Downfall of Númenor
This article or section is a stub. Please help Tolkien Gateway by expanding it.
|The Downfall of Númenor|
|Other names||The Drowning of Númenor|
|Location||Primarily Númenor, but affected the shores of Middle-earth|
|Result||Destruction of Númenor, exile of the Faithful|
|Part of||The Changing of the World|
|Participants||Númenóreans, Valar, Eru|
|Description||Catastrophe that caused Númenor to sink into the Sea|
Elendil, son of the leader of the Faithful during the reign of Ar-Pharazôn, his sons and his followers had foreseen the disaster that was to befall Númenor, and they had set sail in nine ships before the island fell. His father Amandil the Lord of Andúnië, imitating Eärendil the Mariner, decided to go West to warn the Valar about the King's plans.
Manwë, chief of the Valar, called upon Ilúvatar, who destroyed the Great Armament of Ar-Pharazôn that had landed on Aman by crushing it under stones; he also broke and changed the world, taking Aman and Tol Eressëa from the world forever, changing Arda's shape from flat to round so that no sailor would seek the True West again. Númenor was covered by great waves and sank into the abyss, killing its inhabitants.
New lands formed in the West, islands rose and hills were formed. However the coastline of Middle-earth was not much affected, other than Tolfalas was drowned a bit, and the lands around it formed the Ethir Anduin.
Just a few people, the Faithful, still uncorrupted by Sauron managed to escape the catastrophe; they fled Númenor by ship, carrying some gifts that the Dúnedain had received from the Valar and the Elves in times of peace. These were the Palantíri, the Ring of Barahir, the Sceptre of Annúminas, Narsil and a fruit of Nimloth the Fair stolen by Isildur. They were led by Elendil the Tall and his two sons, Isildur and Anárion.
They landed in Middle-earth and met the colonists who were in the settlements of those lands among the Middle Men; the followers of Elendil united them by establishing two kingdoms which came to be known as as the realms of Exile: Gondor in the south, and Arnor in the north. The culture of Númenor became the dominant culture of Middle-earth (thus, Westron, a descendant of the Adûnaic language of Númenor, became the Common Speech). The sadness and the shock from the loss of their island home always remained in the hearts of Kings of Númenórean descent.
They were dismayed to discover that Sauron, although greatly diminished and bereft of shape, had survived the Downfall and returned to Middle-earth with the One Ring to continue troubling its inhabitants.
Meanwhile some of the King's Men had established other realms in exile to the south; of these the Haven of Umbar was the chief and continued to reign the lands there. These were known as Black Númenóreans.