and [[Tuor]], the second couple, were parents of [[Eärendil]]. Elwing and Eärendil met at the [[Havens of Sirion]] and from their union twins were born: [[Elros]] and [[Elrond]]. To the two [[Half-elven|half-elves]], the Valar gave a choice: Elros chose to join the race of men, whereas Elrond chose to join the elves.
 
During that Age, unions of Elves and Men were made; [[Lúthien]] and [[Beren]] whose son, [[Dior|Dior Eluchíl]], married [[Nimloth of Doriath]] and [[Elwing]] was born. [[Idril]] and [[Tuor]], the second couple, were parents of [[Eärendil]]. Elwing and Eärendil met at the [[Havens of Sirion]] and from their union twins were born: [[Elros]] and [[Elrond]]. To the two [[Half-elven|half-elves]], the Valar gave a choice: Elros chose to join the race of men, whereas Elrond chose to join the elves.
  
When the [[War of Wrath|last battle]] was won by the forces of [[Valinor]], the Valar rewarded the Edain by giving them a place to dwell outside the troubled world of [[Middle-earth]]. [[Ulmo]] raised [[Elenna]], later known as the Island of [[Númenor]]. Halfway between [[Endor]] and [[Aman]], the descendants from the [[Three Houses]] established the Kingdom of Númenor in {{SA|32}} and would last and dominate all other mortal peoples throughout the entire [[Second Age]]. Elros became the first [[King of Númenor]].
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The Edain fought with the [[Host of Valinor]] in the [[War of Wrath]] and were victorious, the Edain were honoured and blessed by [[Eönwë]] in body and mind for their part in the [[Wars of Beleriand|war]] and the [[Valar]] rewarded the Edain by giving them a place to dwell outside the troubled world of [[Middle-earth]]. [[Ulmo]] raised an island halfway between [[Endor]] and [[Aman]] which the Edain named [[Elenna]], later known as the island of [[Númenor]].<ref name=akallabeth>{{S|Akallabeth}}</ref> The first ships of the Edain arrived to their new home in {{SA|32}} by following the [[Star of Eärendil]], Elros became the first [[King of Númenor]] and established the Realm of Númenor.<ref name=Line/> For the next fifty years the majority of the Edain in Middle-earth gradually migrated to Númenor.<ref>{{PM|V}}, §5</ref>
 
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==Politics==
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Númenor was a monarchy. The King held the power of decision over the affairs of the state. However, there was an advisory body, the [[Council of the Sceptre]], which consisted of the Heir of the King and lords from the six regions of Númenor: [[Forostar]] (''Northlands''), [[Andustar]] (''Westlands''), [[Hyarnustar]] (''Southwestlands''), [[Hyarrostar]] (''Southeastlands''), [[Orrostar]] (''Eastlands'') and [[Mittalmar]] (''Inlands'').
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There were two main political parties: Elendili or the [[Faithful]], led by the Lords of Andúnië, always loyal to the Elves. In the later years, they were a small group, oppressed by the opposing [[King's Men]] who rebelled against the Valar and their ban and set dominions among the Men of Middle-earth and laid heavy tribute upon them. As their number and power increased, they forced the Elendili to move from [[Andúnië]] to the eastern side of the island, at [[Rómenna]]. [[Pelargir]] was a harbour built where the river [[Sirith]] met [[Anduin]] and it was founded by the Faithful in {{SA|2350}}.
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===Rulership===
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{{main|Line of Elros}}
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Númenóreans from the [[Line of Elros]] had the right to inherit the [[Sceptre]] and thus become Rulers of Númenor. 25 [[King of Númenor|Kings]] and [[Ruling Queen of Númenor|Queens]] descendants of Elros ascended the throne. While the Númenóreans lived around 200 years, royal kindred had a double life span.
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Of great importance was the [[Law of Succession in Númenor]] which established the heir to the throne. It started out as an inherited custom, which gave exclusive rights to the male descendants of Elros. Tar-Aldarion, the sixth ruler of Númenor, only had one daughter and replaced the principle of exclusive male heir with that of eldest progeny, of any gender; in {{SA|1075}} Tar-Ancalimë became the first ruling queen in the history of Númenor.
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Númenóreans from the Line of Elros influenced their era in various ways:
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*[[Tar-Aldarion]], a great mariner and Middle-earth explorer
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*[[Tar-Ancalimë]], the first Ruling Queen of Númenor
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*[[Tar-Minastir]], defeated [[Sauron]] alongside [[Gil-galad|Ereinion Gil-galad]]
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*[[Ar-Belzagar]], the first ruler to take an Adûnaic name
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*[[Ar-Adûnakhôr]], banned the speaking of Quenya and severed relationships with the Eldar
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*[[Ar-Pharazôn]], last in the line of rulers, whose kingship led directly to the [[Akallabêth|Downfall of Númenor]]
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===Lords of Andúnië===
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{{seealso|Lords of Andúnië}}
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During the time of princess [[Silmariën]], the law of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnatic_primogeniture agnatic primogeniture] existed. She could not succeed her father as his eldest child, and her [[Tar-Meneldur|brother]] took up the [[Sceptre]]. In her honour was created the title "[[Lords of Andúnië]]", which was set upon [[Valandil (Lord of Andúnië)|Valandil]] her first son and his 18 descendants; the last one was [[Amandil]], father of [[Elendil]]. During the dark times of Númenor, the Lords were renowned for their friendship with the Eldar, and leaders of the [[Elendili]].
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==History==
 
==History==
At the foundation of Númenor, all the people held the Eldar in friendship. White ships from [[Tol Eressëa]] brought many gifts to the [[Bay of Andúnië]]: birds, flowers, and healing herbs, and a branch from [[Celeborn, White Tree|Celeborn]], the White Tree of Tol Eressëa, which grew at the court of the king of [[Armenelos]].
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[[File:Turner Mohan - Númenórean Armor (early Second Age).jpg|thumb|''Númenórean Armor (early Second Age)'' by [[:Category:Images by Turner Mohan|Turner Mohan]]]]
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===Early history===
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The Númenóreans built a mighty seafaring civilisation, their lore and craft were advanced and enriched by the knowledge of the [[Eldar]] and their body and mind grew in stature, gaining long life thrice more than the Men in [[Middle-earth]].<ref name=Line/> They excelled in 'ship-building and sea-craft' and became skilled mariners.<ref name=akallabeth/>
  
As the fear of death crept into the hearts of the Dúnedain, the Firstborn became envied for their immortality. [[Tar-Atanamir]] was the first to speak against the Eldar and the Ban of the Valar. Little by little the Númenóreans abandoned the use of the [[Eldarin]] tongues. It was during the time of his son, King [[Tar-Ancalimon]], that the two parties were formed, the [[Elf-friends]] and the [[King's Men]]. Ar-Adûnakhôr was the first to choose an Adûnaic name and began to persecute the Faithful, punishing all those who would speak the Elven tongues openly. In the end, the Eldar came no more to the land of Númenor.
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They held the Eldar in close friendship and the white ships from [[Tol Eressëa]] brought many gifts to Númenor such as birds, flowers, and healing herbs. One notable gift was a seedling of [[Celeborn, White Tree|Celeborn]], the White Tree of Tol Eressëa which grew at the courts of the King in [[Armenelos]] and it was named [[Nimloth (tree)|Nimloth]]<ref name=akallabeth/>
  
