Catching up: Seven Stars of Arnor

Octoburn

Active Member
I've been trying to catch up on these since binging the SilmFilm seasions. I am only on episode 46, so someone may have addressed this already.

I usually skip the "field trip", both because I listen on Podcasts rather than watching on YouTube, and because I have yet to play LOTRO.

But I still listen to them once in a while (usually because I am at work and too busy to skip ahead) and did so on episode 43. Near the end of the episode, Cory was commenting on some architecture/statues/carvings (again, I only listen rather than watch) he contemplated why there were only five stars rather than the usual 7 on Arnorion stuff. Then he said he needed to know why there are seven in the first place to figure out why there are 5 in those instances. And Lo! I remembered an obscure fact from the Index of RotK.2548

So, we know that the seven stars represent the banners that were flown from the ships carrying Palantiri.

Why are there only 5 on some stuff, then? It's not because of the actual Palantiri residing in Arnor, because there were only 3. Perhaps when these carvings were made, two had been lost? Aparrently, after the Witch-king destroyed Arnor, two stones were lost in a shipwreck. That might be it?

EDIT: Actually, the Osgiliath stone was lost before these two (by some 500 years) so it's a bit of a mystery still.
 
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I've always wondered about the seven stars of Gondor, so well done in finding an answer! I've never read the index from front to back, so I never noticed this bit of lore. Congratulations on finding an answer.

That being said, as answers go, this is pretty un-satisfying. It's strange that 2 of the 9 ships that came from Númenor would lack a star on their banners, and it's even stranger that it should be those two ships that happened not to have a palantír on them. I think I liked it better when there was a bit of mystery about which notable constellations of seven stars the Gondorians used for their national symbols.

I also find it rather unsatisfactory for the seven stars of Durin's heraldry to refer to the sickle of the Valar rather than the Northern Crown.

I guess this just goes to show that some things are better left mysterious.
 

Octoburn

Active Member
I've always wondered about the seven stars of Gondor, so well done in finding an answer! I've never read the index from front to back, so I never noticed this bit of lore. Congratulations on finding an answer.

That being said, as answers go, this is pretty un-satisfying. It's strange that 2 of the 9 ships that came from Númenor would lack a star on their banners, and it's even stranger that it should be those two ships that happened not to have a palantír on them. I think I liked it better when there was a bit of mystery about which notable constellations of seven stars the Gondorians used for their national symbols.

I also find it rather unsatisfactory for the seven stars of Durin's heraldry to refer to the sickle of the Valar rather than the Northern Crown.

I guess this just goes to show that some things are better left mysterious.
I agree, for another reason: the poem.
"Seven stones, and seven stars"

What exactly is the point of including both, if one was directly representing the other?
 

Anthony Lawther

Well-Known Member
I agree, for another reason: the poem.
"Seven stones, and seven stars"

What exactly is the point of including both, if one was directly representing the other?
It could be something akin to the flags and pennants flown on Commonwealth Naval ships to indicate the presence of a sufficiently senior officer (normally Commodore and above).
If you had a fleet of 9 ships, but only 7 palantíri, you'd put them on the ships with the most senior captains in order to allow communication between them. Junior ships would then have their orders relayed by a more senior ship.
 

Jim Deutch

Well-Known Member
"Seven stones, and seven stars"

What exactly is the point of including both, if one was directly representing the other?
Maybe I'm missing the point, but "seven stones, and seven stars, and one white tree" is the entire line, isn't it? The banner that Arwen makes for Aragorn, which he unfurls at the battle of the Pelennor fields, bears seven stars and one tree. If I'm not misremembering...
 

Octoburn

Active Member
Maybe I'm missing the point, but "seven stones, and seven stars, and one white tree" is the entire line, isn't it? The banner that Arwen makes for Aragorn, which he unfurls at the battle of the Pelennor fields, bears seven stars and one tree. If I'm not misremembering...
The rhyme has to do with the flight from Numenor.

Tall ships and tall kings
Three times three,
What brought they from the foundered land
Over the flowing sea?
Seven stars and seven stones
And one white tree
Do the seven stars here are literally the banners on the ships that represent the stones that are mentioned next in the line.
 
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