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Jack Dullahan - The fall of King Ondoher.jpg
"The fall of King Ondoher" by Jack Dullahan
Biographical Information
TitlesKing of Gondor
BirthT.A. 1787
RuleT.A. 1936 - 1944 (8 years)
DeathT.A. 1944 (aged 157)
Disaster of the Morannon
HouseHouse of Anárion
SiblingsUnnamed sister
ChildrenArtamir, Faramir and Fíriel
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Ondoher

Ondoher (T.A. 1787[1]1944,[2] aged 157 years) was the thirty-first King of Gondor.


[edit] History

[edit] Renewing Old Ties

Ondoher became King in T.A. 1936 upon the death of his father, Calimehtar.[2] During his reign, and that of Araphant of Arthedain, the long-estranged kingdoms of the Dúnedain took counsel again, for they finally perceived that some single will and power was coordinating the multiple assaults upon their kingdoms. In a sign of their renewed relationship, Ondoher's daughter Fíriel married Prince Arvedui of Arthedain in 1940.[3]

However, neither kingdom could aid the other when new evils set upon them - in the North Angmar attacked Arthedain while in the South the Wainriders struck in great force. Ondoher was not taken unaware by the renewed assault for Forthwini of Éothéod had informed the King that the Wainriders had recovered from their fears and weaknesses. Ondoher also learned that Gondor's southern enemies were preparing to attack. He raised as great an army as he could to meet the double threat.

Ondoher divided his strength into two armies, assigning the smaller Southern Army to Eärnil, a member of the Royal House descended from King Telumehtar. This army was based at Pelargir while Ondoher took command of the larger Northern Army himself, which included his elder son Artamir. This arrangement was acceptable provided that an undisputed heir to the throne was left behind, in this case Ondoher's younger son, Faramir.

[edit] The Deaths of Ondoher and His Sons

In T.A. 1944 the enemies of Gondor made a double assault: First the Haradrim invaded from the south and then a few days later word came of the Wainriders invading from the east. While Ëarnil moved to deal with the southern incursion the northern army headed north through Ithilien, planning to deploy upon the Dagorlad. Unfortunately, the Wainriders moved faster than expected along the outskirts of the Ered Lithui and struck the head of Gondor's army before any defensive dispositions had been made. Swiftly the enemy's chariots and horsemen overwhelmed the King's Guard, killing both Ondoher and Artamir at the Disaster of the Morannon.

King Ondoher's sister-son, Minohtar attempted to stem the onslaught of the Wainriders. During the rout the leader of the Éothéod brought to Minohtar the body of Faramir, who had disguised himself in order to fight with a party of the Éothéod. Soon Minohtar himself was slain as the enemy poured into northern Ithilien.

[edit] Selecting the Next King

The suddenness of their victory was the Wainriders' undoing. Unbeknownst to them Eärnil had crushed the Haradrim and was racing north to aid the northern army. His attack upon the feasting Wainriders, later known as the Battle of the Camp, defeated the Wainriders and sent them reeling back into the East.[4]

With King Ondoher and both of his male heirs dead, Arvedui of Arthedain sought the throne of Gondor. Arvedui put forth two arguments in support of his claim: First, he was the direct descendant of Isildur, whom Arvedui said had never relinquished his royalty in Gondor. Second, his wife Fíriel was King Ondoher's daughter and by the ancient Númenórean law the sceptre should have been hers. But Arvedui's claim was rejected by the Steward Pelendur and the Council of Gondor. The crown was granted to the victorious general Eärnil, of the royal House of Anárion who took the crown as King Eärnil II.[3]

[edit] Etymology

Ondoher is Quenya. Its meaning is not glossed, but as Paul Strack explains, it means "Stone Lord" and is a compound of ondo ("stone") and hér ("lord")[5], in reference to Gondor, the "Stone Land".

The name "Ondoher" was spelled as Ondohir in early manuscripts, changed to Ondonir in a later manuscript, reverted to Ondohir in the first edition of The Return of the King, and finally became Ondoher in the second edition.[1]

[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
Eärnil II
1883 - 2043
1938 - 2106
1928 - 2050


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil"
  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, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  4. 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"
  5. Paul Strack, "Q. Ondoher m.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 28 July 2021)
House of Anárion
Cadet branch of House of Elros
Born: T.A. 1787 Died: T.A. 1944
Preceded by:
31st King of Gondor
T.A. 1936 - 1944
Next held by:
Eärnil II, 1 year later