The Tolkien Road

A podcast about Middle-earth and all things Tolkien.

0254 – Númenor’s Religion (and Purpose)

Why did Númenor exist? Was it simply to reward the Edain and their descendants? Or was there some greater purpose that impacted the rest of Arda, and perhaps even the Cosmos?

In this episode, we are focusing on The Religion of Númenor, per a passage from Unfinished Tales’ “A Description of Númenor”. This is a very important topic for a number of reasons, but I want to highlight two specifically.

First, Tolkien famously (and as it turns out controversially) called Lord of the Rings a “fundamentally religious and Catholic work”. What exactly he meant by this is a subject of much debate, and likely key to understanding what he meant to do with the work.

Second, religion is a subject that has been of foundational importance in every human civilization in recorded history. Religion informs how we see ourselves and the meaning of our lives. Therefore, to know that Númenor had an actual religion is key to understanding what Númenor was all about. Indeed, there may be no more important topic for the producers of LOTR on Prime to think about and incorporate into the show if they want to make it truly worthy of Tolkien’s name.


  • Andrew T
  • John R
  • Ms. Anonymous


  • Why Discuss Númenor’s Religion? »  2:42
  • The Religion of Númenor per Unfinished Tales » 4:50
  • Discussion of the passage » 7:50
  • Connection to the Ban » 16:00
  • “Fundamentally Religious and Catholic” » 27:45
  • Mailbag » 31:15



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