The Silmarillion Recap: The Last King of Gondor

Want to catch up on The Silmarillion so far? Check out the Silmarillion Recaps page here.

Last time, the set up for The Lord of the Rings and the Rangers we all know and love all fell together. This week, it’s the end of the glorious Gondor that once existed and the beginning of the familiar one from The Lord of the Rings.

“Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age” part 8

Towards the beginning, Gondor was still an impressive kingdom. The Dúnedain still reigned and Sauron’s forces had been defeated. However, those days soon faded.

Living in Middle-earth means that the Dúnedain inevitably began marrying the Men who lived in the kingdom. Slowly, this took a toll on the Dúnedain, resulting in shorter lives.

However, that is the least of their problems. During one of the later king’s reigns, a plague hits. Many of the people of Gondor are killed, leading to the abandonment of Minas Ithil. While this isn’t a problem in itself, it does allow for evil to creep back into Mordor unnoticed. Among them are the Nazgûl — the Ringwraiths, the nine Men who took Rings from Sauron and were corrupted. They know that Sauron is on his way so they prepare his old stronghold. Along the way, they also capture Minas Ithil, transforming it instead into Minas Morgul, the Tower of Sorcery. During those days, Minas Anor is also renamed to Minas Tirith, the Tower of Guard and the major line of defense against the Nazgûl.

One day, a King of Gondor named Eãrnur has a showdown with a Morgul-lord. It’s supposed to be a one-on-one dual, but Eãrnur is betrayed and a Nazgûl captures him and he’s never seen again. Since this king has no heir, he’s the last King of Gondor. The land would have surely fallen to Sauron’s forces if it wasn’t for the Stewards, Men who already worked with the Kings. However, Gondor will never be the same without the Dúnedain kings.

Next time, a few final words on the Heirs of Isildur.

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