Episode 4 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power allowed us to see who decisions could quickly change with the withering of the blossoms of the White Tree of Númenor. When Queen Regent Míriel was supposed to send Galadriel back to Middle-Earth, the petals of the tree began withering, as that was what ultimately made her realize that she needed to help Galadriel in her quest to rid the world of Sauron. Of course, we’ve seen a similar white tree in the past in the form of the White Tree of Gondor. So, what is the White Tree of Númenor, and how is it related to the White Tree of Gondor?
The White Tree of Númenor, called Nimloth. This tree represented the judgment of the Valar upon the Númenoreans as its petals would wither whenever they strayed far from the righteous path. Meanwhile, the White Tree of Gondor came from a sapling of Nimloth that Isildur brought to Middle-Earth.
We saw in the events of The Lord of the Rings trilogy by Peter Jackson that the White Tree of Gondor was an important symbol for the Men of Middle-Earth as it only blossomed once more when Aragorn has finally crowned the king of Gondor. In that regard, its roots (no pun intended) can be traced to the very same tree in Númenor. Now, let’s talk more about the White Tree of Númenor.
What Is The White Tree Of Númenor?
The Lord of the Rings has always had a way of using symbols and visions to make us understand some of the deeper messages behind the storyline. Of course, in The Rings of Power, one such symbol that the Númenoreans were quite serious about was the White Tree of Númenor. Its importance was highlighted in episode 4 of the series.
During episode 4, Galadriel was adamant about convincing the Númenoreans to bring a fleet of ships over to Middle-Earth so that they could attack Sauron’s army in the Southlands and end the new dark lord’s existence once and for all.
However, Queen Regent Míriel was not at all interested in Galadriel’s proposal, as the Elf threatened to bring her proposal to King Tar Palantír, who was still the ruling monarch of Númenor. That was when Míriel imprisoned her, as it was clear that she was hiding something about the king.
Eventually, Galadriel was able to escape and go to the chambers of the king, where he found Míriel. The truth was that the king had been declining in health in secret, and that was something that Queen Regent Míriel didn’t want the people to know. Míriel also allowed Galadriel to see the vision that she saw in the Palantír in Númenor so that she could understand why Númenor could not help her. The queen regent believed that Galadriel was the one who was going to bring doom to Númenor, and Míriel only wanted to keep her people safe from the vision.
In that regard, Míriel sent Galadriel on her way out of Númenor, as the common people were delighted that the Elf was finally going to leave. However, as the queen regent walked away from the port, the petals of the White Tree of Númenor started falling. She looked extremely shocked, as did Elendil, who looked at Galadriel as the possible reason why the petals were falling.
Eventually, the queen regent decided to change her decision as she brought Galadriel back to Númenor and told the people of the island that they were going to march on Middle-Earth to assist the Elves in their attempt to get rid of Sauron in the Southlands. In short, it was the withering petals of the White Tree of Númenor that convinced her to change her decision. But what exactly is the White Tree of Númenor?
The White Tree of Númenor goes all the way back to the Two Trees of Valinor, which were the trees that the Valar used to light the Undying Lands. However, the Black Foe named Morgoth allowed Ungoliant to devour the light of the Two Trees as darkness fell on Valinor. Yavanna Kementári, one of the Valar, was able to save a seed from the Two Trees and used it to raise a new tree called Galathilion, which didn’t have a light of its own but was still a special tree.
After Morgoth’s defeat, the Valar gave a seedling of Galathilion to the king of Númenor, as this seedling became the White Tree called Nimloth. And it served as a symbol of the Númenoreans loyalty to the Valar.
As Queen Regent Míriel herself said, when the petals of Nimloth wither, it is not a simple event. That’s because the White Tree represented the judgment of the Valar. So, when the petals wither, that means that the Valar are not entirely happy about the decisions that the Númenoreans are making, and that means that the petals withered when Míriel was about to send Galadriel on her way back to Middle-Earth.
Of course, because Míriel wanted to avoid the Fall of Númenor that she saw in the Palantír, she wanted to make sure that she pleased the Valar, who had the power to sink Númenor just as how they were the ones who brought that raised the entire island from the sea.
How Is The White Tree Of Númenor Related To The White Tree Of Gondor?
This isn’t the first time we saw a White Tree in The Lord of the Rings because we saw a similar White Tree during the events of Peter Jackson’s trilogy movies. In the events of The Lord of the Rings movies, the White Tree of Gondor no longer hand any petals because they had all withered when the line of the Númenorean kings was broken. But how is the White Tree of Gondor related to the White Tree of Númenor?
While we already know that Númenor is eventually going to fall, we also know that the survivors of the Fall of Númenor eventually make their way to Middle-Earth under the leadership of Elendil and Isildur. And before Númenor fell, Isildur took a sapling from Nimloth in Númenor and planted it in Minas Tirith, which eventually became the seat of power of the kingdom of Gondor.
In fact, Gondor actually uses the White Tree as its sigil because they knew how important this tree was to the history of their people. And we all know that the people of Gondor descended from the Númenorean survivors, just like how the White Tree of Gondor descended from the White Tree of Númenor.
Of course, these two trees have the same function, which is to symbolize the judgment of the Valar on the people of Númenor. That is why the petals of the White Tree of Gondor withered when the line of kings was ended. Of course, we saw the White Tree blossoming once more when Aragorn ascended to the throne of Gondor as its new king, as the line of kings was now restored.