The Ships of the Faithful

Media: Gouache on illustration board

First appeared in the illustrated edition of The Silmarillion, and The Silmarillion Poster Collection, published by HarperCollins in 1998.

Used on the cover of some editions of The Silmarillion.

The sea is once again the focus in the dramatic apocalypse vision of The Ships of the Faithful, where the remnant of Numenorean nobility desperately try to escape the destruction of their once great island. The white light on the ships identifies them as sanctified and protected in the midst of chaos, and we see Sauron’s dark temple on the island beyond, the symbol of the fateful rebellion which has resulted in this outpouring of divine wrath.

“Nine ships there were: four for Elendil, and for Isildur three, and for Anarion two; and they fled before the black gale out the twilight of doom into the darkness of the world. And the deeps rose beneath them in towering anger, and waves like onto mountains moving with great caps of writhlen snow bore them up amid the wreckage of the clouds.”
— The Silmarillion

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