Stewards of Gondor descendants of Anarion?

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Stewards of Gondor descendants of Anarion?

Postby mrunderhill » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:15 pm

In the early draft of the appendix, Tolkien wrote that House of Hurin of the Keys, ultimately hand royal origin. Yet later he removed this from the appendix. In Lord of the Rings, Faramir says the Stewards are not of the line of Elendil. Now this could just mean that they were not descendants from a male line like others. However, in the Unfinished Tales it also states how the Stewards were usually picked from outside the royal houses. Logically it would seem unlikely for a High Numenorean household like the Stewards to not have married a descendant of Anarion at some point. However, families in Gondor never seemed to be that large. Gondor was often at war with Harad or the Wainriders. They suffered the civil war and the Great Plague. If Numenor is anything to go by, then a number of royal women chose not to marry at all. The Kin strife would have wiped out most families with a claim to the throne. Did Tolkien ever give a definitive answer on the subject? If the Stewards were descendants of Anarion( and possibly other kings) I can see there anger in handing the throne over to the northern descendant of Isildur. Dior had inherited Doriath through his mother Luthien. It appears Turin was in line to inherit the Lordship of the House of Beor, through his mother Morwen. Then in Numenor we have the law allowing women to even inherit the throne. Did the Stewards in their desire to give the throne to Earnil instead of Arvedui foolishly set a precedent to stop them ever inheriting the throne?
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Re: Stewards of Gondor descendants of Anarion?

Postby Tauron » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:51 am

If Faramir says that they are not of the line of Elendil then to me that indicates that they are not descended from Elendil in any way, shape or form. They may be related to Elendil's ancestors but there is nothing I have read that confirms this.
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Re: Stewards of Gondor descendants of Anarion?

Postby mrunderhill » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:15 pm

Tauron wrote:If Faramir says that they are not of the line of Elendil then to me that indicates that they are not descended from Elendil in any way, shape or form. They may be related to Elendil's ancestors but there is nothing I have read that confirms this.

I think the same too, but Tolkien either made a mistake in the early drafts or perhaps he intended that the stewards were ultimately related to Elros, since in the earliest drafts they are said to be 'ultimately of royal origin.' Since this disappears from the published version I would tend to think they were no longer of royal origin and this would make the most sense. Gondor had a war over the throne and to keep things safe, perhaps letting a High Numenorean Family with no descent from Elendil rule, would be the safest option.
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Re: Stewards of Gondor descendants of Anarion?

Postby solicitr » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:15 pm

I would think that at the time of the Succession Crisis of 2002, had the House of Hurin really derived from Anarion then Mardil would have wound up as King. The extreme measure of leaving the throne empty strongly implies that the royal well really had run dry. (interesting that they denied the claims not just of Arvedui, but of his and Firiel's' son, despite Junior being Ondoher's grandson. Was the Salic Law operative in Gondor?)
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Re: Stewards of Gondor descendants of Anarion?

Postby mrunderhill » Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:55 am

solicitr wrote:I would think that at the time of the Succession Crisis of 2002, had the House of Hurin really derived from Anarion then Mardil would have wound up as King. The extreme measure of leaving the throne empty strongly implies that the royal well really had run dry. (interesting that they denied the claims not just of Arvedui, but of his and Firiel's' son, despite Junior being Ondoher's grandson. Was the Salic Law operative in Gondor?)

Yes I would agree with this. The Numenorean Lords preoccupation with tracing ancestors instead of begetting heirs, the High Numenorean women often not getting married and all the wars would have devastated the line of Anarion.

I don't think the Salic Law was legally in operation in Gondor, but it was the custom of the time to allow only male heirs to rule, due to it being a time of war. As Arvedui points out Gondor and Arnor claimed to be the lands of the Numenoreans under exile. This is probably why people like the Prince of Dol Amroth was happy to accept being ruled over by Anarion and Isildur. So the law of Gondor should be the same as that of Numenor and women should not only be part of the succession, but allowed to inherit the throne too. I would imagine since they were constantly at war, they may have wanted a general to lead and therefore a man. As time went on they started valuing military prowess more than other things as can be seen by Boromir being valued as the best man in Gondor. The only case of only accepting heirs through the male line seems to be the Noldor.

Anyway Gondor do not reply to Arvedui's claim, because they must know they have no legal basis to reject it. I think this is proven by the prophecy of Malbeth. Gondor and Arnor would have prospered had they made the right choice. However, we must take into account the situation at the time. Arvedui was king of just Arthedain and struggling against Angmar. The Heirs of Isildur had run the North Kingdom into the ground, by their infighting. Earnil was a great captain and hero of Gondor; he had just saved the city. Earnil would be the popular choice for the people and the council even if it was not the legal one.
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Re: Stewards of Gondor descendants of Anarion?

Postby solicitr » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:57 pm

"Earnil was a great captain and hero of Gondor; he had just saved the city. Earnil would be the popular choice for the people and the council even if it was not the legal one."


