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Heir of Isildur

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Revision as of 09:17, 24 July 2016

Heir of Isildur was the title of thirty-nine lords of the Dúnedain descended in right line from Isildur the son of Elendil, from his son Valandil to Aragorn Elessar,[1] who reunited the Kingdoms of the Dúnedain in Middle-earth.

Isildur was the eldest son of Elendil, and so by right he and his heirs should have inherited the title of High King and ruled the Two Kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor. Soon after the defeat of Sauron at the end of the Second Age, though, Isildur and his three elder sons all perished in the Disaster of the Gladden Fields.[2]

Isildur's only remaining Heir was Valandil, kept safe in Rivendell but only eleven years old at that time, and unable to take up his rule. So, Isildur's nephew Meneldil took control of the kingdom of Gondor, and the Two Kingdoms split from one another. In the south, Gondor remained strong under the rule of Meneldil's descendants, but the North-kingdom was not so fortunate. It broke into three separate kingdoms, and was slowly overcome by dark forces of the neighbouring land of Angmar.[3]

Arvedui, Isildur's Heir through twenty-three generations, was the last King to rule in the north; he was also notable for marrying Fíriel, daughter of the King of Gondor Ondoher, thus uniting the House of Isildur and House of Anárion. He later attempted to reclaim the High Kingship, but failed,[4] and the last remnant of royal Arnor was overrun by its enemies.

Though their royal cities were wasted, and their people dwindled, the line of Isildur's Heirs continued for another sixteen generations under the title 'Chieftain of the Dúnedain', who were Arvedui's descendants and ruled the remnants of the Dúnedain of Arnor. When the line of the Kings of Gondor also failed and the Ruling Stewards ruled the Kingdom, it was the Chieftains who held the line of Anárion alive, but they were hidden in the north, forgotten by nearly all.

The last Chieftain was Aragorn II of the War of the Ring, who famously came to Minas Tirith and reclaimed the High Kingship of all the western lands as the Reunited Kingdom.[3]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Northern Line: Heirs of Isildur"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"