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First fortified by the Númenóreans in II 2280
The coasts of Middle-earth, to the south of Gondor
Variously held by the Númenóreans, the Black Númenóreans, the Gondorians, the Corsairs and the Haradrim
Not known1


About this entry:

  • Updated 15 April 2014
  • Updates planned: 1


The great haven far to the south of Gondor

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Map of Umbar

A cape in the far south of Middle-earth, long held by Black Númenóreans, but conquered by Gondor for a time during the Third Age.



Umbar is stated to be a pre-Númenórean name whose meaning had been forgotten by the late Third Age. It does appear to be at least partly Elvish in form, but any interpretation is necessarily highly speculative.

The name appears to contain the word mbar, 'home' or 'dwelling-place', an element seen fairly frequently in names like 'Brithombar' or 'Eämbar'. The 'u-' prefix is hard to decipher, but it would normally form a negative, so perhaps 'Umbar' simply means 'not home' or 'away from home' (to the Númenóreans or Gondorians, that is). However, there is no definite support for this theory in Tolkien's works.

Umbar is also known to be the Elvish word for 'fate'. This seems an odd source for a placename, and is probably mere coincidence, but it may possibly refer to the fateful landing of Ar-Pharazôn here in the year II 3261, which ultimately led to the Downfall of Númenor.

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