===Dominion over the Men of Middle-earth===
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===Return to Middle-earth===
<!--See also of Eriador#Elves and Númenóreans links here-->
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Due to the fact that the [[Ban of the Valar]] restricted them from sailing [[Undying Lands|West]], the Númenóreans began to explore the eastern part of the [[Arda|world]], reaching the shores of Middle-earth in {{SA|600}}.<ref name=APSA>{{App|SA}}</ref> They sailed to [[Lindon]] and established a friendship with [[Gil-galad]] and the [[Elves of Lindon]].<ref name=UTAE3/>
[[Image:Paula DiSante - Ar-Pharazon Defies.JPG|thumb|right|[[Paula DiSante]] - ''Ar-Pharazon Defies'']]
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Due to the fact that the Ban of the Valar restricted them from sailing [[Undying Lands|West]], the Númenóreans began to explore the eastern part of the [[Arda|world]], reaching the shores of Middle-earth in {{SA|600}} in [[Lindon]] and met with [[Gil-galad]]. The news spread swiftly and the [[Middle Men]] in [[Eriador]] were filled with wonder. The sailors met with twelve messengers on the [[Tower Hills]].<ref name=Aldarion>{{UT|Aldarion}}</ref>{{rp|213}}
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The Númenóreans began to cultivate their new friends who were into their [[Dark Years]], grown weak and fearful, and taught them agriculture, stonecraft, smithying and their language [[Adûnaic]] but failed to recognize the [[Pre-Númenórean]] forest-folk of [[Minhiriath]] as ‘kinsmen’, and confused them with [[Men of Shadow]] because it was not related to theirs.<ref name=Dwarves>{{PM|X}}</ref>{{rp|313-314}}
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The Men in [[Eriador]] were filled with wonder at their coming for the Men of Middle-earth had long lived under the [[Shadow]], a period known as the [[Dark Years]], and because of this they grown weak and fearful. The Númenóreans began to cultivate their new friends teaching them agriculture, stonemasonry and smithying.<ref name=akallabeth/> They also discovered that while their languages were different, they both had a common origin and were able to converse with each other over simple matters.<ref name=UTAE3>{{UT|4}}, note 3</ref> The Númenóreans never dwelt long in the shores of Middle-earth, but the [[Middle Men|Men]], who populated the western shores, were comforted. They revered the memory of the tall Sea-kings whom they remembered as gods hoping each time for their return.<ref name=akallabeth/>
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[[Image:Eric Faure-Brac - Erendis.jpg|thumb|250px|left|''Erendis'' by Eric Faure-Brac]]
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In the following decades there was increased activity between Númenór and Middle-earth, mariners returning from their voyages brought with them ore and jewels. In {{SA|750}} the [[Guild of Venturers]] was founded by [[Aldarion]] and many young and eager men joined.<ref name>{{UT|4}}, Notes, Chronology</ref> Their vessels grew greater and larger and were now able to make far and long voyages.
  
The Middle Men were comforted, populated the western shores. They revered the memory of the tall Sea-kings whom they remembered as gods hoping each time for their return.<ref>{{S|IV}}</ref>
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Aldarion established [[Vinyalondë]] at the mouth of the [[Gwathló]], a haven for the purpose of repairs, ship building and collection of timber. The Númenóreans began to escalate their tree felling around the dense forests of [[Minhiriath]] and [[Enedwaith]], but their enterprise created animosity between them and the [[Pre-Númenóreans|native men]] living there and the forest-dwellers attacked and ambushed the Númenóreans when they could until they were expelled from their forest homes. The Númenóreans wrecked the banks, the shorelines, great tracks and roads whom they drove into the forests northwards and southwards from the Gwathló and continued battling and destroying what lied ahead of them, pushing into Minhiriath and Enedwaith.<ref name=UTLD>{{UT|6d}}</ref>
  
More and more Númenor became a great naval power, and the [[Guild of Venturers]] established [[Vinyalondë]] (early 9th century).<ref>{{UT|Cirion}}</ref> The Pre-Númenóreans were patient until the tree-felling by [[Aldarion]] became devastating;<ref name="GC">{{UT|Galadriel}}</ref> slowly, hostility was growing, and the dark men out of the mountains were thrusting into [[Enedwaith]] in support of their kinsmen.<ref name=Aldarion></ref>{{rp|206}}
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In {{SA|882}} Gil-galad warned [[Tar-Meneldur]] that a new shadow is rising in the East, instigated by a [[Sauron|servant]] of [[Morgoth]], and asked for aid when the time comes to help defend Eriador against this new threat.<ref name=Aldarion>{{UT|Aldarion}}</ref>{{rp|199-200}} The Númenóreans began the preparation of force and supplies for war.<ref name=CGC>{{UT|Concerning}}</ref>
  
Around that time, the Númenórean [[Drúedain]] became uneasy and urged Aldarion not to go, foreseeing the mischief to come. They did not succeed and one after another they took ships towards Middle-earth.<ref>{{UT|Druedain}}</ref>
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In the early [[Second Age 1200|thirteenth century]] of the Second Age, the Númenóreans began establishing permanent settlements in Middle-earth.<ref name=APSA/> Later these settlements were under increased pressure from raiders as [[Sauron]] drew closer to the Númenórean sphere of influence. He recruited the natives that had a hatred of Númenór and used them as spies and guides. Though Sauron had not enough force to assault the forts at the Haven or along the banks of the Gwathló his raiders wreaked havoc on the fringes of the forests, burning trees and wood-stores of the Númenóreans.<ref name=UTLD/>
  
In {{SA|820}} Vinyalondë was overthrown by great seas and plundered by hostile men. Men near the coasts were growing afraid of the Númenóreans or were openly hostile and Aldarion heard rumours of some lord in Middle-earth who hated them. As Gil-galad warned [[Tar-Meneldur]] that this instigator was a servant of the [[Sauron|Enemy]].<ref name=Aldarion></ref>{{rp|199-200}}
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The Númenóreans participated in the [[War of the Elves and Sauron]], though they arrived late to the conflict in {{SA|1700}}<ref name=APSA/> due to delays<ref name=CGC/> and when most of Eriador was already ruined. [[Tar-Minastir]]'s fleet turned the tide of the war and Sauron was decisively defeated in the [[Battle of the Gwathló]]. Sauron was forced to retreat to [[Mordor]] and vowed vengeance upon the Númenóreans and there was peace in the [[Westlands]].<ref name=CGC/>
  
