LOTR: The Rings Of Power Sets Up Tolkien's Most Ruthless Race Of Men

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for LOTR's Second Age that may or may not happen in The Rings of Power.

Amazon's The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is primed to set up Tolkien's most ruthless race of men. Scheduled to premiere on Prime Video on September 2, 2022, Amazon's big-budget The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power chronicles the entire Second Age of Middle Earth, from Sauron's rise to power to the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. Among these planned stories is the tragic fall of the kingdom of Númenor, in which a race of once great men is corrupted and twisted by Sauron's deceit.

The Rings of Power's timeline of events is now confirmed (via Vanity Fair) to focus a significant portion of its runtime on Númenor, the island kingdom that will play a big role in shaping the Amazon original's Second Age narrative. This assertion is primarily due to Isildur's character (Maxim Baldry) taking on a leading role in the series as an increasingly tragic figure, with Isildur and his father Elendil forced to flee their home isles due to the darkness quickly enveloping Númenor.

Related: The Rings Of Power Needs To Avoid The Hobbit Trilogy's Biggest Mistake

As a result, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power sets up Tolkien's most ruthless race of men in the form of the Black Númenorians. Originally a sect of noblemen in opposition to their kingdom's alliance with the Elves, the Black Númenorians eventually grew to worship the dark powers of the villainous Melkor/Morgoth (and later Sauron) after being tempted with false promises of immortality. The Black Númenorians' drive to see their wishes fulfilled led directly to the destruction of their home, as well as kickstarting a bitter war with the kingdom of Gondor in Middle Earth that would last for thousands of years. Here's how The Rings of Power sets up Tolkien's Black Númenorians, as well as how this ruthless race of men ties into The Lord of the Rings' story.

In Tolkien's The Silmarillion, Númenor is first described as a prosperous kingdom of Men established on an island brought up out of the sea by the Valar in the early Second Age. The Númenorians quickly rose to become a powerful race with life spans three times those of the men of Middle Earth, although, despite their long lives, they were still forbidden from sailing to the undying lands of the Valar - a restriction that quickly fostered resentment towards the Elves from those within Númenor.

Over time the Númenóreans attempted to rebel against the Valar's authority more openly, seeking the everlasting life that they believed to be begrudged them. The Númenorians tried to compensate for this by going eastward and colonizing large parts of Middle-earth, initially attempting peaceful takeovers before ruling over their new colonies tyrannically. Soon the Númenóreans came to own a great but ruthless maritime empire that had no rival, with only a few known as The Faithful (including The Lord of the Rings' Isildur and Elendil) remaining loyal to the Valar and friendly to the Elves across this time period.

It is this deep-seated resentment that Sauron used to fully corrupt Númenor at the midpoint of the Second Age, by first allowing himself to be captured by a Númenorian force. While in captivity on the isles of Númenor, Sauron gained the ear of Númenor's king Ar-Pharazôn, who, in his old age, feared death and the decline of his people. Sauron convinced Ar-Pharazôn to give up the Valar and worship Melkor instead, promising the king eternal life. This led to large swathes of the kingdom's men becoming known as the Black Númenorians, with Ar-Pharazôn and his black-clad followers now enacting ritual sacrifices and dark worship in Melkor's name across Númenor.

Related: Rings Of Power Looks Like Jackson's LOTR Trilogy (& That's A Good Thing)

Just 90 years later, with Númenor's total corruption complete, Sauron convinced Ar-Pharazôn and a great armada of his Black Númenorians to attack the Valar in the undying lands. Buoyed by hubris and Sauron's myriad deceptions, Ar-Pharazôn unknowingly sailed to his death, with his forces crushed by the omnipotent might of the Valar. As punishment for Númenor's betrayal, the Valar sunk Númenor in a cataclysmic storm, erasing it from the map and allowing only Isildur, Elendil, and the rest of The Faithful safe passage from the isles. The surviving Black Númenorians, now twisted beyond recognition, fled to Umbar, where they would continue to live in complete servitude to Sauron for thousands of years.

Given the fall of Númenor's centrality to Middle Earth's Second Age narrative, it makes sense that The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power would include the seafaring kingdom in Isildur's story. As a result, this sets up Tolkien's scariest race of men for a key role in The Rings of Power, with the Black Númenorians likely to be one of the primary protagonist forces in the series. Thus far, Amazon's The Rings of Power teaser trailer has only depicted the heroes of its Second Age story, but the Black Númenorians serve as an option to take The Rings of Power in a decidedly different direction should the showrunners choose to depict the depravity this sect of Sauron's followers enacts in his name. Regardless, the Black Númenorians are essential to displaying Isildur and Elendil's resolve against the dark lord that directly leads to the establishment of the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor in the Second Age - which are also set to be included in Amazon's The Rings of Power.

In addition to being some of the most terrifying Second Age adversaries for Isildur's Men and the Elven kingdoms, the Black Númenorians also play a key role in setting up The Lord of the Rings' main villains. Three of the nine Ringwraiths were originally considered among the first and most powerful Black Númenoreans, with these men corrupted by Sauron 1000 years before Númenor's destruction. These three men served Sauron so completely they were eventually enslaved to his will due to their endless lust for power and knowledge before becoming the Ringwraiths/Nazgul that hunt the One Ring tirelessly. In addition, the Mouth of Sauron is considered a particularly twisted Black Númenorian, with the Mouth of Sauron one of the only Númenorians permitted to speak with Sauron during his time on isle before subsequently acting as his voice within Barad-dûr. In this way, the Black Númenorians are essential to setting up some of the key, evil-aligned players of the Third Age, making their inclusion in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power a likely and terrifying prospect indeed.

Next: LOTR: Who's The Man In The Fire In Rings Of Power's Trailer?

from ScreenRant - Feed

Post a Comment