king Tarondor
Tarondor, twenty-seventh King of Gondor.
ReignSince March, 1636
PredecessorTelemnar the Clement
Heir apparentEreinion
ConsortQueen Mírien
StewardsDior of Emyn Arnen
HouseHouse of Eldacar

King Tarondor

Tarondor, born Minastir son of Minastan (1577-1798), became the twenty-seventh King of Gondor by accident and surprise, even contrary to his own will. He came earlier to the Kingship than any of his predecessors, but despite the terrible scourges Gondor had to endure during his early reign, and the equally deep troubles in his family, Tarondor would eventually enjoy the longest rule of any of Gondor's Kings.

The Merry Monarch (1636-1666)

Tarondor was crowned in early March, 1636 as Tarondor Eldacarion Anárion, Heir of Elendil, Renewer of Gondor, Keeper of the Faith, ruler of all Middle-Earth. Such was the state of affairs in the waning years of Gondor: As the fortunes of the realm dwindled, the royal nomenclature grew in grandeur. The late King Telemnar the Clement (1516-1636) had inherited the Winged Crown from his father Minardil, who was slain by Corsair Lords in the quays of Pelargir during the great naval raid of 1634. Telemnar immediately began fitting out a fleet capable of assaulting Umbar, but his plans were foiled by the Great Plague. The new King died six months later along with his whole family, for he had persevered ceaselessly in the Houses of Healing.

The throne would have belonged to Telemnar's half-brother prince Vinyaran, but he objected. He held himself culpable to the death of his elder brother, prince Minastan, the heir presumptive. Vinyaran and Minastan had once loved the same lady: Melabrían, mother of Tarondor. Their quarrel had led to a fatal duel, during which Minastan had received a wound which he did not want to disclose, as he was a haughty and vainglorious man. Suffering from fever, he fell off a horse few days later and died. Prince Vinyaran never forgave himself, and he vowed to remain unmarried and travel far south and east to fight Gondor's enemies. So the Council of Gondor had no other choice than to offer kingship to Minastan's only son, Tarondor, who was generally despised as a weak and viewless man.

Tarondor was 59 years old at the time, betrothed to Fimalca of Glanhir, with one son, Macar. After the murderous later reign of Hyarmendacil II, who suspected all his relatives of conspiring against his throne, it had become a habit among the royal family that younger princes married non-dúnadan mistresses. Children of pure royal blood were deemed threatening to the descendants of Eldacar, who were always squeamish of their power. Now, when Tarondor suddenly became King, he had to dissolve their betrothal, so that the holy bloodlines of Elros and Lúthien would not be diluted in his royal heirs. A quick marriage was soon arranged with one Mírien Amrûnaur, called Lúthien for her great beauty and intellect.

For a few years, they were happy. Tarondor was fully occupied with reconstructing his realm and Mírien was adapting to courtly life. In december 1636 Mírien gave birth to a boy, who was named Elatar. But soom Tarondor and Mírien grew estranged. Mírien was a woman of learning, interested in literature, poetry and politics. Tarondor was too short-tempered to really fulfill his role as a solemn priest-king of Gondor: He was fond of comedies, games and hunting. And also he couldn't forget his former betrothed, Fimalca, and finally persuaded Mírien to accept her as her maid. The union of Tarondor and Mírien was to become a loveless and unhappy one.

Tarondor was a stubborn and distrustful man. He wanted to make his decisions without advice or hearing. In 1640 he suddenly moved the King's House from declining city of Osgiliath to the place of his summer residence, Minas Anor, and planted a seedling of the White Tree there. After the King and most of his bureaucracy had left Osgiliath, it began falling into a ruin. Tarondor had no interest in rebuilding the former capital. The colossal ruins of the Dome of the Stars suited him better as a romantic backdrop to his magnificent parties. Had he not established the capable Dior Húrinion as his steward, the whole realm would have soon fallen into a similar ruin.

