“Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!“
A cold voice answered: ‘Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.”
A sword rang as it was drawn. “Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.”
“Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!”
Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. “But no living man am I!”
–JRR Tolkien, The Battle of Pelennor Fields, Return of the King
“Wait! Wait!” [the thrush] said to him. “The moon is rising. Look for the hollow of the left breast as he flies and turns above you!”
“Arrow!” said the bowman. “Black arrow! I have saved you to the last. You have never failed me and always I have recovered you. I had you from my father and he from of old. If ever you came from the forges of the true King under the mountain, go now and speed well!”
When spring unfolds the beechen-leaf and sap is in the bough,
When light is on the wild-wood stream, and wind is on the brow,
When stride is long, and breath is deep, and keen the mountain air,
Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is fair!
When Spring is come to garth and field, and corn is in the blade,
When blossom like a shining snow is on the orchard laid,
When sun and shower upon the earth with fragrance fill the air,
I’ll linger here, and will not come, because my land is fair!
When Summer lies upon the world, and in a noon of gold
Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold,
When woodland halls are green and cool, and wind is in the West,
Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is best!
When Summer warms the hanging fruit and burns the berry brown;
When straw is gold, and ear is white, and harvest comes to town;
When honey spills, and apple swells, though wind be in the West,
I’ll linger here beneath the Sun, because my land is best!
When Winter comes, the winter wild that hill and wood shall slay;
When trees shall fall and starless night devour the sunless day;
When wind is in the deadly East, then in the bitter rain
I’ll look for thee, and call to thee; I’ll come to thee again!
When Winter comes, and singing ends; when darkness falls at last;
When broken is the barren bough, and light and labour past;
I’ll look for thee, and wait for thee, until we meet again:
Together we will take the road beneath the bitter rain!
Together we will take the road that leads into the West,
And far away will find a land where both our hearts may rest.
(Sung to Merry and Pippin by Treebeard in The Two Towers, written by JRR Tolkien)
Tar-Ancalimë “Queen of Long Light”
daughter of Tar-Aldarion and Erendis; became the first Ruling Queen of Númenor. She was born in Númenor in 873 SA and said to be one of the most beautiful of all Númenóreans. Her father was always away at sea for most of her childhood, so she never saw him often. Her mother Erendis became increasing estranged from her husband and so she and Ancalimë moved to her White House in Emerié. There Ancalimë grew up and was raised only among women (Zamîn being her nanny), so she knew and saw very little of men. In fact, her mother often talked badly of men, primarily because she felt left behind and betrayed by Aldarion. She told Ancalimë that, “…women to them are but fires on the hearth–for others to tend, until they are tired of play in the evening…Therefore do not bend Ancalimë. Once bend a little, and they will bend you further until you are bowed down.” Ancalimë would spend time in both Emerië and Armenelos, the capital and King’s city of Numenor. Her people called her “Emerwen Aranel”, the Princess Shepherdess, because of her unusual upbringing in the land of Emerië. Ancalimë would spend some time in hiding at a farm during her teenage years and lived as a shepherdess, her royal identity being kept in secret. There she met a young shepherd named Mámandil (“Friend of Sheep”). He declared his love for her and revealed that he was actually Hallacar, a nobleman of the line of Elros. She told him who she really was, although he already knew, and was angry at him for deceiving her and said she would prefer to marry no man.
Her father Tar-Aldarion became King in 883 SA and in 892 changed the law in Númenor so that the eldest child of the King, whether man or woman, should become the Ruler. So in 1075 SA, Ancalimë became Tar-Ancalimë, the first Ruling Queen of Númenor. She remained unmarried for a long time but grew worried that if she remained childless, her cousin Soronto (son of Ailinel) would succeed her. In order to spite Soronto, she eventually married Hallacar. The marriage was more one of politics than of love because she wanted to produce an heir in order to secure her throne. She disliked the idea of marriage and rarely spent time with Hallacar. Following the birth of their son, Hallacar and Tar-Ancalimë lived apart. After her father’s death in 1098, she neglected his sea-faring policies and gave no further aid to Gil-galad. She was a very proud and willful Queen. Ancalimë relinquished the Sceptre in 1280 and was succeeded by her son, Tar-Anárion. Her son’s daughters, and all the women of her court, disliked and feared Ancalimë because she would refuse to let them marry. Ancalimë died in year 1285 SA, at the age of 412 years.
Silmariën “Shining Home”
born 521 SA in Armenelos, she was the daughter of Tar-Elendil, the 4th King of Númenor and was the mother of Valandil, the first Lord of Andúnië. Silmariën was the oldest child of Tar-Elendil. She had a younger sister named Isilmë, and a younger brother Meneldur. Meneldur succeeded their father as King in 740 SA and he himself was the father of Aldarion the Mariner (wife of Erendis and father of Ancalimë).
