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The Thain's Book
An encyclopedia of Middle-earth and Numenor


Map of Numenor
Important Dates
Names & Etymology

Numenor was an island realm of Men in the Second Age. It was a gift from the Valar to the Edain who fought with the Elves against Morgoth. Numenor was a great civilization, but over time the Numenoreans began to covet immortality. Urged on by Sauron, King Ar-Pharazon tried to conquer the Undying Lands. Numenor was destroyed and it sank beneath the Sea. The Faithful survived and went to Middle-earth led by Elendil and founded the Kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor.

Geography (see also the map below):

Numenor was an island in the Great Sea off the western coast of Middle-earth. To the west of Numenor lay the Undying Lands, which were still part of the world in the Second Age. Numenor was somewhat closer to the Undying Lands than to Middle-earth. On a clear day in Numenor, a keen-sighted person might see the city of Avallone on Tol Eressea - an island of the Undying Lands.

The island of Numenor was shaped like a five-pointed star, with a central region and five promontories projecting into the Sea in different directions. The central region was about 250 miles across, while the greatest distance from the end of one promontory to another was about 400 miles.

The central region was called the Mittalmar, or Inlands. Each of the promontories was a separate region. The northern promontory was called Forostar, the Northlands. The northwestern promontory was Andustar, the Westlands. The southwestern promontory was named Hyarnustar, the Southwestlands. The southeastern promontory was Hyarrostar, the Southeastlands. And the northeastern promontory was Orrostar, the Eastlands.

The Mittalmar was at a higher elevation than the promontories. It was mainly open grassland with few trees. In the southwestern part of the Mittalmar was a region called Emerie which was used for grazing sheep.

Near the center of the Mittalmar rose the great mountain Meneltarma, the highest point in Numenor. A road wound around the mountain to its flat summit where the Numenoreans gathered to worship Eru. No structures were built on the summit and speaking was not permitted except for prayers offered by the King three times a year at the beginning of spring, midsummer, and the end of autumn.

Meneltarma had five roots that stretched out different directions, mirroring the five promontories of Numenor. The roots were called the Tarmasundar. Between the two roots on the southern side was Noirinan, the Valley of the Tombs, where the Kings and Queens of Numenor were buried.

The River Siril began under the mountain in Noirinan and flowed south to the Sea between the promontories Hyarnustar and Hyarrostar. There were marshlands and beaches around the mouths of the Siril. Fisher-folk lived there in villages, the largest of which was Nindamos.

Another major river in Numenor was the Nunduine, which began in central Mittalmar and flowed westward. Just before the river reached the Sea, it formed Lake Nisinen. The Nunduine emptied into the Bay of Eldanna on the west coast of Numenor, between the promontories of Andustar and Hyarnustar.

The Bay of Eldanna faced west toward Tol Eressea, and the ships of the Elves often came there. The haven of Eldalonde was near the center of the Bay's shoreline at the mouth of the Nunduine. Eldalonde was the most beautiful haven in Numenor.

The land around Eldalonde was called Nisimaldar, "the Fragrant Trees." Nisimaldar was a warm, sheltered region with frequent rainfall. Many evergreen and fragrant trees grew there, including a number of varieties brought from Tol Eressea by the Elves. The most notable of these was the mallorn, which did not grow elsewhere in Numenor. Others included oiolaire, lairelosse, nessamelda, vardarianna, taniquelasse, and yavannamire.

On the east coast of Numenor, facing Middle-earth, was another great inlet called the Bay of Romenna, between the promontories Orrostar and Hyarrostar. In the Bay was the island of Tol Uinen. A Light-tower called Calmindon was erected there by the mariner Aldarion.

The Bay of Romenna narrowed to form the Firth of Romenna. At the head of the Firth was the great port of Romenna. There were large shipyards in Romenna with highly skilled shipwrights. Romenna was in the eastern region of the Mittalmar called Arandor, the Kingsland.

Arandor was the most populous region of Numenor. Armenelos, the City of the Kings, was located on a hill in Arandor. Elros Tar-Minyatur, the first King of Numenor, built a tower and citadel in the city. In the King's Court grew the White Tree called Nimloth, which was given to the Numenoreans by the Elves.

The promontory called the Andustar - or Westlands - was on the west coast of Numenor on the north side of the Bay of Eldanna. The northern part of the Andustar was rocky while the southern lands were fertile. There were forests of fir trees on the northern coast. In the south, birch and beech woods grew in the uplands and oaks and elms grew in the valleys.

At the western end of the Andustar there were three bays with shoreland at the foot of steep cliffs. The Bay of Andunie was the northernmost and the largest. The haven of Andunie was at the head of the Bay. There was another haven on the Bay of Andunie called Almaida. On Oromet, a hill near Andunie, there was a tower built during the reign of Tar-Minastir where one could look westward toward the Undying Lands.

The Lords of Andunie were a noble family related to the Kings of Numenor. They later became the leaders of the Faithful and from them were descended Elendil and the Kings of Gondor and Arnor.

The promontory of Hyarnustar - or Southwestlands - was on the west coast of Numenor on the south side of the Bay of Eldanna. There were mountains on the western end of the Hyarnustar. The western and southern shores were high cliffs. In the eastern part of the Hyarnustar the land was fertile and the climate was warm and vineyards were located there.

The Hyarrostar - or Southeastlands - was on the east coast of Numenor south of the Bay of Romenna. It was a region with many trees, including the golden-flowered laurinque. There were also a number of tree plantations which provided timber for building ships.

North of the Hyarrostar, on the other side of the Bay of Romenna, was the Orrostar - or Eastlands. Grain was grown in the inland regions of the Orrostar. The climate of the Orrostar was relatively cool but the crops were sheltered from the cold seawinds by highlands along the northeastern coast.

The promontory of Forostar - or Northlands - pointed northward. At the far end of the Forostar was the North Cape. The great cliffs of Sorontil formed a sheer wall rising out of the Sea. An astronomical observatory was built in the Forostar by Tar-Meneldur. Fir and larch trees grew on the moors of Forostar but otherwise there was little vegetation. The land was rocky and there were stone quarries probably centered around Ondosto.

