by Varda-(Valar)
Nov. 27, 2007. Updated Dec. 7, 2008; Jan. 18, 2015

Men > Kings > Númenórean Kings > High Kings > Elendil > Isildur > Valandil
Second and Third Age. Died T.A. 2

Images of Isildur

Elendur, Aratan, Ciryon, Valandil.

     Isildur was born in Númenor, the elder son of Elendil.
     In Númenor as a young man, Isildur saved a fruit of the White Tree, Nimloth the Fair, at great risk. He had listened quietly as his grandfather, Amandil, warned Elendil that Sauron was working on King Ar-Pharazôn to have the White Tree cut down, "for it was a memorial of the Eldar and of the light of Valinor". Isildur said no word, but that night he went out in disguise. Thus he went to Armenelos and the courts of the King, a place forbidden to the Faithful, and came to the place of the tree, forbidden by Sauron to all and watched day and night by Sauron's guards. Since it was nearly winter, Nimloth bore no bloom and gave no light, and Isildur managed to pass the guards in the dark. Isildur took a fruit from the tree but, as he turned to go, the guards attacked him. He fought his way out, receiving many wounds, but none knew who had taken the fruit. Isildur returned to Rómenna and delivered the fruit to Amandil, before his strength failed him. The fruit was planted, and Amandil blessed it. After it put out its first leaf, Isildur finally arose and was no longer troubled by his wounds.
 Soon after Isildur's foray, Nimloth was cut down and burned on an altar to Melkor, making a cloud over the land for seven days until it slowly passed to the west. The young tree was kept on Isildur's ship with the other ships of the Faithful waiting in the east of Númenor, along with the seven palantíri stones gifted by the elves. Ar-Pharazôn took his fleet to Valinor, to force the giving of eternal life within the Circles of the World, Manwë, head of the Valar, felt unwilling to harm those he considered his little brothers, so he turned the fate of these fellow Children of Eru over to their mutual creator.
     Eru destroyed the ships, buried under falling hills those who had come to shore, and changed the shape of things so that instead of flat, the world was round, while Aman and Eressëa remained on the flat, reachable only by special means. Sauron lost his body and could never again assume a form fair to the eyes of men, traveling as a shadow and wind to Mordor where he took up his Ring again in Barad-dûr, and made himself a new guise.
     Isildur escaped the drowning of Númenor in ships with others of the Faithful including his younger brother, Anárion, in a small fleet commanded by Elendil. As Númenor drowned, Elendil's grief prevented his ability to command, and the great winds caught up the nine ships, snapping masts in their power, and cast them to the vastly changed Middle-earth.

    Elendil made a kingdom in Arnor and Gondor, sending his two sons to handle the south kingdom of Gondor while he remained as High King in Arnor. 
    The Argonath stone pillars were carved as a boundary marker, showing the two sons and joint kings, Isildur and Anárion. It was located on the Anduin River at the entrance to the northern boundary of Gondor and were seen by the Fellowship of the Ring and their leader, Aragorn, the Heir of Isildur.
    Isildur was the Joint King of Gondor, the Lord of Ithilien, and he founded Minas Ithil. After Elendil's death, he was the second High King of Arnor and Gondor. His sons in order of birth were Elendur, Aratan, Ciryon, and Valandil.
    Isildur fought in the Last Alliance against Sauron. Isildur's big mistake was that after he cut the One Ring from Sauron's finger, he took it for himself instead of destroying it.
    Isildur was killed in T.A. 2, losing the One Ring in the Anduin River.
    He was succeeded by his only surviving son, Valandil.

    Return of the King:
        Appendix A
        Appendix B: timeline
    Silmarillion: "Akallabeth". Ballantine paperback 1977:
        pp336-338, 342 for the story of the White Tree.
        pp 344-346 for the drowning of Númenor.
        pp 347 for Sauron's fate.
       Index of Names: Argonath
    Fellowship of the Ring, Houghton-Mifflin trade movie cover, 1994.
       "The Great River" p383 for the Argonath
Note on the palantíri: LotR Appendix: italicized but no capitol. Sil: no italics but capitalized. UT: italicized but no capital.