More about Isildur...... was born in Numenor in
the year 3209 of the Second Age. He had a younger brother Anarion, born
in 3219. They lived at the haven of Romenna on the east coast of the
island of Numenor. Their father was Elendil and their grandfather was
Amandil, the Lord of Andunie. The Lords of Andunie were descended from
the Kings of Numenor through Silmarien, the daughter of the fourth King,
the Half-elven first King of Numenor, had chosen the mortal life of Men,
while his brother Elrond chose the immortal life of Elves. Over time,
the Kings of Numenor grew to resent their ancestor's choice and desired
immortality for themselves. They became estranged from the Elves and
from the powers called the Valar, and they neglected the worship of Eru,
the One who had created them.
A small group of Numenoreans remained friendly with the Elves and
faithful to Eru and the Valar. Among these Faithful were the Lords of
In 3262, Ar-Pharazon, the King of Numenor, took Sauron captive and
brought him to Numenor. Sauron allowed himself to be taken because he
wanted to corrupt the Numenoreans in order to bring about their
downfall. He used their desire for immortality and power to convince
them to renounce Eru and worship Morgoth.
Isildur learned that Sauron wanted Ar-Pharazon to cut down Nimloth, the
White Tree that had come from the Undying Lands. Isildur disguised
himself and went secretly to the King's court and took a fruit from
Nimloth. The guards discovered him and attacked him and Isildur was
badly wounded, but he managed to escape with the fruit. Isildur was near
death for many months, but when the fruit of the White Tree began to
sprout he awoke was and recovered from his injuries.
As Sauron's influence increased, the Faithful began to prepare to leave
Numenor. They filled their ships with their families and many of their
prized possessions, including the palantiri. Isildur had three ships of
his own, and he brought aboard the seedling of the White Tree as well as
his wife and his son Elendur, who had been born in 3299.
Isildur's grandfather Amandil hoped to plead with the Valar to spare the
Faithful. He sailed westward toward the Undying Lands, but what became
of him is not known and he was never seen again.
Sauron's lies convinced Ar-Pharazon that he could achieve immortality in
the Undying Lands. In 3319, Ar-Pharazon set out with a great fleet
intending to take the Undying Lands by force. But when he set foot on
the shore, Eru caused the Seas to open up. The fleet sank and Numenor
was destroyed by a great wave.
The ships of the Faithful were spared, and a great wind from the west
sent them to the shores of Middle-earth. Elendil landed in the north,
while Isildur and Anarion came to the Mouths of the Anduin in the south.
Elendil and his sons established the North-kingdom of Arnor and the
South-kingdom of Gondor in 3320. Elendil was the High King of both
realms, but he dwelled in Arnor and committed the rule of Gondor to his
Isildur and Anarion had their thrones side by side in the Great Hall of
Osgiliath, the city they founded on the Anduin. Anarion lived in Minas
Anor on the western side of the Anduin, while Isildur made his home in
Ithilien on the eastern side of the Anduin. Isildur built Minas Ithil in
a valley of the Mountains of Shadow on the border of Mordor. Minas Ithil
was a beautiful white city, but it was also a stronghold to defend
against the evil that might still dwell in Mordor. It was not known at
first that Sauron had already returned there in secret and had begun to
rebuild his strength.
Isildur had one of the palantiri called the Ithil-stone, which he used
to communicate with his brother and father. He planted the seedling of
the White Tree in front of his house. Isildur and his wife had two more
sons while living in Gondor - Aratan born in 3339 and Ciryon born in
In the early days of Gondor, Isildur went to the Hill of Erech at the
entrance to the Blackroot Vale in the White Mountains. On the hilltop he
placed the Stone of Erech, a great black sphere that he had brought from
Numenor. Isildur met with the King of the Mountains, who swore
allegiance to Isildur upon the Stone. But later, when Isildur called
upon the Men of the Mountains to join the fight against Sauron, they
refused. Isildur cursed them and said that they would never rest until
they fulfilled their oath, and they haunted the Paths of the Dead.
Sauron attacked and captured Minas Ithil in 3429. Isildur escaped with
his wife and sons and another seedling of the White Tree. Isildur and
his family boarded a ship at the Mouths of the Anduin and sailed around
the coast of Middle-earth to Arnor, where Elendil dwelled. Elendil
consulted with Gil-galad, the King of the Elves who lived in Lindonwest
of Arnor. Gil-galad and Elendil formed the Last Alliance of Elves and
Men to oppose Sauron in 3430. That same year, Isildur's youngest son
Valandil was born at the home of Elrond in Rivendell.
The army of the Last Alliance gathered at Rivendell in 3431 and then
marched to war. Isildur and his three oldest sons - Elendur, Aratan, and
Ciryon - went with the army, while Isildur's wife and their infant son
Valandil remained in Rivendell.