The main road in Numenor led from Romenna to Armenelos. It continued to the Valley of the Tombs at the foot of Meneltarma on the western edge of Arandor and then turned northward. The road passed through Ondosto in Forostar and on to Andunie. This road could be used by wagons bearing goods across Numenor. But most roads in Numenor were unpaved and were used by people travelling on horseback.

In addition to horses, the Numenoreans kept sheep in the grasslands of the Mittalmar. Numerous birds also lived in Numenor. Great eagles dwelled in the cliffs of Sorontil. A pair of eagles lived in an eyrie atop of the tower in Armenelos, and three eagles kept watch upon Meneltarma. A type of small, red bird called the kirinki lived inland. Many birds lived along the shoreline. Off the coasts there were great schools of fish which provided a primary food source for the people of Numenor.

Agriculture in Numenor included the grain fields of the east and the vineyards of the south. A plant with healing properties called athelas grew in Numenor and was later brought to Middle-earth. Pipe-weed also came to Middle-earth from Numenor though Numenoreans apparently did not use it for smoking as Hobbits later did.

Natural resources of Numenor included timber and stone as well as iron and copper. The precious metal mithril was also found in Numenor. Gold, silver, and jewels were not natural resources of Numenor, and the Numenoreans went to Middle-earth to find them.


Rulers of NumenorNumenor was made by the powers called the Valar at the beginning of the Second Age. The island was raised out of the Sea by Osse - a Maia in the service of the Vala Ulmo, Lord of Waters. Osse's wife Uinen set the small island of Tol Uinen in the Bay of Romenna on Numenor's east coast. Uinen had the power to calm the seas and she became a protector of the mariners of Numenor.

Numenor's foundation was established by the Vala Aule whose domain was the substances of the earth. Aule's wife Yavanna - the Vala of growing things - made the land fertile. The Elves brought many flowers and trees to Numenor from Tol Eressea in the Undying Lands.

Numenor was a gift to the Men called the Edain who fought alongside the Elves against Morgoth. Morgoth was finally defeated by the Host of the Valar in the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age. The region of Beleriand on the west coast of Middle-earth where the Elves and the Edain had lived was destroyed. Some Elves remained in Middle-earth while others went to the Undying Lands.

The Edain set out for Numenor in the year 32 of the Second Age. They sailed in Elvish ships each captained by an Elf. They followed the Star of Earendil which shone in the West as a signal that their new island home was ready to be inhabited. Earendil was the mariner who had sought the Valar's help in the war against Morgoth. He sailed the night sky in his ship with one of the Silmarils on his brow.

Earendil was part Man and part Elf and he and his family had been given the choice between the mortal life of Men and the immortal life of the Elves. He and his son Elrond chose to be counted among the Elves. But Earendil's other son Elros chose the life of Men for himself and his descendants. Elros joined the Edain and became the first King of Numenor.

It was the fate of Men to die. Mortality was a gift to Men from Eru, their creator, and only Eru knew what became of Men after death. The Valar could not alter their fate, but they gave the Numenoreans longer lifespans than other Men. Elros lived to the age of 500 which was the longest of his people. According to one source, his descendants had lifespans of around 400 years while other Numenoreans generally lived to be a little over 200 years old. Other accounts state that Numenorean lifespans were three or five times those of ordinary Men. (UT, p. 224-25)

Numenoreans grew from childhood to adulthood at the same rate as other Men but then aged at a much slower rate. They remained healthy and vigorous until about ten years before their deaths, at which point their minds and bodies began to fail. The Numenoreans were able to choose the time of their deaths, and at first most of them voluntarily died before they declined.

Numenor became a great civilization. In the beginning, the Numenoreans were taught many things by Eonwe, the herald of the Vala Manwe. Over the centuries they increased their wisdom and made advances in the arts and sciences. They kept written records of their discoveries. The Numenoreans also excelled at craftsmanship and made many beautiful things of stone, metal, and wood.

The Guild of Weaponsmiths made fine swords, but initially these were only used as heirlooms since Numenor was at peace and Numenoreans did not bear arms in their own land. Each King's Heir received a new sword. The Weaponsmiths also made axes and spears, as well as bows and steel-tipped arrows which were used for hunting and archery.

The Numenoreans loved the Sea. Most of their towns were on or near the coasts. Swimming, diving and boating were common pastimes and fishing was an important industry. The Numenoreans became great mariners and they explored the Sea and the coasts of Middle-earth.

However, the Men of Numenor were forbidden by the Valar to sail westward out of sight of Numenor toward the Undying Lands where the immortal Elves and Valar dwelled. The Ban of the Valar was imposed because the Valar feared that the Numenoreans would begin to desire immortality for themselves even though neither the Valar nor the Undying Lands could make Men immortal.

But Elves from the Undying Lands were able to visit Numenor, and at first the two races were friendly. The Elves brought trees, flowers, herbs, and birds to Numenor, and sometimes they brought gifts of gold, silver, and jewels. They also shared knowledge with the Men of Numenor.

The native language of the Numenoreans was Adunaic. Most Numenoreans also spoke Sindarin, the language of the Elves of Beleriand which continued to be used by Elves of Middle-earth and Tol Eressea. In the early days of Numenor, those of the royal house and other noble houses spoke Sindarin as their primary language.

Quenya - the language of the High Elves of the Undying Lands - was used in Numenor for writing official documents. It was not spoken and it was learned only by the noble families. Place names in Numenor were in Quenya as were the names of the descendants of Elros. The rulers of Numenor had Quenya names preceded by the prefix "Tar" meaning "high."

There were 25 rulers of Numenor - 22 Kings and 3 Queens. The Sceptre of Numenor was the chief symbol of the monarchy. The rulers were advised by a Council of the Sceptre with a representative from each of the six regions of Numenor - the Mittalmar and the five promontories. The King's Heir was also a member of the Council. Other councillors could be summoned as needed.

