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Old 05-22-2019, 11:42 AM   #1
Urwen
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Of Pharazon and Miriel

If someone assassinated Pharazon, what would happen to the leadership of Numenor? Miriel is his only living relative, so I imagine the throne would go to her. Or maybe one of Pharazon's men would step up and take the throne for himself.


Thoughts?
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:11 PM   #2
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When and who?

Isildur is probably most likely to go off half-cocked and kill Pharazon for the Faithful, but there is another possibility: Sauron. The Isildur situation varies dramatically depending on what Sauron's current status is, too.

Define your question, then we can have fun thinking of the answer.

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Old 05-22-2019, 12:41 PM   #3
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Well, the rule is that kings and queens must wed someone from the Line of Elros. So there is a possibility that Anarion, who descended from Silmarien, would have loved Zimraphel in secret, and thus, if he were to dispatch Pharazon, he and Zimraphel could have a happy ending. She would get the throne and they would marry for love.


I even wrote a story about this
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Old 05-23-2019, 03:02 AM   #4
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Okay, in the absence of an answer of who kills him and when, I'll present three scenarios.

1. Numenor Redeemed

In his youth, Pharazon was great friends with Amandil (a generation older than him). When he returns to Numenor and seizes the Sceptre, Amandil is careful to renew that friendship. He is accepted into the closest circles. After a few years, Ar-Pharazon is about to set sail to the overthrow of Sauron - his armies have already set off - when Amandil suddenly sticks a knife in his back.

With the army - the King's Men - off in Middle-earth, Amandil is able to restore the Sceptre to Tar-Miriel without overly much trouble. A fuss gets kicked up over her lack of husband, but this is somewhat quieted when she marries Elentir, brother of Amandil. (This character exists in early versions of her story as her betrothed, before she turns to Pharazon - it's a different telling, but we can adopt the character.)

Tar-Miriel, now in a firm alliance with the Faithful, institutes a Ban on the return of the King's Men. There is a sizeable, semi-voluntary exodus of King's Men sympathisers from Numenor, heading off to join their armies. Umbar and Pelargir become major settlements and ports of the King's Men, who are hostile to both Numenor and Sauron. They may well repeat Pharazon's capture of Sauron and over time fall fully under the Shadow.

They war against Numenor, trying to reclaim the island, but Tar-Miriel implements a massive armament plan. The defence of the island is helped by a sudden storm that sinks a good chunk of the King's Men's fleet, and things settle into an uneasy ceasefire.

Whether the redemption lasts depends entirely on whether Miriel has a child; if not, the Line of Elros is probably fractured enough that you end up with a Faithful Kinstrife for the throne, and the King's Men get their chance to return.

2. The Second Civil War

Numenor already had one Civil War, when Tar-Palantir began his efforts to return to the old ways. When Miriel sees her husband beginning to listen to the whisperings of the prisoner Sauron, she knows that taking any action against him could lead to a return to such strife.

She does it anyway. She tries to disguise her hand by using poison, but the King's Men don't really fall for it. They immediately demand that the Sceptre pass to a cousin of Pharazon's, probably along with Miriel as a wife. When she refuses, they move to take her prisoner.

Miriel flees to Romenna, where the Faithful are living these days, but with the bulk of the army firmly on the side of the King's Men, staying 50 miles from the capital is untenable. Amandil urges her to flee to Middle-earth - Pelargir and Belfalas are in Faithful hands - but she refuses. She is Queen of Numenor, and will not leave the island.

The Faithful seize the navy and sail around the island to Andunie. The King's Men have to come overland, which gives Tar-Miriel just enough time to prepare. Their first attack, intended to be a hammer-blow to destroy the Faithful, is rebuffed - just.

It's hard to see how the Faithful can win this war, but perhaps they can inflict enough damage to force a peace treaty. Tar-Miriel retains the Sceptre, but is saddled with a Council that has control over many of her policies. Ultimately, the darkness is held off for a while, but her eventual successor immediately returns to the ways of the shadow.

(Meanwhile, Sauron sits in his cell, patiently waiting, chatting amiably with Miriel's advisors. He has time...)

