Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
Numenor design
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

balbo biggins
Rohan


Mar 10 2019, 1:52am

Post #1 of 43 (2058 views)
Shortcut
Numenor design Can't Post

What thoughts have you on the design of Numenor?

I was reading about then Adunaic language and it said tolkien gave it a Semitic flavour, and I thought that a levant/greek vibe Would be a good identity with room for Diversity.

Also the azores has a good landscape and funnily enough the right sort of latitude that may suit it, as well as some other volcanic type islands in Europe.


MoreMorgoth
Rivendell

Mar 10 2019, 2:07am

Post #2 of 43 (1997 views)
Shortcut
design [In reply to] Can't Post

For some reason I have always pictured Numenor as having lots of Egyptian looking influences.


Eldy
Gondor


Mar 10 2019, 2:30am

Post #3 of 43 (1994 views)
Shortcut
Egypt [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that would be a good place for the design team to look for inspiration. Tolkien described the Númenóreans of Gondor as being somewhat like the Ancient Egyptians, and I think that analogy would if anything be even more fitting for the Second Age. From Letter 210 (my emphasis):


Quote
The Númenóreans of Gondor were proud, peculiar, and archaic, and I think are best pictured in (say) Egyptian terms. In many ways they resembled 'Egyptians' – the love of, and power to construct, the gigantic and massive. And in their great interest in ancestry and in tombs. (But not of course in 'theology' : in which respect they were Hebraic and even more puritan – but this would take long to set out: to explain indeed why there is practically no oven 'religion', or rather religious acts or places or ceremonies among the 'good' or anti-Sauron peoples in The Lord of the Rings.) I think the crown of Gondor (the S. Kingdom) was very tall, like that of Egypt, but with wings attached, not set straight back but at an angle.



Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Mar 10 2019, 2:35am

Post #4 of 43 (1984 views)
Shortcut
Yeah - Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek, Levantine, etc [In reply to] Can't Post

All great cultural references, and they would be so interesting combined into something truly extraordinary. I just hope they don't go for a classic Roman design: that would be underwhelming, in my opinion. I'd much rather if Numenor felt very different to anything we've seen before in Middle-earth.

"We are Kree"


Mari D.
Rivendell


Mar 10 2019, 11:54am

Post #5 of 43 (1899 views)
Shortcut
I guess the name Al-Pharazon does not have anything to do with Pharao [In reply to] Can't Post

but it does remind me of it =D
Interesting what Tolkien wrote about the Numenorean people in his letter.


Althoun
Lorien

Mar 10 2019, 12:56pm

Post #6 of 43 (1884 views)
Shortcut
Byzantine with an Egyptian vibe... [In reply to] Can't Post

In letter 131, Tolkien compared the Numenorean civilization of Gondor with the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire:


Quote
In the south Gondor rises to a peak of power, almost reflecting Númenor, and then fades slowly to decayed Middle Age, a kind of proud, venerable, but increasingly impotent Byzantium

Quote

The Byzantines were the Greek-speaking, and in culture Hellenistic, eastern survival of the Roman Empire based in the great maritime city of Constantinople behind its mighty walls, which lasted for a thousand years as the greatest power in Christendom.

Like the Temple of Melkor that would eventually be constructed in the Numenorean capital Armenelos, with it's great oculus-styled dome, the skyline of Constantinople was dominated by the majestic dome of the Hagia Sophia.

I think that another poster was already getting at this when they referred to Numenor as being somewhat "Greek" in orientation. Not classical Greek, but imperial Byzantine Greek.

Today, the word 'Byzantine' has become a byword in English for: "elaborate scheming and intrigue, especially for the gaining of political power or favor". That's it's actual dictionary definition and the reason for this is that Byzantine politics was famously machiavellian given the vast wealth, splendour and sophistication of their civilization until it's sorry demise and surrender to the Turks in the 15th century, with the Fall of Constantinople.

An infamous example of Byzantine snobbery towards other Christian cultures can be found in the story of the Princess Theophano Skleraina (955/960 – Jun 991), of the ruling Macedonian Dynasty, who was married off to the Holy Roman Emperor of the Germans in mainland Europe. The poor princess was horrified when she discovered that the Europeans, at this point languishing in their so-called 'dark ages', had never seen nor used a fork before while eating! As such, the fork as a staple piece of cutlery was first introduced to European cuisine and etiquette by the Princess Theophano, who didn't want to get her hands dirty while eating.

See:


Quote
Theophano’s arrival on the Rhine created quite a stir. Dressed in silks, she insisted on bathing daily, was quite literate, and most upsetting of all, she used a fork. Chronographers mention the astonishment she caused when she “used a golden double prong to bring food to her mouth” instead of using her hands as was the norm. Theophano was also criticized for her decadence, which manifested in her bathing once a day and introducing luxurious garments and jewellery into Germany.

