Aldarion and Erendis
Meneldur was the son of Tar-Elendil, the fourth King of Númenor.
- He loved dearly the land of Númenor and all things in it, but he gave no heed to the Sea that lay all about it; for his mind looked further than Middle-earth: he was enamoured of the stars and the heavens. All that he could gather of the lore of the Eldar and Edain concerning Eä and the deeps that lay about the Kingdom of Arda he studied, and his chief delight was in the watching of the stars.
- His wife was a woman of great beauty, named Almarian. She was the daughter of Vëantur, Captain of the King's Ships under Tar-Elendil"
- "The son of Meneldur and Almarian was Anardil, afterwards renowned among the Kings of Númenor as Tar-Aldarion
- ...he (Meneldur) had two sisters, named Silmarien and Isilmë. The elder of these was wedded to Elatan of Andúnië, and their son was Valandil, Lord of Andúnië, from whom came long after the lines of the Kings of Gondor and Arnor in Middle-earth.
- He (Tar-Aldarion) had two sisters, younger than he: Ailinel and Almiel, of whom the elder married Orchaldor, a descendant of the House of Hador, son of Hatholdir, who was close in friendship with Meneldur; and the son of Orchaldor and Ailinel was Soronto, who comes later into the tale.
|Aldarion - the King's heir and ship builder and sea voyager |
Aldarion is 25 years old when he is about to have his first voyage to the Middle-earth with his grandfather Vëantur.
- Aldarion, for so he is called in all tales, grew swiftly to a man of great stature, strong and vigorous in mind and body, golden-haired as his mother, ready to mirth and generous, but prouder than his father and ever more bent on his own will. From the first he loved the Sea, and his mind was turned to the craft of ship-building. He had little liking for the north country, and spent all the time that his father would grant by the shores of the sea, especially near Rómenna, where was the chief haven of Númenor, the greatest shipyards, and the most skilled shipwrights.
- Aldarion was much loved by Vëantur his mother's father, and he dwelt often in Vëantur's house on the southern side of the firth of Rómenna.
- ... there as a child Aldarion learned to row, and later to manage sail. Before he was full grown he could captain a ship of many men, sailing from haven to haven.
Aldarion seeks permission from his father, but Meneldur does not approve his son's leave easily. Yet he finally lets Aldarion sail off with Vëantur.
Aldarion is absent from Númenor for two years. When he returns, his father understands that his son has forever fallen in love with the sea and seafaring.
- Thus it came to pass that on a morning of fair sun and white wind, in the bright spring of the seven hundred and twenty-fifth year of the Second Age, the son of the King's Heir of Númenor sailed from the land; and ere day was over he saw it sink shimmering into the sea, and last of all the peak of the Meneltarma as a dark finger against the sunset.
- Of his first journey little is known, save that he made the friendship of Círdan and Gil-galad, and journeyed far in Lindon and the west of Eriador, and marvelled at all that he saw.
From that day on, Aldarion makes numerous voyages.
- For Aldarion had become enamoured of the Great Sea, and of a ship riding there alone without sight of land, borne by the winds with foam at its throat to coasts and havens unguessed; and that love and desire never left him until his life's end.
Aldarion is 40 years of age when his father, Tar-Meneldur, becomes the King of Numenor.
- ...he was no longer content to sail to Mithlond, but began to explore the coasts southwards, past the mouths of Baranduin and Gwathló and Angren, and he rounded the dark cape of Ras Morthil and beheld the great Bay of Belfalas, and the mountains of the country of Amroth where the Nandor Elves still dwell.
For some time Aldarion does not undertake any new voyage.
- Then Aldarion restrained his desire, and remained at home for a while for the comfort of his father; and in those days he put to use the knowledge he had gained of Círdan concerning the making of ships, devising much anew of his own thought, and he began also to set men to the improvement of the havens and the quays, for he was ever eager to build greater vessels.
- But the sea-longing came upon him anew, and he departed again and yet again from Númenor; and his mind turned now to ventures that might not be compassed with one vessel's company.
Aldarion builds his ship, Eämbar, that serves him as his dwelling-place, but he also sails in it, undertaking a few voyages, mainly around the isle of Numenor, although "for the most part it lay at anchor off Tol Uinen ... a little isle in the bay of Rómenna that was set there by Uinen the Lady of the Seas".
- ...to that brotherhood were joined all the hardiest and most eager mariners, and young men sought admission to it even from the inland regions of Númenor, and Aldarion they called the Great Captain.
As Meneldur does not share his son's passion for the sea, they become estranged, although Aldarion's mother Almarian the Queen supports her son in all that he does.
- Upon Eämbar was the Guildhouse of the Venturers, and there were kept the records of their great voyages.
