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Eärnil II

This article is about the penultimate King of Gondor. For the earlier Ship-king, see Eärnil I.
Eärnil II
Oznerol-1516 - Earnur and Mardil.jpg
"Earnur and Mardil" by Oznerol-1516
Biographical Information
TitlesKing of Gondor
BirthT.A. 1883
RuleT.A. 1945 - 2043 (98 years)
DeathT.A. 2043 (aged 160)
HouseHouse of Anárion
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Eärnil II

Eärnil II (T.A. 1883[1]2043,[2] aged 160 years) was selected as the thirty-second King of Gondor after his predecessor, King Ondoher, was slain in battle.


[edit] History

[edit] Military exploits

By the year T.A. 1944, King Ondoher had been warned by Forthwini of Éothéod that the Wainriders of Rhovanion were becoming strong again and planned an attack upon Gondor. The king was also aware that his enemies to the South were preparing for war and so he knew that the realm faced a double threat. Ondoher split Gondor's army in two and assigned the smaller southern force to Eärnil, who made his base at Pelargir.

On the ninth of Cermië in 1944 Eärnil received word that the southern enemies were on the move. He crossed the Anduin with half of his force and encamped forty miles north of the Fords of the Poros.[3] Here he defeated and destroyed the army of Harad that came over the river,[4] but received word of the disaster in the north from Adrahil of Dol Amroth.[3] King Ondoher, his two sons, and his Right Wing commander had all died and Adrahil was left with few effective forces. Hastening north, Eärnil added what he could of the retreating northern army to his own forces and stormed the main camp of the Wainriders. After winning what they thought was an easy and complete victory the enemy forces were feasting and revelling. Eärnil torched their wains and drove the enemy out of Ithilien. Fleeing from the Battle of the Camp, most of the Wainriders perished in the Dead Marshes.[4]

[edit] Ascension to the Crown

The loss of Ondoher, his sons Artamir and Faramir, and the King's sister-son Minohtar left Gondor with the question of who should succeed to the throne. In T.A. 1940 Arvedui of Arthedain had wedded Fíriel, Ondoher's third child and daughter. Based on this relationship and his direct descent from Isildur, the elder brother of Anárion and thus the heir of Elendil, the ancient High King of all of the Dúnedain, Arvedui made a claim for the throne of Gondor.[4]

However, to the men of Gondor the realm of Arthedain seemed small. Led by the Steward Pelendur the Council of Gondor awarded the Kingship to Eärnil, who ascended to the throne as Eärnil II in 1945.[5] Yet Eärnil was a wise man and not arrogant, and he sent a message to Arvedui stating, "I do not forget the loyalty of Arnor, nor deny our kinship, nor wish that the realms of Elendil should be estranged. I will send you aid when you have need, so far as I am able."[4]

[edit] Aid for the North

It was many years before Eärnil felt secure enough to send aid to Arthedain. At last in the autumn of 1973 word arrived that Arthedain was about to be attacked by the Witch-king of Angmar. Eärnil sent his son Eärnur north with a fleet and as much strength as he could spare. However, by the time that they arrived Arthedain had been conquered and Arvedui had perished. The strength of Gondor, combined with the forces of Círdan, met the host of Angmar and destroyed it. Yet the Witch-king himself did not perish, and riding upon Eärnur he humiliated the prince when his horse carried him away from the confrontation.[4]

[edit] Loss of Minas Ithil

Unbeknownst to Eärnil or his son, the Witch-king was the Lord of the Nazgûl. In T.A. 1980 he entered Mordor and gathered the other Nazgûl to him. In 2000 the Nazgûl led an army from Mordor that besieged Minas Ithil. Eärnil and the army of Gondor could not lift the siege, and in 2002 the Nazgûl took the city,[5] which was called Minas Morgul, the "Tower of Sorcery", thereafter (and Minas Anor was renamed Minas Tirith, the "Tower of the Guard").[4]

Eärnil died in T.A. 2043 and was succeeded by his son Eärnur, who would be the last king of the line of Anárion.[2] Likewise with all kings before him, Eärnil was buried in the Houses of the Dead. His son, before accepting the challenge of the Witch-king, put the Crown of Gondor in the lap of dead Eärnil.[4] The crown remained there for the following centuries until the War of the Ring when Faramir brought it to the coronation of Elessar.[6]

[edit] Etymology

See: Earnil I#Etymology

[edit] Other names

Eärnil was named Captain of the Southern Army, after having been assigned the southern force of Gondor's army.[4]

[edit] Genealogy

Telumehtar Umbardacil
1632 - 1850
Narmacil II
1684 - 1856
1736 - 1936
1787 - 1944
Kings of
d. 1944
d. 1944
b. 1896
1864 - 1975
d. 1944
1883 - 2043
1938 - 2106
1928 - 2050
Chieftains of
the Dúnedain
2931 - Fo.A. 120


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil", Eärnil II
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Southern Line: Heirs of Anarion"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", "(i) The Northmen and the Wainriders"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Steward and the King"
Eärnil II
House of Anárion
Cadet branch of House of Elros
Born: T.A. 1883 Died: T.A. 2043
Last held by:
Ondoher, 1 year earlier
32nd King of Gondor
T.A. 1945 - 2043
Followed by: