|"Castamir the Usurper of Gondor" by Matěj Čadil|
|Other names||"The Usurper"|
|Titles||Captain of Ships, King of Gondor|
|Birth||T.A. 1259 |
|Rule||T.A. 1437 – 1447 (10 years)|
|Death||T.A. 1447 (aged 188)|
|House||House of Anárion|
|Parentage||unknown, grandfather Calimehtar|
|Gallery||Images of Castamir|
When Eldacar ascended to the throne in T.A. 1432 a civil war broke out in Gondor. Eldacar's mother had been Vidumavi, a princess from Rhovanion and not of Númenórean descent. It was unheard of for an heir to the throne to come from one of an alien and lesser race, as viewed by the Dúnedain, and many feared that her shorter lifespan would diminish the majesty of the Kings. Before Eldacar's ascension rebellion brewed in Gondor, especially in the southern parts, and when he became King full civil war broke out.
Castamir joined the rebellion and being nearest in blood to the crown as well as having the greatest following (due to his support by the people of the coasts and havens of Pelargir and Umbar) he became its leader. He led the rebel forces that besieged Eldacar in Osgiliath and forced the King to flee to his kinsfolk in Rhovanion. The nature of Castamir's character became apparent during the long siege for he not only caused slaughter and destruction in Osgiliath beyond the demands of war, he also had Ornendil, Eldacar's son, put to death when the city fell.
In Eldacar's absence, Castamir seized the throne. After having shown great cruelty during the war, he further alienated his subjects by being haughty and ungenerous. He also planned to remove the King's seat to Pelargir, a proposal that lowered Castamir in the eyes of the people of Minas Anor and Ithilien.
In the north, Eldacar forged an army composed of his kinsfolk, those Northmen who had been in the service of Gondor, and a growing number of disaffected Dúnedain from the northern parts of the realm. In T.A. 1447 Eldacar marched south and his army was augmented by folks from Calenardhon, Anórien, and Ithilien. Castamir's forces met Eldacar's army in Lebennin where the Battle of the Crossings of Erui was fought. Much of the best blood of Gondor was lost in the fray. Eldacar himself slew Castamir in the fight and thus reclaimed his Kingship.
However, Castamir's sons escaped from the battle and withdrew their father's forces into Pelargir. There they withstood a siege until they could sail away to Umbar. This city and haven became a lordship independent of Gondor and a refuge for all enemies of the realm, a threat that would last for centuries.
The first element, casta, is not translated, but it could be a variant of cassa "helmet". In that case, his name means "helmet-jewel" or "jewelled helmet"
1058 - 1304
1126 - 1366
1194 - 1432
1255 - 1490
1259 - 1447†
1330 - 1540†
1391 - 1621
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil"
- 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, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
- Paul Strack, "Q. Castamir m.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 29 October 2021)
House of Anárion
Cadet branch of House of Elros
|22nd King of Gondor|
T.A. 1437 – T.A. 1447