Artamir

   Elder son of Ondoher King of Gondor; slain in the battle with the Wainriders.
   -----
   The lost heir of Ondoher.
   The elder son and heir of King Ondoher of Gondor, who marched with his father to war with the Wainriders. Ondoher's force met with a surprise assault beneath the Black Gate of the Morannon, where the King and his son Artamir were slain. It was later discovered that Artamir's younger brother Faramir had also ridden to war, against the laws and customs of Gondor, and had himself been lost in the battle, leaving Gondor without a King.
   A political crisis ensued, in which Arvedui the northern King of Arthedain pressed a strong claim to the Crown of Gondor. Arvedui's claim was rejected by Steward Pelendur and the Council of Gondor, who instead gave the Kingship to Eärnil, the victorious Captain who also belonged to the Royal House. Eärnil's line was short-lived, however, and ended with the presumed loss of his son Eärnur in Minas Morgul.
   The loss of Artamir was a turning point in the history of Middle-earth.
   Had he not perished, the line of Kings would almost certainly have survived the coming crisis and lasted into the third millennium of the Third Age. A thousand years later, Aragorn would have found Minas Tirith ruled not by a Steward but by a legitimate King, so preventing him from claiming the Crown himself. The unknown Wainrider who cut down Artamir, then, unknowingly paved the way for the reunification of Arnor and Gondor more than a thousand years later.

J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary. . 2003.

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