The War of the Last Alliance began in 3434. Sauron's forces were
defeated in the Battle of Dagorlad on the plain outside Mordor, and the
army of the Last Alliance entered Sauron's realm and laid siege to
Barad-dur. The Siege of Barad-dur lasted seven years and many Men and
Elves were killed, including Isildur's brother Anarion who died in 3440.
At last in 3441, Sauron himself came down from his tower. He fought with
Gil-galad and Elendil on the slopes of Mount Doom. Sauron's body was
cast down, but Gil-galad and Elendil died in the struggle. Elendil's
sword Narsil broke beneath him as he fell.
Isildur took up the hilt of Narsil and used the broken blade to cut the
One Ring from Sauron's hand. Sauron's spirit fled from his body, but as
long as the Ring that held much of his power survived so would his
spirit. Elrond and Cirdan counselled Isildur to destroy the Ring
immediately in the fires of Mount Doom. But Isildur refused, saying:
"This I will have as weregild for my father's death, and my brother's.
Was it not I that dealt the Enemy his death-blow?"
The Silmarillion: "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age," p. 295
The power of the Ring was such that no one could willingly destroy it.
The lure of the Ring began to act on Isildur as soon as he took it. The
great heat of the Ring burned Isildur's hand, but he still thought it
was beautiful and precious.
It was hot when I first took it, hot as a glede, and my hand was
scorched, so that I doubt if ever again I shall be free of the pain of
it. ... But for my part I will risk no hurt to this thing: of all the
works of Sauron the only fair. It is precious to me, though I buy it
with great pain.
The Fellowship of the Ring: "The Council of Elrond," p. 266
Isildur noticed that there was writing on the Ring that showed when it
was still hot, but disappeared when it had cooled. He wrote a
description of the Ring on a scroll which he left in the archives of
Minas Anor for future generations.
Isildur assumed the Kingship of both Gondor and Arnor, but he intended
to return to the North and leave Anarion's son Meneldil to rule in the
South. He remained in Minas Anor for a few years to give counsel and
instruction to Meneldil. Together they took a journey through all the
lands belonging to Gondor. On the summit of Halifirien in the Firien
Wood, Isildur entombed the body of his father Elendil. Before leaving
Minas Anor, Isildur planted the seedling of the White Tree in memory of
his brother Anarion.
On September 5 of the year 2 of the Third Age, Isildur set out from
Minas Anor with his three elder sons and 200 knights. They marched up
the Vales of the Anduin on the eastern side of the River, heading for
the High Pass over the Misty Mountains.
Thirty days later, on October 4, Isildur's company was attacked by Orcs
near the Gladden Fields. The Orcs did not know that Isildur had the One
Ring, but they were unwittingly drawn by its power. Isildur's men were
outnumbered ten to one, and though they initially managed to repel the
attack, the Orcs renewed their assault after nightfall and the men were
Before the battle had begun, Isildur had sent away his esquire Ohtar
with the shards of Narsil. Isildur kept the One Ring, but it was useless
in defending his men against the Orcs. He realized now that he did not
have the strength to wield the Ring and could not even put it on without
great pain to himself. Isildur regretted the foolish pride that had led
him to keep the Ring.
Isildur's sons Aratan and Ciryon were killed, and his eldest son Elendur
begged him to flee in order to prevent the Orcs from capturing the Ring.
Isildur agreed and parted with great sorrow from Elendur, who was slain
leading the remaining Dunedain.
Isildur put on the Ring though it pained him and headed for the Anduin.
He removed his armor and waded into the River intending to try to cross
it, but the current was strong and pulled him toward the marshes of the
Gladden Fields. Then the Ring left Isildur's finger and was lost in the
waters. Isildur felt an overwhelming sense of loss, but was then
relieved as if a great burden had been lifted from him. He rose out of
the water, but at that moment he was spotted by Orcs who shot him with
arrows through the throat and heart.
The One Ring remained in the Gladden Fields until it was found by Deagol
in 2463. Isildur's body also lay in the waters, undiscovered by his kin.
While searching for the One Ring, Saruman found the Elendilmir that
Isildur had been wearing, and some speculated that the Wizard may have
found and even desecrated Isildur's remains, but whether this is true is
Isildur's youngest son Valandil became the King of Arnor when he came of
age in the year 10. But he did not claim the Kingship of Gondor, and the
two Kingdoms became separated. Gondor continued to be ruled by the heirs
of Anarion, while Arnor was ruled by the heirs of Isildur. It was not
until the end of the Third Age that the Kingdoms were reunited by
Aragorn, King Elessar, Isildur's Heir.