Second Age Edit
Gondor started out as a refuge for Numenorians, later claimed by Isildur and his brother Anárion. Though they had the right to rule it, overlordship over it belonged to Elendil, later killed in the Battle of the Last Alliance. Elendil reacted to the threat of Sauron by combining forces with Gil-galad the Elven-king to make the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. Their armies marched southeast from Arnor and Gil-galad's realm of Lindon. Supported by the forces of Gondor, Lórinand, Mirkwood and the dwarves of Moria, the Alliance fought a great battle on the plain of Dagorlad north of Mordor. The armies of Elendil and Gil-galad were victorious, and entered Mordor itself, where they laid a siege on Sauron's Tower of Barad-dûr for seven years. During this time, Anárion was killed by a rock thrown from the Tower that broke his helm. The siege ended when Sauron himself emerged from Barad-dûr to fight the Alliance. Gil-galad and Elendil attacked and destroyed Sauron, though they themselves were slain the process. Then Isildur claimed the Ring as his own, later murdered by some orcs in the Anduin, losing the Ring.
Golden Gondor Edit
After the war, Gondor's power and wealth grew steadily (only interrupted by an Easterling invasion in Third Age 492). Its power would continue to grow into the 9th century of the Third Age. While the power of Gondor's sister kingdom Arnor peaked during the 9th century, when it broke into various successor states, Gondor's greatest glory was yet to come. But the height of its power came during the reign of the Four Ship Kings. The first one, Taranonn, was King in an unhappy time, as his wife used her cats to spy on the Gondorian government, created fear and paranoia everywhere. To end this, Taranonn banished her with her cats. Hyarmendacil I expanded Gondor's borders the farthest they would get, from the Sea of Rhun to the nearest lands of the Haradrim, as far North as the borders of Mirkwood and west towards Arnor. Romendacil II was King during Gondor's great architectural boom. During him, the great Argonath were built in the Anduin.
The Kin-Strife Edit
In the 15th Century, the present King, at that time, Eldacar was half Northman, creating some uneasiness around. This created a revolution organized by Castamir (later known as the Usurper). Eldacar was lucky to escape, though his son died in battle. Castamir proved to be very cruel and because of his love with the fleet, wished to move the capital from Osgiliath to Pelargir. He paid more attention to the coastal regions, making places like Lamedon and the Blackroot Vale to suffer with poverty. However, Eldacar came down with his Dalish kinsmen, and overthrew Castamir, but the damage was already done. The palantir of Osgiliath was lost during that battle.
Great Plague Edit
In T.A. 1636 the Great Plague struck, killing the White Tree of Gondor. Tarondor, the King at that time, found a sapling of it, and moved the capital from Osgiliath to Minas Anor. During this time, the population was so low, nothing was stopping a massive invasion from Easterlings, or even Mordor. However, the Plague also left its enemies in pretty bad shape, so neither side could gather to launch a successful invasion.
Wainrider Attacks Edit
Shortly after the Plague, Wainriders devastated Gondor's Northern Armies, resulting in a 100 year conflict. However, in the year of 1944, the Wainriders were successfully defeated.
Line of Kings Fails Edit
In 1944, Gondor also faced a constitutional crisis when King Ondoher was slain in a previous battle with both his sons. Prince Arvedui, son of King Araphant of Arthedain and Ondoher's son-in-law, and the victorious general Eärnil, who was a distant blood-relative of Ondoher, claimed the throne. Arvedui's claim lay mainly in the reintroduction of the old Númenórean law of accession, which stated the eldest child should succeed the king. If the law was reintroduced, then Arvedui's wife Fíriel, Ondoher's daughter and last remaining child would become Ruling Queen, making their descendants Kings of both Arnor and Gondor. Arvedui also tried to put weight behind his claim as he was Isildur's heir. The Council of Gondor recognised that the name of Isildur was held in honor in Gondor, but they dictated that the South-Kingdom must be ruled by an Heir of Anárion. General Eärenil became King. However, Eärenil's son, being the last King of Gondor, stormed into Minas Morgul and was never heard of again.
Line of Stewards Edit
The Stewards could not take control of Gondor completely at that time, as there was no evidence that the King was dead. But if no one would rule it, Gondor would be open for attacks from the East and Mordor. So the Stewards had to swear an oath to yield rule of Gondor back to the King if he should so ever return. However, this oath was not taken seriously, as Arnor had already perished and no one claimed to be the heir of Isildur. The Stewards ruled Gondor without taking the title of King
Cirion and Eorl Edit
A greater threat faced Gondor, the Balchoth, a fairly advanced Easterling tribe, thrusted at Gondor with a massive force. Gondor wasn't in the strength to fight off such a large force, so they sent a message to the Èothèod tribe in the Northern Anduin, but didn't expect a reply. However, the Èothèod turned the tide of the Battle of the Field of Celebrant, resulting in a tremendous victory for Gondor and loss for the Balchoth. After this battle, the Èothèod were given the land we now know as Rohan, and the Steward Cirion and the King of the Èothèod Eorl the Young took an oath to promise to help each other at times of need, and giving a land called Rohan.
Echtelion II Edit
Though not a major Steward, Echtelion the II did a good job on trying to put Gondor back to it's former glory. He tried to make peace agreements with Dale, friendship with the Balchoth, and destruction of Mordor. The Last March of Echtelion took place not long after the reclaiming of Erebor. He made a huge army, and marched into Mordor through the Black Gate, assisted by Arnū Aragorn of Arnor. Though he was slain, Echtellion was a noble man, and did a few good things to Gondor. Unlike his son, Denethor, the current Steward of Gondor.