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Old 10-14-2005, 11:21 AM   #1
Lord Melkor
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Aragorn's Reunited Empire: Just a paper dream?

While glossing over the maps in the Atlas of Middle-Earth for the umpteenth time I started wondering how Aragorn's so-called 'Reunited Kingdom' would be able to extend it's influence over all it's former lands. It is a known fact that Gondor at the time of Aragorn's ascenscion was at the lowpoint of it's existence. Osgiliath was in ruins, Minas Tirith was woefully underpopulated and while things were better in the western fiefs it was obvious that Gondor had experienced a steady decline in population numbers for the last hundreds of years. Things were even worse in the lands of the former Kingdom of Arnor, with the only center of civilization being the Shire and Breeland.

Realizing this I wondered how in Eru's name Aragorn is ever going to exert his control over all the lands that used to belong to Gondor? He simply does not have the manpower, both militarily or civilian to be able to exert his influence over all of Eriador, much less disputed territories such as Umbar and Dorwinion. While he'll probably be able to exert his influence over the Shire by using his proxies (aka Sam, Merry and Pippin) I wonder how the Breelanders will respond to his rule when he starts sending his tax collectors north. I doubt they'll like some distant king meddling in their affairs, despite all his claims about being fond of their beer.

The same will go for the Dunlendings. Even in Gondor's heydays Dunland was only nominally a part of the Kingdom, with the Dunlendings not paying much attention to the King and the King not paying much attention to them. Still, as long as they don't rebel I suppose Aragorn could claim to 'rule' over them, though I think any purebred Dunlending will snort loudly at such a suggestion.

Things will not be as cozy in Umbar and Dorwinion though. Despite the loss of their fleet the Corsairs still hold the city of Umbar and I doubt they will be willing to part with it. This means a military expedition to take the city will be required. After all, Aragorn's 'Reunited Kingdom' claims all the lands of Gondor and Arnor at their peak. Though Gondor's severely weakened army maybe be able to overcome the equally weakened Corsairs and retake the city I sincerely doubt their chances of keeping it. It is only a matter of time before the Haradrim recover from their defeat on the Fields of Pelennor and decide to start their assaults on Gondor again. Remember, Gondor's population still is but a shadow of it's former self. I sincerely doubt Aragorn will be able to wage a succesful protracted war against the more numerous Haradrim AND be able to extend his influence all over his Reunited Kingdom.

The same goes for Dorwinion, which is basically exposed to constant assaults from Rhun. Even in Gondor's days of military might they had trouble holding on to their lands in the East, I sincerely doubt they will be able to hold it now, despite Aragorn's abilities as a general.

Finally I will comment on the ludicrously long and overexposed borders of Aragorn's Kingdom. It basically looks like a set of blobs connected by narrow isthmuses of land. How he will be able to defend all of it from Orcs/Easterlings/Haradrim/secessionist Hobbits/whatever is simply beyond me. The fact that most of these lands are partically uninhabited with no infrastructure to speak of makes Aragorn's claims to rule all of it even more laughable. Any fool of a king can claim that some barren piece of wasteland belongs to his kingdom. Not only that, his Northern lands will be hundreds of miles removed from Minas Tirith and Aragorn's seat of power. This will mean that the freespirited peoples of Eriador will be even less likely to listen to the edicts of a distant king. Once again it seems that Aragorn's claims to rule this lands will exist on paper only.

In conclusion: Aragorn's so-called ' Reunited Kingdom' exists only on paper. Gondor simply does not have the required population and military manpower to even remotely exert it's influence over all the lands claimed by Aragorn. It's supposed borders are long and overstretched and it's highly doubtful that Aragorn will be able to ptoperly defend his lands from an assault by any strong military power. Though he will be able to keep up the illusion of his Kingdom in times of peace, there is no doubt in my mind that it will be only matter of time before it collapses from it's inherent weaknesses.
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Old 10-14-2005, 11:26 AM   #2
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Gah, I realized I posted this in the movie forum. Perhaps a kind mod could move this to the Books forums?

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Old 10-14-2005, 03:46 PM   #3
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Interesting thoughts, but I think if we look at what Aragorn does, it's not all up to Gondor. What I mean is, maybe Gondor alone doesn't have the manpower to run such a vast kingdom, but look at what Aragorn does to sort of counter this.

He creates a great relationship with the new King of Rohan, Eomer, as well as making peace with the Haradrim and Men from the East, sparing them and having them come to peace in Gondor.