Quote

The uncouth Europeans had never seen a lady of such beauty, poise, knowledge, refinement and high maintenance as dear Theophano.


(This post was edited by Althoun on Mar 10 2019, 1:10pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


Mar 10 2019, 2:29pm

Post #7 of 43 (1854 views)
Shortcut
That would be cool, as long as they don't get too literal [In reply to] Can't Post

with characters wearing Egyptian headresses and sets crowded with sphinxes and pyramids. But the idea is neat and is grounded in things like the Argonath and Minas Tirith: build big and ostentatious, make your mark on the world, and act like you're the greatest civilization in the world.


balbo biggins
Rohan


Mar 10 2019, 3:53pm

Post #8 of 43 (1831 views)
Shortcut
Earlier and later [In reply to] Can't Post

And this matches up with earlier civilisations, if later Gondor was the latter roman empire,. Then numenor would have been akin to the earlier greek/ Egyptian civilisations.

Was atlantis a Greek myth? I forget More research...


Althoun
Lorien

Mar 10 2019, 3:59pm

Post #9 of 43 (1824 views)
Shortcut
Atlantis is a Greek myth written about by Plato [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And this matches up with earlier civilisations, if later Gondor was the latter roman empire,. Then numenor would have been akin to the earlier greek/ Egyptian civilisations.

Was atlantis a Greek myth? I forget More research...


Tolkien expressly stated that Numenor was his account of the ancient Greek, Platonic myth of Atlantis, on numerous occasions.

So, yes - Greek and Egyptian really is the frame for Numenor, albeit with a semitic religion and moral system until they embrace Melkorism (i.e. like the Byzantines having the Jewish derived religion of Christianity).

I still see Numenor as being akin to Byzantium in it's prime, and Gondor like it's latter, less illustrious manifestation. But the Greek culture derived from the classical era in tandem with an Egyptian mentality (i.e. obsession with tombs, death) and monumental building works, certainly.


entmaiden
Forum Admin


Mar 10 2019, 4:02pm

Post #10 of 43 (1823 views)
Shortcut
Tolkien did some drawings [In reply to] Can't Post

of Numenorian designs. I specifically remember his drawing of a carpet. I think it was in a book of Tolkien illustrations. I will try to find it and post here.


Felagund
Lorien


Mar 10 2019, 4:06pm

Post #11 of 43 (1819 views)
Shortcut
Atalantë [In reply to] Can't Post

Yep, with Tolkien quite deliberately playing on the proper noun 'Atlantis' with his own Quenya rendering of the Downfall, 'Atalantë'. Letter 257 and the 'Akallabêth' chapter of The Silmarillion being key sources.

As a former Classicist, I feel bound to say that it's not of Greek origin. We get the myth transmitted via the Greeks (Plato), from a much earlier recollection by the Ancient Egyptians!

Welcome to the Mordorfone network, where we put the 'hai' back into Uruk


Althoun
Lorien

Mar 10 2019, 4:09pm

Post #12 of 43 (1815 views)
Shortcut
Great point [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, your right about Plato claiming it as being of Egyptian provenance. Was it Critias? I have this dim recollection of reading it there in my university days.

I remember reading, however, there there is debate among intellectual historians as to whether the Greeks actually did invent the myth but attributed it to the lore of the Egyptians or actually derived it from them.

But, regardless, we do come full-circle back to pharoahnic Egypt!


(This post was edited by Althoun on Mar 10 2019, 4:17pm)


balbo biggins
Rohan


Mar 10 2019, 4:56pm

Post #13 of 43 (1787 views)
Shortcut
Visuals [In reply to] Can't Post

The only problem with it being visually very egyption/semitic is the landscape, numenor, being relatively mid Atlantic certainly. There's certainly no desert, its surely a volcanic type island lush and green (again more numenor research needed) so this is already Going to be an interesting visual mix.

I've recently visited Egypt, all the way down to luxor and what is most amazing about the old stuff is how colourfall it all was. The wall paintings are vibrant.

I hope we spent a good amount tof time There in this series.


Marmoon
The Shire


Mar 10 2019, 5:15pm

Post #14 of 43 (1777 views)
Shortcut
Sauron's temple [In reply to] Can't Post

I quite like the Epyptian-Greek concept others have proposed. But whatever the look for most Númenórean architecture, the “mighty temple” for worshipping Melkor should appear distinct. It was built at Sauron’s direction and would have been a powerful symbol of the change occurring in Armenelos.