Silmariën married the nobleman Elatan of Andúnië and thus moved to that city. Andúnië was a port city on the western coast of Númenor. Their son Valandil (“Devoted to the Valar”), became the first Lord of Andúnië. Although not in direct line of royal succession, these Lords were important to the future of their royal family. The Lords of Andúnië were the leaders of the Elendili, or Elf-friends, the Faithful who still supported the Elves and Valar even after the Kings became corrupt. During the Downfall of Númenor more than 2500 years later, Elendil, the heir to the Lord of Andúnië line and therefore a descendant of Silmariën, fled to Middle-earth with his sons Isildur and Anarion and many of the remaining Faithful, where they founded the line of Kings of Gondor and Arnor. Elendil and his sons were the only royal descendants that survived, since Ar-Pharazôn died in the destruction, thus they became Kings of the Númenórean descendants, or Dúnedain.
Silmariën could be said to be the most significant person in Númenor’s royal family for two reasons: because she was the founder of the Lords of Andúnië, therefore continuing the Númenórean royal bloodline in Middle-earth after the Downfall. Also, she inherited the sword Narsil and the Ring of Barahir from her father and these sacred heirlooms were handed down through her descendants for many generations and eventually reached Aragorn. She also owned the original Elendilmir, “Star of Elendil”, a precious white jewel that she passed to the Lords of Andúnië and eventually to Elendil and used by him as a token of Dúnedain royalty instead of a crown.
Erendis “Lonely Wife”
also called the Lady of Westlands, White Lady of Emerië, the Mariner’s Wife, Tar-Elestirnë (“Lady of the Star-brow”), and Uinéniel (“Daughter of Uinen”). She was the wife of Aldarion the Mariner (6th King of Númenor) and mother of Ancalimë. Erendis was born in 771 Second Age, the daughter of Núneth and Beregar, from the westlands of Númenor. Beregar was a descendant of Bereth from the House of Bëor. Erendis was dark-haired, slender, had clear grey eyes, and was said to have great beauty. She grew up in the wooded region of the westlands and loved the land and trees.
Erendis first met Aldarion, the King’s Heir, at a feast in Armenelos honoring Aldarion being made Lord of the Ships and Havens by his father the king Tar-Meneldur. Erendis, not of the line of Elros, deemed Aldarion too high but yet she would dismiss every other suitor. When Aldarion was about to set sail for another voyage to Middle-earth, Erendis came to his ship and placed a bough from the Elven-tree oiolairë on its prow, which was custom in Númenor. Here Aldarion looked upon her for the first time with love. Upon his return, he gave Erendis a beautiful diamond. Aldarion’s parents wanted him to marry and approved of Erendis. However, Aldarion did not want to think of marriage at this time, he still had many years to become married and now he just wanted to sail. Tar-Meneldur forbade Aldarion to take another voyage but Aldarion did and in his anger was gone from Númenor for fourteen years (829-43 SA). At last he returned but was grieved to find that Erendis had left Armenelos and returned back to the Westlands. Riding one day in the forests of the Westlands, Aldarion came upon Erendis, who was wearing the diamond as a necklace. Aldarion finally asked Erendis to marry him but she was reluctant. She still loved him, but feared that in the war between herself and the Sea for his heart she would not win. She feared the Sea and begrudged ships for cutting down trees which she so much loved. But Aldarion said he would plant more trees for the ones he cut and took her on a voyage to the port city Andúnië. There they feasted with Valandil, Lord of the Andúnië (Aldarion’s cousin, son of Silmariën), where he named Erendis Uinéniel, Daughter of Uinen. But Erendis answered, “Call me by no such name! I am no daughter of Uinen: rather she is my foe.”
Erendis’s mother Núneth and Queen Almarian tried to give her advice but she was still unsure. One day in 858 SA, Erendis and Aldarion walked up Meneltarma and he kissed her and that day she accepted his betrothal. With the diamond, Erendis wore it above her brow and was then known as Tar-Elestirnë, “Lady of the Star-brow”. King Tar-Meneldur gave Erendis a white house in Emerië as a bethrothal gift. However, the sea-longing soon came upon Aldarion and he set sail again. Six years passed until he returned and Erendis was growing tired of waiting. She was not of the Númenórean line so her life-span was shorter than that of Aldarion and she felt like she was wasting away her youthful years. They were finally wed in 870. Three years later, their daughter Ancalimë was born and Erendis rejoiced, believing Aldarion would want to stay with her now. However, when Ancalimë was four, Aldarion sailed once more and Erendis grieved but also was angered and so moved herself and Ancalimë to her White House in Emerië where there she lived with only women as her servants. From then on, Erendis left her White House rarely and when Aldarion returned in 882, she refused to come back to Armenelos. Aldarion became King in 883 and Ancalimë would spend time between Armenelos and Emerië.
Erendis continued to live in Emerië for the remainder of her life, too proud and stubborn to reconcile with Aldarion. Over time, it is said that old age came upon her and after being neglected by Ancalimë, she once again longed for Aldarion. Learning that he had sailed but was expected to return shortly, Erendis left Emerië and journeyed to the coast. There, it seems, she met her fate. Only the words “Erendis perished in water in the year 985” were recorded. She was 214 years old. It is ironic that after all the years of jealousy and hatred towards the sea, it was the cause of her death in the end.