An encyclopedia of Middle-earth and Numenor
Gondor was the greatest kingdom of
Men in Middle-earth. It was founded by the survivors of Numenor
- Elendil and his sons Isildur
and Anarion. In the early part of
the Third Age, Gondor rose to the height of its power, but then it began
to decline. The line of Kings ended and Gondor was ruled by the Stewards.
Still Gondor remained as the first line of defense between
and the rest of Middle-earth. At the end of the Third Age, Gondor faced
the might of Mordor in battle, and a King returned to the throne at last.
Geography (see also the map below):
Gondor was located in southwestern Middle-earth. At the end of the Third Age, Gondor included the lands south of the White Mountains between the River Lefnui and the Anduin; the region called Anorien north of the White Mountains between the Mering Stream and the Anduin; and Ithilien east of the Anduin on the borders of Mordor.
The largest and most populous part of Gondor was south of the White Mountains on the coast of the Bay of Belfalas. The fiefdoms of Lossarnach, Lebennin, Lamedon, Belfalas, and Anfalas were in this region. These fiefdoms had their own lords, but they were subject to the ruler of Gondor.
Lossarnach was a small but populous region in the vales at the southeastern end of the White Mountains. The River Erui flowed from the mountains through Lossarnach and continue through Lebennin to the Anduin.
Lebennin lay west of Lossarnach. In addition to the Erui, the river system of the Sirith and Celos flowed through Lebennin to the Anduin, while the river system of the Gilrain and Serni flowed into the Bay of Belfalas. The Gilrain formed Lebennin's western border, and the Anduin formed the southern boundary.
Lebennin was a large fiefdom with a population of hardy folk. The people of Lebennin were mainly a mixture of the Dunedain and the original inhabitants of the region. Fisher-folk lived around the Mouths of the Anduin in Lebennin. The port city of Pelargir was located in Lebennin on the Anduin near the point where it was joined by the Sirith. The town of Linhir was located at the fords near the juncture of the Gilrain and Serni.
Belfalas was a great fiefdom on a cape extending into the Bay of Belfalas. The central region of the cape was mountainous. The port city of Dol Amroth was on the western side of the cape on a promontory overlooking the inlet of Cobas Haven.
Belfalas was ruled by the Princes of Dol Amroth. The Princes were of Numenorean descent and were said to have Elvish blood as well. Many of the inhabitants of Belfalas were also of Numenorean ancestry.
Lamedon was a fiefdom north of Belfalas at the foot of the White Mountains. The Ciril and Ringlo rivers originated in Lamedon. The town of Ethring was at the crossings of the Ringlo, where the river emerged from the Ringlo Vale. The town of Calembel was located at the fords of the Ciril.
On the western border of Belfalas, Ciril and Ringlo merged with the Blackroot River which flowed into the Bay of Belfalas. The Elf-haven of Edhellond was on the Bay at the mouth of the Blackroot. A community of Elves lived at Edhellond from around the end of the First Age to the middle of the Third Age, and from there ships set sail to the Undying Lands.
The Blackroot River originated in the White Mountains. The river issued from the door of the Paths of the Dead in the Blackroot Vale. The Hill of Erech where the great Stone of Erech stood was in the Blackroot Vale. The valley had rich farmland and many people lived there.
Anfalas was a fiefdom along the coast west of Belfalas. There were a number of small villages in Anfalas, and the population included herdsmen, hunters, and fishermen. The Green Hills - or Pinnath Gelin - were north of Anfalas.
The River Lefnui was the western border of Anfalas, and it was also the western border of Gondor south of the White Mountains. Beyond the Lefnui lay the peninsula of Andrast, which extended beyond the Bay of Belfalas out into the Sea. Andrast was said to be inhabited by the secretive race of Men called the Druedain. It was never settled by the Men of Gondor, though they did maintain a coast guard and beacons at the far end of the peninsula.
The southern provinces were connected by roads. The South Road ran from Minas Tirith through Lossarnach and Lebennin to Pelargir. From Pelargir, a road continued west to Linhir and then northwest through Ethring and Calembel. The road passed through the narrow passage called Tarlang's Neck and ended at the Hill of Erech.
Anorien was north of the White Mountains at the eastern end of the range. Anorien was bordered on the east by the Anduin and on the north by the Mouths of the Entwash. On the west, the Mering Stream divided Anorien from the country of Rohan. The Great West Road ran through Anorien from Minas Tirith to Rohan and on to join the North-South Road to the North-kingdom of Arnor.
The Firien Wood was on the border between Anorien and Rohan. Although more than half the forest was in Anorien, the Firien Wood came to be considered the domain of Rohan. The hill of Halifirien was in the Firien Wood.
Halifirien was the last of the seven Beacon-hills of Gondor which stretched across Anorien. The signal-fires on the Beacon-hills were lit in time of need to summon Rohan to Gondor's aid. The other Beacon-hills were Calenhad, Min-Rimmon, and Erelas - which were at the foot of the White Mountains - and Nardol, Eilenach, and Amon Din - which were located in the Druadan Forest in eastern Anorien.
The Druadan Forest was inhabited by the Druedain. The Druedain kept to themselves and usually went into hiding when strangers entered the woods. Between the Druadan Forest and the White Mountains was the Stonewain Valley. A road through the Stonewain Valley was used for transporting stones from the quarry on the western edge of the forest to Minas Tirith.
Minas Tirith was a great, seven-tiered city at the base of Mount Mindolluin at the far eastern end of the White Mountains. The City was surrounded by the rich farmlands of the Pelennor Fields, which were enclosed by the wall called the Rammas Echor. Minas Tirith was the capital of Gondor during the second part of the Third Age.
Osgiliath was the original capital of Gondor. It was a large, beautiful city on the Anduin about 15 miles northeast of Minas Tirith. Osgiliath was built on both sides of the river with a great bridge connecting the two parts of the city. The western half of the city was in Anorien, while the eastern half was in Ithilien.
Ithilien was a pleasant green land between the Anduin and the Mountains of Shadow on the border of Mordor. Ithilien was bordered on the north by the hills of the Emyn Muil and swamplands of the Wetwang the Dead Marshes. The River Poros was the southern border of Ithilien. The Harad Road came from the South over the Crossings of Poros and ran through Ithilien to the Black Gate of Mordor.
Minas Ithil, the sister city of Minas Tirith, stood at the foot of the Mountains of Shadow. The city was captured by the Nazgul in 2002 and became known as Minas Morgul. The Morgul-road ran from Minas Morgul to Osgiliath. The Morgulduin flowed alongside the road from the Morgul Vale to the Anduin. The hills of Emyn Arnen were south of the Morgul-road.
Cair Andros was an island in the Anduin between Ithilien and Anorien. The island was fortified in order to prevent enemy forces from crossing the river there. The island of Tolfalas was in the Bay of Belfalas at the Mouths of the Anduin.
The boundaries of Gondor varied over
the course of its history. Before 2510, Rohan was a province of Gondor
called Calenardhon. The region of South
Gondor between the Poros and the
Harnen was disputed between Gondor and Harad.
At the height of its power under Hyarmendacil
I, Gondor's southward reach extended as far as Umbar.
At that time Gondor also claimed lands east of the Anduin to the Sea
of Rhun and west of the Misty Mountains
to the Greyflood, but these regions
were never settled by the Men of Gondor.
was destroyed in 3319 of the Second Age. Many of the Men of Numenor including
the King Ar-Pharazon had been
corrupted by Sauron. In a misguided attempt to achieve immortality, Ar-Pharazon defied the will of the Valar and sailed westward, intending to take the Undying Lands by force. Eru destroyed Ar-Pharazon's fleet and caused the island of Numenor to sink beneath the Sea.
