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  1. #1

    Understanding the Prophecy of Arvedui

    One thing (of the many) I don’t think I understand fully is the prophecy made concerning Arvedui, the last king of Arthedain, which is also the meaning of his name.
    "Arvedui you shall call him, for he will be the last in Arthedain. Though a choice will come to the Dúnedain, and if they take the one that seems less hopeful, then your son will change his name and become king of a great realm. If not, then much sorrow and many lives of men shall pass, until the Dúnedain arise and are united again." Pronounced by the seer Malbeth and recorded in The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
    What was the choice that came to the Dúnedain? Was it the choice of who would inherit the throne of Gondor after the death of Ondoher, and his male heirs? If that is the case, how was the choice of Eärnil “less hopeful” than if they had chose to accept Arvedui’s claim to the throne? And do you see how this would have changed the fate of Arthedain if Arvedui were King of a (partially) Reunited Kingdom?

    The other suggestion I’ve heard is that the prophecy instead refers to Arvedui’s decision to board the ship sent by Círdan to rescue him from Forochel. I guess I can see how staying the winter in Forochel might be a choice “less hopeful”, but even if Arvedui had done so and survived to meet up with Círdan, Glorfindel, and Eärnur and rout the Witch King of Angmar, I don’t see how there would have been “a great realm” for him to rule over, as the death of Arvedui didn’t change what was left of his kingdom. Arvedui’s son Aranarth was rightful heir to anything that would have been Arvedui’s, but there was nothing left to inherit so Aranarth instead became Chieftain of the Dúnedain.

    Anybody else have thoughts on this? What was the choice that was made that sealed Arvedui’s fate?
    "I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend," Faramir in TTT by JRRT.

  2. #2
    Yes, the prophecy referred to Arvedui's claim to the throne of Gondor.

    You misunderstood the "less hopeful" part. The seemingly less hopeful referred to choosing Arvedui, which would've de jure and de facto reunited both kingdoms. As the king he would've been able to bring both armies to bear on any immediate threat, including Angmar. Also the communication lines between Arnor and Gondor would've been reestablished (Gondor got word of Arnor's plight with a very significant delay as it was) making sure help would come much swifter.

    In addition, with Arvedui becoming the king of Reunited kingdom Arnor would've become at the same time a much tougher target and a much less strategically valuable one, which could've resulted in Angmar postponing or cancelling the last strikes completely. As it was the main reasoning for the destruction of Arthedain was prevention of joining its strength to Gondor as well as reuniting the branches of the dunedain and Elendil's descandants especially. Remember that Gondor was being assailed at the same time. Thus the main objective for the Witch-king was to isolate the North and destroy it while it was weak. Reuniting North and South would hamper those plans.

    Thus with the seemingly less hopeful choice of Arvedui the Reunited kingdom would've presented a much larger thorn in Sauron's side.
    Unfortunately Gondor chose differently.

    Hence Arvedui would be the "last one in Arthedain" in any case since Arthedain would either be absorbed into the larger kingdom or destroyed as it came to be.
    Last edited by Egorvlad; May 22 2013 at 06:47 PM.

  3. #3
    Great answer Egorvlad, thanks for clearing this up for me!
    "I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend," Faramir in TTT by JRRT.

  4. #4
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    Cheers, nice post
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  5. #5
    Egorvlad's analysis is excellent imo. I just replied because this has been the point of one of my interesting (perhaps only to me) what-if's that exists in Arda - what if Arvedui doesn't board the ship and returns out of the north? And what if he survives to old age, over 200 as the heirs of Elendil were wont to do if they did not die of illness or in battle? Being born in 1864 or the Third Age, he would have been 186 at the death of Earnur the Second. Would he then have re-asserted his claim and possibly become king?

    I don't know how much or even if that would have been helpful at all after the utter destruction of Arnor, but it's an interesting thought nonetheless.

 

 

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