Elros was appointed as the first King of Numenor by the Valar. He was called Tar-Minyatur, meaning "First Ruler." He built the tower and citadel in Armenelos. He ruled for 410 years, from the founding of Numenor in the year 32 until his death in 442.

The son and heir of Elros Tar-Minyatur was Vardamir Nolimon. He studied the ancient lore of Men and Elves. When his father died, Vardamir Nolimon was 381 years old. He decided not to become King of Numenor and instead passed the Sceptre to his son Tar-Amandil. But in the Scroll of the Kings, Vardamir Nolimon is counted as the second King of Numenor with a reign of one year.

Tar-Amandil's reign therefore officially began in 443 though in fact he became King in 442. He ruled for 148 years. It became customary for the rulers of Numenor to pass the Sceptre to their heirs before they died while they were still of sound mind and body. Tar-Amandil surrendered the Sceptre to his son Tar-Elendil in 590 and died in 603.

Tar-Elendil was a scholar who compiled books of the lore that his grandfather Vardamir Nolimon had gathered. His nickname was Parmaitë meaning "book-handed." But unlike his scholarly grandfather, Tar-Elendil became King of Numenor and ruled for 150 years.

Tar-Elendil's eldest child was a daughter named Silmarien. At the time, women could not become rulers of Numenor so Silmarien's younger brother Irimon - later Tar-Meneldur - was heir to the throne. Silmarien married Elatan of Andunie. Their son Valandil became the first Lord of Andunie, and from him were descended Elendil and the Kings of Gondor and Arnor. The Lords of Andunie were the highest ranking nobles in Numenor after the royal house and were among the King's chief councillors.

During the reign of Tar-Elendil in 600, the first sea voyage from Numenor to Middle-earth was achieved by the mariner Veantur. He sailed to the Grey Havens in Lindon and met Gil-galad, the High King of the Elves of the Noldor who had remained in Middle-earth after the War of Wrath. The Men of Numenor and the Elves of Middle-earth became friends and allies.

Veantur and his crew also met with twelve representatives of the Men who lived in Eriador east of Lindon. The Men of Eriador and the Men of Numenor were distantly related. The Numenoreans had thought that all of the Men who remained in Middle-earth were descended from the servants of Morgoth and they were surprised to find that the Men of Eriador were not so different from themselves.

Veantur's daughter Almarian married Tar-Elendil's heir Irimon. Irimon received the Sceptre from his father in 740. He took the name Tar-Meneldur from the word menel meaning "heaven" because he enjoyed studying the stars. Before he became King, he built an observatory tower on the promontory of Forostar.

Tar-Meneldur's son Aldarion became a great mariner like his maternal grandfather. Veantur first took Aldarion on a voyage to Middle-earth in 725 and introduced him to Gil-galad and to Cirdan the Shipwright. From Cirdan, Aldarion learned much about ship-building and sailing.

Aldarion soon began to lead his own expeditions to explore the Sea and the coasts of Middle-earth. He founded the Guild of Venturers composed of many mariners and ships. Eventually Aldarion sailed farther than any Numenorean had gone, venturing southwards to Harad and beyond. Because of the Ban of the Valar he never went westward.

Aldarion established a haven at the mouth of the Gwathlo on the coast of Middle-earth that was first called Vinyalonde and later Lond Daer. He began harvesting the surrounding forests in Minhiriath and Enedwaith for timber to make more ships. The practice continued after Aldarion's time and eventually the region was completely deforested. Aldarion also cultivated trees in Numenor.

At first, Tar-Meneldur was pleased that Aldarion had found an interest, but soon he became concerned that his son was neglecting his duties to Numenor. At one point Tar-Meneldur forbade Aldarion to leave Numenor but Aldarion defied him.

Of particular concern was the need for Aldarion to marry and produce an heir. After much delay, Aldarion became betrothed to a woman named Erendis in 858 and after further delay and another sea voyage he married her in 870. Their only child was a daughter Ancalime born in 873. Erendis was unhappy with Aldarion's love of the Sea and his frequent absences. They separated in 882 after Aldarion spent several years longer at sea than he had promised.

Aldarion had been delayed because he had been helping Gil-galad investigate the source of growing discord among the Men of Middle-earth. Aldarion thought that an evil lord of Men was behind it. But Gil-galad realized that a servant of Morgoth was gaining power, though he did not know at that time that it was Sauron.

Gil-galad sent a letter to Tar-Meneldur explaining the situation and requesting help from the Men of Numenor in the event of an attack on Eriador and Lindon. Tar-Meneldur could not decide whether to disrupt the peace of Numenor by preparing his people for war or to do nothing and risk allowing evil to spread. He decided it was time to pass the Sceptre to Aldarion, who had a better understanding of the troubles in Middle-earth.

Tar-Aldarion became the sixth ruler of Numenor in 883. He maintained relations with Gil-galad and the Elves of Lindon. Sauron did not attack Eriador at that time in part due to the alliance between the Elves and the Men of Numenor. The fleets and the haven of Lond Daer built by Aldarion were an important factor centuries later during the War of the Elves and Sauron.

Tar-Aldarion changed the laws of succession so his daughter Ancalime could be his heir. Previously, only males could rule Numenor. Under the new law, the eldest child of a ruler was the heir regardless of gender. (Some sources - UT, p. 208, 219-20 - indicate that females only inherited if they had no brothers, but this is contradicted by the tenth ruler Tar-Telperien who became Queen even though she had a younger brother.)

Tar-Ancalime received the Sceptre from her father and became the first Ruling Queen in 1075. She ruled for 205 years, which was the second-longest reign after Elros Tar-Minyatur. Tar-Ancalime abandoned her father's alliance with Gil-galad. She reluctantly married and had a son, Tar-Anarion, to whom she passed the Sceptre in 1280.

Tar-Anarion had two older daughters and a younger son. The daughters both refused the Sceptre, influenced in part by their fear and dislike of their grandmother Tar-Ancalime. Tar-Anarion's son Tar-Surion therefore received the Sceptre in 1394.

