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Tar-Meneldur

Meaning: Lover of the Heavens

Other Names:
Elentirmo 'Star-watcher'
Child-name was Irimon

Location(s): Armenelos, Númenor

Race/Species: Man

Type/Kind: 2nd age Numenoreans

Title(s): 5th King of Númenor

Dates: II 543 - 942

Parents: father: Tar-Elendil

Spouse: Almarian, daughter of Vëantur

Children: Aldarion, Ailinel, Almiel

Description:
Tar-Meneldur ... was the only son and third child of Tar-Elendil, and he was born in the year 543. He ruled for 143 years, and surrendered the sceptre in 883; he died in 942. His "right name" was Írimon; he took his title Meneldur from his love of star-lore. He married Almarian daughter of Vëantur, Captain of Ships under Tar-Elendil. He was wise, but gentle and patient. He resigned to his son, suddenly and long before due time, as a stroke of policy, in troubles that arose, owing to the disquiet of Gil-galad in Lindon, when he first became aware that an evil spirit, hostile to Eldar and Dúnedain, was stirring in Middle-earth.

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 3, The Line of Elros, Kings of Númenor

Meneldur was the son of Tar-Elendil, the fourth King of Númenor. He was the King's third child, for he had two sisters, named Silmarien and Isilmë. The elder of these was wedded to Elatan of Andúnië, and their son was Valandil, Lord of Andúnië, from whom came long after the lines of the Kings of Gondor and Arnor in Middle-earth.

Meneldur was a man of gentle mood, without pride, whose exercise was rather in thought than in deeds of the body. He loved dearly the land of Númenor and all things in it, but he gave no heed to the Sea that lay all about it; for his mind looked further than Middle-earth: he was enamoured of the stars and the heavens. All that he could gather of the lore of the Eldar and Edain concerning and the deeps that lay about the Kingdom of Arda he studied, and his chief delight was in the watching of the stars. He built a tower in the Forostar (the northernmost region of the island) where the airs were clearest, from which by night he would survey the heavens and observe all the movements of the light of the firmament.

When Meneldur received the Sceptre he removed, as he must, from the Forostar, and dwelt in the great house of the Kings in Armenelos. He proved a good and wise king, though he never ceased to yearn for days in which he might enrich his knowledge of the heavens. His wife was a woman of great beauty, named Almarian. She was the daughter of Vëantur, Captain of the King's Ships under Tar-Elendil; and though she herself loved ships and the sea no more than most women of the land her son followed after Vëantur her father, rather than after Meneldur.

The son of Meneldur and Almarian was Anardil, afterwards renowned among the Kings of Númenor as Tar-Aldarion. He had two sisters, younger than he: Ailinel and Almiel....

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis


History

Aldarion [...] loved the Sea, and his mind was turned to the craft of ship-building. [...] His father did little to hinder him for many years, being well-pleased that Aldarion should have exercise for his hardihood and work for thought and hand.

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

725-7
Aldarion's first voyage to Middle-earth

When Aldarion spoke of this venture, and asked leave to go as soon as the spring winds should be favourable, Meneldur was loath to grant it. A chill came upon him, as though his heart guessed that more hung upon this than his mind could foresee. But when he looked upon the eager face of his son he let no sign of this be seen. "Do as your heart calls, onya" he said. "I shall miss you sorely; but with Vëantur as captain, under the grace of the Valar, I shall live in good hope of your return. But do not become enamoured of the Great Lands, you who one day must be King and Father of this Isle!"

[Aldarion] did not return for more than two years, and Meneldur was in great disquiet. [...]

There was joy in Rómenna and Armenelos when men saw the great ship Númerrámar (which signifies "West-wings") coming up from the sea [...] It seemed to Meneldur when he welcomed his son in the house of Vëantur that he had grown in stature, and his eyes were brighter; but they looked far away.

[...] For Aldarion had become enamoured of the Great Sea [...]

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

730-40
Aldarion's second voyage to Middle-earth
Aldarion's third voyage to Middle-earth

740
Tar-Meneldur becomes King of Númenor

In the thirty-ninth year of his age Aldarion returned to Númenor [...] in the following year, as he had long proclaimed, Tar-Elendil relinquished the Sceptre to his son, and Tar-Meneldur became the King. Then Aldarion restrained his desire, and remained at home for a while for the comfort of his father [...]

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

750-800
Aldarion founds the Guild of Venturers

Tar-Meneldur looked coldly on the enterprises of his son, and cared not to hear the tale of his journeys, believing that he sowed the seeds of restlessness and the desire of other lands to hold.

