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Dates
The position was presumably first established with the beginning of the North-kingdom in II 3320, but not the term is not explicitly used until after the War of the Ring, specifically in IV 13
Location
Race
Men, and latterly a number of Hobbits

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  • Updated 9 December 2012
  • This entry is complete

Counsellor of the North-kingdom

A member of the royal council of Arnor

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From the days of Númenor, it was traditional among the Dúnedain that the King should have a council of advisors. In Númenor the Council of the Sceptre drew members from each division within the realm, and we know that a similar tradition of a royal council was carried on in Gondor. Presumably the same principles of government operated historically in the North-kingdom of Arnor, but we have no direct evidence of a northern council until after the War of the Ring.

After his accession, we know that the new King Aragorn Elessar established a council in the north, because in IV 13 he chose three Counsellors of the North-kingdom from the people of the Shire and Buckland, apparently following the same system of regional representation used by his ancestors the Númenóreans thousands of years beforehand. These Counsellors were those appointed to the positions of the Thain and Mayor of the Shire, and the Master of Buckland. At the time of the appointment, these offices were held by Peregrin Took1, Samwise Gamgee and Meriadoc Brandybuck, and they would remain in these posts for the nearly fifty years until IV 61, when Sam Gamgee was said to have passed over the Sea. Two years later, Merry and Pippin resigned their offices and removed to the south. It is to be presumed that they were succeded as Counsellors by their heirs.2

Notes

1

It is perhaps notable that the year IV 13 is also the year in which Peregrin Took succeeded his father Paladin II to become Thain, so that all three offices were then filled by members of the Company of the Ring. This may have motived Aragorn to choose this time to appoint the three as Counsellors, or it may be simple coincidence.

2

We only know one of the three heirs: Faramir Took I succeeded Peregrin as Thain of the Shire. We know that Meriadoc had at least one son to succeed him as Master of Buckland, but that son's name is not recorded. Sam Gamgee's successor as Mayor would have been elected by the Shire-hobbits (and might plausibly have been one of his sons) but, again, we have no record of this new Counsellor's identity.

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