A harrowing vision that entails the destruction of Númenor has haunted Queen Regent for years and now, more than ever, that vision is inching towards its inevitable realization.
Episode 4 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power opens with Míriel waking up from a nightmare. The contents of said nightmare are the utter destruction of Númenor, with waves higher than mountains engulfing all that dwell inside the legendary kingdom.
Later on in the episode, the nightmare is revealed to be a recurring vision that Queen Regent sees time and again. It’s a vision her father showed her via a Palantír.
She uses the same magical orb to show Galadriel the vision of doom. She also tells her how her father nearly destroyed them by believing in the elves and that helping them will save Númenor.
Míriel is of the other viewpoint, determined in her reading of the vision to be true. She truly thinks that the destruction of Númenor will be brought forth by an elf — Galadriel. Not only that, but she also believes that the downfall of her kingdom has already begun since the vision starts with the arrival of an elf.
Númenor’s Doom and the Elven connection
It was Míriel’s father, the former ruler of Númenor, who showed his daughter the vision he foresaw himself. Míriel put her hand on the Palantír and peeked into the horrors that it teased.
The vision, as Míriel puts it, starts with an elf’s arrival at the kingdom of Númenor. The vision soon devolves into the colossal waves ravaging all of the kingdoms in one fell swoop.
According to Míriel, it’s the arrival of the elf that’s the entire causal explanation for what follows in the rest of the vision, i.e., Númenor’s destruction.
However, Galadriel retorts that it’s the loyalty to the elves that earned Númenorean ancestors their day of virtue, which subsequently earned them the Valar’s gift — the isle upon which Númenor was built.
Míriel argues back, telling Galadriel that her father believed the same thing — to be loyal to the elves. However, his beliefs are what nearly led them to a path of destruction. What Míriel likely refers to with the “path of destruction” is the perennial divide within the social fabric of Númenor.
One faction of the populace believes that the kingdom must remain loyal to the elves and not invite the scourge of the Valar, they’re also known as the “Faithful”.
The faction on the other side of the divide is the one that has a hatred for elves, and later on, for the Valar. This divide is what has brought tensions in the kingdom in the past, and will, later on.
The canonical explanation of the vision
As per J.R.R Tolkien’s works, the Second Age concludes with the apocalyptic destruction of Númenor. These horrors are brought upon by the actions of Númenoreans — the ones who had a deep hatred for the elves and the Valar.
The anti-Valar sentiment was brewing in the Kingdom for a long time. When Ar Pharazôn takes over the kingdom’s rule, he only incites the anti-elf and anti-Valar sentiments among the population.
The puppeteer lurking in the background and catalysing Númenor’s downfall was none other than Sauron himself, who masqueraded with fake identities and climbed the hierarchy, ultimately manipulating the ruler and the people to set off into the Sundering Seas and unleash their onslaught on Valinor.
The war on Valinor is what brings Númenor’s end, and Eru Ilúvatar himself steps in and creates colossal waves that ravage the legendary kingdom to ruins. This is most probably very close to what the Prime Video series will also take its story toward.
When will Míriel’s vision come true?
With the kind of pace Prime Video’s The Rings of Power is staggering toward its inevitable wars and conflicts, it’s a bit difficult to surmise when Míriel’s vision of doom, the destruction of Númenor, will take place.
There is a ton of lore to take place and a great many developments to transpire before Númenor falls to its doom. With that in mind, the inevitable apocalypse should occur during the last stretches of the series.
However, setting up the dominoes of Númenor’s destruction this early on in the series raise some questions as to what the makers have in store regarding the big event.
One good way to keep the Númenorean story going until the very end of the series will be to shift the overall narrative’s focus to the Middle Earth and the Southlands, until the later installments when Sauron helps Númenor destroy itself.
However, where the story goes with regards to Númenor’s fate, and Míriel’s vision, is a question only time will answer.