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Were know that three of the Nazgul are of Numenorean origin, Khamul was an Easterling, the origin of the other 5 are unknown.

Considering the black Numenoreans rebelled against the faithful, is it more likely that the three Nazgul of Numenorean origin are probably black Numeanoreans from the southern regions of middle earth?

marked as duplicate by TGnat, DVK-on-Ahch-To, Valorum Feb 12 '15 at 19:28

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  • It does seem likely that Sauron would have gone after the Numenoreans who settled in Umbar, but I'm not aware of any explicit confirmation – Jason Baker Feb 12 '15 at 17:51
  • Umbar wasn't founded until SA2280, but the Ringwraiths first appeared in about SA2251, which was earlier. This was also the same time as the Numenoreans became divided between Faithful and Kings Men, so therefore the Numenoreans who were ensnared must have been so before Black Numenoreans existed. – user8719 Feb 13 '15 at 12:21
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The nearest thing to an answer I can find comes from Tolkien's Letters. In Letter 131, he describes some of the results of Sauron's corruption of the Númenóreans:

A new religion, and worship of the Dark, with its temple under Sauron arises. The Faithful are persecuted and sacrificed. The Númenóreans carry their evil also to Middle-earth and there become cruel and wicked lords of necromancy, slaying and tormenting men; and the old legends are overlaid with dark tales of horror

While this isn't conclusive proof, it does suggest that at least some of the Nazgûl were from Númenor itself, among those who fell under Sauron's influence.

There's a more conclusive reference later on, in a footnote in the unsent Letter 156, when discussing the religion of the Númenóreans:

There were evil Númenóreans: Sauronians, but they do not come into this story, except remotely; as the wicked Kings who had become Nazgûl or Ringwraiths

The word "Sauronian" is used rarely by Tolkien, but appears to refer to the residents of Númenor who fell under Sauron's influence; they're referenced one other time in Letter 156 (emphasis mine):

So ended Númenor-Atlantis and all its glory. But in a kind of Noachian situation the small party of the Faithful in Númenor, who had refused to take pan in the rebellion (though many of them had been sacrificed in the Temple by the Sauronians) escaped in Nine Ships

I haven't yet been able to find a conclusive link between the Sauronians and the Black Númenóreans1, so whether this is a "yes" or a "no" answer depends on your opinion on that matter.


1 Although it's very likely that one exists. I have high expectations when it comes to Tolkien, and nothing I've found in Letters or in The Silmarillion is conclusive enough for me.

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