Political parties of Westernesse and Realms in Exile

See also: Gondorian political organisation


Also called the Elf-friends, the Elendili (Ad. Nimruzîrim) were a faction of Númenóreans who advocated continued friendship with the Elves. They were also called the Faithful for their continued devotion and obedience to the Valar. This name was given to them by the time of Elendil, Lord of Andúnië, who later founded the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor in Middle-earth.
By the close of the Second Age Númenóreans had become divided between the Elendili and the King's Men - a faction centred around the King that strove to assert Númenórean supremacy over other peoples, and to overcome the mortality placed on Men. With Númenor reaching the apex of its might, the King's Men eventually espoused open defiance of the Valar. The Elendili, however, not only preserved their ancient friendship with the Elves, but also regarded the burgeoning arrogance of the King's Men as a blasphemy. But the King's Men became more powerful and Númenor with them. By the end of the Second Age the King's Men had begun to persecute the Elendili. Fearing their influence early on, the King's Men secured the Faithful's deportation from their strongholds in the western regions, notably around the western port city of Andúnië, and relocated to them to the eastern port city of Rómenna. There many departed to the Hither Lands (Middle-earth), notably the Númenórean colonies of Lond Daer Enedh and Pelargir, founding settlements that would later become part of the faithful kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor. Many others would remain until the downfall of Númenor.
The Elendili enjoyed a brief respite when Elf-friend Tar-Palantir assumed kingship and began to turn Númenor back to the ways of the Faithful. But after Tar-Palantir died, his nephew Ar-Pharazôn usurped the throne and the Elendili were subjected to a vigorous oppression, this time with the help of Sauron, who had established the cult of Melkor (Ad. Mulkhêrhil) on the island. When Sauron converted Ar-Pharazôn, the last King of Númenor, some Elendili were murdered and burned as a sacrifice to Melkor. Burned too was Nimloth the Fair, the White Tree that was ancestor to the White Tree of Gondor, and which it was foretold to be bound to the fate of the Kings. Isildur, son of Elendil, obtained perilously a seedling from Nimloth the Fair and thus bound the fate of the Tree to the fate of the Elendili.
As Ar-Pharazôn led his grand armada to Aman to challenge the Ban of the Valar, Elendil and the remaining Elf-friends were warned by the divine powers to leave Númenor forever. They were thus spared the downfall of Númenor when, as punishment for an attempt to defy the Ban of the Valar, Ilúvatar sank the island kingdom into the sea. The Elendili, under the leadership of Elendil and his sons, eventually made their way to refuge in Middle-earth where they were welcomed by the Elves. Elendil claimed high kingship in all lands north of river Poros and west of Misty Mountains.
During the first millennium of Third Age, the Faithful of Arnor came to be increasingly reserved and disinterested in politics. Arnor itself foundered and was divided in III 861 into quarrelling Successor States. The ideals of the Elendili ceased to have any political meaning until the resurgence of Arthedain after the Great Plague. Argeleb II had modest success in claiming the High Kingship of Arnor, although most of the old Arnorian lands were overrun by the Witch-King of Angmar. The more forlorn their situation, the more the northern Dúnedain came to cherish again the ancient ideology of the Faithful. It became the unifying power that kept the last of the northern Dúnedain together. After the collapse of Arnor and depopulation of Eriador, they still guarded the sacred bloodline of Elendil and his philosophy as a fugitive band called Rangers of the North.
The Faithful of Gondor were more numerous than of the North, but the ship-wrecked sons of Elendil had to cope with stronger pre-existing power structure called the Pelargirean League and colonial Númenórean lords, who were not all too keen to lose their ancient prerogatives. The first among many was the lord of Belfalas, who depicted himself as the Protector of the Faithful in Middle-earth. Elendil and his sons were accepted as war-time leaders and their supremacy was indisputable, but by III 2, Elendil, Isildur and Anárion were all dead, along with the adult sons of Isildur.
Meneldil son of Anárion, whom Isildur had installed as the steward of Gondor in his absence, allied with the League of Pelargir and asserted himself as the first High King of the Faithful (Aran) in Gondor. In doing so he had to compromise with other prominent Faithful families, and the kingship became mostly religious office until the civil disorders of the 6th and 7th centuries, when king Siriondil founded his New Army and subjugated the Faithful colonies in Anfalas and Belfalas bay along with their aristocrats.
During the reign of the Ship-Kings, the ideology of the Faithful was used to justify foreign expansion and aggression. As the Old Covenant between Eru Ilúvatar and the House of Elros had failed when Ar-Pharazôn assailed the Undying Lands, the New Covenant had been made with Elendil and his heirs. And because the northern Dúnedain had failed too, the supremacy in Middle-earth belonged to the kings of Gondor. By III 1050, the Faithful had won (or so it was thought), the King's Men had capitulated and the old dissension was over. In the official ideology of Atanatar II Alcarin (1149-1226), king was the guardian of faith and keeper of the sacred trust with Valar, and because of their piety Valar had given the Faithful a chance to build a new Númenor in Middle-earth. Self-aggrandizement and hubris were soon to prove this religious fiction hollow indeed. Greatness of Gondor sowed the seeds of a new mutiny: See the Traditionalist League and Castamirioni League.

