Here's everything you need to know about the island kingdom of Númenor in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Amazon's The Rings of Power will take place largely within the borders of Middle-earth. The elves and dwarves are in their heyday, while men and hobbits are still developing ready for their Third Age blossomings. Unlike The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, however, The Rings of Power will step foot outside Middle-earth, taking a short hop across the ocean to Númenor.
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The Númenóreans and their ancient island realm are referenced in passing during The Lord of the Rings, but don't physically appear (for good reason - more on that later). With The Rings of Power set over during J.R.R. Tolkien's Second Age, over 3000 years before The Lord of the Rings, the inclusion of Númenor as a key locale was all but inevitable. Sure enough, trailer footage and promotional material has confirmed the island plays a sizable role in The Rings of Power season 1.
Related: The Rings Of Power's Harfoots Fully Explained
The history of Númenor is detailed in The Silmarillion, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings appendices, and other wider writings concerning the landscape of Arda. And even though Númenor itself may not appear during Frodo's quest and the War of the Ring, its influence is keenly felt, with decisions taken by Númenóreans in the Second Age directly influencing matters in the Third. As The Rings of Power's Númenórean expedition approaches, here's our full breakdown on this tragically glorious realm.
How Númenor Was Created, When & Who By?
The First Age had come to a violent end. A host led by the Valar (archangels of J.R.R. Tolkien's mythology) personally entered Middle-earth to defeat Morgoth, the first enemy. Though the Valar were victorious, Morgoth's dark influence and the cataclysmic battle had terraformed the landscape of Middle-earth, causing everlasting damage.
One of several native races who joined the Valar against Morgoth were the Edain - Middle-earth's first recorded men. As reward for their loyalty (not to mention the fact Middle-earth wasn't left in great shape), the Valar raised an island out of the ocean especially for the Edain to live on. Located between Middle-earth and the Valar's own realm of Valinor, men gradually migrated to this star-shaped isle, and the kingdom of Númenor was officially founded there in year 32 of the Second Age under Tar-Minyatur - Elrond's brother, who had forsaken his elven half.
How Númenóreans Are Different From Middle-earth Men
Númenor was nothing like the human settlements seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Human societies of Third Age Middle-earth are mostly humble, simple, rural cultures (see Edoras in Rohan), with cities such as Gondor's Minas Tirith rare examples of more grandiose architecture and greater accomplishments. And yet even Gondor's mighty and visually impressive capital doesn't quite match the majesty of Númenor. The Second Age island was a wonder to behold, more advanced in technology, rife in awe-inspiring temples and buildings, and heavily influenced by the knowledge of elves who visited from the coast of Valinor.
The Númenóreans themselves were a cut above the men who'd later populate Middle-earth. As another reward for fighting Morgoth, the Númenóreans were granted longer lives (some living up to 400 years). They became taller and stronger, and their wisdom was naturally greater by virtue of mingling with higher races. Descendants of men who didn't help the Valar against Morgoth don't receive such gifts and are considered less noble. By the time The Lord of the Rings rolls around, the entire race has been diluted compared to man's mighty Númenórean ancestors. The Rings of Power features human characters living in both Númenor and the villages of Middle-earth, and even if the islanders aren't oversized in Amazon's adaptation, their higher status will likely become apparent onscreen.
Which Second Age Events Númenor Was Involved In
For the first 600 years of its existence, Númenor thrived and prospered in watery isolation, but a growing preoccupation with the art of sea-faring eventually brought the men of Númenor back to Middle-earth - the land their ancestors left behind at the dawn of the Second Age. Initially, the Númenóreans' arrival was celebrated by all. The visitors forged an allegiance with the elves of Middle-earth, then made contact with their human cousins, passing on knowledge and wisdom. The Rings of Power will seemingly adapt this friendly relationship between Númenor and Middle-earth's pointy-eared population by having Galadriel visit the island to discuss an encroaching darkness.
The presence of Númenor on the shores of Middle-earth grew exponentially over the centuries, during which time Sauron infiltrated the elves by disguising himself as "Annatar," and tricked them into crafting the Rings of Power. He then attempted to enslave Middle-earth by secretly forging the One Ring, and when his plot failed, the War Between Sauron & The Elves began in year 1693 of the Second Age. Naturally, the elves called upon Númenor for aid, and when the fleet of reinforcements eventually arrived, Sauron was quickly beaten at the Battle of the Gwathló. This conflict stands a good chance of being adapted by Amazon's The Rings of Power sooner or later.
The Downfall Of Númenor Explained
The seeds of Númenor's downfall were, in truth, sown at the very beginning. As soon as the Valar raised the island, they forbade its population from sailing west toward Valinor. And despite possessing longer lives than their kin in Middle-earth, the Númenóreans would be visited by elves who were blessed with immortality.
