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The tale describes events from the accession of Tar-Meneldur in II 740 to the death of Erendis in II 985 (a period of 245 years)1
Set primarily in Númenor, but the story includes accounts of Aldarion's voyages to Middle-earth
Many of the important characters in the narrative descended from the House of Elros
The Mariner of the title was the Mariner-king Tar-Aldarion of Númenor, and his Wife was Erendis
Other names
'The Mariner's Wife' is a direct translation of the Elvish title Indis-i-Kiryamo; the tale was also commonly called simply Aldarion and Erendis


About this entry:

  • Updated 12 January 2022
  • Updates planned: 1

‘The Mariner’s Wife’

The subtitle to Aldarion and Erendis

The subtitle of the long tale known as Aldarion and Erendis, one of the few to survive the destruction of Númenor, which tells the story of the mariner King Tar-Aldarion and his Queen Erendis. Tar-Aldarion, the sixth King of Númenor, was a great explorer and adventurer, but the tale is told mainly from the perspective of Erendis, the lonely wife he leaves behind in Númenor while he travels the seas, and who ultimately comes to a tragic end.



The timeline for this entry refers to the period when the events in the story took place. The story itself must necessarily have come into existence after this time; the exact date of its creation is not known, but it was well known by the end of the Second Age.


The tale of the Mariner's Wife was one of the few pieces of Númenórean literature to be saved from the Downfall, so we can at least say that it was written in Númenor before II 3319. Given the detail it contains about the lives of its characters, it most likely originated relatively soon after their time. The earliest possible date would be II 985 (the death of Erendis), but given that it is rather candid about the King and his flaws, it probably appeared after Tar-Aldarion's death in II 1098.

One slight complication is a reference in the text to the 'country of Amroth where the Nandor Elves still dwell' (Unfinished Tales Part Two II, Aldarion and Erendis). This region (said to have been on the Bay of Belfalas) wasn't associated with Amroth until long after the Downfall, so this reference cannot have been in the original tale. The implication is that elements of the story had been adapted in later years, presumably by scribes in Gondor seeking to make its geography more comprehensible to their own audience.

See also...

Indis i·Kiryamo


About this entry:

  • Updated 12 January 2022
  • Updates planned: 1

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