The Rings of Power: Why are Elves Banned from Númenor?

Photo: Collected

In The Rings of Power, a captain named Elendil, father of Isildur, saves Galadriel and Halbrand from the humans. Elendil then decides to take his new passengers to an imposing island between Valinor and Middle-earth, named after Numenor.

According to Tolkien’s tale, the Valar (the gods) rose Nmenor from the sea as a gift to the people who helped defeat Morgoth in the massive fight that took place long ago, where they fought with the elves including Galadriel’s brother, as well as a reward for their assistance.

She soon learns that she is not welcome in Nmenor, however, and that the Nmenoreans, or at least some of them, have a strong animosity toward elves.

Even Mriel cautions Elendil that elves are banned, and at the end of the third chapter, we see her speaking to her father, the king of Nmenor, in which she informs him that an elf has arrived, which appears to be a part of a prophesy with potentially disastrous repercussions.

Why are elves banned in Númenor?

The Rings of Power’s first chapter made it clear that humans harbor animosity toward elves, whom they hold responsible for many of their woes. However, in Nmenor, home to the descendants of Elros, Elrond’s brother, who do not possess immortality but instead live longer than the average human, things are a little more complicated.

The King’s Men, who are men who chose to reject the elven teachings and their alliance because they envied their immortality and enormous power, live in Nmenor. As a result, there is animosity and enmity between humans and their former allies there.

The King’s Men and the company of the Faithful who later discovered Gondor appear during the reign of the 14th king of Nmenor, and Nmenor is declared a “anti-elven” region. Mriel arrives much later.

This brings us to the reigning monarch, Palantir (number 24), and his daughter Mriel, who is serving as queen regent. Mriel is wed to her anti-elf relative De Ella Ar-Pharazon whom she was compelled to marry.

Mriel and her father appear to be discussing a prophecy that has to do with Galadriel’s arrival in Nmenor. We don’t know what the meaning of that prophesy is, but it is stated that King Palantir had glimpses of the future or something comparable and that he may have seen that an elf’s entry into his country may signal the start of Nmenor’s doom.

The tree of Gondor was originally in Nmenor; it was a gift from the Valar, and Palantir believed he was the one who gave life to the city. We know that by the time of The Lord of the Rings, Nmenor has vanished; in fact, Aragorn is the last member of that line. However, this is not the elves’ fault; it is the humans’ ambition.

As a result, Mriel and the King’s Men resolved to forbid the elves as a means of preventing that prophecy. It is possible that Galadriel’s appearance is a sign that the enemy has not been vanquished and that a new conflict is about to begin, which might result in the destruction of Nmenor.

In the meantime, the men of the Southlands, who, as Galadriel notes, chose to side with Morgoth during the previous conflict and are now suffering as a result, are the major targets of hatred for the elves in Middle-earth.

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