There were several Dúnedain colonies in Middle-earth before the Downfall of Númenor. The first began around Second Age 1800; in 2280, Umbar was made a great fortress (during the days of Tar-Ancalimon, whose father Tar-Atanamir refused to lay down his life and rebuffed the Embassy of Valinor; Atanamir’s father was Tar-Ciryatan, ally of Gil-galad, whose expeditionary force defeated Sauron when Sauron attacked and destroyed Eregion in what might be called the “First War of the Rings”, but is perhaps more properly the War of the Elves and Sauron). Pelargir was founded 70 years later, and according to the Tale of Years, “It becomes the chief haven of the Faithful Númenóreans.”
South and inland from Umbar were the majority of the Númenórean settlements. There were sufficiently large settlements of the Black Númenóreans, descendents of the Kings Men of the Second Age, that it was politically expedient for Tarannon Falastur, the first of the Ship-kings of Gondor, to seek a dynastic marriage with the beautiful but apparently evil Berúthiel, a princess of one of the inland kingdoms south of Umbar. Besides the little information we have on her from The Lord of the Rings and Unfinished Tales, Tolkien gave one of his former students, James Cawthorn, an interview published in New Worlds, Volume 50, Number 168, November, 1966. A copy can still be found in the Internet Archive. When the unconsummated marriage between Falastur and Berúthiel finally dissolved, these Númenórean kingdoms of Harad and Far Harad began more or less continuous warfare against Gondor.
The destruction of Númenor created a massive tsunami that destroyed much of the western shore of Middle-earth. Isildur and Anárion came to Pelargir, probably with their five ships (and four palantíri and the White Tree). Since they were Faithful Númenóreans, and Ar-Pharazôn, the last King of Númenor, had seized their lands in Andúnië and tried to kill Isildur for taking the fruit of Nimloth, the White Tree of Númenor, it would be unwise for them to seek port in Umbar, the greatest of the Númenórean Havens and a stronghold of the Kings Men: it was much wiser to put in at Pelargir, where there were already many Faithful colonists. Elendil was blown northward with his four ships and found anchorage in the Gulf of Lune. Since the Elves were already settled in Lindon and Rivendell, he and his folk moved into the land between the Elf-kingdoms.
Note that Arnor had significantly fewer settlers than Gondor and so was always the less populous kingdom. I do not think there were many Dúnedain in the north before the arrival of Elendil, while Gondor had the Faithful that fled Númenor before it destruction.
From: formerly New England (sigh) | Registered: Jun 2005
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