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Earnur RotWK.png
Eärnur from The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king
Biographical Information
TitlesCaptain of Gondor, King of Gondor
BirthT.A. 1928
RuleT.A. 2043 - 2050 (7 years)
DeathT.A. 2050 (aged 122)
Minas Morgul
HouseHouse of Anárion
ParentageEärnil II
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Eärnur
"Eärnur was a man like his father in valour, but not in wisdom. He was a man of strong body and hot mood; but he would take no wife, for his only pleasure was in fighting, or in the exercise of arms."
Appendix A, Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion.

Eärnur (Q: contraction of Eärendur, pron. [eˈarnur]; Third Age 19282050) was the thirty-third and last King of Gondor. He took the throne upon the death of his father Eärnil II in T.A. 2043, and after his disappearance, the Stewards of Gondor ruled in his name for many generations.


[edit] History

[edit] Angmar

During the Angmar War, what was left of the ancient realm of Arnor was under attack. While not ignoring the North-Kingdom, King Eärnil II had trouble of his own, and could not spare any of his troops to send North. Upon learning that the Witch-king was preparing for the final blow in T.A. 1973, he sent his son Prince Eärnur north, as Captain of Gondor. Though his fleet sailed rapidly, he was not in time to save Arthedain or Arvedui, its last king. His massive fleet - it filled Mithlond, Harlond and Forlond - was hailed by the Men that had survived the last defeat, and the Elves also. To Gondor's standards, the expeditionary force was mediocre in size. It did, however, include cavalry from Rhovanion, which would prove useful on the wide lands of the North.

With Círdan, Eärnur travelled East, and cleansed the lands of Orcs and other servants of Angmar. All fled before the might of the Host of the West, with Eärnur at its head. At the same time, Glorfindel came west from Rivendell and they fought against Angmar at Fornost. When finally the Witch-king, clad in black, came forth near the site, many of the horses fled in terror. The Witch-king challenged Eärnur directly, but as he charged, his steed also swerved, and it took some time before the Captain of Gondor could regain control. The Witch-king laughed at this seeming retreat, but his victory would not last long. The Elves of Rivendell entered the battlefield, and the Witch-king fled before the might of Glorfindel. Fleeing in despair, Eärnur wanted to pursue him, but Glorfindel spoke against it:

"Do not pursue him! He will not return to this land. Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of man will he fall."
― Glorfindel[1]

But nonetheless, Eärnur bore a grudge against the wraith that disgraced him, and so he won the chief hatred of the Witch-king.

[edit] Kingship

It was soon found out that the Witch-king escaped to Mordor, and set up abode in Minas Ithil, which in consequence was renamed Minas Morgul. After the death of Eärnil and the coronation of Eärnur, the Witch-king challenged him to single combat, reminding him of the disgrace in the North. The Steward, Mardil Voronwë, persuaded him not to go.[1]

Enamoured with fighting and arms, he retained his prowess and skill more than was usual, even for a Gondorian. He seemed more like a champion than a king, and won everyone in Gondor in sports of arms.[1]

Seven years later, the Witch-king renewed his challenge, and this time, Eärnur could not be held back. Before leaving, however, Eärnur left his crown on the lap of his father in the Houses of the Dead.[1] There it was picked up again by Faramir, the last Ruling Steward, for the coronation of Elessar almost a millennium later.[2] With a small escort of knights, he rode past the gates of Minas Morgul. None were ever seen again.[1]

No new king was elected and the rule of Gondor passed to the Ruling Stewards, beginning with Mardil Voronwë. The Stewards were to rule "until the King returns", because it was uncertain at first whether Eärnur had been killed or not. In addition, Eärnur left without an heir, and while many others in Gondor could lay some sort of claim to the kingship, those claims generally had some sort of doubt, and no one wanted to risk another civil war like the Kin-strife.[1][3]

[edit] Etymology

Eärnur is a shortened form of Eärendur. It means "Servant of the Sea" in Quenya, from ëar "sea" and -ndur "servant".[4]

[edit] Genealogy

Eärnur was a member of the "fifth line" of Kings of Gondor, which started with his father after the death Ondoher and his sons in T.A. 1944, and ended with himself a little over a century later.

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

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

While explaining the origin of the Dead Men to Gimli (and by extension, the audience), Legolas refers to Isildur as the "Last King".[5] Whether Eärnur was omitted on purpose (so not to introduce another name) or simply overlooked is unknown.

2006: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II:

Eärnur appeared in the expansion pack, The Rise of the Witch-king. He came to Rivendell to aid the Elves and Men of Arnor.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Near the end of Epic Volume I: Shadows of Angmar the primary antagonist Mordirith, the Steward of Angmar, was revealed to have once been King Eärnur.[6] He was captured by the Witch-king upon entering Minas Morgul and turned into a wraith under the Nazgûl's command. Under Mordirith, Angmar recovered enough to pose a threat to Eriador during the War of the Ring. Mordirith was long believed slain at the end of Epic Volume I, but returned as Gothmog months later in the game's storyline in an update that was released years later in real time. As the Battle of Pelennor Fields drew to a close, Aragorn banished Mordirith/Eärnur from the world.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Steward and the King"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names"
  5. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, "Dwimorberg - The Haunted Mountain"
  6. The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, "The Ring-forges of Eregion", Chapter 15 "The Doom of the North" cut scene (youtube)
House of Anárion
Born: T.A. 1928 Died: T.A. 2050
Preceded by:
Eärnil II
33rd King of Gondor
T.A. 20432050
Next held by:
Elessar, 969 years later