[Originally posted on March 12th, 2015]
Did you know Tolkien includes an Atlantis-esque story of a lost land buried under the waves?
It is one of the most important stories of the Second Age, called the Akallabêth.
After the Valar overthrew Morgoth at the end of the First Age, the Lords of Men, the Edain, were allowed to leave Middle-earth and take up residence on their own island, called Númenor. These Men were granted long lives and were ruled by the first Númenorian King, Elros, brother of Elrond (yes, that Elrond). The only law placed on them by the Valar was they were not allowed to sail West to the Undying Lands. They thrived in Númenor and grew very powerful. Eventually, they became arrogant and, knowing that Sauron, servant of Morgoth, had taken up residence in Mordor in Middle-earth, they went to contest him with their newfound might. So great was their power and splendor that Sauron’s forces fled from them and he feigned surrender. Foolishly, they took him captive back to Númenor. There he slowly corrupted the hearts of the successive kings and planted seeds of evil that eventually would be their downfall. He told them that the Valar were keeping eternal life from them and they were now powerful enough to take it from them by force. Listening to this deception, the Last King of Númenor, Ar-Pharazôn, created a vast fleet of ships and sailed to Valinor, breaking the Ban. As he stepped onto the shores of Aman, the Valar called upon Eru (God) to change the world, and Númenor sunk beneath the ocean and the King’s fleet was destroyed.
As the King had sailed to war, a small band of Númenorians still faithful to the Valar fled from the island towards Middle-earth. These were Elendil, his father, and his sons Anárion and Isildur, the ancestors of Aragorn son of Arathorn.