Some Men of Numenor rejected Sauron and remained faithful to the Valar. The Faithful stayed behind when Ar-Pharazon set sail to the Undying Lands. When Numenor was destroyed they escaped in their own ships to Middle-earth led by Elendil and his sons Isildur and Anarion. Elendil and his four ships landed in the north, while Isildur's three ships and Anarion's two ships landed in the south.
In 3320, the survivors of Numenor founded the realms of Gondor and Arnor. Elendil was the High King of both realms, and he lived in the North-kingdom of Arnor. Isildur and Anarion jointly ruled the South-kingdom of Gondor. Their people became known as the Dunedain, or Men of the West.
The Dunedain were familiar with the region that became Gondor. Their ancestors had sailed there from Numenor in the past and had established the port city of Pelargir near the Mouths of the Anduin nearly 1,000 years before in 2350. Some Numenoreans had settled there and became mixed with the original inhabitants. When Isildur and Anarion arrived, they were welcomed by the descendants of those people.
Isildur lived in Minas Ithil on the east side of the Anduin and Anarion lived in Minas Anor on the west side. The capital city of Osgiliath was located on the river between them, and there Isildur and Anarion had their thrones.
The realms of Gondor and Arnor maintained communication with each other by way of the palantiri, or Seeing-stones. Four of the palantiri were in Gondor, while three were in Arnor. In Gondor, the palantiri were distributed in Osgiliath, Minas Ithil, Minas Anor, and Isengard.
Isengard was a stronghold built by the Men of Gondor to guard the Gap between the Misty Mountains and the White Mountains on their western frontier. On the other side of the Gap, they built another stronghold called Aglarond.
Unknown to the Men of Gondor, Sauron had returned to Mordor. He was angered that the Dunedain had survived the Downfall of Numenor and had established a realm on his borders. In 3429, Sauron launched an attack on Gondor and captured Minas Ithil. Isildur fled and went north to Arnor while Anarion remained behind to defend Gondor. Anarion managed to hold Osgiliath and drive Sauron's forces back to Mordor, but he did not have sufficient strength to defeat Sauron.
Elendil formed an alliance with Gil-galad, the leader of the Elves of Lindon. They fought Sauron in the War of the Last Alliance, which lasted seven years from 3434 to 3441. Anarion was killed in 3440 during the Siege of Barad-dur. In 3441, Sauron fought with Elendil and Gil-galad and all of them fell. Isildur took the One Ring from Sauron but refused to destroy it, which allowed Sauron's spirit to survive and escape into the East.
The Men of Gondor built strongholds to keep watch on the borders of Mordor, where evil creatures still lurked. The Towers of the Teeth were erected on either side of the Black Gate and the Tower of Cirith Ungol was built to guard a pass high in the Mountains of Shadow. Guards also kept watch from Minas Ithil.
Isildur intended to take up the High Kingship of both Gondor and Arnor and to dwell in the north as Elendil had. Before departing, Isildur planted a seedling of the White Tree in Minas Anor. In the year 2 of the Third Age, Isildur left Gondor in the hands of Anarion's son Meneldil and headed north. On the way, he was killed by Orcs in the Gladden Fields and the One Ring was lost in the water.
After Isildur's death, the Kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor became separated. Isildur's son Valandil succeeded him as King of Arnor when he came of age but he did not claim the High Kingship of both realms. Gondor was ruled by the heirs of Anarion starting with Meneldil.
Meneldil ruled Gondor until his death in 158. He was followed by Cemendur, Earendil, Anardil, and Ostoher. In 420, Ostoher rebuilt and enlarged Minas Anor. It became customary for the Kings of Gondor to live in Minas Anor during the summer, though Osgiliath remained the capital.
In 490, Gondor was attacked by Men from Rhun in the East. Ostoher died two years later and was succeeded by his son Tarostar who continued the defense of Gondor against the Easterlings. In 500, Tarostar defeated the Easterlings and changed his name to Romendacil, meaning "East-victor."
Romendacil I was the first King to appoint a Steward. The Steward was the highest ranking official in the King's court. One of the duties of the Steward was to remain in Gondor while the King went to war. Romendacil I also began the tradition of leaving written instructions to be used by the King's heir in case of the King's untimely death.
In 541, the Easterlings renewed their attacks and Romendacil I was killed in battle. His son Turambar avenged him by driving back the Easterlings and gaining territory for Gondor east of the Anduin.
Turambar was followed by Atanatar I, Siriondil, and Tarannon. Tarannon became King in 830. He expanded Gondor's territory along the coasts west and south of the Mouths of the Anduin. He took the name Falastur, meaning "Lord of the Coasts." Tarannon Falastur was the first of four Kings known as the Ship-kings because they built fleets and made Gondor a seafaring power.
Tarannon Falastur built a house that stood in the waters of the Anduin south of Pelargir, but his wife Queen Beruthiel remained in Osgiliath because she hated the Sea. Queen Beruthiel had ten cats which she used to spy on people and learn their secrets. Eventually it is said that Tarannon set her adrift at Sea in a ship with only her cats for company.
Tarannon and Beruthiel had no children. He was the first King of Gondor to die without a direct heir, but he was not the last. This was later seen as a sign of the start of Gondor's decay, as the Kings began to have fewer children and the royal bloodline dwindled until finally - many generations later - it ended.
Earnil I - the son of Tarannon's brother Tarciryan - became King in 913. He was the second of the Ship-kings, and he built a great navy for Gondor. Earnil repaired the haven of Pelargir, and he also captured the great haven of Umbar on the coast of Harad in 933. The inhabitants of Umbar were a mix of the native Haradrim and the descendants of the Black Numenoreans - who had been corrupted by Sauron and made settlements in the south before the destruction of Numenor.
Earnil I perished at Sea in a great storm off the coast of Harad in 936. His son Ciryandil was the third Ship-king. In 1015, Ciryandil was killed in battle by the Haradrim who tried to retake Umbar. Umbar was besieged by the Haradrim for 35 years until Ciryandil's son Ciryaher conquered them in 1050. Ciryaher took the name Hyarmendacil meaning "South-victor." Hyarmendacil I was the last of the Ship-kings.
Around the same time, Sauron returned from the East. He had slowly regained his strength, and he built the stronghold of Dol Guldur in Greenwood the Great. A shadow fell on the forest and it became known as Mirkwood. At the time, no one realized that the evil presence in Dol Guldur was Sauron.
Gondor reached the height of its power during the 134-year reign of Hyarmendacil I. Gondor's boundaries were greatly expanded. In the south, Gondor claimed territory as far as the Harnen as well as the haven of Umbar. The lords of the Haradrim were subject to the King of Gondor, and they sent their sons to live as hostages in his court.
In the east, Gondor's lands extended as far as the Sea of Rhun. The southern edge of Mirkwood and the Field of Celebrant formed the northern boundary of Gondor in the Vales of the Anduin. The Men who lived in the Vales of the Anduin acknowledged the rule of Gondor.
Gondor's lands also extended west of the Misty Mountains. At this time, Gondor included the region called Enedwaith, bordered on the north by the Greyflood, which also formed the southern border of Arnor. But the Men of Gondor never settled the region, so Enedwaith was essentially a borderland between Gondor and Arnor, and the western border of Gondor was later withdrawn to the River Isen.
Hyarmendacil I died in 1149 and was succeeded by his son Atanatar II. He was called Atanatar Alcarin, meaning "the Glorious," but his glory was in wealth and splendor not deeds. He was content to reap the benefits of his father's achievements without making any efforts himself. Gondor began to decline during his reign, and Gondor's defenses and vigilance weakened.
In 1226, Atanatar II was succeeded by his son Narmacil I, who was equally lazy. Narmacil did not want to be bothered with the duties of kingship, so he relinquished his powers to his nephew Minalcar, having no sons of his own. Minalcar was appointed Regent in 1240.