Over the years the Guild of Venturers grows in number, strength and importance.
As more timber is needed for the ship-building, Aldarion takes decision to sail to Middle-earth and seek there for a haven for the repair of his ships.
- For the Venturers grew in numbers and in the esteem of men, and they called them Uinendili, the lovers of Uinen; and their Captain became the less easy to rebuke or restrain. The ships of the Númenóreans became ever larger and of greater draught in those days, until they could make far voyages, carrying many men and great cargoes
Near the year 800 of the SecondAge Tar-Meneldur "commanded his son to remain now in Númenor and to cease for a time his eastward voyaging; for he desired to proclaim Aldarion the King's Heir, as had been done at that age of the Heir by the Kings before him."
- At the mouth of the river that the Númenóreans called Gwathir, River of Shadow, he established Vinyalondë, the New Haven.
This act reconciles father and son.
At the feast for the occasion, from the west of the isle, comes Beregar - "of the House of Bëor by ancient descent, though not of the royal line of Elros" and with him - his daughter ERENDIS''.
- ...and there was peace between them; and amid joy and feasting Aldarion was proclaimed Heir in the hundredth year of his age, and received from his father the title and power of Lord of the Ships and Havens of Númenor.
Aldarion's mother, impressed by the beauty of Erendis - "dark-haired and of slender grace, with the clear grey eyes of her kin" takes her to the royal court.
That day Erendis falls in love with Aldarion "for his beauty and splendour of bearing she had eyes for little else."
Aldarion is kept busy with the matters of his Guild and six years after he has been proclaimed officially the King's Heir, he sets sail to Middle-earth again. This is not well approved by his father, who wishes Aldarion would spend more time on the isle and would chose a wife.
At the time Aldarion goes to Armenelos to bid farewell to his mother, he sees Erendis and he is impressed by her beauty.
At his return Aldarion has another discussion with his father upon his role as the future King of Numenor and about his future marriage.
- ...and looking on her beauty he divined the strength that lay concealed in her.
- ...There are fairer things in Armenelos than a man could find elsewhere, even in the lands of the Eldar. But mariners are men of two minds, at war with themselves; and the desire of the Sea still holds me.
- Seven years passed before Aldarion came back, bringing with him ore of silver and gold
Aldarion builds "a vessel greater than any made before: that ship he named Palarran, the Far-Wanderer?." and he undertakes a new voyage.
- ''But Meneldur said: "Rather would I have had you beside me, than any news or gifts from the Dark Lands. This is the part of merchants and explorers, not of the King's Heir. What need have we of more silver and gold, unless to use in pride where other things would serve as well? The need of the King's house is for a man who knows and loves this land and people, which he will rule."
"Do I not study men all my days?" said Aldarion. "I can lead and govern them as I will."
"Say rather, some men, of like mind with yourself," answered the King. "There are also women in Númenor, scarce fewer than men; and save your mother, whom indeed you can lead as you will, what do you know of them? Yet one day you must take a wife."
"One day!" said Aldarion. "But not before I must; and later, if any try to thrust me towards marriage. Other things I have to do more urgent to me, for my mind is bent on them. 'Cold is the life of a mariner's wife'; and the mariner who is single of purpose and not tied to the shore goes further, and learns better how to deal with the sea."''
His father becomes wrathful for his son's decision, having had hopes that Aldarion's frequent meetings with Erendis will keep him away from the sea and that he might perhaps marry her.
Then a record is provided about one of the ancient customs of the Numenoreans:
The Queen is forbidden by the King to perform this custom, as Meneldur opposed strongly Aldarion's plans for sailing away for a long time.
- Here must be told of the custom that when a ship departed from Númenor over the Great Sea to Middle-earth a woman, most often of the captain's kin, should set upon the vessel's prow the Green Bough of Return; and that was cut from the tree oiolairë, that signifies "Ever-summer," which the Eldar gave to the Númenóreans, saying that they set it upon their own ships in token of friendship with Ossë and Uinen. The leaves of that tree were evergreen, glossy and fragrant; and it throve upon sea-air.
It is when Erendis decides to do it:
- Then the Queen was grieved; but Erendis said to her: "Tarihya, if you will cut the bough from the Elven-tree, I will bear it to the haven, by your leave; for the King has not forbidden it to me."
At his return, however, Aldarion did nothing to satisfy his parents hopes for marrying Erenndis. He spends more time with the men of his Guild and occupies with the Guild-matters.
- Erendis came there, little though she loved the noise and bustle of the great harbour and the crying of the gulls. Aldarion greeted her with amazement and joy; and she said: "I have brought you the Bough of Return, lord: from the Queen." "From the Queen?" said Aldarion, in a changed manner. "Yes, lord," said she; "but I asked for her leave to do so. Others beside your own kin will rejoice at your return, as soon as may be."
