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On the Gondorian Kin-Strife in the 3rd Age

Tar-Elendil13

Crazy Dunedain Wanderer
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Romendacil II, A king of Gondor, wished to strengthen ties between the Northmen and Gondor, so he took many into his service in high-ranking positions. Yet he showed especial favor to Vidugavia, because Vidugavia had aided him in the wars against the Easterlings. Vidugavia called himself King of Rhovanion, and he was one of the most powerful princes of the Northmen, even though his realm lay between the Greenwood and the River Celduin. In 1250 of the Third Age Romendacil II sent his son, Valacar, to the Northmen as an ambassador. Yet Valacar actually fell in love with a woman of the North, Vidumavi daughter of Vidugavia, and they were married. The Dunedan, however, looked askance at this marriage, and thought it might accelerate the dwindling of the Dunedan. Therefore, they refused to accept Valacar’s son, Eldacar, as King of Gondor, even though he showed no sign of ageing more quickly than his father. This caused the war of the Kin-Strife in Gondor. Eldacar at last was besieged in Osgiliath and lost the battle, causing him to go into exile. Castamir usurped the throne. However, Castamir was proved to be hateful and wicked, so that many of the Dunedan eventually turned their support to Eldacar. With the Northmen and many of the Dunedan, Eldacar retook the throne. So Eldacar was king for 58 years, though ten were spent while he was in exile. Yet even though Castamir was slain by Eldacar in battle, Castamir’s sons escaped and took over Umbar, and it was never reconquered by Gondor until the days of Elessar.

Lecture by Tar-Elendil13

Sources: Annals of the Kings and Rulers, by J.R.R. Tolkien
 

Sangahyando

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My great-grandpa died trying to take the throne back into the hands of those of full Numenorean blood. Although, I am a supporter of Castamir and his great-grandsons. Still, you have produced a very good summary to what happened.

Sangahyando, great-grandson of Castamir the Usurper
 

Turgon

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I think it was a little more sinister than that. Castamir's favouring of the coastal regions of Gondor, although seemingly an attempted return to the glory days of Gondor under the Sea King's, harks back even further. To the days when the Numenorean's lorded over the coastal regions of Middle-earth like little Valar. Given what else we know about Castamir: His cruelties, the execution of Ornendil, Eldacar's son and the sacking of Osgiliath, and his apparent racism. He possibly ranks as the worse king Gondor ever had. These are just my own thoughts, of course, but I think Castamir was more interested in bringing back the days of Ar-Pharazon rather that those of Hyarmendacil. Little wonder then that the descendants of his followers, the Corsairs of Umbar, fell so readily into evil.
 

Turgon

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Less sinister how?

Everything I said in my post is from my own daliance with Kin-strife research and well... fictional fact.

Whether or not the Kinstrife is fertile grounds for fan-fic is a different matter - it was a very interesting time in Gondor's history and Castamir was is a fascinating figure for sure. But make no mistake - he was a racist, a usurper, and a tyrant.
 

Halasían

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"Castamir usurped the throne. However, Castamir was proved to be hateful and wicked, so that many of the Dunedan eventually turned their support to Eldacar."
The way I read it, Castamir was more favoring to the Sea, so the coastal provinces benefited more from his rule than Ithilien and Anórien. This and the fact he was a lousy ruler led to the popular support of Eldacar when he returned with the Northman army.

"I think it was a little more sinister than that. Castamir's favouring of the coastal regions of Gondor, although seemingly an attempted return to the glory days of Gondor under the Sea King's, harks back even further. To the days when the Numenorean's lorded over the coastal regions of Middle-earth like little Valar. Given what else we know about Castamir: His cruelties, the execution of Ornendil, Eldacar's son and the sacking of Osgiliath, and his apparent racism. He possibly ranks as the worse king Gondor ever had. These are just my own thoughts, of course, but I think Castamir was more interested in bringing back the days of Ar-Pharazon rather that those of Hyarmendacil. Little wonder then that the descendants of his followers, the Corsairs of Umbar, fell so readily into evil."
... and good research and dilliance into the knowledge given us by J.R. Tolkien on the Kin-Strife! My opinion is basically Castamir was a bad seed in the line, taking what was not rightly his and doing evil with it. That he may have seen himself as Ar Pharazon resurrected was, in my opinion, a distortion in his own twisted mind. :)

Five Years on since my last post, and I have analyzed the time period of Rómendacil and Valacar as I wrote a period story. The wisdom of pursuing the friendship with the Northmen made good sense for both Gondor and the Rhovanions alike. Valacar may have gone a bit far by marrying Vidumavi. He went all-in while learning the language and culture of the Northmen, and was most likely smitten by the northern beauty. Sadly the lifespan of the Northmen was not that of Numenorean descendents, and her death really held this to light.

So Castamir was, for all intents and purposes, a downright A hole of a person, and the whole Numenorean practice of only marrying their own (held true in Arnor) was in a sense racist, but he had a point that Eldacar, being mixed blood, would likely not have the lifespan of his ancestors of Gondor. Yet by bringing in the Northmen blood, it may have spared Gondor a similar future fate that came to Arnor, whose numbers dwindled and they became sparse. But the whole civil war had in itself taken their toll.

Anyway... just rambling on a part fo J.R.R. Tolkien's beautifully created world.
 
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