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Chieftains of the Dúnedain

The Chieftains of the Dúnedain were the hereditary rulers of the Rangers of the North.

The title was created following the final destruction of Arthedain in T.A. 1974 by the Witch-king of Angmar. The heir to the throne of Arthedain, Aranarth son of Arvedui, in T.A. 1976 chose not to claim the kingship and instead ruled the remnants of his people as Chieftain.[1] The Chieftains were raised in Rivendell, where the heirlooms of the House of Isildur, were also kept.

They were descendants of Isildur through the kings of Arthedain[2] and Anárion through Fíriel;[3] as such they regarded themselves as the legitimate heirs to both Arnor and Gondor. The Chieftains 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]

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 Eriador and attacks by the enemy were few and far between.

It is notable that most of the Chieftains lived out their full life-span and their longevity did not decrease as much as that of the Gondorians.[5]

Aragorn II became the last Chieftain when he reclaimed the title of High King of the Reunited Kingdom.

The Chieftains of the Dúnedain[6]
  Name Reign Notes
1. Aranarth T.A. 19752106 Son of King Arvedui of Arthedain.
2. Arahael T.A. 21062177 Arahael led the Dúnedain during the time known as the Watchful Peace, and was untroubled by war.
3. Aranuir T.A. 21772247 He was born shortly after the beginning of the Watchful Peace.
4. Aravir T.A. 22472319
5. Aragorn I T.A. 23192327 He was lost while hunting wolves. It is said that he was slain by the very wolves he was hunting.
6. Araglas T.A. 23272455 He was the chieftain for 128 years; longer than any other except Aranarth, the first chieftain.
7. Arahad I T.A. 24552523 During his reign the Watchful Peace came to an end as Sauron returned to Dol Guldur and the White Council was formed. The Éothéod founded the Kingdom of Rohan.
8. Aragost T.A. 25232588 He lived in historic times, but they didn't affect his life (or rule) directly.
9. Aravorn T.A. 25882654
10. Arahad II T.A. 26542719
11. Arassuil T.A. 27192784 In his days, Orcs of the Misty Mountains invaded the western lands. Arassuil and his rangers fought them with Elladan and Elrohir. An Orc party managed to reach the Shire, but Bandobras defeated them at the Battle of Greenfields.
12. Arathorn I T.A. 27842848 The circumstances of Arathorn's death are mysterious, but his end is marked as dying a premature death.
13. Argonui T.A. 28482912 He was the chieftain when the Fell Winter descended on Middle-earth. The cause of his death is not known.
14. Arador T.A. 29122930 He was captured by Hill-trolls in the fells north of Rivendell, and slain.
15. Arathorn II T.A. 29302933 He was hunting Orcs with Elladan and Elrohir, but was shot through the eye and killed.
16. Aragorn II T.A. 29333019 The first High King of the Reunited Kingdom.

[edit] See also

For the family tree of the Chieftains, as well as that of the Kings of Arnor and Arthedain, see the House of Isildur.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  3. 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, "VIII. The Tale of Years of the Third Age"
  5. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, p. 69
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Northern Line: Heirs of Isildur"