The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
From the foundation of Númenor at the beginning of the Second Age to its Downfall in II 3319
At the base of the Meneltarma, the Pillar of Heaven, in the Mittalmar, Númenor's central region
Noirinan, the Valley of the Tombs, lay between the southern Roots of the Mountain
The river Siril flowed out from between the southern pair of Roots
Important peaks
Extended from the base of the Pillar of Heaven, the great central mountain of Númenor
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 17 December 2021
  • This entry is complete

Roots of the Pillar

Five ridges at the base of the Pillar of Heaven

Map of the Roots of the Pillar

The island of Númenor consisted of a wide central plain from which five wide promontories extended out into the Sea. Near the centre of the island was a tall, steep-sided mountain that, to the Númenóreans, was the holiest place on the isle. This was the Meneltarma, the 'Pillar of Heaven' that rose alone out of the plains, and had a Hallow of Eru on its summit.

Running out from the base of the Pillar of Heaven were five long, low ridges, each extending outwards towards one of the five promontories of the island. These ridges pointed north, west, east, southwest and southeast, so that they formed an approximate five-pointed star when viewed from above. The ridges were collectively known as the Roots of the Pillar, or Tarmasundar in Elvish.

From the heights of the Pillar of Heaven a roadway spiralled downward until it met the southwestern ridge. From there it ran down along the crest of that Root of the Pillar until it descended into the surrounding plain, where it joined the ancient road that ran between Armenelos and Andúnië.

Between each neighbouring pair of Roots a wide valley formed, but the valley between the southwestern ridge and the southeastern was particularly important. This was Noirinan, the Valley of the Tombs, so named because the Kings and Queens of Númenor were entombed in chambers cut into its rock. From this valley sprang a river that ran southwards from the Meneltarma. This was the river Siril, the most important river of Númenor, that flowed on for some hundred and fifty miles until it reached its mouths on the island's southern shore.

At the time of the Downfall of Númenor, the isle was drowned by the Great Sea, but according to legend the summit of the Pillar of Heaven survived, emerging from the waves as the Isle of Meneltarma. If this legend is true, then the Roots of the Pillar also survived, at least in a sense. From this time onward they lay far beneath the Sea, supporting a tiny island lost in the immensity of the ocean.

See also...

Noirinan, Tarmasundar


About this entry:

  • Updated 17 December 2021
  • This entry is complete

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

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2018-2019, 2021. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Website services kindly sponsored by Discus from Axiom Software Ltd.
Become a DISC expert with DISC The Complete Introduction, including extensive reference resources.
The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda
Homepage Search Latest Entries and Updates Random Entry