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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room: Thanks for posting the full quote!: Edit Log


Feb 13 2018, 1:18am

Views: 4431
Thanks for posting the full quote!

In Reply To
1) Even though Ar-Pharazon persecuted them ruthlessly and caused the destruction of Numenor, the Faithful were still proud of his accomplishment in humbling Sauron. Especially for Americans right now as they debate who is and isn't worthy of having a public statue when one takes the full measure of their successes and failings, it's interesting that the Faithful gave him a pass on their own suffering at his hands and singled out his battle-less victory, I suppose saying, "This was how great Numenor was at its height, now forgot the rest." To me it seems like a pan-Numenorean Pride statement, which leads to:

I think this is a good description of the Faithfu; nicely put. Smile

In Reply To
2) An exact date for the pillar's destruction isn't given, and I don't intend to quibble about this, but it seems possible the Black Numenoreans viewed the pillar with the same pride, and it was only when Sauron's direct lieutenants showed up in Umbar that it was torn down to appease them.

I would agree with this, though it presents an interesting conundrum which I don't have an answer to in terms of it seeming (to me) to conflict with the Black Númenórean's reported Melkorism, which is a subject that I didn't really give adequate attention to in the OP. Perhaps that religion became less common after the Kin-strife when Umbar was ruled by renegade descendants of Gondorian kings? Could be that if the Dúnedain of Gondor did in fact recognize the Númenórean status of the Umbar elite, that resulted in cultural changes for the Black Númenóreans of Umbar that persisted even after Gondor lost control of that province. Certain the religion would have had to go underground during the Gondorian period, unless it died out entirely and was only later reintroduced by Sauron's emissaries in the late Third Age.

At the risk of diving too far into the realm of speculation, one other potential explanation is that the prevalence of Melkorism among the King's Men was exaggerated in some of the sources we have that were written by the Faithful. One potentially variant source is the aforementioned quote from UT, The Istari, which states that Black Númenórean "settlements beyond Umbar had been absorbed, or being made by men already in Númenor corrupted by Sauron had become hostile and parts of Sauron's dominions." That seems to imply that some of the more southerly colonies were not made by already-corrupted men but went in a third direction, neither Elf-friend nor Sauronian.* But I might be reading too much into a sentence fragment.

The simpler explanation is probably that I'm just wrong about the point of view that Melkorists would have toward the monument and that the Black Númenóreans were both Melkorists and viewed it in a positive light. Unfortunately I'm pretty tired right now and would need to give this question more thought to feel confident in any particular answer. I'm not even sure how coherent this post is. Crazy


*The following section is entirely hypothetical and I am probably mixing and matching ideas from different texts more than I should so take it more as me spitballing than as a serious attempt at determining what Tolkien's intentions might have been. That said: the other interesting thing in the UT quote is that, while both types of colony ceased to be distinctively Númenórean realms, only some "became ... parts of Sauron's dominions", whereas others--implicitly--did not. This would seem to suggest that the native peoples whom the latter class were "absorbed" by were not Sauronian either. Presumably they were further south than Sauron's influence in Middle-earth ever reached. The Akallabêth gives a rather poetic description of the Númenórean voyages, stating:

Thus it was that because of the Ban of the Valar the voyages of the Dúnedain in those days went ever eastward and not westward, from the darkness of the North to the heats of the South, and beyond the South to the Nether Darkness; and they came even into the inner seas, and sailed about Middle-earth and glimpsed from their high prows the Gates of Morning in the East. And the Dúnedain came at times to the shores of the Great Lands, and they took pity on the forsaken world of Middle-earth; and the Lords of Númenor set foot again upon the western shores in the Dark Years of Men, and none yet dared to withstand them.

It's tempting to draw a connection between the statement that the Númenóreans circumnavigated the main known continent of Middle-earth to reach the far east with the notion (printed in HoMe XII) that the Blue Wizards helped establish and defend an anti-Sauronian power base in that area. This was the same version that had the Blue Wizards arriving in the Second Age, which would be put them on the scene during the era of far-flung Númenórean colonization. On the other hand, the Akallabêth quote states only that the Númenóreans landed on "the western shores" and "The Istari" implies something similar. In any event, whether east or south, one could imagine that especially remote colonies were less influenced by the central policies of Númenor and therefore never fully embraced Melkorism, but were also isolated from and thus not influenced by the Eldar.

(This post was edited by Eldorion on Feb 13 2018, 1:31am)

Edit Log:
Post edited by Eldy (Gondor) on Feb 13 2018, 1:25am
Post edited by Eldy (Gondor) on Feb 13 2018, 1:26am
Post edited by Eldy (Gondor) on Feb 13 2018, 1:28am
Post edited by Eldy (Gondor) on Feb 13 2018, 1:31am

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