Quite so; but then Earnil rode off to Minas Morgul and eventually they had to stop pretending he was still alive. What then? Aranarth was the direct lineal descendant of Ondoher, and a male even if his claim passed through the distaff side; and there is no reason to think that contact had yet broken down between Gondor and Rivendell at least. Aranarth's claim was every bit as legitimate as Aragorn's would be a millennium later (but for the whole saving the realm/defeating Sauron bit, of course).
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Re: Stewards of Gondor descendants of Anarion?

Postby mrunderhill » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:40 pm

solicitr wrote:
"Earnil was a great captain and hero of Gondor; he had just saved the city. Earnil would be the popular choice for the people and the council even if it was not the legal one."


Quite so; but then Earnil rode off to Minas Morgul and eventually they had to stop pretending he was still alive. What then? Aranarth was the direct lineal descendant of Ondoher, and a male even if his claim passed through the distaff side; and there is no reason to think that contact had yet broken down between Gondor and Rivendell at least. Aranarth's claim was every bit as legitimate as Aragorn's would be a millennium later (but for the whole saving the realm/defeating Sauron bit, of course).

Slight correction, but it was not Earnil, who rode off to face the Witch King it was his son Earnur another great captain. I don't think there is much doubt that Aranarth by many accounts being the heir of Ondoher, the heir of Isildur and the heir of Elendil had the right to the kingship, but I guess certain lords in Gondor and probably the House of Stewards wanted to retain their power. As I previously mentioned the heirs of Isildur had just destroyed their kingdom. I think most people would be reluctant to hand Gondor over to the family, who had wrecked their own kingdom by civil war. The council never giving an answer back pretty much seals their position.
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Re: Stewards of Gondor descendants of Anarion?

Postby solicitr » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:33 am

I think most people would be reluctant to hand Gondor over to the family, who had wrecked their own kingdom by civil war.


Well, I don't think the predations of Angmar quite count as a "civil war;" by the turn of the millennium the Dunedain of Rhudaur were extinct. The early division of the kingdom may have been foolish, but in terms of self-destructive civil war I'd suggest Gondor's Kinstrife was worse.

The proposition before that holds more water; I have a sneaking suspicion that "Mardil the Faithful" and "Mardil the Good Steward" were productions of the Minas Tirith Office of Public Relations, and that his contemporaries in private called him "Mardil the Conniving, Power-Hungry Weasel!"
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Re: Stewards of Gondor descendants of Anarion?

Postby mrunderhill » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:13 pm

solicitr wrote:
I think most people would be reluctant to hand Gondor over to the family, who had wrecked their own kingdom by civil war.


Well, I don't think the predations of Angmar quite count as a "civil war;" by the turn of the millennium the Dunedain of Rhudaur were extinct. The early division of the kingdom may have been foolish, but in terms of self-destructive civil war I'd suggest Gondor's Kinstrife was worse.

The proposition before that holds more water; I have a sneaking suspicion that "Mardil the Faithful" and "Mardil the Good Steward" were productions of the Minas Tirith Office of Public Relations, and that his contemporaries in private called him "Mardil the Conniving, Power-Hungry Weasel!"

The three kingdoms of Arnor fought each other for several years. It was these wars, that weakened them enough for Angmar to destroy them. A point in the second age and beyond is that evil is no longer strong enough to take men by force. Sauron did not have the power to defeat Numenor by might. Either could he take the exiled realms. In the same way the Witch King would have never destroyed Angmar without the civil wars of the North Kingdom.

I don't think the destuction of the kinstrife was worse. At least Gondor was able to stand.


I agree that Mardil was probably a little power hungry, but the kingdoms had been separate for a long time. Even Malbeth the Seer, believed choosing Arvedui was the least promising claim.
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Re: Stewards of Gondor descendants of Anarion?

Postby Arassuil » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:43 pm

solicitr wrote:
I have a sneaking suspicion that "Mardil the Faithful" and "Mardil the Good Steward" were productions of the Minas Tirith Office of Public Relations, and that his contemporaries in private called him "Mardil the Conniving, Power-Hungry Weasel!"


Good one! :D

I know this is an old thread but I'll comment anyway. The House of Hurin was not descendant from Elendil as Faramir (in published text) says. The fact this question comes up from an "early draft" really says it all. it was an early draft. Tolkien was considering ideas, and in the end, went with Faramir saying what he did on the matter.
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Re: Stewards of Gondor descendants of Anarion?

Postby Gadget2 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:40 am

Genealogically speaking, it would be difficult for descendants of High Numenorean houses to not be related in some shape or fashion. Just as most people of a generally similar ethnic background could found be found to be distant relations if they traced their linage back far enough (10th cousins, twice removed). What Faramir's Statement means is that his house is not close enough related to the Royal house to be counted in any legal or inheritance fashion. It probably has little to do with being through the 'female line' (though that may have initially been the ancestral relation), It was said the Odoher's sister-son (son of his sister), Minohtar was killed, leaving the Royal line without a clear heir, thus implying that Minohtar would have been the assumed choice to lead, despite coming through the female line.
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