The common people loved their energetic, optimistic and sociable King. The brutal acts of his tax collectors were blamed on steward Dior. But his carelessness and contempt estranged him from the nobility. They were offended when Tarondor started filling King's empty coffers by selling offices. They were further enraged by the way he treated his suffering wife. The King kept openly mistresses in his court, in addition of consorting himself with Fimalca. In 1645 Queen Mírien had enough. She moved to the Tower of the Moon at Minas Ithil, established a court of her own and took advantage of the Ithil-Stone via her friend, seeress Lúthien Ascarnil.

Tarondor accused his wife of infidelity, but court gossip soon blurted out to the world that Fimalca had given Tarondor a second son, called Tuilin (Swallow), and even her maids were pregnant with King's bastards. As a result, the King and the Queen soon stopped talking to each other. An anti-Tarondor faction started to grew in Ithilien, impoverished noblemen rallying around their beloved Queen. The Plague was hardly over when new conspiracies engulfed the cities of Gondor. The rebellion started as a popular revolt during the Jester's Fair in Linhir, but it soon spread out to more distant territories: Anfalas and Calenardhon. Tarondor withdrew garrisons from Mordor to deal with these problems, and soon evil creatures started creeping back in. Piracy was an endemic problem in the coastlands, and there was much profiteering and smuggling. But the greatest test of Tarondor's early reign was yet to come.

Tarondor's distrustfulness finally forced Queen Mírien to abandon her facade as dutiful wife and mother. Tarondor forbid her to leave Minas Ithil, but without the Master Palantír of Osgiliath he couldn't effectively watch her. Then he officially made his firstborn son heir apparent. Mírien activated her own network of friends and allies to her own protection. Her son Elatar continued to live with his mother. King's faction blamed her of conspiring against Tarondor, to raise her young son Elatar to the Kingship.

In the meantime, loveless Mírien had found solace from the passionate letters of a foreign prince. Sangahyandion, who was the great-great-grandson of king Castamir the Usurper, had fallen in love with the captive Queen. Sangahyandion was a man of undiluted royal blood and as generous and valiant as Tarondor seemed small-minded and lily-livered. A war broke out between Umbar and Gondor. After initial setbacks, Sangahyandion struck north, managed to capture the whole Harondor for himself, and even marched his troops to the gates of Osgiliath. Prince Vinyaran, who was commanding the Royal Army, was taken captive. But Tarondor avoided decisive battle.

The Corsair Prince tried in vain to reassure the Captains of Umbar to help him in his campaign by launching a simultaneous naval invasion to Lebennin, thus diverting Gondor's forces. The lords of Umbar were delighted in Gondors distress, but they equally feared that if Sangahyandion would conquer Tarondor and crowned as a King, he would become too powerful to them to contain, which would be the end of Umbar's hard-won independence. So they chose to assist Sangahyandion only in name, maintaining the parity between warring factions. After ten years of fighting, steward Dior was able to consolidate Gondor's hold on Ithilien. When last of Sangahyandion's troops were driven back to Harondor, the rebel faction collapsed. Twenty-four ringleaders, all members of the Great Council, were hanged at Osgiliath. Tarondor had survived his test. The King and the Queen reconciled, but their troubles were everything but over.


The Queen Mírien (1595- ) is approaching middle age. She is a tall, slender and stern Dúnadan woman with long, straight black hair and eyes of the deepest brown. She favours elegant and elaborate robes and wears little jewelry otehr than a diamond diadem set with a many-hued opal. In bearing she seems quite distant, if her attention passes through those near her and on to some distant place. Mírien of Naur Amrûn is the sister of Meriel, the wife of the Prince of Belfalas. Their father, Barahir of Tarnost, is the richest man in Belfalas, and of the most important supporters of the crown.

Prince Ereinion (1632- ) is the heir apparent and eldest son of Tarondor by Fimalca of Glanhir. Since 1646, his title has been The Prince of Andrast. He was educated at Minas Anor. After his Master's degree in Númenorean Law, he served a tour of duty with the Ceiriath Aran in 1652-1656. Ereinion was made governor and Prince of Andrast, where he has been involved in establishing fortresses and signal-posts for Gondorian marines. He also holds the earned rank of Commander in Royal Navy.