Aldarion's successors continued his works and even fought with the pre-Númenóreans until they attacked and ambushed the Númenóreans when they could.<ref name=Description></ref> They became their enemies giving no thought to husbandry or replanting. The Númenóreans wrecked the banks, the shorelines, great tracks and roads whom they drove into the forests northwards and southwards from the [[Gwathló]]<ref name="GC"/> and continued battling and destroying what lied ahead of them, pushing into [[Minhiriath]] and [[Enedwaith]], establishing themselves inland as far as the river [[Glanduin]] (the southern boundary of [[Eregion]]), beyond which pre-Númenóreans and hostile peoples lived, a remnant of the peoples that had dwelt in the vales of the White Mountains in ages past<ref name=Appendices>{{App|Men}}</ref><ref name="GC"/> The natives overcame their fear of the Elves and fled from Minhiriath into the dark woods of the great [[Eryn Vorn|Cape of Eryn Vorn]] (south of the mouth of [[Baranduin]]). Those from Enedwaith took refuge in the eastern mountains ([[Dunland]]).<ref name="GC"/>
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===Shadow falls===
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[[File:Turner Mohan - Númenórean Armor (late Second Age).jpg|thumb|''Númenórean Armor (late Second Age)'' by [[:Category:Images by Turner Mohan|Turner Mohan]]]]
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The first sign of the Shadow falling upon Númenór was said to have begun in the reign of Tar-Minastir, he loved the Eldar - and aided them in their most desperate hour against Sauron - but he also envied them.<ref name=Line/> Over time, the Númenóreans began questioning the [[Ban of the Valar]] and the [[Gift of Men]], and the fear of death crept into their hearts, so the [[Firstborn]] became envied for their immortality.<ref name=akallabeth/>
  
[[Sauron]] recruited pre-Númenóreans and in the early second millennium he increased pressure on the West, left his stronghold in [[Rhûn]] and relocated in [[Mordor]], drawing closer to the Númenórean sphere of influence. Sauron welcomed by the natives and used the haters of Númenor as spies and guides for his raiders who caused havoc and burned their settlements. He had not enough force to assault the forts at the Haven or along the banks of the [[Gwathló]]. However his regular troops attempted to conquest Eriador, hunting and killing Middle Men and the Elves and by {{SA|1700}} had mastered all Eriador, up to the River [[Lhûn]] and besieged [[Rivendell]].<ref name="GC"/>
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About {{SA|1800}}, the Númenóreans began establishing dominions on the coasts of Middle-earth and their attitude towards the Men of Middle-earth changed, where once they were teachers and friends they now subjugated them and levied heavy tribute to the the native populace, desiring wealth and power. This occurred during the reigns of [[Tar-Ciryatan]] and his son [[Tar-Atanamir]].<ref name=APSA/> It was during the reign of Tar-Atanamir that the Shadow upon Númenór was on its noontide. The Númenóreans that followed his lore spoke openly against the [[Valar]] and Eldar<ref name=Line/> though they still feared retaliation from the Valar if they broke the ban.<ref name=akallabeth/>
  
Eriador was already ruined by the time the Númenórean fleet was sent by king [[Tar-Minastir]]. They caught Mordor's troops in the rear and defeated them, bringing peace to the Westlands.<ref name="GC"/>  
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During the reign of [[Tar-Ancalimon]], the Númenóreans became divided into two parties; the [[Faithful]] or [[Elf-friends]] and the [[King's Men]].<ref name=Line/> Those that followed the King abandoned the use of the [[Eldarin]] tongues and were estranged from the Eldar and Valar while the Faithful were still friends with the Eldar.<ref name=APNK>{{App|A1i}}</ref> The King's Men explored the coasts of Middle-earth far southward, establishing landing and trading posts that grew into cruel vice-kingdoms which left many rumours in the legends of Men, although the Eldar did not know about them,<ref>{{PM|Akallabeth}}, §28</ref> such as [[Umbar]].<ref group=note>It is unclear when Umbar was founded, in [[Appendix B]] of ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'' it is mentioned that it was fortified in {{SA|2280}} which means that it had existed in some form prior to that date.</ref> The Faithful Númenóreans played no part in this and in {{SA|2350}} [[Pelargir]] was built by them and it became their chief haven.<ref name=APSA/>
  
They explored the coasts of Middle-earth far southward establishing landing and trading posts that grew into cruel vice-kingdoms which left many rumours in the legends of Men, although the Eldar did not know about them<ref>{{PM|Akallabeth}}</ref> In the south they found a useful natural haven already called [[Umbar]] by the natives.
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When [[Ar-Adûnakhôr]] ascended to the throne in {{SA|2899}}<ref name=APSA/> he was the first king to choose an [[Adûnaic]] name and began to persecute the Faithful, punishing all those who would speak the Elven tongues openly. In the end, the Eldar came no more to the land of Númenor.<ref name=APNK/> However there was some respite for the Faithful under the rule of [[Tar-Palantir]] who sought to repent the actions of his predecessors and gain back the favour of the Valar.<ref name=Line/>
  
The Númenóreans founded [[Pelargir]] in {{SA|2350}} and discovered the pre-Númenóreans [[Oathbreakers|Men of the Mountains]] near [[Dunharrow]] who eventually repented when Sauron left from Mordor and the power of Gil-galad had grown great.<ref name="Rings">{{S|Rings}}</ref>
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[[Tar-Palantir]]'s policies were met with opposition by his brother [[Gimilkhâd]] who led the King's party, when he died his son [[Pharazôn]] returned to Númenór and led a rebellion against the king. When Tar-Palantir died his daughter [[Tar-Míriel|Míriel]], according to the [[Law of Succession in Númenor|New Law]], had the right to inherit the throne, but Pharazôn forced her into marriage, and usurped the [[Sceptre of Númenor|Sceptre]] for himself, becoming known as Ar-Pharazôn.<ref name=akallabeth/>
  
As the shadow spread over Númenor, [[Tar-Ciryatan]] sailed to Middle-earth, bringing numerous treasures back to Númenor. Later more lands were occupied, plundered or forced to pay heavy tribute in return for the lives of their inhabitants. Towards the end of the kingdom, when their religion had changed and human sacrifices were made towards [[Morgoth|Melkor]], many of the victims were people of Middle-earth taken as prisoners. Because of these acts they were looked upon in fear, called the "Death" itself and the Men of Middle-earth trembled at the sight of a mighty Númenórean ship on the waters of [[Belegaer]]. However, the Faithful shared not the behaviour of the King's Men and though they also built a port in Middle-earth, named Pelargir, it was not for the sake of plundering but meant to be a haven far from those of the opposing party.
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===Sauron's corruption===
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In {{SA|3261}}<ref name=APSA/> Ar-Pharazôn returned to Middle-earth with a mighty host to challenge the threat of Sauron. So mighty were the Númenóreans that the servants of Sauron fled even before the battle began and their leader was taken as a prisoner back to the island of Elenna. Through numerous lies he poisoned the mind of the king and became master of his council, changing even the religion of the Númenóreans and turning them into servants of the dark lord [[Morgoth]].<ref name=akallabeth/>
  
When the [[Elendili]] established the [[Realms in Exile]], many Men turned from evil and became subject to them even though the pre-Númenóreans were not friendly to them and never learned to distinguish between the [[King's Men]] and the [[Faithful]].<ref name="Rings"/> During this time the [[King of the Dead|King of the Mountains]] first swore allegiance to [[Isildur]] even though he and many other men were still influenced by their old allegiance to Sauron.  
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===Downfall===
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[[File:Ted Nasmith - Queen Tar-Míriel and the Great Wave.jpg|thumb|left|''Queen Tar-Miriel and the Great Wave'' by [[Ted Nasmith]]]]
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{{main|Downfall of Númenor}}
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As the shadow of death approached Ar-Pharazôn Sauron now urged the king to take immortality by force and invade Aman. The Númenóreans now began preparations for war with the Valar and this raised the anger of [[Manwë]] who sent his eagle-shaped storm clouds to Númenor. Lightning struck the land, including the temple of Melkor, where human sacrifices were made. Because Sauron himself stood in their path and was not hurt by them, the Númenóreans were deceived even more into thinking he was their rightful god.<ref name=akallabeth/>
  
