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Realms in Exile

" Et Earello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta."
Elendil's Oath

Realms in Exile also known as the Kingdoms of the Dúnedain was the collective name for Arnor and Gondor, the North-Kingdom and South-kingdom of the Dúnedain in the Westlands of Middle-earth. Both Kingdoms were founded in S.A. 3320[1] by High King Elendil, and his sons Isildur and Anárion who ruled Ithilien and Anórien.

The two Realms formed the Last Alliance with the Elves against Sauron. During that War, Anarion and Elendil were killed. Isildur, who was the heir of High Kingship, didn't relinquish his royalty in Gondor nor intend to keep the realm of Elendil divided; but he too was lost, and in practice the realms became two separate kingdoms ruled by their descendants. Arnor however had nominal High Kingship, as its ruler was the Heir of Isildur.[2][3]

At the first years of their existence the rulers and officials of the two realms used the Palantíri largely for mental communication, but also to see what was occurring throughout the respective realms.[2][4] But in the later years the Palantíri were forgotten or lost[5] and the realms were occupied with wars and other disasters, they became estranged and stopped communication.

That was until the time of Kings Araphant of Arnor and Ondoher of Gondor when they took counsel together. Then it was determined that one single power and will was directing attacks against the Dúnedain. In T.A. 1940 their heirs Arvedui of Arnor wed Fíriel of Gondor, thus reuniting the House of Isildur and the House of Anárion.[3]

However they could not profit from the new-formed alliance as Angmar and the Wainriders reappeared simultaneously. Ondoher would prove to be last in a direct line of kings when he was slain in battle with the Wainriders. Hoping to save Arnor from Angmar, Arvedui staked his claim to Gondor, by right of his descent from Isildur and by that of his wife, mentioning also the ancient Law of Succession in Númenor. The Council of Gondor refused (to the Gondorians the remnant of Arnor seemed an insignificant, despite its heritage) and gave the crown to Eärnil instead, the commander who had defeated the Wainriders; he maintained good relations with Arnor, promising them aid. Arvedui did not press his claim but Arnor's strength was fast dwindling when in T.A. 1973 now-King Arvedui sent a message to Eärnil that they were in great straits, and that Angmar was preparing it final assault. Eärnil accordingly mustered a great army under the command of his son Prince Eärnur. The Gondorian force put to sea, but would not arrive before Angmar destroyed the North-kingdom.[6][7] Even so, the descendants of Arvedui never forgot his claim[3] and when the line of Kings failed in Gondor, it was rumored that the northern line still wandered.[8]

At the end of that Age, the expanse of both kingdoms formed the Reunited Kingdom under Aragorn Elessar.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", 3320
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Palantíri"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, passim
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", "The Stewards"