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  • Updated 27 May 2021
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South-realm

Gondor, the southern Kingdom of the Dúnedain

During the later Second Age, the lands around the Mouths of Anduin were already populated by many Dúnedain. For the most part these were followers of the Faithful party, friends of the Elves and opponents of Sauron who had been driven out of their homeland by the Kings. In the closing years of the Age, a cataclysm befell when the island of Númenor sank beneath the Sea, and a great wave surged out of the western ocean bearing storm-tossed ships.

Aboard these ships were Isildur and Anárion, the sons of Elendil of Andúnië. As heir to the Lordship of Andúnië, Elendil was the chief of the Faithful, and so his sons were able to establish a new realm in the shadow of the White Mountains. Their father Elendil had been driven ashore far to the north, and founded his own realm there, so that there were now two Kingdoms of the Dúnedain in Middle-earth. The land of Isildur and Anárion was thus the South-realm of Gondor, which they ruled under the High King, Elendil their father, who dwelt in the North-realm of Arnor.

Before the founding of the new kingdom, the largest settlement in this region had been the port of Pelargir on Anduin, but the brothers set about raising new cities and towers across the region. Each had a city of their own, Minas Ithil for Isildur and Minas Anor for Anárion, and they jointly ruled the South-realm from Osgiliath, their royal city on Anduin that stood between their two towers.

The Second Age came to an end with the War of the Last Alliance, in which Sauron was defeated but both Elendil and Anárion were slain. When Isildur was also lost two years later, the High Kingship of Arnor over both realms came to an end, and from that time onward the South-realm was ruled as an independent kingdom. A line of Kings descending from Anárion continued to rule for more than two millennia, a turbulent period that saw the loss of the North-realm and the capture of Minas Ithil by the Nazgûl.

The last King of the South-realm answered a challenge laid by the Lord of the Nazgûl, and was lost in Minas Morgul (as the captured Minas Ithil had been renamed). In place of the Kings, a line of Stewards took up the rule of Gondor, and their line survived for another thousand years, until the time of the War of the Ring. That war brought about a second and final defeat of the Dark Lord, and brought great change to Gondor. Among those who fought in the War was Aragorn, who was revealed to be a direct descendant of Isildur and thus of the line of the old High Kings. After Sauron's defeat, Aragorn was crowned as King of a Reunited Kingdom, bringing the South-realm and the North-realm back together after centuries of division.


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About this entry:

  • Updated 27 May 2021
  • Updates planned: 2

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