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Old 04-20-2019, 11:58 AM   #1
William Cloud Hicklin
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Why Imrazor the Numenorean?

I mean, why was he any more Numenorean than any of his contemporaries in the Gondorian nobility? It's true that Dol Amroth's line was founded before the Exile--- but that was long centuries before the TA 1980s!
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Old 04-21-2019, 08:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
I mean, why was he any more Numenorean than any of his contemporaries in the Gondorian nobility? It's true that Dol Amroth's line was founded before the Exile--- but that was long centuries before the TA 1980s!
Why would the Mouth of Sauron be referred to as a Black Númenórean when that line could not feasibly still be in existence? One would think Tolkien would not allow an evil race defeated nearly two millennia earlier to still "run true", would he? I'm thinking it was for effect. What better way to aggrandize a mortal taken into service by the Dark Lord, even if the timeline does not work?

In Imrazôr's case, it was more genealogical propaganda than writer's effect, one would think. In medieval history, royal houses often associated themselves with a noble, sometimes mythical, progenitor for prestige's sake. I've seen some medieval genealogies that go beyond stretching the bounds of credulity.

Naturally, the founder of the House of Dol Amroth would be a lord of the line whom Elendil had granted entitlement as Prince of Belfalas. These were from a family of Númenóreans akin to the Lords of Andúnië, therefore perhaps distaff relations to Elendil and descended from the House of Elros.

And so, to strengthen that legendary bond to Elendil and the Lords of Andúnië, it may or may not be the case that Imrazôr was referred to as "the Númenórean" in his lifetime; but certainly many later generations found it politically expedient to refer to Imrazôr as such, just as it was wholly necessary from a propagandist standpoint to emphasize the legendary aspect of his marriage to the elf-maid Mithrellas, allegedly one of Nimrodel's Silvan companions. That the house was founded by half-elf children of a Númenórean sire gave Dol Amroth a prestige rivaling the later kings of Gondor, and overshadowing the lesser lineages of the Stewards.

I've always wondered if Legolas was just being polite when he told Prince Imrahil, "It is long since the people of Nimrodel left the woodlands of Lórien, and yet still one may see that not all sailed from Amroth's haven west over water." Did Legolas say that with an eye roll?
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:21 AM   #3
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According to Word of God, Legolas was tipped off, legitimately, by Imrahil's beardlessness (apparently a trait of all Elf-descended Men). Take that, Viggo-stubble!

----------------

Of interest, also, is Imrazor's aggressively Adunaic name, in a country where everyone else, as far as can be seen, had Sindarin names. Oddly, that would seem to align him symbolically with the King's Men, not the Faithful.
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:23 AM   #4
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Oddly, that would seem to align him symbolically with the King's Men, not the Faithful.
I suppose it might be comparable to the Men of Gondor building the monument in Umbar to Ar-Pharazôn's humbling of Sauron despite Pharazôn being the leader of the King's Men. If they were fine with that then perhaps using their old language was fine regardless of its historical political and spiritual connotations.
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Old 04-21-2019, 11:28 AM   #5
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Why would the Mouth of Sauron be referred to as a Black Númenórean when that line could not feasibly still be in existence? One would think Tolkien would not allow an evil race defeated nearly two millennia earlier to still "run true", would he? I'm thinking it was for effect. What better way to aggrandize a mortal taken into service by the Dark Lord, even if the timeline does not work?

In Imrazôr's case, it was more genealogical propaganda than writer's effect, one would think. In medieval history, royal houses often associated themselves with a noble, sometimes mythical, progenitor for prestige's sake. I've seen some medieval genealogies that go beyond stretching the bounds of credulity.

Naturally, the founder of the House of Dol Amroth would be a lord of the line whom Elendil had granted entitlement as Prince of Belfalas. These were from a family of Númenóreans akin to the Lords of Andúnië, therefore perhaps distaff relations to Elendil and descended from the House of Elros.

And so, to strengthen that legendary bond to Elendil and the Lords of Andúnië, it may or may not be the case that Imrazôr was referred to as "the Númenórean" in his lifetime; but certainly many later generations found it politically expedient to refer to Imrazôr as such, just as it was wholly necessary from a propagandist standpoint to emphasize the legendary aspect of his marriage to the elf-maid Mithrellas, allegedly one of Nimrodel's Silvan companions. That the house was founded by half-elf children of a Númenórean sire gave Dol Amroth a prestige rivaling the later kings of Gondor, and overshadowing the lesser lineages of the Stewards.

