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The seat of the Kings of Númenor was at Armenelos
ta'rr-mina'steerr ('rr' indicates that the final r sounds should be distinctly pronounced)
'King Watchtower'
Other names


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  • Updated 6 October 2009
  • This entry is complete


The King who drove Sauron out of Eriador


Rulers of Númenor

The son of Isilmo, Tar-Minastir inherited the Sceptre of Númenor on the death of his childless aunt, Queen Tar-Telperiën. His name Minastir means 'watchtower', and comes from the great westward-facing tower he built on the hill of Oromet near Andúnië, from which he would often look out towards the West. In Tar-Minastir's time the Elves were still beloved by the Númenóreans and welcomed by them, and Tar-Minastir had a close alliance with King Gil-galad of Lindon. However, it is also said that he envied their freedom from death, and from that envy a shadow of evil slowly grew over Númenor in the centuries following his rule.

Tar-Minastir was most famous for his actions during the War of the Elves and Sauron. After the destruction of Eregion, Sauron's forces roamed throughout Eriador, and came close to conquering all of Middle-earth for the Dark Lord. Gil-galad summoned help from Númenor, and Tar-Minastir sent a huge fleet to the aid of the Elves under admiral Ciryatur.1 The Númenóreans saved Eriador, and drove Sauron back into the east. With the threat of Sauron contained, it was during Tar-Minastir's later rule that the Númenóreans began to make serious attempts to establish colonies in Middle-earth.

It was rumoured that Tar-Minastir was coerced by his son into giving up the Sceptre of Númenor before he wished to do so, allowing that son to inherit the Kingship as Tar-Ciryatan. Indeed, by comparison with other Rulers in this period, Tar-Minastir's reign appears to be some twenty years shorter than average (though it is difficult to state this categorically due to significant variations between Rulers). If these rumours were true, Tar-Ciryatan's actions in seizing the Sceptre marked the beginnings of the many evils that would descend on Númenor over the following centuries.

Tar-Minastir was King of Númenor for one hundred and thirty-eight years, and passed the Sceptre to his son Tar-Ciryatan in II 1869. He died four years later.



The dating of Tar-Minastir's attack on Sauron is a little confused. We have good evidence that he sent out his fleet in II 1695, and that the Númenóreans defeated Sauron in II 1700. However, it's also well established that Tar-Minastir didn't inherit the Sceptre until II 1731, thirty-six years after he dispatched his fleet to Middle-earth.

It is difficult to reconcile these dates. We might conjecture that Minastir was acting as a regent or general for Queen Tar-Telperiën, commanding Númenor's armies in her place. That's not impossible, but it's apparently contradicted by comments that explicitly make Tar-Minastir King at that time (for instance 'Then Tar-Minastir the King sent out a great navy...', from The History of Galadriel and Celeborn in Unfinished Tales). To make the timelines fit, we'd have to assume that 'Tar-Minastir the King' actually means 'Tar-Minastir, who later became King'. That's an awkward accommodation, but it seems necessary in order for Tar-Minastir's dates to make sense.


About this entry:

  • Updated 6 October 2009
  • This entry is complete

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