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Probably built as part of the Great Armament from II 3310;1 destroyed in the Downfall of II 3319
Apparently 'Glorious castle'2
Other names


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  • Updated 24 August 2015
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The Castle of the Sea

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The great ship of Ar-Pharazôn, last King of Númenor. Called the Castle of the Sea, it was golden and black and boasted many masts, and also many oars manned by slaves. In II 3319, defying of the warnings of the Valar and the storms sent by Manwë, Ar-Pharazôn placed his throne on the deck of Alcarondas, and led the fleet of the Great Armament out towards the West.

Ar-Pharazôn had planned to break the Ban of the Valar and lead that immense fleet against the Powers in Aman. His plan failed utterly: a chasm opened in the sea and the fleet, including Alcarondas, were drawn down into it and lost for ever. This was the cataclysm that brought about the Downfall of Númenor.



The Great Armament saw a period of intensive ship-building in Númenor, and we know that Alcarondas set out with the ships of that Armament, so it is strongly implied that it was built at this time. It's origins are not given explicitly, however, so we cannot conclusively rule out the possibility that Ar-Pharazñn's ship had existed before this period.


The closest we come to a translation of the name Alcarondas, is in The Silmarillion, where the ship is named as 'Alcarondas, castle of the Sea' (Akallabêth). This does not appear to be a literal translation of the name; there is no obvious Elvish element for 'sea' anywhere in the name, but alcar means 'glory', so a more literal translation seems to be something like 'castle of glory' or 'glorious castle'.

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