King's Men

The King's Men (Ad. Ârûwânaim) were a Númenórean royalist faction who opposed the Ban of Valar and advocated imperial expansion of Númenor's might, establishment of colonies, and preferred their native Adûnaic language instead of Elvish, which was used at court. The party was established after II 2221 to support king Tar-Ancalimon against his more conservative councillors. It was in the same time a revolt against religious restraints and ancient customs which impeded trade and slowed Númenórean expansion to Middle-earth. The populist call of the King's Men found many adherents among the middle classes, but for many centuries, the Council of the Sceptre (the ruling advisory body in Númenor) was dominated by the Faithful.
King's Men first rose to prominence during the reign of Tar-Calmacil (2737-2825), who had greatly expanded Númenor's holdings in Middle-earth, but had no majority in the Council until Ar-Adûnakhôr (2899-2962), who openly defied Elvish customs and called for a new Golden Age of Man. Arûwânai platform became de facto ruling ideology in Númenor. King Ar-Gimilzôr (3102-3177) started the first persecutions of the Elendili, who called for the return of the Númenóreans to the ways of the Valar and the Elves. Use of Elvish languages was forbidden in Númenor by his order in II 3110, but his regnal name was recorded as Tar-Telemnar ("Silver-flame"), the Quenya version of his name, not to offend the Valar.
Ar-Gimilzôr greatly encouraged Faithful emigration to colonies. Many chose to live in Eriador under protection of Gil-galad, but even greater numbers emigrated to what was called the Turmen Hyallondiéva, the 'realm of the South-Harborage': A commonwealth of federated colonies led by Pelargir, where they could live under their own lords. Royal haven of Pelargir grew rapidly and started to compete with Umbar and Ramlond in wealth and importance.
After a brief regression under Faithful king Tar-Palantir (3177-3255), Ârûwânai influence reached a new apogee during the reign of Ar-Pharazôn the Golden (3255-3319), who became the most powerful Númenórean monarch in history. Those númenorean dominions which had earlier strayed from the grasp of Armenelos and become independent were regained by force. Númenórean ships circumnavigated Middle-earth and established new settlements, new forts and trade-posts to all corners of the world.
As their power and knowledge had grown throughout the course of the Second Age, Númenóreans had become increasingly preoccupied with the limits placed on their contentment —and eventually their power— by mortality, the purpose of which they began to question. This growing wish to escape death, known as 'the doom of Men', also made most of the Númenóreans envious of the immortal elves, who they had come to physically resemble as part of their reward from God (Ilúvatar) for having been their allies. The Elendili sought ever to remind that death was a gift from God to all men, and to lose faith in Ilúvatar would be doomed, but by the fourth millenium, most Númenóreans had lost their faith already.
Many venerated their deified ancestors more than Valar, and apocryphal tales of Túrin Turambar as the Divine Swordsman Telumehtar became very popular during this last heyday of Ârûwânai glory. Some, mostly in the southern colonies, turned to the worship of Melkor (Mulkhêr), who was identified as the Demiurge and creator of the material world. To the average King's Man, it must be said, Sauron was an epitome of evil, and not only because of the threat he posed to the men of Westernesse.
Númenoreans had been fighting Sauron for long, at first to help the Elves but later on their own accord, because both Sauron and the King's Men vied for total control over the Hither Lands. As Númenórean expansion turned inland, Ar-Pharazôn came into direct conflict with Mordor. Sauron attacked first and overran many Númenórean outposts and colonies, but finally Ar-Pharazôn landed in Umbar with the full might of Westernesse, marched north and humiliated Sauron so completely that it was remembered with pride among Númenórean descendants even two thousand years later.
But Sauron, now captive in Armenelos, corrupted Ar-Pharazôn, inflated his hubris and seduced the elderly king to worship Melkor, first in secret but ere long openly and in the face of his people. Within Númenor, the majority immediately followed suit, and this worship quickly passed across the ocean to most of Númenor's colonies in Middle-earth. Corruption of their monarch led the King's Men to disaster as they followed Ar-Pharazôn in his suicidal invasion of Aman, in consequence of which Númenor, the mightiest realm of men that had ever been, was destroyed and swallowed by the sea.
Umbar, the main Ârûwânai bastion in the Middle-earth, was critically weakened by gathering of the Ar-Pharazôn's Great Armament. After the Downfall there was a brief civil war between servants of Sauron and those loyal to the old ideals of King's Men. Victorious Ârûwânai were convinced that Ar-Pharazôn was betrayed by Sauron, and condemned both Mulkhêrhil and Nîmruzirim as traitors and secessionists. Ârûwânai party established itself again as the ruling force in all Númenórean colonies between Poros and Tulwang Bay.
Surviving King's Men in Umbar, Harad and Bellakar maintained the notion that Ar-Pharazôn was the last rightful king of the Númenóreans, and thus became to view any trappings of kingship as potentially blasphemous. Their governments were based on oligarchic councils or pairs of elected governors, called asapthubêths. Ârûwânai party stayed in power for five centuries until it was fatally weakened by bloody civil disorders. Diminishing pureblooded Ârûwânai aristocracy found it harder and harder to maintain traditional balance of power when constantly confronted by expanding middle class of mixed-race half-númenóreans and enriched natives. Social revolutions wrecked all former Númenórean colonies from the Bay of Belfalas to Tulwang Bay, giving rise to new political ideas.
Some Ârûwânai abandoned their former distaste for their northern cousins and became supporters of Unionism, a strive to unify and conserve the diminishing Númenórean bloodlines in Anfalas, Belfalas, Umbar and Bellakar (see Nîlûlôndean League, below). To broaden their power base, King's Men were eventually forced to extend the definition of Adûnaim to those of mixed heritage, but this new enfranchisement really got to hold only after Umbar fell to the armies of the Ship-Kings, trying to unify the former Númenórean colonies under Gondorian rule.
After Umbar and Near Harad became Gondorian dominions, strength of the King's Men was irrevocably reduced. Orthodox Ârûwânai idealism lived on only in number of small colonies in Harad, mostly located in Bellakar. But inside Gondor, pride and haughtiness of the King's Men had a great influence on the descendants of the Faithful, now masters of great lands and rich beyond count; and during the reign of Atanatar II Alcarin the old dissension was officially laid to rest. Children of Númenor, whether descendats of Elendili or Arûwânai, would univocally support the new imperial rule of Gondor as Númenor reborn.


