Tar-Meneldur was the fifth King of Númenor. Though he was the youngest child of Tar-Elendil, Tar-Meneldur received the Sceptre due to the laws of royal succession that existed in Númenor at that time. His elder siblings, Silmariën and Isilmë, were both female and thus not eligible to rule the realm. Tar-Meneldur's birth name was Írimon, and he also received the title Elentirmo.
During the rule of Tar-Meneldur, the Númenóreans began exploring Middle-earth in earnest. Contact with the Middle Men of Eriador was reestablished, under the guidance of the Elves of Lindon. Tar-Meneldur at first encouraged the Númenórean explorers, and allowed his son Aldarion to establish a Guild of Venturers, which became one of the most powerful organisations in Númenor. Aldarion led many of the voyages to Middle-earth, and he established the first Númenórean settlements in the Great Lands, although none of them were permanent. Aldarion's long absences from Númenor began to cause strife between him and his father, since Tar-Meneldur wanted him to remain on the island and give more thought to taking care of the realm. Eventually, when Aldarion would not yield to his father's will, Tar-Meneldur began taking stricter measures against his son's travels, such as refusing his relatives to bless Aldarion's voyages and limiting the felling of trees in Númenor. However, after Aldarion returned after a particularly long and harsh voyage, he showed respect to Tar-Meneldur again, and the King and his son were reconciled.
Additionally, Tar-Meneldur encouraged his son to marry, and played a significant role in turning Aldarion's eye toward Erendis. However, Aldarion's voyages dismayed Erendis as well, and together with his wife Almarian, Tar-Meneldur attempted to mediate between the two. For a time they were successful, and Aldarion and Erendis were wed, but Aldarion soon left again for Middle-earth. It was during his long absence in Middle-earth soon after their marriage, that Erendis gave up hope in Aldarion and left the royal court for her home. By the time Aldarion returned, even Tar-Meneldur's best attempts to heal relations between them could not seal the breach.
Near the end of Tar-Meneldur's rule, Gil-galad sent him a letter via Aldarion that requested the aid of the King and his people against a new Shadow (which was actually the first stirring of Sauron) that had arisen in the East of Middle-earth. Tar-Meneldur was unable to decide how to respond to this request. Recognizing that his son Aldarion was more aware of the troubles, and was a powerful leader of men, Tar-Meneldur resigned in favour of him, far earlier than was expected.
All of Tar-Meneldur's names were in Quenya. Meneldur means "Servant of the Heavens" (from Quenya menel "the Heavens" and -ndur "servant"); Írimon took this name because of his love for stargazing. Írimon itself means "Beautiful Man" (from írima "beautiful" and -on, a masculine suffix). Elentirmo signifies "Star Watcher" (from elen "star", tir "watch", and mo, a masculine agentive suffix). Like all the rulers of Númenor who took their royal names in Quenya, Meneldur added the prefix tar- ("high") to his title when he received the Sceptre.
|5th King of Númenor