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Umbar was a Mannish realm to the far south of Gondor in Middle-earth, where the descendants of the King's Men lived, by the Third Age known for its sea-faring Corsairs. Its havens were built in the time of the Kings of Gondor.

The great cape and land-locked firth of Umbar south of the Bay of Belfalas formed a natural harbor of enclosing rock, but the "great fortress of Númenor" located within it was not built until SA 2280. It was only by this time that Sauron had dared to threaten Númenor;

..the strength of his terror and mastery over men had grown exceedingly great, he began to assail the strong places of the Númenóreans upon the shores of the sea.
(from the 'Akallabêth', in The Silmarillion)


Like the earlier New Haven in Enedwaith, and the later Pelargir on the Anduin, Umbar became a base from which Númenórean influence spread over Middle-earth. It was at Umbar that the last King of Númenor, Ar-Pharazôn the Golden, landed in SA 3261, to challenge Sauron:

The fleet came at last to that place that was called Umbar, where was a mighty haven that no hand had wrought. Empty and silent under a sickle moon was the land when the King of the Sea set foot upon the shore. For seven days he journeyed with banner and trumpet. Then he sent forth heralds, and he commanded Sauron to come before him and swear to him fealty.
(from the 'Akallabêth')

After the Downfall of Númenor 58 years later[1], Umbar remained in the hands of the Númenóreans, in essence a Realm in Exile alongside Arnor and Gondor. But unlike these others, Umbar had been used by the 'King's Men', who had turned to the worship of Melkor in the last days of Númenor. These 'King's Men' were not friendly to the Elves or to their fellow Númenórean survivors who were allied to the Elves, and became known as Black Númenóreans.

Two Black Númenórean lords known as Herumor and Fuinur, probably from Umbar rose to power at the end of Second Age they became very powerful amongst the Haradrim, a neighbouring people of whom they were allied. Their fate is unknown, but they likely shared Sauron's defeat at the hands of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.

The rulers of Umbar retained much influence over the Haradwaith well into the Third Age. When not part of Gondor, its system of government was likely tyrannical.

Gondor's power, however, eclipsed that of Umbar as the Third Age progressed, and in TA 933 Gondor's King Eärnil I captured Umbar in a surprise attack, although this was "at great cost."

For the following 500 years, Umbar was an important city of Gondor: not only a major seaport, but as the site of the submission of Sauron to Ar-Pharazôn, and so served as a proud reminder of the might of the Dúnedain of old:

on the highest hill of the headland above the Haven they (…) set a great white pillar as a monument. It was crowned with a globe of crystal that took the rays of the Sun and of the Moon and shone like a bright star that could be seen in clear weather even on the coasts of Gondor or far out upon the western sea.
('The Heirs of Elendil' from The Peoples of Middle-earth)

Umbar's Golden Age

Many Black Númenóreans had fled Umbar from the assault of TA 933, to their subjects in Near Harad, but 82 years later, in a vain attempt to recapture it, they came up with great power against the stronghold. Despite killing King Ciryandil this 'great power' availed the Men of Harad little however, for despite investing and besieging the city of Umbar for 35 years, they failed to take it, its supply being easily maintained "because of the sea-power of Gondor". In TA 1050, the late King Ciryandil's son Ciryaher defeated the Haradrim force by sending troops by land, crossing the Harnen, and by sea. All land south of Belfalas up to Harnen and the borders of Near Harad and coast-lands up to Umbar belonged to Gondor.

"The Men of the Harad, led by the lords that had been driven from Umbar, came up with great power against that stronghold came down from the north by sea and by land, and crossing the river Harnen his armies utterly defeated the men of Harad.."
('Annals of the Kings and Rulers' from Appendix A to "The Lord of the Rings")

Gondor's possession of Umbar came to an abrupt end In TA 1448, but not at the hands of an external foe. Following the disastrous Kin-strife, the sons of Castamir the Usurper arrived there with many men and most of the fleet of Gondor.

There they made a refuge for all the enemies of the king, and a lordship independent of his crown. Umbar remained at war with Gondor for many lives of men...'
('Appendix A' ~ The Lord of the Rings)

The Corsairs of Umbar would become a major, unique threat to Gondor

These men became known as the "Corsairs of Umbar", and within two centuries became a major threat to Gondor. In TA 1634 Castamir's great-grandsons Angamaitë and Sangahyando raided Pelargir from Umbar, killing King Minardil, but Gondor could not retaliate as it was ravaged by the Great Plague. Vengeance, if not swift, was certainly devastating: 176 years after Minardil's death, his great-grand nephew succeeded in recapturing Umbar, ending the line of Castamir and taking the name Umbardacil. However, the new evils that soon befell Gondor Umbar was again lost, and fell into the hands of the Men of Harad.
('Annals of the Kings and Rulers' from Appendix A to The Lord of the Rings)

Throughout the rest of the Third Age, Umbar was home a new generation of 'Corsairs of Umbar', who were closely related to the Haradrim, if not even merely Haradrim themselves. These new Corsairs were cruel slavers who often raided the coasts of Belfalas and Anfalas in Gondor: in TA 2746 for example, Amrothos, the 15th Prince of Dol Amroth fell defending Dor-en-Ernil against them.

