Ar-Pharazôn, also known as Ar-Pharazôn the Golden was the twenty-fifth and last King of Númenor. Of all the Kings of Númenor, he wielded the most power, but used it most unwisely; his desire for more power caused the destruction of Númenor and the Change of the World.
Ar-Pharazôn was the son of Gimilkhâd, the leader of the King's Men during the reign of Tar-Palantir of Númenor. Ar-Pharazôn grew into a man of great strength, stature, and will, not unlike the ancient heroes of the Edain. In these earlier days, he was good friends with Amandil, the future Lord of Andúnië and his line of people. However, he was his father's child and thus was instructed to follow in the ways of the King's Men.
Ar-Pharazôn became a man of great pride and was eager for more wealth and glory. He grew restless in his homeland and was often abroad leading like-minded Númenóreans in the wars that they were waging against the men of Middle-earth. In this he fared well on both land and sea, winning great respect as a captain. Great wealth he won in these campaigns. When he finally returned home, the people rejoiced in him and he was very popular and generous with the wealth and fortunes he won in Middle-earth.
Upon the death of his uncle, Tar-Palantir, who had no son, he took to wife his daughter, Míriel (much against her will). As Tar-Míriel was the rightful Ruling Queen of Númenor, Ar-Pharazôn was able to usurp the throne. He gave to his wife the name Ar-Zimraphel, refusing to use the Elven speech, whilst persecuting the last vestiges of the Faithful.
With Sauron, the Lord of Mordor, expanding his power throughout Middle-earth and slowly gaining lordship over Man, Ar-Pharazôn felt a sense of rivalry and resolved to challenge him for the lordship of the earth. He attacked Mordor in SA 3261, and brought Sauron back as a hostage to his kingdom, but Sauron was soon brought into the service of the king and was master of his councils. He was able to corrupt Ar-Pharazôn, convincing him to worship Morgoth in the hope that he would be released from the Halls of Mandos. Some of the results of Sauron's cunning were the erecting of a Great Temple to Morgoth, intense persecution of the Faithful, and the chopping down of the White Tree of Númenor. Soon the king and his followers were worshiping Morgoth openly and burning innocents at the altar of the temple as sacrificial offerings to appease the false god.
Then, as Ar-Pharazôn felt the bite of old age upon him, Sauron was able to convince him to attack Valinor and claim the right to immortality by force. He began the building of a huge fleet, the Great Armament, to attack Valinor in SA 3310 and finally broke the Ban of the Valar, landing on the shores of the Undying Lands in SA 3319. The Valar then laid down their guardianship of the world and called upon Eru, the One. He sank Ar-Pharazôn's fleet and all of Númenor beneath the ocean, changing the shape of the world. Valinor was no longer connected to Middle-earth, and mortals could no longer find it. Afterwards, only elves and a few remarkable exceptions could reach it following the Straight Road into the far west. Ar-Pharazôn and his mighty host who landed on Aman were buried by mounds of dirt and remain in the Caves of the Forgotten until the last battle, or Dagor Dagorath. He and his great army's role in the end of days has not been made clear.
Legacy and successorsEdit
Ar-Pharazôn's tyrannical rule and rebellious resolve to break the Ban of the Valar and make war upon the west led to the end of the royal Númenórean line. Instead, the line of Elros was continued from the long line of the Lords of Andúnië. As Amandil of Andúnië did not return from his venture into the west, his son Elendil became the successor of a new kingdom that would rule from Middle-earth in exile. His two surviving sons, Isildur and Anárion followed him into exile and would in turn become his successors as well.
Ar-Pharazôn was remembered by the surviving Númenorean lineage with a sort of grudging respect. Despite his errors, he was the first and last Human capable to beat and humiliate the powerful dark lord Sauron by himself. In remembrance to this feat, in Umbar was erected a monument to the Golden King of Númenor: a dark crystal globe, on a tall white column, which absorbed sunrays and glimmered in the night for everyone to see. The monument was destroyed when Umbar corsairs swore allegiance to Sauron.
|King of Númenor|
SA 3255 - SA 3319
None, (Royal Númenórean line destroyed)
|Rulers of Númenor|
Elros Tar-Minyatur | Vardamir Nólimon | Tar-Amandil | Tar-Elendil | Tar-Meneldur | Tar-Aldarion | Tar-Ancalimë | Tar-Anárion | Tar-Súrion | Tar-Telperiën | Tar-Minastir | Tar-Ciryatan | Tar-Atanamir | Tar-Ancalimon | Tar-Telemmaitë | Tar-Vanimeldë | Tar-Anducal (Herucalmo) | Tar-Alcarin | Tar-Calmacil | Tar-Ardamin | Ar-Adûnakhôr | Ar-Zimrathôn | Ar-Sakalthôr | Ar-Gimilzôr | Tar-Palantir | Ar-Pharazôn
- ↑ The Silmarillion, Akallabêth pgs. 269-80
- ↑ Unfinished Tales pg. 224
- ↑ The Peoples of Middle-earth pgs. 159-65
- ↑ The Atlas of Middle-earth pg. 45