Also, the dwarves come in and make Minas Tirith all shiny and beautiful again, Legolas and the Elves tidy up Ithilien. So, I agree that Gondor alone doesn't have the strength to run the entire Kingdom, but what he does is create close ties, and makes peace with others, to sort of counter this.
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Old 10-14-2005, 05:03 PM   #4
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While I agree that Elessar's empire is more polite fiction than reality, in its defense I have seen people offer the theory that there would have been something of a baby boom in Gondor in the years after the War of the Ring. This would provide more warm bodies to fill the army, have a civilization, and perhaps create enough people to have some sort of migrations to the north.

Also, the Reunited Kingdom was fairly secure from outside attack. At that point in time there were not any people in a position to challenge it. The elves were leaving and didn't care any more. The dwarves were dwindling, withdrawing into their mountains, and didn't care anymore. The orcs no longer existed as rational creatures. The Easterlings and Haradrim had had their fighting strength pretty severely mauled by the War. There was always the possibility of a new vigorous people coming out of the East, but we know that did not happen in Elessar's lifetime (at least not to a significant extent).

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that exercising authority in all the widely scattered areas would be the biggest short-term (and from what we know I think we can define "short-term" as Elessar's lifetime) problem, particularly in places like Umbar where there would have been greater capacity to resist.

On the whole, I agree that the Reunited Kingdom was not all it was cracked up to be. I expect that Eldarion had some pretty severe problems to cope with during his reign. It is a pity we are given the barest glimpse of them.
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Old 10-14-2005, 05:47 PM   #5
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I my self are a firm beliver in the "baby boom" theory. If the elves led by Legolas settled in Ithilien, the dwarves in Aglarond and a close alliance with Rohan. Gondor would not be threatent by any power.

With his new power from the Baby boom he could easely take the north kingdom, but it would ofcourse not be a "real" kingdom. Even with a significant imigration Arnor would still be low populatet. I do not se the people from bree as a problem, they would quickly submit to the king. (debate maybe, but no fighting) The Dunlendings would be overthrown with the help of Rohan.

The real problems would be the ones frome south and east, but I belive they could at least be passified.

(I hope I have formulatet me good enough)
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Old 10-15-2005, 07:46 AM   #6
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I suspect that the majority of the Haradrim were destroyed because Sauron chose to utilize as many of them as possible in the War of the Ring. After all, he didn't care about protecting the realm of Harad in the aftermath; all he wanted to do was crush Gondor as swiftly as possible.

Middle-earth would have been an empty place in the 4th Age.
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Old 10-15-2005, 01:33 PM   #7
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The 'baby boom' effect does appear plausible, especially since Sauron's noxious emanantions from Mount Doom, which I always reckoned included fertility-depressing chemicals, had now ceased.

It is noted in the appendices that Aragorn and Eomer often fought side by side on the fields of the South and East during the early Fourth Age, so I guess not all the Easterlings and Haradrim were so fond of the (ahem) 'Regime Change'. Also,might one wonder at the loyalties of the ex-slaves of Mordor who were given the land around Lake Nurnen?

Otherwise Middle Earth was mostly empty or friendly, which could well have allowed a massive expansion in both population and settled territory during Aragorn's reign. After all it didn't take the USA so very long to expand across a continent.
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Old 10-15-2005, 05:09 PM   #8
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I'm not entirely sure that Aragorn's new kingdom exists "on paper alone," but I would like to point out that it seems obvious that it is headed for great change, the dissolution of memories and tales, a modernization of sorts, perhaps.

Otherwise, why is Queen Arwen completely forgotten?

I feel that the quote "...and all the days of her life are utterly forgotten by men that come after..." hints at an erosion of past values and traditions in the kingdom, which makes sense politically.
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Old 10-16-2005, 01:51 AM   #9
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I feel that an almost more interesting question would be: how did Elessar's Empire decline and decay?

As it stands at the end of the book, Elessar is pretty uncontested, especially thanks to his local alliances; in the area of Gondor, Rohan, Aglarond, and Ithilien are all ruled and/or settled by personal friends; further north Greenwood, Dale and Erebor are unlikely to cause trouble; and in the area of Arnor, Celeborn still holds Imladris and the Dunedain are at Aragorn's command, with their fortress of the Angle.

