Tolkien Gateway

Crown of Gondor

The Crown of Gondor by the user Grond, designed to match Tolkien's illustration.

The Crown of Gondor, also called the winged crown[1], White Crown, Silver Crown and the crown of Elendil,[2] was the ceremonial headgear of the Kings of Gondor, and was used as a symbol of the Kingship.

Contents

[edit] Description

It is said that the original crown was a plain Númenórean war-helm.[3] However a later crown replaced it, described as a tall, jeweled and winged helm, not unlike the helms of the Guards of the Citadel, but taller and all white, with wings resembling those of a sea-bird wrought of pearl and silver. Seven gems of adamant (perhaps representing the ships of the Faithful) were set in the circlet. On its summit was a jewel, the light of which went up like a flame to represent Anarion.[4]

[edit] History

Meneldil, the first King of Gondor after Isildur

The original crown of Gondor was said to be a plain Númenórean war-helm, the one worn by the Númenórean Kings in the Battle of Dagorlad; as Anárion's helm was crushed when he was killed, the war-helm of Isildur was used for the crowning of the Kings of Gondor.[3]

In the days of Atanatar II Alcarin this was replaced by a jewelled helm.[3]

After the loss of the last King, Eärnur, the crown of Elendil[note 1] lay in the lap of King Eärnil II in the houses of the dead[2] for nearly a thousand years.

On 1 May T.A. 3019[5] the rightful heir (Aragorn II Telcontar) came forward to receive the crown. The tradition had been for a new king to receive the crown from the hands of his father (or to obtain it from his father's tomb), but Faramir brought forth the casket with the ancient Crown and gave it to Aragorn. After chanting "Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta!" Aragorn surprised the crowd by returning the crown to Faramir. At his request, Frodo Baggins took the crown and bore it to Gandalf, who placed it on King Elessar's head with the blessing, "Now come the days of the King, and may they be blessed while the thrones of the Valar endure!"[4]

In the year Fo.A. 120[6] Aragorn went to the House of the Kings to lay down his life. In that place he bade farewell to his son Eldarion and, following tradition, gave him the Crown of Gondor.[7]

[edit] Inspiration

Tolkien described it in his letters as being similar to the crown of the Pharaohs of Egypt.[8]

Notes

  1. The naming "crown of Elendil" in App. A is curious, considering the tradition that it consisted of Isildur's war-helm, later to be replaced by a newer one during Atanatar II

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Steward and the King"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Chief Days from the Fall of Barad-dûr to the End of the Third Age"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "Later Events Concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 211, (dated 14 October 1958), p. 281