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Imrahil

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John Howe - Prince Imrahil.jpg
Imrahil
Man
Biographical Information
Other namesPrince of Dol Amroth
BirthT.A. 2955
DeathFo. A. 34
Physical Description
GenderMale
HeightTall
Hair colorBlack
Eye colorGrey
"That is a fair lord and a great captain of men. If Gondor has such men still in these days of fading, great must have been its glory in the days of its rising."
Legolas, The Last Debate

Imrahil was the twenty-second Prince of Dol Amroth. He was the son of Adrahil II He had two older sisters, Ivriniel and Finduilas. After his father's death, he became Prince in T.A. 3010. Imrahil had four children: Elphir, Erchirion, Amrothos and Lothíriel1.

Contents

War of the Ring

During the War of the Ring, Imrahil came to the aid of his brother-in-law. On March 9, T.A. 3019, he came into Minas Tirith:

And last and proudest, Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the Lord, with gilded banners bearing his token of the Ship and the Silver Swan, and a company of knights in full harness riding grey horses; behind them seven hundreds of men at arms, tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired, singing as they came.2

On March 13, as Southrons harrassed Faramir, Imrahil and his knights, with Mithrandir, formed a sortie, and Imrahil himself saved his sister-son from his pursuers. Faramir received a poisonous wound, and Denethor fell to madness. Being the highest ranking officer Gondor fit for battle, Imrahil took command, and quickly passed it on to Mithrandir.

On March 15, Imrahil ventured outside the city, and witnessed the funeral procession of Théoden. He recognized that Éowyn still lived (though she lie an inch from death), and sent her to the Houses of Healing.

Because Éomer and his riders were outnumbered, Imrahil rode into battle, together with Húrin the Tall, Forlong of Lossarnach and Hirluin the Fair, and they were soon joined by Aragorn who landed at Harlond. Imrahil continued East, driving the frightened Variags and orcs away.

Imrahil survived the battle unscathed, and together with Éomer and Aragorn he came to the gates of Minas Tirith 3. Imrahil recognized that Aragorn was the rightful King, but he agreed that it was wise for Aragorn to wait to enter the city, because he knew Denethor was strong-willed and proud.

When Imrahil learned that Denethor was dead and Faramir dying, he suggested that Aragorn be summoned, remembering that the Kings of old were great healers. Aragorn came at Gandalf's request to heal the wounded Faramir, Éowyn and Merry, but he declared that Prince Imrahil should rule the City until Faramir awoke, in effect granting Imrahil the position of Steward.

During the debate of the Captains of the West, Gandalf proposed that they march to the Morannon to distract Sauron's attention from Frodo the Ring-bearer. Imrahil said that he would follow his liege Aragorn, but since Minas Tirith was under his command the Prince advised that some should remain to defend the City. In the end it was decided that an army of 7,000 would ride forth. Imrahil laughed and said:

"Surely this is the greatest jest in all the history of Gondor: that we should ride with seven thousands, scarce as many as the vanguard of its army in the days of its power, to assail the mountains and the impenetrable gate of the Black Land! So might a child threaten a mail-clad knight with a bow of string and green willow!" 4

The Host of the West left Minas Tirith on March 18. Bypassing Minas Morgul and marching North, the heralds announced the coming of King Elessar at Imrahil's advice. When Sauron's forces emerged from the Black Gate on March 25, Imrahil stood on the front line with his men. They fought the Battle of the Morannon until the One Ring was destroyed.

Prince Imrahil was present at the celebrations of the field of Cormallen, and the coronation of Aragorn as King Elessar, and rode with the funeral procession of King Théoden to Rohan, remaining in Edoras after the King's burial on August 10. Imrahil and Éomer became great friends, and in Fo. A. 2 Éomer wed Imrahil's daughter Lothíriel5.

Later life

After the War of the Ring, Prince Imrahil and his nephew Faramir, Prince of Ithilien, were King Elessar's chief commanders. Imrahil was also part of the Great Council of Gondor, and remained an advisor of the King6.

Prince Imrahil died in the year 34 of the Fourth Age, and was succeed by his eldest son Elphir, who continued the line of Princes.

Etymology

The name Imrahil is said to be of Númenorean origin[1].

The second element -hil (also seen in the name Adrahil) perhaps is related to the Westron ending -kil (cf. banakil, Tarkil) meaning possibly "person" or "man", and perhaps ultimately related to Elvish "follower, heir" ((KHIL).

Carl F. Hostetter and Patrick H. Wynne have proposed as a possible meaning "Heir of Imrazôr"[2], but the validity of this guess is low.

Portrayal in adaptations

Both the Rankin/Bass and the Peter Jackson movies left out the character of Imrahil. Peter Jackson replaced him with a fringe character, Irolas.

See Also

References

  1. The Peoples of Middle-earth, The Heirs of Elendil
  2. The Return of the King, Minas Tirith
  3. The Return of the King, The Battle of the Pelennor Fields
  4. The Return of the King, The Last Debate
  5. Appendix A
  6. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 244
  7. Appendix E
  8. Vinyar Tengwar 25, page 17.
Preceded by:
Adrahil II
22nd Prince of Dol Amroth
Third Age 3010Fourth Age 34
Followed by:
Elphir

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