- At that time Aldarion first looked on Erendis with love; and he stood long in the stern looking back as the Palarran passed out to sea.
As his father urges him to marry, Aldarion reacts in a strongly negative way, "for he was ever and in every course the more opposed as those about him urged it."
Such a decision is considered an open rebellion against his father - the King.
- ...and treating Erendis now with greater coolness he deter-mined to leave Númenor and further his designs in Vinyalondë. Life on land was irksome to him, for aboard his ship he was subject to no other will, and the Venturers who accompanied him knew only love and admiration for the Great Captain
- Aldarion, before the winter was fully gone, set sail with a fleet of seven ships and the greater part of the Venturers in defiance of the King.
Five years later Aldarion returns with his fleet, now with two newly built ships at the Vinyalonde.
When he finds out about the King's actions against his Guild, he has a bitter quarrel with his father and takes another decision.
- The King rescinded his authority as Lord of the Ships and Havens of Númenor; and he caused the Guildhouse of the Venturers on Eämbar to be shut, and the shipyards of Rómenna to be closed, and forbade the felling of all trees for shipbuilding.
Ten years has passed and Aldarion has not returned yet. Erendis leaves the Royal Court and goes back to her home.
- If I am to have no welcome in Númenor, and no work for my hands to do, and if my ships may not be repaired in its havens, then I will go again and soon; for the winds have been rough, and I need refitment. Has not a King's son aught to do but study women's faces to find a wife? The work of forestry I took up, and I have been prudent in it; there will be more timber in Númenor ere my day ends than there is under your sceptre.
- And true to his word Aldarion left again in the same year with three ships and the hardiest of the Venturers, going without blessing or bough; for Meneldur set a ban on all the women of his house and of the Venturers, and put a guard about Rómenna.
Four years later, after a heavy and perilous voyage, Aldarion returns to Numenor.
- Greatly was Meneldur comforted at Aldarion's return; but he rebuked him for his rebellion against king and father, thus forsaking the guardianship of the Valar, and risking the wrath of Ossë not only for himself but for men whom he had bound to himself in devotion. Then Aldarion was chastened in mood, and he received the pardon of Meneldur, who restored to in the Lordship of the Ships and Havens, and added thereto the title of Master of the Forests.
|The battle of the hearts |
|The betrothal |
One day Aldarion, being far in the western lands of the isle, meets Erendis again.
- Aldarion was grieved to find Erendis gone from Armenelos, but he was too proud to seek her; and indeed he could not well do so save to ask for her in marriage, and he was still unwilling to be bound.
- He set himself to the repairing of the neglects of his long absence"... "and he journeyed far and wide in Númenor to view the standing woods.
They ride to the house of Erendis and "there Aldarion made plain his desire for betrothal to Erendis".
- Riding one day in the forests of the Westlands he saw a woman, whose dark hair flowed in the wind, and about her was a green cloak clasped at the throat with a bright jewel; and he took her for one of the Eldar, who came at times to those parts of the Island. But she approached, and he knew her for Erendis, and saw that the jewel was the one that he had given her; then suddenly he knew in himself the love that he bore her, and he felt the emptiness of his days.
However, now it is Erendis who is reluctant to their possible marriage, inspite her great love for Aldarion.
Aldarion ensures her of his love and for some time they spend a lot of time together in the land of Erendis, far away from the sea.
- Her love for him was not lessened, nor did she retreat out of guile; but she feared now in her heart that in the war between herself and the Sea for the keeping of Aldarion she would not conquer. Never would Erendis take less, that she might not lose all; and fearing the Sea, and begrudging to all ships the felling of trees which she loved, she determined that she must utterly defeat the Sea and the ships, or else be herself defeated utterly.
But soon Aladrion's love for the sea and seafaring returns.
- ...he neglected the havens and the shipyards and all the concerns of the Guild of Venturers, felling no trees but setting himself to their planting only, and he found more contentment in those days than in any others of his life.
Erendis is unquiet again for she feels she can not share her husband with the Lady Uinen. They discuss the differences in their interests and Erendis defends the land, the woods and the pastures. At that time Aldarion proves to her that he cares about the land of Numenor as much as she does. Still, Erendis feels worried about their relationship and seeks advice from her mother, Núneth.
- Aldarion turned his thoughts again to the works at Rómenna, and busied himself with the building of great sea-walls, and the raising of a tall tower upon Tol Uinen: Calmindon, the Light-tower, was its name.
Erendis' hesitations about marrying Aldarion make him depart back to the shores of the island and for some time they live apart. Aldarion lets Erendis decide whether she wishes to become the Queen of Numenor as his wife or not.
