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Erendis

Meaning: lonely bride

Other Names:
Tar-Elestirnë 'Lady of the Star-brow'
White Lady of Emerië
Lady of the Westlands

Location(s): Númenor

Race/Species: Man

Type/Kind: 2nd age Numenoreans

Title(s): Queen of Númenor

Dates: II 771 - 985

Parents:
father: Beregar
mother: Núneth

Spouse: Tar-Aldarion

Children: Tar-Ancalimë

Description:

Table of Contents:

Description
Genealogy
History and Timeline
Language
Etymology
Summary of the Tale
Notes

Description

Erendis was dark-haired, and of slender grace, with the clear grey eyes of her kin.

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

None were more fair than Erendis, and they said that her eyes were bright as were the eyes of Morwen Eledhwen of old or even those of Avallónë.

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

[Her] dark hair flowed in the wind, and about her was a green cloak clasped at the throat with a bright jewel; and he took her for one of the Eldar...

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

[She] had caused the white gem to be set as a star in a silver fillet; and at her asking [Aldarion] bound it on her forehead. She wore it so for many years, until sorrow befell; and thus she was known far and wide as Tar-Elestirnë, the Lady of the Star-brow.

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

Genealogy

[Erendis was descended from the house of Bëor, but the name of her ancestress given in the notes following Aldarion and Erendis is an error according to Christopher Tolkien. Given as 'Bereth,' he corrects it to 'Beleth.']

Cf. The Silmarillion p. 148: "The Men of that House [i.e. of Bëor] were dark or brown of hair, with grey eyes." According to a genealogical table of the House of Bëor Erendis was descended from Bereth, who was the sister of Baragund and Belegund, and thus the aunt of Morwen mother of Túrin and of Rían the mother of Tuor.

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis: Notes, Note 19

[But Christopher Tolkien mentions in HoME Vol 11 that this was an error:]

A few changes were made subsequently, at different times, to Beor table II, as follows:
- a remote descent from Beleth, sister of Baragund and Belegund, indicated, leading to Erendis of Númenor [...] With the descent of Erendis of Númenor from Beleth daughter of Bregolas cf. Aldarion and Erendis in Unfinished Tales, p. 177, where it is said of Beregar the father of Erendis that he 'came of the House of Beor': in my note on this (p. 214, note 10) I referred to her descent as given in the present genealogical table, but gave her ancestor's name wrongly as 'Bereth'.

The War of the Jewels, HoME Vol 11, Part 2, Ch 14, Of the Coming of Men into the West

History and Timeline

771
Erendis born

800
[Erendis first sees Aldarion when] he is proclaimed King's Heir
Erendis enters the service of Almarian

[She] looked upon Aldarion as he rode by, and for his beauty and splendour of bearing she had eyes for little else.

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

806-13
Aldarion's first voyage as King's Heir
Erendis falls in love with Aldarion

Aldarion determined to sail again to Middle-earth. [...] coming to bid farewell to his mother he saw Erendis amid the Queen's company [...] from that time forth her heart was turned wholly to Aldarion, though not in hope.

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

813-6
Aldarion quarrels with Tar-Meneldur after his first voyage as King's Heir
Aldarion builds the Palarran
Almarian arranges meetings between Aldarion and Erendis

Yet now he met Erendis often (and that was by contrivance of the Queen).

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

816-20
Aldarion's first voyage in the Palarran
Aldarion falls in love with Erendis

[When] all was made ready and men prepared to weigh anchor Erendis came there, little though she loved the noise and bustle of the great harbour and the crying of the gulls. Aldarion greeted her with amazement and joy; and she said: "I have brought you the Bough of Return, lord: from the Queen." "From the Queen?" said Aldarion, in a changed manner. "Yes, lord," said she; "but I asked for her leave to do so. Others beside your own kin will rejoice at your return, as soon as may be."

At that time Aldarion first looked on Erendis with love; and he stood long in the stern looking back as the Palarran passed out to sea. 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....

