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Minas Tirith Forums » Lord of the Rings » The Decline and Fall of Arnor (Page 2)
Author Topic: The Decline and Fall of Arnor
Orofacion of the Vanyar
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Good Master of Doom,

quote:
The Men of Arnor probably hardly left Eriador, and when they did, it was probably to visit their fellow Dunedain in the South of their Eldarin friends.
We have no way of knowing this, and in fact, we have no way of knowing why exactly they never left their realm, so we are left to suppose you and I (and others as well [] ). Perhaps they got too comfortable up north, perhaps they were too low in population still, perhaps their was a magical barrier around Arnor that prevented expansion, there are a lot of perhaps with this realm, thanks to Tolkien's lack of writings regarding it.

My point is, had Arnor survived in whole, their borders would have had to expand in some way, much as Gondor had to. They were of the same people, and so that desire the Dunedain always had to explore, expand, and colonize would be maintained in both realms. The only difference is, Gondor was quicker to the trigger I guess you could say.

quote:
And when did the Eldar expand to things not connected geographically, other than moving to uninhabitted lands in ME or into Valinor with the aid of the Valar?
A poor choice of words in "connected geographically" on my part, I apologize. A more precise phrase would be "bordered geographically." And yes the Eldar did expand past their borders. The Sindar spread throughout Beleriand, the Lindar ventured over the Blue Mountains after many years in the east, and the Noldor, of course, crossed the most inhospitable area of Endor. We have no records of the Avari, so I won't mention them.

On a lighter note off-topic, I haven't had a good debate like this on Minas Tirith in a while. Kudos to you sir, it's been most enjoyable. []

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Master of Doom
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quote:
And yes the Eldar did expand past their borders. The Sindar spread throughout Beleriand, the Lindar ventured over the Blue Mountains after many years in the east, and the Noldor, of course, crossed the most inhospitable area of Endor. We have no records of the Avari, so I won't mention them.
Most of these were to uninhabitted lands! When the Eldar moved West, the went to empty lands. Arnor, on the other hand, was surrounded by mountains, seas, ice, allies, and inhabited lands. They really had no where to go. They could have had unconnected colonies, but I don't believe even Gondor did this.

quote:
My point is, had Arnor survived in whole, their borders would have had to expand in some way, much as Gondor had to.
Gondor survived with expanding, but they also survived with shrinking! The lost Umbar and much of the Harad. Overall, I wouldn't say they had a significant net gain. Arnor could have survived if it simply remained the same size, not growing or shrinking. The only problems were (as I see it) that the kingdom split in three, and the population declined (or failed to grow, I'm not certain, but I do believe it declined). If the Numenoreans had kept a descent population up, in the form of one, unified kingdom, then the North Kingdom could have flourished for an age and beyond...
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Orofacion of the Vanyar
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quote:
Most of these were to uninhabitted lands! When the Eldar moved West, the went to empty lands. Arnor, on the other hand, was surrounded by mountains, seas, ice, allies, and inhabited lands. They really had no where to go. They could have had unconnected colonies, but I don't believe even Gondor did this.
Uninhabitted lands to the west, not east. Though many of the Sindar dwelled in the realms of Elu Thingol and Cirdan, there were still elves among the wide regions around these realms, and in a time drew themselves to Fingolfin and the Princes of the Noldor.

Regarding the Dagor Bragollach:

quote:
And [the forces of Morgoth] assualted the fortresses of the Noldor, and broke the leaguer about Angband, and slew wherever they found them the Noldor and thier allies, Grey-elves and Men.
This also indicates that the Edain had no problems journeying forth from Hildorien and settling in colonies around Beleriand, so long as allies were near. As you have said repeatedly, Arnor was surrounded by sea, ice, and allies. As I have mentioned, they had the opportunity to take advantage of their proximity to Imladris, Greenwood, Lorien, along with the Rhovanions. The pass near Isen was under their control more or less, if not by them by Gondor. Again, as stated before, Dorwinion had been maintained and flourished since they are given reference in the Hobbit. With all these allies, colonization would not be difficult.

Now, this leads to my response for this:

quote:
The only problems were (as I see it) that the kingdom split in three, and the population declined (or failed to grow, I'm not certain, but I do believe it declined). If the Numenoreans had kept a descent population up, in the form of one, unified kingdom, then the North Kingdom could have flourished for an age and beyond...
Here we are in agreement. Arnor simply did not have the population to expand, since, as was mentioned earlier in the thread by our good Beleg, that the Numenoreans had a low fertility rate. So population would have had to grow slowly. This makes sense, since they just came from an island in which land was sparce. Had they been able to reproduce like cultures now, that island would have easily become overpopulated very quickly.

