|High King of the Reunited Kingdom
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Eldarion is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He was the only recorded son of Arwen and Aragorn, born in the Fourth Age. He became the Second High King of the Reunited Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor after his father died.
Reign as King of the Reunited Kingdom
Tolkien wrote that at the time of Eldarion ascending to the throne (Fourth Age 120), he was "full ripe and ready for kingship". It is known that Eldarion was given the tokens of kingship (Andúril, etc.) by his father, who died soon after the crowning of his son.
During Eldarion's reign, Findegil served as the royal scribe (or King's Writer). In the year 172 of the Fourth Age, Findegil completed a copy of the Thain's Book, the most complete copy of the Red Book of Westmarch wherein Bilbo Baggins, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee recorded their adventures. Within the context of Tolkien's work, the Thain's Book was the original source for what we know as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The copy made by Findegil was brought to the Shire and kept by the head of the Took family, the Thain of the Shire, at Great Smials.
For a time, Tolkien considered writing a sequel to The Lord of the Rings, called The New Shadow, which would have taken place in Eldarion's reign, and in which Eldarion deals with his people turning to evil practices; however, Tolkien later dropped the idea. In a 1972 letter concerning this draft, Tolkien mentioned that Eldarion's reign would have lasted for about 100 years after the death of Aragorn.
Family and ancestry
Eldarion was descended from several royal Elven houses, including the Three High Kings of the Elves, and from the Edain. He was a grandson of Elrond and, through his grandmother Celebrían, a great-grandson of Galadriel. He was the great-grandson of Eärendil the Mariner (Eldarion is descended from Eärendil on both sides of his family and in him the two genealogical lines of the Half-elven are reunited), through his Half-elven mother Arwen; he was also the nephew of the Half-elf lords Elladan and Elrohir. He was descended also from the great Kings of Westernesse on his father's side. As well as being the Heir of Isildur and High King, his descent from Elrond through Arwen made Eldarion the lord of the remaining Elf-lands of Middle-earth.
Half-elven family tree
Portrayal in adaptations
In The Return of the King, the final entry in Peter Jackson's film trilogy, Arwen is exhorted by her father to sail into the West, leaving Middle-earth and Aragorn forever. While reluctantly on her way to the Grey Havens, she has a prescient vision of Eldarion as a little boy (although Eldarion's name is only mentioned in the closing credits), which persuades her to stay. This is a departure from the events in the book.
- Tolkien, J. R. R. (1996), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Peoples of Middle-earth, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, "The New Shadow", ISBN 0-395-82760-4
- Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. (1981), The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, #338. "I have written nothing beyond the first few years of the Fourth Age. (Except the beginning of a tale supposed to refer to the end of the reign of Eldarion about 100 years after the death of Aragorn. ...)", ISBN 0-395-31555-7
- Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings: "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen," pp. 343–44
- Encyclopedia of Arda page on Eldarion
- The Argonath article on Eldarion
- Complete Chronology of Arnor and Gondor
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