- "All or nothing, Erendis," said Núneth. "So you were as a child. But you love this man, and he is a great man, not to speak of his rank; and you will not cast out your love from your heart so easily, nor without great hurt to yourself. A woman must share her husband's love with his work and the fire of his spirit, or make him a thing not loveable. But I doubt that you will ever understand such counsel."
Fearing that they may delay their marriage again, their mothers succeed in bringing them together and
Their common concern for the future of Numenor finally reconciles them and in the eight hundred and fifty-eighth of the Second Age,
- when the time of the Erukyermë was come, they ascended in the retinue of the King to the summit of the Meneltarma, which was the Hallowed Mountain of the Númenóreans. When all had gone down again Aldarion and Erendis remained be-hind; and they looked out, seeing all the Isle of Westernesse laid green beneath them in the spring, and they saw the glimmer of light in the West where far away was Avallónë and the shadows in the East upon the Great Sea; and the Menel was blue above them.
Aldarion is willing to give to Erendis countless riches but Erendis loves only one jewel.
- They went back then to Armenelos, and Aldarion presented Erendis to Tar-Meneldur as the betrothed of the King's Heir; and the King was rejoiced, and there was merrymaking in the city and in all the Isle.
Aldarion and Erendis live peacefully in Numenor and Aldarion does not sail away on new voyages for years.
- It is the only jewel that I have or would have; and I will set it yet higher." Then he saw that she had caused the white gem to be set as a star in a silver fillet; and at her asking he bound it on her forehead. She wore it so for many years, until sorrow befell; and thus she was known far and wide as Tar-Elestirnë, the Lady of the Star-brow.
His Guild-members, however, demand his attention and concern for the matters of ship-building and Aldarion permits Numenorean timber to be used, which Erendis does not approve.
- But alone among the people the mariners of the Guild of Venturers were not well content...and though there were gallant captains who had been trained by him, without the wealth and authority of the King's son their voyages were fewer and more brief, and went but seldom further than the land of Gil-galad
Now the year came in, in which all looked for the marriage of the King's Heir; for it was not the custom that betrothal should last much longer than three years and everybody is looking forward to the King's Heir's marriage. Aldarion rides from the haven of Andúnië to the house of Erendis to speak to her of their marriage.
But on his way:
Still his love for Erendis makes him continue his journey and he is gladly welcomed at her home and he was glad. Yet Aldarion said nothing touching their wedding, though all had thought that this was a part of his errand to the Westlands.
- As he came to the top of the great bluff that stood out from the land and sheltered the haven from the north, he turned and looked back over the sea. A west wind was blowing, as often at that season, beloved by those who had a mind to sail to Middle-earth, and white-crested waves marched towards the shore. Then suddenly the sea-longing took him as though a great hand had been laid on his throat, and his heart hammered, and his breath was stopped.
Erendis understands that something is bothering Aldarion and often if she looked towards him suddenly she saw his eyes upon her. Then her heart was shaken; for the blue eyes of Aldarion seemed to her now grey and cold, yet she perceived as it were a hunger in his gaze. That look she had seen too often before, and feared what it boded.
But neither Erendis nor Aldarion speaks about this, but it is as Erendis feared: for indeed he was at war within himself, and irresolute."
A whole year they live in Armenelos, but Aldarion speaks neither of the sea nor of wedding; but he is often in Rómenna, and in the company of the Venturers. When the next year comes Aldarion's parents become impatient about his marriage and the King has a conversation about this matter with his son and Aldarion finally confesses:
Tar-Meneldur is worried:
- "It has come upon me again, Atarinya. Eighteen years is a long fast. I can scarce lie still in a bed, or hold myself upon a horse, and the hard ground of stone wounds my feet."
At these words, Aldarion recalls his talks with Erendis and their discussions and he decides that Erendis has consulted his father and has asked for the King's intervention in making his son take the final decision for their marriage. This Aladrion denies fiercely, for '"it was ever his mood, if he thought that others combined to urge him on some path of their choosing, to turn away from it.''
- "Alas! But you are betrothed. And by the laws of Númenor and the right ways of the Eldar and Edain a man shall not have two wives. You cannot wed the Sea, for you are affianced to Erendis."
Aldarion then tells Erendis about his desire to sail again and Erendis is dissatisfied and deeply hurt, for she thinks that Aldarion has come to speak about their marriage.
Erendis does not approve this idea for she hates the sea. Still, she gives Aldarion permission to leave:
- But seeing the grief in her face he was moved, and a thought came to him. "It shall be now," he said. "It shall be before this year is done. And then I will fit out such a ship as the Venturers made never yet, a Queen's house on the water. And you shall sail with me, Erendis, under the grace of the Valar, of Yavanna and of Oromë whom you love; you shall sail to lands where I shall show you such woods as you have never seen, where even now the Eldar sing; or forests wider than Númenor, free and wild since the beginning of days, where still you may hear the great horn of Oromë the Lord.