In TA 2758 Umbar joined a massive coordinated attack with the Men of Harad and even of Dunland, against Gondor and the new realm of Rohan:

Three great fleets, long prepared, came up from Umbar and the Harad, and assailed the coasts of Gondor in great force; and the enemy made many landings, even as far north as the mouth of the Isen.
('Annals of the Kings and Rulers' from Appendix A to The Lord of the Rings)[2]

In TA 2885 Umbar supported the Haradrim who claimed Harondor, although this had long "been a debatable land between the Corsairs and the Kings", and when Sauron declared himself openly in TA 2951, Umbar declared its allegiance to him, and the great monument commemorating Ar-Pharazôn's triumph at Umbar was thrown down.

Umbar's fleet was largely destroyed 29 years later, when Thorongil (Aragorn, as it later turned out) in the service of the Steward of Gondor Ecthelion II led a taskforce south and burned the ships and docks, killing the Captain of the Haven in the process.

During the War of the Ring, Umbar had not fully recovered from this, but could still send 50 'great ships' and smaller vessels "beyond count", to raid the coast-lands of Gondor and draw off major forces from the defence of Minas Tirith. They were once again defeated by Aragorn, and the Army of the Dead. With the Fall of Barad-dûr, Umbar, weakened and defeated, finally lost its sovereignty and submitted to the crown of King Elessar.

Umbar appeared on the bottom edge of the maps found in earlier editions of The Lord of the Rings, but it is absent from modern editions, which map a slightly smaller area of Middle-earth.


Umbar is a Quenya word meaning 'fate-'.


Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ዑምባር
Arabic أومبار
Armenian ՈՒմբար
Belarusian Cyrillic Умбар
Bengali উম্বার
Bulgarian Cyrillic Умбар
Burmese အမ်းဘား
Chinese (Hong Kong) 昂巴
Danish Umbar (by og havn)
Georgian უმბარი
Greek Ούμπαρ
Gujarati ઉમ્બર
Hebrew אומבאר
Hindi उंबर
Japanese ウンバール
Kannada ಉಂಬಾರ್
Kazakh Ұмбар (Cyrillic) Umbar (Latin)
Korean 움바르
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Умбар
Macedonian Cyrillic Умбар
Marathi उंबार
Mongolian Cyrillic Умбар
Nepalese ऊम्बर
Pashto ومبار
Persian اومبار
Punjabi ਊਮ੍ਬਰ
Russian Умбар
Sanskrit ऊम्बर्
Serbian Умбар (Cyrillic) Umbar (Latin)
Sinhalese ඌඹර්
Tajik Cyrillic Умбар
Tamil உம்பர்
Thai อุมบาร
Telugu ఉమ్బర్
Ukrainian Cyrillic Умбар
Urdu ومبار
Uzbek Умбар (Cyrillic) Umbar (Latin)
Yiddish ומבאַר
Places of Middle-earth and Arda

Middle-earth Locations:


Dunland | Ithilien | Rohan | Arnor | Ettenmoors | Gondor | Lindon | Minhiriath | Rhûn | The Shire | Mordor | Harad | Forochel

Forests & Mountains:

Amon Dîn | Amon Hen | Amon Lhaw | Caradhras | Emyn Muil | Erebor | Fangorn Forest | High Pass | Iron Hills | Lórien | Mirkwood | Mount Doom | Old Forest | Tower Hills | Weather Hills


Angband | Barad-dûr | Bree | Caras Galadhon | Dol Guldur | Fornost | Hornburg | Isengard | Minas Morgul | Minas Tirith | Orthanc | Osgiliath | Rivendell | Umbar | Utumno


Cair Andros | Gap of Rohan | Grey Havens | Buckland | Enedwaith | Dagorlad | Dead Marshes | Fords of Isen | Weathertop | Argonath

The rest of Arda:

Númenor | Dark Land | Aman | Valinor | Tol Eressëa


  1. The Silmarillion, Akallabêth (The Downfall of Númenor)
  2. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers, I: The Númenórean Kings, (iv): "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"