The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
The first King, Amlaith, acceded to the throne III 861
Arvedui Last-King was lost in III 1975
In total, the Kings ruled for a period of 1,113 years
Location
Arthedain, the western part of the old North-kingdom of Arnor
Origins
The line of the eldest son of Eärendur, the last King of Arnor
Race
Division
Culture
Settlements
Family
Descended from the House of Isildur
Title of
Fifteen Kings from Amlaith to Arvedui

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 29 September 2007
  • This entry is complete

King of Arthedain

Successors to the Kings of Arnor

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond
Eärendur
Last King of Arnor
Amlaith of Fornost
Kings of Cardolan
Kings of Rhudaur
Thirteen Kings of Arthedain
from Beleg to Araphant
Arvedui Last-king
Aranarth
First Chieftain of the Dúnedain

The line of descent of the Kings of Arthedain from Amlaith of Fornost to Arvedui Last-king. Names shown in bold text refer to those who actually held the title 'King of Arthedain'.

A title of fifteen lords of the Dúnedain, from Amlaith of Fornost to Arvedui Last-king. Arvedui's eldest son, Aranarth, became the first Chieftain of the Dúnedain.

I Amlaith of Fornost (Ruled for 85 years to III 946)
He was the eldest son of Eärendur, the last King of Arnor, and therefore the rightful Heir of Isildur. After the break-up of his father's kingdom, he ruled the western part of the lost land of Arnor, a region that came to be known as Arthedain.
II Beleg (Ruled for 83 years to III 1029)
In the later years of Beleg's reign, the Istari (the Order of Wizards) arrived in Middle-earth.
III Mallor (Ruled for 81 years to III 1110)
During Mallor's reign, the first Hobbits arrived in Eriador after crossing the Misty Mountains.
IV Celepharn (Ruled for 81 years to III 1191)
During his rule, the population of Hobbits in Eriador grew as the threat beyond the Mountains drove more and more of these people out of the Vales of Anduin.
V Celebrindor (Ruled for 81 years to III 1272)
VI Malvegil (Ruled for 77 years to III 1349)
It was in Malvegil's time that the realm of Angmar was founded by the Witch-king, far to the north and east of Arthedain. Angmar would eventually bring about the end of Malvegil's kingdom, but not for more than six centuries after his death.
VII Argeleb I (Ruled for 7 years to III 1356)
By the time Argeleb became King, the royal line had died out in both Cardolan and Rhudaur. As the last remaining heirs of Isildur's line, Argeleb and his successors claimed kingship over all the old lands of Arnor. Rhudaur forcefully resisted the claim, and Argeleb became the first King of Arthedain to die in battle, fighting the forces of Rhudaur and its new and dangerous ally, Angmar.
VIII Arveleg I (Ruled for 53 years to III 1409)
Arveleg avenged the death of his father Argeleb, driving back the forces of Angmar, and holding a frontier at the Weather Hills for many years. He died in battle, in the capture of the Tower of Amon Sûl by the Witch-king's armies.
IX Araphor (Ruled for 180 years to III 1589)
Like Arveleg I before him, it fell to Araphor to avenge his father's death. He fought valiantly against the Witch-king's armies, and with aid from the Elves forced them to withdraw for a time into the east.
X Argeleb II (Ruled for 81 years to III 1670)
It was in the time of Argeleb II that Marcho and Blanco passed from Bree over the Baranduin into the green lands beyond. Argeleb allowed the Hobbits to dwell in that region, which became known as the Shire.
XI Arvegil (Ruled for 73 years to III 1743)
XII Arveleg II (Ruled for 70 years to III 1813)
XIII Araval (Ruled for 78 years to III 1891)
He was one of the stronger Kings of Arthedain's latter years, reputedly winning at least one victory over the forces of the Witch-king. He attempted to return the Dúnedain to Cardolan, but was thwarted in his ambition by the Barrow-wights of Tyrn Gorthad.
XIV Araphant (Ruled for 73 years to III 1964)
Araphant renewed the old alliance with the South-kingdom, marrying his son Arvedui to Fíriel the daughter of King Ondoher of Gondor.
XV Arvedui (Ruled for 10 years to III 1974)
In Arvedui's reign, the kingdom of Arthedain was overrun by the armies of the Witch-king and destroyed. Arvedui himself fled into the icy north, but was lost in the northern seas. His son Aranarth survived, and founded the line of Chieftains of the Dúnedain from which Aragorn would eventually descend.

Arthedain was a division of the old North-kingdom of the Dúnedain, and its Kings were descendants of Eärendur, the last King of that realm. Eärendur in turn was descended in right line from Isildur the eldest son of Elendil. So, by right, the Kings of Arthedain had a claim on the lordship of all the Dúnedain of Middle-earth.

For all their noble blood, the forces of history had conspired against them. Amlaith was Eärendur's eldest son, and he fell into dispute with his brothers over his father's inheritance. The result was the division of Arnor the North-kingdom into three separate realms: Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur. Each of these was ruled by a descendant of the old Kings of the Dúnedain, but the true bloodline was maintained in Arthedain, and Amlaith became its first King.

After this settlement was reached, Arthedain's first six Kings saw a time of relative peace and prosperity. It was in this period that the first Hobbits were seen in Eriador, fleeing from the dangers beyond the Misty Mountains to the east.

It was in the reign of the sixth King, Malvegil, that the peace of early years of Arthedain began to fail. A new and powerful force emerged in the northern Mountains, where a mysterious figure known only as the 'Witch-king' established himself as an enemy of the Dúnedain. This Witch-king was later revealed to be the Lord of the Nazgûl, who had come into the north to challenge the remnant of the Dúnedain there.

Open warfare broke out in the time of Malvegil's son Argeleb I. By this time, the royal line had failed in both Cardolan and Rhudaur, and Argeleb sought to establish himself as ruler of all the old lands of Arnor. Rhudaur had forged a secret league with Angmar, and resisted Argeleb's claim with force of arms. Argeleb himself was killed in battle, and the conflict between the northern lands continued throughout the rest of Arthedain's history, eventually bringing about its downfall.

Arthedain resisted Angmar for many more centuries, but the Witch-king's power grew. Foreseeing the imminent danger of defeat, the fourteenth King, Araphant, rebuilt the ancient alliance with Gondor in the south. His son Arvedui even pressed a claim for the throne of Gondor, but this was rejected. Arvedui was given his name by Malbeth the Seer: its meaning was 'Last-king', and that proved to be the truth. In his time, Arthedain was overrun by the Witch-king and destroyed.

Though the kingdom was lost, the royal line lived on in Arvedui's son Aranarth. After Angmar's victory, the Northern Dúnedain were reduced to a wandering people, but their lords - who took the title Chieftain - still continued the ancient heritage of Elendil of Númenor. It was out of this heritage, many centuries later, that Aragorn would arise and finally reclaim the Crown of Gondor.


For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1998, 2001, 2004, 2006-2007. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.