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  1. Dunadore's Avatar
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    #1

    Successful Kings

    Out of all kings/lords in middle earth who would be your favourite? Or most successful in your opinion?

    Mine would have to be Dain Ironfoot, he was always there for major events in third age middle-earth and endured nearly all, He arrived for the battle of azanulbizar and salyed azog, then later on for the battle of the five armies, and my favourite bit of lore of is Gandalfs account of Dain in the war of the ring " And now we hear that Dain has fallen, fighting in Dale again, even while we fought here. I shall call that a heavy loss, If it was not a wonder rather that in his great age he could still weild his axe as mightily as they say he did, standing over the body of King Brand before the gates of Erebor until the darkness fell."

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  2. Lantaelen's Avatar
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    King Eldacar of Gondor would be my favourite.

    He is the first King of Gondor, I think, to be born of half-blood, being half-Numenorean and half-Northmen/Rhovanion. Even before he is crowned, he is faced with prejudice and discrimination against his foreign blood, which sparks a rebellion over racial purity. Barely five years into his reign, he has to deal with a rebellion and civil war within Gondor, apparently the first of its magnitude, called the Kin-Strife. He gets driven out, his eldest son is executed, and has a distant relative usurp his crown. Yet despite all this opposition, he manages to raise an army and return, reclaiming his throne. His rule promoted tolerance and reduced xenophobia (all the racists fled to Umbar I think) in a realm that was suppose to be the pinnacle of human advancement in Middle-Earth, which I think is a great example given all that is going on in our world today.

    The most successful though is another story. Gil-Galad ruled for almost 3400 years, all of the Second Age practically, the longest of any King in the whole of Middle Earth (Aman doesn't count). By default he takes the cake for that one, though he was nearly defeated in his first war against Sauron and killed by the Dark Lord in the second. Peace time ruler? Great. War time ruler? Ehhh the stats are against him there.
    “For if joyful is the fountain that rises in the sun, its springs are in the wells of sorrow unfathomable at the foundations of the Earth.”


  3. fantasywind's Avatar
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    Great examples Lantaelen! Ereinion Gil-Galad was the longest reigning High King of the Noldor in Middle-earth and Eldacar's inner charisma and skill had him survive and finally win against overwhelming odds. When it comes to kings of Gondor though there are many who were successful like Earnil I who conquered Umbar, he build a great navy, repaired ancient haven of Pelargir and laying siege to Umbar took, turning into great stronghold of Gondor (he only died because of circumstances in a great storm off the coast along with manyu ships), or his grandson Ciryaher Hyarmendacil I who re-conquered Umbar after it was retaken by Gondor's enemies (and conquered much of the Harad in overall), during his reign Gondor reached the height of it's power. Kings of Harad acknowledged in that time overlordship of Gondor, their sons lived as hostages at the court of kings of Gondor:

    "For many years Umbar was invested, but could not be taken because of the sea-power of Gondor. Ciryaher son of Ciryandil bided his time, and at last when he had gathered strength he came down from the north by sea and by land, and crossing the River Harnen his armies utterly defeated the Men of the Harad, and their kings were compelled to acknowledge the overlordship of Gondor (1050). Ciryaher then took the name of Hyarmendacil 'South-victor'.

    The might of Hyarmendacil no enemy dared to contest during the remainder of his long reign. He was king for one hundred and thirty-four years, the longest reign but one of all the Line of Anárion. In his day Gondor reached the summit of its power. The realm then extended north to [the Field of1] Celebrant and the southern eaves of Mirkwood; west to the Greyflood; east to the inland Sea of Rhûn; south to the River Harnen, and thence along the coast to the peninsula and haven of Umbar. The Men of the Vales of Anduin acknowledged its authority; and the kings of the Harad did homage to Gondor, and their sons lived as hostages in the court of its King. Mordor was desolate, but was watched over by great fortresses that guarded the passes.

    So ended the line of the Ship-kings."

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

    When it comes to kings of other realms, then king Araphor of Arthedain (North Kingdom of Arnor) who at very young age showed skill and courage and with the help of Elves he managed to drive back the forces of Angmar, his rule was long and peaceful afterwards.

