Eldacar (King of Gondor)

From Tolkien Gateway
The name Eldacar refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Eldacar (disambiguation).
Matěj Čadil - Eldacar of Gondor.jpg
"Eldacar of Gondor" by Matěj Čadil
Biographical Information
Other namesVinitharya
TitlesKing of Gondor
BirthT.A. 1255
RuleT.A. 1432 - 1437
T.A. 1447 - 1490
DeathT.A. 1490 (aged 235)
HouseHouse of Anárion
ParentageValacar and Vidumavi
ChildrenOrnendil and Aldamir
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Eldacar
"To the lineage of Gondor he added the fearless spirit of the Northmen. He was handsome and valiant, and showed no sign of ageing more swiftly than his father."
Appendix A

Eldacar (T.A. 1255[1]1490,[2] aged 235 years) was the twenty-first King of Gondor. He was born with the name Vinitharya as the royal son of Valacar of Gondor and Vidumavi, daughter of the King of Rhovanion.

History[edit | edit source]

Eldacar's father Valacar had gone to live among the Northmen of King Vidugavia's realm in T.A. 1250. While there Valacar fell in love with and married the King's daughter, princess Vidumavi. Their son was named Vinitharya, would later be called Eldacar.[3] In 1260, when Valacar returned to Gondor, he gave to Vinitharya the name of Eldacar, which Vinitharya retained when he inherited Gondor's throne. Valacar had also brought his family and a household of noble Northmen back to Gondor.[4]

The high men of Gondor frowned upon Valacar's marriage to a woman of alien and "lesser" race for they feared that Vidumavi's descendants would prove short-lived. As Valacar grew old rebellion smouldered in the southern fiefs of Gondor since many refused to accept Eldacar as their upcoming lord. When Eldacar succeeded his father in T.A. 1432 full civil war erupted, called the Kin-strife.[5]

Eldacar showed no sign of more rapid aging than any of the Dúnedain and displayed fearlessness in opposing those who sought to depose him. However, the rebels came against him in great strength and lay a siege that laid waste to Osgiliath (and caused the loss of the palantír kept in the Tower of the Stone). As Eldacar fled the city to Rhovanion a distant relative named Castamir claimed his throne and had Eldacar's son Ornendil put to death.

Eldacar gathered together his kinsfold in Rhovanion, those Northmen who had served Gondor, and many of the Dúnedain from the northern parts of Gondor. After ten years of exile Eldacar led a great army to reclaim his Kingship. His forces were augmented by the people of Calenardhon, Anórien, and Ithilien. In this he was aided by the cruelty and lack of generosity of Castamir, and by Castamir's disdain for the land with his plan to remove the seat of the King to Pelargir. The greatest clash during Eldacar's return took place at the Crossings of Erui.

Although Eldacar himself avenged his son Ornendil by slaying Castamir, the sons of the Usurper escaped from the battle and held out at Pelargir. Gathering the remainder of their forces these sons then sailed to Umbar which then became a refuge for all enemies of the King. The independent lordship of Umbar would remain at war with Gondor for generations, a constant threat to its coastlines and sea traffic.

Eldacar lived for 235 years, which showed that his mother's lineage had not diminished his lifespan as feared. Eventually he was succeeded by his younger son Aldamir.[1]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Eldacar is a Quenya name. It means "Elfhelm".[6] It is a compound of elda ("elf") and the suffixal form -car of carma ("helm") also seen in Valacar.[7][8]

Vinitharya is a name in the language of the Northmen that was spoken by his mother Vidumavi.[9] It is said that the name had much the same meaning as Rómendacil,[10] which means "East-victor".[11] Arden R. Smith suggests that it is a modified form of the original reconstructed Gothic name *Winiþa-harjis, which means "one who battles the Wends". The Wends or Winedas (in Old English) were a Slavic people who dwelt inside Germanic territories. He further suggests that the original name that was fictitiously translated by Tolkien as Vinitharya referred to Easterlings instead of Wends. The historical bearer of this name was a king of the Ostrogoths of the fourth century and was the great-grandfather of Theodoric the Great, who was called Vinitharius or Venetharius by Jordanes,[12] an Eastern Roman writer from the sixth century who is believed to be of Gothic descent.[13] Jim Allan suggests that the name consists of vinid (a reference to the Vinidi, the Wends) and harya derived from hari ("army"), which could be rendered "man-at-arms" and points out that Jordanes mentioned Vinitharius as the name of an ancient king of the Ostrogoths.[14]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

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

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

In the entry for king Telemnar in Appendix A I (iv) of The Lord of the Rings it is stated that "Mindardil, son of Eldacar," was slain at Pelargir. In Appendix A I (ii) The Southern Line Heirs of Anárion Hyarmendacil II (Vinyarion) is the King of Gondor before Mindardil. In the entry for the 25th king Minardil in manuscript C of The Heirs of Elendil in The Peoples of Middle-earth it is mentioned that Minardil was at Pelargir suspecting no peril since the crushing of Harad and Umbar by his father. In the entry for the 24th king Vinyarion in manuscript C of The Heirs of Elendil in The Peoples of Middle-earth it is mentioned that Vinyarion took the name Hyarmendakil II in 1551 after a great victory over Harad. These two statements in The Heirs of Elendil seem to imply that Minardil was the son of Vinyarion and thus the great-grandson of Eldacar. It is noteworthy that Appendix A I (iv) does not mention king Aldamir and king Hyarmendacil II (Vinyarion), although both are included in the list of Kings of Gondor in Appendix A I (ii) and in the Tale of Years of The Third Age in Appendix B. It is possible that this is the reason why Aldamir and Vinyarion were overlooked in Appendix A I (iv) in the short sentence mentioning king Minardil. In the opinion of Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull "Minardil, son of Eldacar" was an error and should be changed to "Minardil, great-grandson of Eldacar".[15] Mark Fisher has the same opinion.[16]


  1. 1.0 1.1 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", entry for king Minalcar who took the name Rómendacil (II) and entry for king Valacar
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "IX. The Making of Appendix A": (i) "The Realms in Exile"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, "XVII. The Great River", note 18, p. 366
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 114 entry Q Eldacar; Valacar
  8. Paul Strack, "Q. Eldacar m.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 27 January 2022)
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", entry for King Valacar, pp. 1046
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "IX. The Making of Appendix A": (i) "The Realms in Exile", Note on the expansion of the tale of the Kin-strife in the Second Edition, entry 19 Romendakil II, p. 260
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", entry for King Tarostar, p. 1044
  12. Jordanes, "Iordanis De Origine Actibusque Getarum", The Latin Library (accessed 28 May 2024), XIV.79 and XLVIII.246 and XLVII.248
  13. Arden R. Smith, Tolkienian Gothic, in Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, The Lord of the Rings 1954-2004: Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder, p. 269
  14. Jim Allan (1978), An Introduction to Elvish, p. 190
  15. Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, "Addenda and Corrigenda to the 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings (2004-5)", wayne & christina (accessed 31 October 2021)
  16. Mark Fisher, "Minardil", The Encyclopedia of Arda (accessed 31 October 2021)
House of Anárion
Cadet branch of House of Elros
Born: T.A. 1255 Died: T.A. 1490
Preceded by:
21st King of Gondor
T.A. 14321437
Followed by:
Preceded by:
Castamir "The Usurper"
21st King of Gondor (restored)
T.A. 1447 - 1490
Followed by:

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