From Tolkien Gateway
The Faithful
Ted Nasmith - The Ships of the Faithful.jpg
"The Ships of the Faithful" by Ted Nasmith
Other namesElendili, Nimruzîrim, Elf-friends
Date foundedc. S.A. 2221
PurposeFaithful to the Eldar and Valar; opposed the King's Men
Notable membersAmandil, Tar-Palantir, Elendil
Notable forSurviving the Downfall of Númenor, and founding the Realms in Exile

The Faithful (Q. Elendili, A. Nimruzîrim, both terms meaning "Elf-friends") were those among the Númenóreans who remained loyal to the Valar and Ilúvatar throughout the history of Númenor, and turned aside from the policies of the later Kings of Númenor and the King's Men.

Being the opposing party, the King's Men composed of the majority of the people, especially in the later part of the Second Age, while the Faithful were a far smaller and increasingly oppressed group. The Faithful lived mostly on the west side of Númenor until Ar-Gimilzôr, the twenty-third King, commanded them to move eastwards near Rómenna.

Policies, beliefs and customs[edit | edit source]

The Faithful maintained the use of the Elven tongues and welcomed the Elves of Tol Eressëa to their land, in spite of the growing hostility from the King's Men. The Faithful also respected and loved the Valar still, and made no attempt to speak against the Ban that the Valar had set against the Númenóreans sailing into the West. Nevertheless, they "did not escape the affliction of their people" regarding the fear of Death that the Shadow had brought upon all the Númenóreans, and they were troubled by the fate of Men. Unlike the King's Men, though, the Faithful had chosen to believe the words of the messengers of the Valar and trust that death, called the Gift of Men by the Elves, was not an evil. It was in this choice that they differed most from the majority of the people of Númenor.

Before the darkening of Númenor, the Númenóreans were permitted to climb the Meneltarma, which was "sacred to the worship of Eru Ilúvatar,"[1] at will. Three times a year, the King would lead the people in a procession to the hallow on the mountain's summit and give a prayer of thanks to Ilúvatar. After the reign of Tar-Ancalimon, these processions ceased and "men went seldom any more to the Hallow." Ar-Pharazôn forbade any man to ascend to the summit on pain of death, "not even those of the Faithful who kept Ilúvatar in their hearts."[2]

History[edit | edit source]

Early History[edit | edit source]

The Faithful became a party distinct from the King's Men during the reign of Tar-Ancalimon the fourteenth King (S.A. 2251),[3] and insisted in keeping the old customs of their people. In later days, the Faithful looked to the Lords of Andúnië for guidance; held in high esteem by all the Númenóreans, the Lords kept their connection with the Faithful a secret for a long time, because they wished to use their power in the King's Council to steer the Kings to wiser courses of action. Nevertheless, the rulers of the isle became increasingly antagonistic to all those who were recognized to be members of the minority party.

Like the King's Men, the Faithful also made settlements in Middle-earth, most notably Pelargir (S.A. 2350)[4], but unlike the trends of those days, the Faithful did not seek to subjugate the natives of the Great Lands. Because of the coldness between the two parties, the Faithful built Pelargir far away from the colonies of the King's Men, which were a great distance to the south.[2] The Faithful also sailed northwards to Lindon to converse with the Elves there.

Treatment by the Later Kings of Númenor[edit | edit source]

The Kings of Númenor looked upon the Faithful and their continuing friendship with the Elves with increasing suspicion; they banned the use of the Eldarin tongues and eventually moved the Elf-friends to the east of the island so that they could no longer communicate with these "spies of the Valar". The Kings even kept them under surveillance to make sure they did nothing subversive.

Faithful Family - Lindorie and Inzilbeth by Juliana Pinho

The situation of the Faithful only became more bearable when Ar-Gimilzôr, who was the greatest enemy of the Elf-friends, married Inzilbêth, one of the Faithful. His son, Tar-Palantir, followed her faith and attempted to repent of the past actions of the Kings. He treated the Faithful kindly and allowed them to speak the Elven tongues again. But this caused a civil war of rebellion and strife.[4] His daughter Tar-Míriel was also a Faithful and would follow his policies, but his nephew seized the Sceptre after his death and proclaimed himself King Ar-Pharazôn. Tar-Palantir's rule was only a minor break in what would become an increasingly cruel policy of oppression.

Ar-Pharazôn did not immediately begin harassing the Faithful after he was secure in power; his attention was chiefly on Sauron, who had begun to assail the settlements of the Númenóreans. Seeing that he could not defeat the Númenóreans by arms, Sauron decided to corrupt them to their destruction. The King brought Sauron to Númenor as a hostage, and it was then that the worst of the Faithful's misfortunes befell them.

It was not long before Sauron had turned the hearts of most of the Númenóreans towards his counsels. As Ar-Pharazôn's life waned, he became desperate to escape death. Taking advantage of his fear, Sauron persuaded Ar-Pharazôn that Ilúvatar was a "phantom" invented by the Valar and Melkor was the "Lord of All" and "Giver of Freedom," who would prolong the King's life in exchange for worship in the form of human sacrifice. Thus, the King and the greater part of the Númenóreans turned to worship Melkor.[2]

Naturally, "it was most often from among the Faithful" that the Númenóreans chose their victims for these sacrifices. They never said that they killed the Faithful for not worshiping Melkor, however; instead the Númenóreans accused them of plotting against the King and the rest of the people of the land.[2]

Escape from the Downfall[edit | edit source]

This cruel treatment lasted several decades until Ar-Pharazôn grew old and was in great fear of the approaching end of his life. Therefore he listened to Sauron's suggestion that he gather a massive Armament and sail to Aman, land of the Valar, to claim everlasting life. When Amandil the last Lord of Andúnië heard this news, he knew that the Númenóreans would surely come to ruinous defeat in war against the Valar, and so he decided to make a preemptive voyage into the West to beg them for mercy and deliverance from Sauron. Before he left, he advised his son Elendil to furnish nine ships and anchor them off the east coast of Númenor and wait for what would happen next. After he sailed west, Amandil was never heard from again, but by taking his advice, Elendil and his sons survived the disastrous Downfall of Númenor that was the result of Ar-Pharazôn's war. A mighty wind took their ships eastward and swept them onto the shores of Middle-earth. There they set up the realms of Arnor and Gondor. These kingdoms were populated by both the descendants of the Faithful and indigenous Men of Middle-earth.


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")