The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Established before III 5411
Origins
An office created by King Rómendacil I
Race
Division
Culture
Family
From the time of King Minardil2, the Stewards were selected from the House of Húrin
Meaning
A translation of the Elvish Arandur, meaning 'King's Servant'
Other names
Arandur, Steward of the King; after the loss of Eärnur in III 2050, the term Steward became synonymous with Ruling Steward
Title of
Numerous Men from the sixth century of the Third Age

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 2 April 2006
  • Updates planned: 12

Steward of Gondor

Title of the rulers of the South-kingdom after the Kings

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond
Húrin of Emyn Arnen
Approximately ten
unnamed Stewards
Pelendur
Vorondil the Hunter
Mardil Voronwë
The first Ruling Steward
Six Ruling Stewards from
Eradan to Hador
Barahir
Dior
Rían
Denethor I
Four Ruling Stewards from
Boromir to Húrin II
Belecthor I
Orodreth
Morwen
Ecthelion I
Egalmoth
Seven Ruling Stewards from
Beren to Ecthelion II
Denethor II
Boromir
Faramir
Prince of Ithilien

Note that Húrin of Emyn Arnen was not the first Steward of Gondor, but he was the first to establish a line of descent, so that all the Stewards that followed were descended from him in some degree. In the diagram, names shown in bold are those who held the office of Steward.

Originally the honorary title of the chief counsellor to the King of Gondor. The title became hereditary from the time of Steward Pelendur of the House of Húrin. After the loss of King Eärnur in Minas Morgul, Mardil Voronwë became the first Ruling Steward, and his descendants ruled Gondor until the time of Denethor II, when Aragorn II Elessar was crowned as King of the Reunited Kingdom.

Many unnamed Stewards (A period of at least 1,080 years between c.III 541 and III 1621)
We know that the office of Steward was created by King Rómendacil I, so the first holder of the title must have taken up their duties before Rómendacil's death in III 541. None of these early Stewards are recorded, however, until the time of King Minardil, more than a thousand years later. Including Rómendacil himself, this period covers the reigns of seventeen Kings of Gondor, so there would presumably have been a similar number of Stewards before we meet Húrin of Emyn Arnen.
Húrin of Emyn Arnen (Steward to King Minardil, who reigned between III 1621 and III 1634)
Húrin is the first Steward whose name is actually recorded. He is important as establishing a dynasty - after his time, the Kings of Gondor always chose their Steward from the House of Húrin.
Several unnamed Stewards (A period of 302 years between III 1634 and III 1936)
During this period, five different Kings sat on the throne of Gondor, and each of them would have been served by at least one Steward (one of the Kings - Tarondor - ruled for 162 years, and it seems likely that he would have had at least two Stewards during his long reign). Like the many Stewards before Húrin, none of their names are recorded, and all we can say for sure is that they were descended from Húrin's House.
Pelendur (Steward to King Ondoher, who reigned between III 1936 and III 1944)
(De facto ruler of Gondor for 1 year after Ondoher's death, to III 1945)
(Steward to King Eärnil II for 53 years to III 1998)
A descendant of Húrin, Pelendur was the first Steward to exercise power in his own right. After the death of King Ondoher left Gondor without an obvious heir to the throne, he effectively ruled the kingdom for a year until a successor was found. Pelendur established the Stewardship as hereditary - after his time, the title was passed down from father to son through the generations.
Vorondil the Hunter (Steward to King Eärnil II for 31 years to III 2029)
The first Steward to inherit the title directly, Vorondil was famed for his hunting prowess. His hunting horn became one of the treasured heirlooms of the House of Húrin, and it was the very horn carried by Vorondil's descendant Boromir on the journey from Rivendell, a thousand years later.
I3 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 was the only Ruling Steward not to leave a 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 28724)
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, the last of the Ruling Stewards. After Denethor's time, the Kingship was reestablished by Aragorn Elessar, and the role of the Steward returned to that of advisor and servant to the King.
Faramir (Served as Steward for 84 years to IV 82)
Denethor's heir would have been his elder son Boromir, but Boromir was slain on his journey with the Fellowship of the Ring. Instead, Denethor's younger son Faramir became Aragorn's first Steward, and was granted the title Prince of Ithilien.
Elboron(?) (No dates recorded)
There is no canonical record of Faramir's son, but the texts underlying Appendix A to The Lord of the Rings list 'Elboron' as his heir. It is unclear whether or not Tolkien intended this name to stand.
Barahir (Extant after IV 120)
Barahir was the grandson of Faramir, though all we know of him was that he lived after the time of Aragorn, and that he was the author of The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen. Barahir is the last Steward to be recorded by history, though doubtless his descendants continued to serve the Kings of Gondor after his time.

Notes

1

The Stewardship came into being during the reign of King Rómendacil I, who ruled between III 492 and III 541.

2

Minardil ruled Gondor between III 1621 and III 1634.

3

Note that the marginal numbers shown starting with Mardil refer specifically to the Ruling Stewards of Gondor. There had been many other holders of the office before Mardil's time, and though we do not know their exact number, he was probably at least the thirtieth Steward.

4

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.

See also...

Angelimir, Aragorn Elessar, Arandur, Araphant, Artamir, Astar, Barahir, Barahir, Baranor, Battle of Fornost, Battle of the Field of Celebrant, Beacons of Gondor, Belecthor I, Belecthor II, Belegorn, [See the full list...]

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