King's House

From Tolkien Gateway

The King's House was a building where the Kings of Gondor lived.

History

While the south kingdom of Gondor was co-ruled by Isildur and Anárion, the house of Isildur was in Minas Ithil and the house of Anárion was in Minas Anor, but their thrones were side by side in the Great Hall of Osgiliath in the city of Osgiliath, the capital of Gondor.[1] After the death of Anárion in the siege of Barad-dûr in S.A. 3440, the co-ruling of the kingdom of Gondor was abandoned and Isildur committed the rule of Gondor to Anárion's son, Meneldil, when he left Gondor in T.A. 2[2] to travel to the north kingdom of Arnor to assume the high kingship over Arnor and Gondor, because his father Elendil had died in combat with Sauron in S.A. 3441[3].[4] During the earlier history of Gondor, the King's House was located in Osgiliath.[5] After King Ostoher rebuilt Minas Anor in T.A. 420[6] the Kings of Gondor lived in Minas Anor in the summer instead of in Osgiliath.[7]

Queen Berúthiel, the wife of King Tarannon, was said to prefer living in the King's House in Osgiliath to the house that her husband had built by the Ethir Anduin south of Pelargir. While living in the King's House, she kept her chambers bare and had the gardens filled with tormented sculptures.[8]

In T.A. 1636 a large number of people, especially in Osgiliath, including King Telemnar and all his children, died in the Great Plague that had come from the East. Four years later, in T.A. 1640[9] his nephew, King Tarondor, permanently moved the residence of the King to the King's House in Minas Anor, because Osgiliath had become partly uninhabited and began to fall into ruin.[5] The King's House was located on the west side of the Citadel of Minas Anor behind the White Tower and the Hall of the Kings, which stood at the centre of the Citadel.[10] it is possible that the King's House used to be the former summer residence of the kings in Minas Arnor.

Other versions of the legendarium

Although the location of the King's House in Minas Tirith is not mentioned in the narrative of The Lord of the Rings, it is shown on a small plan of the Citadel that J.R.R. Tolkien drew on a page with a rough draft for the passage about Merethrond, the Great Hall of Feasts, in the chapter Many Partings.[10]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 2, p. 1085
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", entry for the year 3441, p. 1084
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", entry for King Ondoher, p. 1049
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", entries for King Telemnar and King Tarondor, p. 1048
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 420, p. 1085
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", entry for King Ostoher, p. 1044
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Istari", Note 7
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1640, p. 1086
  10. 10.0 10.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part One: The End of the Third Age: VII. Many Partings", p. 67