    "Rivendell was besieged. A great host came out of Angmar in 1409, and crossing the river entered Cardolan and surrounded Weathertop. The Dúnedain were defeated and Arveleg was slain. The Tower of Amon Sûl was burned and razed; but the palantír was saved and carried back in retreat to Fornost. Rhudaur was occupied by evil Men subject to Angmar, and the Dúnedain that remained there were slain or fled west. Cardolan was ravaged. Araphor son of Arveleg was not yet full-grown, but he was valiant, and with aid from Círdan he repelled the enemy from Fornost and the North Downs."

    I would also say that king Brand and his son king Bard II were successful, Gloin openly states that Brand is a strong king, we don't know enough about his father Bain to say what his rule was like, though his grandfather is certainly more famous, Bard I Bowman, Dragonslayer :) who rebuild Dale and reordered the region previously devastated by dragon (of course with significant help of Dwarves and I assume Elves as well). Dain is certainly a mighty ruler, wise and reasonable, great warrior and quite diplomatic when necessary (though I guess many more ancient dwarven kings in Moria were more powerful in general).

    As for most successful Rohan king it would probably be Brytta Leofa, he was the most popular of kings beloved by all subjects, wise and helpful. In most successful warrior-king category it would probably be Eorl the Young (though in the end he died in war), followed maybe by king Folcwine who reconquered 'west-march' that was occupied by Dunlendings. Other kings like Vidugavia who was the most powerful of northmen princes and became 'self-styled king of Rhovanion' or Elvenking Thranduil who successfully ruled and maintained his realm through whole Third Age in period of rising darkness and danger were also quite impressive. Of lord of Dale, pre-Smaug, Girion and mysterious king Bladorthin we know too little to say anything :) though I guess Girion would be very rich and powerful in his day (the necklace of Girion of five hundred emeralds is a sign of great wealth, he and his warriors were certainly powerful enough to defeat enemies from the East but they fell before might of the dragon).

    "Not long after most of Durin's Folk abandoned the Grey Mountains. Gror, Dain's son, went away with many followers to the Iron Hills; but Thror, Dain's heir, with Borin his father's brother and the remainder of the people returned to Erebor. To the Great Hall of Thrain, Thror brought back the Arkenstone, and he and his folk prospered and became rich, and they had the friendship of all Men that dwelt near. For they made not only things of wonder and beauty but weapons and armour of great worth; and there was great traffic of ore between them and their kin in the Iron Hills. Thus the Northmen who lived between Celduin (River Running) and Carnen (Redwater) became strong and drove back all enemies from the East; and the Dwarves lived in plenty, and there was feasting and song in the Halls of Erebor."

  4. Hanasian's Avatar
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    #4

    Successful Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Lantaelen View Post
    King Eldacar of Gondor would be my favourite.

    He is the first King of Gondor, I think, to be born of half-blood, being half-Numenorean and half-Northmen/Rhovanion. Even before he is crowned, he is faced with prejudice and discrimination against his foreign blood, which sparks a rebellion over racial purity. Barely five years into his reign, he has to deal with a rebellion and civil war within Gondor, apparently the first of its magnitude, called the Kin-Strife. He gets driven out, his eldest son is executed, and has a distant relative usurp his crown. Yet despite all this opposition, he manages to raise an army and return, reclaiming his throne. His rule promoted tolerance and reduced xenophobia (all the racists fled to Umbar I think) in a realm that was suppose to be the pinnacle of human advancement in Middle-Earth, which I think is a great example given all that is going on in our world today.
    Yes! The apparent racism of Numenoreans and this whole determination to 'keep their bloodlines pure'. I sometimes wonder if that whole philosophy, along with the running fight with Angmar, helped lead to the dwindling of the Arnorian people, whereas in Gondor, the mingling with Northmen kept them from dwindling so much even if it had an effect on their longevity.

    Anyway, back to successful kings.... Eldacar had success in his battle against the Numenorean racist faction of Castamir, but as a king he wasn't really too successful in governing. He likely only got the Gondorian crown back due to Castamir being a very bad ruler. Eldacar's grandfather Rómendacil II was quite successful in battle and diplmacy, for he showed great foresight in firming up the alliance with the Northmen who helped greatly in his victory over the Easterlings. He was looking out for Gondor and it's future with this alliance, but things got out of hand with the Numenorean racist when his son Valacar married the hot blonde (at least in my mind) princess Vidumavi, introducing Northman blood into the royal line with the birth of Vinitharya (Eldacar).

