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  • Updated 24 November 2008
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Ruling Steward

Title of Mardil and his descendants

The title used of the rulers of Gondor after the loss of the last King, Eärnur. The first of the Ruling Stewards was Mardil Voronwë, and the title was carried in line of succession through twenty-six generations to Denethor II, Ruling Steward at the time of the War of the Ring. His son Faramir gave the rule of Gondor to Aragorn, the rightful Heir of Isildur.

I Mardil Voronwë (Steward to Kings Eärnil II and Eärnur for 21 years to III 2050)
(Ruled Gondor for 30 years to III 2080)
Mardil was the first of the Stewards - excepting Pelendur's single year in command - to truly rule in his own right. After seven years on the throne, King Eärnur rode to Minas Morgul to answer the challenge of the Witch-king, and was never heard from again. After his loss, Mardil took up the rule of Gondor in his place, and Mardil's successors continued to lead the kingdom until the time of Aragorn many centuries later.
II Eradan (Ruled for 36 years to III 2116)
III Herion (Ruled for 32 years to III 2148)
IV Belegorn (Ruled for 56 years to III 2204)
V Húrin I (Ruled for 40 years to III 2244)
Húrin is given the numeral 'I' as being the first of two Ruling Stewards by that name. There had been at least one Steward before his time with this name, too - Húrin of Emyn Arnen, who founded the House of the Stewards. All of these Gondorian Húrins ultimately took their names from an ancient hero of the First Age, Húrin Thalion.
VI Túrin I (Ruled for 34 years to III 2278)
Like his father before him, Túrin bore the name of a great hero of the First Age. This trend would continue for many generations - the five following Stewards, up to and including Steward Boromir, bore the names of historical figures from the First Age.
VII Hador (Ruled for 117 years to III 2395)
Hador was born when his father was already old, and lived for a hundred and fifty years, so that his rule over the Gondorians was longer than that of any other Steward. He was the last of the truly long-lived Dúnedain of Gondor until the time of Aragorn.
VIII Barahir (Ruled for 17 years to III 2412)
IX Dior (Ruled for 23 years to III 2435)
He left no direct heir, and was succeeded by his nephew, Denethor.

X Denethor I (Ruled for 42 years to III 2477)
In Denethor's time, the first Uruks appeared out of Mordor. In the closing years of his rule, they invaded Osgiliath, and though his son Boromir drove them back, the city was ruined.
XI Boromir (Ruled for 12 years to III 2489)
XII Cirion (Ruled for 78 years to III 2567)
In the time of Cirion, Gondor was attacked by overwhelming forces of Orcs and Balchoth. Eorl of the Éothéod rode to Cirion's aid, and his victory at the Battle of the Field of Celebrant saved Gondor from its enemies. In recognition of his service, Cirion gifted the region of Calenardhon to Eorl and his people, and so the land of Rohan was founded.
XIII Hallas (Ruled for 38 years to III 2605)
XIV Húrin II (Ruled for 23 years to III 2628)
XV Belecthor I (Ruled for 27 years to III 2655)
XVI Orodreth (Ruled for 30 years to III 2685)
XVII Ecthelion I (Ruled for 13 years to III 2698)
Ecthelion I rebuilt the White Tower at the peak of Minas Tirith, which from this time on was referred to as the Tower of Ecthelion. He died childless, and was succeeded by a descendant of Belecthor I.

XVIII Egalmoth (Ruled for 45 years to III 2743)
XIX Beren (Ruled for 20 years to III 2763)
It was during Beren's reign that his allies in Rohan were overrun by the Dunlendings, and Helm Hammerhand met his death in the Long Winter. Beren himself was beset by the Corsairs, and could send no aid to the Rohirrim, who were nonetheless able to recover their realm. It was Steward Beren, too, who granted Saruman the use of Isengard.
XX Beregond (Ruled for 48 years to III 2811)
XXI Belecthor II (Ruled for 61 years to III 28721)
XXII Thorondir (Ruled for 10 years to III 2882)
At the time of his father's death, the White Tree in the heights of Minas Tirith also died. No new seedlings could be found, and so Thorondir left the Dead Tree standing in the courts of the Citadel, where it remained until the time of Aragorn.
XXIII Túrin II (Ruled for 32 years to III 2914)
Túrin II ruled Gondor in a tempestuous period of its history. He was assaulted by the Haradrim, and also by Uruks out of Mordor, whose attacks caused many of the people of Ithilien to flee westwards. It was Túrin II who caused the refuge at Henneth Annûn to be founded.
XXIV Turgon (Ruled for 39 years to III 2953)
It was in the closing years of Turgon's rule that Sauron openly declared himself as Lord of Mordor, and the rebuilding of Barad-dûr was begun.
XXV Ecthelion II (Ruled for 31 years to III 2984)
Ecthelion II saw the power of Mordor arise in earnest, after Mount Doom burst into flame in the year he succeeded his father as Steward. He was aided in his struggle by a mysterious figure known as Thorongil, who was later discovered to be none other than the youthful Aragorn.
XXVI Denethor II (Ruled for 35 years to III 3019)
Denethor was the Steward who ruled Gondor during the War of the Ring, and whose sons Boromir and Faramir each had a great part to play in that War. Foolishly, he made use of a palantír, and through it was driven mad by Sauron. In desperation, he took his own life.
XXVII Faramir (Ruled for forty-six days during III 3019)
After his father's death on 15 March III 3019, Faramir became the de jure Ruling Steward in his place. He was formally replaced as ruler of Gondor on 1 May of the same year, with the coronation of King Elessar. At the coronation, Faramir was made the Prince of Ithilien.

Notes

1

Many early editions of The Lord of the Rings date the death of Belecthor II as III 2852. That was apparently a simple typographical error, but it persisted through many editions. More recent copies of the book carry the correct date, III 2872.

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