When Sauron returned Isildur summoned the Men of the Mountains to fulfil their oath, but they would not because they still feared Sauron. They hid in the mountains, isolated until slowly dwindling in the barren hills they became the [[Oathbreakers|Dead Men of Dunharrow]].
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Ar-Pharazôn sailed at the head of his fleet known as the [[Great Armament]], led by the flagship [[Alcarondas]], set course towards Valinor and reached Tol Eressëa. His pride fooled him into thinking that the inhabitants of Aman would not stand in his way, because the land was quiet and peaceful, and thus he set camp near the [[Túna]] hill. But Manwë, the Elder King, was aware of what transpired, and the Valar then laid down the Guardianship of Arda. Ilúvatar responded by catastrophically changing the shape of Arda. The Númenóreans present in Valinor were buried under the hills which fell upon them, and on the great island, fire erupted from the top of [[Meneltarma]]. The land crumbled into pieces and a great wave swept over it and buried the island at the bottom of the sea. Its people were taken by the waters, and this tragedy brought an end to the Númenórean realm, in {{SA|3319}}.<ref name=akallabeth/>
 
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===Sauron's Influence===
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The only daughter of the king [[Tar-Palantir]], a friend of the Eldar who tried to restore the old ways, was [[Tar-Míriel]]. According to the [[Law of Succession in Númenor|New Law]], she had the right to inherit the throne, but her cousin Pharazôn forced her into marriage, and took the Sceptre for himself, becoming known as Ar-Pharazôn the Golden, the most proud and powerful of all the kings. He desired not only immortality as the ones before he had, but also the dominion over the entire world. For this, he gathered a great fleet and opposed the greatest opponent in the path of his task: Sauron.
+
 
+
So mighty were the Númenóreans that the servants of Sauron fled even before the battle began and their leader was taken as a prisoner back to the island of Elenna. Through numerous lies he poisoned the mind of the king and became master of his council, changing even the religion of the Númenóreans and turning them into servants of the dark [[Morgoth]]. And because he assured Ar-Pharazôn that if he ever reached Aman he would become immortal, the last king gathered once more a great host of ships and sailed to break the Ban of the Valar.
+
 
+
===Downfall===
+
[[File:Ted Nasmith - Queen Tar-Míriel and the Great Wave.jpg|thumb|left|[[Ted Nasmith]] - ''Queen Tar-Miriel and the Great Wave'']]
+
  
Pharazôn's attempt to reach Valinor and his previous preparations for war with the Eldar raised the anger of [[Manwë]] who sent his eagle-shaped storm clouds to Númenor. Lightning struck the land, including the temple of Melkor, where human sacrifices were made. Because Sauron himself stood in their path and was not hurt by them, the Númenóreans were deceived even more into thinking he was their rightful god.
+
===Legacy===
 +
[[File:Turner Mohan - Out Of The Sea I Am Come.jpg|thumb|200px|right|''Out Of The Sea I am Come'' by Turner Mohan]]
 +
Few of the remaining Númenóreans in the island survived the Downfall, these were the Elendili led by Elendil and his sons, [[Isildur]] and [[Anárion]]. They escaped the [[Akallabêth]] with nine ships, a seedling of [[Nimloth of Númenor|Nimloth]], which Isildur had rescued the night before its destruction and the Seven [[Seeing-stones]]. Cast ashore by the storm on the western lands of Middle-earth, they founded the Númenórean realms in exile: [[Arnor]] and [[Gondor]].<ref name=akallabeth/>
  
Ar-Pharazôn sailed at the head of his fleet known as the [[Great Armament]], led by the flagship [[Alcarondas]], set course towards Valinor and reached Tol Eressëa. His pride fooled him into thinking that the inhabitants of Aman would not stand in his way, because the land was quiet and peaceful, and thus he set camp near the [[Túna]] hill. But Manwë, the Elder King, was aware of what transpired, and the Valar then laid down the Guardianship of Arda. Ilúvatar responded by catastrophically changing the shape of Arda. The Númenóreans present in Valinor were buried under the hills which fell upon them, and on the great island, fire erupted from the top of Meneltarma. The land crumbled into pieces and a great wave swept over it and buried the island at the bottom of the sea. Its people were taken by the waters, and this tragedy brought an end to the Númenórean realm, in {{SA|3319}}.
+
Other Númenóreans survived the Downfall, these were of the King's Men that settled in Middle-earth. They continued to serve Sauron and was later known as the [[Black Númenóreans]]. Their chief haven was [[Umbar]].<ref name="Rings">{{S|Rings}}</ref>
  
===Epilogue===
+
Long after the Fall, there was a belief among those who survived it that the Holy Mountain Meneltarma was not swallowed by the waters but instead raised to be a new island of its own. The heirs of Elendil built great ships once more and set on its search, not only because they yearned for their home, but also because from that point, the top of Meneltarma, Tol Eressëa could be spotted and their hearts still desired to reach the West, against all warnings. But they never found the top of Meneltarma and their voyages served only to discover that Arda was a round world.<ref name=akallabeth/>
[[File:The Lord of the Rings - The Motion Picture Trilogy - Elendil.jpg|thumb|250px|right|Elendil in ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring]]'']]
+
The only ones to survive the Downfall of Númenor were Elendil and his sons, [[Isildur]] and [[Anárion]], along with the few people of the Elendili. They escaped the [[Akallabêth]] with nine ships, a seedling of [[Nimloth of Númenor|Nimloth]], which Isildur had rescued the night before its destruction and the Seven [[Seeing-stones]]. Cast ashore by the storm on the western lands of Middle-earth, they founded the Númenórean realms in exile: [[Arnor]] and [[Gondor]]. Their war with Sauron continued in the lands of Middle-earth.  Fighting side by side with the Elves and the [[Dwarves]] they opposed and defeated him during the [[War of the Last Alliance]].
+
  
Long after the Fall, there was a belief among those who survived it that the Holy Mountain Meneltarma was not swallowed by the waters but instead raised to be a new island of its own. The heirs of Elendil built great ships once more and set on its search, not only because they yearned for their home, but also because from that point, the top of Meneltarma, Tol Eressëa could be spotted and their hearts still desired to reach the West, against all warnings. But they never found the top of Meneltarma and their voyages served only to discover that Arda was a round world.
 
