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Old 03-23-2014, 05:25 AM   #41
Belegorn
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Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
Well, if the debate from the days of Ondoher's death is any guide, the decision would not be the Steward's alone, but the Council's. We don't know who else was on it, but certainly Imrahil, a potent voice and of course an Aragorn supporter.
I would think Faramir might be on that Council as well, I've got to check. I'm not sure if the Steward's had their heirs on the the Council or not, certainly I'd think the Lord of Dol Amroth would be there, and maybe even non-Dunedain from other provinces who were the Lords thereof.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:05 AM   #42
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It's like talking to a wall. I agree with Arvedui. I never said Gondor was right, I said that it was what they believed to be true and held to it. Which is why it did not matter that he brought up Elendil because they already told him the realm was relinquished to Meneldil. The fact remains, in Gondor his argument did not hold because they believed, "the crown and royalty of Gondor belongs soley to the heirs of Meneldil, son of Anárion, to whom Isildur RELINQUISHED this realm".
Read what actually happens. They don't reject Arvedui's second argument, but they just choose someone else.

You understand that as long as they have Elendil as the first king of Gondor then they cannot say it was relinquished to just to Meneldil's heirs. They know this and that's why they have no come back.

That's why Aragorn's claim is based on being the heir of Elendil.

'Do you wish for the House of Elendil to return to the Land of Gondor?'

'Already you have raised the banner of the Kings and displayed the banner of Elendil's House.'

There is a subtle difference and it is something the Council could never argue against.
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Old 03-23-2014, 02:17 PM   #43
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Read what actually happens. They don't reject Arvedui's second argument, but they just choose someone else.

You understand that as long as they have Elendil as the first king of Gondor then they cannot say it was relinquished to just to Meneldil's heirs. They know this and that's why they have no come back.

That's why Aragorn's claim is based on being the heir of Elendil.

'Do you wish for the House of Elendil to return to the Land of Gondor?'

'Already you have raised the banner of the Kings and displayed the banner of Elendil's House.'

There is a subtle difference and it is something the Council could never argue against.
Elendil's two sons are Isildur and Anárion. Isildur is the elder line. They are of the opinion, in Gondor, that the elder line gave up the South Kingdom "the crown and royalty of Gondor belongs soley to the heirs of Meneldil, son of Anárion, to whom Isildur RELINQUISHED this realm". If Isildur is the rightful King but relinquishes the royalty of Gondor, then to the nobles of Gondor, it falls on Anárion and his descendants in the South. Certainly they are not rejecting Elendil because in either case they are still choosing a direct descendent in the paternal line from Elendil, in this case from Anárion since they think the other line [Isildur's] "RELINQUISHED this realm". They gave no answer because they were not hearing him. They already gave him their reasons why he could not be King and he could invoke Elendil all he wanted, because to them, the rule had been relinquished to the descendants of Elendil's second son.

In note #10 to The Disaster of the Gladden Fields:

"Meneldil was the nephew of Isildur, son of Isildur's younger brother Anárion, slain in the siege of Barad-dûr. Isildur had established Meneldil as King of Gondor. He was a man of courtesy, but farseeing, and he did not reveal his thoughts. He was in fact well-pleased by the departure of Isildur and his sons, and hoped that affairs in the North would keep them long occupied."
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:58 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Belegorn View Post
Elendil's two sons are Isildur and Anárion. Isildur is the elder line. They are of the opinion, in Gondor, that the elder line gave up the South Kingdom "the crown and royalty of Gondor belongs soley to the heirs of Meneldil, son of Anárion, to whom Isildur RELINQUISHED this realm". If Isildur is the rightful King but relinquishes the royalty of Gondor, then to the nobles of Gondor, it falls on Anárion and his descendants in the South. Certainly they are not rejecting Elendil because in either case they are still choosing a direct descendent in the paternal line from Elendil, in this case from Anárion since they think the other line [Isildur's] "RELINQUISHED this realm". They gave no answer because they were not hearing him. They already gave him their reasons why he could not be King and he could invoke Elendil all he wanted, because to them, the rule had been relinquished to the descendants of Elendil's second son.
Which was well and good while other male-line descendents of Anárion still existed, namely Eärnil and his son Eärnur. But who is the next-in-line after them when, as the case happened, their line failed?

