Other Names: The Usurper
Location(s): Osgiliath, Pelargir, Crossings of Erui
Type/Kind: Dunadan of Gondor
Title(s): King of Gondor, Captain of Ships
Dates: b. 1259—d. 1447
Castamir was the great-grandson of King Calmacil, the grandson Romendacil II's younger brother.
He was the Captain of Ships, based in Pelargir, and when King Valacar died, he made his own armed bid for the throne against the legitimate (but half-Northman) heir, Eldacar. His support was mainly in Pelargir and Umbar and coastal areas, which was enough to give him dominance over other would-be rivals among the rebels (Appendix A, 406).
Castamir did not prove to be a popular ruler, and is said to have been cruel and narrow-minded in his interests, which were mainly for the navy. During the civil war, which lasted five years, he had had Osgiliath burned in the final stages of the siege, and also had executed the captive heir of Eldacar, Ornendil. He seems to have cared little for history, and had planned to move the throne to Pelargir to be closer to the fleets there.
After ten years, Eldacar returned to challenge him, and eventually killed him during the battle of the Crossings of Erui.
Castamir was survived by his sons, who retreated to Pelargir and held out there for long. Eventually, they withdrew with their followers to Umbar where they built a haven for those who opposed the kings of Gondor.
Castamir's legacy proved to be unfortunately profound: his grandsons, Angamaitë and Sangahyando, killed King Minardil, and it was not until King Umbardacil's day, almost four hundred years later, that Castamir's descendents were finally destroyed. But the Corsairs lived on to plague Gondor until the end of the Third Age at least.
*Castamir's name: The last part, '-mir', is clearly 'jewel'. However, according to the Quenya-English wordlist provided by H.K. Fauskanger, the first element remains unknown.
--Dwimordene, May 1, 2005