Yet Aldarion does not sail away that year, but they do not marry either. Aldarion gets even more impatient although he understands how complicated the situation is.
- "The Sea hates me; and now it is revenged that I kept you from it and yet fled from you. Go, my lord! But have pity, and take not so many years as I lost before."
Finally Three ships were manned, and in the month of Víressë they departed. Erendis herself set the green bough of oiolairë on the prow of the Palarran, and hid her tears, until it passed out beyond the great new harbour-walls.]
- "Out of sight of land she will die!" he said. "Soon I shall die, if I see it longer. Then if we are to spend any years together I must go alone, and go soon."
At this voyage to Middle-earth Aldarion finds the haven of Vinyalondë now wholly ruined, and great seas had brought to nothing all his labours to restore it. Men near the coasts were growing afraid of the Númenóreans, or were become openly hostile; and Aldarion heard rumours of some lord in Middle-earth who hated the men of the ships.]
These troubles and his problematic sea-journey back to Numenor keeps him for more than 6 years away from home and Erendis. When Aldarion returns he is coldly welcomed by everyone and he also finds that his Guild has lost the esteem of the Numenoreans.
Aldarion seeks for Erendis and after telling her about his troublesome voyage she forgives him. Aldarion feels deep guilt for having left her for so long:
But Erendis loves him dearly and they reconcile again and this time the decision about their marriage is taken:
- "But dismiss me now, if you will, and I think that men will not blame you. Yet dare I not to hope that your love will prove stronger to endure even than fair oiolairë?"
- "Alas! How can I dismiss you, when I look on you again, returning as fair as the sun after winter!"
"Then let spring and summer now begin!" he said.
"And let not winter return," said Erendis.
- In the eight hundred and seventieth year of the SecondAge Aldarion and Erendis were wedded in Armenelos, and in every house there was music, and in all the streets men and women sang.
|The marriage |
A fiest is prepared at midsummer at Andúnië by Valandil its lord; and all the people of the Westlands were gathered there, for love of Erendis and pride that a Queen of Númenor should come from among them.]
In the morning of the day of the wedding a white elven ship arrives from Avallónë bringing gifts for the occasion:
After the splendid and glorious wedding, Aldarion and Erendis take farewell from the bride's parents and home and go to live at Armenelos where a big and beautiful house has been prepared for them, amidst a garden of trees. There the Elven-tree was planted, and the Elven-birds sang in its boughs.
- Thus the Eldar graced the wedding of Erendis, for love of the people of the Westlands, who were closest in their friendship.
- Many gifts the Eldar brought also. To Aldarion they gave a sapling tree, whose bark was snow-white, and its stem straight, strong and pliant as it were of steel; but it was not yet in leaf.
- To Erendis they gave a pair of birds, grey, with golden beaks and feet. They sang sweetly one to another with many cadences never repeated through a long thrill of song; but if one were separated from the other, at once they flew together, and they would not sing apart.
Two years later Erendis gives birth to a daughter and they call her Ancalimë.
Erendis is content and thinks that while Aldarion waits for a son to be born, to be his future heir, he will stay longer with her on Numenor and will not undertake any voyages abroad.
Yet, Aldarion feels uneasy whenever he visits the harbours and busies himself with seafaring and shipbuilding matters. Aldarion often leaves her alone for days and their relationship turns colder:
Five years pass and Aldarion starts to busy again with his Mastership of Forests, and was often many days away from his house, although there is sufficient timber in Numenor - and that was chiefly owing to his prudence.
- For in secret she still feared the Sea and its power upon his heart; and though she strove to hide it, and would talk with him of his old ventures and of his hopes and designs, she watched jealously if he went to his house-ship or was much with the Venturers.
Soon Aldarion's passion for the sea returns and he starts to busy himself more with shipbuilding than with forestry.
- It was then that he became most widely known as Aldarion, by which name he is remembered among those who held the sceptre in Númenor.
- Not far otherwise was it with the Sea. For as Núneth had said to Erendis long before: "Ships he may love, my daughter, for those are made by men's minds and hands; but I think that it is not the winds or the great waters that so burn his heart, nor yet the sight of strange lands, but some heat in his mind, or some dream that pursues him.
- ...for Aldarion was a man long-sighted, and he looked for-ward to days when the people would need more room and greater wealth; and whether he himself knew this clearly or no, he dreamed of the glory of Númenor and the power of its kings, and he sought for footholds whence they could step to wider dominion....
Erendis is desperate. Aldarion feels bitter about causing grief to his fair wife but they do not discuss the problem openly.