In that time Aldarion became estranged from his father, and ceased to speak openly of his designs and his desires; but Almarian the Queen supported her son in all that he did, and Meneldur perforce let matters go as they must.

[...] The ships of the Númenóreans became ever larger and of greater draught in those days, until they could make far voyages, carrying many men and great cargoes; and Aldarion was often long gone from Númenor. Tar-Meneldur ever opposed his son, and he set a curb on the felling of trees in Númenor for the building of vessels [...]

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

800
Aldarion proclaimed King's Heir

Then Meneldur and his son were reconciled, for that time, and there was peace between them; and amid joy and feasting Aldarion was proclaimed Heir in the hundredth year of his age, and received from his father the title and power of Lord of the Ships and Havens of Númenor.

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

To the feasting in Armenelos came one Beregar from his dwelling in the west of the Isle, and with him came Erendis his daughter. [...] Erendis entered the household of the Queen, and found favour also with the King [...]

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

806-13
Aldarion's first voyage as King's Heir

Of the King he got but grudging leave, for he refused his father's urging that he abide in Númenor and seek a wife [...]

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

Seven years passed before Aldarion came back, bringing with him ore of silver and gold; and he spoke with his father of his voyage and his deeds. But Meneldur said: "Rather would I have had you beside me, than any news or gifts from the Dark Lands...."

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

816-20
Aldarion's first voyage in the Palarran

Now when the great ship Palarran was built Aldarion would depart once more. At this Meneldur became wrathful, though by the persuasions of the Queen he would not use the King's power to stay him. [...] But Meneldur forbade the Queen and the sisters of Aldarion to bear the bough of oiolairë to Rómenna where lay the Palarran.

[...] The mariners thought it an ill thing that the Captain should depart thus; but when all was made ready and men prepared to weigh anchor Erendis came [...] and she said: "I have brought you the Bough of Return, lord [...]"

At that time Aldarion first looked on Erendis with love [...] It is said that he hastened his return, and was gone less time than he had designed; and coming back he brought gifts for the Queen and the ladies of her house, but the richest gift he brought for Erendis, and that was a diamond. Cold now were the greetings between the King and his son; and Meneldur rebuked him, saying that such a gift was unbecoming in the King's Heir unless it were a betrothal gift, and he demanded that Aldarion declare his mind.

"In gratitude I brought it," said he, "for a warm heart amid the coldness of others."

"Cold hearts may not kindle others to give them warmth at their goings and comings," said Meneldur; and again he urged Aldarion to take thought of marriage, though he did not speak of Erendis. But Aldarion would have none of it, for he was ever and in every course the more opposed as those about him urged it; and treating Erendis now with greater coolness he determined to leave Númenor and further his designs in Vinyalondë. [...]

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

824-9
Aldarion's second voyage in the Palarran
Tar-Meneldur closes the Guildhouse of the Venturers

But now Meneldur forbade his going; and Aldarion, before the winter was fully gone, set sail with a fleet of seven ships and the greater part of the Venturers in defiance of the King. [...]

At the open rebellion of Aldarion the King rescinded his authority as Lord of the Ships and Havens of Númenor; and he caused the Guildhouse of the Venturers on Eämbar to be shut, and the shipyards of Rómenna to be closed, and forbade the felling of all trees for shipbuilding. [...]

Five years passed; and Aldarion returned [...] The anger of Aldarion was great when he found what had been done [...]

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

829-43
Aldarion's third voyage in the Palarran
Aldarion receives the titles Lord of Ships and Havens, and Master of Forests

Aldarion left again in the same year with three ships and the hardiest of the Venturers, going without blessing or bough; for Meneldur set a ban on all the women of his house and of the Venturers, and put a guard about Rómenna.

On that voyage Aldarion was away so long that the people feared for him; and Meneldur himself was disquieted. [After fourteen years] Aldarion at last returned [...] Greatly was Meneldur comforted at Aldarion's return; but he rebuked him for his rebellion against king and father, thus forsaking the guardianship of the Valar, and risking the wrath of Ossë not only for himself but for men whom he had bound to himself in devotion. Then Aldarion was chastened in mood, and he received the pardon of Meneldur....

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

858
Aldarion and Erendis betrothed

Aldarion presented Erendis to Tar-Meneldur as the betrothed of the King's Heir; and the King was rejoiced, and there was merrymaking in the city and in all the Isle. As betrothal gift Meneldur gave to Erendis a fair portion of land in Emerië, and there he had built for her a white house. [...]

Thus there was for a time peace and joy in Armenelos in the house of the King, and in all the Isle....