I've always wondered if Legolas was just being polite when he told Prince Imrahil, "It is long since the people of Nimrodel left the woodlands of Lórien, and yet still one may see that not all sailed from Amroth's haven west over water." Did Legolas say that with an eye roll?
Here's something interesting to me which might further illustrate the Imrazor question.

My mother's family came from the Yorkshire & Durham areas in the 1800s, and promptly settled in the hill country in Appalachia, where they remained until her mother and father (my grandparents) moved to Michigan. There, my mother met my father.

My mother took a DNA test recently, and came back with a result of 94% British/English, which (according to the company) is a higher percentage than the average Englishman or Englishwoman of today.

Her DNA/ancestry was hermetically sealed (I suppose that's a good enough analogy) in the valleys and hills of Appalachia for several generations, which produced her startling result.

Perhaps generations of living on Dol Amroth had a similar effect on Imrazor.
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:13 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
I mean, why was he any more Numenorean than any of his contemporaries in the Gondorian nobility? It's true that Dol Amroth's line was founded before the Exile--- but that was long centuries before the TA 1980s!
Is that Mithrellas with a union of elf and man an indication that somehow he was exceptional? Or does the converse apply? I've often wondered about what was at work when it was a union of the two races, and why it was always, in the first generation of them, that always a female of Elven race was with a male of the Second Born.

Though with Imrazor, not a very happy union, it seemed, and he seemed to have a controlling temperament, from memory. Makes me think of Maeglin and Eol, with the entrapping lair of the treehouse, and as such, perhaps it was the case that Imrazor was a captor of a vulnerable woman, of the First Born.

I'm not sure he was an exceptional Numenorean, therefore, if it is the case that you infer that, from the little we know about his temperament.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:57 AM   #7
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Perhaps generations of living on Dol Amroth had a similar effect on Imrazor.
This sounds all the more plausible in light of Tolkien's note (in UT): They were a family of the Faithful who had sailed from Númenor before the Downfall and had settled in the land of Belfalas, between the mouths of Ringló and Gilrain, with a stronghold upon the high promontory of Dol Amroth (named after the last King of Lórien). If Dol Amroth was a pre-Downfall settlement, it could reasonably claim to be 'more Numenorean' than Gondor proper, which was after all settled by Gondorian refugees. I can certainly imagine a certain amount of isolation - and, heck, why not occasional (during times of weak kings) interbreeding with the other pre-Downfall Numenorean state, Umbar? They're both maritime nations ("oh, pardon me, Your Majesty, I mean of course 'loyal subordinate princedoms of Gondor'"), so they had a fair amount in common, at least when they weren't actively killing each other.

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Is that Mithrellas with a union of elf and man an indication that somehow he was exceptional? Or does the converse apply? I've often wondered about what was at work when it was a union of the two races, and why it was always, in the first generation of them, that always a female of Elven race was with a male of the Second Born.
I vaguely recall a statement that the bodies of mortal women wouldn't actually be able to bear a half-elven child. I... have no idea where that came from, though.

There is, of course, the case of Aegnor and Andreth, where she was the mortal. Aegnor refused to wed her due to there being a war on (even if it was a cold war at that point), but there's no indication that there were more serious problems.

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Though with Imrazor, not a very happy union, it seemed, and he seemed to have a controlling temperament, from memory. Makes me think of Maeglin and Eol, with the entrapping lair of the treehouse, and as such, perhaps it was the case that Imrazor was a captor of a vulnerable woman, of the First Born.

I'm not sure he was an exceptional Numenorean, therefore, if it is the case that you infer that, from the little we know about his temperament.
And that... makes a worrying amount of sense. Mithrellas, along with Aredhel, is I think one of only two wives to actively run away from their husbands in Middle-earth (plus maybe Miriel, if 'I'd rather stay dead/oh, now you're dead I'll go back to living' counts). That says pretty terrible things about Imrazor, and the idea that she was pretty much a captive rings true.

