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  • Updated 2 March 2011
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High King of Arnor

Ruler of the North-kingdom

The title of Elendil and Isildur, passed down through Isildur's fourth son Valandil and seven further generations, from Eldacar to Eärendur. These rulers were normally styled simply 'King of Arnor'; the use of the term High King seems to reflect their origins as lords of both the North- and South-Kingdoms of the Dúnedain. After Isildur's death, Gondor in the South was ruled as a separate kingdom, and the authority of the hereditary High Kings in Arnor was no longer acknowledged, though the traditional title remained.

The retention of the title may imply that the descendants of Isildur maintained a claim on the throne of Gondor, but if so it was not recorded by history. Indeed, no official claim was made until the time of Arvedui, more than a millennium after the death of the last High King of Arnor, and the Crown of Gondor would not return to Isildur's line until it was granted to Aragorn, more than two thousand years after the rule of the High Kings of Arnor came to an end.


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