Quote
“It was in the form of a circle at the base, and there the walls were fifty feet in thickness, and the width of the base was five hundred feet across the centre, and the walls rose from the ground five hundred feet, and they were crowned with a mighty dome. And that dome was roofed all with silver…” (The Silmarillion, “Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor”)


I imagine the temple walls looking something like Tolkien’s illustration for Barad-dûr (http://bit.ly/2F1AhD9), being a rough approximation of Sauron’s style. Some scholars have theorized Tolkien may have had the neo-classical Radcliffe Camera at Oxford University in mind for the temple, given a similar description he provided in The Notion Club Papers.


Althoun
Lorien

Mar 10 2019, 6:01pm

Post #15 of 43 (1754 views)
Shortcut
Great point about the Temple's possible influence from neo-classical (i.e. neo-ancient Greek) architecture.... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I quite like the Epyptian-Greek concept others have proposed. But whatever the look for most Númenórean architecture, the “mighty temple” for worshipping Melkor should appear distinct. It was built at Sauron’s direction and would have been a powerful symbol of the change occurring in Armenelos.


Quote
“It was in the form of a circle at the base, and there the walls were fifty feet in thickness, and the width of the base was five hundred feet across the centre, and the walls rose from the ground five hundred feet, and they were crowned with a mighty dome. And that dome was roofed all with silver…” (The Silmarillion, “Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor”)


I imagine the temple walls looking something like Tolkien’s illustration for Barad-dûr (http://bit.ly/2F1AhD9), being a rough approximation of Sauron’s style. Some scholars have theorized Tolkien may have had the neo-classical Radcliffe Camera at Oxford University in mind for the temple, given a similar description he provided in The Notion Club Papers.


I wonder if Ptolemaic Egypt - with its hybrid Hellenistic-Egyptian culture and architectural design - could partly be used as a source of inspiration?

The problem for that, as Balbo has noted, would be the decidedly Atlanticist climate/geographical position of Númenor.


(This post was edited by Althoun on Mar 10 2019, 6:01pm)


Eldy
Gondor


Mar 10 2019, 6:39pm

Post #16 of 43 (1734 views)
Shortcut
Númenórean textiles [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
of Numenorian designs. I specifically remember his drawing of a carpet. I think it was in a book of Tolkien illustrations. I will try to find it and post here.


Was it one of these? (Largish images so linking instead of embedding). I believe they were originally published in the 1978 Silmarillion calendar, though I'm sure they've been included in more recent artbook collections (which I sadly don't have). There was also a tile design:



And now that you bring up the topic, I'm reminded of the highly stylized ceremonial helmet of the Uinendil from the cover of some editions of Unfinished Tales:




Eldy
Gondor


Mar 10 2019, 6:53pm

Post #17 of 43 (1725 views)
Shortcut
Latitude [In reply to] Can't Post

On the topic of climate--while it certainly wouldn't be a desert, I would enjoy seeing a depiction of Númenor reflective of its position (in the books) relatively close to the equator. It was possible to see Tol Eressëa from the summit of the Meneltarma. Eressëa and the Bay of Eldamar in general were in the vicinity of Valinor, which in turn was located in the central part of Aman, near the equator ("Túna beneath Taniquetil was set nigh to the girdle of Arda"; TS, Of the Flight of the Noldor.) A tropical Númenor would help give it a unique feel among all the realms of Middle-earth we've seen so far.

For better or worse, the position of Númenor on Amazon's Second Age map doesn't look anywhere close to equatorial, but I hope they'll still depict a lush and green island.


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Mar 10 2019, 7:05pm

Post #18 of 43 (1712 views)
Shortcut
I'd love to see different things mixed together [In reply to] Can't Post

So, for instanced, Egyptian or Levantine style but set in a richly forested, verdant landscape, with Byzantine references for the capital of Armenelos as well. I think that way it wouldn't seem just like Egypt or Greece, or any one thing, but a mix of them all.

"We are Kree"


squire
Half-elven


Mar 10 2019, 7:10pm

Post #19 of 43 (1716 views)
Shortcut
I have often wondered if Tolkien knew about Hitler's plan for the largest domed temple in the world [In reply to] Can't Post



This project was laid out in the 1930s by Albert Speer, Hitler's architect, as part of the plan to rebuild Berlin to be the capital of the Nazi-dominated world after the coming victory. It was based on the Roman Pantheon, but was larger by several orders of magnitude; it would have dwarfed every domed structure ever built.

Tolkien, I believe, wrote the passage you quote in the late 1940s when he was bringing the Numenor myth up to date. By then, Hitler's dream was ended, but were Speer's megalomanical designs known or circulated in the Western media after 1945? Could Tolkien have see images like these in the Sunday supplements, and remembered them as inspirations for Sauron? His dome would have been about 1000 ft high; this one is 950 feet!

