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General information
Other namesKingdom of the North, The Lost Realm, The North-kingdom, The North-realm, The Northern Kingdom
LocationMost of Eriador
CapitalAnnúminas, later Fornost Erain
Major townsLond Daer, Tharbad, Bree, Hobbiton
RegionsArthedain, Cardolan, Rhudaur
PopulationPrimarily Men of Arnor (many Hobbits in the Shire and Bree-land)
LanguageWestron, Númenórean Sindarin, Quenya, Hobbitish
GovernanceKing of Arnor/High King
Preceded byNúmenor
FoundedS.A. 3320
IndependenceT.A. 2
DividedT.A. 861
DestroyedT.A. 1974
Re-formed1 May, T.A. 3019
Followed byReunited Kingdom

Arnor, or the North-kingdom, was one of the two Kingdoms of the Dúnedain (the other being Gondor in the south) in the land of Eriador in Middle-earth. It was the original seat of the High King who ruled over both Arnor and Gondor.


[edit] History

[edit] Second Age

[edit] Foundation

Steven White, Jr. - Palace Complex at Annúminas

After the Downfall of Númenor, Elendil and his followers reached Eriador by sailing through the Gulf of Lune and into the lands of Lindon. There, he befriended the High King of the Noldor Gil-galad.[1] Elendil founded Arnor at the end of the Second Age (S.A. 3320), while his sons founded the southern realm of Gondor. He established the city of Annúminas as his capital. Both kingdoms of the Númenóreans were known as the Realms in-Exile, and their histories are intertwined.

The Men of Arnor dwelt in many places in Eriador about the courses of the Lhûn and the Baranduin; but their chief city was at Annúminas beside Lake Nenuial.[1] At Fornost upon the North Downs they also dwelt, and in Cardolan, and in the hills of Rhudaur; and towers they raised upon Amon Sûl.[1] Arnor was, from the beginnning of their history, always less powerful and populous than its southern counterpart, Gondor, despite its presendence over it as the seat of the High King.[2]

There, many already dwelt who were in whole or part of Númenorean blood who welcomed Elendil and his sons.[1][3] In Arnor, these Men of Eriador accepted the new kingdom of Elendil and helped to people and maintain the many places that the Northern Dúnedain built.[1] When Elendil led his people into the south to battle against Sauron, these Men of Eriador marched alongside the Dúnedain.[1] The Men of Bree also became subjects of Arnor.[3]

[edit] War of the Last Alliance

Isildur in Peter Jackson's Fellowship of the Ring

In S.A. 3430, Arnor allied itself with Gil-galad in a great alliance opposing Sauron, the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. In conjunction with southern forces from Gondor, they confronted Sauron's armies in the War of the Last Alliance. Both Elendil, King of Arnor, and his son Anárion, joint King of Gondor, were slain in this conflict, but Isildur cut the One Ring from Sauron's finger and prevailed.

[edit] Third Age

[edit] Decline and Breakup

Isildur, the second High King, was killed in T.A. 2 in the Disaster of the Gladden Fields.[4] His three eldest sons were killed with him, but the fourth and youngest, Valandil, who had remained at Rivendell due to his youth, became the first King of an independent Arnor in T.A. 10.[4] Valandil, Isildur's youngest son, took up his rule in Annúminas, but his people were diminished, and of the Men of Arnor there remained now too few to people the land or maintain the places Elendil built; many of them had died in the War of the Last Alliance and at the Disaster of the Gladden Fields.[1]

After the reign of Eärendur in T.A. 861, the seventh king that followed Valandil, Arnor became divided into the petty realms and lordships of Arthedain, Cardolan, and Rhudaur, owing to dissensions among his sons.[1][5]

[edit] Conflict with Angmar

Main article: Angmar War
Eliot Gould - The Witch King

There was often strife between the three kingdoms, usually over control of the Weather Hills and the palantír of Amon Sûl.[5] Seeing the disunion in Arnor, Arnor's greatest enemy in the north by the middle of the Third Age was Angmar, ruled by the Witch King of Angmar.[5] During the reign of Malvegil (c. T.A. 1300), this new power arose beyond the Ettenmoors.[5] The Witch-king was later identified as in fact the lord of Sauron's Ringwraiths.[5]

Years later, Arnor was refounded de jure by the seventh King of Arthedain, Argeleb I, when Cardolan placed itself under the suzerainty of Arthedain as the line of Isildur had failed in the other kingdoms.[5] This claim was resisted in Rhudaur, where the Dúnedain there were few, and a lord of the Hill-men, whose allegiance lay with Angmar in secret, seized power.[5] In response, Argeleb fortified the hills, but he was killed during battle with the two realms in T.A. 1356.[5] His son Arveleg I, however, counterattacked in conjunction with Cardolan and Lindon and drove the enemy back. Arveleg successfully held the frontier along the Weather Hils in force for quite some years.[5]