Tar-Surion's daughter Tar-Telperien became the tenth ruler and second Ruling Queen of Numenor in 1556. She never married and had no children so her heir was her nephew Minastir. According to one source (UT, p. 220), Tar-Telperien passed the Sceptre to Tar-Minastir in 1731, but this contradicts a number of other accounts in which Tar-Minastir was King during the War of the Elves and Sauron from 1693 to 1701.

The War was fought over the Rings of Power that had been made by the Elven-smiths of Eregion. Sauron had come to the Elven-smiths in disguise and had instructed them in the forging of the Rings. He then made the One Ring to rule the others and the Elves realized they had been deceived and hid their Rings from him.

Sauron declared war on the Elves and invaded Eregion. Gil-galad sent a message to Numenor requesting aid. Tar-Minastir began to assemble a great fleet while Numenorean forces helped the Elves of Lindon prepare for an attack.

Sauron destroyed Eregion and seized the Nine Rings and six of the Seven Rings but the Three Rings remained hidden. His forces overran Eriador and came to the River Lune on the border of Lindon. The Elves and Numenoreans defended the river until the fleet from Numenor led by Admiral Ciryatur arrived and drove back Sauron's army.

Sauron retreated to Tharbad on the Gwathlo where reinforcements awaited. But Ciryatur sent ships to Lond Daer at the mouth of the Gwathlo and put troops ashore. The Numenoreans defeated Sauron in the Battle of the Gwathlo in 1701. Sauron returned to Mordor and vowed to take revenge upon the Men of Numenor.

Although Tar-Minastir loved and helped the Elves, he was also envious of them. He built a tower on the hill of Oromet near Andunie so that he could look westward toward the Undying Lands. In 1869, Tar-Minastir was apparently compelled by his son Tar-Ciryatan to give up the Sceptre before he was ready to do so, and this was later seen as the first sign of the troubles to come.

Tar-Ciryatan was known as the Shipbuilder and he sent fleets to Middle-earth. In the days since Aldarion, there had been numerous expeditions to Middle-earth and at first the Numenoreans helped the Men of Middle-earth and taught them many things. But Tar-Ciryatan was greedy and he seized goods and resources and demanded tribute.

Tar-Atanamir received the Sceptre from Tar-Ciryatan in 2029 and continued his father's oppressive policies towards the Men of Middle-earth. During his reign, many Men of Numenor began to turn against the Elves and the Valar. They became resentful of their mortality and viewed death as a punishment rather than a gift from Eru that allowed Men to escape the confines of the world to an unknown fate.

Some Numenoreans mistakenly believed that the Undying Lands could make them immortal and they spoke of violating the Ban of the Valar that forbade them to sail westward. The Vala Manwe sent messengers to Tar-Atanamir to explain that the Undying Lands did not make its inhabitants immortal and that human mortality was irrevocable. The Numenorean rulers' ancestor Elros had been a special case because he was half-Elven, but since he chose to be mortal all his descendants shared his fate and must accept it.

Tar-Atanamir rejected the Valar's counsel and persisted in his desire for immortality. He was the first ruler to refuse to surrender the Sceptre to his heir even after he became feeble and senile. The rulers that followed did the same. Tar-Atanamir died in 2251 and was succeeded by his son Tar-Ancalimon.

Around this time the Nazgul first appeared in Middle-earth. They were Men who had been given the Nine Rings by Sauron and had become wraiths enslaved to his will. Three of the Nazgul were originally lords from Numenor who may have been lured by the prospect of immortality.

Under Tar-Ancalimon, the Numenoreans became divided into two groups: the King's Men and the Faithful. The King's Men were the majority and they became further estranged from the Elves and the Valar. They abandoned the Sindarin and Quenya languages of the Elves and spoke only Adunaic.

The Faithful remained loyal to the Valar and friendly with the Elves, and they were also known as the Elendili, or Elf-friends. They lived mostly on the west coast Numenor where the ships of the Elves came. They continued to visit Gil-galad and the Elves of Lindon. The Lords of Andunie were sympathetic to the cause of the Faithful and they tried to influence the rulers of Numenor with their counsel.

Men of science and learning began to seek ways to restore or prolong life but they were unsuccessful. In fact, the lifespans of the Numenoreans began to decrease because of their defiance of the will of Eru.

The King's Men did not dare risk the wrath of the Valar by trying to reach the Undying Lands. But they became discontented in Numenor and they expanded their domains into Middle-earth, especially in the south. In 2280, they established the Havens of Umbar on the coast of Harad. Some of them were corrupted by Sauron and they and their descendants who remained in Middle-earth became known as the Black Numenoreans.

In 2350, the Faithful also established a haven in Middle-earth at Pelargir on the Anduin, but they did not attempt to rule the local people. The Faithful continued to speak Sindarin but they also spoke the Adunaic language of Numenor. Adunaic became blended with the language of the Men near Pelargir and eventually developed into the Common Speech of Middle-earth.

Tar-Ancalimon died in 2386. After his time, the practice of offering the first fruits to Eru from the summit of Meneltarma was neglected by the rulers. People became increasingly absorbed with their own pleasure, comfort, and wealth. Tar-Ancalimon's successor Tar-Telemmaite loved silver and sought new sources of mithril.

In 2526, Tar-Telemmaite died and was succeeded by his daughter Tar-Vanimelde, Numenor's sixteenth ruler and third Ruling Queen. She enjoyed music and dancing and left the rule of Numenor to her husband Herucalmo. When she died in 2637, Herucalmo refused to allow their son Alcarin to claim the Sceptre. Herucalmo continued to rule Numenor using the name Tar-Anducal until his death in 2657 but he is not counted as a rightful King of Numenor. Tar-Alcarin became the seventeenth ruler.

