Kings of Númenor
In J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, the Kings of Númenor were Dúnedain men who ruled the kingdom of Númenor. Númenor's twenty-five rulers are listed in simple form at List of rulers of Númenor. More details about the reigns of the rulers are given here, for the twenty-three male rulers, including one usurper (Herulcalmo), and at Ruling Queens of Númenor for the female rulers.
Elros Tar-Minyatur (Y.S. 532–S.A. 442, r. S.A. 32–442) is a fictional character of Middle-earth, created by J. R. R. Tolkien. He was born in year 532 of the First Age to Eärendil and Elwing. Elros was one of the Half-elven of Middle-earth who chose to become a mortal man, and was later crowned the first High King of Númenor.
Elros's name may mean "Elf of the Spray" based on a tale from his early childhood. Maedhros and Maglor, in an effort to wrest the Silmaril from Elwing and her people, attacked the settlement at the Mouths of Sirion, slaying many and driving Elwing over the sea. After the battle they found her children, Elros and his twin brother, Elrond, and taking pity on them, they raised them as their foster-children as an act of repentance. They found them in a cave where Elros was playing in a waterfall at the entrance and his brother was hiding in the back of the cave. Thus he was named "Elf of the Spray". In The Silmarillion, Christopher Tolkien interprets Elros as meaning "Star-foam".
As Half-elven, he and his brother were given the choice to be Elves or Men. Elros chose to become one of the Edain, while Elrond elected to remain an Elf. As a reward for the valour of the Edain against the dark forces of Morgoth, the Valar raised an island for them to dwell in, protected from the dangers of Middle-earth. Elros and the surviving Edain set sail over Sea and, guided by the Star of Eärendil, they came to the great Isle of Elenna, westernmost of all Mortal lands. There they founded the realm of Númenor, or Westernesse. The Valar also granted Elros and his heirs substantially longer life-spans.
In year 32 of the Second Age Elros became the first King of Númenor, taking the Quenya name Tar-Minyatur, meaning "High First-ruler". This was the convention by which most succeeding kings of Númenor took their royal title. He was the heir to the lordship of all three of the houses of the Edain, whose remnants formed the population of Númenor. As such, he and his descendants possessed heirlooms from great heroes and lords of the First Age: the Ring of Barahir, the Axe of Tuor, the Bow of Bregor, and Aranrúth, the sword of Thingol. He ruled for 410 years until he optionally abdicated the throne as well as his life in S.A. 442, at age 500.
Vardamir Nólimon (S.A. 61–471, r. S.A. 442) was the oldest child of Elros Tar-Minyatur, and heir to the Kingship of Númenor. His first name means probably "Lofty Jewel" and his byname, "The Knowledgeable". He was noted as an exceptional scholar whose only desire was to study, not to rule. His character fitted well in with his extraordinary fate: as the son of a king who had been granted a longer life-span than any other mortal man, Vardamir was never likely to survive Elros by long. When Elros finally died, Vardamir was a very old man, and immediately abdicated in favour of his son, Tar-Amandil. He was counted as the second King of Númenor, having nominally ruled for a single year. He died in S.A. 471 aged 410 years. He had four children: Tar-Amandil (b. S.A. 192–d. S.A. 603), eldest son and successor; Vardilmë (b. S.A. 203), daughter; Aulendil (b. S.A. 213), son; Nolondil (b. S.A. 222), son.
Tar-Amandil (S.A. 192–603, r. S.A. 442–590) was the third King of Númenor, but its second ruler. Tar-Amandil's father, Vardamir Nólimon, declined to take the throne upon the death of his father, Elros Tar-Minyatur, the grandfather of Tar-Amandil, and so Tar-Amandil is actually the second ruling monarch, but Vardamir Nólimon is still counted in the list of Kings. Tar-Amandil's name means "Aman-lover". Tar-Amandil abdicated in S.A. 590 and was succeeded by his own son, Tar-Elendil. He died in S.A. 603 at the age of 411 years. Tar-Amandil had three children: Tar-Elendil (b. S.A. 350–d. S.A. 751), his eldest son and successor; Eärendur (b. S.A. 361), son; Mairen (b. S.A. 377), daughter.