3. The Darkened Sceptre

Sauron has been freed and made advisor to Ar-Pharazon. He has built a grand Temple to Melkor in Armenelos, and the King has begun to talk about waging war on the Valar themselves.

Isildur, grandson of the Lord of Andunie, sneaks into the palace. He intends to rescue a fruit of the White Tree, rumoured to be in danger of burning - but along the way, he finds Ar-Pharazon, drunk out of his mind, slumbering on a bench.

He takes his opportunity, but doesn't make it out alive. Taken captive by the King's Guards, he is dragged before Tar-Miriel - or rather, before Sauron, who immediately takes control of the audience. Miriel is powerless to stop the High Priest of Numenor, and a week later, the tortured Isildur is burned in the Temple, atop a pyre of wood from the White Tree.

Sauron's persecution of the Faithful is terrible to behold. The family of Isildur are the first to go, and before long Romenna is practically depopulated. Over in Middle-earth, Pelargir is razed. The King's Men grow ever more fanatical in their support of their Priest - or, soon enough, their God. Tar-Miriel is a prisoner in the palace; no-one knows if she even still lives. All her proclamations are delivered by Sauron, and all of them support his plans.

The Great Armament still occurs, 'in memory of our King, slain by the lackeys of the West'. Numenor still falls - but this time, there are no Realms in Exile established. When Sauron returns to Mordor, there is no Last Alliance to stand against him, because there are no armies strong enough to forge one.

hS
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Old 05-23-2019, 03:27 AM   #5
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Absence of the answer who kills him and when? Did you even read my post? I said Anarion would kill him. :c


There, I even highlighted this so you can see it.
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Old 05-23-2019, 03:30 AM   #6
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Also, I guess you won't be responding to 'Tidbits of Curiosity' thread or my parody thread anymore.
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:04 AM   #7
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Absence of the answer who kills him and when? Did you even read my post? I said Anarion would kill him. :c

There, I even highlighted this so you can see it.
Ah - yes, I did miss it; I caught the part about him marrying her but not the part where he kills her. I think that would have to fall somewhere in Scenario 3, but with a different killer - Anarion wasn't old enough to pull off a pre-Sauron assassination.

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Also, I guess you won't be responding to 'Tidbits of Curiosity' thread or my parody thread anymore.
No, I won't reply to every thread, just like you don't reply to every thread anybody else posts. I reply to the ones where I'm interested in the topic and have something to say, just as you do. When I no longer have anything to say, I stop replying.

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Old 05-23-2019, 05:09 AM   #8
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Yeah, but in case, I really need you, or someone who is equally knowledgeable, to analyze these lyrics for me......
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:16 AM   #9
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While we're doing Miriel AUs, how about this one for the mix:

What if Tar-Miriel had survived the Downfall?

It's not that hard to arrange - she just has to get on a boat with Elendil. Then you have a High Queen over Gondor and Arnor, and assuming she finds an heir - perhaps, in an ironic twist of fate, she marries (a widowed) Elendil for political reasons and has a child - that line can continue even after Isildur's death.

How would things have been different, if the two Dunedain kingdoms had been politically unified (despite having their own lines of what I assume we'd call Princes)? Any thoughts?

hS
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:28 AM   #10
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I suspect that this was indeed the case. They could have spirited her away as one of their own, and written that she had died just in case their enemies get their hands on their written annals. In actuality, she died in Gondor.
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Old 05-23-2019, 09:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
While we're doing Miriel AUs, how about this one for the mix:

What if Tar-Miriel had survived the Downfall?

It's not that hard to arrange - she just has to get on a boat with Elendil. Then you have a High Queen over Gondor and Arnor, and assuming she finds an heir - perhaps, in an ironic twist of fate, she marries (a widowed) Elendil for political reasons and has a child - that line can continue even after Isildur's death.

How would things have been different, if the two Dunedain kingdoms had been politically unified (despite having their own lines of what I assume we'd call Princes)? Any thoughts?

hS
There's a few wrinkles here--first of which is Tar-Míriel's age at the time of the Downfall. It was the shadow of age falling on Pharazôn that helped Sauron motivate him toward sailing West. He and Míriel are contemporaries, so even if they're of the line of Elros AND still rather short of the historical norms there, they're on the back nine of life. When is Elrosian menopause?