Tar-Alcarin's heir Calmacil was a captain who gained territory along the coasts of Middle-earth. Sauron's hatred of the Numenoreans grew, but for the time being he concentrated his power in the East of Middle-earth away from the coasts. Tar-Calmacil became King after his father's death in 2737. The King's Men called him Ar-Belzagar in Adunaic rather than by his Quenya name. His successor Tar-Ardamin, who became King in 2825, was also called by an Adunaic name, Ar-Abattarik.

The next King, Ar-Adunakhor, was the first to use an Adunaic name when he received the Sceptre in 2899. He banned the teaching of the Elvish languages and would not allow Elvish to be spoken in his presence. However, he did not dare to break tradition entirely so in the Scroll of Kings his name was written in Quenya as Tar-Herunumen, meaning "Lord of the West."

Ar-Adunakhor's actions increased tensions between the King's Men and the Faithful. The Faithful considered the title "Lord of the West" to be blasphemous because it signified one of the Valar, especially Manwe. They continued to use and learn the Elvish tongues in secret.

Ar-Adunakhor was followed in 2962 by Ar-Zimrathon (written in the Scroll as Tar-Hostamir) who in turn was succeeded in 3033 by Ar-Sakalthor (Tar-Falassion). The twenty-third King, Ar-Gimilzor (Tar-Telemnar) received the Sceptre in 3102.

Ar-Gimilzor severed ties with the Elves and persecuted the Faithful. The Elvish languages were banned entirely. The White Tree that had been given by the Elves was neglected. Elves were forbidden to come to Numenor and anyone who had dealings with them was punished.

The Faithful were forced to relocate from their homes in western Numenor to Romenna in the east where the King's Men could monitor their activities. Some of the Faithful left Numenor and went to Middle-earth at this time, and the King's Men let them go as long as they did not return.

Ar-Gimilzor's wife Inzilbeth was related to the Lord of Andunie and she was secretly one of the Faithful. She and Ar-Gimilzor had two sons: Inziladun and Gimilkhad. Inziladun took after his mother while Gimilkhad favored his father. But Inziladun was the elder so despite his father's wishes it was he who became King when Ar-Gimilzor died.

Ar-Inziladun reverted to using a Quenya name and called himself Tar-Palantir. Unlike his father, he visited the Hallow of Eru on Meneltarma and he tended the White Tree. Tar-Palantir tried to repent the ways of his predecessors and renew relations with the Valar and the Elves, but it was too late. The Valar were not appeased and the Elves did not return, though Tar-Palantir watched for them from the tower on Oromet in western Numenor.

Tar-Palantir was opposed by his brother. Gimilkhad became the leader of the group that had been called the King's Men - though they were now against the King. When Gimilkhad died in 3243, his followers turned to his son Pharazon.

Pharazon was a great captain who waged wars upon the Men of Middle-earth and conquered territory along the coasts. He returned to Numenor after his father's death. Sauron took advantage of Pharazon's absence and began expanding his domain to the coasts and declared himself King of Men and Lord of the Earth.

Sauron hated the Men of Numenor and wanted to destroy them. The Numenoreans were descended from the Edain who had helped defeat Sauron's master Morgoth in the First Age. They had also dealt Sauron a humiliating defeat at the Battle of the Gwathlo and he wanted revenge.

When Tar-Palantir died in 3255, Pharazon forced the King's only child Miriel to marry him. Miriel should have been Queen of Numenor in her own right, but Pharazon usurped the Sceptre from her and became the last King of Numenor.

Ar-Pharazon learned of Sauron's plans and resolved to stop him. He intended to claim the title King of Men for himself. In 3261, Ar-Pharazon set out with a great fleet and landed at Umbar. The Men of Middle-earth fled in fear from the Numenoreans. Ar-Pharazon commanded Sauron to surrender to him, and Sauron complied.

Sauron realized that he could not defeat the Numenoreans by force, so he planned instead to bring about their destruction from within. He allowed himself to be taken as a prisoner to Numenor in 3262. He used flattery and cunning to insinuate himself into Ar-Pharazon's confidences and he became the King's most trusted advisor. The King's councillors followed suit except for Amandil, the Lord of Andunie and leader of the Faithful.

Sauron told Ar-Pharazon that Eru did not exist but was only an invention of the Valar to make Men obey them. He persuaded Ar-Pharazon to worship Morgoth instead, promising that the Lord of the Darkness would grant power and wealth beyond imagining to those who served him.

The worship of Morgoth became widespread in Numenor. It was made a capital offense to visit the Hallow of Eru on Meneltarma. The White Tree was cut down and burned, but not before Amandil's grandson Isildur retrieved a fruit which later gave rise to the White Tree of Gondor.

A huge domed temple was built in Armenelos. The Numenoreans began making human sacrifices to Morgoth in the belief that he might grant them immortality. Many of those sacrificed were chosen from among the Faithful. The Numenoreans also built temples in Middle-earth and sacrificed people from the territories they ruled.

The Men of Numenor became richer and more powerful, but they remained mortal. In fact, the mortality rate increased as people were afflicted by sickness and madness and began to commit murder. Sauron was secretly the cause of much dissension by turning Numenoreans against one another.

Then Sauron convinced Ar-Pharazon that he would attain immortality if he conquered the Undying Lands, though this was a lie. In 3310, Ar-Pharazon began the construction of the Great Armament and made plans to wage war against the Valar.

Amandil learned of these plans and decided to try to appeal to the Valar as his ancestor Earendil had done long ago. He sailed westward but he was never seen again and no help came. Amandil's son Elendil gathered the Faithful on ships in the Bay of Romenna along with their families and their prized possessions, including the seedling of the White Tree and the palantiri that had been gifts from the Elves.

Warning signs began to appear. Great storms of rain, hail, and wind raged in Numenor. Clouds shaped like eagles came from the west. Mariners were no longer protected and ships were lost. Frequent lightning strikes killed many people and destroyed the dome of the temple in Armenelos - though Sauron who was on the scene survived to the amazement of spectators. Finally there was a great earthquake and smoke rose from Meneltarma.

