House of Anárion
The House of Anárion was the extended house of the royalty of Gondor, descended from Anárion, the youngest son of Elendil. The house included the Kings of Gondor and their heirs, of course, but also their siblings and their descendants. On several occasions, the direct line of descent failed in Gondor, and other members of the house were called on to take up the Kingship. Most notable among these was Meneldil himself, the first King to rule Gondor in his own right, who took up the throne on the death of his uncle Isildur.
There are examples of members of the Royal House being granted important military roles. For example, the great Gondorian general Eärnil was a member of the Royal House, being a descendant of Telumehtar, great-grandfather to the reigning King Ondoher. Indeed, when Ondoher and his heirs were lost, Eärnil eventually succeeded to the Kingship himself.
One important political role, however, was closed to members of the Royal House: that of Steward. When Rómendacil I created the Stewardship, he specified that no member of the House should ever take that office. The descendants of the House of Húrin, who would eventually take on the hereditary Stewardship of the realm, were noted as being of the noblest Númenórean blood, but they were not members of the Royal House itself.
When Denethor II was about to immolate himself upon a pyre, he proudly told Gandalf the White that he was a "Steward of the House of Anárion". By using this name for the head of the royal house of Gondor he was rejecting Aragorn as a new king, calling the line of Isildur a "ragged house long bereft of lordship and dignity".
 The Family Tree of the House of Anárion
Showing the descendants of Anárion. All information in the tree is from The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Southern Line Heirs of Anárion",  or "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", or The Peoples of Middle-Earth, The Heirs of Elendil unless otherwise specified. The figures after the names are those of birth and death where recorded (when only one figure is shown it is marked as either the date of birth, 'b.', or the date of death, 'd.'). A dagger symbol, '†' signifies those who did not die of old age. A name preceded by '*' indicates a King of Gondor. A vertical dashed line indicates a line of descent with some members missing.
 The Beginnings of the Royal House of Gondor
Near the end of the Second Age the High King of the Númenórean Realms in Exile was Elendil, whose sons Isildur and Anárion jointly ruled the realm of Gondor. Elendil and Anárion died in the War of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men and Isildur died soon thereafter in the Disaster of the Gladden Fields, which left the crown of Gondor in the hands of Anárion’s son Meneldil. From this first sole King of Gondor came the House of Anárion, the royal house of Gondor.
 Beginnings Notes
- ↑ Elendil and Gil-Galad died when they fought and cast down Sauron during the Siege of Barad-dûr.
- ↑ Isildur was slain at the Disaster of the Gladden Fields.
- ↑ Anárion was slain before Barad-dûr.
- ↑ It is said that Meneldil was Anárion's fourth child; the other three were not named.
- ↑ Meneldil was the last man born in Númenor.
- ↑ Tarostar Rómendacil I was slain fighting fresh hordes of Easterlings.
 The Ship-Kings and the Noontide of Gondor
After King Siriondil came the four Ship-kings of Gondor who extended the realm along the coasts and conquered the Haven of Umbar. Atanatar II, the ruler who followed these kings, enjoyed the splendor of Gondor at the height of its power.
 Noontide Notes
- ↑ Berúthiel, Tarannon's loveless queen, was eventually put on a boat and sent into exile. She and Tarannon had no children.
- ↑ Eärnil I drowned with many men and ships in a great storm off the haven of Umbar.
- ↑ Ciryandil was slain while besieging the haven of Umbar.
 The Era of the Kin-strife
After Atanatar II the attention of Gondor shifted to the north and east. Concerned about the loyalties of the Northmen and dismayed by the Easterlings, Minalcar led an army to the east to remove the Easterling threat. His son Valacar served as an ambassador to Vidugavia and unexpectedly wed his daughter. From this union developed the Kin-strife, the first great evil to befall Gondor.
 Kin-strife Era Notes
- ↑ Narmacil I died childless.
- ↑ Eldacar was disposed by Castamir the Usurper in 1437. He regained the throne in 1447.
- ↑ Castamir seized the throne in 1437 but was slain in battle by Eldacar in 1447.
- ↑ Ornendil was put to death by Castamir when Osgiliath was taken during the Kin-strife.
- ↑ Aldamir fell in battle with rebelling kings of Harad allied with the rebels of Umbar.
- ↑ Castamir's sons escaped from Eldacar, first holding out in Pelargir and then removing to Umbar.
- ↑ Minardil was killed by a raid on Pelargir staged by Angamaitë and Sangahyando, leaders of the Corsairs of Umbar and great-grandsons of Castamir.
 The End of the House of Anárion
The second great evil to befall Gondor was the Great Plague. The realm had not yet recovered when the third evil struck, renewed attacks from the East in the form of the Wainriders. These people nearly killed off the line of kings, and weakened the line so that the Witch-king could deliver the final blow. After the death of King Eärnur the rule of Gondor would fall upon the Ruling Stewards of the House of Húrin.
 End of the Line of Anárion Notes
- ↑ Telemnar and all his children died in the Great Plague.
- ↑ Narmacil II was killed in battle against the Wainriders north-east of the Morannon.
- ↑ Ondoher perished in renewed war against the Wainriders.
- ↑ Artamir died by his father's side in battle against the Wainriders.
- ↑ Faramir disguised himself to join his father's army in the fight against the Wainriders and died while riding with a party of the Éothéod near the Dead Marshes.
- ↑ Minohtar was slain by an arrow as the Wainriders poured into Ithilien after their victory over King Ondoher.
- ↑ Eärnur rode with a small escort of knights to Minas Morgul to meet the challenge of the Witch-king. He and his party were never heard from again.
 Portrayal in adaptations
- In the extended cut of the film, Denethor says the line "I am steward of the House of Anárion. Thus have I walked; and thus now will I sleep."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Pyre of Denethor"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Southern Line: Heirs of Anarion"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Heirs of Elendil"