    I'll go on and say that Vidugavia was a very successful king of the Rhovanions, because by forging the initial alliance with Gondor against the Easterlings, he managed to befriend Gondor, have his daughter become a Gondorian princess by marriage, get his blood into the Gondorian royal line, Have his people mingle with the Gondorians, and in many years to come, have this alliance and friendship pay off with a new land when life in and around Mirkwood was becoming untenable. For Gondor's part, they had a strong allied army to protect their northern approach, and later, their western approach when they had dwindled to the point they could not man their western reaches.

    I'll also say that King Elendil was fairly successful to have led the faithful out of a sinking Numenor, and managing a split kingdom with the help of his sons. The Last Alliance war kind of screwed it up at the end.
    Last edited by Hanasian; 04/Feb/2017 at 01:16 AM. Reason: fixing typos.
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  5. fantasywind's Avatar
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    Vidugavia is fascinating character, the self-styled King of Rhovanion, the most powerful of Northmen princes. We don't know much about him or his realm, but he certainly fits the terms, he managed to unite numerous and warlike people under his rule, certainly he was strong enough to hold off Easterlings threat, he was clearly skilled enough to survive in intricate politics of Northmen of that time:

    "Minalcar ... governed Gondor in the name of the kings until he succeeded his father. His chief concern was with the Northmen.

    These had increased greatly in the peace brought by the power of Gondor. The kings showed them favour, since they were the nearest in kin of lesser Men to the Dúnedain (being for the most part descendants of those peoples from whom the Edain of old had come); and they gave them wide lands beyond Anduin south of Greenwood the Great, to be a defence against men of the East.

    In the days of Narmacil I their attacks began again, though at first with little force; but it was learned by the regent that the Northmen did not always remain true to Gondor, and some would join forces with the Easterlings, either out of greed for spoil, or in the furtherance of feuds among their princes."

    Another good example of a very successful king would be elvenking Thingol of Doriath, Lord of Beleriand, at one point he indeed ruled whole Beleriand, he had tremendous political power “all the Elves of Beleriand, from the mariners of Cirdan to the wandering hunters of the Blue Mountains beyond the River Gelion, owned Elwë as their lord.” His people were numerous and prosperous, he remained in friendship with Dwarves for long time before the unfortunate Silmaril incident that ended with his murder by dwarven craftsmen (he certainly was also immensely rich). Not to mention that he had a hot and god-like powerful wife that he loved very much :) :). It's interesting to note that it is said that Melian somehow...enhanced him, her wisdom and power certainly helped much to make him successful, but still he was quite impressive.

    "Great power Melian lent to Thingol, who was himself great among the Eldar; for he alone of all the Sindar had seen with his own eyes the Trees in the day of their flowering, and king though he was of Úmanyar, he was not accounted among the Moriquendi, but with the Elves of the Light, mighty upon Middle-earth."

    The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, IV - Of Thingol and Melian

    "In Beleriand King Thingol upon his throne was as the lords of the Maiar, whose power is at rest, whose joy is as an air they breathe in all their days, whose thought flows in a tide untroubled from the heights to the deeps."

    His rule was of great benefit for his people:

    “...although [the Sindar] were Moriquendi, under the lordship of Thingol and teaching of Melian, they became the fairest and most wise and skilful of all the Elves of Middle-earth.”

    He was also on the contrary to the popular opinion quite wise, kind and merciful ruler, a strong king who was also mighty warrior. It's actually funny that in fandom both Thingol and Thranduil are treated as some sort of bad boys. Both were kind and warm individuals, had great wisdom though were not without flaws, but those weaknesses make them more interesting. Certain political moves of Thingol were probably controversial (like his isolationism during Wars of Beleriand, or banning Quenya, though this was a bit justified) but that does not change that Thingol ruled for 3836 years (counting the years before First Age began), his realm was safe, he treated Turin kindly and was like a father to him, also he listened to his wife's advice and that shows he was able to acknowledge the wisdom of others and heed good advise. His peaceful relations with the Dwarves brought great profit to him, Cirdan's people provided him with pearls, he was certainly charismatic and loved by his people enough to unite them and was able to beat back the invasion of Morgoth's forces winning the First Battle of Beleriand and before that with the help of dwarven weaponry he drove off many dark creatures that were roaming Beleriand. His alliances welcoming the Green Elves of Denethor, or the Dwarves of Blue Mountains and using their help in building Menegroth engaging in commerce and exchange of knowledge with them show that he was quite skilled diplomat.

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