A title given to Mardil, who served as Steward to King Eärnil II of Gondor and also to Eärnil's successor Eärnur. When Eärnur came to the throne, he was challenged to combat by the Lord of Morgul, but Mardil persuaded the King to refuse. Seven years later the challenge was renewed, and this time Eärnur answered it: he rode to Minas Morgul and was lost.
After the disappearance of the childless Eärnur, no candidate for the Kingship could be found, and so Mardil continued to rule Gondor in his stead, beginning the tradition of the Ruling Stewards. At that time, he had served as Steward of the King for twenty-one years, and he continued in the role for further thirty. He gained a reputation as one of Gondor's wisest rulers, a fact recognised in his titles 'the Steadfast' and 'the Good Steward'.
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