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Old 07-24-2003, 12:54 PM   #1
Daisy Brambleburr
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Pipe A question about the Kings of Gondor

I have a question about Gondor and it's King.

I know that Aragorn is descended from a 'long line of Kings'. So I assume that his father was from the same bloodline, as was his grandfather and so on. So what I'd like to know is why they did not claim the throne earlier? Was there a reason why they waited so long and let the Stewards rule? (Sorry if I'm being stupid and missing it, but I've wondered about this for a while).

Thanks!
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Old 07-24-2003, 01:20 PM   #2
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They did. Arvedui had claimed the throne of Gondor 1000 years earlier, but his claim was rejected.
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Old 07-24-2003, 01:21 PM   #3
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The full story is in the Appendices to Return of the King, but I'll try to explain it as best I can.

As you know, with the original founding of Arnor and Gondor, the two lines of Elendil were split. Anarion's line ruled the South, and Isildur's line was supposed to rule the North, except, he (so very intelligently) managed to get himself killed along with his three eldest sons at the Gladden Fields. Thankfully, his youngest son, Valandil, was in Rivendell, so when he got old enough, he took up the throne. That went on, until the time of King Earendur, who had three sons. That was when Arnor got divided up into Arthedain, Rhudaur, and Cardolan.

For a while, things were nice and rosy. But the bloodlines of Rhudaur and Cardolan became intermingled with those of lesser Men, so after a while, it was only the line of Arthedain that had "true" Numenorean blood. The others got jealous, and along with the help of the Witch-king, drove out Arvedui, the Last King of Arnor. Arvedui fled north, but eventually died up there. His son didn't take up the Kingship, and instead, became the first Chieftain of the Dunedain. Earlier, with the ending of the line of Anarion in Gondor, Arvedui (who was married to Firiel, the princess of Gondor) claimed the throne, since he was her husband, and of the line of Isildur. But, the stodgy old gits in Gondor wouldn't let him, and made Earnil, the victorious general, King instead. Anyway, that line also ended. These Numenoreans just didn't have any luck.

And that was why the line of the North never really claimed the throne of Gondor. After the death of Earnur, son of Earnil, his steward Mardil became the first Ruling Steward, and that line went on until the King returned at the end of the War of the Ring, and it was Aragorn who was the first King of the Reunited Kingdom of Arnor and Gondor.
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Old 07-24-2003, 01:27 PM   #4
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Thankyou for explaining that to me Finwe. I will go and take a look in the appendices now.
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Old 07-24-2003, 01:50 PM   #5
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So what exactly are the Dunedain? And that means that every rightful king of Gondor has just been Chieftain ever since? And is that a come-down from king, or is it just as prestigious a title? Or if you are not of the line of kings, and you come to be Chieftain, is it a great honour, or not really worth shouting about?
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Old 07-26-2003, 02:08 PM   #6
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Finwe said:
Quote:
"As you know, with the original founding of Arnor and Gondor..."
Actually, anyone only familiar with the movie storyline will not know anything of Arnor.

Dúnedain is the Sindarian Elven word for 'Men of the West'(Dúne = west, Edain = fathers of men) and was the name given to the descendants of Elros half-elven, Elrond's brother who chose mortality, and those who went with him to the island of Numenor in the Second Age.

When the Downfall of Numenor came due to the corruption of the hearts of men on Numenor, the 'Faithful' under the leadership of Elendil, set sail for Middle Earth and were scattered by the tempest that destroyed Numenor, and they came ashore some in the Grey Havens in the North, and others in the Bay of Befalas in the south. The northern group formed the Kingdom of Arnor, Numenor-in-exile, and the southern group, which had more people, formed the Kingdom of Gondor, Numenor-in-exile. Sometimes a reference of 'the exiles' will be picked up in reading the Lord of the Rings books and this is what they are referring to, not that Arargorn is an exile from Gondor.

About the two kingdoms... Gondor had the military might but not the strength of the bloodline, for the seed of the division was sown early, when Elendil, King of Arnor, appionted his sons Isildur & Anárion as the joint-rulers of Gondor. The Argonath, the two great stone sculptures of Kings each side of the River Anduin (And shown beautifully in the movie) were the images of Isildur and Anárion, first Kings of Gondor.

After the Last Alliance of Elves & Men, and the war that overthrew Sauron (also beautifully shown in the opening of the movie Fellowshig of the Ring), Elendil was killed and also the younger son Anárion, and Isildur was rightfully the ruler of both Arnor and Gondor. During this time Isildur wrote the parchments about the One Ring which he took from Sauron's severed finger, and after a couple years, he gave over the Kingdom of Gondor to Meneldil, Anárion's son to rule and set out for Arnor with his three eldest sons, Elendur, Aratan, & Ciryon. After thirteen days of travel they were set upon by orcs in the Gladden Fields (skimmed over all too briefly and portrayed wrong in my opinion in Fellowship of the Ring movie, though the special edition DVD does cover Isildur's death better. For a true account of Isildur's death, read in the book 'Unfinished Tales' the account of the 'Disaster of the Gladden Fields'.) and Isildur and his sons were killed and the One Ring lost in the Anduin River. To Ohtar he committed the shards & sheath of Narsil to save by all means, and he and a companion evaded the orcs and were the only survivors of this battle save Elendur's esquire Estelmo. Ohtar successfully brought the sword to Imladris where Elrond received them as heirlooms of the line of Elendil & Isildur. For at Imladris also dwelt Isildur's wife and young son Valandil. So it is from Valandil that the line of Kingswas unbroken from Elendil to Aragorn, who re-united the two Kingdoms into one.

