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Thread: Prince Imrahil

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Perhaps I've missed this in the ROTK book, but who exactly was Prince Imrahil and why was he living in Gondor? If Gondor was ruled by the stewards, namely Denethor, why was someone of royal blood living in Gondor? I realize Prince Imrahil was not of the line of Isildur, which was the line of kings for Gondor. But having said that, where does he fit in the overall picture? Wouldn't his presence have given an already paranoid Denethor something else to stew about? Just wondering. I would appreciate any comments that could enlighten me on this subject. Thanks for listening! Teacher Smilie
and after Aragorn became king, Faramir becamePRINCE of Ithilien,so i think its just a title for something similar to a governor(only with his own knights and vassals).
Hi Terrijayne!

Prince Imrahil is a fascinating character, and I believe that you will find the answers to the questions that you’re looking for in the Characters section of the Message Board, click here to see

Happy Elf Smilie
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Perhaps I've missed this in the ROTK book, but who exactly was Prince Imrahil and why was he living in Gondor? If Gondor was ruled by the stewards, namely Denethor, why was someone of royal blood living in Gondor? I realize Prince Imrahil was not of the line of Isildur, which was the line of kings for Gondor. But having said that, where does he fit in the overall picture? Wouldn't his presence have given an already paranoid Denethor something else to stew about?


Prince imrahil was Prince of Dol Amroth. He was not living in Gondor, he was only there to aid Gondor in the war. He is related to Denethor. Denethor's deceased wife was from Dol Amroth, in Imrahil's family. Dol Amroth is very near Gondor I think, I'm check on my map tonight.
Thanks Elfstone for the link to the characters section on Prince Imrahil. I had searched for this topic before I posted the thread, as I didn't want to re-state any question that had been answered. Guess I looked everywhere but the right place! I read the thread on this subject and it answered my questions. Next time I'll try to turn the map right-side up before leaving on my journey (meaning I'll try to look around the website better before posting a question.) Thanks also to Loni and Ar-edain for your responses.! Read Smilie
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Thanks Elfstone for the link to the characters section on Prince Imrahil.


Happy to be of service! Look Around Smilie
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Prince imrahil was Prince of Dol Amroth. He was not living in Gondor, he was only there to aid Gondor in the war. He is related to Denethor. Denethor's deceased wife was from Dol Amroth, in Imrahil's family. Dol Amroth is very near Gondor I think, I'm check on my map tonight.


Just to clarify things a little.

Dol Amroth is the chief city of Belfalas (aka. Dor-en-Ernil, or Land of the Prince). Belfalas itself is actually a principality of Gondor, in which the Prince rules his land as a vassal of the King of Gondor (and in the king's absence, the Steward). Faramir ruling as a prince in Ithilien was a similar situation.

If it seems strange that the Prince is out ranked by the Steward, I think it is down to confusion with terms. In Britain, Princes tend to be the sons of Kings. This is not the case in Middle Earth. Both the Steward and the Prince of Dol Amroth were descendants of Isildur, but as their ancestors were younger sons of the ruling Kings, the throne of Gondor passed them by. When the last king of Gondor went missing without leaving a heir, the line that became the Stewards was the line most senior to the throne. The Line of Princes of Dol Amroth was the second most senior. That is why succession passed to Imrahil during the War of the Ring when the Line of the Stewards appeared to have fallen.

If anyone is confused about place names such as Gondor, Dol Amroth etc.....

Gondor is composed of several states, feifs, principalities etc. The chief among these is Anorien (chief city Minas Tirith), but also includes Anfalas, Tharagrond, Belfalas, Ithilien (chief city Minas Ithil - Minas Morgal), Lamedon, Lebennin (chief city Pelargir), the island of Tolfalas and Harondor. At one time Gondor also included Calenardhon, which was given to the Rohirrim and became Rohan. Dor Rhunen was at one time an occupied territory of Gondor, but control of this region slipped after the Great Plague.
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Dor Rhunen was at one time an occupied territory of Gondor, but control of this region slipped after the Great Plague.
To add a little perspective to the above, the Great Plague ocurred approximately 1600 years after Isildur's death and 1400 years before the reign of King Elessar and Queen Arwen. Happy Elf Smilie
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Both the Steward and the Prince of Dol Amroth were descendants of Isildur, but as their ancestors were younger sons of the ruling Kings, the throne of Gondor passed them by. When the last king of Gondor went missing without leaving a heir, the line that became the Stewards was the line most senior to the throne. The Line of Princes of Dol Amroth was the second most senior.


