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Ruling Queens of Númenor

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The Ruling Queens of Númenor were Dúnedain women who ruled the kingdom of Númenor. Out of Númenor's twenty-five rulers, only three were female, but the existence of Ruling Queens under Númenórean law was remarkable in a society and a world dominated by male rulers.

In the early days of Númenor, succession followed the principle of agnatic primogeniture that is, rule passed to the oldest male offspring of the King. A similar principle was used by the High Kings of the Ñoldorin elves, with whom the Edain of Númenor had had extensive dealings.

Silmariën (born SA 5211), the progenitor of the line of the Lords of Andúnië— from which the Kings of Gondor and Arnor later sprung— was the oldest child of King Tar-Elendil. Under the laws at the time, women were not allowed to rule, so she was passed over in favor of her younger brother, Tar-Meneldur. Nevertheless, Silmariën is one of the most significant of Númenor's royal family, as she presumably inherited both the sword Narsil and the Ring of Barahir from Tar-Elendil, her father, as these were handed down to her descendants, the Lords of Andúnië and later the Kings of Gondor and Arnor. Silmariën also probably commissioned the creation of other precious heirlooms to survive into the Fourth Age: the Sceptre of Andúnië, which after the Downfall became the Sceptre of Arnor and the Star of Elendil, which likewise became the token of royalty in Arnor.

Tar-Aldarion, the sixth ruler of Númenor, had only one child: a daughter, Ancalimë. To prevent the throne from passing to his nephew, Soronto, he changed the law to allow full cognatic primogeniture, under which rule would pass to the oldest child of the ruler, whether male or female. Soronto was Tar-Aldarion's sister's son, which seems to imply that in Númenor before the law change, while the throne could not be inherited by females, it could be inherited through females.

Tar-AncalimëEdit

Tar-Ancalimë (SA 873 - SA 1285, r. SA 1075 - SA 1280) was the seventh ruler and first Ruling Queen of Númenor. Her name means "Most bright".

She married the nobleman Hallacar, son of Hallatan of Hyarastorni. Both Tar-Ancalimë and Hallacar were fifth-generation descendants of King Vardamir Nólimon, and the marriage was more one of politics than of love. The Queen aimed to produce of an heir in order to secure her throne from her first cousin Soronto. Following the birth of their son, Hallacar and Tar-Ancalimë lived apart.

Tar-Ancalimë was raised by her mother Erendis and a childhood companion was Zamîn. Her mother's tragic married life might have influenced Tar-Ancalimë's rejection of her husband. She was succeeded by her son, Tar-Anárion. She died in year 1285, at the age of 412 years.

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Tar-TelperiënEdit

Tar-Telperiën (SA 1320 - SA 1731, r. SA 1556 - SA 1731) was the 10th ruler and second Ruling Queen of Númenor. She succeeded her father, King Tar-Súrion (who was King because his two elder sisters had no interest in ruling). She was named for Telperion, the Silver Tree of Valinor.

Tar-Telperiën ruled for 175 years. During her reign, the Rings of Power were forged, and Sauron conquered Eriador. She did little to react to these events. She refused to marry and bore no children. She was succeeded by Tar-Minastir, the son of her younger brother, Isilmo. She died in SA 1731 at the age of 411 years.

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Tar-VanimeldëEdit

Tar-Vanimeldë (SA 2277 - SA 2637, r. SA 2526 - SA 2637) was the 16th ruler and third ruling Queen of Númenor. She was the daughter and heir of Tar-Telemmaitë. She had little interest in ruling, however, and left the day-to-day chores of monarchy to her husband, the nobleman Herucalmo. Her name means "Beautiful Beloved".

Tar-Vanimeldë ruled for 111 years. When she died in 2637 at the age of 360 years, the Kingship should have gone to her son, Tar-Alcarin, but Herucalmo usurped the throne and ruled for twenty years as King Tar-Anducal. His rule was not considered legitimate, and in the official records Vanimeldë was directly followed by Alcarin.

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Míriel Ar-ZimraphelEdit

Míriel2 was the daughter of King Tar-Palantir, and the rightful heir of Númenor. She should have been Queen, but her throne was usurped by her husband, Ar-Pharazôn, who gave her the name Ar-Zimraphel (as Ruling Queen she would have preferred the Quenya Tar-; she would have been Tar-Míriel). When the Valar sank Númenor, Míriel attempted to ascend Meneltarma, but she drowned before reaching the summit.

Ruling Queens in Gondor and ArnorEdit

After the destruction of Númenor, the surviving Númenóreans (led by descendents of Silmariën) founded the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor in Middle-earth. At that point, cognatic primogeniture seems to have been abandoned; none of the rulers of Kings of Arnor or Kings of Gondor were women, and in the case of Anárion's children the youngest child Meneldil received the throne, as his older siblings were women. Queen Berúthiel of Gondor, although certainly formidable, was a Queen-consort, and therefore did not rule, at least officially.

In TA 1945, Arvedui of Arthedain—who was married to Fíriel, daughter and only surviving child of King Ondoher—invoked the old Númenórean law to claim that he (not his wife) should be granted the throne. Instead, the Steward Pelendur gave the throne to Eärnil II, a prominent general. Ironically, the Kingship did eventually pass to Fíriel's line, in the person of King Aragorn Elessar.


Behind the scenesEdit

It is worth noting that, although the females in Tolkien's writings generally have less authority than the males, the laws of Númenor were ahead of their time in this fictitious universe. The first European nation to adopt equal primogeniture (Sweden) did not do so until 1980.

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