The Silmarillion Recap: A Tale of Two Sons, Inziladûn and Gimilkhâd

Want to catch up on The Silmarillion so far? Check out the Silmarillion Recaps page here.

Last week, Ar-Gimilzôr (one of the Kings of Númenor) proved himself to be yet another ruthless opponent of the Valar, the Elves, and their Dúnedain friends, the Elendili. This week, things change right under Ar-Gimilzôr’s nose.

Akallabêth part 8

During times of persecution, it’s not uncommon to find groups of people hiding in the shadows who disagree with the popular view. They might not come out and openly proclaim their feelings, but their loyalties don’t lie with the rest of the culture. This is also true on Númenor. So far, only the Elendili have been mentioned for their faithfulness to the Valar and the Elves. However, there’s another group lurking in the shadows who still care about the old, right ways.

These secretive loyalists are called the Lords of Andúnië. Like the Kings of Númenor, they’re of the line of Elros, but they’re descended from a daughter who didn’t inherit the throne back in the fourth generation of Númenorean Kings. In these hard times, the Lords of Andúnië help the Elendili secretly and keep their loyalties quiet to avoid exposure.

Among these is Inzilbêth. She starts off as just another part of the Lords of Andúnië but soon finds herself Ar-Gimilzôr’s queen. Understandably, she never wanted to marry him. After all, he stands against everything she believes in, but she has no choice in the matter, so she’s stuck.

However, something good comes out of this union. They have two sons: Inziladûn and Gimilkhâd. The firstborn, Inziladûn, is just like his mother, not only in name but in beliefs. Gimilkhâd, on the other hand, is his father’s favorite and for good reason: he’s just like him, but more proud. Needless to say, it makes for an interesting family dynamic.

Even though Ar-Gimilzôr wanted to pass the throne to his younger son, Gimilkhâd, he has no choice but to pass it on to the firstborn, Inziladûn. This turns out to be a great thing for the Elendili and those secretly faithful to the Valar. He chooses to return to the traditional Elvish of his forefathers and takes on the Elvish name Tar-Palantir. He also fixes many of the wrongs of his father and other forefathers, like taking care of the precious White Tree that the Elves had brought as a gift so long ago and visiting Meneltarma, the sacred mountain where they honor Eru.

He does all that he can to restore things to the way they used to be, but unfortunately it’s too little too late. Few people join him in repenting for turning their backs on the Valar, and no ships come from the West, no matter how much he wants them to. The connection with Valinor is still gone.

Next week, Gimilkhâd and his son, Pharazôn, stir up trouble not only for Tar-Palantir but for Middle-earth. Get ready for another war.

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