Minalcar was a strong leader. He strengthened ties with the Northmen who lived in Rhovanion in the wide lands east and south of Mirkwood. Minalcar realized the value of having an ally between Gondor and the hostile Easterlings beyond the Sea of Rhun. But some of the Northmen made alliances with the Easterlings in order to gain wealth or power for themselves. To prevent this, Minalcar made a decisive stroke against the Easterlings in 1248.
After his victory, Minalcar took the name Romendacil, meaning "East-victor," as his ancestor Tarostar had done. Romendacil built forts along the western side of the Anduin between the Emyn Muil and the Limlight. The great statues of the Argonath were erected either side of the river to mark the point beyond which strangers were forbidden to come without permission.
Romendacil took a number of Northmen into his service, and in 1250 he sent his son Valacar as an ambassador to the court of King Vidugavia of Rhovanion. Valacar immersed himself in the culture of the Northmen and he fell in love with King Vidugavia's daughter Vidumavi. Romendacil gave them permission to marry so as not to jeopardize Gondor's relations with the Northmen. In 1255, Vidumavi bore Valacar a son whom they named Vinitharya in the language of the Northmen and Eldacar in the language of Gondor.
Romendacil called Valacar home to Gondor in 1260. At first, Valacar's wife and children were welcomed. Vidumavi took the name Galadwen and learned the language and customs of Gondor.
In 1294, Romendacil's uncle King Narmacil I died. Narmacil I was officially succeeded by his brother Calmacil, who was Romendacil's father. But Calmacil did not want the duties of kingship either, so Romendacil continued to rule Gondor as Regent until he finally became King Romendacil II after Calmacil's death in 1304.
Valacar's wife Vidumavi died in either 1332 or 1344. Her life was long for one of the Northmen, but it was short compared to the lifespans of the Dunedain. Some Gondorians believed that it had been a mistake for Valacar to marry a woman from outside the bloodline of Numenor. They also resented the favor that the Northmen in Romendacil's service were shown.
Romendacil II died in 1366 and was succeeded by Valacar. Eldacar was now the heir to the throne and a growing number of Gondorians were opposed to the fact that the next King of Gondor would be of mixed blood. This view was especially held by those in Gondor's southern provinces, where rebellion began to grow as Valacar's reign drew to an end.
In 1432, Eldacar became King and the civil war of the Kin-strife began. The rebels were led by Castamir, who was the grandson of Romendacil II's younger brother. Castamir was a Captain of Ships and many of his followers were from the coastal regions including Pelargir and Umbar. Eldacar put up a fierce resistance, supported by the Northmen in his service as well as by many Gondorians, particularly those from northern Gondor.
Eldacar and his followers were besieged in Osgiliath by Castamir's forces. The defenders held out as long as they could but in 1437, Castamir captured Osgiliath. The city was burned and the Dome of Stars was destroyed and the palantir that was kept there was lost forever in the waters of the Anduin. Castamir and his forces slaughtered many of the defenders of Osgiliath including Eldacar's oldest son Ornendil. Eldacar and a number of others escaped to Rhovanion.
Castamir usurped the throne of Gondor and ruled as King for ten years. He moved the capital to Pelargir and he concentrated on Gondor's fleet while neglecting the land. Castamir's cruelty during the sack of Osgiliath made him unpopular with the people of northern Gondor and his cruelty continued throughout his reign.
Eldacar bided his time until he judged that his return would be supported by a large number of Gondorians. In 1447, he came to Gondor with a force of Northmen joined by Gondorians from Calenardhon, Anorien, and Ithilien. At the Battle of the Crossings of Erui, Eldacar killed Castamir and resumed the throne of Gondor.
Many Men of Gondor died on both sides of that battle. Afterwards, some of the Northmen who had supported Eldacar remained in Gondor and intermarried with the Dunedain.
Castamir's sons escaped with some of their followers to Pelargir and from there they sailed to Umbar in 1448. The rebels established a kingdom there and took to the high seas as Corsairs, raiding Gondor's coasts and attacking its ships. The rebels soon became intermingled with the Haradrim, and Umbar became a stronghold of enemies of Gondor. The region north of the River Harnen known as South Gondor was no longer under Gondor's rule but was contested with the Corsairs. Gondor also lost its hold over the other kingdoms of Harad.
Eldacar died in 1490 at the age of 235. His lifespan had not been diminished by his mixed blood as some had feared. But over the years the lifespans of the Dunedain did begin to decrease. This was largely due to the fact that extended life had been a gift to the Men of Numenor in reward for their service in the war against Morgoth. Now that Numenor was destroyed and the descendants of the Numenoreans had relocated to Middle-earth, the gift of long life was fading.
Eldacar's son Aldamir succeeded him as King. Aldamir was killed in battle with the Corsairs and the Haradrim in 1540. His son Vinyarion avenged him by winning a great victory over Umbar and Harad in 1551. Vinyarion took the name Hyarmendacil II, meaning "South-victor."
Hyarmendacil II was succeeded by his son Minardil in 1621. Vigilance against Gondor's enemies in the South had been relaxed. In 1634, the Corsairs learned that Minardil was in Pelargir. They launched a surprise attack led by Castamir's great-grandsons Angamaite and Sangahyando. Pelargir was plundered and Minardil was killed. He was succeeded by his son Telemnar.
Two years later in 1636, a devastating Plague came out of the East. The Great Plague was most likely the work of Sauron, who sent it to weaken his enemies. The Plague spread across Middle-earth and affected many people, even the Hobbits of the Shire. Gondor was severely weakened by the Plague. Many Gondorians died including King Telemnar and all his children. Telemnar's nephew Tarondor became King of Gondor.
Hurin of Emyn Arnen was the Steward during this time of upheaval. He helped maintain order in Gondor. From that time on, the Kings of Gondor chose their Stewards from Hurin's descendants.
In 1640, Tarondor moved the capital to Minas Anor since Osgiliath was nearly deserted after the Plague. The White Tree had died at the same time as Telemnar, so Tarondor planted a new seedling. Tarondor ruled for 162 years, which was the longest reign of any King of Gondor. He concentrated on reordering the realm after the great losses suffered during the Plague. Because of the decline in population, the guard on Mordor's borders declined during this time.
Tarondor's son Telumehtar became King in 1798. The Corsairs raided the coasts of Gondor as far west as Anfalas. In 1810, Telumehtar struck back and recaptured Umbar, but in the troubled years that followed Gondor lost Umbar to Harad. Telumehtar died in 1850 and was followed by his son Narmacil II.
The next year in 1851, Gondor was attacked by a new enemy. They were Men from the East called the Wainriders because they travelled in wains - or wagons - and used chariots in battle. The Wainriders were incited to attack Gondor by the emissaries of Sauron. They came from beyond the Sea of Rhun into Rhovanion where the Northmen lived. The Northmen had been diminished by the Plague and were unable to offer much resistance.
In 1856, Narmacil II led an army to confront the Wainriders. The Men of Gondor were joined by a group of Northmen led by Marhari. They fought the Wainriders in Battle of the Plains south of Mirkwood. Narmacil II was killed and the Gondorians were forced to withdraw. The Northmen covered their retreat, and Marhari was slain. Gondor abandoned its territory east of the Anduin except for Ithilien.
The Wainriders also suffered losses and they delayed their plan to invade Gondor. Instead they conquered the lands of the Northmen. Many Northmen were killed or enslaved, but others moved to the Vales of the Anduin led by Marhari's son Marhwini. They became known as the Eotheod.
Calimehtar succeeded Narmacil II as King of Gondor. He learned that the Wainriders were planning to cross the Anduin and invade Calenardhon. In 1899, Calimehtar led an army to the great plain of Dagorlad and fought the Wainriders. Marhwini and his people attacked the Wainriders from the rear and the Wainriders were routed.