As Númenor helped push back Sauron, his shadow almost seemed to draw out their underlying greed. Whereas Númenóreans were once friendly toward the people of Middle-earth, they become increasingly domineering from 1700 onward, ruling over the lesser men harshly. By the time Tar-Ancalimon took the throne in year 2221 of the Second Age, a chasm had emerged in Númenórean culture - the Faithful, who still trusted the Valar and wanted to remain friendly with the elves, and the King's Men, who were jealous of the elves and wanted rebellion against the Valar.
When Sauron tried his luck conquering Middle-earth again in the 3200s, the Númenórean forces sailed for Middle-earth to meet him. This time, however, their cause wasn't a righteous one - Sauron's claim as Middle-earth's undisputed ruler had simply insulted Númenor's king. The Dark Lord was dragged back to Númenor as a prisoner, but such was his talent for lies and manipulation, Sauron exploited the cultural split in Númenor and stoked the King's Men's anger. Temples were built in honor of Morgoth, and fleets were readied for an invasion of Valinor. As punishment for their corruption, Eru Ilúvatar - the God of J.R.R. Tolkien's world - cast Númenor into the sea, destroyed the fleet bound for Valinor, and removed Sauron's ability to change form.
How Numenor Is Connected To Gondor
When Eru Ilúvatar gave Númenor its divine spanking, he spared those of the Faithful who hadn't abandoned the Valar by joining Sauron. These lucky few included Elendil and his sons Isildur (he of not-destroying-the-One-Ring-when-he-should've fame) and Anárion. Upon landing in Middle-earth, Elendil and sons built two kingdoms: Arnor and Gondor. Arnor would fall early in the Third Age, but Gondor was destined to endure.
Settlements like the famous Minas Tirith from The Return of the King were constructed by those who survived Númenor's downfall, meaning Gondor's famous White City represents the style, architecture and ambition of the destroyed island. Gondor alone carries on the spirit of Númenor in Third Age Middle-earth, and this thread of continuity is represented by the famous white tree standing at the very top of Minas Tirith. Before Númenor was consigned to a watery doom, the king's court contained a beautiful tree named Nimloth the Fair. Isildur secretly stole a fruit from Nimloth, and this was planted in Minas Tirith to become the White Tree of Gondor.
Related: Is Cate Blanchett's Galadriel In The Rings Of Power?
Which Númenóreans Are In The Rings Of Power?
Amazon's Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power fudges the dates of J.R.R. Tolkien's timeline to bring his most famous Númenórean characters into the mix earlier. As such, Maxim Baldry is portraying Isildur, and Lloyd Owen plays his father, Elendil. The Rings of Power also introduces Isildur's made-for-TV sister, Ema Horvath's Eärien. Cynthia Addai-Robinson is Tar-Miriel, heir to the throne of Númenor, and Trystan Gravelle will assume the villainous role of Ar-Pharazôn, who steals the crown for himself before ultimately succumbing to Sauron's manipulations.
These characters wouldn't typically appear until near the end of Tolkien's Second Age, shortly before Númenor's destruction. Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power seems to deal with Sauron's comeback and the forging of the Rings of Power, suggesting Númenor's long history is being truncated for the purposes of television.
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Is Númenor mentioned in Lord of the Rings? ›
Númenor first appears in The Lord of the Rings, as the vague land of "Westernesse", an advanced civilisation which had existed long ago, far to the west over the Sea, and the ancestral home of the Dúnedain.Is Rings of Power set before or after Númenor? ›
After confining itself to largely familiar Middle-earth locales in its first two episodes, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has finally shown us a place never depicted on screen before: Númenor.Why was Númenor destroyed? ›
The Downfall of Númenor, also called the Fall or Drowning of Númenor, was the utter destruction of the island of Númenor, a divine punishment by Eru Ilúvatar to the Númenóreans for breaking the Ban of the Valar.How did Númenor become so powerful? ›
As a reward for their services during the War of Wrath, the Valar gave to the surviving Edain an island continent in the western sea, which became Númenor, as their abiding place. They were also gifted with far longer life (300 years or more average), greater height, and greater wisdom.Will The Rings of Power show the fall of numenor? ›
But while hints are expected, it's strange that The Rings of Power actually shows extended scenes of Númenor's destruction at such an early juncture. As one of the most epic moments in J.R.R. Tolkien's Second Age, Númenor sinking always carried the potential to be The Rings of Power's visually stunning centerpiece.Why is Númenor so important? ›
Númenor's drastic decline is a cautionary tale that Tolkien used to exemplify Sauron's power and Men's struggle with temptation. The kingdom's descent into the sea is certainly sad, but without it, Sauron's treachery may have grown and some of Men's greatest kingdoms would never have existed.Why is Númenor anti elf? ›
For The Rings of Power, Númenórian hatred of Elves built over time out of jealously for their immortality. In The Silmarillion, Tolkien outlines the downfall of Númenor as a slow burn that began with the Ban of the Valar, which entailed the first Númenórians agreeing to never sail west toward Valinor.Did Númenor ever have a queen? ›
The Ruling Queens of Númenor were Dúnedain women who ruled the kingdom of Númenor. Out of Númenor's twenty-five rulers, only three were female, but the existence of Ruling Queens under Númenórean law was remarkable in a society and a world dominated by male rulers.What is Númenor based on? ›
Númenor is an island kingdom located to the west of Middle-earth that was, to put it succinctly, the greatest civilization of Men. “It's Tolkien's Atlantis,” actors Maxim Baldry – who plays Isildur – told TheWrap, adding that the production spared no expense in bringing the location to life.Does Númenor fall? ›
A powerful fleet set sail for Aman. But it was destroyed by Eru Ilúvatar. Númenor itself was sunk beneath the Sundering Seas. The sad story of Númenor echoes the fall of Atlantis, the mythical Greek kingdom, and Biblical retribution.
