The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Born in or before III 18921; slain III 1944 (lived at least 52 years)
Race
Division
Culture
Family
Settlements
Pronunciation
ar'tameer
Meaning
Probably 'fortress-jewel'

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About this entry:

  • Updated 24 September 2010
  • This entry is complete

Artamir

The lost heir of Ondoher

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Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond

The elder son and heir of King Ondoher of Gondor, who marched with his father to war with the Wainriders. Ondoher's force met with a surprise assault beneath the Black Gate of the Morannon, where the King and his son Artamir were slain. It was later discovered that Artamir's younger brother Faramir had also ridden to war, against the laws and customs of Gondor, and had himself been lost in the battle, leaving Gondor without a King.

A political crisis ensued, in which Arvedui the northern King of Arthedain pressed a strong claim to the Crown of Gondor. Arvedui's claim was rejected by Steward Pelendur and the Council of Gondor, who instead gave the Kingship to Eärnil, the victorious Captain who also belonged to the Royal House. Eärnil's line was short-lived, however, and ended with the presumed loss of his son Eärnur in Minas Morgul.

The loss of Artamir was a turning point in the history of Middle-earth. Had he not perished, the line of Kings would almost certainly have survived the coming crisis and lasted into the third millennium of the Third Age. A thousand years later, Aragorn would have found Minas Tirith ruled not by a Steward but by a legitimate King, so preventing him from claiming the Crown himself. The unknown Wainrider who cut down Artamir, then, unknowingly paved the way for the reunification of Arnor and Gondor more than a thousand years later.


Notes

1

Artamir's date of birth is not recorded, but his younger sister Fíriel was born in III 1896, at least according to sources in volume 12 of The History of Middle-earth. Additionally, we're told that he was three years older than his brother Faramir, making his latest possible date of birth III 1892.

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