Weathertop from BFME2

In T.A. 1409, Angmar crossed the Hoarwell river into Cardolan and attacked again. This time, Weathertop was captured and Arveleg fell in battle.[5] While the Tower of Amon Sûl fell, the palantír was recovered and taken to Fornost. The Men of Arnor were defeated and Arveleg I as well as the last prince of Cardolan were slain.[5] From that time onward, Rhudaur was occupied by evil Men subject to Angmar, and the Northern Dúnedain that remained were slain of fled west.[5] Although Cardolan was ravaged, a remnant of the faithful among the Dúnedain of Cardolan also held out in Tyrn Gorthad (the Barrow-downs), or took refuge in the Old Forest.[5] The Men of Arnor did not have the strength to drive away the forces of Angmar, so the Elves of Lindon, forces of Rivendell, and the Galadhrim defeated the armies of Angmar.[5]

Although the northern parts of Arthedain were little affected, the remnants of the Men of Arnor were affected by the Great Plague; the joint garrison (of Arnor and Gondor) at Tharbad ceased to exist,[6] and the last of the Dúnedain of Cardolan died on the Barrow-downs.[5]

Amir Salehi - Servant of Death

Suspecting that these attacks might be being coordinated by a single power, the two kingdoms finally brought to an end their years of estrangement.[7] In T.A. 1940, Arvedui, heir to the Sceptre of Arnor, wedded Fíriel, the daughter of Ondoher King of Gondor. Soon, Ondoher was slain in battle and hoping to save Arnor from Angmar, Arvedui staked his claim to Gondor, by right of his descent from Elendil and by that of his wife.[7] The Council of Gondor, however, was not for reunification and chose the next King Eärnil II; he maintained good relations with Arnor, promising them aid against the continuing attacks of Angmar.[7] Arvedui succeeded his father in T.A. 1964, but Arnor's strength was fast dwindling.[7] In T.A. 1973 he sent a message to Eärnil II that they were in great straits, and that Angmar was preparing its final assault.[7] Eärnil II, accordingly, mustered a great army under the command of his son Eärnur but it could not arrive in Lindon before Angmar struck.[7]

In T.A. 1974, the Witch-king, with his host from Angmar, invaded Arthedain and captured Fornost Erain, driving most of the Northern Dúnedain there over the Lune,[5] including the sons of Arvedui Last-king,[5] who later perished in a shipwreck. The remnants of Arnor later joined the great Host of the West, lead by Cirdan the Shipwright and Eärnur, Captain of Gondor, in which, also with the help of Elves from Rivendell lead by Glorfindel, overthrew Angmar.[7]

The Shire was a fertile and well-tilled part of Arnor, but deserted during the waning days of the Kingdom when it was known as the splinter-realm of Arthedain; it had been the hunting grounds of the King of Arnor. The Hobbits (who lived in Dunland and parts of depopulated Cardolan and Rhudaur) got official permission from King Argeleb II at Fornost to settle the lands. This was finally done in T.A. 1601 by Bree-hobbits led by the brothers Marcho and Blanco.

By 30 years later, almost all of the Hobbits of Middle-earth could be found in the Shire. The Shire-hobbits considered themselves as subjects of the King, at least nominally, considering the isolation of their country. Nevertheless, the Hobbits sent some support troops to the great battles Arnor fought against Angmar.[5] After the fall of Arnor, the Shire remained a minor but independent political unit and the title of Thain was established to fill the absence of a Kingship.[5]

[edit] Chieftains of the Dúnedain

Main article: Chieftains of the Dúnedain

After the Angmar War, all the people of Arnor were diminished.[5] Aranarth, son of Arvedui Last-king, perceived that the Northern Dúnedain had become too few to reestablish the North-kingdom. Instead of calling himself a king or prince, he assumed the title Chieftain. Through them the royal line of Arnor was maintained successfully for a thousand years until the refounding of Arnor on 1 May, T.A. 3019. Aranarth brought his son, Arahael, to Rivendell and gave him to Elrond for safekeeping until he was grown. This became a tradition that was followed through the rest of the Third Age. Also brought to Elrond were the heirlooms of the House of Isildur: the Sceptre of Annúminas, the Ring of Barahir, the shards of Narsil, and the Star of Elendil.[5] Thus, the Dúnedain of the North were reduced to a few Rangers wandering secretly in the wild, and their heritage was forgotten, save in Imladris, where the Heirs of Isildur were harboured and their line, from father to son, remained unbroken.[1][5]

[edit] War of the Ring

Although the North-kingdom had been fallen for a thousand years by the time the War of the Ring broke out, northern forces did participate in the War. Aragorn II, the Chieftain of the Dúnedain at the time, was a Ranger of the North, and there were several hundred of them operating during the conflict.

