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Things of Middle-earth

Council of the Sceptre — Númenor

Type: Miscellaneous

Description:In a note on the "Council of the Sceptre" at this time in the history of Númenor it is said that this Council had no powers to govern the King save by advice; and no such powers had yet been desired or dreamed of as needful. The Council was composed of members from each of the divisions of Númenor; but the King's Heir when proclaimed was also a member, so that he might learn of the government of the land, and others also the King might summon, or ask to be chosen, if they had special knowledge of matters at any time in debate.

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis: Notes, Note 23

Highest in honour after the house of the kings were the Lords of Andúnië; for they were of the line of Elros.... And these lords were loyal to the kings, and revered them; and the Lord of Andúnië was ever among the chief councillors of the Sceptre. Yet also from the beginning they bore especial love to the Eldar and reverence for the Valar; and as the Shadow grew they aided the Faithful as they could. But for long they did not declare themselves openly, and sought rather to amend the hearts of the lords of the Sceptre with wiser counsels.

The Silmarillion, Akallabêth

At this time [during Tar-Meneldur's reign] there were only two members of the Council (other than Aldarion) who were of the Line of Elros: Valandil of Andúnië for the Andustar, and Hallatan of Hyarastorni for the Mittalmar; but they owed their place not to their descent or their wealth, but to the esteem and love in which they were held in their countries.

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis: Notes, Note 23

Erendis would have withheld Ancalimë from meeting [Aldarion] at that time; but she feared to go so far as to lose the King's favour, and the Council had long shown their displeasure at the upbringing of the child in the country.

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

When the Council came together ... Tar-Meneldur acquainted them with his resolve [to resign the Sceptre to his son, Aldarion], and laid the scroll before them. Then all were amazed, not yet knowing what were the courses of which the King spoke; and all demurred, begging him to delay his decision, save only Hallatan of Hyarastorni. For he had long held his kinsman Aldarion in esteem, though his own life and likings were far otherwise; and he judged the King's deed to be noble, and timed with shrewdness, if it must be.

But to those others who urged this or that against his resolve Meneldur answered: "Not without thought did I come to this resolution, and in my thought I have considered all the reasons that you wisely argue."

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

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

Now in the year 892, when Ancalimë was nineteen years old, she was proclaimed the King's Heir ... and at that time Tar-Aldarion caused the law of succession in Númenor to be changed. ...

But by the "new law" the (eldest) daughter of the Ruler inherited the Sceptre, if he had no son.... By the advice of the Council it was added that she was free to refuse. ...

It was also ordained at the instance of the Council that a female heir must resign, if she remained unwed beyond a certain time....

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

It was ... to Hallacar that Ancalimë was wedded in the end. From one version it appears that the persistence of Hallacar in his suit..., and the urging of the Council that she choose a husband for the quiet of the realm, led to their marriage not many years after their first meeting among the flocks in Emerië.

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

Yet such was the cunning of [Sauron's] mind and mouth, and the strength of his hidden will, that ere three years had passed he had become closest to the secret counsels of the King; for flattery sweet as honey was ever on his tongue.... And seeing the favour that he had of their lord all the councillors began to fawn upon him, save one alone, Amandil lord of Andúnië.

The Silmarillion, Akallabêth

In the days of their youth together Amandil had been dear to Pharazôn, and though he was of the Elf-friends he remained in his council until the coming of Sauron. Now he was dismissed, for Sauron hated him above all others in Númenor. But he was so noble, and had been so mighty a captain of the sea, that he was still held in honour by many of the people, and neither the King nor Sauron dared to lay hands on him as yet.

The Silmarillion, Akallabêth

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 3Mar05

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