The questions I would like to ask would be, for instance, how soon would it take for Arnor and Gondor to split into two kingdoms again? It's clearly impracticable to rule both, especially as the population increases. Once Elessar's line is split, so the loyalties of Elessar's historic allies would split, and North/South conflict might be possible.

If Florence is truly the site of Minas Tirith, then Gondor must have been wracked by civil war indeed to become anything like fractious Italy...

Also, would the Principality of Ithilien eventually become independent in practice? Likewise the Principality of Dol Amroth. Would a future ruler of Gondor endeavour to assert claims over Rohan? Would Rohan be content to remain a vassal? Etc etc.

As for the Haradrim, they can't be anything like wiped out. Harad isn't really a realm, it's anything South and unknown. But they're probably occupied with their own affairs after so heavy a defeat, at will be Easterlings and Khandings, for the moment...enabling Elessar to take the offensive. Will he make the same mistakes as earlier Gondorian rulers of the South did? I do hope so!
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Old 10-16-2005, 09:37 PM   #10
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I am in total favor of the baby boom theory; in fact, I've held it for a long time while not calling it by that name. After all, as others have pointed out, Gondor had many allies and few enemies after WotR, and duh, Sauron's gone, which certainly helps.

I think there is evidence of this in the book. After all, it says something along the lines of, Minas Tirith became greater and more beautiful than it had ever been, even in the days of Elendil. So obviously there must have been a boom of some kind. Probably, a grace period granted by the Valar, an echo of Numenor in the Second Age.
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Old 10-17-2005, 05:09 AM   #11
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We know that the population of The Shire increased rapidly after the War. leading to its expansion westwards into the Tower Hills. There's no reason to think that the same thing would not happen in the rest of Middle Earth.

Within Aragorn's lifetime, Gondor could recover much of its former strength. I don't think that the Kingdoms in the East would be much of a treat to Gondor. Many of their leaders died in the War, the people would no longer have a common purpose, there would be power struggles between new aspiring leaders and it would be a very long time before any one leader could become stong enough to command great armies. Without Sauron's promptings, would they have any incentive to risk another western adventure?

The powerbase for Aragon and his line in the Southern Kingdom would be secure for many generations.

Is the United Kingdom of Gondor and Eriador just a paper dream? No.
There hasn't been a central government in the North for a thousand years but the idea of the Kingdom has remained alive in the hearts and minds of the Dunadain in their hidden valleys, in the tales the Hobbits in The Shire and even among the people of Bree. With the onset of peace and a rapidly increasing populaton, these groups, together with other smaller settlements of hobbits and men that Tolkien only hinted at, could be pulled together into a Kingdom, further strengthened by immigrants from Gondor.

How long would the United Kingdom last? Not for ever.
After the War of the Last Alliance there was a time of peace and expansion but, because of the distance between the two, there was a need for sepparate administrations in Gondor and Eriador . Gradually, the links between the North and the South disolved, not through the actions of external forces but simply because of the difficulties of communication. The same thing would happen again.

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Old 10-17-2005, 09:52 AM   #12
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Some comments from above
=====================

"The orcs no longer existed as rational creatures."
------------------------
Is there some "canon" stating this. Since the orcs (derived from corrupted elves and/or men) were rational creatures, why would they no longer exist. After all,
they survived past decimations, from the First through the Third Ages.

Also, while it's a grey area, I don't think Rohan can be considered a
vassal state, but more an equal ally (see Aragorn's comments to Eomer after his coronation).

Another strength to Gondor in the Third Age would be a reoccupied Moria.
And indications in LOTR are that at least South Gondor was fairly heavily
populated before and during the War of the Ring. Faramir might have had
his hands full moderating a land rush into Ithilien (imagine the adjudications
over claims to ancestors lands abandoned earlier versus squattors in the land).

If Karen V's Atlas of Middle-earth is accurate, there would be significant lands (and presumably peoples) for disgruntled Easterlings to draw on, and eventually ally with resurgent orcs against (as observed above) a
dangerously overextended empire (especially in Arnor borderlands).
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Old 10-17-2005, 10:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuor of Gondolin
"The orcs no longer existed as rational creatures."
------------------------
Is there some "canon" stating this. Since the orcs (derived from corrupted elves and/or men) were rational creatures, why would they no longer exist. After all,
they survived past decimations, from the First through the Third Ages.
It's probably fairer to say that they were no longer "united" (to the extent that Orcs ever can be united) under single leaders save, presumably, at tribal level.
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Old 10-17-2005, 11:26 AM   #14
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Another thing to note is that Aragorn was king for over 100 years. That's an entire century during which his kingdom was more or less at peace internally. All the indications were that throughout Elessar's reign, at least, Gondor suffered no civil war, no major famines, plagues, or invasions.

