July 28, 2017

Of Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion (1)

Pages To Read:
-RKAppA section I.iv “There were thirty-one kings in Gondor after Anárion” (~p.12) – “fifty-eight years, of which ten were spent in exile” (~p.16)

– Gondor was the southern kingdom, established by Anárion after the defeat of Sauron at the end of the Second Age (Elendil was dead, Isildur founded Arnor in the north). Their power increased for about 1100 years, up through the reign of the ‘Ship Kings.’ Gondor’s territory spread across the southern sector of Middle Earth, and they kept a watch over Mordor. At several points they even controlled Umbar, a region to the south that was often in held in contention with Men of the Harad.
– The first evil that befell Gondor was a kinstrife during the reign of Eldacar (TA 1432-1490). Due to his foreign mother, there was an uprising against him led by Castamir who brutally took over Osgiliath. However, he turned out to be a terrible king and Eldacar returned and retook the throne with the help of the Northmen (who had been the people of his mother).
– After the death of huge numbers of pureblood Gondorians in this fighting, there was increased intermarriage with “lesser” Men. This (combined with the slow fading of Númenor’s original blessing) led to a decreasing lifespan for the kings of Gondor.

Trivia, Quotes, and Details:
– We get a nice preview of the whole “pureblood Númenórean” ideology today. It’s not quite as terrible as Harry Potter’s pureblood wizard thing, because the people of Númenor were quite literally physically superior and lots of the ‘lesser men’ had chosen to side with Sauron at some point or another. But I mean, it’s still kinda weird and there’s some great imperialism stuff going on. It’s not as bad I guess when you remember that literally every fantasy story ever has included some sort of romanticized view of royalty and royal descent. (see The Princess Diaries…)
– Still gotta love Valacar who falls in love with a foreigner during a political visit and actually marries her. Then his son Eldacar turns out to be proud of his heritage and defeats the awful Castamir with help from his mother’s people.
– The kings originally ruled from Osgiliath, the city on the river.

Links to Other Content:
– The Long Winter by woutart (featured). Depiction of the Northmen (Eldacar’s people)
– Anárion of Osgiliath, by gottlieb-nachtigal. The first king of Gondor

Notes: Start of the brief history of Gondor today. More to follow tomorrow. ~Tom


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