 
==Culture==
 
==Culture==
The Númenóreans were extremely skilled in arts and craft, with the forging of weapons and armour; although they were a peaceful people, their weapons, armour, and horse-riding skills could not be contested anywhere else in [[Arda]], save for the [[Valar]]. But the Númenóreans were not warmongers, hence the chief art on the island became that of ship-building and sea-craft. The Númenóreans became great mariners, exploring the world in all directions save for the westward, where the [[Ban of the Valar]] was in force. They often travelled to the shores of Middle-earth, teaching the men there the art and craft, and introduced farming as to improve their everyday lives.
+
===Language===
 +
The Númenóreans spoke [[Adunaic]], a [[Mannish]] language that descended from the Mannish languages spoken in [[Beleriand]]. However, their forefathers, the Edain, had learned [[Sindarin]] which was passed on to Númenor. As a language of lore, it changed only a little with the millennia. Educated Númenóreans also studied [[Quenya]], having a prestige above all other tongues.<ref name=Appendices>{{App|Men}}</ref>
  
The Númenóreans spoke [[Adunaic]], a [[Mannish]] language that descended from the Mannish languages spoken in [[Beleriand]]. However, their forefathers, the Edain, had learned [[Sindarin]] which was passed on to Númenor. As a language of lore, it changed only a little with the millennia. Educated Númenóreans also studied [[Quenya]], having a prestige above all other tongues.<ref name=Appendices></ref>
+
===Religion and tradition===
 +
Towards the middle of Mittalmar stood the Mountain [[Meneltarma]], the sacred place on which [[Ilúvatar|Eru]] was worshipped. Its flattened top was wide enough to contain a great crowd during the three yearly ceremonies ([[Erukyermë]], [[Erulaitalë]] and [[Eruhantalë]]). These took place in absolute silence while climbing its slopes. Soon after {{SA|3262}} these religious beliefs were abandoned and the worshipping of [[Morgoth|Melkor]] began. It was done in a cylindrical temple near the city of Armenelos built especially for this, and it involved sacrificing men and women over a great fire, whose first flames were lit from the logs of [[Nimloth the Fair]], white tree of Númenor, when Sauron ordered it felled.
  
Respected as a law was the [[Ban of the Valar]], which stated that Númenóreans should never sail West more than the limit of their sight when looking after their shores. As the fear of death filled more and more the hearts of the Númenóreans, they sailed further away from the island, until finally the last king, Ar-Pharazôn, broke the Ban in his attempt to reach [[Tol Eressëa]] out of the false belief that dwelling in that place granted immortality.
+
Every autumn they observed the [[Great Bear Dance]].<ref name="NOME">{{NM|P3xiii}}, p. 335</ref>
===Religion and Tradition===
+
 
+
Towards the middle of Mittalmar stood the Mountain [[Meneltarma]], the sacred place on which [[Ilúvatar|Eru]] was worshipped. Its flattened top was wide enough to contain a great crowd during the three yearly ceremonies ([[Erukyermë]], [[Erulaitalë]] and [[Eruhantalë]]). These took place in absolute silence while climbing its slopes. Soon after {{SA|3262}} these religious beliefs were abandoned and the worshipping of [[Morgoth|Melkor]] began. It was done in a cylindrical temple near the city of Armenelos built especially for this, and it involved sacrificing men and women over a great fire, whose first flames were lit from the [[White Tree of Tol Eressëa]].
+
  
 
Whenever ships sailed from Númenor, the custom of the [[Green Bough of Return]] took place. A branch from the [[Fragrant Trees|Fragrant Tree]] [[Oiolairë]] was set at the prow as a symbol of good fortune by a Númenórean woman, close relative to the captain of the ship. [[Erendis]], wife of Tar-Aldarion, refused to do so in disagreement with her husband's frequent voyages towards Middle-earth, breaking this tradition for the first time.
 
Whenever ships sailed from Númenor, the custom of the [[Green Bough of Return]] took place. A branch from the [[Fragrant Trees|Fragrant Tree]] [[Oiolairë]] was set at the prow as a symbol of good fortune by a Númenórean woman, close relative to the captain of the ship. [[Erendis]], wife of Tar-Aldarion, refused to do so in disagreement with her husband's frequent voyages towards Middle-earth, breaking this tradition for the first time.
  
===Daily Life===
+
===Daily life===
[[File:Ivan Ulicny - The Age of Númenor.jpg|thumb|Ivan Ulicny - ''The Age of Númenor'']]
+
[[File:J.R.R. Tolkien - Númenórean helmet.jpg|thumb|Númenórean helmet by [[J.R.R. Tolkien]]]]
 
Many of the inhabitants of Númenor were fishermen. Along with the grains cultivated in Orrostar, fish was the main food source for the Númenóreans.
 
Many of the inhabitants of Númenor were fishermen. Along with the grains cultivated in Orrostar, fish was the main food source for the Númenóreans.
  
Line 130: Line 105:
  
 
==Characteristics==
 
==Characteristics==
The average Númenórean was taller than two [[Ranga]]r or 6'4". Elendil was the tallest of Men who escaped the Downfall (mentioned to be almost 2.5 [[rangar]] tall, 7'11" or 2.41 m)<ref>{{UT|Linear}}</ref>
+
[[File:Turner Mohan - Tar-Míriel.jpg|thumb|''Tar-Míriel'' by [[:Category:Images by Turner Mohan|Turner Mohan]]]]
 +
The average Númenórean was taller than two [[Ranga]]r or 6'4". Elendil was the tallest of Men who escaped the Downfall, mentioned to be almost 2.5 [[rangar]] tall, 7'11" or 2.41 m.<ref>{{UT|Linear}}</ref>
  
[[Christopher Tolkien]] noted that Tolkien developed his thinking on the longevity of Númenóreans: originally he suggested that Númenóreans not of the [[Line of Elros]] lived for 200 years - or three times normal men - with royal kindred living 400 years. However, in later writings this was changed to a smaller difference between royals and non-royals, with Númenóreans living "five times" that of normal men, or 300-350 years. Those of the House of Elros were consistenly at c. 400 years, although this was later diminished due to their rebellion.<ref name=Line/> This longer lifespan resulted in an older age of adulthood: 25 years.<ref name=Aldarion></ref>{{rp|174}}
+
Númenóreans were granted especially long lives when compared to that of other Men, with the average lifespan in the beginning ranging from 350 years to as much as 420. Those of the line of Elros in particular often lived 400 years or even more, while those who were outside of the royal line only rarely managed to reach 400.<ref>{{NM|P3xii}}p. 317</ref>
 +
 
 +
Númenóreans were also those who best understood the [[Gift of Ilúvatar]] and were blessed in that they did not share the same fear of death that other men had. Often in the beginning of Númenor, Men who at last began to feel the first signs of weariness of mortal life would voluntarily give up their spirits and die of their own free will. This usually would only occur in the latter years of their lifespan, such as around year 400 for the particularly long lived.<ref>{{NM|P3xii}}p. 317</ref>  
 +
 
 +
However, as part of the decay brought on by the Shadow, many Númenóreans began to fear death rather than accept it. During the twilight of the realm, many Númenóreans would cling to life for as long as possible, becoming senile and decrepit like other Men. Additionally, lifespans began to decline as the Shadow further grew. The lifespans of those of the house of Elros began to fall to the point where many would live for less than three centuries.<ref name=Line/>
  
==Names==
+
==Other names==
In their own language, the Númenóreans were named '''Adûnâim'''.<ref>{{HM|SD}}, p. 426</ref>
+
In their own language, the Númenóreans were named '''''Adûnâim'''''.<ref>{{SD|66}}, p. 247</ref>
  
 
The Númenóreans were also known as '''High Men'''.<ref name=Dwarves>
 
The Númenóreans were also known as '''High Men'''.<ref name=Dwarves>
 
</ref>{{rp|312, 427}}<ref>{{PE|17}}, p. 101</ref> (Cf. [[Middle Men]]). They were also known as "Sea-kings", "Men of the Sea" and "Lords of the Sea".<ref>{{HM|Guide}}, p. 297</ref>
 