As regards the baby boom effect then, it could easily have been a several generation baby boom. There is certainly room for four, or five generations to be born in the span of Elessar's reign. So if the population doubled (to pick a number), thus having four children for every two adults, then the population of the United Kingdom would have been 16-32 times as much at the onset of Eldarion's reign than at the beginning of his father's.

With that sort of a population boom in Gondor, you could easily rebuild the dwindling population of that land, as well as send plenty of settlers north to the re-established kingdom of Arnor.
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Old 10-17-2005, 02:41 PM   #15
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Lord Melkor, I'm extremly impressed by your grasp of Middle Earth geo-politics which far exceeds mine, but I feel you are starting from a premise that the various territories and kingdoms needed to be brought under Elessar's rule by force.
I think Tolkien's view was of a consenting federation. If you want an analogy, look at the European Union, after the fall of the Iron Curtain. No-one is forcing anyone to be part of it, but there's countries of the former Eastern Bloc, and now the near East: Turkey, Cyprus etc, clamouring to get in because the EU is prosperous and peaceful and by and large, it makes good economic sense to join.
Or, if you want to get more mediaeval, there was the Hanseatic League, which was a similar and most popular arrangement...
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:06 PM   #16
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If you want an analogy, look at the European Union, after the fall of the Iron Curtain. No-one is forcing anyone to be part of it, but there's countries of the former Eastern Bloc, and now the near East: Turkey, Cyprus etc, clamouring to get in because the EU is prosperous and peaceful and by and large, it makes good economic sense to join.
Yeah - Fourth Age Gondor: funny money, straight bananas from Far Harad, a constitution that nobody wants, enough red tape to reach to Valinor & back a couple of dozen times, beaurocrats taking over the top six levels of Minas Tirith & spending half the week running things from Gondor & the other half from Arnor.
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:08 PM   #17
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:12 PM   #18
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Think you may be confusing Fourth Age Gondor with Third Age Mordor.....
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:22 PM   #19
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Ahem. Put down that Daily Mail, davem. I wasn't trying to make a political point, I was merely putting forward the thesis that there are now, and have previously been in history, countries who feel that belonging a loose federation of peaceful and mutually supportive states was something beneficial, and they wouldn't necessarily need military coercion to stay involved. As could have been the case in Elessar's realm.
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Old 10-17-2005, 03:50 PM   #20
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Some of the 'conquered' nations possibly could have been managed via a system of client kingdoms, in much the same way as the Romans managed ther own empire. Suitable native leaders, sympathetic to the aims of Gondor, would be placed in positions of power according to what kind of loyalty they could offer. I don't doubt that such leaders will have been easy enough to find, but getting to that point will have been a tremendous struggle in any case.

Nations such as Harad and Khand have been allied with Sauron and after his downfall, there would have been an immense power vacuum waiting to be filled by the strongest, richest warlords. In addition, such countries may have also faced consequences such as famine and total collapse of their infrastructure if their menfolk had been slaughtered en masse; this would only enhance the power of warlords. This is an unfortunate consequence when an empire suddenly collapses. Hence Gondor will have been faced with either leaving them to it, or in risking involvement in further conflict in distant lands.

Gondor may have relied upon long standing or newly forged alliances with nations such as Rohan and The Shire to maintain peace in 'the west' and chosen to go and fight it out amongst the former Mordorian states, but I wonder if even Gondor would really have had the capacity for this for several years.
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Old 10-18-2005, 07:35 AM   #21
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Republic of the White Tree?

Appendix A
House of Eorl

Quote:
In all the lands of those realms of old he was king, save in Rohan only; for he renewed to Eomer the gift of Cirion, and Eomer took again the Oath of Eorl. Often he fulfilled it. For though Sauron had passed, the hatreds and evils that he bred had not died, and the King of the West had many enemies to subdue before the White Tree could grow in peace.
Subduing enemies is different than conquering territories. And there is something to think about: the societal and economic aftermath of "subduing and enemy" (nation buiding, anyone?). But I do think that "all the lands of those realms of old" implies to me that the Kingdom, with the exception of the expanded "greater Shire", drew the same lines on the map as the Realm in Exile at it's height. I dont think Aragorn saw to expanding it, being the just ruler that he was. What happened after Aragorn is anybody's guess (fun ).

