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"Arvedui and Firiel" by Elena Kukanova
Biographical Information
Other namesLast King
TitlesKing of Arthedain
LanguageSindarin, Westron
BirthT.A. 1864
RuleT.A. 1964 - 1974
DeathMarch T.A. 1974 (aged 110)
Icebay of Forochel
HouseHouse of Isildur
ChildrenAranarth, at least one other son [note 1]
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Arvedui

Arvedui (T.A. 1864[1]1974,[2] died aged 110) was the fifteenth and last king of Arthedain, succeeding his father, Araphant, upon his death in 1964.

History[edit | edit source]

Birth and early life[edit | edit source]

Arvedui's name meant "Last King" in Sindarin, and he was named so due to a prophecy by Malbeth the Seer spoken to his father at Arvedui's birth:

Arvedui you shall call him, for he will be the last in Arthedain. Though a choice will come to the Dúnedain, and if they take the one that seems less hopeful, then your son will change his name and become king of a great realm. If not, then much sorrow and many lives of men shall pass, until the Dúnedain arise and are united again.[3]

Arvedui married Fíriel, the daughter of King Ondoher of Gondor, in 1940, repairing the link between the two Realms in Exile after years of estrangement. In 1944, Ondoher, and his sons Artamir & Faramir were slain in a battle against the Wainriders. Arvedui sent messages to Gondor claiming the kingship , both as a descendant of Isildur and as the husband of Fíriel, who, under old Númenórean law, should have become the first ruling queen. In 1945 the Council of Gondor, persuaded by the Steward Pelendur, voted against Arvedui's claim in favour of Eärnil - a distant relative of the King and the victorious general in the war on the Wainriders.[3]

Life as king[edit | edit source]

Arvedui by Steamey

When Arvedui became king in 1964, his kingdom had already begun to fall apart, and was struggling desperately to hold back the forces of Angmar. In 1974 the Witch-king descended from the north, capturing Fornost and pushing most of the Dúnedain over the Lune. Arvedui and his followers rescued several heirlooms of Arnor such as the Ring of Barahir and the palantíri of Amon Sûl and Annúminas. They held out on the North Downs for a short time before being forced to hide in old dwarven mines in the Blue Mountains. In the end, due to hunger and desperation, they sought the aid of the Lossoth in the Ice-bay of Forochel.[4]

The snowmen were unmoved by the Arnorians' jewels but helped the gaunt king and his men out of pity and out of fear of their weapons, giving them food and building them snow-huts. Arvedui and his men had to stay there as their horses had perished, and kept a fire constantly alight waiting for help. That winter was especially long and rough. In 1974, when Círdan heard from Arvedui's son, Aranarth, of his plight, he sent a ship to Forochel to find him. When the ship arrived in March of that year, the ice-men were frightened for no ship had ever been seen in those waters in living memory, and the chief of the snow-men counselled Arvedui:

Do not mount on this sea-monster! If they have them, let the seamen bring us food and other things that we need, and you may stay here till the Witch-king goes home. For in summer his power wanes; but now his breath is deadly, and his cold arm is long.[4]

However, the King did not heed their advice and gave them his ring as a token of his thanks. When the ship set sail a great wind came from the north and the hull of the ship was broken on the ice. Thus the last king of Arthedain died, and with him the two palantíri were lost.[4]

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

In 1973, Gondor received word from Arthedain of their difficulties, and not forgetting their ancient kinship, King Eärnil II sent as great a fleet as he could spare captained by his son Eärnur. By the time the fleet arrived, Arthedain had already fallen, and Arvedui had already perished.

In order to vanquish the evils of Angmar, Eärnur, Círdan and Glorfindel captained a combined host from Gondor, Lindon and Rivendell and marched across Eriador in such a great force that not a single Orc was left to the west of the Misty Mountains.[3]

Despite the eventual victory over the Witch-king, Arnor was utterly defeated, and the Dúnedain of the North became a scattered and wandering people. The line of kings endured, however, in Aranarth who took the title of Chieftain, all the way down to Aragorn Elessar; and when Aragorn claimed the throne of Gondor he did so as both the heir of Isildur and Anárion due to the fact he was descended from Fíriel - a claim none of the heirs of Arvedui forgot.

