Isildur

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Isildur is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He appears in the author's books The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales.

In The Lord of the Rings, he was first mentioned in The Fellowship of the Ring as a Dúnadan of Númenor, elder son of Elendil. His full character history was detailed in The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. He was (briefly) the second king of Gondor and Arnor. His name means "devoted to the moon". In a note written well after the initial publication of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien gave Isildur's height as seven feet tall.

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Development

The character of Elendil, Isildur's father, has a long history in the development of Tolkien's legendarium. Elendil is the Quenya for "elf-friend" and continues the character called Aelfwine in earlier revisions. The son of Elendil was called Herendil in earlier conceptions of the story. A recurring father-son constellation called "elf-friend" and "bliss-friend" who preserve a memory of the fall of Atlantis is exposed in the unfinished story of The Lost Road. By conception, The Lost Road explored "time travel" by genetic memory, connecting a contemporary English father and son, called Audoin and Alboin, to a father and son called Elendil and Herendil in remote antiquity who lived through the destruction of Númenor.

The son of Elendil "elf-friend" who together with his father survives the fall of Atlantis was "duplicated" into Isildur and Anárion for the purposes of the Lord of the Rings, named after the Moon and the Sun, respectively (Isildur being the elder brother as the Moon in Tolkien's creation myth was made before the Sun, in turn reflecting Telperion's seniority over Laurelin), exerting dual kingship over Gondor from the twin fortresses of Minas Anor and Minas Ithil.

In The Lord of the Rings

As detailed in the appendices of The Return of the King, Isildur was born in the year 3209 of the Second Age in Númenor, the first son of Elendil son of Amandil, the last Lord of Andúnië. He had a younger brother, Anárion. Isildur had four sons: Elendur, Aratan, Ciryon, and Valandil.

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