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Discussing: On the King, and Kingly Duties

On the King, and Kingly Duties

Hey there,another question here. (I apologize if there's another question of this sort elsewhere, or if this is posted in the wrong place.) I'm working on a fic with King Thranduil in it (and later one with King Elessar) , and I'm wondering about some of the 'Kingly' duties he would have to preform from day to day. I'm afraid I don't know very much about this sort of thing. A few specific questions: How often would Thranduil see his children? (Like at meals? Or at the end of the day? etc.) What sort of duties might he pass off to an older son? Does he just sit around on his throne all day and make decisions for everyone? I understand that a King would probably get very few if any days off. Besides attending councils and meetings and things, what else might he do? Thanks lots, ~VG



Re: On the King, and Kingly Duties

Hi VG Much the same as any current head of state, I suspect As you've noted, there are a lot of meetings. Councils where he has to listen to debates and make decisions. Publicly receving ambassadors and honoured guests - and having private discussions with them. Having private discussions with particular trusted councillors as well - or having his ear bent by people with vested interests who want to get their point in before the formal Council. He would hold receptions to celebrate festival days or honour particular people. He would visit subjects to learn about them, show them he takes an interest and raise morale (for example reviewing troops or visiting craftmen he gives patronage too). There might be paperwork to read and sign - decrees and so on. This website about the British monarchy might give you some more ideas about what a monarch does. As for seeing his children - when they are young, he probably wouldn't see them much during the day: he's effectively "at work". I think it's unlikely young children would be at "formal" meals with ambassadors and so on. As they get older, I think the children would be expected to attend more and more of the official duties, so they can learn themselves what is involved in being royal. Hope that helps Cheers, Liz



Re: On the King, and Kingly Duties

Ah! Thanks so much, that helps lots. ~VG



Re: On the King, and Kingly Duties

I may be stating the obvious here, but... In addition to what Liz wrote, I'd suggest keeping in mind that you're writing in middle earth. While I'd guess for elves, ruling a kingdom would be, in the large matters, pretty similar, I'd expect there to be differences due to the differences in culture. Personally, I find elves are more often than not written exactly like humans, and I just think that would not be the case as they have a very different culture. For instance, I'd suspect they have less silly day to day squabbles, or at least I'd hope they would. On the human side of it, we're talking Numenorean, also (hopefully) a bit different as well, though not as much so as the elves. ~my 2 cents Éile



Re: On the King, and Kingly Duties

To carry on a bit further with Éile's thought (which I agree with), also remember Thranduil's kingdom, though the largest of the elf kingdoms, is a fly-speck compared to the British Empire. Thranduil is dealing with the needs of perhaps tens of thousands of elves at most and primarily interacting with only a half dozen or so 'foreign' powers. So, I would think it would be feasibly possible that Thranduil would be able to arrange time daily to spend with his children, especially while they are young (and especially taking into consideration the value elves place on children.) Elessar might have a busier time of it. Gondor is much more comparable in size to a modern-day country, with vast numbers of people whose believe their needs are more important the everyones else, and a huge amount of territory to protect and maintain. I think it less likely that he would be able to take time out of his day. He would, no doubt, try to take time out of his evening for his children, but even then, he doubtless would not always even manage that. Also, he would be traveling a lot -- long distances and for many months at time -- as unlike today, he wouldn't have a telephone and such to keep him in contact with all the corners of Gondor and Arnor (in contrast to Thranduil, who would not need to do extensive traveling to keep track of things.) While Elessar's children were young, it is doubtful that they would travel with him, so he very well may have missed much of their childhoods. One other contrast between Thranduil and Elessar... Thranduil's power and authority has been well established for several thousand years and his kingdom relatively stable even with the threat of the shadow from the south. Elessar was a new need king who would have needed to prove his power and authority, and he had to rebuild his kingdom, which would have not been entirely stable for a good long time while people tested him and his ability to hold it all together. Karri



Re: On the King, and Kingly Duties

Elessar was a new need king who would have needed to prove his power and authority, and he had to rebuild his kingdom, which would have not been entirely stable for a good long time while people tested him and his ability to hold it all together. Very helpful food for thought, Karri. And you're definitely right about the last part: In Gondor the King Elessar now ruled, and in Arnor also. In all the lands of those realms of old he was king, save in Rohan only; for he renewed to Éomer the gift of Cirion, and Éomer 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. And wherever King Elessar went with war King Éomer went with him; and beyond the Sea of Rhûn and on the far fields of the South the thunder of the cavalry of the Mark was heard, and the White Horse upon Green flew in many winds until Éomer grew old. The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: The House of Eorl - Barbara



Re: On the King, and Kingly Duties

OK, thank-you very much for that, I have a clearer (somewhat anyway) picture in my head now. Thanks again ~VG



Re: On the King, and Kingly Duties

Karri's comment actually remind me of Arnor. Aragorn actually travels to Arnor with Arwen (no mention of children) and dwells there for awhile in FA15. There is mention that a "grand house" was buildt for him on Lake Evendim. I would assume this to mean he was there for several years as moving that kind of houshold is no small task. Also he was there to see to the rebuilding of that land, which would also take time. Something else to consider is that Eldarion was probably not born till much later. My guess puts it around FA 70-80. In App A, when Aragorn decides it is time for him to leave (FA 120) he says that Eldarion is "a man full-ripe for kingship." My guess is that this would put Eldarion between 40-50. Others might argue that he is older, but I find it hard to imagine that Aragorn would wait till his son approached 80 or 90 to think he was ready. We do know that Eldarion rules for about 100 years. In HoME XII, it says of his heirs, "their lifespan was not restored and continued to wane until it became as that of other men." So that would make him 140-150... hmm, he might have been a little older, but that still gives a ballpark figure for his birth year. He did have sisters, at least some of which could have been born before him... Thinking about it, it would make sense for Aragorn to wait to have children, as 1) time is on his side and 2) he has a kingdom to rebuild and enemies still to vanquish. On parenting, I like to think he'd make time to have with his children... FYI, a lot of this is conjecture based on what few facts we have. Éile



Re: On the King, and Kingly Duties

FYI, a lot of this is conjecture based on what few facts we have. True. It is also possible to speculate differently. For instance, it is possible that Elessar in his prophesied role as Envinyatar or Renewer did give a temporary 'renaissance' to the line of the Kings of Gondor. Also, Eldarion, with his double infusion of longevity-prone genes, might be at least equally if not more long-lived than his father. On Eldarion's being "a man full-ripe for Kingship" - that could cover his being 40-50, as you theorise, or, assuming his life-span matched his father's, between 90-120 (middle age for a man with a 200-210 years to look forward to). The 80+ plus at the time of Elessar's death would also be supported by what little we know of the inheritance pattern of the chieftains of the Northern Dunedain. Interesting subject, isn't it? There was a pretty thought-provoking recent one on this board about whether Eldarion was the first-born child of the royal couple, or if the daughters were older, and what the dynastic implications might be. cheers, Maya



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