Steward of Gondor

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"How many hundreds of years needs it to make a steward a king, if the king returns not?"


"Few years, maybe, in other places of less royalty. In Gondor ten thousands years would not suffice."

-Denethor II

Gondor Steward's Banner by Grond

Steward was the traditional title of a chief councillor to The Kings of Gondor.


King Rómendacil I established the office of Steward of Gondor, chosen by the King as a man of high trust and wisdom; Stewards were advanced in years since they were not permitted to go to war or to leave the realm. They were never a member of the Royal House.[1]

Mardil Voronwë was the one who started ruling Gondor after the death of its last King Eärnur. He ruled on the behalf of the King until the throne would be claimed by one of the Royal House.[2] The office was in all respects and purposes that of the King.

The Steward to King Minardil, Húrin of Emyn Arnen, was the founder of the House of Húrin.[3] They were of royal Númenórean blood, but were not descendants of Elendil in the ruling line.[4]After him all stewards would be chosen from his descendants.[5]

During the time of the Steward Pelendur, who ruled briefly after the death of King Ondoher and his sons (T.A. 1944), this title became hereditary, passing the station of councillor from father to son, much like the Kingship.[3] This line of ruling stewards carried on through twenty-six generations to Denethor II, Ruling Steward at the time of the War of the Ring.[2]

Soon after the death of Denethor II, Aragorn Elessar was crowned King of the Reunited Kingdom. The Steward Faramir, son of Denethor II, surrendered to the King his rod of office, but it was returned to him.[6] Faramir nominally ruled briefly as Steward until Elessar's coronation, but since Faramir rested in the Houses of Healing, Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth took his place much of that time.[7] Though Faramir became Steward a month and a half before Elessar became King, Faramir is not considered one of the Ruling Stewards. King Elessar confirmed in Faramir and his descendants the office of Steward of Gondor, and granted him in addition the title of Prince of Ithilien, ensuring his line a position as councillor of the King.[6]

List of ruling stewards

The Line of Ruling Stewards
  Name Reign Notes
1. Mardil Voronwë T.A. 2050T.A. 2080 Becomes Ruling Steward after King Eärnur leaves no descendants. Beginning of the Watchful Peace.
2. Eradan T.A. 2080T.A. 2116  
3. Herion T.A. 2116T.A. 2148  
4. Belegorn T.A. 2148T.A. 2204  
5. Húrin I T.A. 2204T.A. 2244  
6. Túrin I T.A. 2244T.A. 2278  
7. Hador T.A. 2278T.A. 2395 The last Steward of Gondor to have the full lifespan of the Dúnedain.
8. Barahir T.A. 2395T.A. 2412  
9. Dior T.A. 2412T.A. 2435 Succeeded by his sister Rian's son.
10. Denethor I T.A. 2435T.A. 2477 The Watchful Peace is broken. Orcs attack from Minas Morgul and people begin to abandon Ithilien.
11. Boromir T.A. 2477T.A. 2489  
12. Cirion T.A. 2489T.A. 2567 Defeats the Balchoth with the aid of the Éothéod. As a reward he gives them the land of Calenardhon.
13. Hallas T.A. 2567T.A. 2605  
14. Húrin II T.A. 2605T.A. 2628  
15. Belecthor I T.A. 2628T.A. 2655 The Corsairs of Umbar again become a threat to Gondor.
16. Orodreth T.A. 2655T.A. 2685  
17. Ecthelion I T.A. 2685T.A. 2698  
18. Egalmoth T.A. 2698T.A. 2743  
19. Beren T.A. 2743T.A. 2763 During the Long Winter, Gondor is besieged by Corsairs and Rohan by Dunlendings.
20. Beregond T.A. 2763T.A. 2811 Defeats the Corsairs.
21. Belecthor II T.A. 2811T.A. 2872 Death of the White Tree of Gondor.
22. Thorondir T.A. 2872T.A. 2882  
23. Túrin II T.A. 2882T.A. 2914 Defeats an invasion of Haradrim. Orcs invade from Mordor and Ithilien is evacuated.
24. Turgon T.A. 2914T.A. 2953 Sauron declares himself openly.
25. Ecthelion II T.A. 2953T.A. 2984 Defeats the Corsairs with the aid of Thorongil
26. Denethor II T.A. 2984T.A. 3019 Ruling Steward during the War of the Ring.
27. Faramir T.A. 3019 Returns the rule of Gondor to King Aragorn Elessar.

Duties and office

Stewards served as chief councillor to the king and when there was no king to serve they would rule until the rightful king returned.[3]

The Stewards used a simple white rod for their badge of office [8]. Additionally, they sat on a small throne that was in front of the throne used by the old kings of Gondor, letting that throne go unused in honor of the fallen kings.[3]

Other names

"Steward" in Quenya was Arandur,[9] literally "king's servant, minister",[10] a combination of aran ("king") + -ndur ("servant").[11][12]