Caves of the Forgotten

From Tolkien Gateway

The Caves of the Forgotten were a possibly fictitious cave complex believed to have been formed out of the hills that buried the Númenórean invaders of the Blessed Realm.[1]

History[edit]

Seduced by Sauron, the King of Númenor, Ar-Pharazôn was persuaded that he had the power to take the lands of Aman from the Valar themselves. He set out with a great fleet, landed at the Blessed Realm and a host of Númenóreans camped near the hill of Túna in the Calacirya.[1]

At that time Manwë, the Elder King, gave up his power over Arda and called on Ilúvatar, who then broke the world. Their fleets and even their island home were into an abyss that opened between Númenor and the Blessed Realm.[1]

Meanwhile, Ar-Pharazôn and his mortal warriors were buried beneath falling hills. Yet, they are said to lie imprisoned within the Caves of the Forgotten, awaiting the day of the Last Battle when they will be released from their caves.[1] However, the part that they have to play in the battle remains a mystery.

Other versions of the legendarium[edit]

In the first version of the Downfall of Númenor, both Angor the King of Númenor (later Ar-Pharazôn) and his queen Istar (later Tar-Míriel) "fell into the dark and perished out of all knowledge" suggesting that they remained on the ships and fell with the ships into the abyss the great abyss and drowned. Only the mortal warriors that went on land were buried beneath fallen hills imprisoned within the Forgotten Caves.[2] In the second version, the name of the caves was changed to the "Caves of the Forgotten".[3] The name and the narrative concerning the Caves of the Forgotten remained substantially unchanged within the third version,[4] yet were not mentioned at all within any of the three versions of "The Drowning of Anadûnê".[5][6][7]

Legendary Locations in Arda
Islands:  Meneltarma
Mountains:  Astulat · Mountains of the Moon · Merlock Mountains
 Regions:  Aerie · Belmarie · Fantasie · Last Desert · Sindanórie · Thellamie · Tode
Rivers:  Derrilyn
Other:  Caves of the Forgotten · Gorbelgod

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part One: II. The Fall of Númenor, (ii) The first version of The Fall of Númenor", §7, p. 16
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part One: II. The Fall of Númenor, (iii) The second version of The Fall of Númenor", §7, p. 27
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part Three: The Drowning of Anadûnê: (i) The third version of The Fall of Númenor", §7, p. 336
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part Three: The Drowning of Anadûnê: (ii) The original text", §§44-48, pp. 350-51
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part Three: The Drowning of Anadûnê: (iii) The second text", §§44-§48, pp. 372-373
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part Three: The Drowning of Anadûnê: (iv) The final form", §§46-7 and §§49-50, p. 391