This is where the distinction between descendents of Elendil and descendents of Isildur becomes relevant--and, if I may interpolate, what cellurdur has been saying: that even if the Heirs of Isildur as the Heirs of Isildur were held to have relinquished the realm, they were still the next-in-line after all the male-line descendents of Anárion, because Isildur was Anárion's brother (which is but another way of saying he was Elendil's son).

In other words, Pelendur's council could make the claim in Arvedui's day that the claims of Isildur's line were irrelevant as long as male-line descendents of Anárion persisted, which they did at that time. Even with this precedent established, however, they did not address--nor, it seems, did they wish to address--the question of what would happen if Anárion's line became extinct, as happened two generations later. Regardless of Isildur's "abdication," the fact remains that both Isildur and Anárion were reckoned Kings of Gondor under Elendil and in virtue of being Elendil's son.

One might even say that the "dual kingship" of Isildur's day came to an end when he went north and did not leave one of his sons as co-king with Meneldil--but, to simplify things, let us imagine that Meneldil had died with no sons: who would have been the next King of Gondor? The "other claim" of having an heir of Isildur would still be null and void, but by virtue of Meneldil having no sons, his heir in this case would be his nephew, thus merging the crown back into the line of Isildur.

This is the distinction between "Heir of Isildur" and "Heir of Elendil." It is easy enough to believe that Denethor would not have accepted it, but it remains the basis of the claim Aragorn DID make, one that, given what happened, Faramir and his council did de facto accept.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:01 PM   #45
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Which was well and good while other male-line descendents of Anárion still existed, namely Eärnil and his son Eärnur. But who is the next-in-line after them when, as the case happened, their line failed?

This is where the distinction between descendents of Elendil and descendents of Isildur becomes relevant--and, if I may interpolate, what cellurdur has been saying: that even if the Heirs of Isildur as the Heirs of Isildur were held to have relinquished the realm, they were still the next-in-line after all the male-line descendents of Anárion, because Isildur was Anárion's brother (which is but another way of saying he was Elendil's son).

In other words, Pelendur's council could make the claim in Arvedui's day that the claims of Isildur's line were irrelevant as long as male-line descendents of Anárion persisted, which they did at that time. Even with this precedent established, however, they did not address--nor, it seems, did they wish to address--the question of what would happen if Anárion's line became extinct, as happened two generations later. Regardless of Isildur's "abdication," the fact remains that both Isildur and Anárion were reckoned Kings of Gondor under Elendil and in virtue of being Elendil's son.

One might even say that the "dual kingship" of Isildur's day came to an end when he went north and did not leave one of his sons as co-king with Meneldil--but, to simplify things, let us imagine that Meneldil had died with no sons: who would have been the next King of Gondor? The "other claim" of having an heir of Isildur would still be null and void, but by virtue of Meneldil having no sons, his heir in this case would be his nephew, thus merging the crown back into the line of Isildur.

This is the distinction between "Heir of Isildur" and "Heir of Elendil." It is easy enough to believe that Denethor would not have accepted it, but it remains the basis of the claim Aragorn DID make, one that, given what happened, Faramir and his council did de facto accept.
Thanks for putting forward the idea much better than I did.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:10 PM   #46
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Which was well and good while other male-line descendents of Anárion still existed, namely Eärnil and his son Eärnur. But who is the next-in-line after them when, as the case happened, their line failed?
That is a problem, also the one they made for themselves anyway in twisting the way things should have been to what they should not have been. The Kingdoms should have been united, the Dúnedain would be strong and not diminished. In-fighting in both kingdoms, especially in the North, crippled them. The Witch-king took advantage of them in the North, and constant assaults in the South as they waned resulted in loss of Dúnedain and of territory.

It makes sense from the point of greed that the ones in line who could not hold the throne found a way to get it while those who should have it are still alive. In the end, some Dúnedain still held fast to the belief that it did not matter, even if the line of the one died while the other was still alive, only the line of Meneldil would be accepted. As we see with Denethor who though knowing of the preservation of the one line and the extinction of the other, still held onto the rule.