Over in another thread you made mention of Gilmith, daughter of Imrazor, and that set me to thinking: did the children of Imrazor have the same Choice as Elrond, Elros, Arwen and her siblings? We know that Galador was mortal, but his sister could well not have been.

How is that Choice made, anyway? Indications from the canon seem to be that 'you get what you marry' - Arwen accepted mortality when she married Aragorn, Elros of course married a mortal, while Elrond and his sons apparently put off marrying for quite some time, and Celebrian was an elf. So could Gilmith have simply remained unwed, and attained immortality that way?

(Line of thinking partly inspired by the lovely image used for Gilmith on Tolkien Gateway, taken from Lady Elleth of deviantArt.)

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Old 05-02-2019, 11:39 AM   #8
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This sounds all the more plausible in light of Tolkien's note (in UT): They were a family of the Faithful who had sailed from Númenor before the Downfall and had settled in the land of Belfalas, between the mouths of Ringló and Gilrain, with a stronghold upon the high promontory of Dol Amroth (named after the last King of Lórien). If Dol Amroth was a pre-Downfall settlement, it could reasonably claim to be 'more Numenorean' than Gondor proper, which was after all settled by Gondorian refugees. I can certainly imagine a certain amount of isolation - and, heck, why not occasional (during times of weak kings) interbreeding with the other pre-Downfall Numenorean state, Umbar? They're both maritime nations ("oh, pardon me, Your Majesty, I mean of course 'loyal subordinate princedoms of Gondor'"), so they had a fair amount in common, at least when they weren't actively killing each other.



I vaguely recall a statement that the bodies of mortal women wouldn't actually be able to bear a half-elven child. I... have no idea where that came from, though.

There is, of course, the case of Aegnor and Andreth, where she was the mortal. Aegnor refused to wed her due to there being a war on (even if it was a cold war at that point), but there's no indication that there were more serious problems.



And that... makes a worrying amount of sense. Mithrellas, along with Aredhel, is I think one of only two wives to actively run away from their husbands in Middle-earth (plus maybe Miriel, if 'I'd rather stay dead/oh, now you're dead I'll go back to living' counts). That says pretty terrible things about Imrazor, and the idea that she was pretty much a captive rings true.

Over in another thread you made mention of Gilmith, daughter of Imrazor, and that set me to thinking: did the children of Imrazor have the same Choice as Elrond, Elros, Arwen and her siblings? We know that Galador was mortal, but his sister could well not have been.

How is that Choice made, anyway? Indications from the canon seem to be that 'you get what you marry' - Arwen accepted mortality when she married Aragorn, Elros of course married a mortal, while Elrond and his sons apparently put off marrying for quite some time, and Celebrian was an elf. So could Gilmith have simply remained unwed, and attained immortality that way?

(Line of thinking partly inspired by the lovely image used for Gilmith on Tolkien Gateway, taken from Lady Elleth of deviantArt.)

hS
I don't know what to make of the half elves not explicitly covered by Mandos's comments about Elwing, Earendil and cousins. I saw somewhere on another thread that these half-elves somehow were not covered by the Doom of Mandos as he spoke to the half-elven.

Perhaps someone can inform us.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:21 AM   #9
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I don't know what to make of the half elves not explicitly covered by Mandos's comments about Elwing, Earendil and cousins. I saw somewhere on another thread that these half-elves somehow were not covered by the Doom of Mandos as he spoke to the half-elven.

Perhaps someone can inform us.
Hmm. HoME V contains a slightly longer version of Manwe's judgement on Earendil and Elwing than is found in the Silm (emphasis mine):

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Then Manwe gave judgement and he said: 'To Earendel I remit the ban, and the peril that he took upon himself out of love for the Two Kindreds shall not fall on him; neither shall it fall upon Elwing who entered into peril for love of Earendel: save only in this: they shall not ever walk again among Elves or Men in the Outer Lands. Now all those who have the blood of mortal Men, in whatever part, great or small, are mortal, unless other doom be granted to them; but in this matter the power of doom is given to me. This is my decree: to Earendel and to Elwing and to their sons shall be given leave each to choose freely under which kindred they shall be judged.'
What's interesting is that Manwe explicitly states that any with mortal blood are mortal, unless he says otherwise. That means that Dior, Elured, and Elurin were fully mortal, and that Earendil and Elwing were mortal until they reached Valinor (which may explain the Numenorean idea that going to Valinor makes you immortal). Mithrellas' children would also be mortal.

