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Timeline Event

Kin-strife in Gondor: Overview

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - The Kings

Years: 1432 ~ 1448

Description:

Table of Contents:

The Enemy
The Timeline
The Prelude
The War
The Aftermath

The Enemy

But Eldacar did not prove easy to thrust from his heritage. ... the confederates led by descendants of the kings rose against him....

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

Various claimants to the crown appeared, descendants of Atanatar II. The most favoured especially by the fleet, and ship-folk of the southern shores, was the Captain of the Ships....

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 7, The Heirs of Elendil: The Southern Line of Gondor, The Anárioni

This was Castamir, grandson of Calimehtar, younger brother of King Rómendacil II. He was not only one of those nearest by blood to the crown, but he had the greatest following of all the rebels; for he was the Captain of Ships, and was supported by the people of the coasts and of the great havens of Pelargir and Umbar.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion


The Timeline

1432
King Valacar of Gondor dies, and the civil war of the Kin-strife begins.

[See: Valacar, King of Gondor, dies]
[See: Eldacar becomes King of Gondor]
[See: Rebellions in southern Gondor begin the Kin-strife]
[See: Eldacar battles rival claimants to the throne]

1437
Burning of Osgiliath and loss of the palantír. Eldacar flees to Rhovanion; his son Ornendil is murdered.

[See: Castamir captures Osgiliath and deposes Eldacar]
[See: Palantír of Osgiliath lost in the Anduin]
[See: Castamir the Usurper becomes King of Gondor]
[See: Eldacar exiled to Rhovanion]
[See: Ornendil, Eldacar's heir, executed by Castamir the Usurper]
[See: Castamir the Usurper alienates the people of northern Gondor]

1447
Eldacar returns and drives out the usurper Castamir. Battle of the Crossings of Erui. Siege of Pelargir.

[See: Eldacar raises an army to reclaim the throne]
[See: Battle of the Crossings of Erui]
[See: Castamir the Usurper, King of Gondor, slain by Eldacar]
[See: Eldacar regains the throne of Gondor]
[See: Siege of Pelargir begins]

1448
Rebels escape and seize Umbar.

[See: Castamir's sons escape the Siege of Pelargir]
[See: Castamir's sons seize Umbar and break away from Gondor]

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age


The Prelude

Since the days of Atanatar II the Northmen of Mirkwood and upper Anduin had been increasing greatly in numbers and power, and in Romendakil's time hardly acknowledged the overlordship of Gondor. Romendakil having enough to do with Easterlings sought to attach the Northmen more closely to their allegiance....

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 7, The Heirs of Elendil: The Southern Line of Gondor, The Anárioni

But since he needed men, and desired to strengthen the bond between Gondor and the Northmen, he took many of them into his service and gave to some high rank in his armies.

Rómendacil showed especial favour to Vidugavia, who had aided him in the war. He called himself King of Rhovanion, and was indeed the most powerful of the Northern princes ... In 1250 Rómendacil sent his son Valacar as an ambassador to dwell for a while with Vidugavia and make himself acquainted with the language, manners, and policies of the Northmen. But Valacar ... grew to love the Northern lands and people, and he married Vidumavi, daughter of Vidugavia. ...

... it was a thing unheard of before that the heir to the crown, or any son of the King, should wed one of lesser and alien race. ... His queen had been a fair and noble lady, but short-lived according to the fate of lesser Men, and the Dúnedain feared that her descendants would prove the same and fall from the majesty of the Kings of Men. Also they were unwilling to accept as lord her son, who though he was now called Eldacar, had been born in an alien country and was named in his youth Vinitharya, a name of his mother's people. ...

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion


The War

In 1432 broke out the Kin-strife. Valakar had wedded as wife a daughter of the King of Rhovannion, not of Dunedain blood. The succession of his son Eldakar was contested by other descendants of Kalmakil and Romendakil II. In the end Eldakar was driven into exile and Kastamir, great-grandson of Kalmakil's second son Kalimehtar, became king. But Eldakar drove him out again, and after that time the blood of the kingly house became more mixed, for Eldakar had the assistance of the Northmen of the Upper Anduin his mother's kin, and they were favoured by the kingly house afterwards, and many of them served in the armies of Gondor and became great in the land.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 7, The Heirs of Elendil: The Southern Line of Gondor, The Anárioni


The Aftermath

... much of the best blood in Gondor was shed.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

After the return of Eldacar the blood of the kingly house and other houses of the Dúnedain became more mingled with that of lesser Men. For many of the great had been slain in the Kin-strife; while Eldacar showed favour to the Northmen, by whose help he had regained the crown, and the people of Gondor were replenished by great numbers that came from Rhovanion.

This mingling did not at first hasten the waning of the Dúnedain, as had been feared; but the waning still proceeded, little by little, as it had before.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

[Castamir the Usurper's sons] sailed away, and established themselves at Umbar. There they made a refuge for all the enemies of the king.... Umbar remained at war with Gondor for many lives of men, a threat to its coastlands and to all traffic on the sea. It was never again completely subdued until the days of Elessar; and the region of South Gondor became a debatable land between the Corsairs and the Kings.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

[After Eärnur's presumed death,] the descendants of the kings had become few. Their numbers had been greatly diminished in the Kin-strife; whereas since that time the kings had become jealous and watchful of those near akin. Often those on whom suspicion fell had fled to Umbar and there joined the rebels; while others had renounced their lineage and taken wives not of Númenorean blood. 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 Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

Contributors:
Lyllyn 7.30.03

added quotes: Elena Tiriel 12Dec04, 17Dec04

added event: ET 22Sep05

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