26 Apr 05 8:08 PM
Reply To: 40753
I've often thought about the fourth age issues of it all, myself. It boils down to the fact that Tolkien never thought it important enough an issue to say what would have happened. After the War of the Ring, it was enough for Tolkien to say that Eldarion was born eventually, thus continuing Aragorn's line, and that was that. So, unless there's an obscure letter of Tolkien's floating around out there that I don't know about (anyone?), I don't think there's really any research to be done on it. We can only make our own theories about it.
As for me, I don't believe everyone in Gondor would have accepted a Steward becoming King. Heck, I don't think that
Steward would have accepted becoming King, himself
. There's just too much tradition against it in Gondor and I think many peoples' eyebrows would go up if it happened. I figure lots of nobles who claimed lineage from Eärnil or any of the kings from that era would probably pop out of the woodwork. Basically, it would all hearken back to the time just after the loss of King Eärnur when they couldn't decide who should be king (necessitating the first Ruling Steward, Mardil). Except that without the threat of Mordor, all these factions would be more free to wage war on one another for the throne. So, my prediction is civil war.
There's the added twist of Arnor in there, as well. Aragorn's closest blood kin are in the north and presumably some of them would make a claim, as well. So, not only civil war, but a war Middle-earth-wide.
Of course, all this is negated if Aragorn names some sort of interim successor until he has a kid. A logical choice would be Faramir, in that case, but I'm still not sure that would fly in Arnor.
As for none of the chieftains making claims to the throne of Gondor between the time of Arvedui and Aragorn, I surmise they were more or less busy just keeping their own people from getting picked off in the woods one by one. Don't forget, there's a remnant of the Witch-king's forces up in the area of Fornost (not the Witch-king himself at that point; he was defeated by Eärnur, then a prince in the same campaign in which Arvedui was killed). And with no clear capitol or seat of power, the northern Dúnedain would have had something of a time of it. Essentially, the chieftains held their people together with two hands for 1000 years. I doubt they were thinking much about Gondor at that time.
Just a lot of supposition on my part, so don't take it as the gospel truth. But, I hope it helps somehow.
Bado na sídh