Lord of the Rings : The Return of the Read - Appendix A: I. The Númenorean Kings (i) Númenor

The next ~2 months of posts will vary greatly in content and length, corresponding with the variety of the actual sections.  I'm going to strongly recommend that folks check out my partner-in-crime on this project for much better analysis of the various nuances of the appendicies, starting with this week's.  What we're dealing by and large here is the back matter, the supporting documentation for the saga.  To be honest, whenever I survey the body of his Middle Earth writing or delve within, I rather suspect Tolkien of monomania.

We've actually read much of Appendix A:I.i. already, through the lays and verses shared throughout.  Here we also read the seeds of the saga we have just completed, the coming of the Eldar and Edain to Middle Earth.  Or as we more commonly know them, the Elves and the peoples of Men.  The marriage of Arwen and Aragorn is more than a romantic conclusion to a story arc, but a cyclical one as well.  It does stand out to me that Arwen's great-great-grandmother (and Elrond's great-grandmother) is of the Valar.

All sorts of parallels can be drawn from the discontent of the Numenorians and the Ban of the Valar to various other downfalls in myth and legend.  The race of Man blessed with many gifts, yet it is that which is denied to them that becomes the root of discontent.  In this case there is no forbidden fruit, but a prohibition against sailing West.  Sauron is no serpent, but he fits the familiar role, corrupting wisdom and pride, "declaring that everlasting life would be his who possessed the Undying Lands, and that the Ban was imposed only to prevent the Kings of Men rom surpassing the Valar."  Look, I can go dig up a bible and do some direct quote comparison, but I'm lazy and I don't seem to have unpacked all of my religion and mythology books yet.  Believe me, there's some pretty strong similarities in wording there, at least with the translations I'm familiar with.

Also, credit where credit is due, "The sixth King left only one child, a daughter.  She became the first Queen; for it was then made a law of the royal house that the eldest child of the King, whether man or woman, should receive the scepter."


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