What I've always wondered is why the men of Arnor never expanded to what became Angmar. The only thing I can think of is that the land was either too infertile to cultivate, or the geography/climate was less than appealing. But then again, the Lossoth lived in the Forodwaith, so it was adaptable.

quote:
Gondor survived with expanding, but they also survived with shrinking!
Yes but look why they had to shrink. The Wainriders and Haradrim pushed them back, and the great plague destroyed much of the population. The Corsairs took over Umbar, and after the last battle with the Wainriders, the Rohirrim took up land to the north, keeping Gondor from returning to their old "stomping grounds."

Hmm, seems we got a little off topic from Thorin's original supposition.
[]

[ 03-22-2004, 04:29 PM: Message edited by: Orofacion of the Vanyar ]

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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I don't mind. I sure am not going to quash a Tolkien discussion, no matter where it is.

quote:
What I've always wondered is why the men of Arnor never expanded to what became Angmar.
I don't think that there was a need. In history, it seems that nations expand because of some need. Rome expanded to reduce competition and to feed the capital. (Yes, horrible over-simplification.) America expanded because of natural resources. (Ditto.) But why did Arnor need to expand? I don't think that there were population pressures. I don't think there were economic pressures. There was a competitive pressure with Angband, but I'm not convinced that they were capable of annexing that realm.

Edit: kyllä, Maerbenn. Kiitos.

[ 03-23-2004, 12:47 AM: Message edited by: Thorin ]

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Halion
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Thorin, I assume that you by 'Angband' mean Angmar. If that is the case, please edit your posts and I will delete this post. []

[ 03-23-2004, 04:45 AM: Message edited by: Maerbenn ]

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Roll of Honor Thangail
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Do not forget Angmar was created soley to destroy Arnor, so therefore would be constantly attacking them regardless. Any nation under such attack will ost likely fail, especially if there is a drop in population.
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Orofacion of the Vanyar
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Apologies Maerbenn,

This is the second stupid mistake I've made this week, I need to get back into my books!

Thorin,

Why did Gondor need to expand? They had the land and the resources within their borders, why spread out in all directions? The only reason I can come up with is that the land was a result of battles won, and in this case, a united Arnor successfully defeating Angmar (Maerbenn [] ) could result in annexation.

quote:
Rome expanded to reduce competition...
Bingo. If they had that land occupied to begin with, Angmar might not have posed such a threat, or at least would have been pushed further north to a less ideal spot. But Arnor had no way of knowing that Sauron would return and send the Witch-King to reign havoc upon the them.

quote:
but I'm not convinced that they were capable of annexing that realm.
I believe if they had the desire, they could have easily annexed that realm. Considering its proximity to Rivendell and the upper vales of Anduin, they wouldn't be so vulnerable up there. But if an attack were to come from the north, and if that area was not efficiently fortified, I believe it would fall much like Ithilien fell during the War of the Ring. But it all honesty, everything I've said is completely supposition, and honestly, there is not enough information on Arnor to draw a firm conclusion on what would or could have happened, but it is indeed interesting to think about.

Looking at the big picture, it seems everyone is in agreement that if Arnor had stayed unified, they would have at least survived longer than the three separate realms had individually, if not indefinitely. Angmar simply picked them off one at a time. That is the main reason behind Arnor's fall, not genetics.

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Master of Doom
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quote:
Uninhabitted lands to the west, not east. Though many of the Sindar dwelled in the realms of Elu Thingol and Cirdan, there were still elves among the wide regions around these realms, and in a time drew themselves to Fingolfin and the Princes of the Noldor.

But this is an example of people joining into a kingdom, not LAND being added to a kingdom. You said Arnor needed to physically expand to survive. This argument about random Elves joining up with the exiled Noldor has nothing to do with your stance.

quote:
This also indicates that the Edain had no problems journeying forth from Hildorien and settling in colonies around Beleriand, so long as allies were near. As you have said repeatedly, Arnor was surrounded by sea, ice, and allies. As I have mentioned, they had the opportunity to take advantage of their proximity to Imladris, Greenwood, Lorien, along with the Rhovanions. The pass near Isen was under their control more or less, if not by them by Gondor. Again, as stated before, Dorwinion had been maintained and flourished since they are given reference in the Hobbit. With all these allies, colonization would not be difficult.
The Edain joined themselves to the Elven kingdoms. They were not expanding their own kingdoms; they were subjecting themselves to the rule of the other kingdoms. There would have been havoc and war if they tried to make the Elven lands their own. The same applies for the Dunedain. Their kingdoms could not expand to include Elven kingdoms. They could have a few Men settle there, but these men would be under the rule of Elrond, Cirdan, et al.
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Orofacion of the Vanyar
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You miss my point.

