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Things of Middle-earth

Star of the Dúnedain

Type: Miscellaneous


A silver brooch worn on the grey cloaks of the Rangers of the North; shaped like the emblem of Arnor, a five-pointed star:
A little apart the Rangers sat, silent, in an ordered company, armed with spear and bow and sword. They were clad in cloaks of dark grey.... [They did not] bear any badge or token, save only that each cloak was pinned upon the left shoulder by a brooch of silver shaped like a rayed star.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 2, The Passing of the Grey Company

Thorongil men called [Aragorn] in Gondor, the Eagle of the Star, for he was swift and keen-eyed, and wore a silver star upon his cloak....

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion: The Stewards

King Elessar rides north, and dwells for a while by Lake Evendim. He comes to the Brandywine Bridge, and there greets his friends. He gives the Star of the Dúnedain1 to Master Samwise....

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years: Later Events Concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring

1Some authors of reference books about Tolkien have confused this mention of the Star of the Dúnedain with the copy of the Elendilmir; according to the following notes from Christopher Tolkien, that is not what his father intended:

In the Tale of Years in Appendix B to The Lord of the Rings the entry for the year 16 of the Fourth Age (given under Shire Reckoning 1436) states that when King Elessar came to the Brandywine Bridge... he gave the Star of the Dúnedain to Master Samwise.... On the basis of this record Mr. Robert Foster says in The Complete Guide to Middle-earth that "the Star [of Elendil] was worn on the brow of the Kings of the North-kingdom until Elessar gave it to Sam Gamgee in Fourth Age 16." The clear implication of the present passage2 is that King Elessar retained indefinitely the Elendilmir that was made for Valandil; and it seems to me in any case out of the question that he would have made a gift of it to the Mayor of the Shire, however greatly he esteemed him. The Elendilmir is called by several names: the Star of Elendil, the Star of the North, the Star of the North-kingdom; and the Star of the Dúnedain (occurring only in this entry in the Tale of Years) is assumed to be yet another both in Robert Foster's Guide and in J. E. A. Tyler's Tolkien Companion. I have found no other reference to it; but it seems to me to be almost certain that it was not, and that Master Samwise received some different (and more suitable) distinction.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 1, The Disaster of the Gladden Fields: Notes, Note 33

In my note 33 [above]... I said that I was unable to say what this was. This is a convenient place to mention that after the publication of Unfinished Tales two correspondents, Major Stephen M. Lott and Mrs. Joy Mercer, independently suggested to me that the Star of the Dunedain was very probably the same as the silver brooch shaped like a rayed star that was worn by the Rangers...; Mrs. Mercer also referred to the star worn by Aragorn when he served in Gondor, as described in Appendix A.... These suggestions are clearly correct.

The War of the Ring, HoME Vol 8, Part 3, Ch 4, Many Roads Lead Eastward (1): Notes, Note 8

2But Elessar did not again imperil [the original Elendilmir], and wore it only on high days in the North Kingdom. Otherwise, when in kingly raiment he bore the Elendilmir [copy] which had descended to him.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 1, The Disaster of the Gladden Fields: The Sources of the Legend of Isildur's Death

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 5Jul06, 25Dec09

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