- and a vision came to him of a mighty vessel like a castle with tall masts and great sails like clouds, bearing men and stores enough for a town.... Turuphanto, the Wooden Whale, they called it, but that was not its name. This ship was later called Hirilondë - Haven-finder.
- When Ancalimë was close on four years old Aldarion at last declared openly to Erendis his desire to sail again from Númenor.
On the 4-th birthday of their daughter, Aldarion spends most of the time with his child, whom he loves with all his heart. The next day, however, he departs and only after several days he returns - now, to bid farewell from his wife and family.
Erendis begs him not to leave her, for her life is not that long as his, being a heir from the line of Elros.
- Then against her will tears were in her eyes. They grieved him, and yet irked him, for his mind was resolved, and he hardened his heart. "Come, Erendis!" he said. "Eight years I have stayed. You cannot bind for ever in soft bonds the son of the King, of the blood of Tuor and Eärendil!
Although Erendis is against his departure, she knows she can not hold him back from his decision. She makes him promise that he will be away for only two years and no more, for "a King's son of the blood of Eärendil should also be a man of his word.".
- And mine are briefer than yours. My youth runs away; and where are my children, and where is your heir? Too long and often of late is my bed cold.
- ''"Often of late I have thought that you preferred it so," said Aldarion
"But let us not be wroth, even if we are not of like mind. Look in your mirror, Erendis. You are beautiful, and no shadow of age is there yet. You have time to spare to my deep .need. Two years! Two years is all that I ask!"''
Aldairon leaves his home in haste and sails away without the King's blessing and Erendis does not go to the harbour to set the green Bough of Return.
Aldarion's departure throws Erendis in a complete despair and she starts to experience new feelings.
- "Aldarion's face was dark and troubled as he stood at the prow of Hirilondë,.... but he did not look back until the Meneltarma was far off in the twilight."
She leaves Armenelos and goes to Emerië in the midst of the Isle, where ever, far and near, the bleating of sheep was borne upon the wind, and where there is a house - a gift to Erendis by the King of Numenor. To that place Erendis takes her daughter and they live with a few only servants - all women.
- All that day Erendis sat in her chamber alone, grieving; but deeper in her heart she felt a new pain of cold anger, and her love of Aldarion was wounded to the quick. She hated the Sea; and now even trees, that once she had loved, she desired to look upon no more, for they recalled to her the masts of great ships
Erendis is so bitterly disappointed that she tends to raise her daughter to her own mind, and to feed her upon her own bitterness against men.
One morning, Erendis sends the elven birds away for it is painful for her to see their love and to hear the joy in their song. The birds fly to her parents' home and then away to the West from where they have been once brought by the Elves.
After two years have passed, Erendis prepares their family house in Armenelos for Aldarion's return. But too much pain she has in her soul and that bitterness has turned into pride. So, Erendis decides not to meet Aldarion personally.
Aldarion does not return this year, as he has promised and Erendis "grew hard and silent. She ordered that the house in Armenelos be shut, and she went never more than a few hours' journey from her house in Emerië."
- To the King she sent answer saying: "I will come if you command me, atar aranya. But have a duty now to hasten? Will it not be time enough when his sail is seen in the East?" and to herself she said: "Will the King have me wait upon the quays like a sailor's lass? Would that I were, but I am so no longer. I have played that part to the full."
Erendis feels betrayed and this hurts her pride and her love and trust towards her husband.
Now she turns all the love she had for Aldarion to their daughter and totally occupies herself with the education of Ancalimë.
The atmosphere in the house however, is tense and there was little enough of laughter for Ancalimë in the white house in Emerië. It was hushed and without music, as if one had died there not long since.
Erendis never speaks to Ancalime about her father. Ancalime is nine years old when Aldarion returns. And although Erendis has learned about that, she does not go to meet her husband.
Aldarion has brought important news to the King about the outer lands.
- There were none to greet Aldarion upon the quays. He rode through the rain to Armenelos; and he found his house shut. He was dismayed, but he would ask news of no man; first he would seek the King, for he thought he had much to say to him.
The King, however shows more concern about Aldarion's personal family matters. At this Aldarion cannot conceal the bitterness and the sorrow in his soul:
- "Outside nigh on a thousand years have passed since the Lords of the West sent their power against Angband; and those days are forgotten, or wrapped in dim legend among Men of Middle-earth. They are troubled again, and fear haunts them. I desire greatly to consult with you, to give account of my deeds, and my thought concerning what should be done."