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

820-824

Meneldur [...] again [...] 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

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. The Queen did not dare incur Meneldur's wrath; but at night a cloaked woman came to the haven bearing a bough, and she gave it into the hands of Aldarion, saying: "This comes from the Lady of the Westlands" (for so they called Erendis), and went away in the dark.

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

829-43
Aldarion's third voyage in the Palarran

When ten years were gone since his sailing Erendis at last despaired, and believing that Aldarion had met with disaster, or else that he had determined to dwell in Middle-earth, and also in order to escape the importuning of suitors, she asked the Queen's leave, and departing from Armenelos she returned to her own kindred in the Westlands.

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

843-858
Aldarion woos Erendis

Aldarion was grieved to find Erendis gone from Armenelos, but he was too proud to seek her; and indeed he could not well do so save to ask for her in marriage, and he was still unwilling to be bound. [...]

Riding one day in the forests of the Westlands he saw a woman, whose dark hair flowed in the wind, and about her was a green cloak clasped at the throat with a bright jewel; and he took her for one of the Eldar, who came at times to those parts of the Island. But she approached, and he knew her for Erendis, and saw that the jewel was the one that he had given her; then suddenly he knew in himself the love that he bore her, and he felt the emptiness of his days. Erendis seeing him turned pale and would ride off, but he was too quick, and he said: "Too well have I deserved that you should flee from me, who have fled so often and so far! But forgive me, and stay now." They rode then together to the house of Beregar her father, and there Aldarion made plain his desire for betrothal to Erendis; but now Erendis was reluctant, though according to custom and the life of her people it was now full time for her marriage. Her love for him was not lessened, nor did she retreat out of guile; but she feared now in her heart that in the war between herself and the Sea for the keeping of Aldarion she would not conquer. Never would Erendis take less, that she might not lose all; and fearing the Sea, and begrudging to all ships the felling of trees which she loved, she determined that she must utterly defeat the Sea and the ships, or else be herself defeated utterly.

But Aldarion wooed Erendis in earnest, and wherever she went he would go [...] At length he sought to persuade Erendis to sail with him on a voyage about the Island in the ship Eämbar [...]

Thereafter for a while doubt again assailed Erendis, for Aldarion turned his thoughts again to the works at Rómenna [...] But when these things were done Aldarion returned to Erendis and besought her to be betrothed; yet still she delayed, saying: "I have journeyed with you by ship, lord. Before I give you my answer, will you not journey with me ashore, to the places that I love? You know too little of this land, for one who shall be its King." Therefore they departed together, and came to Emerië, where were rolling downs of grass, and it was the chief place of sheep pasturage in Númenor; and they saw the white houses of the farmers and shepherd, and heard the bleating of the flocks.

There Erendis spoke to Aldarion and said: "Here could I be at ease!" [...]

[After] that day they parted, and Erendis returned to her father's house. [...] she found that her heart was not under her will, and her days were empty: more empty than in the years when Aldarion had been gone. For he still abode in Númenor, and yet the days passed, and he did not come again into the west.

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

858
Aldarion and Erendis are betrothed

Now Almarian the Queen [...] sent word to Erendis asking that she return to Armenelos [...] There she was reconciled to Aldarion; and in the spring of the year [...] their troth was plighted upon the steep path of the Meneltarma.

They went back then to Armenelos, and 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.

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

861-3
Aldarion delays his wedding with Erendis

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

870
Aldarion weds Erendis

In the eight hundred and seventieth year of the Second Age Aldarion and Erendis were wedded in Armenelos, and in every house there was music, and in all the streets men and women sang. And afterwards the King's Heir and his bride rode at their leisure through all the Isle, until at midsummer they came to Andúnië, where the last feast was prepared by Valandil its lord; and all the people of the Westlands were gathered there, for love of Erendis and pride that a Queen of Númenor should come from among them.

