‘Numenor,’ Explained: Who Was Elros? Why Did Numenorians Begin To Hate The Elves?


Episode three of “The Rings of Power” shines a light on that golden age of Numenor. Galadriel wakes up, hesitant and uncertain, in a human-powered ship. Accompanied by Galadriel, a mortal of the Southland named Halbrand finds his existence on that ship. Already, a human leading the rest of the ship addresses Galadriel as Eldar, informing her that the ship is heading home. This human is none other than Elendil. Galadriel, on the ship’s course, realizes that the marvelously crafted realm they are heading towards is no small place, but rather a place known as the Land of Stars, the Island Kingdom of Men, Numenor.

Spoilers Ahead

Why Is Numenor Called “The Land of Stars”?

Numenor was the kingdom of men. This island empire was the Men’s beacon of glory. Numenor, an island brought by the Valar as a gift to the Edain at the beginning of the Second Age, lies in the Great Sea between Middle Earth and Aman after the fall of Beleriand. Presumably, the map of Arda changed after the epic battle of the War of Wrath. After this battle, the Valar gave this island as a gift to the Edain, the Fathers of Men, or the Anatari. The Edain, led by King Elros, followed the star of their father, Earendil, to Numenor. Hence, another name for Numenor became Elenna, or Starwards, also known as the Land of Stars. Another reason could be the star-like shape of this island.

Who Was Elros? 

When Galadriel, imprisoned in Numenor, is brought to a library by Elendil, we hear the name of Elros, brother of Elrond. Elros, more commonly known as Tar-Minyatur, was a Half-Elven whose ancestry consisted of both mortals and Elves. Elros was the son of Earendil and his wife, Elwing, and the brother of Elrond. Elros, the first king of Numenor, extended his dominion on the throne of the city of Armenelos. He expanded his kingdom in Numenor among men, but the Elves were his allies. Elros was born in the middle of the First Age, but due to an attack by Feanor, Elros and his brother Elrond were captured by Maglor, under whom Elros and his brother grew up. But after the horrors of the War of Wrath ended, the Valar gave the two brothers two choices; while Elrond chose the Elven life, Elros chose the mortal life span. However, Elros received a long-life gift from the Valar. So, he was put in the race of ‘High Men.’ During Elros’ reign, the Eldar enriched the kingdom of Numenor with flowers, fruits, birds, and trees. The Nimloth Tree, belonging to the Eldar, increased the prosperity of Numenor and is believed to be the ancestor of the tree of Gondor. The Valar called this island empire the “Land of Gift.” In 442 of the Second Age, the High First Lord of Numenor, Elros, died. It is said that no other High Man could surpass his long-life span.

Why Did Numenorians Begin to Hate The Elves?

This alliance with the Eldar did not last long for Numenor. After Elros’s death, Prince Aldarion, son of Tar-Meneldur, befriended Gil-galad, High King of Lindon. Aldarion, meanwhile, learns to sail, and his knowledge in shipbuilding and marine grows, impressing Gil-galad. But under Meneldur’s order, cutting down the trees of Numenor was forbidden for shipbuilding. So, the trees were arranged from Minhiriath and Enedwaith, which, as a result, led to hostilities between the Numenorians and their inhabitants. The Middle Men were sometimes aggressive towards the High Men of Numenor. But in 882 of the Second Age, Gil-galad saw the rise of an evil shadow. Tar-Aldarion, the 6th king, was responsible for Meneldur’s subsequent reign. Then, to prepare for any possible war, the Numenorians, under Aldarion’s reign, began to build ships and armies and set about inhabiting Middle Earth.

However, the Middle Men, exposed to Evil, formed an army in Eriador against the Numenorians, resulting in the Great Battle of Gwathlo, where Sauron was defeated by the Numenor and Elven kingdoms. But later, the Men became bitter with the Elves from the reign of Tar-Minastir. The shadow of Evil grows darker in Minastir’s realm, but despite his friendship with the Elves, the King grows jealous of their immortality. Just like the King, in the hearts of the men of Numenor, envy took place, which later turned into hatred. During the reign of the 13th King, Tar-Atanamir, the King’s followers became antagonistic to the Valar and Eldar, until finally, during the reign of the 14th King, Tar-Ancalimon, the Numenorians split into two factions. King’s Men, that is, the King’s attendants and Faithful, who were allied to the Elves.

Who Was Queen Miriel And Ar-Pharazon?

As we saw in the third episode, Queen Miriel and her husband Ar-Pharazon, having an anti-elf mentality, made it clear that they were the King’s Men. These Kings of Numenor traded far away from the Elves in the south. The Faithful, in turn, built the city of Pelargir, which later became Gondor. The traces of the Faithful began to fade from their dominion until the arrival of the 24th King, Tar-Palantir, who grew up hearing stories of an alliance with the Elves. When the reign of Tar-Palantir begins, the Numenorian regains his old light, referring to the sacred tree of Nimloth, from which he predicted that it holds the life of the Numenorian. If Nimloth was uprooted, the kingdom of the Numenorians would be destroyed. But there were some arrogant kings, one of whom was the King’s nephew, Ar-Pharazon. After Tar-Palantir’s death, his daughter Tar-Miriel was proclaimed queen of this realm. But, an evil cousin named Ar-Pharazon forcibly marries her and declares himself King.

Who Was Elendil? Was He Faithful To Elves?

When captain Elendiel rescued the Elf Galadriel floating in the sundering sea, he brought her to Numenor. As implied by his interactions with Queen Miriel, he is a patron of the Elf. His name, Elendil, means Elf-friend. The elf-friend, or Faithful, became a minority community of Numenorians, of whom Elendil was the chief. Born in 3119 of the Second Age (of Numenor), Elendil was the son of a chieftain named Amandil, who led the Faithful. We have already heard of Isildur (in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy) and Anarion, who were Elendil’s sons. When Sauron, along with Ar-Pharazon, continued to practice his terror and began their attack on Valinor, Numenor was flooded and ruined by the great natural disasters caused by Illuvitar. Elendil and his sons fled for their lives to Middle Earth, where they brought Nimloth’s seedling, seeing stone, and other valuable stones.

The way Tolkien’s history revolves around the portrayal of “The Rings of Power” has led to much speculation and questioning, from Halbrand’s true identity to the presence of Queen Miriel’s father. Perhaps, since Queen Miriel’s coronation has already taken place, hopefully, her father is no longer alive. Nor, Ar-Pharazon, has yet to make his big move. But we can expect this veil to be revealed in the next episode to see how the series will show the downfall of Numenor or the arrival of Evil. Another week’s wait is mandatory to experience our favorite history on Amazon’s screen.

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami is an artist and an aspiring screenwriter both by profession and passion. Apart from writing stories, poems and songs, studying cinema is her obsession. She is also a freelance painter yet it is the world of cinema that fascinates her the most.

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