Ar-Pharazon did not heed the warnings and continued to build his massive fleet of a thousand ships. In 3319, the fleet was ready. Then a host of Great Eagles from the Undying Lands flew over Numenor and the western sky burned red. But Ar-Pharazon ignored this final warning and the Great Armament sailed west and broke the Ban of the Valar and came to the Undying Lands.

The Great Armament surrounded the island of Tol Eressea and came to the shores of Valinor, the realm of the Valar. The sight of the Undying Lands nearly caused Ar-Pharazon to repent and turn back, but he went ashore and laid claim to the land.

Manwe called upon Eru, who caused the Seas to part. The Great Armament was drowned and Ar-Pharazon was buried under the earth. Numenor was destroyed by a great wave and it sank beneath the Sea. Some said that the peak of Meneltarma remained above water as the Isle of Meneltarma, but no mariner ever found it.

Eru changed the shape of the world. The Seas were bent and the earth was made round. The Undying Lands were removed from the Circles of the World so that the ships of Men could not go there. But the ships of the Elves were able to traverse the Straight Road that passed through the heavens like an invisible bridge until it reached the Undying Lands.

The Faithful survived the destruction of Numenor. A strong wind from the west blew their ships to Middle-earth. Elendil landed in the north, while his sons Isildur and Anarion came ashore in the south. They founded the North-kingdom of Arnor and the South-kingdom of Gondor. But Sauron also escaped and returned to Mordor and he remained an enemy of the descendants of the Numenoreans until he was finally defeated in the War of the Ring at the end of the Third Age.

Map of Numenor:

Note: The locations of Almaida, Ondosto, Oromet, and Tol Uinen are approximated.

Map of Numenor

Important Dates:

Second Age:

The Edain arrive in Numenor. Elros Tar-Minyatur becomes the first ruler of Numenor.

Birth of Elros Tar-Minyatur's son Vardamir Nolimon in Numenor.

Birth of Vardamir Nolimon's son Tar-Amandil in Numenor.

Birth of Tar-Amandil's son Tar-Elendil in Numenor.

Death of Elros Tar-Minyatur at the age of 500. His son Vardamir Nolimon immediately surrenders the Sceptre to his own son Tar-Amandil, but according to custom Vardamir Nolimon is listed in the Scroll of Kings as the second ruler of Numenor with a reign of one year.

Tar-Amandil officially becomes third ruler of Numenor although his reign began in 442.

Death of Vardamir Nolimon in Numenor.

c. 500
Sauron begins to stir in Middle-earth.

Birth of Tar-Elendil's daughter and eldest child Silmarien in Numenor. (Note: Silmarien's birth date is incorrectly given as 548 in "The Tale of Years" in early editions of The Lord of the Rings but is corrected in later editions.)

Birth of Tar-Elendil's third child and only son Tar-Meneldur in Numenor.

Tar-Amandil surrenders the Sceptre to his son Tar-Elendil, the fourth ruler of Numenor.

Veantur, a mariner from Numenor, sails to Middle-earth and meets Gil-galad and Cirdan at the Grey Havens. He also meets with Men of Eriador.

Death of Tar-Amandil in Numenor.

Birth of Tar-Meneldur's son Tar-Aldarion in Numenor.

Veantur brings his grandson Aldarion to the Grey Havens and Cirdan befriends and instructs him.

Aldarion voyages to Lindon.

Aldarion begins to explore the coasts of Middle-earth as far as the Bay of Belfalas.

Tar-Elendil surrenders the Sceptre to his son Tar-Meneldur, the fifth ruler of Numenor.

The Guild of Venturers is formed by Aldarion. He establishes the haven of Vinyalonde (Lond Daer) on the coast of Middle-earth sometime between 750 and 800.

Death of Tar-Elendil in Numenor.

Birth of Erendis in Numenor.

Aldarion is named King's Heir.

Aldarion embarks on a 7-year sea voyage.

Aldarion sets sail from Numenor in his new ship the Palarran.

Aldarion sets out on another voyage in defiance of his father.

Aldarion undertakes a 14-year sea voyage, exploring the coast of Harad and beyond. The haven of Vinyalonde is damaged by the Sea and hostile Men. Aldarion is nearly shipwrecked in a storm on the way back to Numenor.

Aldarion becomes betrothed to Erendis.

Aldarion voyages to Middle-earth and finds Vinyalonde ruined again and the Men living near the coasts fearful or hostile to the Numenoreans. Aldarion first hears rumors of an Enemy at work in Middle-earth. A storm sweeps Aldarion's ships northward, delaying his return to Numenor.

Wedding of Aldarion and Erendis.

Birth of Tar-Aldarion's daughter Tar-Ancalime in Numenor.

Aldarion goes to Sea again, promising to return in two years but instead is gone for five years. He helps Gil-galad investigate the growing discord in Middle-earth. Gil-galad fears that a servant of Morgoth is rising to power and he sends a letter to Tar-Meneldur. Tar-Meneldur decides to surrender the Sceptre to his son Aldarion. Aldarion and his wife Erendis separate.

Tar-Aldarion becomes the sixth ruler of Numenor. In 883 or 884, he sails again to Middle-earth and may have met Galadriel at Tharbad around this time. Hallatan of Hyarastorni temporarily serves as Regent in Numenor.

Tar-Aldarion changes the law of succession, allowing females to become rulers of Numenor. His daughter Ancalime becomes his heir.

Death of Tar-Meneldur in Numenor.

Death of Erendis while Aldarion is on his last sea voyage.

Marriage of Tar-Ancalime and Hallacar in Numenor. Sauron establishes his realm in Mordor around this time in response to the growing power of Numenor.

Birth of Tar-Ancalime's son Tar-Anarion in Numenor.

Tar-Aldarion surrenders the Sceptre to his daughter Tar-Ancalime, the seventh ruler and first Queen of Numenor.

Death of Tar-Aldarion in Numenor.

Birth of Tar-Anarion's son Tar-Surion in Numenor.

Tar-Ancalime surrenders the Sceptre to her son Tar-Anarion, the eighth ruler of Numenor.