quote:
But this is an example of people joining into a kingdom, not LAND being added to a kingdom. You said Arnor needed to physically expand to survive. This argument about random Elves joining up with the exiled Noldor has nothing to do with your stance.
My initial point was that elves had expanded by colonization, and in most cases, by joining with an existing group or colonizing in/around an established realm. It has everything to do with my case, since I am referring to expansion by colonization. I don't single out a particular group, just a general reference and example. Sorry you misunderstand.

quote:
he Edain joined themselves to the Elven kingdoms. They were not expanding their own kingdoms; they were subjecting themselves to the rule of the other kingdoms. There would have been havoc and war if they tried to make the Elven lands their own. The same applies for the Dunedain. Their kingdoms could not expand to include Elven kingdoms. They could have a few Men settle there, but these men would be under the rule of Elrond, Cirdan, et al.
Where did I ever say the Dunedain needed to expand into an existing elvish realm? I stated the fact they could use the proximity of the elvish realms to assist in colonization around those areas. They wouldn't have to worry about intruding upon those lands, seeing as how many if not most of the elvish realms were actually decreasing in population due them sailing west.

Every ancient civilization has needed to expand once the population got to a certain point. Here in lies the distinguishing circumstance to my argument, the Dunedain weren't going to have a population boom anytime soon. I simply stated that, had the realm of Arnor stayed intact indefinitely, there would be the need, possibly the desire, to expand.

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Hidalgo
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It seems that Dunedain had a low rate of population growth. Possibly caused by the Elvish blood in them. In ME it seems that the longer your life-span is, the lower your birth rate.

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Master of Doom
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quote:
I simply stated that, had the realm of Arnor stayed intact indefinitely, there would be the need, possibly the desire, to expand.
But the population was shrinking! Why would a SHRINKING population need MORE land?

If the population had grown, then yes, they would have needed to expand. If it srunk, the realm would be lost (which it was). If it had zero-population growth, then the realm could probably have remained stable without any growth. However, if the poupaltion reamined constant, and some lands were lost (as was the case with Gondor), some new lands would have needed to be added to make up for the lost lands.

Can you agree with the above statements?

quote:
In ME it seems that the longer your life-span is, the lower your birth rate.
The Elves had high birth rates in ME until the Darkening of the Two Trees. Their population started shrinking during the war against Morgoth, and it never recovered. In the First Age, few Elves reproduced in ME, and at the end of the Age, many Elves left ME. Second and Third Age, the Elves got all depressed about ME, and many more left. They also barely reproduced, and lost many lives to the wars with Sauron.

[ 03-30-2004, 02:50 PM: Message edited by: Master of Doom ]

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Orofacion of the Vanyar
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quote:
But the population was shrinking! Why would a SHRINKING population need MORE land?

If the population had grown, then yes, they would have needed to expand. If it srunk, the realm would be lost (which it was). If it had zero-population growth, then the realm could probably have remained stable without any growth. However, if the poupaltion reamined constant, and some lands were lost (as was the case with Gondor), some new lands would have needed to be added to make up for the lost lands.

Can you agree with the above statements?

[] I believe I stated this quite clearly a few posts back.

It would help to read posts and then reply. []

You said on 3/19/04:

quote:
The only problems were (as I see it) that the kingdom split in three, and the population declined (or failed to grow, I'm not certain, but I do believe it declined). If the Numenoreans had kept a descent population up, in the form of one, unified kingdom, then the North Kingdom could have flourished for an age and beyond...
My response on 3/20/04:

Here we are in agreement. Arnor simply did not have the population to expand, since, as was mentioned earlier in the thread by our good Beleg, that the Numenoreans had a low fertility rate. So population would have had to grow slowly. This makes sense, since they just came from an island in which land was sparce. Had they been able to reproduce like cultures now, that island would have easily become overpopulated very quickly.

*GASP*

Have we been in agreement this whole time and not even realized it... []

[ 03-30-2004, 03:30 PM: Message edited by: Orofacion of the Vanyar ]

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Master of Doom
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I guess so. []
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Halion
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Hidalgo posted:
quote:
It seems that Dunedain had a low rate of population growth. Possibly caused by the Elvish blood in them.
Very few of them had Elvish blood.
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Thingol of Doriath
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Just the direct descendants of Elros... right?

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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I would say yes, but by the time of the Fall I imagine that people who could claim descent from Elros was not an insignificant number.

As a statistical example, what if we assume that each person had one and a half children that survived into adulthood and had children of their own. According to Appendix A, there were 24 generations between Elros and the Fall of Numenor. Using these simple guidelines, that would mean that there were over 11,000 people that could claim descent from the first King of Numenor. There were ten more generations until the splitting of Arnor into 3 realms.

