Herdir Elenaerion (1597- ) was an extremely able Gondorian official, royal plenipotentiary and finally Captain of the Ships and president of the Navy Board from 1639 to 1671, succeeding Prince-Admiral Marmacil (1614-1636) and count Beregond Wilwarin (1636-1639). He was the son of a Belguinarite and had himself performed lamentations in the Ceremony of Departure at Fen Hollin, when prince Marmacil was laid to rest. He was a favorite of king Tarondor and the ladies of the court greatly admired his voice. In 1639, Elenaerion was appointed as the prefect of Pelargir, Master of the Haven, tasked to command the rebuilding of the royal fleet which had lost more than 50 warships during the Raid of Pelargir.

Elenaerion was an eunuch due to a childhood accident. He was of no special lineage and managed to rise to his position due to his iron will, energy and considerable acumen. He became indispensable ally to Tarondor, who found him a safe choice to the most important office of Captain of the Ships, as he could not start a dynasty of his own nor count to the support of rebel aristocrats because of his discreditable background.

Though he was never given credit for it, Elenaerion was largely responsible for the quick recovery of the Royal Navy. He took great care of Gondor's strategic resources, even personally planting new forests for timber. Elenaerion favored the building of great galleasses instead of carrack-type sailing ships, and instituted a new, highly professional coastal navy, which became his most prized creation. King Tarondor, of course, adopted the idea as his own. The new crack Coastal Navy was an independent organisation, with army-like command structure.

Tarondor was heavily influenced by Elenaerion's ideas of large-scale amphibious operations, where better-armed Gondorian troops could overwhelm their more skilled Umbarean adversaries. These ideas where put to test in 1663, during the Third Corsair War (1652-1666), when the King personally led a great naval assault on Harondor.

Elenaerion, with a fleet eventually numbering 88 galleys, galliots, transports and other ships, carried the main land force, commanded by Condir Habadan Naþron, for the invasion and recapture of Tolfalas on 16 Urui 1662. Then Elenaerion took the bulk of his Coastal Fleet to Barad Harn, thereby effectively preventing any Umbarean relief fleet from coming to the aid of the besieged defenders. Elenaerion was commander-in-chief of the Gondorian naval forces at the Battle of Miraz and subsequent Gauntlet at Has Adri, where his was grievously wounded when his flagship Valaróma was hit by Umbarean catapults. Elenaerion lost his leg, left arm and eye.

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