"I am a Steward of the House of Anárion. I will not step down to be the dotard chamberlain of an upstart. Even were his claim proved to me, still he comes but of the line of Isildur. I will not bow to such a one, last of a ragged house long bereft of lordship and dignity." [RotK, ch. 7, p. 142]

Whether both lines were still intact the rule should not have been there, that the one line had renounced the crown of the South Kingdom, but as it was alas, it was. Denethor also seems to have channeled Meneldur in his holding onto the belief that extinct line or not with the other intact, it won't matter, only Meneldur's descendants will be allowed to hold the crown.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:20 PM   #47
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Thanks for putting forward the idea much better than I did.
I'm not sure he's actually echoing you. He claimed to be interpolating so that in itself would be a marker that he was not. You two are actually not saying the same thing.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:28 PM   #48
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I'm not sure he's actually echoing you. He claimed to be interpolating so that in itself would be a marker that he was not. You two are actually not saying the same thing.
Please explain to me the difference, because I cannot see what it is?
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:42 PM   #49
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I think we all have got the point and agreed with it. Therefore an argument on this tiny logical differences should be left over for personal messages.

On the matter. First of all, I cannot believe Aragorn would have waged a civil war. No way. In that case he, not Boromir, would've claimed the Ring. Secondly, he wouldn't necessary have made any claim right after the siege of Gondor to Denethor's utter surprise. Captains of the West could have marched on the Gates of Morannon even without Denethor's support: they did not need huge numbers.

Upon return to Gondor, Aragorn would have had an overwhelming support of the population and of the ruling elite. Denethor would have been unable to deny that Aragorn had made the thing he (Denethor) himself had failed to achieve.

Therefore, in the situation when Aragorn's
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lordship and dignity
was evident, the formalities could have been settled in the way that other respected Downers have already demonstrated. Think, that the Council would have voted unanimously, and Denethor would have abstained but would have passed the sceptre either to Aragorn or to his own sun for further decision. I believe that in that case Aragorn would have created him a Prince of Ithilien, while Faramir would have become a new Stewart and Denethor's heir. Such a honour could have pleased the old man and probably would have kept him from committing suicide.

I also believe, Denethor would not have made any treachery - he was above such things.

God, such much of the third conditional! Hope, I did it correct

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Old 03-23-2014, 08:13 PM   #50
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Eärnil II was elected king of Gondor because of his generalship, his control of the Gondorion army, his lineage, and, most importantly, the lack of a competitor with an army in the area. Arvedui could make counterclaims until he was blue in the face, but he was way up north in Arnor, powerless to stop Eärnil, and lacking any clout with the council.

The same can be said of Aragorn. If Denethor survived, there would be little he could do. Aragorn had control of the army, was victorious against Sauron, had a claim for the throne better than anyone in a millenium, and was highly respected by both Prince Imrahil and Faramir; whereas, Denethor, had he survived, could be charged with dereliction of duty and perhaps attempted murder and treason. From a cynical standpoint (and not at all in Aragorn's character), all that had to be done was to reveal that Aragorn was the great Thorongil returned, and Denethor would have been sent into retirement somewhere unpleasant, like in a hut overlooking a slag pit in the Morgul Vale.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:15 PM   #51
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I cannot see what it is?
I know.

