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Burials

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Silverbeard

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I was wondering, why the burial customs of Arnor and Gondor differed? Arnorian lords were buried in barrows in the Barrowdowns, with heaps of treasure, while Gondorian lords like the Stewards were buried in crypts, with no treasure.
 

aragil

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I don't think that the Arnorians were buried with the treasure. I think I recall that it was the wights themselves that brought the treasure into the downs, but I can't remember for sure. In any case, the Arnorians did not start the customs of burial in the downs. When the faithful came back after the fall of Numenor, the downs were already there. They were made by the fathers of the Edain on their westward journey during the First Age. When the Arnorians found them, they revered them. Incidentally, I'm not aware of any Arnorian lords being buried there. The last Prince of Cardolan was supposed to be buried in the barrow that the Ringbearer was later trapped in, but he was not a lord of Arnor, if you know what I mean (also he died in the downs, and might only have been buried there out of convenience).
 
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Silverbeard

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Hmmm? I recall reading that the Barrows pre-date Arnor. But wights bringing and heaping treasure? :rolleyes: Where is this mentioned? I can't imagine a Wight handling the magic barrow-blade that hurt the Witch-King.


Incidentally, I'm not aware of any Arnorian lords being buried there. The last Prince of Cardolan was supposed to be buried in the barrow that the Ringbearer was later trapped in, but he was not a lord of Arnor, if you know what I mean (also he died in the downs, and might only have been buried there out of convenience).
When I wrote "Arnorian Lords" I meant anyone in Arnor (or "the parts of Eriador populated by Dunedain", if we want to be more inclusive :)) who was of noble (though not necessarily Royal) blood and was a leader. The last Prince of Cardolan would be included.

I imagined that Arnorian Kings were buried there as well, before the Realm split up.

By the way, where was Elendil buried?
 

aragil

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Don't recall exactly where I heard about Wights being treasure horders. Tom Bombadil leaves the treasure 'free to all finders, bird beasts, Elves or Men, and all kindly creatures; for so the spell of the mound should be broken and scattered and no Wight ever come back to it.' Perhaps I interpreted this to mean that the Wight had brought the treasure and since the treasure was scattered the Wight was banished. Who knows.

As for the origins of the Barrow Downs, this is from Appendix A of LotR:

In the days of Argeleb II the plague came into Eriador from the Southeast, and most of the people of Cardolan perished, especially in Minhiriath. The Hobbits and all other peoples suffered greatly, but the plague lessened as it passed northwards, and the northeren parts of Arhedain were little affected. It was at this time that an end came of the Dunedain of Cardolan, and evil spirits out of Angmar and Rhudaur entered into the deserted mounds and dwelt there.
It is said that the mounds of Tyrn Gorthad, as the Barrow-downs were called of old, are very ancient, and that many were built in the days of the old world of the First Age by the forefathers of the Edain, before they crossed the Blue Mountains into Beleriand, of which Lindon is all that now remains. Those hills were therefore revered by the Dunedain after their return; and there many of their lords and kings were bureid. [Some say that the mound in which the Ringbearer was imprisoned had been the grave of the last prince of Cardolan, who fell in the war of 1409.]


It appears that lords and Kings of the Dunedain were buried here, and it also appears that the reason they were buried here was because the revered the mounds so. As for Elendil- I couldn't find any mention of him. Certainly his body was not in the group with Isildur that met it's end on the Gladden fields. During the year following the fall of Sauron Isildur instructed his nephew in Gondor while the main force of the northern Dunedain returned to Fornost. Certainly the body could have been brought back north at this time, though also it could have been left in the houses of the dead in Minas Tirith.
 
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Silverbeard

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Certainly the body could have been brought back north at this time, though also it could have been left in the houses of the dead in Minas Tirith.
Now it becomes a *grave* issue :p .... Where was Elendil buried? Does anyone know? Did Tolkien ever write Elendil's funeral?

Not to sound sepulchral, but it is a matter shrouded with mystery. The answers must be buried somewhere, waiting for us to shovel it up. ;)
 

Elfarmari

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I don't have LotR with me right now, but in one of the appendixes it talks about a 'memorial' for Elendil. The hill where Cirion (sp?) and Eorl took their oaths of friendship was consecrated as a 'grave' for Elendil, at the center of the realm of Gondor. I do not believe he was buried there, because after Rohan was given to the Rohirrim it was removed.
 

aragil

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Good call, Elfarmari- except that wasn't in the appendices, it was in UT 'Of Cirion and Eorl'. I can't recall if Elendil's body was moved or not, it seems to me that the site was in Gondorian Anorien, as opposed to Calenardhon (later Rohan).
 

Elfarmari

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I think the memorial was removed because it was no longer in the center of the realm , even though I do do not think it was actually in Rohan.
 

aragil

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You're ever a wonder, Elfarmari

From UT, Cirion and Eorl:
But when this was done, and Eorl had returned to the North to bring back all his people to their new dwelling, Cirion removed the tomb of Elendil. ...The casket therefore that Isildur had set within the mound Cirion removed to the hallows of Minas Tirith ...
Sheesh, I hope Denethor didn't burn up the casket in his madness!
 
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Silverbeard

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Sheesh, I hope Denethor didn't burn up the casket in his madness!
Seeing as how Faramir (or was it Imrahil) brought out the Winged Crown of Gondor from King Earnil's tomb for Aragorn's coronation, I think the Kings of Gondor had their own separate Royal Crypt. If Elendil was re-entombed in Minas Tirith, it would safe.

The ROTK narrative says that the Crown was brought out in a cask/casket of Lebrethon wood. I'm not sure if "cask" here simply means "chest" or if Faramir had King Earnil's coffin brought out. It was custom in Gondor to receive the Crown from the hands of the preceding King, or to take it from his tomb. The Gondorians do have some macabre customs, IMHO. :eek:
 

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