Does Elendil Know The Future Of Numenor? What Role His Son, Isildur Played In The ‘Lord of the Rings’?


“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” introduces us to the characters of Elendil and Isildur in its third episode. Though not a lot of things are known about their intentions and motivations in the series till now, because they are not non-canonical characters, a lot of dots can be joined using the literary works of J.R.R Tolkein: “The Silmarillion,” “Unfinished Tales,” and what was portrayed in Peter Jackson’s trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings.” So, let’s see if we can find out why Elendil saved an Elf, being a Numenorean, and what he had foreseen, which made him paranoid when he heard that his son, Isildur, was not wanting to complete his sea trials.

Spoilers Ahead

Elendil And His Father’s Role In The Fall Of Numenor

In “The Rings of Power,” Episode 3, we see that Elendil is taken aback when his son tells him that he didn’t want to join the navy of Numenor immediately. Only nine days were left before the final result came in, and Elendil, like any father, had a feeling that the boy was spoiling his future after coming so close to success. But apart from this concern, there was something more to the whole issue. Elendil was the son of Amandil, who was the leader of the Faithful, the people who believed in the Valar, and had a long-standing relationship with the Elves. Amandil had foreseen the doom of Numenor. He had prophesied that the Numenoreans would wage war against the Valar, and that would lead to the destruction of the kingdom. Elendil knew that a day would come when they would have to leave Numenor and reside in Middle Earth. He had probably speculated that for escaping, the only route that was available was through the sea, and so they needed to be skilled sailors. Maybe that is why he got angry when Isildur told him that he was thinking of deferring this one time. Elendil saves Galadriel and Halbrand from the sea. He knew that the law of the land stated that no elf could step on the lands and seas of Numenor. Still, he brought them to the palace and made them meet Queen Regent Miriel. The Queen questions him about his intentions, as being associated with the Elves was treasonous. Elendil says that the seas are always right, and if two people had come their way, then there would have been a purpose behind it. It is often seen that Elendil has a lot of reverence for the seas and other bodies of water. He tells his son that the watery part of this world has a way of healing even the deepest wounds.

Maybe Elendil has faith because his father would have told him that the only way to escape Numenor, when it would be witnessing its downfall, would be through the seas. How much was known to Elendil, how much of the prophecy was true, is not clearly known till “The Rings of Power” Episode 3, but if we refer to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, it clearly mentions that whatever prophecy was made by Amandil, it actually turned out to be true. Ar-Pharazon, who was the cousin of Queen Regent Miriel and had forced her to marry him, led Numenor to its doom. He broke the Ban of Valar, which stated that the Numenoreans were not allowed to sail west, so much so that they could not see their own shores. It was done so that they would not be able to enter the Undying Lands. It meant that the Numenoreans could never enjoy the gift of immortality.

Eventually, Pharazon was being advised by Sauron. It was evidence of the fact that how good of a manipulator Sauron was. Here was a man who was defeated by a king and later was able to win his trust and influence him completely. He had convinced the king that he could also be immortal like the elves, who had won the Great War because of their assistance. But Eru Iluvatar changed the shape of the earth, and it opened a huge chasm in between. The motive was to not allow the ships of Sauron and Pharazon to enter Aman, the blessed realm. Everybody died as the island of Numenor sank, but Elendil and a few other Faithfuls were able to escape. Later, Elendil and his sons, Isildur and Anarion, found Anor and Gondor. The prophecy had also said that the destruction of the tree meant that the line of kings would also fall. The white tree of Numenor, Nimloth, was destroyed. Isildur somehow was able to save a fruit from the tree. He later planted it in his newfound realm. We saw in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy that the tree was known as the “white tree of Gondor.” The capital city of Gondor was Minas Tirith, where the forces of Gondar and of Rohan stood against Sauron, in the battle of the last alliance.

Isildur’s Role In The ‘Lord Of The Rings’

As per Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” and other works by J.R.R. Tolkien, we get to know about the role Elendil and his son Isildur played in the war against Sauron, which came to be known as the Battle of the Last Alliance. The Elves were led by Gil-Galad, whom we have seen as the High King of Noldor in the first two episodes of the Rings of Power. The men fought under the leadership of Elendil. At this point in time, the rings of power had been created by Celebrimbor with the knowledge he received from Sauron, disguised as Annatar, the god of gifts. Three rings were given to the elves, seven to the dwarf lords, and nine to the race of men. But Sauron had tricked Celebrimbor. He’d made one more ring, the most powerful of them all, with the intention of controlling the others. Gil-Galad and Elendil fought for the freedom of Middle Earth from the dark lord. They died fighting, and Elendil’s sword broke into two and fell to the ground. Isildur picked it up and severed the ring from Sauron’s hand, leading to the defeat of Sauron.

Though both the characters, i.e., Elendil and Isildur, have only just been introduced in “The Rings of Power” Episode 3, one thing is established: both have different takes on things. Isildur had his doubts. He looked like a carefree and reckless lad who wanted to live life as it came. Maybe Elendil couldn’t reveal everything that he had learned from his father, Amandil, but he kept dropping hints, telling him to trust the waters if he had any doubts. But Isildur still wanted to see for himself. He still wanted to make his own mistakes like his own father had in his youth. He tells him that he had deferred twice, as told to him by his brother, Anarion. Isildur didn’t know why Elendir was so paranoid, and if he didn’t follow what his father was saying, he wouldn’t be able to survive the downfall of Numenor, which was going to happen sooner than later.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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