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

873
Tar-Ancalimë of Númenor born

Two years later Erendis conceived, and in the spring of the year after she bore to Aldarion a daughter. Even from birth the child was fair, and grew ever in beauty: the woman most beautiful, as old tales tell, that ever was born in the line of Elros, save Ar-Zimraphel, the last. When her first naming was due they called her Ancalimë. In heart Erendis was glad, for she thought: "Surely now Aldarion will desire a son, to be his heir; and he will abide with me long yet." For in secret she still feared the Sea and its power upon his heart; and though she strove to hide it, and would talk with him of his old ventures and of his hopes and designs, she watched jealously if he went to his house-ship or was much with the Venturers.

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

Spring 877-882
Aldarion's voyage in Hirilondë
Aldarion and Erendis quarrel
— — Erendis withdraws to Emerië
Erendis prepares for Aldarion's return

But when Ancalimë was close on four years old Aldarion at last declared openly to Erendis his desire to sail again from Númenor. She sat silent, for he said nothing that she did not already know; and words were in vain... When all was ready he returned, and bade Erendis farewell. Then against her will tears were in her eyes. They grieved him, and yet irked him, for his mind was resolved, and he hardened his heart. "Come, Erendis!" he said. "Eight years I have stayed. You cannot bind for ever in soft bonds the son of the King, of the blood of Tuor and Eärendil! And I am not going to my death. I shall soon return." [...]

All that day Erendis sat in her chamber alone, grieving; but deeper in her heart she felt a new pain of cold anger, and her love of Aldarion was wounded to the quick. She hated the Sea; and now even trees, that once she had loved, she desired to look upon no more, for they recalled to her the masts of great ships.

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

Autumn 882
Erendis angers Aldarion on his visit to Emerië
— — Aldarion razes his house in Armenelos
Aldarion quarrels with Tar-Meneldur about Erendis
Tar-Meneldur decides to resign the Sceptre to Aldarion
Erendis refuses Tar-Meneldur's summons to Armenelos

Then out of the East upon a cloudy wind Hirilondë came back over the grey seas, bearing Aldarion to Rómenna; and word was sent to Emerië, but Erendis did not speak of it. There were none to greet Aldarion upon the quays. He rode through the rain to Armenelos [... to] seek the King, for he thought he had much to say to him.

He found his welcome no warmer than he looked for [...]

Aldarion stood suddenly still, and his face was stern. "If you know, tell me," he said. "Where is my home?"

"Where your wife is," said Meneldur. "You have broken your word to her, whether by necessity or no. She dwells now in Emerië in her own house, far from the sea. Thither you must go at once." [...]

As he leapt from his horse in the forecourt he saw Erendis: clad in white she stood upon the steps that went up to the pillars before the door. She held herself high, but as he drew near he law that she was pale and her eyes over-bright.

"You come late, my lord," she said. "I had long ceased to expect you. I fear that there is no such welcome prepared for you as I had made when you were due."

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

882-895
[Erendis remains in Emerië in seclusion]

As [Ancalimë] grew older she became ever more wilful, and she found irksome the company of Erendis, who behaved like a widow and would not be Queen; but she [i.e. Ancalimë] continued to return to Emerië, both as a retreat from Armenelos and because she desired thus to vex Aldarion. She was clever, and malicious, and saw promise of sport as the prize for which her mother and her father did battle.

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis: The Further Course of the Narrative

985
Erendis dies

Of Erendis it is said that when old age came upon her, neglected by Ancalimë and in bitter loneliness, she longed once more for Aldarion; and learning that he was gone from Númenor on what proved to be his last voyage but that he was soon expected to return, she left Emerië at last and journeyed unrecognised and unknown to the haven of Rómenna. There, it seems, she met her fate; but only the words "Erendis perished in water in the year 985" remain to suggest how it came to pass.

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis: The Further Course of the Narrative

Language

In the Westlands and in Andúnië the Elven-tongue [Sindarin] was spoken by high and low. In that tongue Erendis was nurtured... [Author's note.]

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis: Notes, Note 19

Ancalimë [...] learned well to write and to read, and to speak the Elven-tongue with Erendis, after the manner in which high men of Númenor used it. For in the Westlands it was a daily speech in such houses as Beregar's, and Erendis seldom used the Númenórean tongue, which Aldarion loved the better.

