From Tolkien Gateway
Eärnur from The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king
Biographical Information
PronunciationQ, [eˈarnur]
TitlesCaptain of Gondor, King of Gondor
BirthT.A. 1928
RuleT.A. 2043 - 2050 (7 years)
DeathT.A. 2050 (aged 122)
Minas Morgul
HouseHouse of Anárion
ParentageEärnil II
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Eärnur

Eärnur was a man like his father in valour, but not in wisdom. He was a man of strong body and hot mood; but he would take no wife, for his only pleasure was in fighting, or in the exercise of arms.

Eärnur (19282050) was the thirty-third and last King of Gondor. He took the throne upon the death of his father Eärnil II in T.A. 2043, and after his disappearance, the Stewards of Gondor ruled in his name for many generations.



During the Angmar War, what was left of the ancient realm of Arnor was under attack. While not ignoring the North-Kingdom, King Eärnil II had trouble of his own, and could not spare any of his troops to send North. Upon learning that the Witch-king was preparing for the final blow in T.A. 1973, he sent his son Prince Eärnur north, as Captain of Gondor. Though his fleet sailed rapidly, he was not in time to save Arthedain or Arvedui, its last king. His massive fleet - it filled Mithlond, Harlond and Forlond - was hailed by the Men that had survived the last defeat, and the Elves also. To Gondor's standards, the expeditionary force was mediocre in size. It did, however, include cavalry from Rhovanion, which would prove useful on the wide lands of the North.

With Círdan, Eärnur travelled East, and cleansed the lands of Orcs and other servants of Angmar. All fled before the might of the Host of the West, with Eärnur at its head. At the same time, Glorfindel came west from Rivendell and they fought against Angmar at Fornost. When finally the Witch-king, clad in black, came forth near the site, many of the horses fled in terror. The Witch-king challenged Eärnur directly, but as he charged, his steed also swerved, and it took some time before the Captain of Gondor could regain control. The Witch-king laughed at this seeming retreat, but his victory would not last long. The Elves of Rivendell entered the battlefield, and the Witch-king fled before the might of Glorfindel. Fleeing in despair, Eärnur wanted to pursue him, but Glorfindel spoke against it: "Do not pursue him! He will not return to this land. Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of man will he fall".[1]

But nonetheless, Eärnur bore a grudge against the wraith that disgraced him, and so he won the chief hatred of the Witch-king.


It was soon found out that the Witch-king escaped to Mordor, and set up abode in Minas Ithil, which in consequence was renamed Minas Morgul. After the death of Eärnil and the coronation of Eärnur, the Witch-king challenged him to single combat, reminding him of the disgrace in the North. The Steward, Mardil Voronwë, persuaded him not to go.[1]

Enamoured with fighting and arms, he retained his prowess and skill more than was usual, even for a Gondorian. He seemed more like a champion than a king, and won everyone in Gondor in sports of arms.[1]

Seven years later, the Witch-king renewed his challenge, and this time, Eärnur could not be held back. Before leaving, however, Eärnur left his crown on the lap of his father in the Houses of the Dead.[1] There it was picked up again by Faramir, the last Ruling Steward, for the coronation of Elessar almost a millennium later.[2] With a small escort of knights, he rode past the gates of Minas Morgul. None were ever seen again.[1]

No new king was elected and the rule of Gondor passed to the Ruling Stewards, beginning with Mardil Voronwë. The Stewards were to rule "until the King returns", because it was uncertain at first whether Eärnur had been killed or not. In addition, Eärnur left without an heir, and while many others in Gondor could lay some sort of claim to the kingship, those claims generally had some sort of doubt, and no one wanted to risk another civil war like the Kin-strife.[1][3]


Eärnur is Quenya, being a shortened form of Eärendur.[4]


Eärnur was a member of the "fifth line" of Kings of Gondor, which started with his father after the death Ondoher and his sons in T.A. 1944, and ended with himself a little over a century later.

1632 - 1850
Narmacil II
1684 - 1856
1736 - 1936
Kings of
1787 - 1944
1864 - 1975
b. 1896
d. 1944
d. 1944
d. 1944
Eärnil II
1883 - 2043
1938 - 2106
1928 - 2050
T.A. 2931 - Fo.A. 120

Other versions of the legendarium

In an earlier version of what would later become the chapter The Window on the West the last king of the line of Anárion was not called King Eärnur, but was called King Elessar.[5]

Portrayal in adaptations

Eärnur in adaptations
Eärnur during his life in The Lord of the Rings Online
Eärnur during his life in The Lord of the Rings Online  
Eärnur as Mordirith, the Steward of Angmar
Eärnur as Mordirith, the Steward of Angmar  

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

While explaining the origin of the Dead Men to Gimli (and by extension, the audience), Legolas refers to Isildur as the "Last King".[6] Whether Eärnur was omitted on purpose (so not to introduce another name) or simply overlooked is unknown.