Tar-Elendil (S.A. 350–751, r. S.A. 590–740) was the fourth King of Númenor, succeeding his father Tar-Amandil. He was considered to be a master of lore and a notable scholar. His name in Quenya can mean either 'Elf-Friend' or 'Star-Lover': but it is unlikely that the former would be given as a name when all of the Númenóreans were Elf-friends. The name "Elendil" was translated to Adûnaic as 'Nimruzîr'.
His oldest child was Silmariën, a daughter, and his second child was Isilmë, yet another daughter. Silmariën would have become Queen according to the principle of full cognatic primogeniture. However, the laws dictating succession at the time followed the principle of agnatic primogeniture, preventing women from ruling. Consequently, he was succeeded by his third child and oldest son Tar-Meneldur. He is the direct ancestor of all subsequent Kings of Númenor through his son. Through his daughter, Tar-Elendil is direct ancestor to the Lords of Andúnië, the Kings of Gondor, the Kings of Arnor (and its successor states), all the way to the Kings of the Reunited Kingdom.
From the time of the reign of Tar-Elendil, Númenóreans began to make contact with Middle-earth more actively. It was in S.A. 600 that Vëantur, the Captain of King's Ships, sailed from Númenor to the Middle-earth for the first time. Tar-Elendil died in S.A. 751, at the age of 401 years.
Tar-Meneldur (S.A. 543–942, r. S.A. 740–883) was the fifth King of Númenor. His right name was 'Írimon', which means 'Man of desire' in Quenya; a keen astronomer, Tar-Meneldur took the name of 'Tar-Meneldur' ('Lover of the Heavens') upon his accession. His two older sisters were Silmariën and Isilmë. Tar-Meneldur married Almarian and had three children: Anardil, son; later known as Aldarion; Ailinel, daughter — she would become the mother of Soronto; Almiel, daughter.
During the rule of Tar-Meneldur contact with the Middle Men of Eriador was re-established, under guidance of the Elves of Lindon, under Gil-galad. Tar-Meneldur encouraged the seafarers, and allowed his son Aldarion to establish a guild of seafarers, which became one of the most powerful organisations in Númenor. Many voyages along the coasts were made at this time, and the first settlements were made in Middle-earth by Númenórean explorers, although none of them permanent yet. These early settlements were however the later cores of Arnor and Gondor, and the re-established contact of Númenóreans with their distant kin allowed the Adûnaic tongue to merge with local, far akin languages, eventually leading to the Westron speech. This would in later years prove to be one of the greatest assets to the power of Númenor in Middle-earth.
Near the end of Tar-Meneldur's rule reports came in that evil began to stir in the east of Middle-earth (the first awakenings of Sauron, as was later learned), and Gil-galad requested the aid of Tar-Meneldur. Recognizing his son Aldarion was more aware of the troubles, and was a powerful leader of men, Meneldur resigned in favour of his son, far earlier than was expected. Meneldur, together with his wife Almarian, attempted to mediate between his son Aldarion and his betrothed, Erendis, who had become estranged. For a time they were successful, and Aldarion and Erendis were wed, but Aldarion soon left again for sea. It was during the long absence in Middle-earth, a time during which Aldarion was instructed by Gil-galad, that Erendis left the royal court for her home. By the time Aldarion returned even Meneldur's best attempts could not seal the breach. Meneldur died in S.A. 942, at the age of 399 years.
