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John Howe - The Fleet of Ar-Pharazon

Alcarondas or Aglarrâma, the Castle of the Sea was the golden-and-black flagship of Ar-Pharazôn, the last King of Númenor. It had many oars and many masts, upon which were sails of gold and sable.

In this ship, he sailed to the shores of Aman, leading the Great Armament to challenge the Valar. Alcarondas indeed reached the Undying Lands and anchored at shores of the Undying Lands and Ar-Pharazôn reached Tirion, but this act only condemned him, his fleet and his kingdom.[1]

[edit] Etymology

"Aglarrâma" appears in earlier text and is Adûnaic which seems to incorporate the Sindarin word for "glory", aglar, perhaps adapted in Adûnaic.[2] Andreas Moehn suggests that the second element -râma is an adaptation of Quenya ráma/ráme "wing", (seen also in the ship-name Eärrámë[3]) and thus probably means "Sails of Glory". The meaning "Man of Glory" is also considered, based on the etymology of other Mannish words.[4]

"Alcarondas" in form is obviously Quenya, which is curious, considering the royal spite for Elvish. It is said that "Castle of the Sea" is its translation, however it doesn't contain any recognizable elements for "castle" or "sea" (which in Quenya is eär).[4]

The only definitely recognizeable Quenya element is alcar "glory" (cf. Aglarrâma above). Andreas Moehn suggests that it means "Dome of Glory",[4] obviously containing a form of Quenya rondo "vaulted hall"[5]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The History of the Akallabêth", p.156
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Andreas Moehn, "Etymologies of the Atani languages", Lalaith's Middle-earth Science Pages (accessed 25 April 2017), entry RAM
  5. Cf. J.R.R. Tolkien, "From Quendi and Eldar, Appendix D" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 39, July 1998, p.9 and J.R.R. Tolkien, "Addenda and Corrigenda to the Etymologies — Part Two" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter and Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 46, July 2004, p.12