Who Are the Corsairs of Umbar in The Rings of Power? Sauron’s Human Soldiers Explained

One of the things that we all know about Sauron is that he has a lot of different minions under his command. While we do know that the Orcs and the Goblins are some of his staple minions but what is also true is that he was able to recruit humans to his army, and we saw that during the events of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. These human soldiers are the Corsairs of Umbar, who were set up in The Rings of Power. So, who are the Corsairs of Umbar?

The Corsairs of Umbar are pirates that come from the race of Men. Specifically, the Corsairs of Umbar were Númenóreans that were corrupted after the fall of Númenór because they resorted to piracy. However, it is possible that the Corsairs are not yet strong in The Rings of Power because Númenór still stands.

While the Corsairs of Umbar were already quite powerful during the events of The Return of the King, it is possible that they are still few in numbers in The Rings of Power. That’s because the kingdom of Númenór is still standing during the Second Age. But it is possible that the series will introduce the Corsairs and their early beginnings. Now, let’s look at what we know about the Corsairs of Umbar.

Who Are The Corsairs Of Umbar In The Rings Of Power?

What we know about The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is that the story takes place during the Second Age, just when Sauron was still in hiding to amass the power he needed to become the new dark lord of Middle-Earth. Of course, we all know that his main army is composed of Orcs. However, we do know that he also recruited Men into his army, as seen from the fact that there were pirates that were supposed to join the battle in Gondor.

In that regard, Sauron indeed has a massive army that he was able to grow in the thousands of years that he spent corrupting different people all over Middle-Earth, on top of the fact that, for a long time, he operated in secret while growing his orc armies. Then again, it is quite interesting that he was able to convince Men to join his cause, even though a lot of Sauron’s enemies during the Third Age were Men. But who are those Men that he was able to corrupt?

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Some of the Men that joined Sauron’s army were the Corsairs of Umbar. As their names suggest, these Corsairs are pirates that come from the land of Umbar. Of course, they are Men that were corrupted by Sauron long before the events of the Third Age.

In truth, the Corsairs of Umbar began as Númenóreans, a group of Men that come from the kingdom of Númenór, which was established by Elros after the defeat of Morgoth at the end of the First Age. Elros is the brother of Elrond as he chose to become mortal when he was given a reward by the Valar for helping in the defeat of Morgoth. Under his leadership during the Second Age, Númenór grew in power but was banned from ever sailing west to Valinor.

Peter Jackson cameo as a Corsair of Umbar

Even though the kingdom of Númenór was arguably the greatest kingdom of Men during the Second Age, it eventually fell when one of their own became too ambitious that he amassed a huge armada to sail west to Valinor. This was what eventually caused the fall of Númenór.

Meanwhile, the remnants of the once-great kingdom of Númenór became evil due to the circumstances behind the fall of their kingdom. As such, they became known as the Black Númenóreans. These Black Númenóreans resorted to naval piracy along the shores of Gondor, and that’s why they became known as the Corsairs of Umbar, considering that they also called Umbar their home.

Will The Corsairs Of Umbar Appear In The Rings Of Power?

While we do know that the Corsairs of Umbar were part of Sauron’s army during the Third Age and were supposed to be joining the battle in Gondor, we aren’t sure whether or not they will appear in The Rings of Power. Of course, there are some clues that may point to the possibility that their appearance was already foreshadowed. 

For one, when Galadriel was swimming all the way back to Middle-Earth, she encountered a makeshift raft that survived an attack from a sea monster. While she was on the raft, Galadriel and the other survivors noticed that there was a flag from a distance. Eamon, one of the survivors on the rafts, said that they shouldn’t be signaling it because it could be the flag of pirates, and that could mean that the Corsairs were probably already active at that time.

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Meanwhile, in the final scene of episode 2, we saw Galadriel and Halbrand encounter a boat that was yet to be revealed. The possibility is that this boat or ship could belong to pirates or even the Corsairs of Umbar. Then again, it could be Númenórean in origin, considering that we do know that the Númenórean named Isildur, Aragorn’s distant ancestor, is going to be in the series.

So, while there is a possibility that the Corsairs of Umbar are indeed going to be in The Rings of Power, what we are sure of is that they probably aren’t as strong or as numerous as they were during the events of The Lord of the Rings. That’s because, again, the kingdom of Númenór was still at its peak during the Second Age, as it was yet to fall at that time.

Considering that the Corsairs of Umbar grew in power right after the fall of Númenór, it is possible that they are still few in numbers in The Rings of Power but will eventually grow to become more powerful by the end of the Second Age. As such, it is possible that the Corsairs of Umbar will be shown, especially if The Rings of Power wants us to see how these Men fell to the service of Sauron.

Of course, in The Lord of the Rings, the Corsairs of Umbar were defeated and killed before they could even make it to the shores of Gondor, as Aragorn led the Army of the Dead to their ships so that they could weaken Sauron’s own forces before they joined the battle. There were a lot of ships under the command of the Corsairs, as seen in the events of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. And that means that they grew in power sometime after the fall of Númenór and the events of The Lord of the Rings.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.