</ref>{{rp|312, 427}}<ref>{{PE|17}}, p. 101</ref> (Cf. [[Middle Men]]). They were also known as "Sea-kings", "Men of the Sea" and "Lords of the Sea".<ref>{{HM|Guide}}, p. 297</ref>
 +
 +
They were known as '''''Go-hilleg''''' by the [[Dunlendings]].<ref>{{HM|PM}}, "Index", entry "Go-hilleg"</ref>
 +
 +
''[[The Silmarillion]]'' is explicit in noting that "Númenoreans" and "Dúnedain" are synonymous terms, meaning the same thing. Nevertheless, it seems more usual to call those born in [[Númenor]] "'''Númenoreans'''" and their descendants living in [[Middle-earth]] post-[[Akallabêth]] "'''Dúnedain'''".
 +
 +
==Other versions of the legendarium==
 +
In the earlier drafts of the ''Akallabêth'', it introduced the notion of the Númenóreans using aerial craft.<ref>{{LR|P1II1}}</ref> After the destruction of their island they devise ships that 'sail in the air of breath'.<ref>{{LR|P1II2}}, §12</ref> The mechanics is not explored and was discarded in the story later.<ref>{{LR|P1II2}}, Commentary on the first version of The Fall of Númenor, §12</ref>
 +
 +
[[Christopher Tolkien]] noted that Tolkien developed his thinking on the longevity of Númenóreans: originally he suggested that Númenóreans not of the [[Line of Elros]] lived for 200 years - or three times normal men - with royal kindred living 400 years. However, in later writings this was changed to a smaller difference between royals and non-royals, with Númenóreans living "five times" that of normal men, or 300-350 years. Those of the House of Elros were consistenly at c. 400 years, although this was later diminished due to their rebellion.<ref name=Line/> This longer lifespan resulted in an older age of adulthood: 25 years.<ref name=Aldarion></ref>{{rp|174}}
 +
 +
In another writing from circa 1965, Tolkien postulated that even Númenóreans who were not of the royal house lived around 350-420 years, though non royals managing to reach 400 was not a common event.<ref>{{NM|P3xii}}p. 317</ref>
 +
 +
==Portrayal in adaptations ==
 +
'''2001: ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring]]'':'''
 +
:Númenórean soldiers, as well as [[Elendil]] and [[Isildur]], appear in the film's prologue in the [[War of the Last Alliance]].
 +
 +
'''2022: ''[[The Lord of the Rings on Prime]]'':'''
 +
:Númenóreans will feature in this series, which is set in the Second Age.
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
*[[:Category:Images of Númenóreans|Images of Númenóreans]]
 
 
*[[King of Númenor]]
 
*[[King of Númenor]]
 
*[[Black Númenóreans]]
 
*[[Black Númenóreans]]
 
*[[Dúnedain]]
 
*[[Dúnedain]]
 
*[[Akallabêth]]
 
*[[Akallabêth]]
{{references}}
+
==External links==
 
+
*[http://www.stephenwigmore.com/2016/09/the-population-of-numenor-through-2nd.html The population of Númenor] - A theory about the Númenóreans's population numbers on Númenor and Middle-earth during the Second Age, by Stephen Wigmore
 +
{{references|n}}
 
[[Category:Edain]]
 
[[Category:Edain]]
 
[[Category:Men]]
 
[[Category:Men]]

Revision as of 07:15, 14 October 2021

This article is about the inhabitants of Númenor. For the descendants they had on Middle-earth during the Third Age, see Dúnedain.
Númenóreans
People
Liz Danforth - Isildur.png
"Isildur" by Liz Danforth
General Information
Pronunciationnoo-meh-nor-ee-ans
Other namesAdûnâim (A), Dúnedain (S), Go-hilleg (D), Tarkildi (Q), Kings of Men, Men of Númenor, Men of the Sea, Men of Westernesse, Mighty of the West, Sea-kings, Tall Men
OriginsEdain of Beleriand granted a new homeland by the Valar after the War of Wrath
LocationsNúmenor, Eriador, Harad, Umbar, Pelargir, later Arnor and Gondor
AffiliationFaithful, King's Men, Realms in Exile, Last Alliance of Elves and Men
RivalriesSauron
LanguagesAdûnaic, Númenórean Sindarin, Quenya
MembersElros, Tar-Aldarion, Ar-Pharazôn, Elendil, Isildur
Physical Description
LifespanNúmenóreans - c. 200+ years[1]
Kings of Númenor - c. 400 years (later diminished)[1]
See below
DistinctionsThe mightiest of Men in both nobility and body
Average heightTall, typically 7 feet.[2]
WeaponryBows[3]
GalleryImages of Númenóreans
"So great was the might and splendour of the Númenóreans that Sauron's own servants deserted him."
The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A

Númenóreans or Dúnedain were the Men of Númenor, descendants of the Edain of the First Age, who were granted the island of Elenna as a dwelling place. Eventually, they turned against the Valar, and their island home was destroyed in the last years of the Second Age.

Contents

Origins

See also: Edain

The Númenóreans were descendants of the Edain of the First Age, who proved themselves great allies of the Elves, from whom they gathered knowledge of all things surrounding them. The two races fought together against Morgoth.

During that Age, unions of Elves and Men were made; Lúthien and Beren whose son, Dior Eluchíl, married Nimloth of Doriath and Elwing was born. Idril and Tuor, the second couple, were parents of Eärendil. Elwing and Eärendil met at the Havens of Sirion and from their union twins were born: Elros and Elrond. To the two half-elves, the Valar gave a choice: Elros chose to join the race of men, whereas Elrond chose to join the elves.

The Edain fought with the Host of Valinor in the War of Wrath and were victorious, the Edain were honoured and blessed by Eönwë in body and mind for their part in the war and the Valar rewarded the Edain by giving them a place to dwell outside the troubled world of Middle-earth. Ulmo raised an island halfway between Endor and Aman which the Edain named Elenna, later known as the island of Númenor.[4] The first ships of the Edain arrived to their new home in S.A. 32 by following the Star of Eärendil, Elros became the first King of Númenor and established the Realm of Númenor.[1] For the next fifty years the majority of the Edain in Middle-earth gradually migrated to Númenor.[5]

History

Númenórean Armor (early Second Age) by Turner Mohan

Early history

The Númenóreans built a mighty seafaring civilisation, their lore and craft were advanced and enriched by the knowledge of the Eldar and their body and mind grew in stature, gaining long life thrice more than the Men in Middle-earth.[1] They excelled in 'ship-building and sea-craft' and became skilled mariners.[4]

They held the Eldar in close friendship and the white ships from Tol Eressëa brought many gifts to Númenor such as birds, flowers, and healing herbs. One notable gift was a seedling of Celeborn, the White Tree of Tol Eressëa which grew at the courts of the King in Armenelos and it was named Nimloth[4]

Return to Middle-earth

Due to the fact that the Ban of the Valar restricted them from sailing West, the Númenóreans began to explore the eastern part of the world, reaching the shores of Middle-earth in S.A. 600.[6] They sailed to Lindon and established a friendship with Gil-galad and the Elves of Lindon.[7]

The Men in Eriador were filled with wonder at their coming for the Men of Middle-earth had long lived under the Shadow, a period known as the Dark Years, and because of this they grown weak and fearful. The Númenóreans began to cultivate their new friends teaching them agriculture, stonemasonry and smithying.[4] They also discovered that while their languages were different, they both had a common origin and were able to converse with each other over simple matters.[7] The Númenóreans never dwelt long in the shores of Middle-earth, but the Men, who populated the western shores, were comforted. They revered the memory of the tall Sea-kings whom they remembered as gods hoping each time for their return.[4]

Erendis by Eric Faure-Brac

In the following decades there was increased activity between Númenór and Middle-earth, mariners returning from their voyages brought with them ore and jewels. In S.A. 750 the Guild of Venturers was founded by Aldarion and many young and eager men joined.[8] Their vessels grew greater and larger and were now able to make far and long voyages.

