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Law of Succession in Númenor

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The Law of succession in Númenor was a set of rules meant to legally establish who would be the next heir in the line of kings. The one who shaped it the most was Tar-Aldarion, the sixth ruler of Númenor, who not only gave the law a legal content, but also changed its position regarding male and female heirs. Thus before him there was the Old Law and after him the New Law.


The Old Law

Being more an inherited custom than an actual law, it stated that the eldest son of the ruler would inherit the Sceptre. In case there was no such son to be made heir, the closest male descendant on the line of Elros Tar-Minyatur would fill the position.

The New Law

Due to the fact that he had only one daughter, Tar-Aldarion replaced the principle of exclusive male heir with that of eldest progeny, of any gender and Ancalimë became the first ruling queen in the history of Númenor.

There were, however, additional statements and conditions for this New Law, mostly suggested by the Council of the Sceptre.

  • The eldest daughter would have the right to inherit the throne, but she would not be forced to do so, being given the possibility to refuse the reign. In this case, the heir would have been the nearest kinsman by male or female descent.
  • If the eldest daughter, heir to the throne, would have remained unmarried for a certain period of time, she had to abdicate.
  • If a ruling queen desired to marry, it was mandatory for her husband to be from the Line of Elros.


See Also