Aldarion feels hurt by his father cold welcome and responding with the same, he leaves the palace. Leaving a letter for his father - the King of Numenor, written and sent by Gil-Galad. Then Aldarion rides with only two companions straight to Emerië:
- "Aldarion stood suddenly still, and his face was stern. "If you know, tell me," he said. "Where is my home?..... Had any word been left for me, whither to go, I would have gone directly from the haven."
The meeting between Erendis and Aldarion is cold and tense with hidden feelings and scarce words. Erendis treats Aldarion with formality and shows not a hint of welcome to her husband.
- Cold and white looked the house on the hill in a last gleam of sunset under cloud. He blew horn-call as soon as he saw it from afar.
The next morning, after having spent a lonely night, Ardarion awakes with anger and hurt pride and he decides to immediately leave for Armenelos and later summon Erendis to bring his daughter to Armenelos, and not have dealings with her upon her own ground.
- She held herself high, but as he drew near he saw that she was pale and her eyes over-bright.
- "You come late, my lord," she said. "I had long ceased to expect you. I fear that there is no such welcome prepared for you as I had made when you were due."
Now he has a conversation with Erendis, but it is more like a duel , filled with bitter sarcasm, pain and hurt pride.
Now, Erendis "would have withheld Ancalimë from meeting him at that time; but she feared to go so far as to lose the King's favour, and the Council had long shown their displeasure at the upbringing of the child in the country", so she lets her daughter meet her father.
- ''"You leave more promptly than you came, my lord," she said..."Indeed, what business brought you hither? May I learn it before you leave?"
"I was told in Armenelos that my wife was here, and had removed my daughter hither," he answered. "As to the wife I am mistaken, it seems, but have I not a daughter?"
"You had one some years ago," she said. "But my daughter has not yet risen."''
It is only when Aldarion departs, that Erendis frees her feelings and she weeps from grief, but still more from anger. She had looked for some penitence, that she might extend after rebuke pardon if prayed for; but he had dealt with her as if she were the offender, and ignored her before her daughter.
- Aldarion looked at her keenly, and though his face was stern he smiled within: for he saw there a child of his own, rather than of Erendis, for all her schooling.
- "You knew me once, Lady Ancalimë," he said, "but no matter. Today I am but a messenger from Armenelos, to remind you that you are the daughter of the King's Heir; and (so far as I can now see) you shall be his Heir in your turn."
But though deeply grieved by Aldarion's attitude, Erendis understands that Aldarion now as something large and not to be tamed, driven by a fierce will, more perilous when chill.]
Yet, she seeks consolation in her pride: "I am steel hard to break. So he would find even were he the King of Númenor."
Aldarion leaves alone to Armenelos, and never again sets foot in Emerië. Meanwhile, in Armenelos, King Meneldur reads the letter that Aldarion has brought to him from Gil-Galad. In that letter the High Elven King speaks of Aldarion's great achievements and aid. But he also brings troublesome news and seeks the king's help:
Tar-Meneldur is deeply worried. And he decides that Aldarion is to be proclaimed the new King of Numenor.
- "A new shadow arises in the East. It is no tyranny of evil Men, as your son believes; but a servant of Morgoth is stir-ring, and evil things wake again. Each year it gains in strength, for most Men are ripe to its purpose. Not far off is the day, I judge, when it will become too great for the Eldar unaided to withstand."''
Aldarion returns to Rómenna and the next day he goes to Armenelos and orders all the trees in the garden of his house to be cut and used for shipbuilding and he left all in desolation, save the white elven tree. It he gives the name of his beloved daughter Ancalime.
On the third day after he has returned to Armenelos, Aldarion meets his father.
The King however seeks reconciliation with Aldarion and he announces to his son his decision to make him the King of Numenor:
- "A King should consider how much a man will endure, though he be a subject, even his son. If you would shackle me to this Island, then you choose your chain ill. I have now neither wife, nor love of this land, left. I will go from this misenchanted isle of daydreams where women in their insolence would have men cringe. I will use my days to some purpose, elsewhere, where I am not scorned, more welcome in honour. Another Heir you may find more fit for a house-servant. Of my inheritance I demand only this: the ship Hirilondë and as many men as it will hold. My daughter I would take also, were she older; but I will commend her to my mother. Unless you dote upon sheep, you will not hinder this, and will not suffer the child to be stunted, reared among mute women in cold insolence and contempt of her kin. She is of the Line of Elros, and no other descendant will you have through your son.' I have done. I will go now about business more profitable."''
- "The past I will keep in my heart; the future is dead. She does not love me, or aught else. She loves herself with Númenor as a setting, and myself as a tame hound, to drowse by the hearth until she has a mind to walk in her own fields. But since hounds now seem too gross, she will have Ancalimë to pipe in a cage. But enough of this."
