3. Heir Presumptive
AU scenario: what if Eärnur had left an heir, after all, and there were no reigning Stewards in Gondor?
Council of Gondor, 15th March 3019 (King Minardil III has fallen at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, earlier in the day):
Halbarad, emissary of the Dunedain, said: "In this hour of peril, I urge the council to recognise the claim of Aragorn, son of Arathorn, Isildur's Heir, and heir also through Fíriel to the line of Anárion."
Denethor, the Steward, said, "Such claim as he has, we do not recognise. Gondor belongs to the heirs of Meneldil Anárion's son, to whom Isildur gave this realm. In Gondor, the descent of Kings is reckoned through the sons only, and we have not heard that it is otherwise in Arnor."
Faramir, the Steward's son looked troubled, and spoke, "And yet, Lord, Isildur Elendil's son was High King of both realms. He never formally relinquished the rule of Gondor, and Anárion's son Meneldil was his regent, merely. Surely he did not intend the kindred realms to be estranged?"
Denethor frowned at his son. "The wizard's counsel, yet again, but from your tongue, Lord Faramir!" Then he raised his hand to silence Prince Imrahil, who had started to his feet. "Peace! This is no time for such debates. My King, who died heirless, is but a few hours cold in his tomb, and grief has dulled our reason. Lord Halbarad, your company has ridden fast and far, and you are weary. The hour grows late - let us seek our rest while we may, for tomorrow's need will surely be sterner."
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