One of Gondor's Great Houses, the House Girithlin is based in Dor-en-Ernil. As such, Girithlin owes fealty to Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth. Girithlin is one of the oldest and largest Houses in Gondor, and (perhaps especially in their own estimation) one of the highest is nobility. Their line can be traced from lordships in Numenore to the northern kingdom of Cardolan, eventually ending in Gondor. They have close ties with the ruling house of Imrazor, having intermarried with them several times.
As is the case with many of the Great Houses, Girithlin has several notable cadet branches, each able to rival any of the Lesser Houses in land and wealth. Their holdings reach from the southern shores of Anfalas, south beneath Lamedon, and east into the bounds of Belfalas. Lond Duilin, located at the confluence of the rivers Morthond and Calenhir, is the oldest of the Girithlin lands and the seat of its Lord.
Most Girithlin are Dunedain. This trait is most prominent in the main branch and the cadet branch of Morthond, though it remains true of the other lines of lords as well.
Girithlins tend toward outspokenness, eloquence, wit and charm, as well as pride in their lineage, reverence for ancient lore (especially that of the Elves), musical and poetic skill, and bravery in war. Physical beauty is quite common in this family; most are tall, slender, and strong, and many possess the unusual blue-grey eyes of the line of Hador, rarely seen in any other family. Others sometimes view Girithlins as haughty, vain, self-serving or arrogant, perceptions which amuse those of House Girithlin to no end. Internal strife within the family is exceedingly rare, and members of the House tend to be close-knit, even secretive, loyal and affectionate among themselves. They consider themselves among Gondor's elite, and rightly so; for this they are both revered and reviled.
Girithlins value nobility of spirit and purity of lineage above all else; they are enthusiastic guardians of the old lore of Numenor, and revere the wisdom and alliance of the Eldar when most of their countrymen hold the Firstborn fear or suspicion. Whether justified or no, Girithlins see their role as guardians of the ancient West, and the decline of Gondor and the long fall of Westernesse causes them great grief. To Girithlins, there is no higher aspiration than to serve the Realm of Gondor and the Prince of Dol Amroth, to preserve the heritage of the Elendili and the friendship of the Eldar, and to maintain the glory of House Girithlin. All other concerns are secondary.
The chosen paths of those of Girithlin run the gamit of all noble professions; most commonly, however, the men of Girithlin choose the path of knighthood in Dol Amroth, or of diplomacy abroad. Others prefer to follow the course of Scholarship and the arts; most Girithlins maintain a level of aesthetic patronage no matter what their position or profession. Girithlin women usually eschew any sort of 'profession' as inappropriate for their station, instead pursuing scholarly arts, and managing the financial affairs of the estates and holdings of the House. In all cases, however, Girithlin believe that trades and mercantilism are to be assiduously avoided, as fit only for commoners or houses of mixed blood.
Numenor and Cardolan Edit
The origins of the House Girithlin are ancient, and obscured by the mists of History. Yet their tradition speaks of the Girithlin Highlands in the lost and ancient North, and of Emindil of the line of Soronto, a lord of Numenor, who settled his people there several centuries before the Downfall. It is generally known that they held some high station and much power in fief from the old Northern kings, but that they came to Gondor as landless exiles from the ruin of the great wars with Angmar. The story of their subsequent rise to prominence in the Belfalas is tied closely to the legend of Naringil, which is told elsewhere.
For a millenium now the Girithlin family has served their distant kin, the Princes of Belfalas, as Knights of Dol Amroth. It is even common precedent that the Knight-Herald is traditionally selected from the ranks of this family, whose arms are a golden Star of Elendil upon a burgundy field. Girithlins are typically of a scholarly bent, and hold far greater love and respect for the Eldar than most of their countrymen in these dark times.
Perhaps as a natural outgrowth of this reputation for scholarship and veneration of the old ways, House Girithlin has garnered a reputation as a patron of the arts.
Fiefs and Branches Edit
Lond Duilin Edit
The main holding of the family, Lond Duilin is located at the confluence of the Morthond and Calenhir. Lond Duilin itself is a village of small size situated in the plain between the rivers. The holding here is a large, ancient villa situated on a hill overlooking the plains. It is unfortified, a relic of a more peaceful time. The region is noteworthy for its wines, and both the villa and town are surrounded by vineyards and cypress trees.
The Lords of Lond Duilin are simultaneously the Lords Girithlin, the heads of their House. All other branches of the family are subsidiary to Lord Girithlin, and it is by him that all decisions effecting the House are taken. As such, the Lord of Lond Duilin is the only member of the family who can correctly be addressed as Lord Girithlin.
Calimendil Girithlin is the current Lord Girithlin, having succeeded his father Thorondur upon the fields of Pelennor. At present, Calimendil has no heir. The smallest of the family's branches, its only other members include: Narinzil (Bragollach) Girithlin, Dowager Lady Girithlin; Elenion Girithlin, Knight-Herald of Dol Amroth and Calmendil's paternal cousin; Meleniel (Girithlin) Bragollach, Elenion's sister; and Melanna (Girithlin) Cuthalion, Elenion's sister.
Located around the river Morthond, this holding extends from the Blackroot Vale to the confluence of Morthond and Ringil north of Edhellond. It is a hilly, wooded country of many valleys. There are few settlements of any size, and those are scarce more than hamlets compared to the villages further south. The land is well fortified, as it sits upon Gondor's northern border, and is especially notable for the quality of its bowmen. The Lord of Morthond resides in Gwar-en-Duath.
The current Lady of Morthond is Elenneth, daughter of Duinhir. Her father and brothers were slain during the War of the Ring; Elenneth succeeded via a marriage with her cousin, Araphel. Distant cousins of the ruling line include the Grey Knight of Dol Amroth, Daerion Girithlin, and his nephews.
Emyn Carnen Edit
The southernmost of the Girithlin holdings, Emyn Carnen is largely within the bounds of Belfalas and shares borders with the lands of the Isilrim to the southeast and Lamedon to the north. It is a region of many low hills and gentle rivers and is largely farmland. The region of Ambaran, the High Hills of Belfalas, is in rich in gemstones and is a source of dispute between Girithlin and Isilrim, who also have lands abutting the Hills.
Elenir Girithlin currently holds this land as Lord of Emyn Carnen. His wife is Morien Telamarth, and the pair have twin sons Morendur and Morendil. The marriage of Elenir's sister Invariel to Branithil Isilrim has produced three daughters: Firiel, Invareth, and Ithiriel. Though Isilrim, they have been raised by the Girithlin in Edhellond. Firiel's dowry from her father lies within Ambaran, and disputes over control of the area has increased tensions between the two houses.
The ancient Elven harbour of Edhellond has long since been settled by Men. Though little outward evidence of the Elves remains, Edhellond is an exceedingly fair land. Set at the mouth of Morthond, it serves as the main harbour for the Girithlin lands to the north. Nonetheless, it remains a quiet place, most notable for its orchards and the swans that call its many streams home. The archives of the Girithlin are located in Edhellond, rivalled only by the library of the Kings in Minas Tirith. Because of this, many scholars and bards retire to study in Edhellond.
At present, Caronnen Girithlin is Lord of Edhellond, and Nelbrethil Draudagnir is its lady. Their eldest son, Eruiglas Girithlin, is a Knight of the Swans. Their second son is Gwaithmir Girithlin, a loremaster and bard, husband to Findulian Tarikhor. The pair have three children. Caronnen's third son, Lominzil, was killed in the War of the Ring. The pair have a daughter, Farielle Girithlin, said to be the fairest of all her house.