Or was he riffing off the Pantheon - just like Speer?



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Mar 10 2019, 7:16pm

Post #20 of 43 (1711 views)
Shortcut
You know... [In reply to] Can't Post

I've seen this (I remember reading extensively on Albert Speer's vision for the Third Reich), and the sheer size of it is terrifying. If Amazon used this for inspiration, I would not be surprised, and in fact I think it would be quite fitting. That image still sends a shudder up my spine.

"We are Kree"


squire
Half-elven


Mar 10 2019, 8:00pm

Post #21 of 43 (1692 views)
Shortcut
Ach du lieber, Herr Bezos! [In reply to] Can't Post

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" has a CGI interior of the Volkeshalle in the archives. Just change the set dressing and put a bonfire in the center of the space!





squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Althoun
Lorien

Mar 10 2019, 8:08pm

Post #22 of 43 (1687 views)
Shortcut
And replace the Nazi obergruppenführer with Sauron as High Priest... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" has a CGI interior of the Volkeshalle in the archives. Just change the set dressing and put a bonfire in the center of the space!



As in this artistic depiction of Sauron as High Priest making a (presumably human?) sacrifice in the Temple, from DeviantArt:




(This post was edited by Althoun on Mar 10 2019, 8:09pm)


Felagund
Lorien


Mar 10 2019, 8:40pm

Post #23 of 43 (1663 views)
Shortcut
location of Númenor: "where the stars are strange..." [In reply to] Can't Post

The positioning of Númenor not far from the equator (as extrapolated from Tolkien's text) isn't too bad a fit with where Amazon have located it on their map. At the Council of Elrond, Aragorn remarked that he'd traveled to Harad, "where the stars are strange...". This suggests that Aragorn had traveled far south enough to cross the equator, where he'd observed different constellations. The Amazon map has Númenor roughly at the same latitude as Far Harad, as marked up on standard map of Middle-earth .

The question of latitude has reminded me that I've previously wondered why the first Númenórean landfall in Middle-earth was at Mithlond rather than somewhere in relatively nearby Harad. Eventually Umbar did become the Númenóreans' greatest colony and fortress in Middle-earth, which does make sense in terms of proximity to Númenor. But all that postdated the landing in Mithlond and the slightly later foundation of Vinyalondë by as much as a millennium. Indeed, the Númenóreans didn't even explore as far south as the Bay of Belfalas until the 730s of the Second Age - contra Vëantur's historic landfall at Mithlond in II.600.

Welcome to the Mordorfone network, where we put the 'hai' back into Uruk


Felagund
Lorien


Mar 10 2019, 9:09pm

Post #24 of 43 (1646 views)
Shortcut
Valley of the Tombs [In reply to] Can't Post

Falling from the south-eastern slopes of the Meneltarma was Noirinan, the "Valley of the Tombs; for at its head chambers were cut in the rock at the base of the mountain, in which were the tombs of the Kings and Queens of Númenor." Reminds me of the Valley of the Kings, by ancient Thebes in Egypt. Also featured rock cut tombs...!

To push the comparison a bit further, Aldarion constructed a tall tower, Calmindon ("Light-tower") on the island of Tol Uinen, just offshore from Númenor's main seaport, Rómenna. This recalls the Lighthouse of Alexandria, situated on the offshore island of Pharos - constructed during the reign of Ptolemy II Soter, Macedonian ruler of Egypt (r. 280-247 BCE), and later tagged as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Although Calmindon isn't explicitly described as a lighthouse, its name and the fact that it was built as part of a wider construction programme featuring sea-walls suggests that it could have been.

Anyway, all speculation but there's Pharaonic and Ptolemaic to be had if needed!

Welcome to the Mordorfone network, where we put the 'hai' back into Uruk


balbo biggins
Rohan


Mar 10 2019, 9:30pm

Post #25 of 43 (1636 views)
Shortcut
Turtles [In reply to] Can't Post

Note to remember, middle earth at this time was flat, the sun though surely traversing the same latitude, and Of course no curvature of the earth, the world would have a completely different make up regarding climate,more.similar I'd expect also why would the stars be strange if the earth isn't traversing an orbit? Or.rotatijg?Maybe the stars had their own movements!

Anyway what it boils down to is, you can do pretty much anything you want lol


But also having an island along the equator does not have to mean solely. Tropical, for example the galapogos islands have a comepltwy unique make up and something in the middle. Of the 'Atlantic' would also, again the azores are a good example.


(This post was edited by balbo biggins on Mar 10 2019, 9:32pm)

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.