Steward of Gondor
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Steward was the traditional title of a chief counselor to one of the Kings of Gondor.
King Rómendacil I established the office of Steward, 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.
The Steward to King Minardil, Húrin of Emyn Arnen, was the founder of the House of Húrin. They were of royal Númenórean blood, but were not descendants of Elendil in the ruling line. After the time of Minardil, the Kings established the custom that Stewards are chosen from this House.
After the death of King Eärnur, who left no heir to the throne of Gondor, the Steward Mardil Voronwë became the first of the Ruling Stewards. Mardil was the first of the Stewards to administer Gondor, and his descendants did so for 25 generations. The Stewards watched over the throne until it could be reclaimed by a true King of Gondor, an heir of Elendil.
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. 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. 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 counselor of the King.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", note 53
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", "The Stewards"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil", pp. 203 & 218
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Steward and the King"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Houses of Healing"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", p. 313, note 25
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 297, (dated August 1967), p. 386