Ondoher, King of Gondor, slain in the Battle against the Wainriders at the Morannon
Event Type: Genealogical
Age: 3rd Age - The Kings
Date: July 12, 1944
The result of the second battle of the final war in Gondor's Wars with the Wainriders; see that entry for a description of the enemy and an overall timeline of the wars:
... Calimehtar 1936, Ondoher †1944. Ondoher and his two sons were slain in battle. After a year in 1945 the crown was given to the victorious general Eärnil, a descendant of Telumehtar Umbardacil, Eärnil II 2043...
The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: The Realms in Exile
Ondoher, the thirty-first King of Gondor, is slain in a battle with the Wainriders.
Ondoher was aware that his southern enemies were preparing for war, and he had the wisdom to divide his forces into a northern army and a southern. ... The northern army was commanded by King Ondoher himself. This had always been the custom of Gondor, that the King, if he willed, should command his army in a major battle, provided that an heir with undisputed claim to the throne was left behind. Ondoher came of a warlike line, and was loved and esteemed by his army, and he had two sons, both of age to bear arms: Artamir the elder, and Faramir some three years younger.
... King Ondoher had purposed to lead his host north through Ithilien and deploy it on the Dagorlad, a field of ill omen for the enemies of Gondor. (At that time the forts upon the line of the Anduin north of Sarn Gebir that had been built by Narmacil I were still in repair and manned by sufficient soldiers from Calenardhon to prevent any attempt of an enemy to cross the river at the Undeeps.) But the news of the northern assault did not reach Ondoher until the morning of the twelfth day of Cermië, by which time the enemy was already drawing near, whereas the army of Gondor had been moving more slowly than it would if Ondoher had received earlier warning, and its vanguard had not yet reached the Gates of Mordor. The main force was leading with the King and his Guards, followed by the soldiers of the Right Wing and the Left Wing which would take up their places when they passed out of Ithilien and approached the Dagorlad. There they expected the assault to come from the North or North-east, as it had before in the Battle of the Plains and in the victory of Calimehtar on the Dagorlad.
... So it came to pass that the head of the army of Gondor had only drawn level with the Gates of Mordor (the Morannon) when a great dust borne on a wind from the East announced the oncoming of the enemy vanguard. This was composed not only of the war-chariots of the Wainriders but also of a force of cavalry far greater than any that had been expected. Ondoher had only time to turn and face the assault with his right flank close to the Morannon, and to send word to Minohtar, Captain of the Right Wing behind, to cover his left flank as swiftly as he could, when the chariots and horsemen crashed into his disordered line. Of the confusion of the disaster that followed few clear reports were ever brought to Gondor.
Ondoher was utterly unprepared to meet a charge of horse men and chariots in great weight. With his Guard and his banner he had hastily taken up a position on a low knoll, but this was of no avail. The main charge was hurled against his banner, and it was captured, his Guard was almost annihilated, and he himself was slain and his son Artamir at his side. The bodies were never recovered.
Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Northmen and the Wainriders
[Note: the date is based upon the estimated first day of the Battle against the Wainriders at the Morannon.]
quotes added Lyllyn 5.13.04
added date estimate, note, & links: Elena Tiriel 18Jul04
added quote: ET 11Dec04