Aldarion established Vinyalondë at the mouth of the Gwathló, a haven for the purpose of repairs, ship building and collection of timber. The Númenóreans began to escalate their tree felling around the dense forests of Minhiriath and Enedwaith, but their enterprise created animosity between them and the native men living there and the forest-dwellers attacked and ambushed the Númenóreans when they could until they were expelled from their forest homes. The Númenóreans wrecked the banks, the shorelines, great tracks and roads whom they drove into the forests northwards and southwards from the Gwathló and continued battling and destroying what lied ahead of them, pushing into Minhiriath and Enedwaith.[9]

In S.A. 882 Gil-galad warned Tar-Meneldur that a new shadow is rising in the East, instigated by a servant of Morgoth, and asked for aid when the time comes to help defend Eriador against this new threat.[10]:199-200 The Númenóreans began the preparation of force and supplies for war.[11]

In the early thirteenth century of the Second Age, the Númenóreans began establishing permanent settlements in Middle-earth.[6] Later these settlements were under increased pressure from raiders as Sauron drew closer to the Númenórean sphere of influence. He recruited the natives that had a hatred of Númenór and used them as spies and guides. Though Sauron had not enough force to assault the forts at the Haven or along the banks of the Gwathló his raiders wreaked havoc on the fringes of the forests, burning trees and wood-stores of the Númenóreans.[9]

The Númenóreans participated in the War of the Elves and Sauron, though they arrived late to the conflict in S.A. 1700[6] due to delays[11] and when most of Eriador was already ruined. Tar-Minastir's fleet turned the tide of the war and Sauron was decisively defeated in the Battle of the Gwathló. Sauron was forced to retreat to Mordor and vowed vengeance upon the Númenóreans and there was peace in the Westlands.[11]

Shadow falls

Númenórean Armor (late Second Age) by Turner Mohan

The first sign of the Shadow falling upon Númenór was said to have begun in the reign of Tar-Minastir, he loved the Eldar - and aided them in their most desperate hour against Sauron - but he also envied them.[1] Over time, the Númenóreans began questioning the Ban of the Valar and the Gift of Men, and the fear of death crept into their hearts, so the Firstborn became envied for their immortality.[4]

About S.A. 1800, the Númenóreans began establishing dominions on the coasts of Middle-earth and their attitude towards the Men of Middle-earth changed, where once they were teachers and friends they now subjugated them and levied heavy tribute to the the native populace, desiring wealth and power. This occurred during the reigns of Tar-Ciryatan and his son Tar-Atanamir.[6] It was during the reign of Tar-Atanamir that the Shadow upon Númenór was on its noontide. The Númenóreans that followed his lore spoke openly against the Valar and Eldar[1] though they still feared retaliation from the Valar if they broke the ban.[4]

During the reign of Tar-Ancalimon, the Númenóreans became divided into two parties; the Faithful or Elf-friends and the King's Men.[1] Those that followed the King abandoned the use of the Eldarin tongues and were estranged from the Eldar and Valar while the Faithful were still friends with the Eldar.[12] The King's Men explored the coasts of Middle-earth far southward, establishing landing and trading posts that grew into cruel vice-kingdoms which left many rumours in the legends of Men, although the Eldar did not know about them,[13] such as Umbar.[note 1] The Faithful Númenóreans played no part in this and in S.A. 2350 Pelargir was built by them and it became their chief haven.[6]

When Ar-Adûnakhôr ascended to the throne in S.A. 2899[6] he was the first king to choose an Adûnaic name and began to persecute the Faithful, punishing all those who would speak the Elven tongues openly. In the end, the Eldar came no more to the land of Númenor.[12] However there was some respite for the Faithful under the rule of Tar-Palantir who sought to repent the actions of his predecessors and gain back the favour of the Valar.[1]

Tar-Palantir's policies were met with opposition by his brother Gimilkhâd who led the King's party, when he died his son Pharazôn returned to Númenór and led a rebellion against the king. When Tar-Palantir died his daughter Míriel, according to the New Law, had the right to inherit the throne, but Pharazôn forced her into marriage, and usurped the Sceptre for himself, becoming known as Ar-Pharazôn.[4]

Sauron's corruption

In S.A. 3261[6] Ar-Pharazôn returned to Middle-earth with a mighty host to challenge the threat of Sauron. So mighty were the Númenóreans that the servants of Sauron fled even before the battle began and their leader was taken as a prisoner back to the island of Elenna. Through numerous lies he poisoned the mind of the king and became master of his council, changing even the religion of the Númenóreans and turning them into servants of the dark lord Morgoth.[4]

Downfall

Queen Tar-Miriel and the Great Wave by Ted Nasmith
Main article: Downfall of Númenor

As the shadow of death approached Ar-Pharazôn Sauron now urged the king to take immortality by force and invade Aman. The Númenóreans now began preparations for war with the Valar and this raised the anger of Manwë who sent his eagle-shaped storm clouds to Númenor. Lightning struck the land, including the temple of Melkor, where human sacrifices were made. Because Sauron himself stood in their path and was not hurt by them, the Númenóreans were deceived even more into thinking he was their rightful god.[4]

Ar-Pharazôn sailed at the head of his fleet known as the Great Armament, led by the flagship Alcarondas, set course towards Valinor and reached Tol Eressëa. His pride fooled him into thinking that the inhabitants of Aman would not stand in his way, because the land was quiet and peaceful, and thus he set camp near the Túna hill. But Manwë, the Elder King, was aware of what transpired, and the Valar then laid down the Guardianship of Arda. Ilúvatar responded by catastrophically changing the shape of Arda. The Númenóreans present in Valinor were buried under the hills which fell upon them, and on the great island, fire erupted from the top of Meneltarma. The land crumbled into pieces and a great wave swept over it and buried the island at the bottom of the sea. Its people were taken by the waters, and this tragedy brought an end to the Númenórean realm, in S.A. 3319.[4]

Legacy

Out Of The Sea I am Come by Turner Mohan

Few of the remaining Númenóreans in the island survived the Downfall, these were the Elendili led by Elendil and his sons, Isildur and Anárion. They escaped the Akallabêth with nine ships, a seedling of Nimloth, which Isildur had rescued the night before its destruction and the Seven Seeing-stones. Cast ashore by the storm on the western lands of Middle-earth, they founded the Númenórean realms in exile: Arnor and Gondor.[4]