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I cannot believe Aragorn would have waged a civil war
I agree. It would seem totally out of place in this context anyway even with the history between Aragorn and Denethor, I do not think it was so bad as to result in a Civil War. Denethor was passionate but he did care about Gondor.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:17 AM   #52
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The same can be said of Aragorn. If Denethor survived, there would be little he could do. Aragorn had control of the army, was victorious against Sauron, had a claim for the throne better than anyone in a millenium, and was highly respected by both Prince Imrahil and Faramir; whereas, Denethor, had he survived, could be charged with dereliction of duty and perhaps attempted murder and treason. From a cynical standpoint (and not at all in Aragorn's character), all that had to be done was to reveal that Aragorn was the great Thorongil returned, and Denethor would have been sent into retirement somewhere unpleasant, like in a hut overlooking a slag pit in the Morgul Vale.
Or combine both this and the other concept; make Denethor Lord of the now conquered Mordor lands, and task HIM with putting them back into shape on a sort of "You sort of helped to cause all this, now you fix it!" mentality. It probably isn't all that risky. However much Denethor hates Aragorn, he hated Modor even more, so concepts like him trying to become the new dark lord himself seems remote. Aragorn could even let him keep the Anor stone(he has the Orthanc stone, so he really doesn't need to keep two so close together) so that he can keep an eye on him. Let Denethor keep those troops that are loyal to him (presumably his personal guard) and see how he does.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:12 PM   #53
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Or combine both this and the other concept; make Denethor Lord of the now conquered Mordor lands, and task HIM with putting them back into shape on a sort of "You sort of helped to cause all this, now you fix it!" mentality. It probably isn't all that risky. However much Denethor hates Aragorn, he hated Modor even more, so concepts like him trying to become the new dark lord himself seems remote. Aragorn could even let him keep the Anor stone(he has the Orthanc stone, so he really doesn't need to keep two so close together) so that he can keep an eye on him. Let Denethor keep those troops that are loyal to him (presumably his personal guard) and see how he does.
Well, if Aragorn had really wanted Denethor to commit suicide, he would have done something like this.

Seriously, Denethor (in the book) does not deserve such accusations. He struggled to do his best, he fully prepared city to the fight. It was neither in his, nor in any other man's or elf's capacity to win the struggle.

And, in the end, he would have been too much exhausted to carry out a truly challenging duty. But he, in my opinion, deserved a nice retirement.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:33 PM   #54
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Aragorn's not going to force the people or the council of Gondor to accept him as king, but if the majority do then he is not going to turn it down, because Denethor dissents. If the majority of the nobles and people back Aragorn,and Dentheor tried to cause friction; I believe Aragorn would be fully prepared to put down Denethor and those that he roused to fight for him.
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:48 PM   #55
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White Tree What might have happened...

Tolkien looked at what might have happened if Denethor hadn't committed suicide, in an early draft of LotR:

By evening of 15th [in pencil > 14] in a bloodred sun victory is complete. All enemy is driven into or back over Anduin. Aragorn sets up his pavilion and standard outside gate, but will not enter city, yet. Denethor comes down to greet the victors. Théoden dies. He bids farewell to Gandalf, Aragorn, Éomer and Merry. Théoden and Éowyn laid for a time in the royal tombs.

Words of Aragorn and Denethor. Denethor will not yield Stewardship, yet: not until war is won or lost and all is made clear. He is cold and suspicious and ? mock-courteous. Aragorn grave and silent. But Denethor says that belike the Stewardship will run out anyway, since he seems like to lose both his sons. Faramir is sick of his wounds. If he dies then Gondor can take what new lord it likes. Aragorn says that he will not be 'taken', he will take, but asks to see Faramir. Faramir is brought out and Aragorn tends him all that night, and love springs between them. (History of Middle-earth: VIII. The War of the Ring, p. 360)
(My emphasis)

Unlike Faramir, Denethor would have insisted on all the legal forms being followed, as well as waiting to see how the war ends. If we assume that the Ring is destroyed and the war won, Aragorn would then formally petition Denethor for a meeting of the Council of Gondor, in order to present his claim to the kingship.

In terms of who was on the Council, I agree with what Belegorn said earlier:

I would think Faramir might be on that Council as well, I've got to check. I'm not sure if the Steward's had their heirs on the the Council or not, certainly I'd think the Lord of Dol Amroth would be there, and maybe even non-Dunedain from other provinces who were the Lords thereof.

Certainly, the 'Council of the Sceptre' the Council of Númenor, had the King's Heir (once proclaimed) as a member, in order to gain experience of ruling. I'm taking it that the Kings of Gondor made their heirs members of the Council of Gondor in a similar manner, and that the Ruling Stewards did this with their heirs. For example, the 'Tradition of Isildur', carried on by the kings, was continued by the stewards.

