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  • Updated 31 March 2011
  • Updates planned: 2

King of the Mountains

The lord of the White Mountains

A title for the rulers of the Men of the Mountains, at least in the closing years of the Second Age. Their people had traditionally served Sauron, but at the time the Exiles of Númenor appeared in Middle-earth, the Dark Lord had been absent from Mordor for many years.1 Soon after the foundation of Gondor, the King of the Mountains met Isildur at Erech, and there swore an oath of allegiance.

When Sauron arose again and launched a war against Gondor, Isildur called on his allies for aid. The new2 King of the Mountains would not join the war, and so Isildur cursed him and his people to wander the World until their oath should be fulfilled. Thus the last King of the Mountains became the King of the Dead, haunting the Paths of the Dead throughout the Third Age. In the War of the Ring, he aided Isildur's Heir Aragorn, and thus was finally released from the ancient curse.



Sauron had travelled to Númenor fifty-seven years earlier, though it seems unlikely that he would have explained his purposes ot the Men of the Mountains. Presumably, from their point of view, Sauron's absence was unexplained, and that in turn might explain their initial willingness to ally with the newly arrived Dúnedain.


The original oath was taken 'in the beginning of the realm of Gondor' (The Return of the King V 2), which would date it at II 3320 or soon afterwards. Sauron's attack on Gondor took place in II 3429, more than a century later. It follows that the King who swore the oath to Isildur cannot reasonably have been the same one who later broke it (that would presumably have been the earlier King's grandson or great-grandson, but Tolkien gives us no specific details).

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