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"...It is a long tale..." — Aragorn
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General information
LocationNorthern Eriador west of the Baranduin and along the line of the Weather Hills
LanguagePresumed to be Westron or Sindarin

Arthedain was one of the three kingdoms of Middle-earth that resulted from the breakup of Arnor during the Third Age.


During the reign of Eärendur his sons were in open discord, which erupted into civil war after Eärendur's death in T.A. 861. Amlaith, the true heir to the throne of Arnor, was opposed by his two brothers. Unable to resolve the situation, he was reduced to ruling the region of Arthedain, which consisted approximately of the lands west of Baranduin River and north of the Great East Road. His brothers created the kingdoms of Cardolan and Rhudaur to the south.

The kingdom's capital was at Fornost Erain, and Bree was one of its important towns. Annúminas was in the territory of Arthedain, but mostly abandoned and falling into ruin.

In T.A. 1300 the kingdom of Angmar appeared at Arthedain's north-eastern border. Its King was the chief of the Ringwraiths, although this was not known to the Dúnedain. When this new threat came, Cardolan placed itself under the suzerainty of Arthedain, which then began to call itself Arnor again. Cardolan repeatedly sent aid to Arthedain when needed but by T.A. 1409 Cardolan and Rhudaur were conquered by Angmar.

In T.A. 1601, Hobbits came to Arthedain. With permission of Argeleb II, they settled in the land that would later be called "the Shire". They would be subjugated to the Kings of Arthedain, and tasked with maintenance to infrastructure, especially of the vital Bridge of Stonebows.

Arthedain kept up the resistance against Angmar for over 500 years but in T.A. 1974 Arthedain was overrun and Fornost fell into the hands of Angmar. It fell just one year too soon for help was underway from Gondor under the lead of Eärnur. This army reached Arthedain in T.A. 1975 and destroyed Angmar at the Battle of Fornost.

Arthedain's last King, Arvedui, drowned just before the battle was fought. The son of Arvedui, Aranarth decided not to rebuild the kingdom and so became the first Chieftain of the Dúnedain. From him Aragorn is descended.

To replace the King as an executive power, the Hobbits elected the Thain, who would hold the office until the King would return.