Death of Tar-Ancalime in Numenor.

Birth of Tar-Surion's daughter Tar-Telperien in Numenor.

Tar-Anarion surrenders the Sceptre to his son Tar-Surion, the ninth ruler of Numenor.

Death of Tar-Anarion in Numenor.

Birth of Tar-Telperien's nephew Tar-Minastir in Numenor.

c. 1500
The Elven-smiths of Eregion begin forging the Rings of Power.

Tar-Surion surrenders the Sceptre to his daughter Tar-Telperien, the tenth ruler of Numenor.

Death of Tar-Surion in Numenor.

c. 1600
Sauron forges the One Ring in Mount Doom.

Birth of Tar-Minastir's son Tar-Ciryatan in Numenor.

War of the Elves and Sauron begins.

Sauron invades Eriador. Gil-galad requests help from Numenor. Tar-Minastir assembles a fleet but it is delayed.

Sauron's forces destroy Eregion.

Sauron's forces overrun Eriador.

The fleet sent by Tar-Minastir arrives in Middle-earth. The Numenoreans and the Elves drive back Sauron's forces.

Numenorean forces come ashore at Lond Daer and Sauron is defeated at the Battle of the Gwathlo. He returns to Mordor and vows revenge on the Men of Numenor.

Death of Tar-Telperien in Numenor. She had no children, so the Sceptre passed to her nephew Tar-Minastir, the eleventh ruler of Numenor. (Note: The date of Tar-Minastir's accession to the throne contradicts other accounts stating that he was King of Numenor during the War of the Elves and Sauron from 1693 to 1701.)

Birth of Tar-Ciryatan's son Tar-Atanamir in Numenor.

Tar-Minastir is coerced against his will to surrender the Sceptre to his son Tar-Ciryatan, the twelfth ruler of Numenor. The Numenoreans begin to oppress the Men of Middle-earth during his reign.

Death of Tar-Minastir in Numenor.

Birth of Tar-Atanamir's son Tar-Ancalimon in Numenor.

Tar-Ciryatan surrenders the Sceptre to his son Tar-Atanamir, the thirteenth ruler of Numenor. Tar-Atanamir and others begin to speak openly against the Ban of the Valar and become resentful of the Valar and the Elves.

Death of Tar-Ciryatan in Numenor.

Birth of Tar-Ancalimon's son Tar-Telemmaite in Numenor.

Death of Tar-Atanamir, the first King of Numenor to refuse to surrender the Sceptre to his heir before he died. His son Tar-Ancalimon becomes the fourteenth ruler of Numenor. The Numenoreans become divided between the King's Men and the Faithful. First appearance of the Nazgul - three of whom were once Numenorean lords. (Note: The date 2251 is incorrectly given as the year of Tar-Atanamir's accession to the throne in early editions of The Lord of the Rings. In addition, "The Line of Elros" in Unfinished Tales gives 2221 as the year of Tar-Atanamir's death.)

Birth of Tar-Telemmaite's daughter Tar-Vanimelde in Numenor.

The Numenoreans build a great fortress at the Havens of Umbar.

Birth of Herucalmo (later Tar-Anducal) in Numenor.

The Faithful of Numenor establish the haven of Pelargir near the Mouths of the Anduin.

Death of Tar-Ancalimon in Numenor. His son Tar-Telemmaite becomes fifteenth ruler of Numenor.

Birth of Tar-Vanimelde's son Tar-Alcarin in Numenor.

Birth of Tar-Alcarin's son Tar-Calmacil in Numenor.

Death of Tar-Telemmaite in Numenor. His daughter Tar-Vanimelde becomes sixteenth ruler of Numenor.

Birth of Tar-Calmacil's son Tar-Ardamin in Numenor.

Death of Tar-Vanimelde in Numenor. Her husband Herucalmo usurps the Sceptre from their son Tar-Alcarin and rules under the name Tar-Anducal, but he is not counted as one of the rulers of Numenor.

Death of Herucalmo Tar-Anducal in Numenor. Tar-Alcarin becomes the seventeenth ruler of Numenor, although his reign rightfully began in 2637.

Birth of Tar-Ardamin's son Ar-Adunakhor in Numenor.

Death of Tar-Alcarin in Numenor. His son Tar-Calmacil becomes the eighteenth ruler of Numenor.

Birth of Ar-Adunakhor's son Ar-Zimrathon in Numenor.

Death of Tar-Calmacil in Numenor. His son Tar-Ardamin becomes the nineteenth ruler of Numenor.

Birth of Ar-Zimrathon's son Ar-Sakalthor in Numenor.

Death of Tar-Ardamin in Numenor. His son Ar-Adunakhor becomes the twentieth ruler of Numenor.

Birth of Ar-Sakalthor's son Ar-Gimilzor in Numenor.

Death of Ar-Adunakhor in Numenor. His son Ar-Zimrathon becomes the twenty-first ruler of Numenor.

Death of Ar-Zimrathon in Numenor. His son Ar-Sakalthor becomes the twenty-second ruler of Numenor.

Birth of Ar-Gimilzor's eldest son Tar-Palantir in Numenor.

Birth of Ar-Gimilzor's younger son Gimilkhad in Numenor.

Death of Ar-Sakalthor in Numenor. His son Ar-Gimilzor becomes the twenty-third ruler of Numenor.

Birth of Tar-Palantir's daughter Miriel in Numenor.

Birth of Gimilkhad's son Ar-Pharazon in Numenor.

Birth of Elendil in Numenor.

Death of Ar-Gimilzor in Numenor. His son Tar-Palantir becomes the twenty-fourth ruler of Numenor. He tries to repent the ways of his predecessors and is opposed by his brother Gimilkhad. (Note: The date 3175 is given in "The Tale of Years" of The Lord of the Rings, but in "The Line of Elros" in Unfinished Tales the original date 3175 was changed to 3177.)

Birth of Elendil's son Isildur in Numenor.

Birth of Elendil's son Anarion in Numenor.