Of the dwindling of and demise of Arnor, there was much war upon them from the north and east, for the Witch-King, the chief nazgul, had made a forterss in the north at Carn Dûm, and the peoples of Arnor were few. As the years went, there first was the division of Arnor among the sons of King Eärendur into three kingdoms, Carladan, Rhuadur, and Arthedain. Rhuadur soon fell, and Carlodan (where the Barrow Downs are) was wiped out by illness and war, and only Arthedain remained. Later some years, Prince Arvedui of Arthedain wed Princess Fíriel, the daughter of King Ondohar of Gondor. A few years later, war came to Gondor and during the Battle of the Wainriders, King Ondohar and his sons Artamir & Faramir were slain. It was at this time that Arvedui claimed the crown of Gondor being the descendant of the unbroken bloodline of Isildur. But he was refused, being not of the line of Meneldil, Anárion's son whom Isildur committed the rule of Gondor. He then spoke of Elendil, and the Numenorean law that allowed for the crown and sceptre to go to the eldest surviving child, and his wife Fíriel was the only living descendent of King Ondohar (technically this would of made Fíriel the ruling queen of Gondor). There was no answer to his second claim, and the crown of Gondor was claimed by Eärnil, who was of the line of Arciryas, younger son of King Telumehtar, brother to Fíriel's great grandfather, King Narmacil II.

Arvedui never pressed his claim further, for there was trouble in the north, and in about thirty years, he found himself in battle with the Witch-King again, and he had not the might to hold him back. He called on Gondor for help, and it was sent, but too late to save Arthedain. Arvedui perished in the icy waters of Forchel when a Elven ship sent by Cirdan broke up on the ice. Arvedui's son Aranarth did not claim the title of King, but instead was called Chieftain of the Dúnedain of the North. Each eldest son of the bloodline of Isildur was in turn called Chieftain, with Aragorn the last to carry that title.


Whew.. I guess I got wordy and long-winded, but it was good to delve into the scrolls and parchments of the Great Library and I thank you all for this opportunity to refresh my mind on the lore of Middle Earth. There may be some inaccuracies in my writings above, but I hope they are not many...

Namarie,
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Old 08-02-2003, 12:23 AM   #7
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I have a question about all this. When Earnur died, then why didn't Aranarth take the throne of Gondor as the next King but left it to the Stewards instead?
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Old 08-02-2003, 05:40 AM   #8
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The elder son of King Arvedui of Arthedain, who would have become King himself in turn, if not for the destruction his father's Kingdom by the Witch-king of Angmar. When Aranarth was still a young man by the reckoning of his people, the Witch-king's armies swept into Arthedain and overran it. Fornost was taken, but the King and his son escaped. Arvedui fled into the north, but Aranarth, like most of his people, escaped westwards across the River Lhûn into Lindon.

At Aranarth's urging, Círdan sent a ship into the north to recover his father, but it never returned. It was later learned that the ship had rescued Arvedui, but had been lost with him aboard in the icy northern seas. So Aranarth inherited the leadership of the scattered and diminished northern Dúnedain, but he took the title Chieftain, rather than King, since his father's realm was lost.

The Dúnedain were to have their revenge soon after, though, with the arrival of the Gondorian prince and general Eärnur, the son and heir of Eärnil II. He sailed into Lindon, and then marched eastwards to rout the armies of Angmar. Of Aranarth's activities during this campaign we know nothing, but all available evidence suggests that he was in Lindon when Eärnur arrived there, and so it seems very likely that he marched with Eärnur's forces and saw the defeat of his ancient enemy with his own eyes.

Aranarth served as Chieftain of the Dúnedain for 131 years. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Arahael.
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:09 AM   #9
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...the King and his son escaped.
Actually the appendix says 'sons', so there were younger brothers of Aranarth. As to why Aranarth didn't just claim the throne of Gondor, well, he had even less strength than his father, and even less of a claim.
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:29 AM   #10
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This question has been eating away at me for a while:

Why didn't Arigorn take the throne after his father died?
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Old 08-13-2003, 01:08 PM   #11
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Why didn't Arigorn take the throne after his father died?
Because his father didn't take the throne either, and neither did his grandfather, or his great grandfather. It all goes back to the founding of Arnor and Gondor after the downfall of Numenor. Elendil, the king of Arnor and Gondor, had two sons, Isildur and Anarion. When Elendil was killed by Sauron, Isildur's descendants took over the North Kngdom, Arnor, while Anarion's descendants took over the South Kingdom, Gondor. After Arvedui, the last king of Arnor, died, there weren't enough people left in the North to be king of, so his son Aranarth was only the leader of the rangers and his title was passed down from generation to generation until Aragorn became the leader of the rangers. After Onodher, the last king of Gondor, died, Arvedui tried to claim the throne, but his claim was resisted because he was descended from Isildur, not Anarion. The throne was given to Earnil, a warrior who had recently won a battle against the orcs. After his son Earnur died without any children, his steward Mardil became the first Steward of Gondor. As you know, Aragorn was descended from Isildur and therefore his father, Arathorn, was not a king, just the leader of the rangers.

