A name in Middle-earth for the Two Kingdoms of the Exiles of Númenor: Arnor the North-kingdom and Gondor the South-kingdom. Though there had been Númenórean settlements in Middle-earth dating back through much of the Second Age, it was not until the coming of Elendil and his sons after the Downfall that these regions were formed in distinct political entities under the rule of Kings.
Elendil was heir to the Lordship of Andúnië and a descendant of Elros Tar-Minyatur, and thus the highest ranking noble in Middle-earth after he escaped the Downfall. He came ashore in the northern lands and there established the originally pre-eminent Númenórean Realm, Arnor, the land of the High King. Meanwhile his sons Isildur and Anárion sailed up Anduin, far to the south. They founded Gondor in the lands on either side of the Great River, reigning jointly under the High Kingship of their father in the North.
The death of Elendil and his direct heir Isildur caused the kingdoms to divide, and they pursued nearly independent histories through the Third Age. In the north, Arnor broke into lesser kingdoms and was eventually destroyed by Angmar. Meanwhile the South-kingdom of Gondor continued as a bulwark against invaders from the East, and then against a resurgent Sauron. After the ultimate defeat of the Dark Lord in the War of the Ring, Isildur's Heir came forward and reclaimed the High Kingship, once again reuniting the Númenórean Realms after more than three thousand years.
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