Seeing that the former Realm in Exile flourished in the 2nd age prior to Saurons renewal, why wouldnt the Reunited Kingdom flourish? To me, there is a difference between a Kingdom, an Empire, and a Republic (or any combination therof).
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Old 10-18-2005, 08:02 AM   #22
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Hmmm, good points have be made by all!

I agree that there would've been a babyboom in Gondor after the War of the Ring. After all, humans tend to behave like bunnies after a major war. This would improve their population numbers though I doubt these babybooms could've provided the necessary numbers to recolonize Arnor, Dorwinion, Harondor and Ithilien all at once. Ithilien and Harondor are indeed easily reincorporated into the Kingdom, being close to Gondor's powerbase and having natural borders which are easy to defend. The Umbar situation still is a problem though, since Umbar and it's surrounding lands are already occupied by people hostile to Gondor. Military occupation is the only solution there, I fear.

Dorwinion is currently abandoned, but it lies far from Gondor's powerbase, beyond the barren lands of Dagorlad and it's eastern border has no defensive features to speak of. Once the Easterlings have recovered it will be beset by the same problems that plagued Gondor in the days of the Kings. Constant invasions from the east, which will in the end result in Dorwinion being abandoned again. One solution to this may be to actually allow peoples from the east to settle there and becoming something like the foederati of the Roman Empire. Allied tribes who are allowed to settle in Roman lands in exchange for military service.

I also agree with Anguirel about the splitting of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. It is clear that the Reunited Kingdom is a cumbersome beast and eventually it will have to split. It is simply too large to be ruled effectively by a single man. I reckon the Reunited Kingdom will be ruled by no more than 5 kings before it is split in two again, just like the Roman Empire was divided in an Eastern and a Western Empire.

Lalaith 's thesis that Aragorn's Kingdom was more a loose federation of states nobody was forced to be a part of is interesting, but doubtful. Lets take the Dunlendings for example: What would Aragorn's response be if a delegation of Dunlendings would come to the Big Tree (as Minas Tirith would be called affectionately by Gondor's citizens in the 4th Age ) and say:

"You know, this whole Reunited Kingdom idea, it's cute, but we don't want to be a a part of it any longer. From now on Dunland is an independent state"

There is no doubt in my mind that Aragorn would mobilize his armies and call in his proxy Eomer as well and crush the Dunlendings for their impudence. Why? Because Dunland is the main link between Arnor and Gondor. Geopolitically an independent Dunland is simply out of the question, because of it's strategic position.

The same goes for the people of Umbar. I believe it is highly doubtful that Aragorn would give up his claim to the city (and it's immense strategic value) simply because the Umbarians (is that the right term? ) want to stay independent, despite Aragorn's claims that it used to be part of Gondor.
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Old 10-19-2005, 11:12 AM   #23
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I think Tolkien's view was of a consenting federation.
I think there is a slight misconception of what the Reunited Kingdom was. Aragorn was the (titular) head of a confederation of the Free Peoples. Not all of these were part of the Reunited Kingdom. The confederation and the kingdom were not the same thing. Places like Dale and Erebor, while they acknowledged Elessar as their overlord, were not part of his kingdom in the same way that Bree was.

Inside the kingdom, there weren't really that many different people to be confederated. There were the people of Gondor, the Breelanders, the Shire-folk, the Dunlanders, the inhabitants of Umbar, the Wildmen...and that is about it. The Wildmen and Shire-folk were also explicitly excluded from any federating because they were deliberately isolated from the rest by royal decree.
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Old 10-19-2005, 11:36 AM   #24
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Just thinking about the baby boom theory (which I broadly agree would have happened; those poor Gondorian women... ), there is a slight problem with it. Presumably Gondor and its allies will have lost a significant number of men during the War, particularly young men who had not yet started families. This would mean that even if there was a baby boom in terms of a rising birth rate, then as regards increasing the population they might be 'running just to catch up' for some years. It might take until the second generation for any significant population boom to happen (maybe a gap of some 20-40 years).

There are other changed circumstances associated with the loss of so many men. Firstly, the women might find themselves doing more work outside the home (presuming they did not do this already); certainly they would find they would be working more, which is what happened during and after WWI. This itself would have an impact if an increase in childbearing was sought after.

