Elendil had two sons, Isildur and Anárion, who escaped with their father from the Downfall of Númenor. After the Two Kingdoms were established in Middle-earth, Elendil became High King in the North, while the South-kingdom was jointly ruled in Elendil's name by his two sons.
In the War of the Last Alliance, Elendil fell, and so did his younger son Anárion. Thus Isildur the elder son inherited the High Kingship, and the rule of Gondor was granted to Anárion's son Meneldil. As Isildur travelled back to his capital at Annúminas, he was attacked by Orcs and slain, along with his three elder sons. His only surviving heir was Valandil, then just thirteen years old and incapable of taking up the rule of the Two Kingdoms. From that time onward, Gondor effectively became independent, and Anárion's son Meneldil ruled it in his own right as a separate kingdom. The Kingship descended to his heirs through many centuries, and long after the North-kingdom of Arnor had dissolved, the South-kingdom of Gondor was still under the rule of the House of Anárion.
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