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Dates
Established in II 32 (the date of the founding of Númenor) or soon thereafter;1 replaced by the Stewards' Reckoning in III 2060 (in use for c.5,469 years)
Location
Originated among the Dúnedain of Númenor, and maintained among their descendants in Middle-earth after the Downfall
Origins
Adapted from a calendar in use by the Eldar2
Race
Division
Cultures
Originated among the Númenóreans; later used in Arnor and Gondor, and adapted by other cultures

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  • Updated 18 November 2016
  • This entry is complete

King’s Reckoning

The calendar of Númenor

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The name given to the calendar system used in Númenor, and in Gondor and Arnor during the early part of the Third Age. It divided the year into twelve months (properly called astar), and included three days that did not belong to any month: yestarë, loëndë and mettarë.

The King's Reckoning lasted until the loss of Eärnur the last King of Gondor. It was revised by Mardil, the first Ruling Steward, who replaced it with the system known as the Stewards' Reckoning.


Notes

1

The exact date of origin of the King's Reckoning is not entirely clear, but given that there was no King of Númenor until II 32, we can say for sure that it was not known as the 'King's Reckoning' before that date.

2

It's stated explicitly that the King's Reckoning was 'ultimately of Eldarin origin' (The Lord of the Rings Appendix D, The Calendars), though we're given no specific detail beyond this. Presumably the calendar would have been adapted from that used by the Elves of Beleriand during the First Age. Known calendars of the Elves, such as the Reckoning of Rivendell, differ from the King's Reckoning in some significant ways, implying that either the Elves used a quite different calendar at that time, or the Dúnedain introduced substantial innovations of their own.

3

The Dúnedain preferred to use Sindarin terminology in their calendars, but for the individual days of the calendar like Mettarë or Yestarë we're only given Quenya versions. This might be intended to suggest that the Dúnedain used the Quenya terms for these days, or that they used some Sindarin equivalent not directly recorded. Unofficial, though commonly quoted, sources suggest Minien for Yestarë and Penninor for Mettarë.

4

To address the question of leap years, every fourth year the single day of the Loëndë ('year-middle') was replaced by two days collectively known as Enderi or 'middle-days'.

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