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

Etymology

ERE- be alone, deprived. Q er one, alone; [...] N ereb isolated (*ereqa); eriol alone, single. Cf. Tol-eressea, Amon Ereb.

The Lost Road and Other Writings, HoME Vol 5, Part 3, The Etymologies

NDIS- strengthening (parallel to nder of der) of nis 'woman', itself elaborated from ini.
NDIS-SE/SA Q nisse beside nis (see nis, ni) woman. ON ndissa young woman (in N dess was blended with bess, properly 'wife'); *ndise bride > ON ndîs, N dís. Intensive form *i-ndise = Q Indis 'bride', name of the goddess Nessa.

The Lost Road and Other Writings, HoME Vol 5, Part 3, The Etymologies

Summary of the Tale

[Researcher's summary, drawn from Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch II, Aldarion and Erendis:]

At the age of 29 Erendis went with her father to the celebration at Armenelos when Tar-Aldarion was proclaimed King's heir. It was here that she first met him and fell in love with him.

She was noticed by the Queen Almarian and she entered into the Queen's household, leaving her family in the Westlands and living in Armenelos. She won great favour of the King and Queen, and through Almarian's contrivance she often met with Aldarion.

Though Aldarion was often absent, voyaging to Middle-Earth, eventually he fell in love with Erendis, but said nothing. On one voyage he was away for 14 years; when 10 years had passed Erendis despaired of his return. In her despair, and also wanting to escape the importuning of suitors, she asked for the Queen's leave and returned to her family in the Westlands.

When Aldarion returned to Númenor he was grieved to find Erendis gone from Armenelos, but he was too proud to seek her and so busied himself with things neglected during his absence. There is no given date, but whilst riding in the forest of the Westlands Aldarion came across Erendis and knew then that he wished to marry her.

Erendis now was reluctant, although her love for him was not lessened, she feared that she would always come second to his love of the sea. Erendis was eventually won over and they were betrothed, and after Aldarion went for another quick voyage, wed. Their only child Ancalimë was born three years later.

Her fear of the Sea never wholly left Erendis, though she hid it from Aldarion, and this fear was a factor in their estrangement. When Ancalimë was still young, Aldarion made clear that he wished to sail again, after many years ashore. Erendis was aggrieved at this and they quarreled; he promised he would only be gone for two years.

Now Erendis became angered, for she was greatly hurt, and she hated the Sea and even the trees that she once loved, because of Aldarion. Shortly after he departed she left their house in Armenelos and, taking her daughter, went to her own house in Emerië. This house had been given to her as a gift from the King, and she dwelt there with only Ancalimë and servants, all of whom were women.

When Aldarion broke his promise and he did not return by two years time, Erendis grew cold and silent and what love she had within her she gave to her daughter only. She taught Ancalimë, hoping to mold her mind in her own bitterness against men. When Aldarion returned to Númenor she was unwelcoming, and that same year the two became permanently estranged.

Because Aldarion had no other child besides Ancalimë, when he received the sceptre he changed the laws and Ancalimë became his legitimate heir. She moved to Armenelos, but often returned to Emerië to stay with Erendis, but soon enough she found the company of her mother irksome, as did many others.

It is said that during this time Erendis tried to reconcile with Aldarion but he was unmoved and declared that he had no wife, but only a daughter and Heir. Old age came upon Erendis. Neglected by her daughter, in her bitterness and loneliness and she yearned again for Aldarion. Learning that he was gone from Númenor on what proved to be his last voyage, and hearing that he was soon to return, she left her White house in Emerië and came to Rómenna, unrecognised and unknown. She died before his return to Númenor.

Notes

[In the Introduction to UT, Christopher Tolkien speaks of his father's latest note on this tale, which "tells of the first rumour of the Shadow."]

Contributors:
Lyllyn 1.5.02,
Meaning of Erendis contributed by Simbelmyne 2-12-03
Cuthalion 07.07.03
Timeline added, summary slightly edited, Lyllyn 12.10.04
added quotes: Tanaqui 17Dec05

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