But let's say that the window is just open enough that a baby is born in the first years of Arnor--there's still some question whether she would be the Queen-Regnant or the Queen-Consort of the Exiled Dúnedain. In the canon, Arnor and Gondor are clearly constituted as new realms: Elendil is king not because he's got the best surviving Elrosian claim, but because he is the founder of Arnor (and of Gondor because his sons submit to him). Whether this changes with Míriel in the picture is a good question, because it definitely seems likely to me that the Exiles see Arnor and Gondor as a new beginning (and this whole line of speculation does stem from questioning how the Exiles saw Queenship in light of the Númenórean experience).

Maybe the best answer to posit is a joint rule--Thingol and Melian, Galadriel and Celeborn-style. This still doesn't mean that a descendant of them both would necessarily be King after Isildur--not if Isildur is king at all! If Isildur is still taken to succeed Elendil after the Last Alliance, then the principle of "normal" primogeniture seems to be intact: i.e. Isildur's sons still have the senior claim over any of his younger brothers. Granted, it's easy to see a full-grown half-brother of Isildur asserting his claim ahead of Valandil's in Arnor, but I *can't* see Meneldil son of Anárion letting such a scamp like that get ahead of him (and, remember, we're told that Meneldil was the last baby born in Númenor amongst the Faithful, so we're talking about a man OLDER than Elendil/Míriel's baby). If Meneldil was glad to see Isildur gone to Arnor and would not accept Valandil as a High King over him, then it's hard to see him accepting an even younger branch of the family as High King--far more likely you get an EARLY Kinslaying--perhaps with Meneldil backing Valandil's claim or asserting Gondor's complete independence not merely de facto, as happened canonically, but by war--or at least de iure.

Who, if anyone, could judge that legal claim is... unclear. Meneldil could just declare it (much as the Gondorian stewards would for a similar claim in Arvedui's day), asserting that Gondor was not a colony of Númenor, but a new establishment under Isildur and Anárion--and as the heir of the second, deputised as sole king by the first, the Heirs of the defunct Númenórean realm would have no claim to the overlordship of Gondor, a separate realm. Valinor can't be appealed to for a ruling, and I doubt that Elrond would be either interested in meddling OR accepted as a definite authority.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:17 AM   #12
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But let's say that the window is just open enough that a baby is born in the first years of Arnor--there's still some question whether she would be the Queen-Regnant or the Queen-Consort of the Exiled Dúnedain. In the canon, Arnor and Gondor are clearly constituted as new realms: Elendil is king not because he's got the best surviving Elrosian claim, but because he is the founder of Arnor (and of Gondor because his sons submit to him). Whether this changes with Míriel in the picture is a good question, because it definitely seems likely to me that the Exiles see Arnor and Gondor as a new beginning (and this whole line of speculation does stem from questioning how the Exiles saw Queenship in light of the Númenórean experience).
One point that's worth considering is the divine role of the Kings of Numenor. They were the only ones allowed to speak on the Hallows of Meneltarma - the only ones allowed to pray to Iluvatar. Elendil usurps that right (in a nice way, but he does), and the Stewards do so again later (Cirion swears by the Name, asserting that High Priestly authority), but would that have happened if the legitimate High Priest(ess) was still alive? Probably not, is my thought - but on the other hand, Miriel was probably canny enough to declare Isildur her heir and give him the right.

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This still doesn't mean that a descendant of them both would necessarily be King after Isildur--not if Isildur is king at all! If Isildur is still taken to succeed Elendil after the Last Alliance, then the principle of "normal" primogeniture seems to be intact: i.e. Isildur's sons still have the senior claim over any of his younger brothers. Granted, it's easy to see a full-grown half-brother of Isildur asserting his claim ahead of Valandil's in Arnor, but I *can't* see Meneldil son of Anárion letting such a scamp like that get ahead of him (and, remember, we're told that Meneldil was the last baby born in Númenor amongst the Faithful, so we're talking about a man OLDER than Elendil/Míriel's baby). If Meneldil was glad to see Isildur gone to Arnor and would not accept Valandil as a High King over him, then it's hard to see him accepting an even younger branch of the family as High King--far more likely you get an EARLY Kinslaying--perhaps with Meneldil backing Valandil's claim or asserting Gondor's complete independence not merely de facto, as happened canonically, but by war--or at least de iure.