Calimehtar returned home and in 1900 he had the White Tower built in Minas Anor. The palantir called the Anor-stone was kept there. Calimehtar died in 1936 and was succeeded by his son Ondoher.
In 1940, communications resumed between Gondor and Arnor. Arnor had long ago dissolved into three smaller Kingdoms, of which only Arthedain remained. Araphantwas the King of Arthedain at that time. Araphant's son Arvedui married Ondoher's daughter Firiel. Ondoher and Araphant took counsel with one another, though neither could spare the resources or manpower to help the other. They realized their Kingdoms were threatened by a common enemy, but they did not know it was Sauron.
Ondoher was warned by the Eotheod that the Wainriders were regrouping. Ondoher also feared an attack from Gondor's enemies in the South, so he divided his forces into a Northern Army and a Southern Army. In fact, the Wainriders had formed an alliance with the Men of Khand and Harad, and in 1944 they launched a joint attack on Gondor on two fronts.
The Southern Army of Gondor was led by a captain named Earnil. He led his forces from Pelargir across the Anduin into Ithilien. Earnil positioned his troops about 40 miles north of the River Poros and allowed the Haradrim to cross the river before he attacked and defeated them.
Ondoher led the Northern Army to meet the Wainriders. He was accompanied by his elder son Artamir, and he ordered his younger son Faramir to remain behind in Minas Anor in order to preserve the line of succession. But Faramir disobeyed and he rode to battle in disguise and joined Gondor's allies the Eotheod.
Ondoher intended to lead his forces north through Ithilien to Dagorlad, but when he drew near the Black Gate of Mordor he found the Wainriders lying in wait in the shadow of the Ash Mountains. Ondoher's forces were unprepared and they were overwhelmed by the Wainriders. Ondoher and his son Artamir were killed, and Faramir was slain as well. The survivors of the Northern Army retreated.
The Wainriders believed that they had defeated all of Gondor's forces and that they were free to conquer Gondor. They made camp and held a feast to celebrate. The Wainriders were surprised by Earnil, leading the Southern Army and the remnants of the Northern Army. Earnil defeated the Wainriders in the Battle of the Camp and drove them into the Dead Marshes.
The death of Ondoher and both his heirs left Gondor without a King. Arvedui of the North-kingdom tried to make a claim to the throne of Gondor. His claim was based on his descent from Isildur as well as the fact that his wife Firiel was the last surviving child of Ondoher. But his claim was rejected by the Council of Gondor led by Pelendur, the Steward of the late King Ondoher. The Council stated that Gondor was ruled by the heirs of Elendil's son Anarion, not Isildur, and also that a claim through the female line was invalid.
In 1945, the victorious captain of the Battle of the Camp became King Earnil II of Gondor. Earnil was a kinsman of Ondoher, and his claim to the throne was unanimously supported by the Dunedain of Gondor. Earnil II promised Arvedui that Gondor would come to the aid of the North-kingdom in time of need.
In 1973, Earnil II received a message from Arvedui that the Witch-king of Angmar was preparing to invade the North-kingdom. Earnil gathered as large a fleet as he could and sent it north under the command of his son Earnur. By the time the fleet arrived in 1975, the Witch-king had captured the northern capital of Fornost and Arvedui was dead.
Earnur's forces joined with the remaining Dunedain of the North and the Elves of Lindon and Rivendell. They defeated the Witch-king's forces in the Battle of Fornost. Earnur pursued the Witch-king, but when the Witch-king turned to face him, Earnur was unable to control his terrified horse. The Witch-king fled from the north.
In 1980, the Witch-king came to Mordor where the other eight Nazgul gathered. The Nazgul besieged Minas Ithil in 2000 and captured the stronghold two years later in 2002. In doing so, they also captured the palantir called the Ithil-stone. Minas Ithil became known as Minas Morgul meaning "Tower of Black Sorcery," while Minas Anor was renamed Minas Tirith, "the Tower of Guard."
Earnil II died in 2043 and was succeeded by Earnur. The Witch-king hated Earnur for his role in the Battle of Fornost. He challenged Earnur to face him in single combat. Earnur regretted his failure to confront the Witch-king at the Battle of Fornost and he wanted to accept but he was persuaded not to by his Steward, Mardil Voronwe.
But when the Witch-king renewed his challenge in 2050, Earnur did not refuse. He left the Crown of Gondor on his father's tomb in the House of the Kings. Earnur rode to Minas Morgul and he was never seen again. It was believed that he died in torment at the hands of the Witch-king.
Since Earnur's fate was uncertain, the Steward Mardil Voronwe ruled Gondor in his absence. Earnur had never married and had no children, and there was no other legitimate claimant to the throne. Over the centuries the royal bloodline had been diminished. The Dunedain had fewer children and had intermarried with other peoples, and they had also suffered great losses in war and the Plague.
Thus the line of Kings in Gondor ended, and the Stewards assumed the rule of Gondor as caretakers. The Ruling Stewards had all the powers of a King, but they took an oath to "rule in the name of the King, until he shall return." The Stewards bore a white rod as a symbol of their office instead of the Crown, and they sat in a chair at the foot of the dais where the King's throne stood empty. At the top of the White Tower, the Stewards' plain white banner replaced the King's black banner bearing the emblems of the White Tree and Seven Stars.
Mardil Voronwe was the first Ruling Steward of Gondor. During his reign, the Watchful Peace began when Gandalf went to Dol Guldur and Sauron fled and hid in the East. The Nazgul remained quiet in Minas Morgul during this time, and Gondor was free from attack by its enemies in the East and South.
The Watchful Peace lasted for four centuries, and during that time Gondor's defenses began to relax. The forts along the Anduin guarding Gondor's eastern front were neglected. Garrisons were no longer maintained at Isengard and Aglarond on Gondor's western frontier.
The line of Stewards continued from father to son or the closest male relative. Mardil Voronwe was followed by Eradan, Herion, Belegorn, Hurin I, Turin I, and Hador. Hador lived to be 150 years old, but he was the last Man of Gondor to live so long and lifespans began to decrease after that. Hador was succeeded by Barahir, who was followed by Dior. Dior had no children and was therefore succeeded by Denethor I, who was the son of his sister Rian.
During the reign of Denethor I, the Watchful Peace ended in 2460 when Sauron returned to Dol Guldur. Gondor's enemies began to stir once more. In 2475, the Nazgul led an invasion of Uruks into Ithilien. They captured Osgiliath and the bridge spanning the Anduin was broken. Denethor I's son Boromir defeated the Uruks and drove them out of Ithilien, but Osgiliath was ruined and deserted. Boromir received a Morgul-wound that shortened his life. He succeeded his father in 2477 but ruled for only twelve years until his death in 2489.
Boromir was followed by his son Cirion. Cirion learned that a group of Men from the East called the Balchoth were planning to invade Gondor's northern province of Calenardhon. Cirion called upon Gondor's old allies the Eotheod for help. Eorl the Young led the Eotheod to Gondor's aid at the Battle of the Field of Celebrant in 2510. The Balchoth were soundly defeated, and Cirion gave Eorl and his people Calenardhon, which became known as Rohan. Eorl swore an oath that Rohan would always remain Gondor's ally.
Cirion was followed by Hallas, Hurin II, Belecthor I, Orodreth, and Ecthelion I. Ecthelion I repaired and rebuilt the White Tower of Minas Tirith, which then became known as the Tower of Ecthelion. Ecthelion had no children and was succeeded by Egalmoth, who was the grandson of Orodreth's sister Morwen.
