The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


About this entry:

  • Updated 22 September 2016
  • Updates planned: 2

Great Isle

A name among the Drúedain for the isle of Númenor

"The Great Isle no longer feels sure under our feet, and we wish to return to the lands whence we came."
The Drúedain of Númenor
Unfinished Tale of Númenor and Middle-earth
Part Four I, The Drúedain

Through the Wars of Beleriand of the First Age, the Drúedain remained faithful to the other Edain, and especially those of the House of Haleth. As that Age ended, they were therefore given a place on Númenor, the Land of Gift that the Valar placed as a reward for the service of Men against Morgoth. There the Drúedain settled and grew prosperous in the rich new land in the midst of the Great Sea.

While the most common names of Númenor in various languages translated as 'land in the West' or 'Land of Gift', the prosaic Drúedain simply called it the 'Great Isle'. As time passed, the strange foresight of this people gave them a glimpse of an uncertain future. Even as far back as the time of Aldarion (later Tar-Aldarion the sixth King of Númenor) the Drúedain began to fear the consequences of his voyages to Middle-earth, and warned him that an evil would grow from these journeys.

Aldarion disregarded their warnings, and so the Drúedain began to make their way back across the Sea to Middle-earth. Travelling in small groups they left the Land of Gift behind, so that eventually there were none of their kind left in Númenor. Their warning did indeed come true, though not for many centuries, and in a most indirect manner. The meddling of the Númenóreans in Middle-earth had bought them the enmity of Sauron, and long after Tar-Aldarion's time the Dark Lord was able to engineer the utter destruction of the Great Isle in the cataclysm known as the Downfall.

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2016. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.