Corsairs of Umbar

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The Corsairs of Umbar were a fleet of Men of Umbar in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, allied to Sauron in his war against Gondor.


Umbar was an old Númenórean haven settled by the King's Men — a proud faction loyal to the King and opposed to the divine authority of the Valar. (See also: Elendili). After the Downfall of Númenor, the inhabitants of Umbar further pursued independence, and were counted as rebels. They took to pillaging and piracy along the coasts of Gondor. At the end of the Kin-strife, the defeated rebels of Gondor (the Castamiri) fled to Umbar — by this time Umbar had become the chief southern port of Gondor.

The Castamiri took with them a large part of Gondor's fleet, thus weakening Gondor and strengthening the naval traditions of Umbar. Gondor later conquered Umbar, killing the last of Castamir's descendants, but lost it to the Haradrim soon after. By the time of the War of the Ring, the Corsairs had mixed with the Haradrim, becoming a mixed people whose Númenórean blood was mostly gone. During the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, a combined fleet amounting to "50 great ships [of Umbar] and smaller vessels beyond count" was raiding the port city of Pelargir in Lebennin, but these were captured by Aragorn and the Army of the Dead, and were sailed to Minas Tirith to relieve the siege of the city.


In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the Corsairs are depicted as using ships reminiscent of junks and dhows with lateen sails (Eastern-style), whereas Tolkien specifically uses dromonds in the book (Western). The scene is not featured in the theatrical release; however, it is shown on the Extended Edition DVD. Many of the film's crew make cameo appearances in the scene, including Peter Jackson as a crewman shot by Legolas.

The Finnish Metal band Battlelore has a song called Buccaneers Inn about the Corsairs of Umbar which was released on the album Sword's Song.[1]

The Corsairs of Umbar appear in the computer game The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II as navy and infantry units.[2] As an infantry unit, they can use knives or fire grenades at their enemies.

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Inline citations[edit]

  1. ^ "Sword’s Song". Battlelore official homepage. Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Radcliffe, Doug. "The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II Game Guide. Walkthrough: Evil Campaign". Gamespot. CBS Interactive. 

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