Why do the Númenóreans hate the elves? In his Lord of the Rings books, Tolkien described The Númenóreans as “the noblest race of men” who helped the elves defeat Morgoth during the First Age. Yet when we visit the island Numenor in the fantasy series The Rings of Power, the kingdom seems oddly bigoted against Galadriel and the elves.
Why do the Númenóreans hate the elves?
So what happened? Well, at the start of the Second Age, the Valar – Middle-earth’s gods – created the island of Numenor and gifted it to the Númenóreans (then known as the Edain) for their help in defeating Morgoth.
As a bonus, the Valar gifted those from the island-based kingdom extended lives and stronger bodies. All seemed well, and the alliance between the Númenóreans and elves was strong.
It helped that the first Númenórean king was Elros, the brother of Elrond. The brother had been given a choice at the end of the First Age to live as either men or elves, and each brother chose a different race. Elros chose to live as a mortal man but remained close to his elven brother, ensuring the two races remained close.
Yet Eru Ilúvatar, the top god in Middle-earth, had given humanity something known as The Gift of Men. This gift is mortality, to be free of the weariness and ennui that immortality always inevitably brings. As such, Eros eventually died, and a shadow began to hang over Numenor.
The Númenórean and men, in general, did not understand how mortality was a gift and grew jealous of the elves and their eternal lives. Adding insult to the injury of their mortality was the fact they were prohibited from sailing west to Valinor, the land of the gods, while the elves could freely travel there.
Over the centuries, the Númenórean grew proud and began establishing colonies on the mainland while cutting ties with the elves. Eventually, as we see in the TV series, even the Kings of Numenor turned their back on the elves prohibiting the older children of Eru Ilúvatar from even stepping on the island.
Sauron would eventually use the Númenórean’s fear of death against them, turning them completely against the elves and Valar, but that’s another story.
Thankfully not all Númenóreans hated the elves. The line of Isildur was known as the Faithful and remained cordial with the elves. If you love Middle-earth, check out our list of the best Lord of the Rings characters or our list of the best fantasy movies.