Tar-Aldarion (S.A. 700–1098, r. S.A. 883–1075) was the sixth King of Númenor, succeeding his father, Tar-Meneldur. Tar-Aldarion is an ambiguous figure in the history of Númenor and the Dúnedain. He was driven, intelligent and capable, usually generous in spirit, often farsighted, and perceptive. Yet he was also self-centred, indifferent to the concerns of others in daily life, and ambitious for greater power. He was away from home for years at a time, and could be said to have neglected his duties as husband, father, and Heir to the Sceptre, his attention was away from home to the point that he knew less of Númenor than the Heir to the Sceptre should. Yet he was the first of the Dúnedain to perceive the rising threat of Sauron, he gave needed aid to the Elven King Gil-galad and laid the foundation for the future alliance of the Elves and the Men of Númenor against Sauron. Without the foundations laid by Aldarion, his descendant Tar-Minastir could not have rescued Middle-earth from utter disaster in the first War of the Rings in the middle of the Second Age. His foresight enabled Númenor to construct a mighty navy without destroying her forest lands, and as King he ruled competently, keeping order at home and expanding Númenor's strength abroad.
However, his domestic failings had their public cost: upon his death his daughter Queen Tar-Ancalimë abandoned his policies of aid to Gil-galad, and let his works lie unmaintained, and her upbringing left her hostile to marriage and domestic life to such a degree that not only was her own personal life blighted, but she brought misery on her female descendants in the first and second degree as well. Also, though Aldarion's foresight and efforts made it possible for the Dúnedain to prevent disaster, by saving the Elves and northwestern Middle-earth from being overrun by Sauron in the time of Tar-Minastir, his voyages laid the first seed of the ever-growing, driving restlessness that would in time enable the corruption of the Dúnedain, and the hunger for power and glory and immortality that would eventually bring the Downfall of Númenor in S.A. 3319. His father Tar-Meneldur seems to have instinctively sensed some danger in this, his heart wished to forbid Aldarion's first great sea voyage, sensing some peril in it that he did not understand, and in later years he consciously came to believe that the voyages of Aldarion and his Guild of Venturers were encouraging the Dúnedain in unhealthy ambitions and desires. The tale of their marriage and estrangement survived the Downfall of Númenor as "Aldarion and Erendis, or The Mariner's Wife".
Tar-Anárion (S.A. 1003–1404, r. S.A. 1280–1394) was the eighth ruler of Númenor, succeeding his mother, Tar-Ancalimë. His name means "Sun-son" or "Child of the Sun". Little is said about Tar-Anárion's rule apart from him surrendering the Sceptre in S.A. 1394. His two eldest children were female, but both declined the throne for uncertain reasons, and they disliked and feared their grandmother Ancalimë, who would refuse to let them marry. Therefore he was succeeded by his son, Tar-Súrion.
Tar-Súrion (S.A. 1174–1574, r. S.A. 1394–1556) was the ninth ruler of Númenor, succeeding his father Tar-Anárion. Tar-Súrion had two older sisters, but they were said to have no interest in ruling, so he became King. His name means "Wind-son". The Elves of Eregion conceived of the forging of the Rings of Power during his reign. He was succeeded by his oldest child, his daughter, Tar-Telperiën. Through his second child and oldest son Isilmo, he was grandfather to Tar-Minastir.
Tar-Minastir (S.A. 1474–1873, r. S.A. 1731–1869) was the eleventh ruler of Númenor. He was the son of Isilmo and succeeded his aunt, Queen Tar-Telperiën, when she died. He was the grandson of King Tar-Súrion. His name means "Tower-watcher", which perhaps signifies "The Vigilant". Sauron invaded Eriador from Calenardhon in S.A. 1695 and realms of Eregion fell. Sauron advanced to Lindon and Rivendell. In S.A. 1700 Tar-Minastir sent a navy under the command of Ciryatur, to save Lindon. Ciryatur's forces stopped Sauron's army at the river Gwathló; reinforcements from Lindon and Tharbad helped defeat Sauron at the Battle of Gwathló. Sauron retreated to Mordor in S.A. 1701. From around the 19th century in the S.A., Númenóreans began establishing permanent settlements in Middle-earth, including Umbar. He abdicated under pressure from his son in S.A. 1869 who succeeded him as Tar-Ciryatan.