[ August 13, 2003: Message edited by: Meneltarmacil ]
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Old 08-13-2003, 09:23 PM   #12
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Also, Aragorn didn't make a claim for the throne of Gondor earlier because he knew it was at war with Mordor and he didn't want to weaken Gondor by creating another round of kinstrife. He only wanted to make a claim after the war with Sauron was finished, and he had made a large contribution to to victory of Gondor.
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Old 08-17-2003, 11:50 AM   #13
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in fact, for a long time Aragorn didn't want to be king at all. or at least, he was afraid that he wouldn't do a good job. i think that is mainly why there weren't more claims on the kningship of Gondor from the north. these people, for the most part, weren't power-hungry. they just wanted the best for thier people. they also had enough work to do looking after the people of thier shattered realm. Aragorn and his forebears became used to keeping the realm safe, but in obscurity. they were no longer used to weilding large amounts of power and controling many men. aragorn was used to wandering around doing what needed to be done quietly, and then moving on. this is probably why he was reluctant or afraid or unwilling to be king of Gondor.
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Old 08-17-2003, 03:55 PM   #14
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he had even less strength than his father, and even less of a claim.
Well, Aranarth certainly had more of a claim than the Stewards ever did, so why he didn't take the throne of Gondor after Earnur died is still a mystery to me.
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Old 08-17-2003, 04:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
this is probably why he was reluctant or afraid or unwilling to be king of Gondor.
On the contrary, Aragorn's becoming king of both Arnor and Gondor was a condition of his being allowed to marry Arwen. Elrond says to him in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings
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Many years of trial lie before you. You shall neither have wife, nor bind any woman to troth, until your time comes and you are found worthy of it.
Aragorn's entire life had been leading up to becoming the King, and he seems always to have been prepared for that position and ready to accept it. Only in the films is he portrayed as having doubts about ascending the throne.
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Old 08-18-2003, 03:30 PM   #16
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i still feel that there were times when Aragorn was uncertain of himself in the books. he seems to have done a fair amount of soul-searching on the matter. at least that was my interpretation of some of his actions in the book. while there were reasons to look forward to becoming king, there were also reasons to be uncertain. especially for an individual as responsibel as Aragorn.
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Old 08-18-2003, 06:56 PM   #17
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i still feel that there were times when Aragorn was uncertain of himself in the books.
True, ther were times in the book when he was uncertain of himself, but that uncertainty was of final victory, not of him wanting to become king. In the books he was extremely proud of his heritage and wanted to become king for many reasons, not least so he could marry Arwen.
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Old 08-27-2003, 03:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Well, Aranarth certainly had more of a claim than the Stewards ever did, so why he didn't take the throne of Gondor after Earnur died is still a mystery to me.
Again I say: The strength in the North and the Dúnedain was little in comparison to Gondor, even in their declining state. Also, note that Gondor went through a bloody civil war, called the Kin-strife, and the Stewards were not wishing to cause even more grief in the kingdom by just turning over the crown to one who wasn't even called King in the North, when they wouldn't turn it over to Arvedui, whom was a King in the North, and married to the daughter of King Ondoher who was the only surviving child of the King. In my opinion, the claim Arvedui was more valid than any of his descendantsd save Aragorn after he proved himself to the people of Gondor in battle. Making a claim of the crown, and actually being respected as King by the people are two different things, and was the chief problem when King Valacar grew old, having taken a wife from the Northmen (the whose descendants were the people of Rohan). At the death of Valacar, the son of Valacar and Vidumavi, Eldacar, was not recognized as King as there was rebellion in the southern provinces of Gondor, and there was civil war. After much bloodshed, Castamir, the captain of the ships, took the crown and Eldacar was driven into exile to the lands of his mother's kin. But Castamir cared not for Gondor save its harbors and fleet, and after 10 years, Eldacar came again south with a great army of Northmen. The people of Anórien, Ithilien, and Calenardhon flocked the the former King and there was battle in Lebennin at the Crossings of Euri. Eldacar slew Castamir, and Castamir's sons retreated upon their ships to Pelegir and there they withstood and contested with Gondor until the time of the Woar of the Ring and their overthrow by Aragorn and the Grey Company, and the Oathbreakers, the Army of the Dead whom Aragorn summoned at the Stone of Erech.

So, Aragorn in his claim to the Crown of Gondor, would not stand muster with Steward Denethor II, but did with Steward Faramir after the war and his battle victory over the Corsairs of Umbar, the longstanding enemy of Gondor.
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