Egalmoth was succeeded by Beren. In 2758, three fleets from Umbar and Harad attacked Gondor's coastline. They were driven away by Beren's son Beregond, who was a great captain. Beregond then sent aid to Rohan, which had suffered an invasion by the Men of Dunland along with the hardships of the Long Winter. Beren allowed Saruman to take up residence in Isengard. Gondor no longer had the resources to maintain the distant stronghold, and Beren hoped that the presence of the Wizard would provide some protection on Rohan's western border.
Beregond succeeded Beren in 2763, and Gondor began to recover its strength. Beregond was followed by Belecthor II. When Belecthor II died in 2872, the White Tree also died. No seedling could be found, and the Dead Tree was left standing in the Court of the Fountain at the summit of Minas Tirith. Belecthor II was succeeded by Thorondir, who ruled for only ten years.
Turin II succeeded Thorondir in 2882. During his reign, Gondor's enemies increased their attacks as Sauron's power grew. In 2885, the Haradrim invaded Ithilien from the south. The Men of Rohan came to Gondor's aid led by Folcred and Fastred, the sons of King Folcwine. Together the combined forces of Gondor and Rohan defeated the Haradrim at the Battle of the Crossings of Poros, but Folcred and Fastred were killed. They were buried together in Ithilien and Turin II sent Folcwine a weregild of gold for his great loss.
Though the Haradrim had been driven out, Ithilien became infested by Orcs and by 2901 most of the inhabitants had fled. Turin II built the secret refuge of Henneth Annun for the use of the Rangers of Ithilien who remained to defend the territory. He also fortified the island of Cair Andros in the Anduin to prevent the enemy from crossing the river.
In 2911, the Fell Winter came to the north. In the spring thaw of 2912 there were great floods in Enedwaith, and the city of Tharbad on the Greyflood was ruined. Tharbad had been an important port between Gondor and Arnor, but it had declined over the years and now it was deserted. Turin II was succeeded by Turgon in 2914.
Sauron returned in secret to Mordor in 2942 and began to gather his strength. He made his presence known in 2951 and he began rebuilding Barad-dur. In 2954, Mount Doom burst into flame and Ithilien was deserted by all but the Rangers.
Ecthelion II succeeded Turgon as Ruling Steward in 2953. He took many valiant Men into his service, including one named Thorongil. In 2980, Thorongil led a preemptive strike against the Corsairs of Umbar who had become a growing threat to Gondor once more. Thorongil then left Gondor as mysteriously as he had appeared.
Ecthelion II died in 2984 and his son Denethor II became the twenty-sixth and last Ruling Steward of Gondor. Denethor learned that Thorongil was actually Aragorn, the Chieftain of the Dunedain of the North and Isildur's Heir. Denethor knew that Aragorn could claim the throne of Gondor. Although it was his duty as Steward to relinquish the rule of Gondor to the rightful King, Denethor did not believe that Gondor should be ruled by an heir of Isildur rather than an heir of Anarion. He also felt that the Dunedain of the North had lost their lordship and dignity since the fall of the North-kingdom over a millennium ago.
Denethor believed he was destined to lead Gondor in its darkest hour. Early in his reign, he retook the city of Osgiliath from Sauron's forces and stationed a garrison there as a first line of defense against Mordor. He also tried to learn Sauron's plans by using the palantir of Minas Tirith. But Sauron had the palantir from Minas Morgul and he soon became aware of Denethor. Sauron was unable to corrupt Denethor or break his will, but eventually he was able to manipulate what Denethor saw in the palantir.
In 3017, Gandalf came to Minas Tirith. Gandalf had begun to suspect that the One Ring that had been lost with Isildur in the Gladden Fields had fallen into the hands of a Hobbit named Frodo Baggins in the Shire. He found a scroll in the archives written by Isildur describing the inscription on the One Ring, which he used to confirm his suspicions.
On June 20, 3018, the War of the Ring began when Sauron launched an assault on Osgiliath led by the Witch-king. Denethor's sons Boromir and Faramir held the western side of the river, and the bridge was cast down. But Sauron's purpose in ordering the attack had been to test Gondor's defenses and to provide cover for Nazgul to begin the hunt for the One Ring, and once that was accomplished, Sauron halted the assault.
Faramir and Boromir both had dreamed that Isildur's Bane would threaten to bring doom to Middle-earth, though neither knew what this meant. Boromir travelled to Rivendell seeking answers. There he attended the Council of Elrond and learned that Isildur's Bane was the One Ring. The Council concluded that in order to defeat Sauron once and for all, the Ring had to be destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom. Frodo Baggins volunteered for the mission. Boromir and Aragorn were both members of the Fellowship that accompanied him.
Boromir was overcome by temptation for the Ring, and he was deluded into thinking he could use it to defeat Sauron and save Gondor. At Amon Hen on February 26, 3019, Boromir tried to take the Ring from Frodo. Frodo escaped and left the Fellowship, setting out for Mordor with Sam Gamgee. The Fellowship was then attacked by Uruk-hai sent by Saruman to capture the Hobbit bearing the One Ring. Boromir was killed trying to defend Merry Brandybuck and Pippin Took. Aragorn found him before he died and vowed that Minas Tirith would not fall.
Faramir and Denethor both heard Boromir's horn sounding from afar. Faramir had a vision of Boromir's funeral boat floating down the Anduin, and the shattered horn was later found in the water. Denethor was deeply grieved by the loss of his favorite son.
Aragorn set out after Merry and Pippin and their captors. In Rohan, he met Eomer, nephew of King Theoden, and he accompanied the Rohirrim to Helm's Deep. On the night of March 3-4, the Rohirrim defeated Saruman's forces in the Battle of Helm's Deep and Saruman was imprisoned in Isengard.
Aragorn took possession of the palantir of Orthanc and he used it to confront Sauron. Sauron saw that the sword that had cut the Ring from his hand had been reforged, and he knew that Isildur's heir had come. He feared that Aragorn had the One Ring and would try to use it against him, so Sauron prepared a preemptive strike on Gondor.
Armies of Men in the service of Sauron had been coming to Mordor from the South and East. Faramir and the Rangers of Ithilien ambushed one such army of Haradrim. While in Ithilien, Faramir encountered Frodo and Sam. Faramir learned that Frodo was carrying the Ring, but he rejected the temptation to take it.
News reached Minas Tirith that a fleet of Corsairs from Umbar was approaching the Mouths of the Anduin. Denethor ordered the Beacon-hills lit to summon aid from Rohan. Denethor had also sent a messenger to Rohan bearing the Red Arrow, calling upon King Theoden to fulfill the Oath of his ancestor Eorl.
Aragorn had also seen the coming of the Corsairs in the palantir, and he decided to take a shortcut through the Paths of the Dead in order to stop them. He summoned the Dead who had dwelled there since Isildur had cursed them for breaking their oath to fight Sauron in the War of the Last Alliance. The Dead recognized Aragorn as Isildur's heir, and they followed him to Pelargir where they captured the Corsairs' fleet. Since the Dead had fulfilled their oath, Aragorn released them to rest in peace.
On March 9, armies from the southern provinces of Gondor arrived in Minas Tirith to help defend the City against Sauron's forces. Gandalf and Pippin Took arrived that same day. Pippin swore an oath of fealty to Denethor and became a Guard of the Citadel. Faramir returned to Minas Tirith the next day, pursued by the Winged Nazgul. He reported on his encounter with Frodo, and Denethor was angry that Faramir had not brought the One Ring to Gondor.
That day, March 10, was the Dawnless Day. A darkness had begun to spread from Mordor in advance of Sauron's forces. An army of Orcs from the Black Gate captured the island of Cair Andros and crossed the river into Anorien north of Minas Tirith. They blocked the Great West Road in an attempt to prevent the Rohirrim from coming to the aid of Gondor. That night the Witch-king led the main army from Minas Morgul and headed toward Osgiliath.
