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)?
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?