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

863-9
Aldarion's voyage after his betrothal to Erendis

Now the year came in, in which all looked for the marriage of the King's Heir; for it was not the custom that betrothal should last much longer than three years. One morning in that spring Aldarion rode up from the haven of Andúnië, to take the road to the house of Beregar [...] Then suddenly the sea-longing took him [...]

So the year drew on, and Aldarion spoke neither of the sea nor of wedding; but he was often in Rómenna, and in the company of the Venturers. At length, when the next year came in, the King called him to his chamber; and they were at ease together, and the love they bore one another was no longer clouded.

"My son," said Tar-Meneldur, "when will you give me the daughter that I have so long desired? More than three years have now passed, and that is long enough. I marvel that you could endure so long a delay."

Then Aldarion was silent, but at length he said: "It has come upon me again, Atarinya. Eighteen years is a long fast. I can scarce lie still in a bed, or hold myself upon a horse, and the hard ground of stone wounds my feet."

Then Meneldur was grieved, and pitied his son; but he did not understand his trouble, for he himself had never loved ships, and he said: "Alas! But you are betrothed. And by the laws of Númenor and the right ways of the Eldar and Edain a man shall not have two wives. You cannot wed the Sea, for you are affianced to Erendis."

Then Aldarion's heart was hardened [... and he] said in anger: "It were better to speak with my betrothed myself, and not hold parley by proxy." And he left his father. [...]

He did not sail that year; but he had little peace or joy. [...] He made ready therefore at last for sailing in the spring; and the Venturers were glad, if none else in the Isle who knew of what was done. [...]

Six years and more passed away before Aldarion returned to Númenor. He found even Almarian the Queen colder in welcome, and the Venturers were fallen out of esteem; for men, thought that he had treated Erendis ill. But indeed he was longer gone than he had purposed [...]

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

870-3
Aldarion and Erendis wed
Tar-Ancalimë of Númenor born

Then to the joy of Meneldur and Almarian the wedding of the King's Heir was proclaimed for the next spring; and so it came to pass. In the eight hundred and seventieth year of the Second Age Aldarion and Erendis were wedded [...]

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

877-883
Aldarion's voyage in Hirilondë
Aldarion presents Gil-Galad's letter to Meneldur
Tar-Meneldur decides to resign the Sceptre to Aldarion

[When] Ancalimë was close on four years old Aldarion at last declared openly to Erendis his desire to sail again from Númenor. [...]

Soon after the great ship set sail from Rómenna. Hirilondë he named it, Haven-finder; but it went from Númenor without the blessing of Tar-Meneldur [...]

[In] that spring Ancalimë was nine years old [...] out of the East upon a cloudy wind Hirilondë came back over the grey seas, bearing Aldarion to Rómenna [...] There were none to greet Aldarion upon the quays [...] and he found his house shut. He was dismayed, but he would ask news of no man; first he would seek the King, for he thought he had much to say to him.

He found his welcome no warmer than he looked for; and Meneldur spoke to him as King to a captain whose conduct is in question. [...]

[Aldarion said:] "Captain Aldarion has forgotten somewhat that belongs to his other half, which in his waywardness he also thinks urgent. He has a letter that he was charged to deliver to the King of Armenelos." Presenting it to Meneldur he bowed and left the chamber [...]

[After reading the letter, Meneldur said:] "I am in too great doubt to rule. To prepare or to let be? To prepare for war, which is yet only guessed: train craftsmen and tillers in the midst of peace for bloodspilling and battle: put iron in the hands of greedy captains who will love only conquest, and count the slain as their glory? Will they say to Eru: At least your enemies were amongst them? Or to fold hands, while friends die unjustly: let men live in blind peace, until the ravisher is at the gate? What then will they do: match naked hands against iron and die in vain, or flee leaving the cries of women behind them? Will they say to Eru: At least I spilled no blood?

"When either way may lead to evil, of what worth is choice? Let the Valar rule under Eru! I will resign the Sceptre to Aldarion."....

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

883
Tar-Aldarion becomes King of Númenor

It seems that when Aldarion became King of Númenor in the year 883 he determined to revisit Middle-earth at once, and departed for Mithlond either in the same year or the next. [...] There was a stir in Númenor when Tar-Aldarion determined to return to Middle-earth in 883 or 884, for no King had ever before left the Isle, and the Council had no precedent. It seems that Meneldur was offered but refused the regency, and that Hallatan of Hyarastorni became regent, either appointed by the Council or by Tar-Aldarion himself.

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

[Note: All dates are taken from the Chronology in Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis or identified by calculation from such dates.]

Contributors:
Information from Andreth, 11.01.03
Thevina Finduilas, 11.6.03
added History: Tanaqui 14Nov05

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