As such, Malbeth's prophecy proved true, for Arvedui was indeed the last King of Arthedain; likewise, the last king of Gondor was Eärnur who was killed by the Witch-king. There would not be another king in the north until Aragorn II Elessar reunited the thrones of Gondor and Arnor in the Reunited Kingdom.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Arvedui is Sindarin for "Last King",[5] being a compound of the prefix ar(a)- ("noble", "royal", "high") and the lenited form of medui ("last").[6]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

Kings of
Kings of
1711 - 1891
1789 - 1964
1787 - 1944
1864 - 1974
b 1896
1938 - 2106
2012 - 2177
Chieftains of
the Dúnedain

Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]

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

Arvedui appears in the expansion pack, The Rise of the Witch-king, during the Siege of Fornost in the Angmar-campaign. After Angmar's forces reach the second wall, he leads a sortie, but is killed.
Shade of Arvedui in The Lord of the Rings Online

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

In his last moments, Arvedui despaired and cursed himself for his pride in ignoring the warning of the Lossoth. Because of this, his shade remained lingering at the wreck of the ship Thoroval in the ice near the western coast of the Icebay. During the War of the Ring, the shade of Arvedui is discovered by the player in search for the artifact carried by one of the Elves aboard the vessel. At Arvedui's request, the player recovers a book of heraldry that had been left in the Dwarf-mines he Last King had hidden in, and delivers the book to the Ranger Lothrandir.[7] Elrond urges the player to look for a way to help Arvedui to move on, and together with Arvedui's help Lothrandir and the player uncover and stop a plan of Angmarim in Forochel. In the process, Arvedui learns that an heir of his line still lives and is working towards reclaiming the throne of Gondor and reuniting the two Kingdoms. This knowledge brings Arvedui peace and he feels that he will be able to finally depart Middle-earth upon Aragorn's coronation.


  1. In Appendix A, Aranarth is indicated as the elder son of Arvedui, meaning that Arvedui had at least one other son.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil", p. 195
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Northern Line: Heirs of Isildur"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", paragraphs about the time after the death of king Ondoher, "Arvedui was indeed the last king, as his name signifies."
  6. Paul Strack, "S. Arvedui m.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 4 February 2022)
  7. The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, "Doom of the Last-King"
House of Isildur
Cadet branch of House of Elros
Born: T.A. 1864 Died: T.A. 1974
Preceded by:
23rd Heir of Isildur
T.A. 1964 - 1974
Followed by:
15th King of Arthedain
T.A. 1964 - 1974
Aranarth, as Chieftain

The Northern Line and the Heirs of Isildur
Kings of Arnor: Elendil (S.A. 3320 - 3441) · Isildur (S.A. 3441 - T.A. 2) · Valandil (T.A. 2 - 249) · Eldacar (249 - 339) · Arantar (339 - 435) · Tarcil (435 - 515) · Tarondor (515 - 602) · Valandur (602 - 652) · Elendur (652 - 777) · Eärendur (777 - 861)
Kings of Arthedain: Amlaith (861 - 946) · Beleg (946 - 1029) · Mallor (1029 - 1110) · Celepharn (1110 - 1191) · Celebrindor (1191 - 1272) · Malvegil (1272 - 1349) · Argeleb I (1349 - 1356) · Arveleg I (1356 - 1409) · Araphor (1409 - 1589) · Argeleb II (1589 - 1670) · Arvegil (1670 - 1743) · Arveleg II (1743 - 1813) · Araval (1813 - 1891) · Araphant (1891 - 1964) · Arvedui (1964 - 1975) ·
Chieftains of the Dúnedain: Aranarth (1975 - 2106) · Arahael (2106 - 2177) · Aranuir (2177 - 2247) · Aravir (2247 - 2319) · Aragorn I (2319 - 2327) · Araglas (2327 - 2455) · Arahad I (2455 - 2523) · Aragost (2523 - 2588) · Aravorn (2588 - 2654) · Arahad II (2654 - 2719) · Arassuil (2719 - 2784) · Arathorn I (2784 - 2848) · Argonui (2848 - 2912) · Arador (2912 - 2930) · Arathorn II (2930 - 2933) · Aragorn II (2933 - 3019)
Kings of Arnor: Elessar (T.A. 3019 - Fo.A. 120) · Eldarion (Fo.A. 120 onwards)