Does Sauron have ring in Númenor? ›
Yes, Sauron willingly went as prisoner to Númenor and took the One Ring with him. He was most delighted to work his evil in Númenor under the guise of a penitent; and he used the Ring to dominate the mind of Ar-Pharazôn and to sway the people of Númenor into the worship of Morgoth.Is Gondor same as Númenor? ›
Gondor is formed out of the ashes of Numenor
As a result, they were able to set sail with nine ships before the island fell. Notably, Isildur was able to rescue a piece of fruit from the White Tree which eventually grew to become the White Tree of Gondor.
As a symbol of the ongoing peace between elves and the island nation, the elves gave the Númenorians a seed that grew into the white tree that we see in the episode. For a while, everything was great between the elves of Middle-earth and the men of Númenor, but then the men got a little high on their own supply.Can Númenor defeat Morgoth? ›
Though Morgoth certainly has a vast enough military force to oppose Númenor, it's questionable if he can actually win, or if Númenor can win for that matter. Though Ar-Pharazôn created 'the greatest armament that the world had seen', the precise strength of this host compared to Morgoth's host is unknown.How many years did Númenor last? ›
As a mortal, albeit one with an extended lifespan, Elros ruled Númenor for 410 years, eventually passing the throne down throughout generations to the kingdom's final rulers, namely the Queen Tar-Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), who was the last rightful heir to the throne.What book talks about Númenor? ›
Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth is a collection of stories and essays by J. R. R. Tolkien that were never completed during his lifetime, but were edited by his son Christopher Tolkien and published in 1980.What happened to Númenor in Lord of the Rings? ›
Númenor was drowned by a great wave and sank into the abyss, killing its inhabitants, including the body of Sauron, which robbed him his ability to assume fair forms ever after.What book tells the story of Númenor? ›
The Fall of Númenor tells the story of the foundations of Númenor – the Kingdom of Men established on an island that was risen from the sea by the Valar in the Second Age of Middle Earth. It also tells of the forging of the Rings of Power, as well as the Last Alliance against Sauron that ended the Second Age.Is Isildur Aragorn father? ›
The Heir of Isildur was a target of Sauron, if any remained in Middle-earth; when Arathorn II died, the Wise decided to protect his son Aragorn by raising him without telling him of his name and heritage.Is Aragorn a Númenórean? ›
But it is revealed that Aragorn is one of the Dúnedain—a descendant of Númenor—blessed with long life. Éowyn is in disbelief because it is said that Aragorn's race had passed into legend. Aragorn says there are very few Númenóreans left by the time of the War of the Ring.
