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Matěj Čadil - Castamir the Usurper of Gondor.jpg
"Castamir the Usurper of Gondor" by Matěj Čadil
Biographical Information
Other names"The Usurper"
TitlesCaptain of Ships, King of Gondor
BirthT.A. 1259
RuleT.A. 14371447 (10 years)
DeathT.A. 1447 (aged 188)
HouseHouse of Anárion
Parentageunknown, grandfather Calimehtar
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Castamir

Castamir "The Usurper" (Q, pron. [ˈkastamir]; T.A. 1259[1]1447,[2] aged 188 years) usurped the throne of Gondor from Eldacar, ruling from 1437 to 1447, until he was violently deposed.

[edit] History

Castamir was the grandson of Calimehtar, the younger son of Calmacil, the eighteenth King of Gondor. Although not a direct heir to the throne he was a noble of realm and became the Captain of Ships.

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.[3]

[edit] Etymology

Castamir is Quenya. Its meaning is not glossed, but as Paul Strack explains, the final element of this name is probably mírë ("jewel").[4]

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"

[edit] Genealogy

1058 - 1304
Rómendacil II
1126 - 1366
d. 1332
1194 - 1432
1255 - 1490
1259 - 1447
d. 1437
1330 - 1540
Hyarmendacil II
1391 - 1621
fl. 1634
fl. 1634


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil"
  2. 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. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  4. Paul Strack, "Q. Castamir m.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 29 October 2021)
House of Anárion
Cadet branch of House of Elros
Born: T.A. 1259 Died: T.A. 1447
Preceded by:
22nd King of Gondor
T.A. 1437T.A. 1447
Followed by: