Unfinished Tales » Humans » Númenórean » Black Númenóreans
Berúthiel – “Daughter of the Queen”, evil Queen of Gondor, wife of King Tarannon Falastur. He began his reign in 830 Third Age and was the 12th King of Gondor and the first of the “Ship-Kings”. They were married only for political reasons, for there was no love between them and they remained childless. She lived in the King’s House in Osgiliath but hated the sounds and smells of the sea. She hated all colors and elaborate adornment, wearing only black and silver and living in bare chambers, and filled the gardens with tormented sculptures. Berúthiel had nine black cats and one white cat who were her slaves. She conversed with them and read their memories, sending them out to discover the dark secrets of Gondor. No man dared to touch those cats when they saw them and were afraid of them.
Her spying and nefarious ways eventually led Falastur to send her into exile. Her name was removed from the Book of the Kings and he set her out to sea in a ship with her cats. However, her cats lived on in legend as a sort of saying, as Aragorn made a reference to the cats while in Moria: “[Gandalf] is surer of finding the way home in a blind night than the cats of Queen Berúthiel“. [FOTR II 4]
Berúthiel was Black Númenórean, meaning her people were descendants of the Numenoreans that sided with Sauron and caused the Downfall of Numenor. They lived around the coasts of Umbar, practiced the “black arts”, and worshipped Sauron. Berúthiel herself was from an inland city south of Umbar.