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Founded II 3320; the northern realm was divided in III 861 and lost III 1974; its royal line was reunited with the southern realm in III 30191
Founded by Elendil and his sons
Ruled by the House of Elendil
Numerous; the capital in the North was at Annúminas and later Fornost; in the South the capital was at Osgiliath and later Minas Tirith
Númenórean is pronounced 'noomeno'reean'
Named for the Exiles of Númenor who founded the realms
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 27 April 2015
  • This entry is complete

Númenórean Realms

The North-kingdom and the South

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Map showing the geography of the Númenórean Realms in Middle-earth

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 into 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 for most of 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.



The timeline for this entry shows those periods for which both Númenórean Realms existed in Middle-earth. During the period between III 1974 and the end of the Third Age, there was no northern realm. The South-kingdom persisted through this period, but during most of this time it was ruled by Stewards rather than Kings.

See also...

Pre-Númenórean, Thangail

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