• The Kings of Gondor

    Elendil and his sons Isildur and AnŠrion and the remnants of the Faithful departed Nύmenor before its destruction and were separated during the island kingdomís destruction, Elendil landing in the northwest near Lindon and his sons landed far south near the Faithful haven of Pelargir. Thus there were two kingdoms founded by the Exiles of Nύmenor; Arnor in the north by Elendil and Gondor in the south by Isildur and AnŠrion. Elendil was bestowed the titles High King of Gondor and Arnor and King of all the Dύnedain in Middle-earth. With them, the Faithful took many artifacts of Nύmenor to include the Ring of Baharir, the Palantiri which had been gifts of the Elves of Tol EressŽa and the fruit of Nimloth, the White Tree of Nύmenor.

    In Gondor, Isildur had built the city of Minas Ithil east of the Anduin and AnŠrion built the city of Minas Anor to the west of the river. They jointly ruled from the city of Osgiliath which, as the capital was situated between them and spanned over the river Anduin. Isildur planted the fruit of Nimloth in Minas Ithil and a palantir was placed in its tower as well as one in Minas Anor and in the Tower of the Moon which was overhead the Anduin in Osgiliath.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elendil
    Et Ešrello Endorenna utķlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta ~ Elendil in Quenya as he stepped forth onto the land of Middle-earth.

    Translated: Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth I have come. In this place I will abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the world.

    The same words were spoken by Aragorn at his coronation.
    Shortly after the kingdoms were established, Sauron having returned to Mordor, attacked Minas Ithil, driving Isildur out. Fleeing, Isildur left AnŠrion the Regent of Gondor and made haste to Arnor to seek the assistance of his father, the High King. Along with Gil-galad, the High King of the Noldor, they laid assault to the forces of Sauron, first in the Battle of Dagorlad and then the Siege of Barad-dύr which lasted seven years, and during which AnŠrion was slain. Many Elves and Men died during the Siege until Sauron came forth from Barad-dύr himself in battle. He fought Elendil and Gil-galad, who in the end defeated Sauron, but at the cost of their own lives. Isildur cut the ring from Sauronís hand, claiming it as tribute owed for the deaths of his father and brother. Isildur becomes the second High King of Gondor and Arnor.

    Appointing AnŠrionís son Melendil to be his Regent in Gondor, Isildur departed for Arnor, bringing his remaining sons and a small host toward the High Pass in the Misty Mountains, to Imladris where Isildurís wife and youngest son awaited him. They were overrun by a large host of Orcs. Isildur and his sons were all slain, only his servant Ohtar escaped on the order of Isildur, with the shards of Narsil, his fatherís broken sword. The ring was lost. Melendil assumed the title of King of Gondor independent from the High King of the Dύnedain, Isildurís son Valandil, who was still a child. The Gondorian text entitled Enquiry into the Place-names of Gondor was written by an anonymous author during the rule of Melendil. Melendil ruled from T.A. 2 until T.A. 158.

    The crown next went to Melendilís son Cemendur who ruled uneventfully during a time of relative peace until T.A. 238. The fifth King of Gondor was Cemendurís son Ešrendil, who was named after Ešrendil the Mariner. King Ešrendilís rule was during a time of peace and the only event of significance was the birth of Elrond Half-elvenís daughter Arwen, though of course that was little noted in Gondor itself. Ešrendil ruled until T.A. 324. Ešrendilís son Anardil was the seventh King of Gondor. Though his rule was generally a peaceful one, he is noted to be the last king that lived exclusively in Osgiliath. Anardil ruled until T.A. 411.

    Anardilís son Ostoher undertook a great construction, rebuilding and expanding the city of Minas Anor to include its citadel. After the construction was complete he took Minas Anor as his summer home which his line continued after his reign. In T.A. 490 Gondor was attacked by bands of wild men. Peace was not reached in his lifetime as he died before peace returned in T.A. 492.

    Ostoherís son Tarostar was the eighth king of Gondor. Tarostar lead Gondorís armies against the wild men that attacked from the east due to his fatherís age. Claiming victory eight years after he assumed the throne, Tarostar celebrated the victory by assuming the name Rόmendacil, which means East-victor. Rόmendacil I created the office of Steward of Gondor, which was charged with being councilors of the King and to set down the Traditions of Isildur onto sealed scrolls to be given to each new king before their crowning. Though he achieved victory against the wild men in T.A. 500, they renewed their attacks in T.A. 541, and Rόmendacil I was slain while riding out to meet the Easterlings in battle.

