Ar-Pharazon was the twenty-fifth and last King of
Numenor. He was
the son of Gimilkhad, and the nephew of Tar-Palantir.
Before he was King he had led the King's men.
Even before then he
had taken the title "King of Men" and often brooded about war and his
hatred of Valinor.
Then one time, when he had come back to Numenor (as
Middle-earth, where he usually was) he heard reports of sightings of
once of Valinor, taking over the lands and calling himself Lord of the
Earth. Hearing this Pharazon was angered greatly, and forged weapons
great ships of war.
To Umbar he went and sending forth heralds, he
called out to Sauron...
and Sauron came. With foresight and a smooth tongue he came to
Umbar, with no thought of battle. The Numenoreans wondered, for
they had heard stories of Sauron being a Dark Lord, and now to
themselves he seemed fair and wise.
But Pharazon wasn't yet deceived. He took
Sauron hostage to
Numenor (one of the greatest mistakes made in all the history of
Numenor) and there he held him captive, or vice versa.
For soon, the cunning of Sauron was reinforced by
his envy and hate for
Numenor. The Faithful fell away in fear, for Sauron's flattery
seemed to be corrupting all the councilors of men. For now Sauron
had the ears of men, and he argued against all the Valar
them. And one day behind locked doors Sauron spoke with Pharazon.
"'And out of it the world was
made. For Darkness
alone is worshipful, and the Lord thereof may yet make other worlds to
be gifts to those who serve him, so that the increase of their power
shall find no end.'
So Pharazon began to worship Melkor at first in
secret, but then
openly, and his people followed him.
And Ar-Pharazon said: 'Who is the Lord of the
Darkness?' And behind
locked doors Sauron spoke to the King, and he lied saying: 'It is he
whose name is not now spoken; for the Valar have deceived you
concerning him, putting forward the name of Eru,
a phantom devised in
the folly of their hearts, seeking to enchain Men in servitude to
themselves. For they are the oracle of this Eru, which speaks
only what they will. But he that is their master shall yet
prevail, and he will deliver you from this phantom; and his name is Melkor,
Lord of All, Giver of Freedom, and he shall make you stronger
But there was still good in the land of Numenor, and
the leader of the
Faithful was Amandil,
the last councilor of the King who was not yet
corrupted. His son was Elendil
who is renowned in song. Yet
only a shred of the people left in Numenor were still Faithful.
That wasn't enough for Sauron though, for soon he
counseled the King to
destroy the White Tree, Nimloth. And of course the King soon gave
in and did so.
But before he did, Isildur, son of Elendil, sneaked
into the King's
Court which was guarded by the worshipers of the Darkness, and stole a
fruit from the tree. He then delivered it to Amandil who planted
it in secret.
Unfortunately, right after, Pharazon fell the tree
that had been in his
court for over a thousand years and, by the counsel of Sauron, built a
temple of gold. And in the middle of that temple he burned Nimloth, and
the smoke rose up, and carried on into the West.
From then on,
smoke went up never ceasing for the power of Sauron slowly grew in
Numenor. Men sacrificed the Faithful to Melkor, and slew one
another for little or no reason, and Sauron's power grew.
Yet it seemed to the Numenoreans that they were becoming stronger, for
Sauron had them build great ships and engines, and everyone become
wealthier and wealthier. They sailed now to Middle-earth as men
of war, and they stole, slew, and sacrificed the men of Middle-earth
upon thier evil altars.
"Thus Ar-Pharazon, King of the Land of the Star, grew to
the mightiest tyrant that had yet been in the world since the reign of
And soon, Sauron counselled Pharazon again, saying:
'The Valar have possessed themselves of
the land where
there is no death; and they lie to you concerning it, hiding it as best
they may, because of thier avarice, and their fear lest the Kings of
Men should wrest from them the deathless realm and rule the world in
their stead. And though, doubtless, the gift of life unending is
not for all, but only such as are worthy, being men of might and pride
and great lineage, yet against all justice is it done that this gift,
which is his due, should be withheld from the King of Kings,
Ar-Pharazon, mightiest of the sons of Earth, to whom Manwe
alone can be
compared, if even he. But great kings do not brook denials, and
take what is their due.'
And thus, Ar-Pharazon brooded upon war as he had
done so many times in
his life. But now he wasn't going up against men, but the gods
But Amandil, becoming aware of what Pharazon was
planning, told his son,
Elendil, to lead the Faithful in his stead for he was going to Valinor
and beg for mercy at the feet of the Valar. And thus, Amandil left and
was never heard of again.
But Elendil, doing as his father had bid him to do,
took the remnant of
the Faithful and sailed away, taking with him the Palantiri and the
young tree, the scion of Nimloth the fair.
But in the Land of the Star, eagles of Manwe bore
thunder, and Pharazon saw it as an attack, for the lightning slew men
So Pharazon built his armada, the banners of the
sails now gold and
black and they waited on his word.
The word was given as Pharazon came upon his ship,
Alcarondas, and as
the fleets of Numenor reached the many isles, passing as the Eldar
mourned, they came to Aman, and Pharazon wavered seeing the great
mountain of Tanquetil. Yet he was now a
slave to his pride, and as the Numenoreans camped in Tuna (all the
eldar had fled) a chasm opened in the sea between Numenor and Aman, and
the fleets of Numenor were swallowed into it. The men who set
foot on Aman were buried into the earth, and Numenor was utterly
So ended the greatest tyrant on Middle-earth, being
surpassed only by
Melkor and Sauron. That is to say of course, so ends the most
wretched, pitiful slave to Sauron, who was surpassed by none, even
those who bore his Rings in the Third Age.
References: The Silmarillion, The Return of the King