A Description of the Island of Númenor

From Tolkien Gateway
Unfinished Tales
of Númenor and Middle-earth
Part One: The First Age
Part Two: The Second Age
Part Three: The Third Age
Part Four

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:

The middle region of the island was the largest province and the most populated area:

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.

"Númenorë" by Christopher Tolkien

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.

See also

Andor · Atalantë · Elenna · Mar-nu-Falmar · Númenórë · Westernesse
Regions Andustar · Arandor · Emerië · Forostar · Hyarastorni · Hyarnustar · Hyarrostar · Mittalmar · Nísimaldar · Orrostar
Towns and cities Almaida · Andúnië · Armenelos · Eldalondë · Moriondë · Nindamos · Ondosto · Rómenna
Buildings Calmindon · Eämbar · King's Court · Temple · White House of Erendis
Natural features Bay of Eldanna · Bay of Rómenna · Firth of Rómenna · Hallow of Eru · Meneltarma (mountain) · Nísinen (lake) · North Cape · Nunduinë (river) · Oromet (mountain) · Siril (river) · Sorontil (mountain) · Tarmasundar (ridges) · Tompollë
Plants and trees Fragrant Trees · Lairelossë · Laurinquë · Lavaralda · Nessamelda · Nimloth · Oiolairë · Taniquelassë · Vardarianna · Yavannamírë
Heirlooms Aranrúth · Bow of Bregor · Dramborleg · Elendilmir · Narsil · Palantíri · Ring of Barahir · Sceptre of Annúminas · Sceptre of Númenor · Tile and Textiles · Helmet
Concepts Adûnaic · Ban of the Valar · Council of the Sceptre · Downfall of Númenor · Great Bear-dance · Heirship · Númenórean Sindarin · Three Prayers (Eruhantalë · Erukyermë · Erulaitalë)
Key people Aldarion · Amandil · Anárion · Captain of the King's Ships · Elendil · Elros (House of Elros) · Erendis · Faithful · Great Armament · Guild of Venturers · Guild of Weaponsmiths · Isildur · Kings and Queens of Númenor · King's Archers · King's Men · Lords of Andúnië · Meneldur · Miriel · Palantir · Pharazôn · Sauron · Silmariën
Main texts The Silmarillion ("Akallabêth") · Unfinished Tales ("A Description of the Island of Númenor" · "Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife" · "The Line of Elros: Kings of Númenor") · The Lord of the Rings ("Appendix A" · "Appendix B") · The Nature of Middle-earth ("Lives of the Númenóreans" · "Of the land and beasts of Númenor")