The Kinstrife in Gondor
October 4, 2010
for the 13th Anniversary of the Valar Guild
Encyclopedia > Man > Gondor > The Kinstrife in Gondor
When the term “kinstrife” is used in relationship to the Kingdom of the
southern Dunedain (heirs of Anarion, younger son of Elendil and brother of
Islildur, the High King of all Dunedain territory), usually a civil war
is referred to that occurred between the years 1437 and 1447 of the Third
The factors leading to this event were several. Most obvious of these
is the fact that the son of the previous King Romendacil II was of half
– Northman descent (the ancerstors of the people we meet as Rohirrim in
Lord of the Rings). Valacar, as he was known in Gondor , was born as
Vinitharya, son of Vidumavi, daughter of the Northmen’s King Vidugavia.
Many nobles in Gondor feared that he would bring the short-livedness of
lesser Men to the descendants of the Numenorian race and they would thus
decline. For this reason alone he was rejected by some.
In addition to this it has to be taken into consideration that many of
the worksmen and some of the soldiers in Minas Arnor where of Northern
heritage, brought there by earlier kings as proof and strengthening
of their friendship with the people of Rhovannion. These were held in
high regard by the royal family and jealousy grew between them and the
Gondorian nobles who feared losing their privileges to them.
The unsatisfied Gondorians gathered in open rebellion around Castamir, the
Captain of the Fleet who resided in Pelargir and was a distant cousin to
King Valacar. Not only those in the bordering Lands of Lebennin and South
Harad joined him in his coup against King Eldacar in 1437, who followed
his father to the throne but also many others who had reason to avoid the
Eldacar had to flee Minas Arnor with his family and made a desperate stand
in Osgiliath which was duly besieged and under constant attack, until he
had to give up and managed to escape to Rhovannion, the land of his birth,
but his son Onedil was captured and later murdered by Castamir who then
took the Crown.
While Castamir exploited his forcibly taken realm and started to demolish
randomly buildings within it (it is mere speculation on my behalf but
I think it is not beyond imagination he targeted homes of Northmen
especially), Eldacar built an army in Rhovannion made up of those of his
people who followed him into exile as well as Northmen and Dunedain of the
Northern Realm Arnor, whose respect and friendship he had won during his
early years there.
After ten years of Castamir’s tyranny Eldacar estimated the time ripe
to return with his army which was increased by the people of Anorien,
Calenardhon and Ithilien who held little love for Castamir.
The decisive battle was in Lebennin, at the Crossings of Erui, where under
heavy losses, Eldacar was victorious and killed the Usurper himself in
Unfortunately Castamir’s sons escaped with many others of their family and
followers by boat first to Pelargir which they defended long and then to
Umbar, where they formed their own independant kingdom, which was ever a
source of trouble to Gondor thereafter.
Eldacar, however, was restored to the throne in 1447 which he held until
his death in 1505, when his son Minardil inherited the crown. His line
lasted until 2050, when the rule of the kings in Gondor ended and the
stewarts took over. But that, as they say, is another story.
“Lord of the Rings”, Appendix A (ii)The Realms in Exile and (iv) Gondor
and the heirs of Anarion, by J.R. R. Tolkien, 50th anniversary edition,
published by Harper Collins Publishers in 2005