Who, if anyone, could judge that legal claim is... unclear. Meneldil could just declare it (much as the Gondorian stewards would for a similar claim in Arvedui's day), asserting that Gondor was not a colony of Númenor, but a new establishment under Isildur and Anárion--and as the heir of the second, deputised as sole king by the first, the Heirs of the defunct Númenórean realm would have no claim to the overlordship of Gondor, a separate realm. Valinor can't be appealed to for a ruling, and I doubt that Elrond would be either interested in meddling OR accepted as a definite authority.
You're... probably right about Meneldil. The collapse of the Arnorian claim to the High Kingship is liable to be repeated in any scenario; it's only if you can establish a strong High King independent of Arnor that you have any hope.

So how about this: Elendil was the same age as Miriel, and he was still fighting to his death at age 322. That's really old for a late Numenorean - Tar-Palantir barely topped 200. To match it you have to go back to somewhere around Tar-Vanimelde, who lived 360 years (and Numenorean women were apparently longer-lived than the men).

So how does the picture change if Tar-Miriel, as sole High Queen after Elendil's death, continues to rule for another 40 years? That's plenty of time to pick a decent heir - either her own child, or one of the two kings at the time.

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Old 05-28-2019, 07:49 AM   #13
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I'm not sure that Elendil usurped the role- he was after all the eldest surviving descendant of Elros. And if that was in the female line, well- that would apply to Tar-Miriel too. (Tolkien played his games with the succession law, I believe, as a way to make the Lords of Andunie the "real" true line).

I don't believe it was a usurpation of that high-priestly role when Cirion invoked the Name in his oath to Eorl. While such an oath was a matter of dreadful import and solemnity (nobody had forgotten Feanor and his sons!), it was an oath which in theory anyone could take, prince and pauper alike. (I have a notion some of the dockworkers down on the Harlond invoked the Name rather more than the official historians ever admitted in writing.)
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:04 AM   #14
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So how does the picture change if Tar-Miriel, as sole High Queen after Elendil's death, continues to rule for another 40 years? That's plenty of time to pick a decent heir - either her own child, or one of the two kings at the time.
Well, things are definitely going to change--if nothing else, I daresay Meneldil would bend the knee to Miriel in a way he would not have to a child Valandil. And perhaps a few decades is all Valandil would need to reach an age where he could succeed to the High Kingship and hope to rule.

That is assuming, of course, that Miriel doesn't attempt to alter (well, or establish...) the laws of succession in favour of a child of her own. That would probably ally cousins Valandil and Meneldil quite quickly--unless Miriel manipulates things early on. Perhaps, since he doesn't inherit Arnor yet, Isildur doesn't leave Gondor and rules it alone--or Meneldil is very much a junior partner.

Of course, if Isildur never goes to Arnor, we have a far worse situation than Boromir or Denethor getting the One Ring: we have a potential new Witch-king possibly sitting and fretting over his stepmother (even if they got along great before, who knows how the lust for power driven by Ring will affect that) in Osgiliath. Valandil probably isn't important at all at this point, since his three elder brothers are living--unless Isildur goes to war and Miriel needs a hostage.

So... maybe Arnor comes out ahead with Queen Miriel, but I can see Gondor not making it in one piece out of the first century.


Also, on the note of Miriel's High Priestliness: I don't think this is something to disregard entirely, but High Priesthood is tied to a temple. Certainly, this is true of the Jewish priesthood that is the best model we have for the Numenoreans--once the temple in Jerusalem is lost, there are priests, but their priestly function is limited. And we know Meneltarma is important to the Elrosian priesthood: the only things they are recorded to do take place there.
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