Denethor sent Faramir to Osgiliath to defend the river crossing there, but Faramir's forces were overwhelmed and were forced to retreat. On March 13, the Witch-king's forces breached the Rammas Echor and overran the Pelennor Fields. Minas Tirith was besieged.
Faramir was brought back to Minas Tirith gravely wounded. Denethor succumbed to despair and relinquished the defense of the City to Gandalf. Denethor used the palantir and saw a fleet of Corsairs' ships approaching, leading him to believe Gondor's defeat was imminent. Unknown to Denethor, the ships had been commandeered by Aragorn, who was coming to help defend Minas Tirith.
On March 15, Denethor committed suicide by burning himself alive on a funeral pyre. He had lost all hope that Sauron's forces could be defeated, and even if a brief reprieve were possible, Denethor did not want to concede the rule of Gondor to Aragorn. Denethor tried to kill his son Faramir as well, but Gandalf rescued him from the flames.
The gates of Minas Tirith were broken by the great battering ram Grond. The City was saved by the arrival of the Rohirrim at dawn. King Theoden of Rohan was killed, but his niece Eowyn along with Merry Brandybuck vanquished the Witch-king. Aragorn arrived with reinforcements and the enemy forces were defeated in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Aragorn healed Faramir, Eowyn, and Merry, who had been sickened by their contact with the Witch-king.
Aragorn led an army to the Black Gate of Mordor in order to divert Sauron's attention away from Frodo, who was crossing Mordor to Mount Doom. On March 25, the army of the West fought the forces of Sauron in the Battle of the Morannon. Then the One Ring was destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom, and Sauron was utterly defeated. Mordor fell into ruin, and Sauron's forces were slain or scattered.
On May 1, Aragorn was crowned King Elessar. The Kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor were reunited once more. King Elessar found a sapling of the White Tree and it was replanted in Minas Tirith. He named Faramir as his Steward, and he reestablished the Great Council of Gondor with Faramir, Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth, and the other Lords of the Fiefs and Captains of the Forces.
King Elessar pardoned the Easterlings who had fought for Sauron and he made peace with the Haradrim. He sent his messengers throughout the land, and he rode out himself - accompanied by King Eomer of Rohan - to drive out the remaining evil-doers and bring peace to the peoples of Middle-earth.
King Elessar gave the Druadan Forest to the Druedain and forbade Men from entering it. He also made the Shire a Free Land under the protection of the King and issued an edict that Men could not go there. The Thain, the Master of Buckland, and the Mayor of Michel Delving were made Counsellors of the North-kingdom. The independent realms of Dale and the Lonely Mountain were allies of the Reunited Kingdom.
King Elessar died in the year 120 of the Fourth Age. His son Eldarion succeeded him as King of the Reunited Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor. Eldarion's mother was Arwen and therefore he and his descendants had Elvish blood. Eldarion may have ruled until at least the year 220 of the Fourth Age. It was foretold that Eldarion's realm would be great and that it would endure under the rule of his descendants for a hundred generations of Men.
The Silmarillion: "Akallabeth," passim; "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age," passim
Unfinished Tales: "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn," p. 260, 265; "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields," passim; "Cirion and Eorl," passim; "The Battles of the Fords of Isen," p. 369-70; "The Druedain," p. 383-84; "The Istari," p. 401-402 note 7' "The Palantiri," passim
The History of Middle-earth, vol. XII, The Peoples of Middle-earth: "The Heirs of Elendil," passim; "The Making of Appendix A," p. 258-60; "Of Dwarves and Men," p. 315-16
"The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor," by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Carl F. Hostetter, commentary by Christopher Tolkien, in Vinyar Tengwar #42, July 2001
Numenoreans establish the haven of Pelargir near the Mouths of the Anduin.
Birth of Elendil.
Birth of Elendil's son Isildur.
Birth of Elendil's son Anarion.
Ar-Pharazon brings Sauron to Numenor.
Birth of Anarion's son Meneldil.
Ar-Pharazon tries to conquer the Undying Lands. Numenor is destroyed. The Faithful escape to Middle-earth led by Elendil, Isildur, and Anarion.
Foundation of the realms of Gondor and Arnor. Sauron returns to Mordor.
Birth of Meneldil's son Cemendur.
Sauron attacks Gondor. Anarion remains to defend Gondor while Isildur goes north to Arnor.
Elendil and Gil-galad form the Last Alliance to oppose Sauron.
The army of the Last Alliance defeats Sauron's forces in the Battle of Dagorlad. Sauron is besieged in Barad-dur.
Anarion is killed in battle.
Elendil and Gil-galad defeat Sauron but are themselves killed. Isildur takes the One Ring and Sauron's spirit flees his body.
Isildur plants a seedling of the White Tree in Minas Anor. He leaves Anarion's son Meneldil in charge of Gondor while he travels north to Arnor intending to assume the High Kingship. Isildur is killed by Orcs in the Gladden Fields and the One Ring is lost. Meneldil becomes the third King of Gondor.
Ohtar brings the shards of Narsil to Arnor.
Isildur's son Valandil becomes King of Arnor. He does not claim the High Kingship of both Gondor and Arnor. The two realms become separated.
Birth of Cemendur's son Earendil.
Birth of Earendil's son Anardil.
Death of Meneldil. Cemendur becomes the fourth King of Gondor.
Birth of Anardil's son Ostoher.
Death of Cemendur. Earendil becomes the fifth King of Gondor.
Birth of Ostoher's son Tarostar (later called Romendacil I).
Death of Earendil. Anardil becomes the sixth King of Gondor.
Birth of Tarostar's son Turambar.
Death of Anardil. Ostoher becomes the seventh King of Gondor.
King Ostoher rebuilds and enlarges Minas Anor and the Kings of Gondor begin to live there during the summer.
Birth of Turambar's son Atanatar I.
Easterlings attack Gondor for the first time.
Death of Ostoher. Tarostar becomes the eighth King of Gondor.
Tarostar defeats the Easterlings and takes the name Romendacil I, meaning "East-victor."
Easterlings again attack Gondor and Romendacil I is slain in battle. Turambar becomes the ninth King of Gondor. He avenges his father's death and gains territory in the east.
Birth of Atanatar I's son Siriondil.
Birth of Siriondil's son Tarannon.
Death of Turambar. Atanatar I becomes the tenth King of Gondor.
Birth of Earnil I, nephew of Tarannon.
Death of Atanatar I. Siriondil becomes the eleventh King of Gondor.
Birth of Earnil I's son Ciryandil.
Death of Siriondil. Tarannon becomes the twelfth King of Gondor. He takes the name Falastur, meaning "Lord of the Coasts," because he expanded Gondor's territory along the coasts west and south of the Mouths of the Anduin.
Birth of Ciryandil's son Ciryaher (later called Hyarmendacil I).
Death of Tarannon Falastur. He had no children, so his nephew Earnil I becomes the thirteenth King of Gondor.
Earnil I captures Umbar.
Earnil I lost at Sea. Ciryandil becomes the fourteenth King of Gondor.
Birth of Ciryaher's son Atanatar II.
The Haradrim besiege Umbar. King Ciryandil is killed. Ciryaher becomes the fifteenth King of Gondor.
Birth of Atanatar II's eldest son Narmacil I.
Ciryaher conquers the Haradrim and gains territory in the south. He takes the name Hyarmendacil I meaning "South-victor." Gondor reaches the height of its power. Sauron returns from the East and secretly builds the stronghold of Dol Guldur in Greenwood, which becomes Mirkwood.
Birth of Atanatar II's younger son Calmacil.
Birth of Calmacil's son Minalcar (later called Romendacil II).
