Valar send omens to warn the Númenóreans (estimated date)
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: Akallabêth/Last Alliance
Years: 3317 ~ 3319
An event in the prelude to the Assault on Valinor; see that entry for an overview:
Now aforetime in the isle of Númenor the weather was ever apt to the needs and liking of Men: rain in due season and ever in measure; and sunshine, now warmer, now cooler, and winds from the sea. ... But all this was now changed; for the sky itself was darkened, and there were storms of rain and hail in those days, and violent winds; and ever and anon a great ship of the Númenóreans would founder and return not to haven, though such a grief had not till then befallen them since the rising of the Star. And out of the west there would come at times a great cloud in the evening, shaped as it were an eagle, with pinions spread to the north and the south; and slowly it would loom up, blotting out the sunset, and then uttermost night would fall upon Númenor. And some of the eagles bore lightning beneath their wings, and thunder echoed between sea and cloud.
Then men grew afraid. 'Behold the Eagles of the Lords of the West!' they cried. 'The Eagles of Manwë are come upon Númenor!' And they fell upon their faces.
Then some few would repent for a season, but others hardened their hearts, and they shook their fists at heaven, saying: 'The Lords of the West have plotted against us. They strike first. The next blow shall be ours!' These words the King himself spoke, but they were devised by Sauron.
Now the lightnings increased and slew men upon the hills, and in the fields, and in the streets of the city; and a fiery bolt smote the dome of the Temple and shore it asunder, and it was wreathed in flame. But the Temple itself was unshaken, and Sauron stood there upon the pinnacle and defied the lightning and was unharmed; and in that hour men called him a god and did all that he would. When therefore the last portent came they heeded it little. For the land shook under them, and a groaning as of thunder underground was mingled with the roaring of the sea, and smoke issued from the peak of the Meneltarma. But all the more did Ar-Pharazôn press on with his armament.
The Silmarillion, Akallabêth
[Note: the date is an estimate, set to follow the event Amandil sails West to seek aid from the Valar.]
Elena Tiriel 17Nov05