Black Númenoreans

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Brief Description   
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Brief Description    

Númenoreans who had come to Middle-earth during the SecondAge, settled mostly in the area of Umbar, later were corrupted by Sauron. The BlackNúmenoreans became the rulers of the Haradrim and in the ThirdAge they frequently attacked the coasts of Gondor. They were defeated and scattered in ThA 1050


In the Akallabêth is told the story of the land of the Númenóreans, which flourished as the mightiest kingdom of Men upon Arda during the Second Age. But in the year 3319 S.A. it was cast down beneath Belegaer, the Western Sea, for ever. Most of the Númenóreans perished, but some had left Númenór before the Downfall and so survived.

One part of those who were saved from disaster was named the BlackNúmenoreans. These people made a great haven in a place named Umbar, which lay on the coastlands in the South of Middle-earth. The BlackNúmenoreans were a great sea power and for many centuries they raided and pillaged the coastlands of Middle-earth. They were allies of Sauron, for he came among them and corrupted them through their overweening pride and gave them many gifts. To three of the BlackNúmenoreans he gave Rings of Power, and these three were numbered among the wraiths who were called the Nazgûl. To two others, who were named Herumor and Fuinur, he gave other powers and they became lords among the Haradrim.

The BlackNúmenoreans often came north into the lands of Gondor to test their strength against that other noble remnant of the Númenórean race, the Elendili, or Elf-friends. For as allies of Sauron the BlackNúmenoreans opposed things Elvish and, above all, they hated these Men who they believed had betrayed Númenór and its king.

The BlackNúmenoreans proved to be immensely strong and for more than a thousand years their pillaging was endured. But at last, in the tenth century of the Third Age, King Eärnil I arose in Gondor and reduced the sea power of the BlackNúmenoreans of Umbar to nothing and took the havens. Umbar became a fortress of Gondor, and, though in the years that followed the BlackNúmenoreans rose again, they were finally broken by Hyarmendacil of Gondor in the year 1050 and never again were they rulers of Umbar.

Thereafter the wandering people of this strong race merged with the Haradrim and the Corsairs, and others lived in Morgul and Mordor. As is told in the "Red Book of Westmarch," one became the spokesman of the Dark Lord and was named the Mouth of Sauron. But the end of the Third Age was also the end of the BlackNúmenoreans, for the gifts of power that Sauron gave them vanished with his fall, and the annals of the FourthAge speak of these people no more.

Comments and Annotations    

There is some speculation that the proverbial Queen Berúthiel, wife of the Ship-king Tarannon Falastur of Gondor, was a Black Numenorean in origin (possibly from regions between Pelargir and Umbar which Tarannon had conquered). Certainly when she was cast out of Gondor it was in the direction of Black Numenorean lands.

According to Unfinished Tales, Berúthiel was a morbid and unpleasant character, and possibly a practitioner of dark arts (though probably unaligned with Sauron).

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