Council of Gondor

From Tolkien Gateway

The Council of Gondor, also known as the Great Council of Gondor,[note 1] was composed of the Lords of the Fiefs and the Captains of the Forces in Gondor, the advisors to the ruler of Gondor who were the Kings of Gondor and later the Ruling Stewards.[1]


The Númenórean King of Gondor governed the realm with the frame of ancient law, of which he was administrator (and interpreter) but not the lawmaker. He consulted the Council in debatable matters of importance domestic, or external.[1]

The Council took authority over the realm after the loss of Ondoher left it kingless in T.A. 1944,[2] and it acted under the control of Steward Pelendur. In 1945, Arvedui of Arthedain, whose wife was Ondoher's daughter, invoked the Law of Succession in Númenor to claim the throne of Gondor; the Council voted against his claim, in favour of Ondoher's distant relative, Eärnil II.[3]

In all debatable matters of importance domestic, or external, however, even Denethor held Council, and at least listened to what the Lords of the Fiefs and the Captains of the Forces had to say.[1] As the Siege of Gondor approached, Denethor II called the Council together on 11 March, T.A. 3019[4] and it advised him to make no stroke of war against the enemy due to the threat from the south.[5]

Aragorn re-established the Great Council of Gondor, and in that Faramir, who remained by inheritance the Steward (or representative of the King during his absence abroad, or sickness, or between his death and the accession of his heir) was his chief counsellor.[1]

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  1. The fact that Aragorn re-established the "Great Council of Gondor" during his reign as King of Gondor and Arnor implies that there would have been a "Great Council of Gondor" during the time of the last High King Isildur or during the time of the last King of Gondor Eärnur. More cannot be said of the matter.