But does this apply to the final Silm? I don't think its removal was a Christopher edit - I think it was a change made by Tolkien himself. But it could still just have been for conciseness... or to avoid any undue quibbles of 'then why did Arwen get to be mortal?'. Because the text as written is explicit: her father gets a choice, she doesn't. She'd either be an Elf (if 'under which kindred they shall be judged' indicates that they fully become that kindred) or mortal (if 'all those who have the blood of mortal Men' still covers her), but not get to choose between.

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Old 05-03-2019, 04:41 AM   #10
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Hmm. HoME V contains a slightly longer version of Manwe's judgement on Earendil and Elwing than is found in the Silm (emphasis mine):



What's interesting is that Manwe explicitly states that any with mortal blood are mortal, unless he says otherwise. That means that Dior, Elured, and Elurin were fully mortal, and that Earendil and Elwing were mortal until they reached Valinor (which may explain the Numenorean idea that going to Valinor makes you immortal). Mithrellas' children would also be mortal.

But does this apply to the final Silm? I don't think its removal was a Christopher edit - I think it was a change made by Tolkien himself. But it could still just have been for conciseness... or to avoid any undue quibbles of 'then why did Arwen get to be mortal?'. Because the text as written is explicit: her father gets a choice, she doesn't. She'd either be an Elf (if 'under which kindred they shall be judged' indicates that they fully become that kindred) or mortal (if 'all those who have the blood of mortal Men' still covers her), but not get to choose between.

hS
That's a fantastic quote. It's pretty clear, in actual conditions, and I'd be curious to hear from Morthoron about it. It seems, doesn't it, that the choice goes to a son. So, though I am wondering if that was because we had Elrond and Elros around by then?

In any case, it's interesting then that we have an exception, or some form of variation to the Decree. Perhaps, the Twins (did they die in the forest?) were, by prayer or ritual, in a Communion with Manwe going to get the same Choice as Arwen?

It's a great quotation, so I'm going to add the post you cited, into a summary thread.

Cheers
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:47 AM   #11
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AIUI, without looking, the final section of the published Silmarillion, from Earendil's arrival in Valinor on, was copied directly from the portion at the end of the Qenta which Tolkien (for reasons unknown) revised ca 1937. However, CT reworked this material fairly heavily, in part because certain clearly obsolete concepts like the Children of the Valar were still present, but also because things were stated explicitly which he wasn't sure hadn't been modified by the LR or later thinking-- such as the "one drop rule" for Men.
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Old 05-04-2019, 01:58 AM   #12
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AIUI, without looking, the final section of the published Silmarillion, from Earendil's arrival in Valinor on, was copied directly from the portion at the end of the Qenta which Tolkien (for reasons unknown) revised ca 1937. However, CT reworked this material fairly heavily, in part because certain clearly obsolete concepts like the Children of the Valar were still present, but also because things were stated explicitly which he wasn't sure hadn't been modified by the LR or later thinking-- such as the "one drop rule" for Men.
Can confirm this (I Have My Books With Me(TM)). So once again we run afoul of Tolkien's inability to write as far as the tale of Earendil.

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Old 05-04-2019, 03:33 AM   #13
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Can confirm this (I Have My Books With Me(TM)). So once again we run afoul of Tolkien's inability to write as far as the tale of Earendil.

hS
I suppose that the age (pardon pun) of materials at 1937 makes the shorter version of the Decree less gender bound.

But, as a niggling thought that keeps coming up, and contrasting The Hobbit's development alongside, (as an exemplar of how we write, in a non-linear temporal sense) we have materials clearly about the 1st age now, in the Professor's head, when he began LotR. The Hobbit's Rivendell full of Elves, must have been a haven for the First Born, in the author's head.

The point, then about the Decree of the Pereldar involves a collision of three major literary Canon matters: 1. his Silmarillion materials and lifelong love of First Age Heroism, a point about Unwin rejecting a manuscript, 2. The Hobbit, a "Bedside Story" and the matter of the Ring, as, it seems from Letters, 'no Evil Artefact', Rivendell, Elves, and 3. LotR's compilation, under pressure from Unwin to produce, after the Hobbit. The point goes to 'that which is implicit, not explicit' but clearly inferable or even Canon though absent from things written. Letters, for example, about the Hobbit, don't map onto when things about the mythology were encoded. The example generalises. For example, Ring Lore came later, if my memory cells recall right. Noteworthy, Glamdring and Orcrest somehow found their way to a Troll home, as noted by Elrond in the Hobbit. Were the swords the spoils of war from Rhudaur and Arnor? Or Fornost, or even from the Five Wars of the first age. It's a messy overlay on First Age heroism. The shortening of the wording of the Decree implies the Professor wanted to widen the pool of blood of Edain permitted in Eldar immortality.

Is there room, then, (the point going to that which the author left tacit, rather than explicit) to get a better theory, than just speculation, that might suggest the Elvish (c.f. human habitations, aka Dol Amroth) populations had quite a bit more Human bloodlines in them than we know? Are there Elves in the Westernesse who have bloodlines from the First Age, such as events like Elurid and Elurin? Did Gilmith the offspring of Mithrellas and Ivriniel die? Or did they make their way to Mithlond? There was transport that occurred between Mithlond and Edhellond and at the least we knew that.

It follows from extending meaning of the Decree to have room to infer 'descendants' after a date. As a birthtime forwards, rather than bound to nomenclature of surname, or parenting. For example, the 'first cousin of Elwing born 2000 years later who had a half-elvish offspring', as a point of conjecture.

I also interpreted the Choice of the Pereldar as becoming active, again, should for example Elladan and Elrohir have offspring with Elves. Such children are still the Descendants of Elros and Elrond. Doesn't the Decree empower the child, not the parent to define their Destiny, no small thing, given how Mandos houses Spirits. Isn't it a question about Spirit migration, and don't the Children of Illuvatar commune with the Valar during life?
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Old 05-04-2019, 04:41 AM   #14
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Of interest, also, is Imrazor's aggressively Adunaic name, in a country where everyone else, as far as can be seen, had Sindarin names. Oddly, that would seem to align him symbolically with the King's Men, not the Faithful.
I was going to say, maybe he was nicknamed "the Númenórean" as in "guy who won't shut up about his proud Númenórean heritage".
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:04 AM   #15
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I was going to say, maybe he was nicknamed "the Númenórean" as in "guy who won't shut up about his proud Númenórean heritage".
He wears a Lords of Andúnië football jersey on the weekends, and has the Númenórean banner on his front porch for Elendil Day.
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:08 AM   #16
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He wears a Lords of Andúnië football jersey on the weekends, and has the Númenórean banner on his front porch for Elendil Day.


Hello Morthoron, it's great to see you. Forgive the 'getting lengthy' and 'half-elfy' digression on this thread.

Back on topic, I don't understand how a 'Republican Red' jerkin on, as was well put, an 'aggressively Numenorean' male, ended up with an Elf. It's an oddly disturbing temperament, in a troubling Union.

Is anything else known about the fate of his wife?
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:24 PM   #17
Morthoron
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Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
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Originally Posted by Ivriniel View Post
Is anything else known about the fate of his wife?
Although not spot on to motifs employed in folklore where mortal men marry netherworldly maidens (selkies and mermaids, for instance, who escape marriage after retrieving their skins), in many cases the netherworldly wife often becomes disenchanted and leaves husband and child after a short time, never to be seen again (usually returning to Faery). Tolkien, known to borrow various folklorish motifs, seems to have engaged just such a retelling in this case. Elvish post-partum depression, perhaps.

Mithrellas meaning "grey leaf" indicates flightiness, capriciousness or variability in a certain sense.
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:00 AM   #18
Saurondil
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Originally Posted by Ivriniel View Post
Is that Mithrellas with a union of elf and man an indication that somehow he was exceptional? Or does the converse apply? I've often wondered about what was at work when it was a union of the two races, and why it was always, in the first generation of them, that always a female of Elven race was with a male of the Second Born.……
Perhaps because Elves were nobler in origin and powers than Men, so that such marriages “enhanced” the non-Elvish spouse ?

The female spouse in a trans-Racial union seems to help that union produce exceptional offspring:

Maia + Elf = Luthien
Elf + Man in Gondolin = Earendil
Elf + Man of Numenorean descent in Gondor = ? Likewise, presumably.
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