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Eärnur

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"Eärnur was a man like his father in valour, but not in wisdom. He was a man of strong body and hot mood; but he would take no wife, for his only pleasure was in fighting, or in the exercise of arms."
Appendix B, Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion.

Eärnur (Third Age 1928 – 2050) was the thirty-third and last King of Gondor. He took the throne upon the death of his father Eärnil II in T.A. 2043, and after his disappearance, the Stewards of Gondor ruled in his name for many generations.

Life

Eärnur was considered one of the greatest warriors and generals in the history Gondor. His greatest victory was in T.A. 1975, when he drove the Witch-king of Angmar out of Arthedain in the Battle of Fornost. After being crowned King in 2043 he was challenged twice by the Witch-king of Angmar, chief of the Ringwraiths, who now resided in Minas Morgul. The first challenge went unanswered but in 2050 the second came and he accepted. After entering the gates of Minas Morgul, he was never heard from again.

No new king was elected and the rule of Gondor passed to the Stewards, beginning with Mardil Voronwë, who had tried to restrain Eärnur from going to Minas Morgul. The Stewards were to rule "until the King returns", because it was uncertain at first whether Eärnur had been killed or not. In addition, Eärnur left without an heir, and while many others in Gondor could lay some sort of claim to the kingship, those claims generally had some sort of doubt, and no one wanted to risk another civil war like the Kin-strife, which had been devastating for Gondor.

Etymology

Eärnur means "Servant of the Sea" in Quenya, from ëar "sea" and -ndur "servant".

Portrayal in Adaptations

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Eärnur is a non-playable character. He was turned into a wraith by the Witch-king of Angmar and took up the name Mordirith. He is the Steward of Angmar.
Preceded by:
Eärnil II
33rd King of Gondor
III 2043 – 2050
Followed by:
Aragorn II, 971 years later