    Rόmendacilís son Turambar sought vengeance for his fatherís death. He not only destroyed the Easterlings that attacked Gondor, but also rode into the east and won lands for Gondor in the lands of Rhύn. Turambar ruled until T.A. 667. Turambarís son Atanatar ruled peacefully as the tenth King of Gondor until T.A. 748. Atanatarís son Siriondil ruled peacefully until T.A. 840.

    Siriondilís son, Tarannon was a great mariner and took the name Falastur, which means Lord of the Coasts upon his crowning. His wife and Queen, Berύthiel is described as nefarious, solitary and loveless was of Black Nύmenorian descent from Umbar. Tarannon built a great house atop the river Anduin in Pelargir, but Berύthiel refused to live there as it smelled of the sea. She instead lived in the Kings House of Osgiliath where it is said she had many cats which she used to spy upon the men of the kingdom. Tiring of her ways, he sat her in a great boat and cast her adrift into exile upon the sea, thus he died with no heir. His nephew, Ešrnil ascended the throne when Tarannon died in T.A. 913.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unfinished Tales
    She had nine black cats and one white, her slaves, with whom she conversed, or read their memories, setting them to discover all the dark secrets of Gondor, ... setting the white cat to spy upon the black, and tormenting them. No man in Gondor dared touch them; all were afraid of them, and cursed when they saw them pass.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1966 Interview
    Well, Berķthiel went back to live in the inland city, and went to the bad (or returned to it ó she was a Black Nķmenůrean in origin, I guess). She was one of these people who loathe cats, but cats will jump on them and follow them about ó you know how sometimes they pursue people who hate them? I have a friend like that. I'm afraid she took to torturing them for amusement, but she kept some and used them: trained them to go on evil errands by night, to spy on her enemies or terrify them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aragorn
    Gandolf is surer of finding the way home in a blind night than the cats of Queen Berķthiel.
    Ešrnil, the thirteenth King of Gondor continued with Tarannonís expansion of its maritime policies by constructing a great navy and rebuilding the ancient havens of Pelargir. In T.A. 933 he successfully captured Umbar. He was lost at sea in T.A. 936 and succeeded by his son Ciryandil. King Ciryandil followed his fatherís naval policies, spending much time defending the Havens of Umbar against Black Nύmenorian and the Haradrim. Ciryandil was slain in battle at Haradwaith defending Umbar in T.A. 1015.

    Ciryandilís son Ciryaher reorganized Gondorís armies and openly declared war on Harad in T.A. 1050 and defeated them. Afterward he takes the name Hyamendacil which means South-victor. The remainder of Hyamendacil rule was relatively peaceful and he died in T.A. 1149. Hyamendacilís son Atanatar was known as Atanatar II Alcarin (Glorious) ruled Gondor at the height of its strength, though he did little to maintain that power. The watches upon Mordor were neglected. His rule is noted as the beginning of the decline of the kingdom of Gondor. It should be also noted that Gandolf first visited Gondor during Atanatar II rule and it was then he earned the name IncŠnus from the Gondorians. Atanatar II died in T.A. 1226.

    The seventeenth King of Gondor, Narmacil I ruled for only fourteen years and then made his nephew Minalcar Regent of the Realm to reign in his place, furthering the decline of Gondor. Minalcar sailed out and defeated a large army of Easterlings in Rhύn earning the name Rόmendacil II. As Narmacil was heirless at his death, his brother and Minalcarís father Calmacil ascended the thron at the kingís death in T.A. 1294. Calmacil took the title of King when his brother died, but as he was already old by the time he ascended the throne, he left his son Minalcar to rule as Regent until his death in T.A. 1304. Minalcar took the throne as Rόmendacil II. He was responsible as Regent for the building of the Pillars of the Argonath above Nan Hithoel along the River Limlight, fortifying the western shore of the Anduin. He brought many of the northmen into his service, sending his son Valacar to live with their leader, Vidugavia, as the ambassador to Gondor in T.A. 1250. Rόmendacil II rule as King was peaceful and uneventful. He died in T.A. 1366.

