Tolkien Gateway

Kings' Reckoning

(Redirected from King's Reckoning)
"Who told you, and who sent you?" — Gandalf
This article or section needs more/new/more-detailed sources to conform to a higher standard and to provide proof for claims made.


The name given to the calendar system used in Númenor throughout the Second Age, and in Gondor and Arnor during the early part of the Third Age. It divided the year into twelve months (properly called astar), and included three days that did not belong to any month: yestarë, loëndë and mettarë. The King's Reckoning lasted until the loss of Eärnur the last King of Gondor. It was revised by Mardil Voronwë, the first Ruling Steward, who replaced it with the system known as the Stewards' Reckoning.[1]

[edit] Structure

The year was divided into twelve months, with three days outside the months. These divisions are given in the table below.

Month number Quenya Sindarin Length English translation
  Yestarë 1 First day
1 Narvinyë Narwain 30 New sun
2 Nénimë Nínui 30 Watery
3 Súlimë Gwaeron 30 Windy / wind month[2]
4 Víressë Gwirith 30 New / young / budding?
5 Lótessë Lothron 30 Flower month
6 Nárië Nórui 31 Sunny
  Loëndë/Enderi 1/2 Year-middle (Middle days)
7 Cermië Cerveth 31 Cutting?
8 Úrimë Urui 30 Hot[3]
9 Yavannië Ivanneth 30 Fruit giving
10 Narquelië Narbeleth 30 Sun-fading
11 Hísimë Hithui 30 Misty[4]
12 Ringarë Girithron 30 Cold / shivering month
  Mettarë 1 Last day

In leap years, loëndë was replaced with two enderi; this occurred in years divisible by 4 but not by 100. In addition, in years divisible by 1000 loëndë was replaced by three enderi, resulting in a 367-day year. This held throughout the Second Age and continued based on the restarted numbering in the Third Age until the calendar was retired in T.A. 2060.

According to Jim Allan in An Introduction to Elvish, each of the elvish month names has a correspondence to the months of the French Republican Calendar; for example, Nénimë/Pluviôse mean "Rainy", Súlìmë/Ventôse mean "Windy". Jim Allan suggests that Tolkien used this similarity because the French Republican Calendar was based on earlier unrecorded Germanic month names.[5]

[edit] Days of the week

When the Kings' Reckoning was first implemented the Númenóreans used the elven week of six days. At unspecified points of the Second Age two changes were made, the first being to rename the fourth day Aldúya to Aldëa (Orgaladh in Sindarin) in order to change the dedication to the White Tree, and the second being to insert an extra day, Eärenya (Oraearon), after the fifth day Menelya.[1] Thus, the eventual Númenórean week was as follows:

Quenya Sindarin Dedication
Elenya Orgilion Stars
Anarya Oranor Sun
Isilya Orithil Moon
Aldëa Orgaladh White Tree
Menelya Ormenel Heavens
Eärenya Oraearon Sea
Valanya Orbelain Valar

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix D, "The Calendars"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, Appendix, s.v. sul
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, Appendix, s.v. ur
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, Appendix, s.v. hith
  5. Jim Allan (1978), An Introduction to Elvish, p. 151