Some Royalist survivors remaining in Middle-earth failed to learn from the Akallabêth, continuing to serve Sauron and oppose those who rejected his will. Most fervent of them were called Mulkhêrhil, children of Mulkhêr, but the King's Men called them the Black Númenoreans (to the Faithful, everybody else was a "black númenorean", because they lived "under shadow"). Principal stronghold of the Mulkhêrhil was the great realm of Anbalukkhôr, former viceroyalty of Ciryatandor in Far Harad, but even there they were unable to form a lasting majority. After the defeat of Sauron in the War of the Last Alliance, many former Mulkhêrim in South and East reverted back to traditional Númenórean ancestor-worship.
In the tenets of the Mulkhêrhil they dodged the problem of Akallabêth by teaching that Ar-Pharazôn had in fact been victorious, and vanquished Valar once and for all. Ar-Pharazôn ruled the Undying Lands and became God himself, and those faithful to Mulkhêr would be resurrected in Aman, where they would live in immortal splendour. Because of Ar-Pharazôn's victory, the island of Númenor was detached from this world and became part of the Undying Lads, like Tol Eressea.
This adroit manoeuvre was the most enduring device of the Mulkhêrhil ideology. It gave the estrayed Númenóreans hope and reinforced their pride in exile; and because of active missionary work, it was adopted by many dark peoples living in the Utter South. Ar-Pharazôn was accepted as a God and called West-Conqueror (Adûnuphazgan). Because of this convenient apotheosis, King's Men in Anbalukkhôr would not have to worry any more about the blasphemy of usurping the kingship, and after a decade of vicious struggle, the Great-Asapthûbeth of Zadan an-Adûn was first to claim the titles of Lord of the West (Ar-Adûnakhôr), Father of Men (Anîyattô) and Lord of the World (Imrukhôr) in III 545.
Isolation gave rise to new religious movements like the duophysites, who considered Melkor and Ilúvatar two different manifestations of the same creator God. Others believed that Ainur and Elves were mischievous and malignant spirits who tricked the Fathers of Men to take part in their internecine struggles. In the more distant colonies, after a few generations of crossbreeding, Númenórean immigrants and overlords completely amalgamated with the native cultures, and even Númenor itself was forgotten and became a myth.

Guild of Venturers

League of Nîlûlônde

League of Pelargir

Traditionalist League

Full article: Castamirioni League

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