    While Valacar was living among the Northmen, he married Vidumavi, Vidugaviaís daughter. There Valacarís son Vinitharya was born. In T.A. 1260 Valacar was recalled to Gondor, and with him he brought his family and a household of noblemen and women from the north. Valacar ascended the throne in T.A. 1366. The marriage of the Prince of Gondor to a common woman from the north did not sit well with many of the high men of Gondor. Vidugavia did not have the same long lifespan as the Nύmenorean descendants of Gondor and they believed this would diminish the house of the King. They also disliked the Northmen that came with Valacar, believing them to be of ďlesser raceĒ. This lead to rebellion and unrest in the southern fiefs near the end of Valacarís reign, which his son Vinitharya was forced to deal with, and which became known as the Kin-strife.

    Vinitharya was the twenty-first King of Gondor and went by the name Eldacar when he ascended to the throne in T.A. 1432. He showed no signs of a shorter life-span though that did not prevent the Kin-strife. Still the rebels came against him and laid siege to Osgiliath, causing the loss of the Palantir of Stone and forcing Eldacar to flee north to Rhovanion. Castimir, a distant relative of the king killed Ornendil, Eldacarís son and heir and claimed the throne for himself. After ten years in exile, Eldacar gathered to him the northern noblemen of his wifeís kin and those of the Dύnedain that were in the north and was also aided by loyalists in Gondor itself. At the Crossing of Erui,Eldacar avenged his sonís death by slaying Castimir and defeating his armies, though Castimirís sons fled to Pelargir and from there sailed to Umbar, where many of the enemies of Gondor fled. Eldacarís younger son Aldamir ascended the throne in T.A. 1490, when Eldacar died at 235 years. Apparently his lesser heritage did not reduce his life span.

    During Aldamirís rule, the Haradrim together with Umbar brought war upon Gondor yet again. Aldamir fell in battle against them in T.A. 1540. His son Vinyarion ascended the throne, calling himself Hyamendacil II after his victory over the Haradrim. Hyamendacil II died in T.A. 1621 and was succeeded by his son Minardil. In T.A. 1634 Minardil visited Pelargir. Spies for Umbar relayed his presence to the grandsons of Castimir who raided Pelargir where Minardil was slain and Pelargir was ravaged. The Kingís Stewart was Hύrin of Emyn Arnen, which House forever after was the Stewart of the King selected, and who was the ancestor of Denethor, Boromir and Faramir. Aldamir was succeeded by his eldest son Telemnar, who immediately began to build up Gondorís fleet to defeat the Havens of Umbar. This was halted by the Great Plague which came out of Mordor and devastated Gondor in T.A. 1636 as it spread throughout Middle-earth. The plague took the king and all of his children as well as a great many Gondorians and the White Tree. Osgiliath was destroyed and fell into ruin. Minardil was succeeded by his brother Miniastanís son Tarondor in T.A. 1636. Because of the ruin of Osgiliath, Tarondor moved the capital city of Gondor to Minas Anor where he planted seedlings of the White Tree in the citadel. As he was focusing on reordering the kingdom and due to the depopulation of Gondor through the plague, Gondorís watch on Mordor stopped. Tarondor died in T.A. 1798 when he was succeeded by his son Telumehtar.

    During Telumehtarís rule, the coasts were still under assault by ships sailing from Umbar. Tiring of this Telumehtar marshaled an assault and drove the Corsairs out of Umbar, which was captured for Gondor and the last descendants of Castimir killed. This led the king to add the epithet Umbardacil to his name, which means Victor over Umbar. The Havens of Umbar were held by Gondor for the rest of Telumehtarís reign, but were lost soon after. Telumehtar died in T.A. 1850. His son Narmacil II was the twenty-ninth King of Gondor. During his reign a group of Easterlings calling themselves the Wainriders appeared. They drove wagons and chariots into battle. Encouraged by the emissaries of Sauron, they began to assault Gondor. Narmacil gathered a huge army which included northmen from Rhovanion to fight the invaders, which became known as the Battle of the Plains. Narmacil was slain during the battle and Gondorís armies were defeated. The northmen in the east and south of Rhovanion were enslaved by the Wainriders and the borders of Gondor drew back to the Anduin.

