Note: The following contains spoilers for Episode 3 of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”.
Finally, Númenor was brought to the screen. A legendary location in JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth saga, this bustling island paradise has never been depicted in any Tolkien adaptation until Amazon Prime Video’s ‘Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’.
The show’s third episode finds Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) having been rescued by a mysterious ship that takes them to Númenor – a point of contention since an elf hasn’t set foot in the city since many years.
But what is Númenor and why is it so special? We walk through its history in the books – including what happens there during the “Lord of the Rings” era – below.
Númenor is an island kingdom located in the west of Middle-earth which was, to put it succinctly, the greatest civilization of Men. “It’s Tolkien’s Atlantis,” actor Maxim Baldry – who plays Isildur – told TheWrap, adding that the production spared no expense in bringing the location to life.
“It was one of the most amazing sets, they built an entire city and you could walk around in it. They even had incense, you could smell it. They just transported us to this world, it was very special.
In the legend of Númenor, the isle was literally lifted from the sea by the Valar as a gift to the Men who stood with the elves against the evil Morgoth during the wars of the First Age. The first king of Númenor was Eärendil, brother of Elrond (played in the series by Robert Aramayo).
As the Númenorians grew in power, a number of them resented the elves for their immortality. Split into two factions, the “Faithful” (those who were friendly to the Elves) dwindled into a minority and were persecuted by the “King’s Men” (those who resented the Elves).
Here’s where potential spoilers follow the following seasons of “The Rings of Power” as we get into what happens next. You have been warned!
Eventually, when Sauron rose to power in Middle-earth, Númenor sailed to meet and challenge him. Fearing their armada of ships, Sauron surrendered, but once in Númenor, Sauron persuaded the king and many others to join his ranks. The then monarch, Ar-Pharazôn, amassed an army to sail West into the Undying Lands – which was forbidden by the Elves.
The chief of the Valar, seeing the invasion, called upon Eru Illúvatar, the One God, who in turn transformed the Earth from a flat surface into a globe, after which Númenor sank under the ocean and the Immortal Lands were removed from the Earth forever. .
This is called the Second Fall of Men, although some escaped. Elendil and other Faithful had escaped to Middle-earth before the invasion, and Elendil’s sons, Isildur and Anärion, founded the two human kingdoms Arnor and Gondor.
We have a long way to go before we arrive the in “The Rings of Power,” but with five seasons planned, we’re definitely heading for the downfall of Númenor at some point. Keep in mind that Isildur, introduced in this first season as a young sailor, ends up cutting the One Ring from Sauron’s hand (and then neglects to destroy it) as described in the prologue to “The Fellowship of the Ring” by Peter Jackson. film.
And the characters we meet in Episode 3 of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” will surely be around for quite some time to come. Not only Isildur, but his father Elendial who is Aragorn’s 38th great great great (etc.) grandfather.
We have only just arrived.