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The Corsairs of Umbar were a race of Men, specifically corrupted Númenóreans, living in Middle-earth, known for their naval piracy along the coasts of 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.


After the downfall of Númenor, the Umbar settlers further descended into evil, and were called the Black Númenóreans. They took to pillaging and piracy along the coasts of Gondor, but in TA 933 Umbar was conquered by Gondor. However for over a hundred years Umbar was besieged by the Black Númenóreans and Haradrim until TA 1050, when they were heavily defeated by King Hyarmendacil I of Gondor.

During the Kin-strife, the defeated rebels of Gondor fled to Umbar, and came to be called Corsairs, most of them being Dúnedain, led by the descendants of Castamir the Usurper. For the next 362 years the Corsairs ravaged the coasts of Gondor, killing King Minardil in TA 1634 and sacking Pelargir. In TA 1810 Gondor retook Umbar, ending the line of Castamir. However Gondor's possession was not to last long and soon Umbar was lost to the Haradrim and new Corsairs, mostly of Haradrim descent emerged. From then until the ending of the Third Age the Corsairs were again a menace to Gondor's coasts, launching an attack with five great fleets in TA 2758 that was only repelled with difficulty.

A Corsair fleet en route to Harlond

During the War of the Ring at the time of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, a Corsair fleet was on route to Harlond, after taking Pelargir, with the intention of aiding the forces of Mordor in the battle. Aragorn, with the help of the Grey Company, Legolas, Gimli, and the Army of the Dead, drove the Corsairs off, capturing their ships and rowing them to Minas Tirith to relieve the siege of the city. Following this, at some point in the Fourth Age the city of Umbar was recaptured by King Elessar, ending the Corsair threat for good.

Portrayal in adaptations

The Lord of the Rings film trilogy

The Corsairs' ships as seen in Peter Jackson's The Return of the King

In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the Corsairs are seen once, for only a few seconds, when Gandalf is talking to Pippin about who will fight for Sauron in the battle for Minas Tirith. The ships are also seen in a scene in the extended version, when Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli send the Army of the Dead to attack the frightened corsairs (including Peter Jackson himself, in a cameo as a Corsair) and conquer the ships.

Video games

A Corsair "Black Ship"

In the game The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, there are a few Goblins and Goblin Drummers that appear in the Anduin River: Anduin Banks level along with the Corsairs.

In the campaign of The Battle for Middle-earth II, the Corsairs, in Campaign Mode, join forces with the Goblins led by Gorkil and launch an assault upon the Grey Havens. While the attack fails in the Good Campaign, in the Evil Campaign the conjoined attack is completely successful, and thanks to the armada brought forth by the Corsairs the Grey Havens are destroyed. Also, the special unit recruitable at captured Inns for the Goblins is the corsairs.


Corsair pirate ships raiding another ship in The Battle for Middle-earth II

In The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II the Corsairs use daggers as their primary weapon. They are stronger than typical Orcs and like to stab their enemies. They also use firebombs which, while not much more powerful than their daggers and able to cause a friendly fire, can set their enemies ablaze or do some significant damage nonetheless. In the film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring they have ballistas mounted on their ships.



Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Korsairs van Umbar
Albanian Korsars të Umbar
Arabic أومبر بايرتس
Azerbaijani Umbarın korsanları
Basque Umbarreko kortsarioak
Belarusian Cyrillic Карсары Умбара
Bosnian Umbar korsari
Bulgarian Cyrillic Корсари от Умбар
Catalan Corsaris d'Umbar
Chinese 翁巴尔的海盗
Croatian Umbarske gusari ?
Czech Umbarští korzáři
Danish Sørøverne fra Umbar
Dutch Zeerovers van Umbar
Esperanto Korsaroj de Umbaro
Estonian Umbari Korsaarid
Finnish Umbarin merirosvot
French Corsaires d’Umbar/Pirates d’Umbar
Galician Corsarios de Umbar
German Korsaren von Umbar
Greek Κουρσάροι του Ούμπαρ
Hebrew שודדי הים של אומבאר
Hungarian Umbar kalózai
Irish Gaelic Na Foghlaí mara de Umbar ?
Italian Corsari di Umbar
Latvian Corsairs par Umbar
Lithuanian Umbaro Korsarai
Persian دزدان دریایی اومبار
Polish Korsarze z Umbaru
Portuguese Corsários de Umbar
Romanian Corsari de Umbar
Russian Умбарские пираты
Scottish Gaelic Spùinneadairean de Umbar
Spanish Corsarios de Umbar
Swedish Kaparna från Umbar
Thai คอร์แซร์แห่งอุมบาร์
Turkish Umbar Korsanları
Ukrainian Cyrillic Умбарські корсари
Vietnamese Cướp biển của Umbar
Yiddish קאָרסאַירס פון ומבאַר