The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Probably made in the seventh or eighth century of the Second Age;1 associated with Arnor after its foundation in II 3320; survived into the Fourth Age
Origins
Originally the rod of office borne by the Lords of Andúnië in Númenor
Race
Division
Culture
Men of Arnor and their descendants
Family
Settlements
Particularly associated with Annúminas; later held at Rivendell
Pronunciation
Arnor is pronounced 'arr'norr' ('rr' here emphasises that all the r sounds in the name should be pronounced)
Meaning
Arnor means 'land of the King'
Other names
Northern Sceptre, Sceptre of Annúminas; sometimes known simply as 'the Sceptre', a term shared with other similar symbols of office

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  • Updated 1 January 2022
  • This entry is complete

Sceptre of Arnor

A royal symbol of the Northern Dúnedain

The Sceptre of Arnor was one of the original royal symbols of the High King of Arnor and Gondor, alongside the gem known as the Elendilmir and the ancient Ring of Barahir. Historically, the Sceptre had been the emblem of royalty and nobility throughout the history of Númenor: the King of Númenor bore a royal Sceptre, but the lords of the island realm had lesser sceptres of their own. The Lords of Andúnië, ancestors of Elendil, bore a silver rod to mark their station, and it was this rod that Elendil brought to Middle-earth, where it became a symbol of his Kingship there.

With the loss of Elendil in the War of the Last Alliance, and of his heir Isildur shortly afterward, the Kingdoms of the Dúnedain became divided from one another. The Sceptre of the High King remained in the North-kingdom, and was held by its ruler as the Sceptre of Arnor (also called the Sceptre of Annúminas after Elendil's capital, or simply the Northern Sceptre). It remained a symbol of royalty held by all the Kings of Arnor, and of its successor kingdom Arthedain. When Arthedain fell to the Witch-king, the Sceptre of Arnor was nonetheless preserved, and was kept safe by Elrond in his House at Rivendell.

After the fall of Arthedain, more than a thousand years passed in which the Northern Dúnedain were a wandering people without a King. Nonetheless the line of Isildur survived in the form of the Chieftains of the Dúnedain, of whom the last was Aragorn. As Isildur's direct Heir, and therefore also the Heir of Elendil, Aragorn was made King of a Reunited Kingdom after the War of the Ring. He wed Arwen daughter of Elrond, and to their wedding Elrond brought the Sceptre of Arnor. So the Sceptre was once again borne by a High King of the Dúnedain, for the first time since Isildur's loss more than three thousand years earlier.


Notes

1

These dates assume that the silver rod of the Lords of Andúnië was made specifically for the first Lord. That would have been Valandil, who received the title in the seventh or eighth century of the Second Age. This dating also assumes that the rod brought to Middle-earth by Elendil was the original held by Valandil (that is, that it had never been replaced during the Second Age).

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 1 January 2022
  • This entry is complete

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