Unfinished Tales » Humans » Númenóreans
Erendis “Lonely Wife”
also called the Lady of Westlands, White Lady of Emerië, the Mariner’s Wife, Tar-Elestirnë (“Lady of the Star-brow”), and Uinéniel (“Daughter of Uinen”). She was the wife of Aldarion the Mariner (6th King of Númenor) and mother of Ancalimë. Erendis was born in 771 Second Age, the daughter of Núneth and Beregar, from the westlands of Númenor. Beregar was a descendant of Bereth from the House of Bëor. Erendis was dark-haired, slender, had clear grey eyes, and was said to have great beauty. She grew up in the wooded region of the westlands and loved the land and trees.
Erendis first met Aldarion, the King’s Heir, at a feast in Armenelos honoring Aldarion being made Lord of the Ships and Havens by his father the king Tar-Meneldur. Erendis, not of the line of Elros, deemed Aldarion too high but yet she would dismiss every other suitor. When Aldarion was about to set sail for another voyage to Middle-earth, Erendis came to his ship and placed a bough from the Elven-tree oiolairë on its prow, which was custom in Númenor. Here Aldarion looked upon her for the first time with love. Upon his return, he gave Erendis a beautiful diamond. Aldarion’s parents wanted him to marry and approved of Erendis. However, Aldarion did not want to think of marriage at this time, he still had many years to become married and now he just wanted to sail. Tar-Meneldur forbade Aldarion to take another voyage but Aldarion did and in his anger was gone from Númenor for fourteen years (829-43 SA). At last he returned but was grieved to find that Erendis had left Armenelos and returned back to the Westlands. Riding one day in the forests of the Westlands, Aldarion came upon Erendis, who was wearing the diamond as a necklace. Aldarion finally asked Erendis to marry him but she was reluctant. She still loved him, but feared that in the war between herself and the Sea for his heart she would not win. She feared the Sea and begrudged ships for cutting down trees which she so much loved. But Aldarion said he would plant more trees for the ones he cut and took her on a voyage to the port city Andúnië. There they feasted with Valandil, Lord of the Andúnië (Aldarion’s cousin, son of Silmariën), where he named Erendis Uinéniel, Daughter of Uinen. But Erendis answered, “Call me by no such name! I am no daughter of Uinen: rather she is my foe.”
Erendis’s mother Núneth and Queen Almarian tried to give her advice but she was still unsure. One day in 858 SA, Erendis and Aldarion walked up Meneltarma and he kissed her and that day she accepted his betrothal. With the diamond, Erendis wore it above her brow and was then known as Tar-Elestirnë, “Lady of the Star-brow”. King Tar-Meneldur gave Erendis a white house in Emerië as a bethrothal gift. However, the sea-longing soon came upon Aldarion and he set sail again. Six years passed until he returned and Erendis was growing tired of waiting. She was not of the Númenórean line so her life-span was shorter than that of Aldarion and she felt like she was wasting away her youthful years. They were finally wed in 870. Three years later, their daughter Ancalimë was born and Erendis rejoiced, believing Aldarion would want to stay with her now. However, when Ancalimë was four, Aldarion sailed once more and Erendis grieved but also was angered and so moved herself and Ancalimë to her White House in Emerië where there she lived with only women as her servants. From then on, Erendis left her White House rarely and when Aldarion returned in 882, she refused to come back to Armenelos. Aldarion became King in 883 and Ancalimë would spend time between Armenelos and Emerië.
Erendis continued to live in Emerië for the remainder of her life, too proud and stubborn to reconcile with Aldarion. Over time, it is said that old age came upon her and after being neglected by Ancalimë, she once again longed for Aldarion. Learning that he had sailed but was expected to return shortly, Erendis left Emerië and journeyed to the coast. There, it seems, she met her fate. Only the words “Erendis perished in water in the year 985” were recorded. She was 214 years old. It is ironic that after all the years of jealousy and hatred towards the sea, it was the cause of her death in the end.