Of course, there is a whole statistical system that deals with population growth, but I confess that I am not familiar with it. Perhaps other people here are. (cough Gna? cough) There is also the problem of intermarriage, such as third cousins marrying each other and the like. So I'm not sure how to come up with a valid number of Elros descendants, but my point is that I imagine his blood was very widely dispersed by the time of the Realms in Exile.

Edit: And in the South, we have that whole Dol Amroth and Nimrodel problem. []

[ 03-31-2004, 07:19 AM: Message edited by: Thorin ]

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Thorin-I'm afraid I can't help you much with the question of population dynamics in the Line of Elros, since the formulas are better suited for animals that have more numerous offspring and well-characterized numbers for fecundity, mortality, etc. There have been discussions in several threads regarding comparisons of the life stages of a longeval Númenórean vs. a modern human being. We can't know how many reproductive years a Númenórean possessed out of his or her total lifespan, and we know nothing about infant mortality in various places in Middle-earth. I suppose we can safely assume that most Men, Elves, and Hobbits were strictly monogamous, but these three groups then vary considerably in the average number of offspring per couple. I don't see any (biological) reason why Elves and longeval Men should necessarily have fewer children, unless you invoke the "reproductive investment" argument-on a lesser scale than the notion that Míriel was worn out by giving birth to Fëanor. Some animals (e.g. primates, or elephants) have few offspring, but invest much parental care and other resources into each "child"; other animals (e.g. some kinds of fish and amphibia, or sea urchins) have many, many offspring and invest few resources into each. Perhaps Elf children and Númenórean children required more parental investment, and therefore reproductive rates were limited.

I think the question of Elvish "blood" derived by descent from Elros could be addressed by considering that technically, "blood" means "genes". Of course Tolkien would have known or considered no such thing, but what is inherited lineally is not literally blood, it is genetic material. And it's much easier (for me, anyway) to understand how Elvish traits (longevity, lower reproductive rates) would have become "fixed" in a population (Númenoreans, and the Northern Line) that did not intermarry, if you consider it from a genetic standpoint-then it has a direct RL counterpart. Elros' Elvish "genes" could have become fixed in the Númenorean population, and ultimately in the Northern Line, at high frequency through the founder effect. There are many examples of (otherwise) rare mutations/disorders that occur at high frequency in isolated populations that practice consanguineous marriage: tyrosinemia in Lac Saint Jean French-Canadians, Ellis-van Creveld syndrome in Old Order Amish, choroideremia in a small region of Finland, Huntington disease in Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. Whatever characteristics you want to attribute to Elvish "blood", a reproductively isolated population such as the Northern Line will tend to preserve those traits between generations, and many Men related to Elros' descendents would possess them. This tendency would have been observable (though not explainable in molecular genetic terms) in Tolkien's time, in the examples of livestock breeding and certain royal lineages.

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Elrond
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Just because someone is new to the site, doesen't mean they don't know what they are talking about through the books. Sure, this may be one of a few occurances that some newbies have not posted right information, but some of us didn't find out about the site until years after they had began reading and/or studying Tolkien. Take Tustsi and Tisza, they know a lot about the books and have an over 4000 citizen number. []
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Roll of Honor Gna
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Erk??
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Erkenbrand?
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Orofacion of the Vanyar
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What are you babbling about Elrond? Perhaps you have lost your way and wished to comment on the Arnor vs. Gondor thread, namely Master of Doom's post.
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Yes, two simulataneous threads on the same basic subject is confusing me as well.

Thank you, Gna, even though I had to read your post twice because you used so many multi-syllable words. [] To make myself feel smarter, I plan on sending you an email soon regarding low interest rates, the surging federal deficit, and the falling dollar.

But back to topic: this entire issue itself may be moot. Did the Numenoreans gain longer life expectancy because of the Elvish genes (read: blood) in them? If so, that means Elros would have lived several times longer than everyone else who originally went to Numenor with him. Here is a relevant passage from Akallabeth:

quote:
Eonwe came among them and taught them; and they were given wisdom and power and life more enduring than any others of mortal race have possessed.
This statement clearly shows the plural tense. If only Elros (and hence only his descendants) had long life because of Elvish blood, this quote would be different. It seems that all the Edain that became Numenoreans achieved long life, and not just those of direct descent from Elros.

Side note: I realize I just opened a huge can of worms, but the ensuing debate may be quite interesting.

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Indeed you opened such a can, and it happens to be discussed here.
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Roll of Honor Thorin
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Kiitos, Herendil. I had forgoten about that thread, and it's a good one. []
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I had to find this since the discussion has come up over the intermingling of blood in Gondor.

Thorin, your thesis here is the best I seen.
(Don't bring Martinez into this)

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