The Silmarillion Recap: Isildur’s First Big Adventure

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

Last time, Amandil found himself cast out of Tar-Pharazôn’s court, thanks to Sauron. This week, Sauron’s evil meets its match.

Akallabêth part 13

Tar-Pharazôn was never a great king. Unbeknownst to him, his pride is leading to his downfall. Between thinking he’s too good for the Valar to being manipulated by Sauron, he’s in far worse shape than he can even imagine.

In some ways, it’s a good thing that Amandil and the rest of the Elendili have been sent away from Tar-Pharazôn’s court. Now, he’s able to retreat to Rómenna (a city in Númenor) with his son, grandsons, and the rest of the Elendili, who are still faithful to the Valar. Together, they gird themselves and wait for the inevitable overflow of evil that Sauron’s about to unleash.

The next thing Sauron convinces the king to do is perhaps one of the worst: to chop down the White Tree, known as Nimloth. This tree was a gift from the Elves and the Valar long ago. At first, Tar-Pharazôn is reluctant to do anything. Even though he has no respect for the Valar anymore, he still feels that this tree is somehow linked to his good fortune. However, Sauron is very cunning and manages to convince Tar-Pharazôn that it has to happen.

When Amandil and his people get word of it, Isildur decides to do something about it. (The good news is that this incident will make you like him better than you do if you only know him from The Lord of the Rings.)

Isildur makes his way to the palace in disguise one night. Since no one is expecting an Elendili to show up, no one takes much notice of him as he works his way to Nimloth, the White Tree. There, he finds his prize: a piece of fruit. He snags it from the tree, but before he can escape, he’s discovered by the guards. In the brawl, he’s wounded but manages to escape. However, by the time that he finally returns home, he’s close to death.

Amandil plants the fruit that Isildur rescued from the White Tree and waits for his grandson to recover. Fortunately, both happen at the same time: the day that the new White Tree sprouts, Isildur recovers from his injuries.

Meanwhile, Tar-Pharazôn finally listens to Sauron. He has the White Tree chopped down, never to be seen again. But little does he know that there’s another one already growing on his island…

Next week, the situation only grows worse… but you never saw that coming.

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