Tar-Ciryatan (S.A. 1634–2035, r. S.A. 1869–2029), or Ar-Balkumagân in Adûnaic was the twelfth ruler of Númenor. He succeeded his father, Tar-Minastir, as king. Tar-Ciryatan was a great ship builder, and he waged war upon Middle-earth, bringing its treasures back to Númenor. During his reign the first signs of the Shadow began to fall upon Númenor. His name means "Ship-builder" (see also Círdan). He abdicated in S.A. 2029 and was succeeded by his son, Tar-Atanamir.
Tar-Atanamir (S.A. 1800–2221, r. S.A. 2029–2221), also known as Atanamir the Great, was the thirteenth King of Númenor. He succeeded his father, King Tar-Ciryatan. His name means "Jewel of Man". Tar-Atanamir was the first King to speak out against the Ban of the Valar, and to advocate opposition to the Valar themselves. He was also the first king who was unwilling to give up his throne voluntarily before his death, and to let himself die while he was still strong in mind and body. Death instead took him by force and thus his reign ended. Every king afterwards refused to renounce his reign. His reign is thus generally considered to constitute the beginning of Númenor's moral decline. He was succeeded by his son, Tar-Ancalimon.
Tar-Ancalimon (S.A. 1986–2386, r. S.A. 2221–2386) was the fourteenth ruler of Númenor. His name means "Most Bright". During Tar-Ancalimon's reign, two opposing parties arose among Númenóreans: the Elf-friends, or Elendili (also called "The Faithful"), advocated continuing devotion to the Valar and friendship with the Elves, and the "King's Men" who propounded Man's independence and self-determination, seeing how they had reached the apex of their might. This split would culminate in the Fall of Númenor. Tar-Ancalimon was succeeded by his son, Tar-Telemmaitë.
Tar-Telemmaitë' (S.A. 2136–2526, r. S.A. 2386–2526) was the 15th ruler of Númenor. He succeeded his father, Tar-Ancalimon, and was succeeded by his daughter, Tar-Vanimeldë. His name means "Silver-handed", reflecting his greed for the precious metal mithril.
Tar-Anducal was the ruling name of Herucalmo, the consort to ruling Queen Tar-Vanimeldë of Númenor. He was much younger than his wife. Tar-Vanimeldë had little interest in ruling, and Herucalmo served as her regent. When she died, the throne should have gone to their son, Tar-Alcarin, but Herucalmo usurped the throne and ruled under the name Tar-Anducal ("Light of the West") from S.A. 2637 to 2657. After Tar-Anducal's death, Tar-Alcarin finally succeeded to his rightful throne.
Tar-Alcarin (S.A. 2406–2737, r. S.A. 2657–2737) was the seventeenth ruler of Númenor. His parents were the ruling Queen, Tar-Vanimeldë, and her consort, Herucalmo. Tar-Alcarin should have succeeded his mother upon her death, but Herucalmo usurped the throne and held it for twenty years before he died, and Tar-Alcarin rightfully gained the throne. His name means "Glorious". The period in which he ruled was still a mostly peaceful one in Númenor, but in Middle-earth Sauron ruled the lands, and the shadow had fallen on Númenor as well. Herucalmo's usurping of the throne was generally considered an evil deed by the people. Tar-Alcarin ruled for eighty years, then was succeeded by his son, Tar-Calmacil.
Tar-Calmacil (S.A. 2516–2825, r. S.A. 2737–2825), was the eighteenth ruler of Númenor. He succeeded his father, Tar-Alcarin, as King. His name means "Bright Sword", which he took in recognition of the territorial victories he had in Middle-earth as a renowned captain of Númenor. He was also as the first King to have recorded an Adûnaic equivalent of his name: Ar-Belzagar. This signalled the rise of a faction known as the King's Men who were opposed to the Ban of the Valar. There is a discrepancy in Tolkien's writings as to Tar-Calmacil's successor: Tar-Ardamin, his son, or Ar-Adûnakhôr, his grandson. Specifically, in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings, Ar-Adûnakhôr is listed as his successor, but in the more expanded "Line of Elros: Kings of Númenor" from Unfinished Tales, he is succeeded by Tar-Ardamin. Christopher Tolkien suggests that the name was accidentally omitted.
