22 June 2012

365 Days of Middle-earth ~ Day 357: Ar-Pharazôn the Golden

Ar-Pharazôn (Adunaic, ‘golden’ from the Q. Tar-Calion), the son of Gimilkhâd and nephew of Tar-Palantir, was the twenty-fourth and last King of Númenor (SA 3255-3319). After his father had died, he led the rebellious Númenoreans during his Uncle’s reign. When Tar-Palantir died, he forced the heiress, Tar-Míriel, to marry him despite their blood relation, and he then usurped the sceptre.

Ar-Pharazôn was an ambitious man and a popular king. The high point of his reign occurred in 3261, when he sent a mighty army to Middle-earth to challenge Sauron (who was at the height of his power). But in his pride, Ar-Pharazôn instead brought Sauron back to Númenor as prisoner, and he and his court quickly fell under the Shadow. The next fifty years of Ar-Pharazôn’s reign saw civil chaos and increased persecution of those Faithful to the Eldar. 

Under Sauron’s influence, Ar-Pharazôn cut down Nimloth and worshiped Melkor with human sacrifices; following these incidents, he was persuaded to attack Valinor and forcefully obtain immortality. For nine years, he built the Great Armament and in 3319 landed on the forbidden shore of Aman the Blessed Realm. Ar-Pharazôn, with his landing party, was entombed in the Caves of the Forgotten by the Change of the World, and Númenor was destroyed.  

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