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Thread: Nine Ships of the Faithful

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Valedhelgwath originally began this thread with the following post.

After the downfall of Numenor, Elendil and his sons escaped with a remnant of the Faithful and with just nine ships (Elendil 4, Isildur 3, Anarion 2) managed to found the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor. You then get the impression that these two new kingdoms are the dominant force in Middle Earth....
Okay, so the individual Numenorians were probably stronger than your average man, better equiped and better trained for war (something like a Roman army appearing in Gaul or Germanica), but would nine ships really be sufficient? They must have brought their wives and children too, so how many people did these ships carry?
Numenorians had been setting up colonies in Middle Earth for centuries so it is likely many Numenorians were already in Middle Earth at the time of the sinking but I would have thought the Lords of these colonies and towns would have been loyal to the King and therefore not sympathetic to the Faithful (eg Umbar). If this were the case, I would have thought it unlikely that Elendil could just appear from across the sea and announce himself High King. Not without a fight at any rate.

So do any of you have any thoughts on this subject? How with a foundation of just nine ships did Arnor/Gondor become such a dominant Kingdom(s)?

Ungoliant replied

Hmm, interesting topic Val, I never thought about it until today actually. I remember reading from somewhere that the Numenorians had become arrogant, and that their objectives for setting up colonies in Me had changed. Let's see...Silm, Akallabeth:

Great harbours and strong towers they made, and they appeared now rather as lords and masters and gatherers of tribute than as helpers and teachers

The paragraph after that stated that the Faithful played little part in this, but instead kept up their close ties with the Elves. It also said that they alone came north & to the lands of Gil-galad, and that the King's Men sailed south.

I assume then that the Faithful would have landed on the northern shores, and Gil-galad would have offered them his aid & protection. Maybe then help them set up the Northern kingdom?

Maybe it's also possible that Elendil & co. would have been welcomed warmly by the people of northern ME, since they had cultivated their friendship & loyalty prior to the Fall of Numenor.

I'd like to find out more on where the Numenorians first landed on ME, and where their subsequent colonies were - especially the northern ones. Is there anything in HoME or UT?
In UT (p.261) there is a section about the port of Lond Daer at the mouth of the Gwathlo (whoops thats just answered one of the questions in my quiz). It was initially a port used to ship timber back to Numenor, but was also where Ciryatur landed a large force of men that defeated Sauron in SA 1700.

Umbar, of course, was another of their harbour cities, and I believe Pelagir was established by the Faithful some time before the sinking of Numenor. Tharbad was another of there's, and I think the Numenorians also travelled right down south beyond Far Harad and had cities down there.
In addition to the above post, it seems odd to me how the Numenorians were ever befriended by Gil-galad. Elves are supposed to love forests, but the Numenorians at this time went through the ancient forest, which at that time covered most of Eriador, in a similar manner to which we are destroying our own rainforests today.
At first they chopped down trees just along the Gwathlo, but as time went on they cut great roads into the forest and floated the timber downstream. Much of this was initiated by Aldarion the Mariner King who wanted timber to build a great fleet, and Lond Daer was said to be a great shipyard. Shiploads of timber was sailed to Numenor too.
This doesn't seem to have upset the elves though, or for some peculiar reason, Tom Bombadil either. By the time they had finished their felling activities, however, the only forest left was around the region of Rast Vorn and the Old Forest itself.
Their only opposition it seems came from primitive hunters who lived in these woods and who joined forces with Sauron to drive the Numenorians away.
I really cannot understand how the elves tolerated this activity though.
Pages 44-46 of Karen Wynn Fonstad's The Atlas of Middle-earth, revised edition show maps and text concerning the 'Voyages of the Númenóreans' and 'The Realms in Exile'. There is way too much text to copy here.

In S.A. 3319, Elendil sailed to the Gulf of Lune and made friends with Gil-galad; his two sons sailed to Pelargir which had been built by the Faithful in S.A, 2350. The Faithful also had sailed north and had friendly relations with the Elves of Linden (Gil-galad and company).

It is probable that Elendil and sons weren't quite as arrogant as the rest of their race, possibly their humbility had something to do with their being permanently exiled as their home isle was gone. Never again would any more of the tall seafarers come from its shore, they were the last ones and they could not return, thus they had to make the best of the situation and become accepted by the peoples of this their new homeland.

I think the Elves had forgiven the mass tree cuttings after S.A. 1700 when Tar-Minastir sent a great fleet to the Elves' assistance in the war against Sauron, and helped drive the Enemy from Eriador. After that, the Elves probably said, "Cut here, but don't cut here!" Of course this is mere speculation.
I have no idea about these things....Well about the ships and women...I think the numenoreans had EXTREMELY big ships....and about everything else...well I won´t put my foot in something I have no knowledge of...
Maybe Gil-Galad befriended Elendil and Co because the Numenorans saved them in the War against Sauron in the early second Age (from 1609 on i think). The Elves were nearly slaughtered by Sauron's army but when the Numenorans arrived the postThreadIDe was turned : Sauron eventually narrowly escaped to Mordor with only 5 men.

And Gil-Galad lived in Lindon : were there still many of the Noldor living in Eriador after the destruction of Hollin? (besides Rivendell then); i think the Elves thought Elendil deserved some kinda reward for the help of his ppl in the past.
I guess Virumor is right there....since Gil-Galad was High King of the Noldor then he could give away those lands...they might have made a deal with the men too....that they would build their kingdom in their lands if they would protect them and such from the evil of Harad and Mordor...or something like that.....I have not got alot of knowledge in this part....but this might be an answer?

Most Kingdoms grow from one city with millitary outposts. Even Minas tirith wasn't a heavily populated city by todays standards. It is also pointed out there was mingleing of the blood of numenor with the common peoples of ME, except in the royal families. The Numenorians were better armed and more tactically minded than the natives of ME, so they would have conquered them. As can be seen as the case of England during the Norman conquest, they were heavily out numbered by the inhabitants of england yet they won and they enforced there language and culture on to the peoples of England. This would have most likely have been the case of the numenorians in ME. The victor of a war isn't going to want to have to learn the language of his new subjects they should learn theirs. In no way does it ever say that the Numenoreans were peaceful. It in fact points in the other direction, they push the Dunlandings out of Rohan. I'm not saying of corse that all of the people of Numenor in exile would be subjicated, many smaller kingdoms would have intergrated them selves in order to ovoid dominion (there rulers probably accepting a position of postAuthorIDity, maybe even nobility). Dol Amroth is most likely a example of this, they shared many cultural beliefs and simularities, so he accepted a princeipality state in order to ovoid war and eventual defeat.
I think Ross made an excellent point: the Numenoreans weren't peaceful at all! How could they be, when they descended from the Edain that fought against Morgoth throughout the entire First Age? They also had Elven blood; one more reason to surpass any other House of Men! They were a conquering nation, much like the Romans from our own world. And just like them, they tried to impose their language, customs, culture to the people the conquered.

As for the number of their ships, I'd have to say you don't need a huge army to conquer, but an well organized one! Lorn Daer and Pelargir were the Faithfuls' cities, weren't they? So, I guess they had a base to start from!

Well said.
I seem to recall reading (somewhere, don't ask me here) that the Faithful started fleeing Numenor toward the end because it was too hot for them, and that this was encouraged by Ar-Pharazon as good riddance Also, the Numenoreans had a significant technological edge over the Men of Middle-Earth, who were essentially Wild Men as a group at the time.