Death of Gimilkhad in Numenor. His son Pharazon returns to Numenor from his territories in Middle-earth. Sauron begins expanding his domain into the Numenorean territories.

Death of Tar-Palantir in Numenor. Gimilkhad's son Pharazon forces Tar-Palantir's daughter Miriel - the rightful heir - to marry him and seizes power. Ar-Pharazon becomes the twenty-fifth and last ruler of Numenor.

Ar-Pharazon lands at Umbar with a great fleet.

Ar-Pharazon demands Sauron's surrender. Sauron submits to being taken to Numenor in hopes of bringing about their defeat by other means. In time he becomes a trusted counsellor of Ar-Pharazon and begins to corrupt him.

Birth of Isildur's eldest son Elendur in Numenor.

Ar-Pharazon begins to build the Great Armament.

3310 or 3316
Amandil, the Lord of Andunie, sets sail for the Undying Lands seeking the intervention of the Valar but is never seen again.

Birth of Anarion's son Meneldil, the last Man born in Numenor.

Ar-Pharazon tries to conquer the Undying Lands. Eru causes the fleet to sink and Numenor is destroyed under the waves. The Faithful escape to Middle-earth led by Elendil, Isildur, and Anarion. Sauron also escapes.

Foundation of the realms of Gondor and Arnor. Sauron returns to Mordor.

Names & Etymology:

The name Númenor means "Westland" in Quenya. The full Quenya form is Númenórë. Numenor was so called because it was located in the Western Sea, west of Middle-earth.

The word númen means "the way of the sunset, west" from númë meaning "going down, occident." The word nórë means "people" so Númenórë - or Númennórë - literally means "people of the West" while Númendor - with the ending ndor meaning "land" - means "land of the west." But the endings nórë and ndor became blended over time and Númenor interpreted as "Westland" became the common form.
The Silmarillion: Index entry for Numenor; "Appendix - Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names," entries for andune and dor
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien: Letter #227, #276

Westernesse was the Common Speech name for Numenor, meaning "Westland." According to Tolkien, the ending ess was "used in partly francized names of 'romantic' lands" such as Lyonesse and Logres from Arthurian legend. The name Westernesse is found in the early legend called King Horn.
"Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings," entry for Westernesse

Anadûnê was the name of Numenor in Adunaic, the language of the Numenoreans. It means "Westland" and includes the word adûn meaning "west."
The Silmarillion: Index entry for Anadûnê; "Appendix - Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names," entry for andúnë

Andor, the Land of Gift:
Numenor was called Andor, or the Land of Gift, because it was given to the Edain by the Valar. The name Andor is Quenya composed of anna meaning "gift" and ndor meaning "land." The full Quenya form is Andórë.
The Silmarillion: Index entry for Andor; "Appendix - Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names," entries for anna and dor

Yôzâyan was the equivalent of "Land of Gift" in Adunaic, the language of the Numenoreans.
Unfinished Tales: Index entry for Yozayan

Numenor was also called Elenna meaning "Starwards" in Quenya because the Edain followed the Star of Earendil to get there. Elenna is the allative case - indicating a place to or toward which - of the word elen meaning "star." Another form is Elenna-nórë meaning "the land named Starwards" with the ending nórë which literally means "people" but is also used to mean "land." Also called the Land of the Star.
The Silmarillion: Index entry for Elenna; Unfinished Tales: Index entry for Elenna-nore; Quenya Corpus Wordlist

The Great Isle, Isle of Kings:
Numenor was also referred to by these descriptive names.

Akallabêth means "the Downfallen" in Adunaic, the language of Numenor. This name is used to describe Numenor after its destruction, and it is also the name of the story of Numenor's downfall (see Books & Writings: Akallabeth).
The Silmarillion: Index entry for Akallabeth

Atalantë is the Quenya equivalent of Akallabêth, meaning "Downfallen."
The Silmarillion: Index entry for Atalante; Quenya Corpus Wordlist

Mar-nu-Falmar means "Land under the Waves" in Quenya from már meaning "home, dwelling" and nu meaning "under" and falmar from falma meaning "wave." The name was used for Numenor after it sank beneath the Sea.
The Silmarillion: Index entry for Mal-nu-Falmar; "Appendix - Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names," entries for bar and falas; Quenya Corpus Wordlist


The Fellowship of the Ring: "Prologue," p. 13, 18; "The Shadow of the Past," p. 61; "A Knife in the Dark," p. 206, 210; "Many Meetings," p. 245; "The Council of Elrond," p. 255-58

The Two Towers: "The Palantir," p. 203; "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit," p. 267; "The Window on the West," p. 284-91; "The Forbidden Pool," p. 301-2

The Return of the King: "The Passing of the Grey Company," p. 55, 62; "The Siege of Gondor," p. 96, 98; "The Black Gate Opens," p. 164; "The Steward and the King," p. 240, 245

Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings: "The Numenorean Kings," p. 313-318; "The North-kingdom and the Dunedain," p. 323 note 1; "Gondor and the Heirs of Anarion," p. 325 footnote, 327-330 and note 1; "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen," p. 343-44

Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings: "The Tale of Years," p. 363-35

Appendix D of The Lord of the Rings: "The Calendars," p. 386-89

Appendix F of The Lord of the Rings: "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age - Of Men," p. 406-407

Unfinished Tales: Introduction, p. 7; "A Description of the Island of Numenor," passim; "Aldarion and Erendis," passim; "The Line of Elros," passim; "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn," p. 236, 239, 261-63; "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields," p. 276, 278-79 note 7, 284 notes 31 and 32, 285-87; "Cirion and Eorl," p. 288, 316 note 39, 317 note 44, 384, 385-86 note 7; "The Istari," p. 398; "The Palantiri," p. 403

The Silmarillion: "Valaquenta," p. 30; "Of the Coming of Men into the West," p. 148; "Akallabeth," passim; "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age," p. 286, 289-93, 296, 302

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien: Letter #131, #153, #154, #156, #211, #227, #276

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