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Reunited Kingdom

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Reunited Kingdom
General information
Other namesTwo Kingdoms
LocationHistorically, Arnor and Gondor at their greatest extents[1]
CapitalAnnúminas (Arnor)
Minas Tirith (Gondor)[2]
Major townsArnor
Lond Daer, Tharbad, Bree, Fornost Erain
Gondor
Pelargir, Calembel, Dol Amroth, Erech, Linhir, Umbar
RegionsArnor
Arthedain, Cardolan, Rhudaur
Gondor
Anórien, Ithilien, Lossarnach, Lebennin, Belfalas, Lamedon, Anfalas, Southern Rhovanion, Dorwinion, Western Rhûn, South Gondor, Dunland
People
PopulationDúnedain, Middle Men, Hobbits
LanguageWestron, Gondor Sindarin, Sindarin, Quenya, Hobbitish
GovernanceHigh King
Council of Gondor[3]
Currencytharni, castar[4]
HolidayCormarë (Fourth Age)
History
Preceded byGondor, Arnor
Established1 May, T.A. 3019

The Reunited Kingdom (also called the Two Kingdoms[5]) was the restored kingdom of Arnor and Gondor, the twin kingdoms founded at the end of the Second Age by Elendil and his sons Isildur and Anárion. In the beginning, Elendil was High King of both realms, but the two were divided after the deaths of his sons. Over 3,000 years later Aragorn Elessar reunited the kingdoms and ruled as High King of the Reunited Kingdom.

The fate of the kingdoms, especially that of Gondor, would come to dominate the history of the Third Age.

Contents

Geography

During Aragorn's reign, the Reunited Kingdom expanded to retake all territories that had originally belonged to both Arnor and Gondor at their greatest extents, excluding only Rohan (the grant of which he renewed), and the Shire, the Drúadan Forest, and Fangorn Forest (which became protectorates), under the protection of the Sceptre.[1]

The Reunited Kingdom included all the lands of Arnor; all of Eriador, except the regions beyond the Lune, and the lands east of Greyflood and Loudwater, in which lay Rivendell and Eregion.[6]

In Gondor, the realm extended:[7]

History

Background

At the end of the Second Age, Elendil and his sons established two great kingdoms in Middle-earth: Arnor in the north and Gondor in the south. These Kingdoms of the Dúnedain were united under a single High King, Elendil himself, who ruled the North-kingdom while his sons reigned jointly over the South-kingdom of Gondor.[8]

In the first years of the Third Age, this union failed. After the loss of Isildur at the Disaster of the Gladden Fields, his nephew Meneldil took up the kingship of Gondor, and that country remained independent from the North-kingdom through most of the Third Age.

Dissolutions

In the north, the realm of Arnor fell into troubled times. It broke into three separate kingdoms, and in time these too were lost, so that the Dúnedain of the North-kingdom of Elendil were reduced to a wandering people led by a Chieftain. Nonetheless, they were able to maintain Isildur's line in unbroken descent.[8]

However, this failed in Gondor, and Eärnur was lost without heirs. Its rule was taken up by the Stewards.[8]

There were two attempts to reunite the kingdoms. The first of these occurred in T.A. 1944 when Arvedui of Arthedain claimed the High Kingship of the Two Kingdoms. His claim was rejected by Steward Pelendur and the Council of Gondor, who elected to maintain their independence.[7]

Reunification and Later History

More than a thousand years later, after the War of the Ring, Arvedui's direct descendant, Aragorn, came forward to make the same claim. This time, the people of Gondor accepted a High King, and the Two Kingdoms were reunited at last.

Aragorn ruled from Minas Tirith which was the chief city,[2] but he travelled throughout his wide lands. He rebuilt Annúminas and when he went north, would rule from there.[6] He also had the ruins of Fornost Erain rebuilt and made it a great city where Men dwelt once again.[9] The Shire was an exception to this, and though it lay within the Reunited Kingdom, Aragorn made a law that Men should not enter it, a law that he observed himself.[6]

During his reign, he, alongside King Éomer, led military campaigns beyond the Sea of Rhûn and on the far fields of the South.[1] As a result, he was able to re-establish his dominance in places which Gondor initially held at the height of its power. The threat of the Corsairs was finally completely subdued during his reign and Umbar was finally re-taken.[7] He also made peace with the Haradrim after his coronation.[10]

After Aragorn's death in Fo.A. 120,[11] his son Eldarion took up the High Kingship.[11] One hundred years into his reign, he encountered a renewal of Morgoth-worship known as the "Dark Tree".[12] In a 1972 letter concerning The New Shadow, Tolkien mentioned that Eldarion's reign would have lasted for about 100 years after the death of Aragorn.[13]

Of Eldarion, it was foretold that he should rule a great realm, and that it should endure for a hundred generations of Men after him, that is until a new age brought in again new things; and from him should come the kings of many realms in long days after.[2] But if this foretelling spoke truly, none now can say, for Gondor and Arnor are no more; and even the chronicles of the House of Elessar and all their deeds and glory are lost.[2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl", "The Kings of the Mark"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Heirs of Elendil"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 244, (undated, written circa 1963)
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Appendix on Languages"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 42, July 2001, p. 6
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Homeward Bound"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Steward and the King"
  11. 11.0 11.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The New Shadow"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 338, (dated 6 June 1972)