A King (S."Aran" Q. "Aran", E."Haran") originally was one of the great Chieftains of the Elves during their great journey as the title originally meant Great Man, a leader whose authority came from his character, skill, charisma, leadership and -not to the least - predestination or fate.The elective monarchies of the early days however quickly transformed into a hereditary monarchies , as the power tended to concentrate in the hands of -mostly male- members of single families or clans.The Feanorians were led by Fëanor's sons after the death of their King, who became kings in their own right, chosing the eldest son to bear the title of High-King which however proved to be more titular as the lesser Kings ,while they formally acknowledging the Kingship, paid its bearer little heed and preferred to follow their own policies.
Men quickly imitated the concept, although in different variants.The Númenóreans chose their kings, who officially bore the title "High King", from the line of Elros Tar-Minyatur.Their Elendili descendants of Gondor and Arnor at first tried to maintain the tradition of a High-King from the House of Elendil the Tall, however after Elendil's death the North kingdom and South kingdom quickly developed into independent realms, each with a king of it's own, who nontheless still came from the line of the Lords of Andúnië and thus were remote descendants of Elros Half-Elven.Aragorn Elessar was the first High-King to rule a Reunited Kingdom after more then three thousand years.
The Middle-Men and Men of Darkness in Middle-Earth had different concepts of kingship, from elective kingship based on charisma or great deeds to hereditary kingship.Vidugavia was a Northman chieftain who claimed the title of a king by his own power and authority as politician and Warlord.In case of the Kings of the Bardings Bard Bowman was the first of his line who took the title of a king, his ancestor Girion of Dale had only been a Lord.However Bard was the only king of his line who was formally elected to kingship, after his death his eldest son inherited the title, turning the formally elective monarchy of his young kingdom into a hereditary monarchy.Similarly Eorl the Young was considered the first king of the Rohirrim, his forefathers had only been great Chieftains and the leading family of the Éothéod.Eorl was elected king by his people, but his sons inherited the position, founding the hereditary monarchy of Rohan.
Equivalents of King in the languages of Middle-Earth:
- Ar- - Royal prefix in Quenya.Used as a title by the Númenóreans.
- Aran - Sindarin and Quenya word for King.Used by the Noldor, Sindar, Nandor and Dúnedain.
- Ashdurbuk - Title of the Orc-Ruler of Gundabad, the High-Chief or King of the North.
- Ataarn - Ky'taari
- Autarb - Harûze title of a local King or Petty King.
- Bôm - Balchoth title for their eldest or King.
- Brenhin - a Dunlending Hill-Chief or Petty-King.
- Cyning - The Rohirric or Éothéodan word for King.
- Great Goblin - the King or Ruler of Goblin-town.
- Hûrdriak or Hûr - originally the High-King or High-Chief of the Asdriags, later just the title of a local Lord under Balchoth Rule.
- Hûz of Amôv - originally a personal name, later title and appelation for a Great King or f leader of a coalition of tribes among the Rhûn-Easterlings.
- Jí - Mûmakanin title for a King or sacred-King.
- Kân -a Khan or Khagan of the Rhun-Easterlings
- Kank - the Warlord and later King or Ruartar.
- Kataj - Ioriags, Kykuria
- Khûdriag, Khûrdirag or Khûr - Title of the Kings of Khand.
- Khurdriag-Ata - A Variag god-king or sacred King.
- Konung - Rhovanian word for king among the Bardings.
- Kralji - title for the king of Rây or Bôzisha-Mîraz.
- Lôke-Kân - title of the Dragon-Ruler of the Golden Army of Rhûn.
- Morachd - title of the King of the Mountains among the Mountainmen or Oathbreakers.
- Mûl - title of the King of Wômawas Drûs.
- Rhi - title of a local lord or petty King in Minhiriath or Enedhwaith.
- Rí - Title of the King among the Hillmen.
- Sey -A wise overlord of the Ahar-Easterlings.
- Szem - Title of a King among the Shrel and later Easterlings of Rhun.
- Tar- -Royal prefix in Quenya.Used as a title by the Númenóreans and High-Elves.
- Tári - Quenya word for Queen.
- Tarb or Taryb- in near-Harad a lesser local Lord, in Greater harad a City-King or the Greatest King of Sirayn.
- Taskral or Taskrel - in Near-Harad a powerful city-king or Stone-King-
- Théoden - Rohirric personal name and word for king.
- Ulfar - Vothrig
- Uzbad - a dwarven lord or King under the Mountain.
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