Rumour Has It: A Númenórean Character List?
Today we have another Amazon rumour on our hands. And for a change, it is not coming out of Fellowship of Fans. No, instead we have the following tweet doing the rounds, ostensibly listing (mostly) Númenórean characters and their code names. Apparently the tweet’s picture originally derived from a reddit post by a user called Dangerous_Control_71.
It’s an interesting leak, if true. And that’s really the key here – is it true? On balance, I would say no. My guess is that it is probably a fake. But there are arguments either way, hence today’s post.
We received a leaked image of some Númenórean characters who will be in the Lord of the Rings series: – Queen Miriel – Tar Palantir – Ar Pharazon – Elendil – Isildur – Valandil – King Durin. The other names in the 1st row must be originals, in the 2nd false codenames.
Arguments for the rumour being true:
- It does not contradict anything we have had out of Fellowship of Fans. We know about Queen Miriel, Isildur, Adar, and King Durin from previous leaks.
- The characters added on top of Fellowship of Fans’ – Tar-Palantir, Pharazon, Isildur’s friends, all make perfect sense for fleshing out a setting. One imagines we will see Tar-Palantir dying in episode three, leaving the throne to Miriel, and then we later see the “right-hand”, Pharazon, scheming for his own advancement. Curious that Pharazon is not explicitly listed as being Miriel’s cousin, however.
- Including Pharazon’s (non-canonical) son at least differentiates this list from Fellowship of Fans’ information.
Arguments against the rumour being true:
- Why would a list of ostensibly Númenórean characters include King Durin and Adar? These are characters previously identified by Fellowship of Fans… and feel crowbarred in, to add veracity.
- Adar and King Durin are listed, but not Galadriel or Sauron? Durin son of Durin? Some Fellowship of Fans-mentioned characters are listed, but others are not… in a list that should either omit the non-Númenóreans, or include more of them.
- Only in three cases in his entire legendarium does Tolkien ever have characters re-marry (Finwe, Túrin I of Gondor, and Eriol). If Pharazon has a son, who is the mother… and does that not rather complicate any later forced marriage to Miriel? Even if the mother is dead, re-marriage is a massive issue in Tolkien’s world. And bastard children would be an even bigger break.
- Pharazon’s son would really, really complicate the power dynamics in Armenelos. Aforementioned son would have at least one very sound reason for not wanting his father to live forever.
- Giving Isildur an invented sister and three friends, but cutting his canonical brother, is weird. Sure, the series might be aligning with Jackson cutting Anarion, but this complicates the eventual establishment of Gondor. Which unlike Jackson, the series will presumably be properly covering.
- No clarification of who Aric is, from the Galadriel leak.
I think if the list were established as a true leak, that would imply that the Amazon series is taking liberties with what little canonical material exists, beyond the inevitable matter of filling in the gaps, or even beyond a creative smooshing of timelines. Since I am notoriously not a Purist, this is not necessarily a bad thing, to my mind… but it’s not necessarily a good thing either. Wait and see, I suppose.
Addendum: Looks like I was wrong. The list seems to be real – https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2022/01/03/picking-it-wrong-isildurs-social-circle-and-another-amazon-leak/