Picking It Wrong: Isildur’s Social Circle and Another Amazon Leak

Well, well. Looks like I owe a nameless someone an apology. Back in November, I speculated that a leaked Numenorean character list ‘felt wrong’, and that it was probably a fake:

https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2021/11/26/rumour-has-it-a-numenorean-character-list/

Today, we have a fresh leak out of Amazon (courtesy of Fellowship of Fans), and it essentially confirms certain characters hitherto only mentioned in that character list. Specifically Isildur’s invented sister, Carine, and his three equally invented friends. The character list even got their names right, and on that basis I am going to retrospectively acknowledge that the November leak was real after all. Sure, it still omitted Anarion, whom we now know is in… but he’s being relegated to early-season Tommen Baratheon in the first season, so is hardly important.

That in turn implies that Pharazon’s Son will indeed be a thing… with the potential for invented subplots and complexities – we now have a character inherently torn between his duty to his father, and his desire to actually be King himself one day. Ar-Pharazon living forever would rather cramp his style. Meanwhile, I would actually suggest that Pharazon’s eventual coup will no longer involve a forced marriage to Miriel, but will rather feature a more conventional murder – a Pharazon devoid of his book counterpart’s charisma is going to have to eliminate the focal point of the old regime, rather than subsume it.

As such, any awkward relationship/marriage between King’s Men and Faithful might be kicked down a generation. Rather than Pharazon and Miriel… such a tension might be created between Pharazon’s Son and Isildur’s sister, Carine, who are much more age-appropriate in this adapted setting. Sure, it might be a Montague/Capulet-style forbidden love, but it might also be a marriage of political convenience, in which case poor Carine might not have a fun time. Isildur really would have a ring-side seat to his in-laws foibles, in a potentially I, Claudius sense. Having an intermarriage would also politically protect Isildur when Sauron turns up in Numenor and the Temple gets going.

But all that is raw speculation. Let’s turn to the other of today’s major titbits.

So far as the ‘going off to war’ thing goes – and contrary to what the panel suggests, it sounds less like the celebrations of a successful return, and more like the naive excited nationalism of August 1914 – there are really two possible avenues they can take for Isildur and his three friends.

  • The four of them are basically glorified versions of the Four Hobbits, going on a journey of character-growth. That inherently lends itself to mimicry of the personality dynamic within the four. Presumably one of Isildur’s friends will be pseudo-Pippin, for example.
  • We see something much darker. Something much more akin to Tolkien losing his own friends in the horrors of the First World War, where one by one, the three lovable chaps come to a bad end in Middle-earth. This might be more in line with Carine’s desperate “Isildurrrrrr!” line, reflecting the fact that, as with the One Ring, Isildur is making a terrible mistake.

As the panel notes, this Numenorean war mobilisation is presumably in response to Galadriel’s request for aid… and very likely the invasion that eventually brings home Sauron (August 1914 naivety? “Isildurrrrr?” That fits). It is unclear how long the war would actually last, of course, and presumably we’re not going to see Sauron’s mock surrender without a fight – at least not in the form of the source material. Hovering over all of this is the question of whether the mysterious ‘Aric’ is actually Sauron in disguise.

(There is also the question of whether this Numenorean war-effort is a smooshing of the timelines, to merge the War of the Elves and Sauron with Pharazon’s later invasion. In which case, Celebrimbor might have forged the Rings in the second Episode, and appear as an inevitably-doomed character during this present War. We will see, I suppose. But damn it. I really want to see that battle-standard).

Addendum: I have seen some speculation that Carine is really Carinë, which seems to be a perfectly satisfactory invented Quenya name (derived from car-, to make/build).

One thought on “Picking It Wrong: Isildur’s Social Circle and Another Amazon Leak

  1. Pingback: Rumour Has It: A Númenórean Character List? | A Phuulish Fellow

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