This decision surprises Aldarion:
- "Therefore: first for the honour of his well-beloved son; and second for the better direction of the realm in courses which his son more clearly understands, the King has resolved: that he will forthwith resign the Sceptre to his son, who shall now become Tar-Aldarion, the King."
Aldarion accepts the Sceptre.
- Aldarion stood still for a moment in amaze. He had braced himself to face the King's anger, which wilfully he had endea-voured to kindle. Now he stood confounded. Then, as one swept from his feet by a sudden wind from a quarter unex-pected, he fell to his knees before his father
Erendis is dismayed by the news about the proclamation of Aldarion as the new King of Numenor. She is even more hurt when she receives a note from Tar-Meneldur, the King, commanding her to come to Armenelos and bring Ancalimë with her. Now she knows that she has lost the favour even of the old king. She decides that behind all this is Aldarion.
Erendis refuses to go to Armenelos. Aldarion is deeply hurt once again by her vain pride. He has still hoped that they could have a future together and forget the past. He loves her still.
- "He is swift to strike," she thought. "So I should have foreseen. He will strip me of all. But myself he shall not command, though it be by the mouth of his father."
- "This was not the way, not even in hate or revenge! She should have demanded that a great house be prepared for her, called for a Queen's escort, and come back to Armenelos with her beauty adorned, royally, with the star on her brow; then well nigh all the Isle of Númenor she might have bewitched to her part, and made me seem madman and churl. The Valar be my witness, I would rather have had it so: rather a beautiful Queen to thwart me and flout me, than freedom to rule while the Lady Elestirnë falls down dim into her own twilight."
|The end of the story |
At this point Tolkien more or less abandoned the story, however a little more can be gathered from Christopher Tolkien's notes:
From the point where Aldarion reads the letter from Erendis, refusing to return to Armenelos, the story can only be traced in glimpses and snatches, from notes and jottings.
It seems that when Aldarion became King of Númenor in the year 883 he determined to revisit Middle-earth at once, and departed for Mithlond either in the same year or the next. It is recorded that on the prow of Hirilondë he set no bough of oiolairë, but the image of an eagle with golden beak and jewelled eyes, which was the gift of Círdan.
There is no mention of any further development of the alliance with Gil-galad, or of the sending of the aid that he requested in his letter to Tar-Meneldur; it is said indeed that
- But all Aldarion's labours were swept away. The works that he began again at Vinyalondë were never completed, and the sea gnawed them. Nevertheless he laid the foundation for the achieve-ment of Tar-Minastir long years after, in the first war with Sauron, and but for his works the fleets of Númenor could not have brought their power in time to the right place - as he foresaw. Already the hostility was growing and dark men out of the mountains were thrusting into Enedwaith. But in Aldarion's day the Númenóreans did not yet desire more room, and his Venturers remained a small people, admired but little emulated.
There was a stir in Númenor when Tar-Aldarion has determined to re-turn to Middle-earth in 883 or 884, for no King has ever before left the Isle, and the Council has no precedent. It seems that Meneldur was offered but refused the regency, and that Hallatan of Hyarastorni be-comes regent, either appointed by the Council or by Tar-Aldarion himself.
- Aldarion was too late, or too early. Too late: for the power that hated Númenor had already waked. Too early: for the time was not yet ripe for Númenor to show its power or to come back into the battle for the world.
In the year 892, when Ancalimë was nineteen years old, she was proclaimed the King's Heir ... and at that time Tar-Aldarion causes the law of succession in Númenor to be changed. It is said specifically that Tar-Aldarion did this for reasons of private concern, rather than policy," and out of "his long resolve to defeat Erendis.
The change of the law is referred to in The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A (I i):
- The sixth King [Tar-Aldarion] left only one child, a daughter. She became the first Queen [i.e. Ruling Queen]; for it was then made a law of the royal house that the eldest child of the King, whether man or woman, should receive the sceptre
Of the later years of Tar-Aldarion nothing can now be said, save that he seems to have continued his voyages to Middle-earth, and more than once left Ancalimë as his regent. His last voyage took place about the end of the first millennium of the Second Age; and in the year 1075 Ancalimë became the first Ruling Queen of Númenor. It is told that after the death of Tar-Aldarion in 1098 Tar-Ancalimë neglected all her father's policies and gave no further aid to Gil-galad in Lindon.
Of Erendis it is said that when old age came upon her, neglected by Ancalimë and in bitter loneliness, she longed once more for Aldarion; and learning that he was gone from Númenor on what proved to be his last voyage but that he was soon expected to return, she left Emerië at last and journeyed unrecognised and unknown to the haven of Rómenna. There, it seems, she met her fate; but only the words Erendis perishes in water in the year 985" remain to suggest how it came to pass.
From: Unfinished Tales
Storyline of Unfinished Tales/Aldarion and Erendis,