Tolkien fact 17 – The Fall of the Kings

[Originally posted on March 19th, 2015]

Perhaps the most interesting, yet little known, aspect of the LotR story is that of Aragorn’s significance in reclaiming the Throne of Gondor. The tale is very long and can be found in fuller form in the appendices. A shorter version may go like this:
After Númenor fell the leader of the Faithful Númenoreans, Elendil, and his two sons, Isildur and Anárion, took up the rule of free Men in Middle-earth. Elendil set up the kingdom of Arnor in the North, and the Southern kingdom of Gondor he gave to his sons. After Elendil’s death, Isildur took the rule of Arnor and gave rule of Gondor to his brother. Years went by, major things happened (the first fall of Sauron, etc.) and we see both kingdoms fall into decay. Arnor is attacked and basically destroyed by the Witch-king of Angmar and Gondor is being attacked by numerous enemies from the East and South. The last king of the North, Arvedui, comes to Gondor to claim the kingship after King Ondoher dies with no children to pass the Throne to. His claim is essentially denied by the Council (led mainly by the Steward of the time) despite Arvedui’s lineage from Isildur and his marriage to Ondoher’s only daughter. The Council says that while his lineage is true, only the line of Anárion can inherit the Southern rule, though this is indeed false. Isildur was once joint heir with Anárion and, though he did leave the rule of Gondor to his brother, he did not wish the two kingodms to be divided forever. Arvedui, though right in his claim, accepts the rejection, not being able to oppose the Council and Steward alone. He returns to Arnor and dies shortly thereafter, passing his right to the Throne of Gondor through father to son all the way to Aragorn II several generations later. The line of Kings in the South soon after failed as the Kings stopped caring to have children for the passing of the Kingship and the rule fell to the Stewards.

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