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Author Topic: Black Numenoreans: unlikely?
Mablung
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I can understand Numenoreans following Sauron before the downfall of Numenor, but afterward sounds a bit strange; here they had seen the wrath of God plunging their homeland into the sea, destroying their entire armada, and taking the Undying Lands away forever: if they followed Sauron because of his meager power, wouldn't they definitely repent after seeing Eru in action, and realize that they had made a BIG mistake? It's hard to believe they'd follow Sauron after that, just because he returned.
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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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Sauron saw what happened to Morgoth in the War of Wrath, but it didn't make him truly repent, either ...
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Mablung
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True, then again it's also strange that Eru wiped out Numenor but not Sauron who put them up to it in the first place. I suppose it's one of those satanic metaphors?

[ 08-13-2009, 07:36 PM: Message edited by: Mablung ]

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Well, the idea of Black Numenoreans isn't totally impossible. Remember that for much, most? of the Second age, most of the Numenoreans went a long way down the wrong path and at the end, Sauron simply tapped into this and catylisied the process. Seen as there where many Numenoreans of the King's men in cities in Middle-earth, Umbar for example they wouldn't necessarily have repented their ways with one act against them however destructive. The race of Edain was capable of producing heroes but also of very flawed men a fact which Sauron could profitablly exploit!
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Mablung
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"one act however destructive?"

That reminds me of the line from the movie Dr. Strangelove, where the general said that it was wrong "to fault an entire program because a single slip-up" which destroyed the world.

edit: syntax

[ 08-17-2009, 03:17 AM: Message edited by: Mablung ]

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Good analogy, Mablung!
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Mablung
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I will give you this, however: they didn't actually see it happen, but simply saw a storm and tidal-wave; then they went back and found Numenor missing. So it's really not the same as seeing it happen. When Sauron came back, he could have told them anything: I'd love to know how that went and what he said etc.

[ 08-17-2009, 03:18 AM: Message edited by: Mablung ]

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Grimwulf Stormspear
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It’s not really that surprising, is it? [] [] Human nature being what it is, rebellion is hardly shocking.

Moreover, Tolkien was a Catholic, and held a Christian view of human nature. [] In the Old Testament, the Israelites rebelled repeatedly, even after witnessing a chain of miracles. In the New Testament, Christ taught a parable that ends with this exchange:

  • But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’
  • But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’
  • But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’

The image here is quite vivid. [] [] Even if one rises from the dead, as Jesus would soon do, the rebellious will refuse to believe. The wicked, says Paul, suppress their knowledge of God, and disobey despite their knowledge. So clear is their knowledge that they are without excuse for their disobedience.

Not everyone agrees with this view of knowledge, or with this view of human nature. [] Of course, what matters here is Tolkien’s view of human nature. As a devout, traditional Catholic, he must have believed at least some of these ideas. It is not surprising, then, that he painted a picture of people stubborn in their rebellion against Eru. One might even say that stubbornness was a common motif in Tolkien’s writings. From the tale of Turambar to the feud between Elves & Dwarves, Tolkien often planted a stubborn streak even in otherwise heroic characters.

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Mablung
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quote:
But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’
But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’
But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’

This is from Luke 16:19, and the "he" is a rich man who died and went to hell, and wanted tried to warn others from the same fate.

I think there's a difference between a ghost's warning ala Jacob Marley, and a massive cataclysm that permanently changed entire coastlines.

Therefore I think there's a different explanation: remember that Sauron claimed to be Melkor, when he returned. I would think that he would have claimed that "the Valar attacked, and destroyed Numenor and their king, and took away the Undying Lands in order to keep immortality for themselves." Then these Numenoreans would naturally follow him, since Sauron had told them that Melkor was the true god.

[ 08-25-2009, 10:53 PM: Message edited by: Mablung ]

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Roll of Honor bombadil
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Fits in well with Old Testament Israel/Judah history too.
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Mablung
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Do you mean the Great Flood?
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The Dread Pirate Roberts
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What era are we talking about? The Black Numenoreans in the Third Age seem to be motivated by being driven out of power by one they considered a half-breed Numenorean, right? Not so much followers of Sauron, per se, except for having a common enemy in Gondor. Or am I misreading the appendices?
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Mablung
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Black Númenóreans are only mentioned once in the entire trilogy, including the Appendices: specifically, in describing The Mouth of Sauron.
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Grimwulf Stormspear
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Rationalization & self-deception are hardly mutually exclusive. []
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Mablung
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They're mutually in-clusive.

[ 09-06-2009, 05:06 PM: Message edited by: Mablung ]

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Snöwdog
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I think one needs to study the Kin Strife a bit more and the bible a bit less. []
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Madomir
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Why would the men of Numenor stop following Sauron just because of the one defeat? If anything it may have strengthened their resolve since it backed up the lies he was selling.

At the risk of over simplifying.. Sauron sold the Numenoreans on the idea that 'the gods' were withholding everlasting life from them. Numenor rose up to take it, the gods said screw you and threw down the revolt, island and all, and Sauron gets to say "I told you so".

Black Numenoreans resolving to follow Sauron even more fervently in light of this event actually makes some sense to me. Let's not forget, aside from Elendil et al, they were completely buying into Sauron's lies, the revolt itself proves this. Ever the master manipulator, Sauron could easily spin the defeat as 'proof' that he was right all along.

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Hamfast Gamgee
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The third age was a long time after all. One thing I have often thought is was that Black Numenorean the Mouth of Sauron someone with a claim, however loosely, to the throne of Gondor to rival that of Aragorn's? It does say in the Appendixes that there was a line of the Ship-Kings that went to Umbar, but were not popular with those of Gondor. And probably was a remote claim anyway. But it is possible that someone strengthened it. And it would make sense for the Mouth of Sauron, if he wanted to rule in the West to have some claim to the throne.
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Tuor
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Mablung,

How many of those Numenoreans who followed Sauron survived the destruction of Numenor?

Seems to me that the only black Numenoreans that remained were those that lived in Middle Earth who might not have been privy to what actually happened to Numenor. The true story could only be preserved through a different Numenorean line.

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Hamfast Gamgee
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Actually, I wonder how many more Numenoreans or there descendants were tricked into becoming wraiths by the promise of everlasting life than just the Nine.
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