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

Eärnur appeared in the expansion pack, The Rise of the Witch-king. He came to Rivendell to aid the Elves and Men of Arnor.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Eärnur plays a major role in the game as the chief antagonist of several story-lines and is also combined with the character of Gothmog. In the game, in Minas Morgul he was transformed into a wraith named Mordirith in service of the Witch-king, who in mockery of the Stewards of Gondor made Mordirith his own Steward of Carn Dûm in Angmar. Long absent from it, Mordirith returns to Carn Dûm shortly before War of the Ring, launching attacks against the Free Peoples of Eriador. Mordirith is defeated at the end of the game's original storyline, plunging the other servants of Sauron into a civil war over his position before he returns and his identity is revealed at the end of Volume I. He is defeated again, but instead of being sent back to the North he is named Gothmog and is ordered to lead the Witch-King's armies against Gondor.
During the Battle of Pelennor Fields Gothmog personally kills the Ranger Halbarad, but afterwards suddenly feels fear again and flees the battlefield before Aragorn. Gothmog barricades himself inside Minas Morgul, refusing even Sauron's muster to the Black Gate. Though he outlives the Dark Lord's demise, his other surviving servants blame Gothmog for it and combine their forces to assault of the City of the Dead. This gives the players and a group of Rangers of Ithilien the opportunity to sneak inside and challenge Gothmog, delivering a final defeat to him.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Steward and the King"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings: Eldarin Roots and Stems", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 88 and p. 152
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Ring, "Part Two: The Ring Goes East", "V. Faramir", p. 153
  6. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, "Dwimorberg - The Haunted Mountain"
House of Anárion
Cadet branch of House of Elros
Born: T.A. 1928 Died: T.A. 2050
Preceded by:
Eärnil II
33rd King of Gondor
T.A. 20432050
Next held by:
Elessar, 969 years later

The Southern Line and the Heirs of Anárion
Kings of Gondor: Elendil (S.A. 3320 - 3441) · Isildur (S.A. 3441 - T.A. 2) and Anárion (S.A. 3320 - 3440) · Meneldil (T.A. 2 - 158) · Cemendur (158 - 238) · Eärendil (238 - 324) · Anardil (324 - 411) · Ostoher (411 - 492) · Rómendacil I (492 - 541) · Turambar (541 - 667) · Atanatar I (667 - 748) · Siriondil (748 - 830) · Tarannon Falastur (830 - 913) · Eärnil I (913 - 936) · Ciryandil (936 - 1015) · Hyarmendacil I (1015 - 1149) · Atanatar II Alcarin (1149 - 1226) · Narmacil I (1226 - 1294) · Calmacil (1294 - 1304) · Rómendacil II (1304 - 1366) · Valacar (1366 - 1432) · Eldacar (1432 - 1437) · Castamir the Usurper (1437 - 1447) · Eldacar restored (1447 - 1490) · Aldamir (1490 - 1540) · Hyarmendacil II (1540 - 1621) · Minardil (1621 - 1634) · Telemnar (1634 - 1636) · Tarondor (1636 - 1798) · Telumehtar Umbardacil (1798 - 1850) · Narmacil II (1850 - 1856) · Calimehtar (1856 - 1936) · Ondoher (1936 - 1944) · Eärnil II (1945 - 2043) · Eärnur (2043 - 2050)
Stewards of Gondor: Húrin of Emyn Arnen (c. T.A. 1630s) · Pelendur (before T.A. 1944 - 1998) · Vorondil (1998 - 2029) · Mardil Voronwë (2029 - 2080) · Eradan (2080 - 2116) · Herion (2116 - 2148) · Belegorn (2148 - 2204) · Húrin I (2204 - 2244) · Túrin I (2244 - 2278) · Hador (2278 - 2395) · Barahir (2395 - 2412) · Dior (2412 - 2435) · Denethor I (2435 - 2477) · Boromir (2477 - 2489) · Cirion (2489 - 2567) · Hallas (2567 - 2605) · Húrin II (2605 - 2628) · Belecthor I (2628 - 2655) · Orodreth (2655 - 2685) · Ecthelion I (2685 - 2698) · Egalmoth (2698 - 2743) · Beren (2743 - 2763) · Beregond (2763 - 2811) · Belecthor II (2811 - 2872) · Thorondir (2872 - 2882) · Túrin II (2882 - 2914) · Turgon (2914 - 2953) · Ecthelion II (2953 - 2984) · Denethor II (2984 - 3019) · Faramir (T.A. 3019 - Fo.A. 82) · Elboron (Fo.A. 82 onwards)
Kings of Gondor: Elessar (T.A. 3019 - Fo.A. 120) · Eldarion (Fo.A. 120 onwards)
Non-ruling stewards are in italics