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The man was known as Elendil the Tall (Tolkien put his height at "more than man high by nearly half a ranga", almost 8' or 240 cm), Elendil the Faithful ('Elendil Voronda' or 'Vorondo') or Elendil the Fair. He was the father of Isildur and Anárion, last lord of Andúnië, and the first High King of Arnor and Gondor.
Elendil is first introduced as a historical figure in The Fellowship of the Ring.
He was born in Númenor, son of Amandil, Lord of Andúnië and leader of the "Faithful" (those who remained loyal to the Valar), who maintained a strong friendship with the Elves and preserved the old ways against the practices of king Ar-Pharazôn and Sauron. His father Amandil had been a great admiral of the Númenórean fleet and a close friend to Ar-Pharazôn in their youth, but when the days darkened, he resorted to do what their ancestor Eärendil had done, sail to Valinor and ask for the pardon of the Valar. Amandil was never heard of again, but on his urging, Elendil, his sons Isildur and Anárion, and their supporters fled the downfall of Númenor in Template:ME-date, escaping to Middle-earth in nine ships. Elendil landed in Lindon where he was befriended by Gil-galad, the Elven King. The waves carried Isildur and Anárion south to the Bay of Belfalas and the mouth of the River Anduin. They founded the realms of Arnor and Gondor in Middle-earth in S.A. 3320. With them they took the palantíri, the "Seeing Stones" that were given to the Lords of Andúnië by the Elves of Tol Eressëa, and a seedling of Nimloth, the White Tree of Númenor.
Unfinished Tales explains that, upon landing in Middle-earth, Elendil proclaimed in Quenya: Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta! "Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth I am come. In this place will I abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the world." His heir and 38-greats-grandson Aragorn spoke these traditional words again when he took up the crown of Gondor in The Return of the King.
Elendil lived in Arnor, where he founded the city of Annúminas. His son Anárion founded the city of Minas Anor in Anórien, and his son Isildur founded Minas Ithil in Ithilien. Across the Anduin the city of Osgiliath was built. Across the realms, towers were built for the seeing-stones called palantíri, with which the realms kept in contact.
As explained in The Fellowship of the Ring, Sauron eventually returned to Middle-earth, establishing a stronghold in Mordor, which was next to Gondor. In 3428, he attacked, seizing Minas Ithil. Isildur fled north to his father, leaving Anárion in charge of Gondor. In 3434, Elendil and Isildur returned south, together with Gil-galad and their combined armies, in the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. They defeated Sauron in the Battle of Dagorlad, and laid siege to his stronghold of Barad-dûr. During this long siege Anárion was killed. In the year 3441 of the Second Age, Sauron came out personally to do battle. Gil-galad and Elendil fought him, but both were killed, and Elendil's sword was broken beneath him. Isildur used his father's broken sword to cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand.
- Unfinished Tales :see index for "ranga": A ranga was 38" approximately, and 'man height' around 6'4"
- J.R.R. Tolkien (author), Christopher Tolkien (editor), 'Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age', The Silmarillion.
- A History and Complete Chronology of Númenor - A detailed chronology of Númenor, its successor states and their rulers.