On September 22 T.A. 3019, the Ringwraiths came to Sarn Ford. Although the Dúnedain Rangers were guarding the crossing, their chieftain Aragorn II was away and the Ringwraiths captured the ford, driving away many of the Rangers. Halbarad, kinsman of Aragorn, mustered 30 Northern Dúnedain (all that could be gathered in haste),[8] and this Grey Company rode to the aid of Aragorn in Rohan.[8] This group accompanied Aragorn through the Paths of the Dead and to the attack on Umbar which captured the Corsair fleet. They participated at the last battle, fighting under his banner, at the Battle of the Morannon, where Sauron was finally thrown down.

There was also a battle fought in the Shire, between Saruman's Ruffians and Hobbit militia forces. This was the last battle fought in the War of the Ring, and resulted in the death of Saruman and the death or capture of his followers. This became known as the Battle of Bywater, and represents the Hobbit contribution to the War.[9]

[edit] Later History

[edit] Restoration of the North-kingdom

Rowena Morrill - The Last Steward of Gondor

Aragorn II was crowned by Gandalf as King Elessar, as refounded Arnor as part of the greater Reunited Kingdom. The Reunited Kingdom included all the lands of Arnor in the North; all of Eriador, except the regions beyond the Lune, and the lands east of Greyflood and Loudwater, in which lay Rivendell and Eregion.[5] He rebuilt Annúminas and when he went north, would rule from there.[5] He also had the ruins of Fornost Erain rebuilt and made it a great city where Men dwelt once again.[10] The Shire was an exception to this, and though it lay within Arnor, Aragorn made a law that Men should not enter it, a law that he observed himself.[5]

[edit] Politics

The Númenórean monarch of Arnor governed the realm and its people with the frame of ancient law, of which he was administrator (and interpreter) but not the maker.[11]

After his accession, Aragorn also established a council in Arnor, because in Fo.A. 13, he chose three Counsellors of the North-kingdom from the people of the Shire and Buckland.[12] These Counsellors were those appointed to the positions of the Thain and Mayor of the Shire, and the Master of Buckland.[12]

[edit] Geography

[edit] Regions

Arnor included all of Eriador at its greatest, except the regions beyond the Lune, and the lands east of Greyflood and Loudwater, in which lay Rivendell and Eregion.[5]

[edit] Cities, Fortresses, and Watchtowers

[edit] The Palantíri

Main article: Palantíri

The Palantíri or 'seeing stones' were spherical stones that could communicate with each other and give visual impressions to a skilled remote user. Elendil and his two sons originally divided these stones between themselves. They were usually heavily guarded and under the control of the kings. There were seven of these stones in total. The northern kingdom possessed three, and the southern kingdom held the other four.[1]:362 They were:

[edit] Languages

Westron, or the Common Speech, was the native language of the people of Arnor.[13] Among the Dúnedain however, including those of Arnor, the kings and high lords, and indeed all those of Númenorean blood in any degree, for long used Númenórean Sindarin.[14] Quenya was known to the learned of Arnor, a tradition which has continued from the loremasters of Númenor, to be used for places of fame and reverence in addition to the names of royalty and men of great renown.[3] All the royal names of the Kings of Arnor were Quenya names.[15] The Kings of Arthedain and later the Chieftains of the Dúnedain, however, took Sindarin names.[15]

[edit] Etymology

Tengwar, Sindarin mode

Arnor was the colloquial name for the North-kingdom. The North-kingdom, as the land was called at its conception, was also known as Turmen Follondiéva in Quenya and Arthor na Forlonnas in Sindarin. These names quickly fell out of use, in favour of Arnor: the Land of the King, so called for the kingship of Elendil, and to seal its precedence over the southern realm. In full, poetic Sindarin, it was called Arannor, which mirrored its Quenya name, Arandórë.[16] Though technically Arandórë would have a Sindarin form Ardor, Tolkien chose Arnor because it sounded better. This linguistic change was ascribed to a later, Mannish development of Sindarin.[17][18] The form Arnanórë is also seen.[17]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Extended Edition)

Peter Jackson's movies do not mention the long history of how Arnor and Gondor diverged, nor do they mention Arnor by name. The one passing reference to it is in a scene from the Extended Edition, when Aragorn reveals to Éowyn that he is actually eighty-seven years old. She realises that he must be one of the Dúnedain, a descendant of Númenor blessed with long life, but says that she thought his race had passed into legend. Aragorn acknowledges that he is one of the Dúnedain, and explains that there are not many of his people left, because "the Northern kingdom was destroyed long ago".

[edit] See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "The Atani and their Languages"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age", "Of Men"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix D: The Port of Lond Daer"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  8. 8.0 8.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Passing of the Grey Company"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Chief Days from the Fall of Barad-dûr to the End of the Third Age"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Homeward Bound"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 244, (undated, written circa 1963)
  12. 12.0 12.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "Later Events Concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age"
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "II. The Appendix on Languages"
  15. 15.0 15.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Northern Line: Heirs of Isildur"
  16. 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. 28
  17. 17.0 17.1 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 347, (dated 17 December 1972)
  18. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 17