So this means the Stewards and The line of Princes were related albeit distantly to the line of Kings? Could the Prince of Dol Amroth have made a claim to the Kingship?
Good point, Vee. I was wondering a similar thing. If Faramir had not survived the War, then Denethor's line would have ended. Who then would have ruled Gondor if Aragorn had not decided to claim his kingship? I guess that is why I wondered why a steward was ruling a city when there were princes available for the job. But Val is right, I'm probably looking at the structure of royalty from a modern perspective which doesn't seem to apply to this story.

Thanks Val for the primer on places and locations. Someday I'll get a map of ME as there must some out there that shows all these different places. It would help to visualize things better. One question though, I think you said Minis Morgal was part of Ithilien, but isn't Minis Morgal part of the dark lands (Mordor)? Just trying to get things straight in my mind.

Thanks again everyone for your help on this question.
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So this means the Stewards and The line of Princes were related albeit distantly to the line of Kings? Could the Prince of Dol Amroth have made a claim to the Kingship?


When Denethor died and Faramir was incapacitated, Imrahil was not put in charge merely because he was the most senior ranking person on the field. He was next in line to the throne. Had Aragorn (obviously a direct descendant of Isildur) not turned up he would have been the next Steward if Faramir had died. I don't think Imrahil would ever have pressed his claim to be King, however. Although everyone believed the direct Line of Kings had been broken, Gondor appeared reluctant to name anyone but a direct descendant of Isildur to be King.



When you compare this to say the British Monarchy, you can see in reality how over the last 1000 years the Line of British Kings has been broken several times. Even good old Henry VIII was a younger son, not destined to take the throne until his elder brother Arthur died. Gondor did really well to manage to pass the throne down father to son as long as it actually did. I'm sure I've read somewhere at which points the Line of Princes and the House of Stewards diverged from the Line of Kings, but I cannot find the reference at present.

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One question though, I think you said Minis Morgal was part of Ithilien, but isn't Minis Morgal part of the dark lands (Mordor)? Just trying to get things straight in my mind.


Minas Ithil was Isildur's fortress city, built on the eastern edge of Ithilien on a high western spur of the Ephel Duath. It was built in SA 3320 to guard the pass through these mountains and to keep a watch on Mordor, but was taken by Sauron in SA 3429 prior to his fall at the end of the Second Age. It was settled again after the fall of Sauron, but with Isildur gone it lost influence to Minas Anor (Minas Tirith). In TA 2000 it again fell to Mordor, after which it became Minas Morgal. With the fall of this city Ithilien became a dangerous place, and by the time of the War of the Ring, most of the lands east of the River Anduin had been evacuated.
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I'm sure I've read somewhere at which points the Line of Princes and the House of Stewards diverged from the Line of Kings, but I cannot find the reference at present.


I still cannot find the family tree I thought I had seen once (maybe something I only imagined). I did manage to find the following in UT, however.

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The Lord of Dol Amroth had this title. It was given to his ancestors by Elendil, with whom they had kinship. They were a family of the Faithful who sailed from Numenor before the Downfall and had settled in Belfalas, between the mouths of the Ringlo and Gilrain, with a stronghold upon the high promontory of Dol Amroth.


The note goes on to add that if this is so, the family must have ruled there 2000 years before Galador ( the son of Imrazor and Mithrellas the elf-maiden) who was the first Lord of Dol Amroth. It suggests that although the family ruled there for all this time, Galador was known as the First Lord of Dol Amroth because prior to this time Dol Amroth was not known by this name (only becoming so after the Amroth, King of Lorien drowned there in TA 1981).

It would seem from this then, that if Imrahil's ancestors were kinsmen of Elendil, the two families diverged earlier than I had first thought (back in Numenor in the Second Age, rather than sometime in the Third Age). As such the Line of Princes should be seen as a second ancient noble line (again running unbroken for thousands of years) rather than an offshoot of the Line of Kings.

Scouting further into the Line of Stewards, I have found I was a little mistaken there too. The House of Stewards were from the House of Hurin ( the Steward of King Minardil (1621-34). Hurin of Emyn Arnen was a man of high Numenorian descent. After his day the kings had always chosen their Stewards from his descendants, the Stewardship becoming hereditary from father to son just as was the kingship. When King Earnur went missing, there were potentially many claimants to the throne, but the line was confused (similar to British monarchy), and no one of pure blood was available. As no one person had a strong claim, and fearing another kin-strife, Gondor put the crown in the guardianship of the Stewards until someone with a strong claim could come forward. Obviously this did not occur until Aragorn turned up. I assume that Imrahil's descendants must have been considred at this time, along with other nobles, but dismissed for fear of this kin-strife.