Who is Isildur's father? ›
Isildur was born in Númenor in the year SA 3209 of the Second Age. His younger brother Anárion was born in SA 3219. They lived at the haven of Rómenna on the east coast of the island of Númenor. Their father was Elendil and their grandfather was Amandil, the Lord of Andúnië.Is Elendil part Elf? ›
Elendil is descended from Elros, the brother of Elrond (Robert Aramayo) who was also Half-Elven but chose to live a mortal life on Númenor. As the son of Amandil, Lord of Andúnië, Elendil is part of a bloodline that remained faithful to the Valar, spoke Elvish and continued to build strong friendships with Elves.Why is there a Queen in Númenor? ›
Historyedit. In the early days of Númenor, succession followed the principle of agnatic primogeniture—that is, rule passed to the oldest male offspring of the King. The Queen of Númenor was the queen consort of the King. Tar-Aldarion, the sixth ruler of Númenor, had only one child: a daughter, Ancalimë.Who is the king of Númenor in rings of power? ›
Yes, Pharazôn appears in the lore of The Lord of the Rings and is known as Ar-Pharazôn. In the appendices of The Lord of the Rings and other titles, "Ar-Pharazôn the Golden" is known as the 25th and final King of Númenor.How many kings are in Númenor? ›
Page actions. The King of Númenor (Ad. Âru n'Adûnâi "King of the Anadunians") was the title of twenty-two rulers of Númenor (there were also three Ruling Queens). Beginning with Elros Tar-Minyatur in S.A. 32, the line of kings lasted for 3,287 years, until Ar-Pharazôn brought about the Downfall of Númenor.Is Númenor in the Third Age? ›
Númenor was one of the most powerful realms of the Second Age, and its people, called Númenóreans, as well as their descendants, had considerable influence on the events of the Third Age.Is Aragorn related to Isildur? ›
Aragorn is a fictional character and a protagonist in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Aragorn was a Ranger of the North, first introduced with the name Strider and later revealed to be the heir of Isildur, an ancient King of Arnor and Gondor.Is Aragorn a Númenórean? ›
But it is revealed that Aragorn is one of the Dúnedain—a descendant of Númenor—blessed with long life. Éowyn is in disbelief because it is said that Aragorn's race had passed into legend. Aragorn says there are very few Númenóreans left by the time of the War of the Ring.Is Anárion in rings of power? ›
In The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Anárion is not yet seen, but lives separately from Elendil, Isildur, and sister Eärien, on Númenor's west coast, where he endeavors to further the cause of the Faithful, while his family initially seeks to make a separate future for themselves.Is Gondor and Númenor the same? ›
Gondor is formed out of the ashes of Numenor
Notably, Isildur was able to rescue a piece of fruit from the White Tree which eventually grew to become the White Tree of Gondor. When the Faithful landed in Middle Earth, they formed Arnor and Gondor, which were also known as the realms in Exile.
Is Isildur a Nazgul? ›
As one of the nine Nazgûl, Isildur was forced to serve the Dark Lord for all time until he was defeated and freed by Talion. The ranger later claimed his ring to survive after Celebrimbor abandoned him and eventually took Isildur's place among the Nazgûl after holding back Sauron's forces for decades.How is Aragorn 87? ›
As confirmed by Aragorn himself in the movie, he's 87 years old. His reign as the High King lasts for 122 years, which ends with his death at the age of 210. There's an explanation for why a mortal like Aragorn could live for two centuries; he's a member of the Dúnedain, a race of humans called the "Men of the West".Who is older Isildur and Anárion? ›
It was Isildur who was born in 3219 instead of 3209 and thus Anárion was the older of Elendil's two sons.Is Faramir a Dúnedain? ›
A. 82. Faramir lived to be 120 years old, due to the large percentage of pure Dúnedain ancestry he possessed as a member of the Gondorian nobility.Is Elendil Aragorn's ancestor? ›
Elendil is Friend to Gil-galad, Father of Isildur, and Ancestor of Aragorn. According to Tolkien's mythology, Elendil gathered a group of sailors known as “The Faithful” after his father prophesied that a great evil was headed to Middle-earth.Why is Númenor anti elf? ›
For The Rings of Power, Númenórian hatred of Elves built over time out of jealously for their immortality. In The Silmarillion, Tolkien outlines the downfall of Númenor as a slow burn that began with the Ban of the Valar, which entailed the first Númenórians agreeing to never sail west toward Valinor.What is Númenor based on? ›
Númenor is an island kingdom located to the west of Middle-earth that was, to put it succinctly, the greatest civilization of Men. “It's Tolkien's Atlantis,” actors Maxim Baldry – who plays Isildur – told TheWrap, adding that the production spared no expense in bringing the location to life.Who is Isildur's father? ›
Isildur was born in Númenor in the year SA 3209 of the Second Age. His younger brother Anárion was born in SA 3219. They lived at the haven of Rómenna on the east coast of the island of Númenor. Their father was Elendil and their grandfather was Amandil, the Lord of Andúnië.Is Minas Tirith based on Númenor? ›
Minas Tirith was built by the Numenoreans following their downfall, as well as Osgiliath, Minas Morgul and Annuminas.Is Rohan descended from Númenor? ›
Not. The Rohirrim are not of the blood of Numenor, but never worshipped Sauron. Nor did any of the men of gondor or arnor.
Is Aragorn half Elf? ›
Toward the end of the Third Age, the 15th Chieftain of Dunedain, Arathorn, and his wife Galraen welcomed their first and only child, Aragorn. Therefore, Aragorn is part Elf, but it is insignificant compared to the rest of his heritage.