The Kings of Gondor – Part Four – The Great Ship Kings

Hey everyone!

Last week we left off with the history and bloodline of the House of Anarion, and ended with the line of the Ship Kings which is where we pick up today.

numenor shipThe Line of Ship Kings

Tarannon, and his younger brother Tarciryan succeeded their father Siriondil after his death in 830 of the Third Age.  Tarciryan took his place as the High King of Gondor in which brought a peacful time for the lands.  His brother Tarannon became the first “Ship King” of Gondor in which started the construction of Gondor’s naval fleets, and under his expansion of the military forces Gondor was able to extend it’s borders both West and South of the Mouths of Anduin.  Tarannon was one of the two Kings of Gondor who had no children, which was a breaking point in the bloodline.  Even though he had no children, his rule was marked as so great due to the naval fleet expansions that he was named the “Lord of the Coasts”.

Tarannon had his own personal struggles outside of keeping the coasts of Gondor safe and building the great naval fleet.  His wife Beruthiel was manipulative and chose to spy on the people of the kingdom, eventually Tarannon had enough and exiled his wife into the South which is why he never had children.  Tarciryan had a son Earnil who took the throne after his uncle Tarannon died in 913 of the Third Age.

Earnil I took his place as the King of Gondor and the rightful place of the second Ship King. He continued his uncles great military expansion and during his time as King captured Umbar, but was lost at sea in 936 of the Third Age.

Harad port of UmbarThe Port of Umbar and Glory of Gondor

His son Ciryandil took the throne and became the fourteenth King of Gondor and the third Ship King.  Ciryandil continued his fathers naval expansions and spent his life defending the recently captured port of Umbar against the Black Numenoreans, and the Haradrim who tried to capture the port.  He reigned as king for 79 years and was slain during a siege on Umbar.  His son Ciryaher took the throne in 1015 and began reorganizing Gondor’s armies and declared war on the Haradrim in which he finally defeated them in 1050. The Haradrim were forced to recognize him as their lord and king and paid tribute to Gondor, and their sons where forced to live as hostages in the court of the king. After this victory, he called himself Hyarmendacil, meaning South-victor.

After the defeat of Harad, Gondor became very rich and under his reign the realm reached its greatest extent and power. The passes of Mordor were well guarded by well-kept fortresses, so evil had no place to turn during Hyarmendacil’s reign. No one ever dared to contest his power and Gondor was at peace for the rest of his long reign.  He died in 1149 after 138 years of keeping the lands of Gondor safe, and evil at bay.  He had one son Atanatar II who became the sixteenth king of Gondor.   It is said that Atanatar’s reign as king was the most prosperous of Gondor, and that his wealth was so great that historians remarked that “precious stones are pebbles in Gondor for children to play with”.

He was also known as “The Glorious King” but his actions as king were neglected and he made no attempts to watch the borders of Mordor or grow the armies of Gondor.  Atanatar by no means maintained the power that his father commanded and this time was seen as the start of Gondor’s great decline.

We pick up next week with the line of kings beginning to fail and a land who will once again face it’s greatest enemy.

Until then, I’m your host Iogro Merrybelly and I bid you a fine farewell!


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