A senior general among the armies of Gondor. Though the rank is not explicitly defined, it appears that the title refers to the commander of all of Gondor's forces. The only named Captain of the Hosts was Tarannon, who held the post during his father Siriondil's reign as King of Gondor. When Tarannon succeeded to the throne himself, he took the name Falastur, 'Lord of the Coasts', to commemorate his victories as Captain. This implies that the Captain of the Hosts commanded Gondor's naval forces as well as its armies.
From the sole reference we have, it's impossible to say whether tradition made the King's son automatically the Captain of the Hosts, but it does seem to have been normal in Gondor for the ruler's heir to take a prominent military position. Boromir son of Denethor seems to have taken up this role at the time of the War of the Ring, though it is unclear whether he was given the specific title 'Captain of the Hosts'.
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