Exactly Where Is Numenor Compared To Valinor & Middle-earth


Warning! SPOILERS for The Rings of Power episode 3.In the latest episode of Amazon Prime’s The Rings of Power, the show introduced audiences to Númenor, an island kingdom off the coast of Middle-earth and the closest eastern country to Valinor. This is the first truly new location The Rings of Power has introduced viewers to that, while not unfamiliar to Lord of the Rings aficionados, was never seen in the original trilogy. With the introduction to an entirely new kingdom of men comes several questions on the specificity of its location and importance to the Middle-earth of ages past.

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In The Rings of Power, Númenor is a somewhat removed kingdom from the halls of both elves and the men of the Southlands. The island itself was given to the Edain, three houses of men who stood by the elves in their battle against Morgoth, as a reward from The Rings of Power‘s deific Valar for their losses in the war. Since then, the elves and Edain were close, exchanging knowledge and gifts as the Númenóreans became a mighty seafaring people, until they suddenly cut contact with both the elves and the eastern shores of Middle-earth.

According to a map provided by Amazon Prime, Númenor lies about 275 leagues — or about 905 miles — west of the southern shores of Umbar. This places the kingdom 600 leagues, or over 2,000 miles, from the elven homestead of Lindon in The Rings of Power. In terms of Lord of the Rings-era mapping, Númenor would have been south of Gondor, even farther southeast of the trilogy’s location than far Harad (if it existed). Meanwhile, the Valar’s ban on the Númenóreans sailing west for fear of their discovery of Valinor itself suggests that the island must be at least as close to the Undying Lands as it is to Middle-earth, even if it’s different from Lord of the Rings. Roughly, the island could be 100-200 leagues from Valinor’s coast, if not closer considering that Galadriel ((Morfydd Clark) was able to swim partway to the kingdom’s shores.

Why Don’t People From Numenor Visit Middle-earth

Although the people of Númenor were once close with the elves and, according to lore from The Silmarillion, once explored and created settlements in Middle-earth, it seems that the kingdom has grown increasingly isolationist in The Rings of Power. While this isn’t explicitly explained in episode 3, there are several possible reasons for the Númenóreans’ absence from Middle-earth at this time. Firstly, while the Númenóreans are gifted with long life, they are not immortal as the elves are, a fact that creates jealousy between the two peoples in Tolkein’s source material. The Valar’s ban on the seafaring kingdom sailing west to Valinor, the home of the elves, also chafes on its leadership, as can be seen in the Queen Regent Míriel’s (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) prickly response when Galadriel says the elves and Valar gave the Númenóreans their island. These tensions could be more than enough to inhibit the people of Númenor from visiting Middle-earth and their elven allies.

However, another option could be that there’s more foreknowledge at play in The Rings of Power than was developed in the source material. When Queen Regent Míriel visits her deposed father after Galadriel’s arrival, she says that a moment they feared has arrived along with Galadriel. This suggests there’s some sort of prophecy or strategy at work in Númenor that wasn’t included in Tolkien’s original work, one that perhaps explains the kingdom’s lack of contact with Middle-earth.

As far as the introduction of a newly-seen kingdom in The Rings of Power goes, Númenor has not disappointed in its intrigue and splendor. Tolkienbuffs know that the island’s location in The Rings of Powerplays a pivotal role in its eventual removal from Middle-earth as Lord of the Rings knows it, and the tension between the people of Númenor and Galadriel — and the political shifts it entails — are a fascinating aspect of the show. Regardless, only time will tell how these relations will impact Galadriel and Númenor itself.

Episodes of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power air Thursdays/Fridays on Amazon Prime

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