Pelendur helped Gondor through a constitutional crisis following the premature death of King Ondoher and his heirs in battle in TA 1944. He effectively ruled the kingdom for one year while observing the claims of the two claimants, Prince Arvedui of Arthedain and the general Eärnil who was victorious in battle against the Wainriders (Easterlings).
Pelendur dismissed Arvedui's claim maintaining that the rule of Gondor belonged to the heirs of Anarion, even though Isildur was the High King of both Gondor and Arnor before his death. Arvedui also argued, his wife Fíriel, the daughter of Ondoher should rightfully become Ruling Queen due to the old Númenorean law of accession, which stated the eldest remaining child of the king should inherit the throne. Pelendur rejected Fíriel's claim saying in Númenor, it was peaceful enough to have women as rulers. However, the Realms in Exile were constantly under attack and therefore needed a male ruler to lead the armies.
Based on the afore-mentioned data the Council of Gondor, under the influence of Pelendur, threw out Arvedui's claim and chose Eärnil as King, in TA 1945 defying the Númenórean law of succession, which was said to be inapplicable in a warring state like Gondor. Although Pelendur's choice prevented the heirs of Isildur from reuniting the Realms in Exile, it may have averted another Kin-strife. Eärnil, the victorious general, had become a hero in Gondor and had the support of the populace for his deeds in battle. Installing Arvedui, a foreigner, as king could have stirred up resentment amongst the people of the coastlands and the supporters of Eärnil, who had saved Gondor.
This political precedent (choosing a Man of Gondor rather than an Heir of Isildur with a more direct claim to the throne) is one reasons for Aragorn's caution in assuming the throne of Gondor at the end of the Third Age.
With the accession of King Eärnil in TA 1945, Pelendur handed over rule of Gondor to King Earnil II, and resumed the traditional duties of the office of Steward willingly, unlike his descendant Denethor II several centuries later. Pelendur died in TA 1998 at the age of 119 years old. Pelendur was succeeded by his son Vorondil the Hunter.
Unnamed others back until Húrin of Emyn Arnen
|Steward to the King of Gondor|
TA 1944 - TA 1998
Vorondil the Hunter
|Stewards to the King of Gondor|