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Stewards of Gondor

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Steward or Arandur was the traditional title of a chief counselor to one of the Kings of Gondor.

King Rómendacil I established the office of Steward, chosen by the King as a man of high trust and wisdom; Stewards were advanced in years since they were not permitted to go to war or to leave the realm. They were never a member of the Royal House.

The Steward to King Minardil, Húrin of Emyn Arnen, was the founder of the famous House of Húrin. They were of high Númenórean blood, but not descendants of Elendil in the ruling line. After the time of Minardil, the Kings established the custom that Stewards are chosen from this House.

During the time of the Steward Pelendur, this title became hereditary, passing the station of counselor from father to son, much like the Kingship.

After the death of King Eärnur, who left no heir to the throne of Gondor, the Steward Mardil Voronwë became the first of the Ruling Stewards. Mardil was the first of the Stewards to administer Gondor, and his descendants did so for 25 generations.

The Stewards watched over the throne until it could be reclaimed by a true King of Gondor, an heir of Elendil. When asked by his son Boromir how long must pass before a Steward could become a King, if the King did not return, Denethor II replied, "Few years, maybe, in other places of less royalty … In Gondor ten thousand years would not suffice" (reported by Faramir in The Two Towers). This is a jibe at Arnor, which was split in three and eventually fell into the wilderness, only to be restored by Aragorn II.

The Stewards never sat on the throne of the King; instead, they sat on a simple chair of black stone placed below it. The symbol of their office was a white rod.

The Quenya name of the title is Arandur: "Servant of the King".

Ruling Stewards of Gondor

The following is a list of the Ruling Stewards of Gondor. (All dates are from the Third Age.)

  1. Mardil Voronwë "The Steadfast" (2029–2080)
  2. Eradan (2080–2116) - First Steward to use Sindarin name
  3. Herion (2116–2148)
  4. Belegorn (2148–2204)
  5. Húrin I (2204–2244) - Had two older sisters
  6. Túrin I (2244–2278) - Married twice, several daughters from both wives
  7. Hador (2278–2395) - From Túrin's second wife
  8. Barahir (2395–2412)
  9. Dior (2412–2435) - Childless. Succeeded by sister-son Denethor.
  10. Denethor I (2435–2477)
  11. Boromir (2477–2489)
  12. Cirion (2489–2567)
  13. Hallas (2567–2605)
  14. Húrin II (2605–2628)
  15. Belecthor I (2628–2655)
  16. Orodreth (2655–2685)
  17. Ecthelion I (2685–2698)
  18. Egalmoth (2698–2743)
  19. Beren (2743–2763)
  20. Beregond (2763–2811)
  21. Belecthor II (2811–2872)
  22. Thorondir (2872–2882)
  23. Túrin II (2882–2914)
  24. Turgon (2914–2953)
  25. Ecthelion II (2953–2984)
  26. Denethor II (2984–3019)

Soon after the death of Denethor II, Aragorn Elessar was crowned King. The Steward Faramir, son of Denethor II, surrendered to the King his rod of office, but it was returned to him. Faramir nominally ruled briefly as Steward until Elessar's coronation, but since Faramir rested in the Houses of Healing, Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth took his place much of that time. Though Faramir became Steward a month and a half before Elessar became King, Faramir is not considered one of the Ruling Stewards. King Elessar confirmed in Faramir and his descendants the office of Steward of Gondor, and granted him in addition the Princedom of Ithilien, ensuring his line a position as counselor of the King.