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With the end of the First Age, Númenor – the land of gift – is granted to the group of Men that had aided the Elves of Beleriand in their great struggle against Morgoth. Who were these Men? What was their relationship to other groups of Men? What gifts were bestowed upon them by the Valar? And what was the point of their existence in this island kingdom? Join us, as we explore the dawn of Númenor.
Tolkien’s writings are always so packed with fascinating detail, and I was reading the beginning of Akallabêth recently, I was struck by this again. There is so much to consider and ponder just in the first few pages, and I think it’s important when considering how the story of Númenor should be told with LOTRonPrime. So on this week’s episode, we’re going to take a close look at the founding of Númenor, as told in Akallabêth.
- Let’s go all the way back to the beginning, at least the beginning for Men, the Atani.
- Men come into the world in the time of the Shadow of Morgoth, and they fall swiftly under his dominion…and they worship the Darkness, and yet feared it.
- Some of these Men turn from evil, and travel westward, toward a rumored light that the shadow could not dim.
- These Men enter Beleriand during the War of the Jewels, and become friends of the Eldar in their struggle against Morgoth. They become known as the Edain.
- All of this is of course told of in The Silmarillion, which concludes with the journey of Eärendil, and the War of Wrath.
- The Edain fight on the side of the Valar, while many other Men fight on the side of Morgoth.
- Many of the Men who served Morgoth fled back into the East, avoiding the destruction of Beleriand, joining with Men who had never travelled to Beleriand. So apparently there were Men of Morgoth who had learned something of the art of domination from him, and used this to dominate their fellow Men in the lands east of the Blue Mountains.
- Even so, these Men of Middle-earth were dominated by dragons, demons, orcs, etc, the leftover creations of Morgoth.
- Forsaken by the Valar? Why? Forsaken for a time…could it be that this was the standing order from Ilúvatar? To what end?
- Manwë shut Morgoth beyond the World in the Void, but his old creations remained, and his will remained and guided his servants. And his hatred for the Valar and their allies remained as the soul of his servants. So how active was Morgoth from the beyond?
- Knowing this, the Valar hold council “concerning the ages that should come after”. What did they know? Was this just speculating on the future, or was their prophetic insight here?
- They again summon the Eldar, and those that hearken dwell in Tol Eressä, with the tower of Avallónë, the first sight seen when journeying toward the Blessed Realm.
- The Valar send Eonwë to instruct the Edain, making them wise and powerful and full of life. Who is Eonwë? What did he teach them?
- Númenor is raised by Ossë, established by Aulë, and enriched by Yavanna, and glorified by the Elves of Tol Eressea.
- The journey of the Edain to Númenor. Guided by the Star of Eärendil. What is this star?
- The Valar laid a peace upon the sea for the journey of the Edain. According to LOTR Appendix B, the Edain reach Númenor in year 32 of the Second Age.
- Names of Númenor: Andor (Land of Gift); Elenna (Starwards); Anadûnê / Westernesse / Númenorë in Quenya.
- Though their years were long, the Dúnedain, or western Men, only received longer life, free from illness, not immortality.
- They were also very tall, and wise, with bright starry eyes. BUT they had only a few children.
- Andúnië was the chief city at first, located to the west of Númenor. There was also the Meneltarma, the Pillar of Heaven, the place where they worshipped Ilúvatar.
- Elros the half-Elven was appointed the first king by the Eldar. He raised the tower and citadel of Armenelos, and ruled in peace for about 400 years, until his death.
- Elros was descended from the three houses of the Edain, as well as the Eldar (via Idril of Gondolin) and the Maia (via Lúthien, whose mother was Melian).
- Key to Númenor is that it is the gift of the Lords of the West, aka the Valar.
- Númenor is centered around the worship of Ilúvatar. The Númenoreans were indeed set apart to this, it would seem.
- The first 4 centuries of Númenor were peaceful ones.
- The Númenoreans looked impressive. Their stature (tall), perhaps they were even taller than the Eldar? Which might explain why they were apparently such a formidable foe that they even whooped Sauron whenever he faced them in combat.
- Morgoth’s will is ever at work, and is focused chiefly upon hatred for the Valar and those friendly to them.
- The friendship of the Eldar and the Númenoreans is key, both from Tol Eressea and from those remaining in Middle-earth who remember the First Age.
- The Men that remain in Middle-earth are ruled by Men of Morgoth, and it seems that Sauron will eventually explore this.
- The first Númenoreans would have been instructed by Eönwë, the herald of Manwë. Therefore, they would have viewed the Valar very favorably.
- The mortality of Men does two things: dims their cultural memory (3,000 years is a long time to remember, and what have you done for me lately), and makes them hunger for immortality. Why can’t we have it? There is no good answer given to them, except that it is a gift. Makes them ripe for the picking by one such as Sauron.
So that is a detailed look at the Founding of Númenor, which gives us a good idea of the world that LOTRonPrime will be taking place in.
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Númenor map used by permission of Sapiento:
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As Doctor Who would say, “What? What! What!! Please, no Game of Thrones stuff in Tolkien; that is the kind of thing we don’t need to see.
Thank You John. You said it better than I could. As I said in an earlier comment the “fan-fiction” that people are making up is demeaning and indecent.
Thank you, Jennifer!
To turn the work of Tolkien into Game of Thrones would be a most Orcish thing to do. I for one, as much as I want to watch a quality screen adaptation of that work, would avoid such a travesty like the plague!
Yes, Orcish is exactly the right word!