Death of Hyarmendacil I. Atanatar II becomes the sixteenth King of Gondor. The waning of Gondor's power begins during his reign.
Birth of Minalcar's son Valacar.
Death of Atanatar II. Narmacil I becomes the seventeenth King of Gondor.
Narmacil I makes his nephew Minalcar his Regent.
Minalcar defeats a large army of Easterlings and takes the name Romendacil II.
Romendacil II sends his son Valacar as an ambassador to the King Vidugavia of Rhovanion. Valacar marries Vidugavia's daughter Vidumavi soon afterwards.
Birth of Valacar's son Eldacar.
Birth of Castamir.
Romendacil II calls Valacar home from the court of Vidugavia.
Death of Narmacil I. He had no children, so his younger brother Calmacil becomes the eighteenth King of Gondor, though Romendacil II continues to rule as Regent.
Evil things begin to multiply again in Middle-earth.
Death of Calmacil. Romendacil II becomes the nineteenth King of Gondor.
Birth of Eldacar's second son Aldamir.
Death of Valacar's wife Vidumavi.
Death of Romendacil II. Valacar becomes the twentieth King of Gondor.
Birth of Aldamir's son Vinyarion (later called Hyarmendacil II).
Death of Valacar. Eldacar becomes twenty-first King of Gondor. The civil war of the Kin-strife begins.
Osgiliath is captured by Castamir, who usurps the throne and becomes twenty-second King of Gondor. Eldacar flees to Rhovanion. His son Ornendil is slain.
Eldacar returns to Gondor. He kills Castamir at the Battle of the Crossings of Erui and resumes the throne of Gondor. Castamir's sons flee to Pelargir where they are besieged by Eldacar.
Castamir's sons and their followers escape and capture Umbar.
Birth of Vinyarion's son Minardil.
Death of Eldacar. Aldamir becomes twenty-third King of Gondor.
Birth of Minardil's son Telemnar.
Aldamir slain in battle with the Haradrim and the Corsairs of Umbar. Vinyarion becomes twenty-fourth King of Gondor.
Vinyarion defeats the Haradrim and takes the name Hyarmendacil II, meaning "South-victor."
Birth of Tarondor, nephew of Telemnar.
Death of Hyarmendacil II. Minardil becomes twenty-fifth King of Gondor.
Birth of Tarondor's son Telumehtar.
The Corsairs attack Pelargir and Minardil is killed. Telemnar become twenty-sixth King of Gondor.
The Great Plague begins to spread from the East, coming first to the Northmen of Rhovanion.
The Great Plague devastates Gondor. Telemnar and his children die. Telemnar's nephew Tarondor becomes twenty-seventh King of Gondor. The White Tree dies.
Tarondor moves the capital to Minas Anor and plants a seedling of the White Tree. Osgiliath begins to fall into ruin. Mordor is left unguarded.
Birth of Telumehtar's son Narmacil II.
Birth of Narmacil II's son Calimehtar.
Birth of Calimehtar's son Ondoher.
Death of Tarondor. Telumehtar becomes the twenty-eighth King of Gondor.
Telumehtar retakes Umbar and temporarily drives out the Corsairs.
Death of Telumehtar. Narmacil II becomes the twenty-ninth King of Gondor.
The attacks of the Wainriders upon Gondor begin.
Narmacil II killed in the Battle of the Plains against the Wainriders. Calimehtar becomes the thirtieth King of Gondor. Gondor loses its territory east of the Anduin except Ithilien.
Birth of Pelendur.
Birth of Earnil II.
Calimehtar defeats the Wainriders on Dagorlad.
Calimehtar builds the White Tower in Minas Anor.
Birth of Pelendur's son Vorondil.
Birth of Earnil II's son Earnur.
Death of Calimehtar. Ondoher becomes thirty-first King of Gondor.
Gondor and Arnor renew communications and recognize that they face a common enemy. Ondoher's daughter Firiel marries Arvedui of the North-kingdom.
The Wainriders allied with Khand and Near Harad attack Gondor. Ondoher and his sons are killed. Earnil defeats the enemy in South Ithilien and wins the Battle of the Camp. Arvedui of the North-kingdom tries to claim the crown of Gondor, but his claim is rejected.
Earnil II becomes thirty-second King of Gondor.
Birth of Vorondil's son Mardil Voronwe.
The Witch-king of Angmar prepares an assault on Arthedain. Arvedui sends a request for help to Gondor.
The Witch-king invades Arthedain and captures Fornost. The North-kingdom ends.
Arvedui drowns in the Icebay of Forochel. Earnur brings a fleet to Lindon. The Witch-king is defeated at the Battle of Fornost.
Arvedui's son Aranarth takes the title of Chieftain of the Dunedain.
The Witch-king comes to Mordor and gathers the Nazgul to him to prepare for Sauron's return.
Death of the Steward Pelendur. Vorondil becomes Steward to Earnil II.
Birth of Mardil Voronwe's son Eradan.
The Nazgul besiege Minas Ithil.
The Nazgul capture Minas Ithil, which becomes known as Minas Morgul. They gain possession of the palantir called the Ithil-stone.
Death of Vorondil. Mardil Voronwe becomes Steward to Earnil II.
Birth of Eradan's son Herion.
Death of Earnil II. Earnur becomes the thirty-third King of Gondor. He is challenged by the Witch-king but the Steward Mardil persuades him to refuse.
The Witch-king challenges Earnur again. Earnur rides to Minas Morgul and never returns. The line of Kings ends. Mardil becomes the first Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Gandalf goes to Dol Guldur. Sauron flees into the East. The Watchful Peace begins. The Nazgul remain quiet in Minas Morgul.
Birth of Herion's son Belegorn.
Death of Mardil Voronwe. Eradan becomes the second Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Death of Eradan. Herion becomes the third Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Birth of Belegorn's son Hurin I.
Death of Herion. Belegorn becomes the fourth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Birth of Hurin I's son Turin I.
Death of Belegorn. Hurin I becomes the fifth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Death of Hurin I. Turin I becomes the sixth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Birth of Turin I's son Hador.
Death of Turin I. Hador becomes the seventh Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Birth of Hador's son Barahir.
Birth of Barahir's son Dior.
Birth of Dior's nephew Denethor I.
Death of Hador. Barahir becomes the eighth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Birth of Denethor I's son Boromir.
Death of Barahir. Dior becomes the ninth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Death of Dior. Denethor I becomes the tenth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Birth of Boromir's son Cirion.
The Watchful Peace ends. Sauron returns with increased strength to Dol Guldur.
Deagol finds the One Ring and is murdered for it by Smeagol.
Ithilien is invaded by Uruks led by the Nazgul. They are driven back by Boromir, but Osgiliath is ruined and deserted.
Death of Denethor I. Boromir becomes the eleventh Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Birth of Cirion's son Hallas.
Death of Boromir. Cirion becomes the twelfth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Calenardhon is invaded by the Balchoth. Eorl the Young comes to Gondor's aid in the Battle of the Field of Celebrant. Cirion gives Eorl and his people Calenardhon, which becomes Rohan.
Birth of Hallas' son Hurin II.
Birth of Hurin II's son Belecthor I.
Death of Cirion. Hallas becomes the thirteenth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Birth of Belecthor I's son Orodreth.
Birth of Orodreth's son Ecthelion I.
Death of Hallas. Hurin II becomes the fourteenth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Birth of Egalmoth.
Death of Hurin II. Belecthor I becomes the fifteenth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Death of Belecthor I. Orodreth becomes the sixteenth Ruling Steward of Gondor. Birth of Egalmoth's son Beren.
Death of Orodreth. Ecthelion I becomes the seventeenth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Ecthelion I rebuilds the White Tower in Minas Tirith. Death of Ecthelion I. He has no children, so his kinsman Egalmoth becomes the eighteenth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Birth of Beren's son Beregond.
