by Daeron-(V)
September 15, 2002

Man > Kings > Kings of Numenor > Tar-Palantir > Ar-Pharazon / Tar-Calion index > Ar-Pharazon > Lords of Andunie > High Kings

    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 opposed to Middle-earth, where he usually was) he heard reports of sightings of Sauron, the Maia once of Valinor, taking over the lands and calling himself Lord of the Earth. Hearing this Pharazon was angered greatly, and forged weapons and built 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 had taught 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.'
    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 than they.'"
    So Pharazon began to worship Melkor at first in secret, but then openly, and his people followed him.
    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 Morgoth."
    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 themselves.
    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 lightning and thunder, and Pharazon saw it as an attack, for the lightning slew men in Numenor.
    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 destroyed.
    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