    Narmacilís son Calimehtar ascended the throne upon his fatherís death in T.A. 1856. Messengers came from Marhwini of the northmen warning of Wainrider plans to raid Calenardhon across the Undeeps and that a slave revolt was being prepared of those enslaved after the Battle of the Plains and would erupt if the Wainriders went to war. Calimehtar mustered and lead an army north, ensuring the enemy knew of his movements. The Wainriders responded by sending a large force to meet the King, who veered away from them, leading the Wainriders away from their homes. The battle was in doubt for Gondor until the ťored of Marhwini and a host of Calimehtarís horsemen flanked the Wainriders. The joint victory of Calimehtar and Marhwini was overwhelming and Gondor had a respite from war for the next forty years.

    Calimehtarís son Ondoher ascended the throne upon his fatherís death in T.A. 1936. Ondoher sought to regain ties to the former kingdom of Arnor which had later been divided into three separate kingdoms. His daughter Firiel married Prince Arvedui of Arthedain as a sign of their renewed friendship. Though the kingdoms were tied with words, neither could aid the other when new evils beset upon each of them; Angmar in the north and the Wainriders in the south. Ondoher was aware of both the recovery of the Wainriders and from the Southrons of the Haradrim. He divided his armies, sending smaller Southern Army to Pelargir under Ešrnil, a descendant of King Telumehtar. Ondoher took command of the larger Northern Army himself, with Artamir his eldest son at his side. The Kingís youngest son Faramir was left behind so that an heir would still live. The Haradrim invaded from the south and the Wainriders from the east at the same time. The Wainriders were faster and met the Northern Army before they expected and unawares. The Northern Army was descimated before they had time to set up defensive dispositions. The King and his Guard were killed, along with Artamir, the Kingís son. Faramir meanwhile, had disguised himself as a northman and fought with the Eothťod of the North and was slain, leaving Gondor with no heir. Ešrnilís Southern Army had defeated the Haradrim in the south and was racing north to aid the Northern Army. When he arrived, the Wainriders were feasting in victory and easily defeated. With no apparent heir to the throne, Arvedui of Arthedain, who had married the Kingís daughter argued that he was the rightful Heir because he was directly descended from Isildur and because of Nύmenorean law the throne should be allowed to go to her. These claims were rejected by Steward Pelendur and the crown was granted instead to Ešrnil of the royal House of AnŠrion. It should be noted here that although they are distantly related through King Telumehtar, the line Aragorn descended from is through the line of Ondoher, not Ešrnil.

    Ešrnil ascended the throne in T.A. 1945 as Ešrnil II. He was a wise man and not arrogant. He sent a message to Arvedui of Arthedain stating: ďI do not forget the loyalty of Arnor, nor deny our kinship, nor wich that the realms of Elendil should be estranged. I will send you aid when you have need, so far as I am able.Ē It was many years before he was able to send aid to the north. In T.A. 1973 he received word that Arthedain was under attack from the Witch-king of Angmar. Ešrnil sent his son Ešrnur north with as large a fleet as he could spare, though by the time they reached Arthedain, the kingdom had been conquered and Arvedui had did. The forces of Gondor under Ešrnur combined with the forces of Cirdan met the host of Angmar and destroyed it, though the Witch-king escaped, embarrassing Ešrnur by making his horse flee with the Prince upon it. In T.A. 2000 the Nazgύl, now assembled led an army from Mordor and besieged Minas Ithil, taking the city two years later and renaming it Minas Morgul. Ešrnil II died in T.A. 2043 and his son Ešrnur took the throne.

    Ešrnur was the thirty-third and last King of Gondor. After his coronation the Witch-king challenged Ešrnur to single combat, remembering the Kingís disgrace in the north. The Kingís Steward, Mardil VoronwŽ persuaded the King to refuse. After seven years, the Witch-king renewed the challenge and this time Ešrnur accepted. Before departing, Ešrnur placed his crown in the lap of his father in the House of the Dead where it remained until Faramir, the Ruling Steward removed it for Aragorn Elessarís coronation a thousand years later. Ešrnur departed Gondor and will a small escort entered Minas Morgul and was never seen again.

    The Stewards took up the rule of Gondor in place of the King starting with Mardil VoronwŽ. The Stewards would rule until ďthe King returnsĒ because it was uncertain if Ešrnur had been killed or still lived and he left no heir.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Gondor and the heirs of AnŠrion
    Ešrnur was a man like his father in valour, but not in wisdom. He was a man of strong body and hot mood; but he would take no wife, for his only pleasure was in fighting, or in the exercise of arms.
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