A Description of the Island of Númenor
of Númenor and Middle-earth
|Part One: The First Age|
|Part Two: The Second Age|
|Part Three: The Third Age|
A Description of the Island of Númenor, first chapter of the second part in the book Unfinished Tales, was written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published posthumously by his son, Christopher Tolkien. As the title indicates, it contains a description of the island of Númenor, also called Elenna, comprising its geography, flora, fauna and last, but not least, its people.
After a short introduction detailing the (imaginary) sources for the account itself, the author describes the shape of the island, a star with 5 promontories, called as follows:
- Forostar, the Northlands
- Andustar, the Westlands
- Hyarnustar, the Southwestlands
- Hyarrostar, the Southeastlands
- Orrostar, the Eastlands
The middle region of the island was the largest province and the most populated area:
- Mittalmar, the Inlands
Here was Armenelos, the City of Kings, as well as the sacred mountain Meneltarma, where religious processions took place, 3 times per year. On its southern slope was Noirinan, the Valley of the Graves. It was guarded by the eagles of Manwë, one of the 2 species of birds mentioned in the chapter, the other being the Kirinki.
Starting with the Northlands, each promontory is described in turn: Forostar, where the Eagles of Manwë dwelt and where the mountain Sorontil stood next to the sea. Andustar, who had 3 bays on its western side, the first being Andúnië, who held the city with the same name, largest in the island and harbor for the Elves of Eressëa. Here, the beauty of Eldalondë is described and its greatest treasures were the majestic trees: Oiolairë, Lairelossë, Nessamelda, Vardarianna, Taniquelassë, Yavannamírë and Malinornë. The 2 rivers of the island, Nunduinë and Siril flowed on each side of Hyarnustar, while in Hyarrostar grew Laurinquë, a tree whose only purpose was to charm the people with its beauty. Of Orrostar little is told, only that grains could be cultivated in this cold part of the island.
A description of the people follows, mostly Edain skilled in riding, shaping of terrible war weapons, especially bows and also in building of the ships used to sail towards Middle-earth, the first one to succeed being Vëantur. Many of the legendary weapons were put to saving here, among them Tuor's axe and the bow of Bregor, as well as the Ring of Barahir, the only artifact to survive the Downfall of Númenor.