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Timeline Event

Line of Kings of Gondor ends with Eärnur

Event Type: Political

Age: 3rd Age - The Kings

Year: 2050

Description:

The line of the Kings of Gondor, the House of Anárion, is broken when Eärnur dies without a successor. Power then passes to the Ruling Stewards, the House of Mardil Voronwë:
Eärnur rides to Minas Morgul and is lost. Mardil becomes the first Ruling Steward.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age

Eärnur had held the crown only seven years when the Lord of Morgul repeated his challenge, taunting the king that to the faint heart of his youth he had now added the weakness of age. Then Mardil could no longer restrain him, and he rode with a small escort of knights to the gate of Minas Morgul. None of that riding were ever heard of again. It was believed in Gondor that the faithless enemy had trapped the king, and that he had died in torment in Minas Morgul; but since there were no witnesses of his death, Mardil the Good Steward ruled Gondor in his name for many years.

Now the descendants of the kings had become few. Their numbers had been greatly diminished in the Kin-strife.... So it was that no claimant to the crown could be found who was of pure blood, or whose claim all would allow; and all feared the memory of the Kin-strife, knowing that if any such dissension arose again, then Gondor would perish. Therefore, though the years lengthened, the Steward continued to rule Gondor, and the crown of Elendil lay in the lap of King Eärnil in the Houses of the Dead, where Eärnur had left it.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: The Realms in Exile

Earnur... went to war with Minas Ithil and Mordor and never returned; nor was his body ever recovered. Some said he was carried off alive by the evil king. He left no children. No male descendants of clear title (or nearly pure blood) of Elendil could be discovered. Mardil the Steward, grandson of Pelendur, governed nominally 'until the King's return', and this became an habitual formula.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 7, The Heirs of Elendil: The Ruling Stewards of Gondor

[The] line of the Kings came to an end, until it was restored by Elessar Telcontar in 3019.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: The Realms in Exile

Contributors:
Tanaqui 13May05
Elena Tiriel 9Sep09

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