Tar-Ardamin (S.A. 2618–2899, r. S.A. 2825–2899), Ar-Abattârik in Adûnaic, is sometimes listed in the list of rulers of Númenor but is sometimes omitted. He was the son of King Tar-Calmacil, and if he is counted as one of the rulers, then he is the nineteenth in the line of rulers. In Adûnaic his name means "Pillar of the World"; in Quenya, it may mean "First of the World". Tar-Ardamin is omitted in the list of rulers of Númenor in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings, but is mentioned briefly in Unfinished Tales. J. R. R. Tolkien's son Christopher, who compiled and edited Unfinished Tales, speculates in an endnote to the chapter "The Line of Elros: Kings of Númenor" that while Tolkien may have had a reason behind the omission that he never elaborated on, a simple textual error is more likely, as the numbering of the kings was never altered. Tar-Ardamin's son, Ar-Adûnakhôr, is generally counted as the twentieth ruler.
Ar-Adûnakhôr (S.A. 2709–2962, r. S.A. 2899–2962) was the twentieth ruler of Númenor. He opposed the Valar, and thus took his official name in the Adûnaic tongue instead of using the traditional Quenya form Tar-Herunúmen. The name he choose was considered by some as blasphemous — in both languages it means "Lord of the West", a title reserved for Manwë, Lord of the Valar. There is some question as to whether Ar-Adûnakhôr succeeded his father, Tar-Ardamin, as King, or his grandfather, Tar-Calmacil, but the numbering of the rulers includes Tar-Ardamin in the count. Specifically, Tar-Ardamin does not appear at all in The Lord of the Rings appendices, but he does appear in the chapter "The Line of Elros" from Unfinished Tales. He was succeeded by his son, Ar-Zimrathôn.
Ar-Zimrathôn (S.A. 2798–3033, r. S.A. 2962–3033) was the twenty-first ruler of Númenor. Like his father Ar-Adûnakhôr, Ar-Zimrathôn opposed the Valar, and he took his name in the Adûnaic tongue rather than in the traditional Quenya. But Númenórean scholars recorded his Quenya name Tar-Hostamir so as to not offend the Valar. His name in both languages means "Jewel Gatherer", perhaps implying a greedy nature. Ar-Zimrathôn ruled Númenor for seventy-one years, and was succeeded by his son, Ar-Sakalthôr.
Ar-Sakalthôr (S.A. 2876–3102, r. S.A. 3033–3102) was the twenty-second ruler of Númenor. He followed the royal tradition of turning away from the ways of the Valar. He succeeded his father Ar-Zimrathôn as King, ruling Númenor for sixty-nine years, and was succeeded by his son, Ar-Gimilzôr. The traditional Quenya version of his name was "Tar-Falassion". It means "Shore-son" or "Child of the Shore".
Ar-Gimilzôr (S.A. 2960–3177, r. S.A. 3102–3177) was the twenty-third ruler of Númenor, succeeding his father Ar-Sakalthôr as King. During his reign Ar-Gimilzôr persecuted the Elf-friends (Elendili), who called for the return of the Númenóreans to the ways of the Valar and the Elves. Use of Elvish was forbidden in Númenor by his order in c. S.A. 3110. His regnal name was recorded as Tar-Telemnar ("Silver-flame"), the Quenya version of his name, a custom meant not to offend the Valar. Ar-Gimilzôr's wife, Inzilbêth, was secretly an Elf-friend, and she passed on her ways to their son, Tar-Palantir. She was the daughter of Lindórië, who was herself a descendant of Tar-Elendil, the fourth king of Númenor, and also of Tar-Calmacil1. Their second son, Gimilkhâd, opposed his elder brother's policies.