Prince Elatar (1636- ) is Tarondor's only son by Queen Mírien and second in the line of succession to the throne of Gondor, but in opinion of many a nobleman, he should be the true heir to the Crown. Prince Elatar was born in Minas Anor on December, 1636. His godparents were Prince Vinyaran (his paternal granduncle), Princess Meriel (his aunt) and Prince Edrahil (his cousin). He was educated in Minas Ithil by a governess appointed by his mother. After his coming of age Prince Elatar has harboured a strong interest in inheriting the crown. Prince Vinyaran has seen to it that the youthful Elatar is now training with the Company of the White Tree for the time being. Elatar is a keen swordsman and looks forward to a life of command in all corners of Gondor's empire. He relishes the thought of becoming King and hopes that Ereinion will perish in the hands of Corsairs or drown in the dark waters of Andrast. He has no romantic connections yet.

Fimalca (1610- ) is the former paramour of King Tarondor, by whom she has had two children. Tall, voluptuous, with masses of auburn hair, slanting, heavy-lidded blue-violet eyes and a sensuous, sulky mouth, Fimalca was considered to be one of the most beautiful of the women in Ringló Vale, but her lack of fortune left her with reduced marriage prospects. She became Minastir's betrothed in 1628 whilst Minastir was in exile at Anfalas. Fimalca and Minastir lived in Glanhir and Lond Ernil with their son Macar (renamed Ereinion in 1646) until 1636, when King Telemnar succumbed to the Plague and Prince Vinyaran refused the Crown. Minastir was crowned King Tarondor and was forced to divorce. A few years later Fimalca followed Tarondor to Minas Anor and was made the Queen's Handmaiden, much against the wishes of the Queen. Soon she became Tarondor's mistress, while he was still married to Queen Mírien, and bore him a second son, Tuilin.

Prince Vinyaran (1548- ), Captain of the Hosts (1640–1653, 1663– ) and Prince of Osgiliath, is a trusted pillar of the royal family. The brother ofthe late Prince Minastan and King Telemnar, he is the third son of King Minardil. He refused the Crown of Gondor for moral reasons, and thus enabled Tarondor's accession. He is second only in influence to Steward Dior Húrinion. He is a leader of his own party in Gondorian politics and commands a great deal of respect in the armed forces. It is rumoured that he is in a relationship with the recluse and quirky Melabrían, the King's Mother.

Belatar Araglas (1523- ), Captain of the Hosts (1653–1663), Canotar of Enedwaith and Lord of Angrenost, is the eldest member of the royal house and as such bears the Helm of Isildur by tradition. He is a venerable, stiff-necked man with a likeness of a bear. After retiring from the military he has become a item of interest to the opposition. Those Gondorian noblemen who oppose the peace settlement of 1664 have demanded Tarondor's abdication in favour of Belatar. As the Lord of Angrenost, Belatar commands one of the realm's Palantírs.

Mindacil (1608- ), Prince-President of Minas Anor and cousin to King Tarondor. A short and serious felow, Mindacil enjoys his authority. His bustling, muscular frame is often seen hurrying from Cocnlave to the Chambers of High Hall, usually attended by a small flock of ministers and deputies. While not really a military man, he is the consummate bureaucrat. Tarondor forced him to marry his Haradan mistress, Daenya, to keep his children out of the line of succession. As a result, Mindacil does not get well with his cousin or his father.

Melabrían (1556- ), King's Mother. She is descended from a cadet branch of the royal house through a daughter of Eldacar. Born in Cair Andros to the Lord and Lady Aranelaith, she was a stunning maiden known for her unusual passion for riding, running, and other sports. When introduced to the Court, she was wooed by both princes, Minastan and Vinyaran, and according to rumours, became their shared mistress. Melabrían married Prince Minastan and bore him two boys; but Prince Minastan died in 1629 after a fateful duel with Vinyaran. After his husbands death Melabrían became recluse and depressed, and has not been seen in public for two decades.

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