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Discussing: Stupid question about Denethor

Stupid question about Denethor

I believe that Denethor was the 26th Steward of Gondor, but cannot recall where I saw the information. Can't find it in ROTK, or the online Encyclopedia of Arda. I need to be sure. Where can I find the info? Forgive me if this information was staring me in the face somewhere in the SIEGE OF GONDOR chapter or some other obvious place. Raksha

 

 

Re: Stupid question about Denethor

He was the 26th Ruling Steward - the information is in the Appendices at the end of ROTK. Check the section on Gondor and the Heirs of Anarion. cheers, Maya

 

 

Re: Stupid question about Denethor

Oh, shoot. I didn't know they distinguished between Ruling and the earlier Stewards in the count. So Faramir was only the 27th Steward until Elessar's coronation, and then he was, um, just 'the Steward'? Thanx for the info, though. Raksha

 

 

Re: Stupid question about Denethor

You might say Faramir was the last Ruling Steward, as well as the first Steward of the renewed line of kings. He was also the first Prince of Ithilien, and from Elessar's time, both titles appear to have been hereditary in Faramir's line. I've been using the "King's Steward" in stories where the distinction needed to be emphasised, but "the Steward" can't possibly raise any eyebrows. cheers, Maya

 

 

Re: Stupid question about Denethor

You might say Faramir was the last Ruling Steward That does technically speaking seem to be the case - since he is described as taking "upon him his authority and the Stewardship" ("The Steward and the King" in Ch5, Book VI, LotR) up his office, but Tolkien also wrote in Appendix A (my emphasis):
After Mardil Voronwë, who was reckoned the first of the line there followed twenty-four Ruling Stewards of Gondor, until the time of Denethor II, the twenty-sixth and last.
both titles appear to have been hereditary in Faramir's line. Aragorn specifically makes the title of Steward hereditary in Faramir's line in "The Steward and the King" in Ch5, Book VI, LotR:
'The last Steward of Gondor begs leave to surrender his office.' And he held out a white rod; but Aragorn took the rod and gave it back, saying: 'That office is not ended, and it shall be thine and thy heirs' as long as my line shall last. Do now thy office!'
As far as I know, the only place that the Princedom of Ithilien is implied to be hereditary (but it is not explicitly stated) is in HoMe 12 (Peoples of Middle Earth) in the family trees, where Elboron is described as second prince, with no further elaboration. Faramir is also described in Appendix A as Lord of Emyn Arnen, which is his hereditary title as a Gondorian Lord. Appendix A:
The House of the Stewards was called the House of Húrin, for they were descendants of the Steward of King Minardil (1621-34), Húrin of Emyn Arnen, a man of high Númenorean race.
Maya is right that there ought to be some way of numbering and distinguishing Stewards of the renewed line of kings, since there were also (non-ruling Stewards before the death of King Eärnil. I really can't think of an appropriate suggestion though -and since the offices of Steward and Prince of Ithilien seem to be inextricably linked, perhaps referring to nth Prince of Ithilien should also imply you are referring to the nth post-restoration Steward and not the mth. Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Stupid question about Denethor

Liz, You've just made me think of something - assuming both the title of Steward and Prince of Ithilien are hereditary, there is no reason that both titles should be united in one person, is there? After all, the Prince of Ithilien would himself have a full time job as one of the most important border lords of Gondor. What if some future Steward has two sons - one becoming Prince and one becoming Steward? (I suppose we ought not to speculate whether primogeniture regardless of sex was the determining factor in inheritance, because that opens up a whole new can of worms. In Numenor, certainly, they allowed first born daughters to inherit the Crown, but nothing is said of other titles in Gondor.) I'm just incorporating this thought into a current story - creating a position in the Council of Gondor - the First Sea Lord (because "Captain of Ships" has all those unhappy connotations of Castamir and the Corsairs of Umbar), who would be one of the sons of Imrahil rather then the Prince of Dol Amroth himself. So- outrageous violation of canon? Or permissible stretch?

 

 

Re: Stupid question about Denethor

Hi Maya great question! I always felt Faramir had rather a lot on his plate with both roles (not to mention somtimes having to spend time arguing opposing positions in each role). Given there is so little Fourth Age canon, I think it's certainly not a violation of canon or even much of a stretch. What I have been trying to do is work out plausible circumstances for making one of Faramir's descendants heir to the Princedom of Ithilien and another Steward - why is the Prince not also Steward and what does he think about that.? I can see a couple of scenarios, which partly depend on your view of gender politics in Gondor and how inheritance of titles works: * the only heir to Ithilien is female - she can become Princess in her own right and pass on the title to her children, but Gondor wants a male steward, so her male cousin or uncle becomes Steward and the two titles then proceed down the different branches. Interesting if the elder branch wants the title of Steward back later.... * the heir to Ithilien is too young to become Steward on inheriting the Ithilien title. While a baby Prince of Ithilien would have a "regent " to manage things, it would be a litlte ridiculous to appoint a child into a position of responsibility ie Steward and then appoint someone else to actually do the job. The title could pass to one an uncle, perhaps, and then maybe revert to the Prince of Ithilien when he was old enough. That's my take, anyway. My "historical beta" who makes sure I get stuff like ths right in my stories may have a different view. Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Stupid question about Denethor

* the only heir to Ithilien is female - she can become Princess in her own right and pass on the title to her children, but Gondor wants a male steward, so her male cousin or uncle becomes Steward and the two titles then proceed down the different branches. Interesting if the elder branch wants the title of Steward back later.... Interesting, but probably only possible if the new Steward's line ended up with only female or no heirs. I assume the king would have enough influence to make a civil war over this impossible. I'd bet the Council meetings would be pretty tense and lots of people would get rich on the bribes, though. * the heir to Ithilien is too young to become Steward on inheriting the Ithilien title. While a baby Prince of Ithilien would have a "regent " to manage things, it would be a litlte ridiculous to appoint a child into a position of responsibility ie Steward and then appoint someone else to actually do the job. The title could pass to one an uncle, perhaps, and then maybe revert to the Prince of Ithilien when he was old enough. Stranger things have happened. Even with an adult Steward running things until the baby prince is of age, I bet there'd be lots of delay in actually giving up the title. Again, I'd expect the king to step in and make the 'right' decision. Historically, regents almost never voluntarily give up their power. They usually have to be ousted in a coup of some sort as the real heir comes of age and wants to assume control. I would think it would also matter how much the king liked the claimants. He would probably favor whoever he thought would do the better job. One of the problems with personal rule, is that it is is personal and liking may trump who ever has the right at any given time. The wild card in all the Steward speculation is, of course, the presence of the king. It depends on how far into the Fourth Age we're going with this specualtion. I would think that Aragorn and Eldarion would be 'good' kings and probably the line would be 'good' for at least another generation or two. After that, who knows? Men don't have a really good track record when it comes to consistency of rule. That's my take, anyway. My "historical beta" who makes sure I get stuff like ths right in my stories may have a different view. I just love it when I get to pontificate as an expert... Gwynnyd

 

 

Re: Stupid question about Denethor

I just love it when I get to pontificate as an expert... You know, I think it says somewhere in the "Welcome to HASA" e-mail that "expert" is a relative term here But you are an expert. Glad to see I wasn't totally on the wrong track. (I agree that the attitude of the king would be key to resolving any "crises" either of these scenarios might cause..) Cheers, Liz

 

 

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