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The '''Chieftains of the Dúnedain''' were the hereditary rulers of the [[Rangers of the North]].  
 
The '''Chieftains of the Dúnedain''' were the hereditary rulers of the [[Rangers of the North]].  
  
The title was created following the final destruction of [[Arthedain]] in {{TA|1974}} by the [[Witch-king]] of [[Angmar]]. The heir to the throne of Arthedain, [[Aranarth]] son of [[Arvedui]], in {{TA|1976}} chose not to claim the kingship and instead ruled the remnants of his people as Chieftain.<ref>{{App|TA}}</ref> The Chieftains were raised in [[Rivendell]], where the heirlooms of the [[House of Isildur]], were also kept.
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The title was created following the final destruction of [[Arthedain]] in {{TA|1974}} by the [[Witch-king]] of [[Angmar]]. The heir to the throne of Arthedain, [[Aranarth]] son of [[Arvedui]], in {{TA|1976}} chose not to claim the kingship and instead ruled the remnants of his people as Chieftain.<ref>{{App|TA}}</ref>  
  
They were descendants of [[Isildur]] through the kings of [[Arthedain]]<ref>{{App|Eriador}}</ref> and [[Anárion]] through [[Fíriel]];<ref>{{App|Gondor}}</ref> as such they regarded themselves as the legitimate heirs to both [[Arnor]] and [[Gondor]]. The Chieftains continued to take the kingly prefix of ''[[ara|ar(a)-]]'', to signify their royal heritage and their right to rule Arnor. When the line of [[Anárion]] failed, the Chieftains considered themselves the heirs of Anárion through their ancestor [[Fíriel]]; none of the Chieftains ever forgot Arvedui's claim to the throne.<ref name="Third">{{PM|Third}}</ref>
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They were descendants of [[Isildur]] through the kings of [[Arthedain]]<ref>{{App|Eriador}}</ref> and [[Anárion]] through [[Fíriel]];<ref>{{App|Gondor}}</ref> as such they regarded themselves as the legitimate heirs to both [[Arnor]] and [[Gondor]]. The Chieftains were raised in [[Rivendell]], where the heirlooms of the [[House of Isildur]], were also kept.
  
The people of Arthedain became known as the [[Rangers of the North]], a wandering people quite content with living in secret. Due to the destruction of Angmar, and the [[Watchful Peace]], which followed after [[Wizards|Wizard]] [[Gandalf]] drove [[Sauron]] out of [[Dol Guldur]], there was little evil in [[Eriador]] and attacks by the enemy were few and far between.
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It is notable that most of the Chieftains lived out their full life-span and their longevity did not decrease as much as that of the [[Gondorians]].<ref>[[Robert Foster]] ''[[The Complete Guide to Middle-earth]]'', p. 69</ref>
 
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It is notable that most of the Chieftains lived out their full life-span and their longevity did not decrease as much as that of the [[Gondorians]].<ref>{{HM|Guide}}, p. 69</ref>
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[[Aragorn|Aragorn II]] became the last Chieftain when he reclaimed the title of [[High King of the Dúnedain|High King of the Reunited Kingdom]].
 
[[Aragorn|Aragorn II]] became the last Chieftain when he reclaimed the title of [[High King of the Dúnedain|High King of the Reunited Kingdom]].

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