The Fall of Numenor

This is the cover of the 2022 edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories about the sunken island kingdom Numenor, with an illustration by Alan Lee. In Tolkien’s oeuvre Numenor is geographically situated west of Middle-Earth and shows strong similarities to Plato’s Atlantis.

Its major cities are located along the coast and the inhabitants are a sea-faring, maritime society, refered to by the people of Middle-Earth as “Sea-Kings”.

I am no expert on the oeuvre of J.R.R. Tolkien. My knowledge is from vague memories of reading some books as a teenage so I rely here solely on source from the internet that are manifold and sometimes contracitory. As I understand, Numenor is not the only flooded land in the Tolkien Universe.

Among the texts I have read, the most astonishing invention by Tolkien to me is the idea of the bending of the earth which leads to the destruction of the island. Here is a quote from Wikipedia: “Eru Ilúvatar, the One God, caused the Changing of the World: the hitherto flat Earth was transformed into a globe, Númenor sank beneath the ocean. The whole population on the island was drowned.” (quote from wikipedia) This flood story is told in a short story entitled “Akallabêth“. The full text can be found here.

Tolkien was apparently influences by the story of “Lyonesse“, a faraway land that sank into the sea in the Middle English romance King Horn.

Thanks to Manuel Rivera for the lead!