Other Númenóreans survived the Downfall, these were of the King's Men that settled in Middle-earth. They continued to serve Sauron and was later known as the Black Númenóreans. Their chief haven was Umbar.[14]

Long after the Fall, there was a belief among those who survived it that the Holy Mountain Meneltarma was not swallowed by the waters but instead raised to be a new island of its own. The heirs of Elendil built great ships once more and set on its search, not only because they yearned for their home, but also because from that point, the top of Meneltarma, Tol Eressëa could be spotted and their hearts still desired to reach the West, against all warnings. But they never found the top of Meneltarma and their voyages served only to discover that Arda was a round world.[4]

Culture

Language

The Númenóreans spoke Adunaic, a Mannish language that descended from the Mannish languages spoken in Beleriand. However, their forefathers, the Edain, had learned Sindarin which was passed on to Númenor. As a language of lore, it changed only a little with the millennia. Educated Númenóreans also studied Quenya, having a prestige above all other tongues.[15]

Religion and tradition

Towards the middle of Mittalmar stood the Mountain Meneltarma, the sacred place on which Eru was worshipped. Its flattened top was wide enough to contain a great crowd during the three yearly ceremonies (Erukyermë, Erulaitalë and Eruhantalë). These took place in absolute silence while climbing its slopes. Soon after S.A. 3262 these religious beliefs were abandoned and the worshipping of Melkor began. It was done in a cylindrical temple near the city of Armenelos built especially for this, and it involved sacrificing men and women over a great fire, whose first flames were lit from the logs of Nimloth the Fair, white tree of Númenor, when Sauron ordered it felled.

Every autumn they observed the Great Bear Dance.[16]

Whenever ships sailed from Númenor, the custom of the Green Bough of Return took place. A branch from the Fragrant Tree Oiolairë was set at the prow as a symbol of good fortune by a Númenórean woman, close relative to the captain of the ship. Erendis, wife of Tar-Aldarion, refused to do so in disagreement with her husband's frequent voyages towards Middle-earth, breaking this tradition for the first time.

Daily life

Númenórean helmet by J.R.R. Tolkien

Many of the inhabitants of Númenor were fishermen. Along with the grains cultivated in Orrostar, fish was the main food source for the Númenóreans.

The Dúnedain were skilled in riding and loved horses. They could even call them in their thoughts if bound by friendship. Númenor had no paved roads so that the carriages could move on them more easily. From the Noldor they learned the art of forging swords, axes, spears, knives, but mostly bows; their arrows resembled dark clouds falling upon the enemies.

The Númenóreans, were skilled in the art of husbandry, breeding great horses that roamed across the open plains in Mittalmar.

The greatest love of the Númenóreans was the sea and the building of the largest ships. Most were built at the command of Tar-Aldarion, who also established the Guild of Venturers. The ship Eämbar was their headquarters.

Characteristics

Tar-Míriel by Turner Mohan

The average Númenórean was taller than two Rangar or 6'4". Elendil was the tallest of Men who escaped the Downfall, mentioned to be almost 2.5 rangar tall, 7'11" or 2.41 m.[17]

Númenóreans were granted especially long lives when compared to that of other Men, with the average lifespan in the beginning ranging from 350 years to as much as 420. Those of the line of Elros in particular often lived 400 years or even more, while those who were outside of the royal line only rarely managed to reach 400.[18]

Númenóreans were also those who best understood the Gift of Ilúvatar and were blessed in that they did not share the same fear of death that other men had. Often in the beginning of Númenor, Men who at last began to feel the first signs of weariness of mortal life would voluntarily give up their spirits and die of their own free will. This usually would only occur in the latter years of their lifespan, such as around year 400 for the particularly long lived.[19]

However, as part of the decay brought on by the Shadow, many Númenóreans began to fear death rather than accept it. During the twilight of the realm, many Númenóreans would cling to life for as long as possible, becoming senile and decrepit like other Men. Additionally, lifespans began to decline as the Shadow further grew. The lifespans of those of the house of Elros began to fall to the point where many would live for less than three centuries.[1]

Other names

In their own language, the Númenóreans were named Adûnâim.[20]

The Númenóreans were also known as High Men.[2]:312, 427[21] (Cf. Middle Men). They were also known as "Sea-kings", "Men of the Sea" and "Lords of the Sea".[22]

They were known as Go-hilleg by the Dunlendings.[23]

The Silmarillion is explicit in noting that "Númenoreans" and "Dúnedain" are synonymous terms, meaning the same thing. Nevertheless, it seems more usual to call those born in Númenor "Númenoreans" and their descendants living in Middle-earth post-Akallabêth "Dúnedain".

Other versions of the legendarium

In the earlier drafts of the Akallabêth, it introduced the notion of the Númenóreans using aerial craft.[24] After the destruction of their island they devise ships that 'sail in the air of breath'.[25] The mechanics is not explored and was discarded in the story later.[26]

Christopher Tolkien noted that Tolkien developed his thinking on the longevity of Númenóreans: originally he suggested that Númenóreans not of the Line of Elros lived for 200 years - or three times normal men - with royal kindred living 400 years. However, in later writings this was changed to a smaller difference between royals and non-royals, with Númenóreans living "five times" that of normal men, or 300-350 years. Those of the House of Elros were consistenly at c. 400 years, although this was later diminished due to their rebellion.[1] This longer lifespan resulted in an older age of adulthood: 25 years.[10]:174

In another writing from circa 1965, Tolkien postulated that even Númenóreans who were not of the royal house lived around 350-420 years, though non royals managing to reach 400 was not a common event.[27]

Portrayal in adaptations

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

Númenórean soldiers, as well as Elendil and Isildur, appear in the film's prologue in the War of the Last Alliance.

2022: The Lord of the Rings on Prime:

Númenóreans will feature in this series, which is set in the Second Age.

See also

External links

  • The population of Númenor - A theory about the Númenóreans's population numbers on Númenor and Middle-earth during the Second Age, by Stephen Wigmore

Notes

  1. It is unclear when Umbar was founded, in Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings it is mentioned that it was fortified in S.A. 2280 which means that it had existed in some form prior to that date.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Line of Elros: Kings of Númenor"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Of Dwarves and Men"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "A Description of the Island of Númenor", p. 170
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "V. The History of the Akallabêth", §5
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife", note 3
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife", Notes, Chronology
  9. 9.0 9.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix D: The Port of Lond Daer"
  10. 10.0 10.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn"
  12. 12.0 12.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Númenor"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "V. The History of the Akallabêth", §28
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age", "Of Men"
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: XIII. Of the Land and Beasts of Númenor", p. 335
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields", "Appendix: Númenórean Linear Measures"
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: XII. The Ageing of Númenóreans"p. 317
  19. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: XII. The Ageing of Númenóreans"p. 317
  20. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part Two: The Notion Club Papers Part Two: Night 66", p. 247
  21. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 101
  22. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, p. 297
  23. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Index", entry "Go-hilleg"
  24. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part One: II. The Fall of Númenor, (i) The original outline"
  25. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part One: II. The Fall of Númenor, (ii) The first version of The Fall of Númenor", §12
  26. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part One: II. The Fall of Númenor, (ii) The first version of The Fall of Númenor", Commentary on the first version of The Fall of Númenor, §12
  27. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: XII. The Ageing of Númenóreans"p. 317