Death of Egalmoth. Beren becomes the nineteenth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Birth of Beregond's son Belecthor II.
Gondor is attacked by fleets from Umbar and Harad, but Beregond drives them away. Rohan is invaded by Dunlendings. The Long Winter begins.
Death of King Helm of Rohan. Frealaf drives out the Dunlendings and becomes King of Rohan. Beren allows Saruman to live at Isengard.
Death of Beren. Beregond becomes the twentieth Ruling Steward of Gondor. Gondor begins to recover its strength.
Birth of Belecthor II's son Thorondir.
Death of Beregond. Belecthor II becomes the twenty-first Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Birth of Thorondir's son Turin II.
Birth of Turin II's son Turgon.
Death of Belecthor II. Thorondir becomes the twenty-second Ruling Steward of Gondor. The White Tree dies and no seedling can be found. The Dead Tree is left standing.
Death of Thorondir. Turin II becomes the twenty-third Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Stirred up by emissaries of Sauron, the Haradrim invade Ithilien. The Haradrim are defeated by the forces of Gondor and Rohan. Folcred and Fastred of Rohan are killed.
Birth of Turgon's son Ecthelion II.
Most of the remaining inhabitants of Ithilien flee because of attacks by Uruks from Mordor. The secret refuge of Henneth Annun is built.
The Fell Winter.
Tharbad is ruined by floods in the spring thaw and is deserted.
Death of Turin II. Turgon becomes the twenty-fourth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Birth of Ecthelion II's son Denethor II.
March 1: Birth of Aragorn, son of Arathorn II, Chieftain of the Dunedain of the North.
Bilbo discovers the One Ring. The White Council attacks Dol Guldur. Sauron withdraws.
Sauron returns in secret to Mordor.
Birth of Finduilas, daughter of Adrahil of Dol Amroth.
Sauron declares himself openly and gathers power and begins the rebuilding of Barad-dur. Elrond tells Aragorn his true heritage and gives him the shards of Narsil.
Death of Turgon. Ecthelion II becomes the twenty-fifth Ruling Steward of Gondor. Saruman tells the White Council that the One Ring was washed down to the Sea, and he claims Isengard as his own.
Mount Doom bursts into flame again. The last inhabitants of Ithilien flee over Anduin.
Denethor II marries Finduilas of Dol Amroth.
Birth Denethor's son Boromir.
Aragorn defeats the Corsairs while in the serving Ecthelion under the assumed name of Thorongil.
Birth of Denethor's son Faramir.
Death of Ecthelion II. Denethor II becomes the twenty-sixth and last Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Death of Finduilas, wife of the Steward Denethor II.
The shadow of Mordor lengthens.
Gandalf visits Minas Tirith and reads the scroll of Isildur which describes the One Ring.
June 19: Faramir dreams of
June 20: The Witch-king leads an attack Osgiliath. Boromir and Faramir hold the western side of the Anduin.
July 4: Boromir sets out for Rivendell.
September 29: Aragorn offers his protection to Frodo Baggins, the Ring-bearer.
October 24: Boromir arrives
at Rivendell in the night.
October 25: The Council of Elrond decides that the One Ring must be destroyed in Mordor. Frodo Baggins volunteers to take it.
December 18: A Fellowship
is chosen to accompany Frodo, including Aragorn and Boromir.
December 25: The Fellowship sets out from Rivendell.
February 26: The Breaking
of the Fellowship. Frodo sets out for Mordor with Sam. Boromir dies defending
Merry and Pippin. Faramir and Denethor hear Boromir's horn in the distance.
Aragorn follows the captors of Merry and Pippin.
February 29: Faramir sees Boromir's funeral boat.
March 1: Faramir and his men
set out for Ithilien to ambush the Haradrim marching to Mordor.
March 3-4: Battle of Helm's Deep; destruction of Isengard.
March 5: Aragorn takes possession of the palantir of Orthanc.
March 6: Aragorn reveals himself to Sauron in the palantir.
March 7: Faramir encounters Frodo and Sam in Ithilien. He learns that Frodo carries the One Ring but he does not try to take it.
March 8: News reaches Minas Tirith that the Corsairs' fleet is approaching the Mouths of the Anduin. Aragorn takes the Paths of the Dead and summons the Oathbreakers to fight the Corsairs.
March 9: The Beacons of Gondor are lit. Gandalf and Pippin arrive in Minas Tirith. Pippin swears fealty to Denethor. The armies of the fiefdoms of Gondor reach Minas Tirith. Denethor's messenger Hirgon arrives in Rohan with the Red Arrow seeking aid. Faramir leaves Henneth Annun for Cair Andros.
March 10: The Dawnless Day. The Witch-king leads an army from Minas Morgul. Faramir returns to Minas Tirith and is rescued from Nazgul by Gandalf. Faramir reports to Denethor on his encounter with Frodo the Ring-bearer. An enemy force takes Cair Andros and crosses the river north of Minas Tirith.
March 11: Denethor sends Faramir to Osgiliath to hold the river crossing.
March 12: The army led by the Witch-king captures the crossing at Osgiliath. Faramir is forced to retreat to the Causeway Forts.
March 13: The Rammas Echor is breached and the Pelennor Fields are overrun. Faramir is brought back to Minas Tirith gravely wounded. Denethor looks into the palantir and probably sees the capture of Frodo Baggins, leading him to mistakenly conclude that Sauron has the One Ring. Aragorn reaches Pelargir with the army of the Dead and they capture the Corsairs' fleet.
March 14: Denethor remains at Faramir's bedside and relinquishes command of Minas Tirith's defenses to Gandalf. Another vision in the palantir reveals a Corsair fleet approaching, which unknown to Denethor is commanded by Aragorn. Denethor foresees doom for both Faramir and Gondor and he falls into madness and despair.
March 15: Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Aragorn arrives in the Corsairs' ships. Sauron's forces are defeated. Denethor kills himself but Faramir is rescued and is revived by Aragorn.
March 16: The Captains of the West decide to march to the Black Gate.
March 18: Aragorn leads the Host of the West out of Minas Tirith.
March 23: Aragorn sends those too frightened to proceed to retake Cair Andros.
March 25: Battle of the Morannon. The One Ring is destroyed and Sauron is defeated.
May 1: Aragorn is crowned King Elessar. Faramir becomes his Steward and is given the title Prince of Ithilien.
June 25: Aragorn finds the sapling of the White Tree.
Midsummer's Eve: Aragorn receives
the Sceptre of Annuminas - the symbol
of royalty of the North-kingdom.
Midsummer's Day: Wedding of Aragorn and Arwen.
Marriage of Faramir and Eowyn.
King Elessar makes the Shire a Free Land under the protection of the Northern Sceptre and forbids Men from entering it.
King Elessar makes the Thain, the Master of Buckland, and the Mayor of Michel Delving Counsellors of the North-kingdom.
King Elessar and Queen Arwen come north to dwell at Annuminas. They meet with Pippin, Merry and Sam at the Brandywine Bridge.
King Elessar adds the Westmarch to the Shire.
Death of Faramir.
Death of King Elessar. Eldarion becomes King of the Reunited Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor.
The name Gondor means "stone land" from gond meaning "stone" and dor, ndor meaning "land." The land was so named because of the great cities and works of stone built there by the survivors of Numenor.
The Silmarillion: "Appendix - Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names," entries for dor and gond
The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull: "The Great River," p. 347
The Quenya form of Gondor was Ondonórë. The word ondo means "stone" in Quenya.
The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull: "The Great River," p. 347
Gondor was the Kingdom of the Dunedain in the South, while Arnor was the Kingdom of the Dunedain in the North.
Gondor was called Stoningland by the Rohirrim.
The Return of the King: "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields," p. 124
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