As well as Faramir, certainly the Prince of Dol Amroth would also be a member, and the relevant Lords who survived the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, or the acknowledged heirs of those who did not.

Let us assume that the Council, after hearing Aragorn make his case, unanimously vote in favour of recognising his claim to the kingship. It's then up to Denethor to decide whether he agrees with them.

If he refuses, then there is the issue of whether he would have any real support, risking a civil war. My opinion is that he would have no support; so instead of a civil war, Gondorians would simply refuse to obey his orders. Imrahil, even before Aragorn was king, said that he accepted him as his liege lord; and this would be even more so after he formally presented his legitimate claim.

I believe that Denethor, whether after the vote, or after finding that no one would obey him, would then have to accept Aragorn's claim. He could avoid doing so formally by resigning the stewardship in favour of Faramir, who would then formally acknowledge Aragorn's claim. He would then avoid being the steward of an 'upstart', assuming that he still felt that way.

If he is still steward, then the new king Elessar would certainly confirm him and his heirs in the possession of that office. If he decides to continue in that office, then I suggest that his relationship with his new king would be 'correct', but not intimate. Both of them would certainly be at odds in terms of how the peoples released from Sauron's rule should be treated, Denethor being in favour of a more vindictive policy. Relations with Faramir will be strained for that reason.

Despite all this, I'm sure that Elessar would offer great rewards to Denethor, including the title of Prince. If the latter felt that the new king was an 'upstart' he would refuse any rewards. On the other hand, he might accept them on behalf of his ancestors and of his son. Perhaps he asks that they be given to Faramir.

On a personal note, I'm assuming (romantic that I am!) that Faramir and Éowyn still fall in love and marry. Denethor would, I'm very sure, approve of the match, she being a worthy consort, both in her background and in her own abilities, for his son. Perhaps relations with Faramir improve with the birth of grandchildren. I can certainly see him shocking people by being the doting grandfather! Perhaps a grandchild later ends up defending his behaviour...

What do people think?
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:48 PM   #56
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I think you're a romantic.

I agree with you although I do think Denethor would do what is best for Gondor in any situation, his losing his mind aside.

"to him is no purpose higher in the world as it now stands than the good of Gondor; & the rule of Gondor, my lord, is mine and no other man's, unless the king should come again." [RotK, bk. 5 ch.1, p. 32]

I'm not quite sure how Denethor would feel about his son marrying a Rohirrim, although they are quite recently descended from nobles in Dol Amroth, and Éowyn's uncle did live in Gondor for a bit. I do think Denethor was a bit more old school and would not be quite taken with his son marrying someone not of high Númenórean descent. It seems he laments the decline of the High Men on Faramir's apparent deathbed, "my line too is ending, even the House of the Stewards has failed. Mean folk shall rule the last remnants of the Kings of Men." [RotK, bk. 5, ch. 4, p. 107]

Such members of the Council may include those who rode to Gondor;

"Forlong the Fat, the Lord of Lossarnach... a man of wide shoulders and huge girth, but old and grey-beareded, yet mail-clad and black-helmed and bearing a long heavy spear. Behing him marched proudly a dusty line of men... shorter and somewhat swarthier than any men that Pippen had yet seen in Gondor... men of Ringló Vale behind the son of their lord, Dervorin striding on foot... from the uplands of Morthond, the great Blackroot Vale, tall Duinhir with his sons, Duilin and Derufin, and five hundred bowmen. From the Anfalas, the Longstrand far away... scantily equipped save for the household of Golasgil their Lord... Hirluin the Fair of the Green Hills from Pinnath Gelin... last and proudest, Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the Lord... behind them seven hundreds of men at arms, tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired" [RotK, Bk. 5, ch1., p. 46]

Cirion did have his son with him along with the Prince of Dol Amroth and 2 Council members when he spoke with Eorl. I too was thinking of Númenor's council when I mentioned Faramir possibly being on Gondor's. In note #23 of Aldarion and Erendis it's said, "The Council was composed of members from each of the divisions of Númenor; but the King's heir when proclaimed was also a member, so that he might learn of the government of the land,".
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