Work would still need doing, and the most immediate task would not be to rebuild walls and cities but to rebuild and restock farms, though both would need doing. There would be heavy demands on the people's hours. This itself would result in a change in society as in-demand workers could demand higher payment/different conditions, as they would be a limited resource. This has been borne out in history; after the Black Death decimated Europe the feudal system began to collapse, and one of the after effects of the Napoleonic wars was a rise in labour activism.

People would seek, and possibly even expect, things like better wages and more opportunites, as they would see Aragorn's return as a promise of better times. I wonder how far Aragorn would go to seek to meet the demands of the people?
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Old 12-02-2005, 06:17 PM   #25
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the Republic of Nurn

People seem to have forgotten the liberated slaves of Mordor. I imagine that them as war-prisoners from Gondor ane honest Easterling and Haradrim who could have destablised Saurons cannon-fodder human nations. they would probably give aid to Gondor easily. Also, the Easterling and Southron nations (for the most part) would, judjing by book 6 chapter 4, would tell Gondor "let's forget the whole invasion thing" and walk small for a while, except Umbar. The Dunlendings could have acted simillar whith Rohan. In other words, Aragorn havd the rescorses and time to do it if he was smart enough. I think he may have been smart enough.
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Old 12-03-2005, 09:18 PM   #26
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People seem to have forgotten the liberated slaves of Mordor. I imagine that them as war-prisoners from Gondor ane honest Easterling and Haradrim who could have destablised Saurons cannon-fodder human nations. they would probably give aid to Gondor easily.
Actually, I have to admit, I had forgotten about them. I think the vast majority of them would have been Easterlings and Haradrim. How "honest" they were is probably up to some question. I expect they were mostly gathered by Sauron's human minions on slave gathering expeditions from their neighbors (who were possibly also Sauron's minions).

I'm not sure of how capable of giving aid they would have been. They would have a lot on their plate developing their own society and getting themselves on their feet...and quite frankly, I'm not sure how well they'd fight.
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Old 12-06-2005, 02:38 PM   #27
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his Northern lands will be hundreds of miles removed from Minas Tirith and Aragorn's seat of power.
no, it says in he plans to restore Fornost as chief city of the north.

The reason I think that the slaves of Mordor are respectable is because ot the choice of words. "Slaves" implies that they were forced into it, and will probably be thankfull for their freedom.
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Old 12-06-2005, 03:33 PM   #28
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The reason I think that the slaves of Mordor are respectable is because ot the choice of words. "Slaves" implies that they were forced into it, and will probably be thankfull for their freedom
But they had been under the Shadow for G'd knows how many years! sure, some of them would be really glad to be free but in some, the evil might still linger, making them dubious allies.
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:07 PM   #29
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I don't understand where Lord Melkor gets all his information on Dorwinion I thought it was just a name on a bottle...
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:36 PM   #30
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Aragorn would have build the Gondor state through both diplomacy with some of the former enemies
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Originally Posted by The steward and the king
In the days that followed his crowning the King sat on his throne in the Hall of the Kings and pronounced his judgements. And embassies came from many lands and peoples, from the East and the South, and from the borders of Mirkwood, and from Dunland in the west. And the King pardoned the Easterlings that had given themselves up, and sent them away free, and he made peace with the peoples of Harad; and the slaves of Mordor he released and gave to them all the lands about Lake Nurnen to be their own.
and war with others
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Originally Posted by Letter #244, concerning criticism of Faramir
Also to be Prince of Ithilien, the greatest noble after Dol Amroth in the revived Numenorean state of Gondor, soon to be of imperial power and prestige, was not a 'market-garden job' as you term it. Until much had been done by the restored King, the P. of Ithilien would be the resident march-warden of Gondor, in its main eastward outpost – and also would have many duties in rehabilitating the lost territory, and clearing it of outlaws and orc-remnants, not to speak of the dreadful vale of Minas Ithil (Morgul). I did not, naturally, go into details about the way in which Aragorn, as King of Gondor, would govern the realm. But it was made clear that there was much fighting, and in the earlier years of A.'s reign expeditions against enemies in the East.
In the letter, Tolkien goes on to say further that Aragorn would govern Gondor as a monarch "with the power of unquestioned decision in debate", but who would also re-establish the Great Council of Gondor, made of Lord of the fiefs and Captains of the Forces, who would be consulted on "debatable matters of importance domestic, or external".
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