The Silmarillion Recap: Flattery Works Every Time (or Sauron in Numenor)

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

Last time, Tar-Pharazôn decided to keep Sauron as a hostage. Little did he know that it was part of Sauron’s plan. This week, Tar-Pharazôn finds himself in far deeper trouble than he would have ever anticipated.

Akallabêth part 11

When Tar-Pharazôn brought Sauron to Numenor, he expected that Sauron would be under his power. Instead, though, he finds himself in a very different position. After three years, Sauron is now Tar-Pharazôn’s closest advisor, thanks to strategic flattery and his great wealth of knowledge. Tar-Pharazôn hasn’t realized it yet, but he’s become Sauron’s pawn.

And so have many of the other Dunedain. Because their king likes Sauron, they follow suit. That is, all except for one of the king’s old friends, Amandil, the lord of Andúnië. Amandil is one of the faithful Elendili, who have strived to maintain what the Valar told them so many years ago. For years, the Elendili have been out of favor with the majority, but with Sauron on the island, it’s become downright dangerous to be one. They’re considered flat out rebels. Because of this, many of the Elendili fall away, choosing to abandon their beliefs and hide in the shadows. This isn’t the case for all of them though. But more on Amandil next time.

Since Sauron has become so powerful, he begins manipulating the story. In the beginning of Arda (the world which contains Middle-earth, Numenor, and Valinor), Eru directed the Valar to play a symphony that created a vision of the world, and Eru still has a say over what’s going on through Manwë (the lord of the Valar).

However, in Sauron’s version of the events, Eru is made up, and the Valar are completely wrong. The real power comes from the Ancient Darkness, which lies beyond the world, and the one and only Melkor, the real creator and bringer of freedom. (Wow, that just hurts to type.) Melkor is stronger and greater than the Valar, and with him is the promise of new lands to conquer and new riches to gain.

Tar-Pharazôn is thoroughly deceived. At first, he worships the Ancient Darkness and Melkor secretly, but it soon becomes the state religion. Everyone follows Melkor’s ways.

That is, everyone except for the few, stalwart Elendili.

Next week, more on Amandil, his son Elendil, and his grandsons Isildor and Anárion.

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