Elendil

Elendil was the father of Isildur and Anárion, founders of Gondor and Arnor, and the ancestor of Aragorn.

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“The last leaders of the Faithful, Elendil and his sons, escaped from the Downfall with nine ships, bearing a seedling of Nimloth, and the Seven Seeing-stones (gifts of the Eldar to their House);1 and they were borne on the wind of a great storm and cast upon the shores of Middle-earth.” ~The Return of the King, Appendix A

Elendil Looks On Lake Nenuial

Elendil Looks on Lake Nenuial

Elendil was the father of Isildur and Anárion. He survived the Downfall of Númenor and became the founder and first High King of the Realms in Exile.

He earned the moniker “Elendil the Tall” due to his towering stature, being the tallest among the Men who escaped the Downfall. While historical accounts differ on his exact height, it is widely agreed that he stood at least seven feet tall.

History

Elendil, born in Númenor, was the son of Amandil, the last Lord of Andúnië and leader of the Faithful. Named after his ancestor Tar-Elendil, an ancient King of Númenor, his name symbolized his family’s devotion to the Elves as Elf-friends and their reverence for Ilúvatar and the Valar. Elendil opposed the reign of Ar-Pharazôn and Sauron (Pharazôn’s advisor), following his father’s foresight of Númenor’s impending doom.

The Downfall of Númenor in S.A. 3319 forced Elendil, his sons Isildur and Anárion, and their supporters to flee to Middle-earth with its precious artificacts, including the palantiri, the “Seeing Stones”. The ships split, leading to the establishment of two kingdoms: Arnor in the north and Gondor in the south.

Elendil also took with him the Sceptre of Annúminas, the Ring of Barahir, Narsil (which Elendil kept as his sword), and a seedling of Nimloth, the White Tree of Númenor.

Elendil founded Annúminas in Arnor, while his sons established Minas Anor and Minas Ithil. Despite Isildur’s later failure to destroy the One Ring, Elendil played a pivotal role in the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. He fought courageously at the Battle of Dagorlad and faced Sauron alongside Gil-galad, resulting in their victory but also their demise.

In the tragic end of the Siege of Barad-dûr in S.A. 3441, Elendil and Gil-galad perished in battle against Sauron. Elendil’s sword, Narsil, was shattered, and Isildur used its broken shards to cut the One Ring from Sauron’s hand. Despite warnings, Isildur chose not to destroy the Ring at Mount Doom, leading to his death at the hand of orcsin the Disaster of the Gladden Fields, betrayed by the very Ring he had kept.

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After His Death

After Elendil’s death, his son Isildur constructed a hidden tomb atop the beacon hill named Amon Anwar (“hill of awe” in Sindarin). The presence of this tomb was so significant that it sanctified the entire hill, known to the Rohirrim as Halifirien (“holy mountain” in Rohanese).

Following the establishment of Rohan, Steward Cirion relocated Elendil’s remains to the Hallows of Minas Tirith.

Many centuries after Elendil’s passing, Aragorn, the rightful Heir of Isildur, rallied his forces during the War of the Ring, invoking the name of Elendil as a powerful battle cry.

Etymology

Elendil is Quenya for “Lover of the Stars”.

Since the Edain (those who lived in Númenor) tended to confuse the Quenya element EL for both “Elf and “star”, thus the name Elendil was intended to also mean “Elf-Friend”.

Elendil’s name in Adûnaic is Nimruzîr.