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Stewards of Gondor

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Steward was the traditional title of a chief counsellor to one of the Kings of Gondor. During the time of the Steward Pelendur, from the famous House of Húrin, this title became hereditary, passing the station of counsellor from father to son, much like the Kingship.

The House of Húrin was founded by one Húrin of Emyn Arnen, Steward to King Minardil, the twenty-fifth King of Gondor. They were of high Númenórean blood, but not descendants of Elendil in the ruling line.

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).

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)
  3. Herion (2116–2148)
  4. Belegorn (2148–2204)
  5. Húrin I (2204–2244)
  6. Túrin I (2244–2278)
  7. Hador (2278–2395)
  8. Barahir (2395–2412)
  9. Dior (2412–2435)
  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 counsellor of the King.

The original model for the Stewards of Gondor is probably the title of steward, a medieval king's follower in Europe. In England there arose a powerful office, that of Lord High Steward, which was the principle advisor to the monarch. The office has fallen into disuse, but remains to this day for coronations only.

See House of Hador and Húrin for information on the Húrin of the First Age.