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This article is about a conflict in Gondor. For the MERP supplement, see The Kin-strife.
Beginning: T.A. 1432End: T.A. 1447
Place: Gondor
Major battles: Siege of Osgiliath, Battle of the Crossings of Erui

Gondorians, Northmen of Rhovanion

Gondorian followers of Castamir




The Kin-strife was a disastrous civil war in Gondor.

[edit] History

[edit] Prelude

The unrest that created the Kin-strife began when Valacar, the son of the Gondorian king Rómendacil II, married a woman of the Northmen of Rhovanion, Vidumavi. She bore him a son Eldacar, but many Gondorians of Númenórean blood were angered by this mixing of blood of Middle Men and Númenóreans, and the coastal provinces rebelled when Valacar grew old. [1]

[edit] War

When Eldacar succeeded his father in T.A. 1432, the unrest grew into open rebellion, as many Gondorians saw Eldacar as a halfbreed who had no right to rule. The chief of them was his distant relative Castamir the Usurper, Lord of Ships, who was supported by the coastal regions and in particular Umbar and Pelargir. In T.A. 1437 he usurped the throne, forcing Eldacar into exile. During the rebellion Osgiliath was burned, and the great Dome of Stars was lost, together with its palantír the Osgiliath-stone. Castamir also murdered Eldacar's son and heir Ornendil. Eldacar fled to Rhovanion, and Castamir ruled in his stead.[1][2]

Castamir quickly lost the support of the people of Gondor, due to his cruelty and lack of generosity, as demonstrated by the brutal sack of Osgiliath at his bidding. He also attempted to move the seat of the Gondorian throne from Osgiliath to Pelargir , which furthered his unpopularity amongst the populace in Ithilien and Anorien.

A full decade later, in 1447, Eldacar returned with troops from Rhovanion. Castamir's unpopularity resulted in many of the people living in Calenhardhon,Anorien, and Ithilien to flock to Eldacar's banner. Eldacar managed to kill Castamir at the Battle of the Crossings of Erui, but Castamir's sons and many of their supporters retreated to Pelargir. Eldacar besieged them by land until the next year they were driven out, making their way to the Haven of Umbar. Eldacar could not follow them, as the fleet was under Castamir's control.[1][2]

[edit] Aftermath

Not only did Gondor lose the city of Umbar for four centuries and gained a new enemy in the Corsairs of Umbar, descendants of Castamir's sons, but also many of the Númenóreans of purest blood were killed during the civil war, leaving Gondor weakened.

The Kin-strife was, along with the Great Plague, one of the chief reasons for the abandonment of the fortresses in and surrounding Mordor.

After the Kin-strife, the Kings of Gondor were generally cautious and watchful of those of near kin; the suspects often joined the rebels at Umbar, or renounced their heritage and took wives of non-Númenórean blood, further weakening the Númenórean strain of the House of Anárion. The repercussions were still felt centuries later, in the time of the last king Eärnur, when very few descendants of the Kings were alive; when he was lost in Minas Morgul, no suitable heir could be found to succeed him.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
Preceded by:
War of the Last Alliance
Major events of Middle-earth
T.A. 1432 - T.A. 1447
Followed by:
Great Plague