1 In an earlier version her father is shown as Gimilzagar, the second son of Tar-Calmacil. However, this would make Inzilbêth at least 400 years old at the time of her marriage; despite the long lives of the members of Númenórean royal line, Inzilbêth must have been further removed from Gimilzagar or else the Gimilzagar referred to as her father was not the same Gimilzagar as the son of Tar-Calmacil.
Tar-Palantir (S.A. 3035–3255, r. S.A. 3177–3255) was the twenty-fourth ruler of Númenor. His Adûnaic name was Ar-Inziladûn, which means "Flower of the West". Tar-Palantir's father, Ar-Gimilzôr, whom he succeeded, was an opponent of the Valar and the Elves. But Inzilbêth, the queen, taught her son to be an Elf-friend. Ar-Inziladûn took power in a time of great darkness in Númenor; ever since Tar-Atanamir, every king had spoken against the Valar and questioned the policies laid out to them. Palantir, however, sought to repent the actions of his predecessors; he once again tended the White Tree and followed the ancient practices. He had prophesied that the White Tree was tied with the line of the Kings; should it die, then the line of the Kings would in turn die out. However, there was no response from the Valar; and Eressëa could not be seen from the tower of Tar-Minastir. A name in Quenya was inscribed in the Scrolls, as was with ancient practices. Palantir in Quenya means "far sighted," as Palantir indeed saw the destruction that would come to Númenor if it kept going down the path it was on. His daughter, Míriel was his official successor and would have followed his policies, but her rightful place as Queen of Númenor was usurped by her cousin, Ar-Pharazôn.
Ar-Pharazôn the Golden (S.A. 3118–3319, r. S.A. 3255–3319), Tar-Calion in Quenya, was the twenty-fifth and last king of Númenor. Ar-Pharazôn was the nephew of King Tar-Palantir and took to wife Tar-Palantir's daughter, Míriel (against her will as well as Númenórean law). Ar-Pharazôn was the most powerful of all the kings of Númenor. With a great fleet he landed at Umbar, marched on Mordor and took Sauron as a prisoner back to Númenor. Sauron eventually corrupted Ar-Pharazôn, and the king built the "greatest armament that the world had seen" to attack Valinor in S.A. 3310 and broke the Ban of the Valar. The King himself perished in the cataclysm that followed, although in the Akallabêth account of this it states that "Ar-Pharazôn and his mortal warriors who had set foot on Aman were buried by falling hills, imprisoned in the Caves of the Forgotten until the Last Battle and Day of Doom."
Elros Tar-Minyatur Vardamir Nólimon Tindómiel Manwendil Atanalcar Aulendil Vardilmë Tar-Amandil Nolondil Tar-Elendil Mairen Vëantur Eärendur Yávien Oromendil Axantur Elatan Silmariën Isilmë Tar-Meneldur Almarian Caliondo Lindissë Cemendur Ardamir Valandil Orchaldor Ailinel Tar-Aldarion Erendis Almiel Malantur Hallatan Írildë Soronto Tar-Ancalimë Hallacar Nessanië Tar-Anárion two elder daughters Tar-Súrion Isilmo Tar-Telperiën Tar-Minastir Tar-Ciryatan Tar-Atanamir Tar-Ancalimon Tar-Telemmaitë Herucalmo Tar-Vanimeldë Tar-Alcarin Tar-Calmacil Tar-Ardamin Gimilzagar Ar-Adûnakhôr Ar-Zimrathôn Lords of Andúnië Ar-Sakalthôr Inzilbêth Ar-Gimilzôr Gimilkhâd Tar-Palantir Ar-Pharazôn Míriel
- ^ a b J. R. R. Tolkien (1994). "The Tale of Years of the First Age". In Christopher Tolkien. The War of the Jewels. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin. pp. 342–354. ISBN 0-395-71041-3. Elrond and Elros are born in the same year, 532 of the Years of the Sun in the First Age.
- ^ J. E. A. Taylor (1976) The Tolkien Companion pp 146–147
- ^ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien editor, Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth (2001), p.171
- A History and Complete Chronology of Númenor - A detailed chronology of Númenor, its successor states and their rulers.
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