Legendarium’ Second Age Part 4: Fall of Numenor

While Numenor grappled with significant internal turmoil, Sauron, having bolstered his army to a menacing extent, launched an offensive towards the west as he sought to spread danger once more throughout Middle-earth. When Sauron was repelled back to Mordor, the chief culprits were the Elves and the Numenorean forces who aided them. Sauron considered the Elves his primary targets and belittled Numenor. Consequently, he directed his armies towards the settlements of Numenor in Middle-earth and launched successive attacks. Sauron boldly proclaimed his superiority and lordship over all with unwavering conviction. Witnessing these assaults and hearing Sauron’s claims, the newly-crowned Numenorean emperor Ar-Pharazon assembled the greatest army that Arda had ever seen and set sail for Middle-earth. Upon encountering the vast forces from Numenor, Sauron’s armies were so terrified that they were forced to retreat. Thus, Ar-Pharazon reached the gates of Mordor without encountering any significant obstacles.

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However, Sauron was no fool; he was someone capable of learning from his mistakes. He realized that he could not win a pitched battle against Numenor. Yet, upon observing the ambition and arrogance in Ar-Pharazon’s eyes, Sauron devised a far more cunning plan. Transforming back into his human form, Sauron left Mordor and surrendered as if nothing had transpired. Although he conceded defeat and knelt before Ar-Pharazon, the emperor remained unsatisfied and took him captive, bringing Sauron to Numenor. Ar-Pharazon was proud of capturing Sauron, but he was oblivious to the fact that he was playing right into Sauron’s hands. It is said that the moment Sauron set foot in Numenor, he had already begun to darken the hearts of the people, who were already corrupted.

Sauron spent three years imprisoned in the dungeons of Numenor. However, his time as a prisoner did not last much longer. During his incarceration, Ar-Pharazon visited him regularly. The arrogant emperor was so enamored with his conversations with Sauron that, after three years, he released him and made him his advisor. Through the counsel he provided to Ar-Pharazon, Sauron manipulated him into doing exactly what he desired. He spoke of Melkor to him, telling him that the Valar had deceived him and that the immortality and freedom he sought could only be granted by Melkor. Sauron’s first project to revive Melkor and harm Numenor began with Nimloth. He ordered the burning of Nimloth, one of the oldest trees stretching from Aman to Numenor. Upon hearing this, Isildur, lord of Andunie, risked his life to sneak into the royal garden and steal one of Nimloth’s fruits. Although Isildur suffered grave injuries during this operation, he later recovered rapidly, thanks to the quick healing bestowed upon him by Nimloth.

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Subsequently, Ar-Pharazon, removed Amandil from the council, one of the most authoritative figures and a close friend. However, he did not cause any harm to him or his family. Ar-Pharazon then expanded the imperialism initiated by Ciryatan with the support of Sauron and introduced slavery in the lands of Middle-earth. Numenoreans executed the people they captured through various rituals in the colossal temple they had built.

However, as they approached Melkor, their fear of death increased. This was because the lifespan of the Dunedain had diminished as they distanced themselves from the Valar. Ar-Pharazon was also aging rapidly, and the fear of death was consuming him. Recognizing the king’s fears, Sauron understood that the time had come and told him that it was time to journey to Aman. Sauron, who asserted that he had taken control of the immortality of the Valar but emphasized that immortality was a reward only for the deserving, filled Pharazon’s mind with what he wanted to hear and set his plan in motion to launch an attack on Aman.

For nine years, Ar-Pharazon prepared the army and ships for the assault on Aman. However, the Valar were aware of the situation. To warn them, they unleashed various natural disasters upon Numenor. Earthquakes, darkening skies, fierce storms, endless rains, and eagle-shaped clouds conveyed their message to the king of Numenor. However, Ar-Pharazon regarded this not as a warning but as harassment and took the initiative, saying, “They have taken the first step; now it’s our turn.” He set his colossal fleet on a course towards Aman. Finally, the Valar sent their eagles to Numenor. Along with them came a sky so crimson that the Numenoreans began to glow. Despite all the warnings, Ar-Pharazon did not relent.

However, in Numenor, some did heed the warnings of the Valar. Amandil, lord of Andunie, had grown fearful of the impending events and began constructing ships. Amandil’s escape plan included his son Elendil and his grandsons Isildur and Anarion. However, for unknown reasons, Amandil could not join the fleet he had laid the foundations for. Elendil, filling the existing nine ships with believers, departed Numenor with his sons and Nimloth. Before leaving, Sauron sent his men to capture them, but the believers managed to escape unscathed and set their course for Middle-earth.

Temple of Morgoth

In the year 3319 of the Second Age, Ar-Pharazon and his colossal army arrived in Aman. Upon landing, Ar-Pharazon realized that the place they had come to had been deserted. At that moment, the king contemplated returning, but he soon realized that he had crossed the point of no return and declared himself the king of Aman. He then directed his army towards Valinor.

When Manwe saw nothing else to be done, he called upon Eru and requested assistance. Eru’s response was exceedingly severe. He created a colossal whirlpool in the Belegaer Sea, which swallowed Ar-Pharazon’s entire massive fleet in one fell swoop. Not only the fleet but also the island of Numenor itself was completely submerged beneath the seas. Miriel, attempting to escape the downfall of Numenor by fleeing to the peaks of Meneltarma, did not succeed in surviving.

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Meanwhile, the lands of Aman began to shake and sink underground. Ar-Pharazon and his entire army were trapped beneath the collapsing lands and would remain so until the end of the universe, or until Eru granted permission, within the Forgotten Caves. As for Sauron, who had come there with Ar-Pharazon and his armies, he attempted to flee but succeeded in escaping only by relinquishing his physical form. While he had saved his spirit, he no longer possessed a body. Returning to Mordor, Sauron began waiting for his next malevolence.

Thus, as per Eru’s decree, the gift of Numenor, after a splendid existence of 3,400 years, was once again submerged into the depths of the waters.

Sources and Further Information

  • Tolkien, J.R.R & Tolkien, Christopher. “The Silmarillion,” Houghton Mifflin Company (2004)
  • Tolkien, J.R.R & İpek, Çiğdem Erkal “Translator”. “Yüzüklerin Efendisi,” Metis Yayınları (2007)
  • Tolkien, J.R.R & Tolkien, Christopher. “The Children of Húrin,” HarperCollins (2007)
  • Tolkien, J.R.R & Tolkien, Christopher. “Beren and Lúthien,” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2017)
  • Tolkien, J.R.R & Tolkien, Christopher. “The Fall of Gondolin,” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2018)
  • Orta Dünya – Legendarium Türkiye, YouTube
  • Yüzüklerin Efendisi – Orta Dünya, YouTube
  • Nerd of the Rings, YouTube


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