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Kent Burles - Aranarth.jpg
Biographical Information
PositionChieftain of the Dúnedain
BirthT.A. 1938
RuleT.A. 1975 - 2106
DeathT.A. 2106
ParentageArvedui, Fíriel
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Aranarth

Aranarth (died 2106[1]) was the first of the Chieftains of the Dúnedain, and would have been the sixteenth King of Arthedain had Angmar not destroyed the realm.



Aranarth was the son of Fíriel, the daughter of King Ondoher of Gondor, and Arvedui, son of King Araphant of Arthedain, and as such, he was descended from both Isildur and Anárion.

When he was only young, the Witch-king of Angmar destroyed the North-kingdom and overran Fornost. Most of the remnants of the Dúnedain fled over the Lune into Lindon. However, Aranarth's father held out upon the North Downs until he escaped to the north. After hiding in abandoned dwarf-mines in the Blue Mountains the King and his men sought the help of the Lossoth, who gave them grudging aid.

Aranarth reported to Círdan of the King's flight to the north. Círdan sent a ship to the Icebay of Forochel to seek and rescue him. However, the hull of the ship was broken on the ice and all of the passengers drowned (including Arvedui) and the two palantíri the King had secured from the fall of Fornost were lost.[2]

As the heir of Arvedui, this made Aranarth the King of Arthedain (and nominally the claimed title of King of Arnor), but he did not claim this title as the kingdom had been destroyed. He instead claimed the title of Chieftain of the Dúnedain, and with the remnants of the Dúnedain rode with Eärnur of Gondor to destroy the kingdom of Angmar.[3]

The people of Arthedain became known as the Rangers of the North, a wandering people quite content with living in secret. Due to the destruction of Angmar, and the Watchful Peace, which followed after Wizard Gandalf drove Sauron out of Dol Guldur, there was little evil in Arnor and attacks by the enemy were few and far between.

The Chieftains after Aranarth continued to take the kingly prefix of ar(a)-, to signify their royal heritage and their right to rule Arnor. When the line of Anárion failed, the Chieftains considered themselves the heirs of Anárion through their ancestor Fíriel; none of the Chieftains ever forgot Arvedui's claim to the throne.[4]

Aranarth's son Arahael was born and raised in Rivendell, as were all the sons of chieftains after him; and Elrond was entrusted with the safekeeping of the heirlooms of the North-kingdom: the Ring of Barahir, the shards of Narsil, the Star of Elendil, and the Sceptre of Annúminas.[2]

Aranarth died in 2106, after ruling for 131 years - longer than any other chieftain.[5]


Aranarth's name is Sindarin and means "Noble King", coming from aran meaning "king", and arth meaning "noble, loftly".[6]

Other versions of the legendarium

Early drafts of Appendix A list Aranarth's date of birth as T.A. 1938,[7] but in Appendix A, "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"[3] and in the Tale of Years, his parents' wedding year is given T.A. 1940.[5]


Kings of Arnor
Kings of Gondor
Kings of Arthedain
Chieftains of the Dúnedain
Arathorn II
Aragorn II

Portrayal in adaptations

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

Aranarth is a Dúnadan based in Fornost, famous for his tracking abilities and described as a man "who leaves no footprints".[8]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Northern Line: Heirs of Isildur"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Tale of Years of the Third Age"
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Heirs of Elendil", p. 196
  8. Wesley J. Frank, et al. (1994), Arnor: The Realm (#2005)
House of Aranarth
Continuation of the senior branch of the House of Isildur
Born: T.A. 1938 Died: T.A. 2106
Preceded by:
Heir of Isildur
T.A. 19752106
Followed by:
New title
Head of the House of Aranarth
T.A. 19752106
New title
Chieftain of the Dúnedain
T.A. 19752106