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Castamir the Usurper of Gondor by MatejCadil Castamir the Usurper of Gondor by MatejCadil
Castamir – Atta Yunquea Aran Ondonóreo (Castamir – the Twenty-second King of Gondor)
Castamir was the grandson of Calimehtar, the younger son of Calmacil, the eighteenth king of Gondor. Although not in a direct line to the throne he was an important prince and became the Captain of Ships of Gondor.
During the reign of king Valacar, rebellion brewed in Gondor, especially in the southern parts, because Valacar's wife had been Vidumavi, a princess from Rhovanion and not of Númenórean descent. It was unheard of for an heir to the throne to come from one of an alien and lesser race, as viewed by the Dúnedain, and many feared that her shorter lifespan would diminish the majesty of the Kings. Castamir joined the rebellion and being nearest in blood to the crown as well as having the greatest following (due to his support by the people of the coasts and havens of Pelargir and Umbar) he became its leader.
When Valacar's son king Eldacar ascended to the throne in T.A. 1432, full civil war broke out. Castamir led the rebel forces that besieged Eldacar in Osgiliath and forced the King to flee to his kinsfolk in Rhovanion. The nature of Castamir's character became apparent during the long siege for he not only caused slaughter and destruction in Osgiliath beyond the demands of war, he also had Ornendil, Eldacar's son, put to death when the city fell.
In Eldacar's absence, Castamir seized the throne. After having shown great cruelty during the war, he further alienated his subjects by being haughty and ungenerous. He also planned to remove the King's seat to Pelargir, a proposal that lowered Castamir in the eyes of the people of Minas Anor and Ithilien.
In the north, Eldacar forged an army composed of his kinsfolk, those Northmen who had been in the service of Gondor, and a growing number of disaffected Dúnedain from the northern parts of the realm. In T.A. 1447 Eldacar marched south and his army was augmented by folks from Calenardhon, Anórien, and Ithilien. Castamir's forces met Eldacar's army in Lebennin where the Battle of the Crossings of Erui was fought. Much of the best blood of Gondor was lost in the fray. Eldacar himself slew Castamir in the fight and thus reclaimed his Kingship.
However, Castamir's sons escaped from the battle and withdrew their father's forces into Pelargir. There they withstood a siege until they could sail away to Umbar. This city and haven became a lordship independent of Gondor and a refuge for all enemies of the realm, a threat that would last for centuries.
pen and coloured pencils, A3 paper. 2017.

So here is Castamir, arguably the worst and certainly the only illegitimate king of Gondor. I originally didn't want to include him, as my pictures of the Kings of Gondor were conceived to be something of an official gallery of portraits of the kings of Gondor, where the Usurper doesn't quite fit. On the other hand, he did rule Gondor for ten years and he is such an interesting character, that omitting him would be a shame. And a poll confirmed this view, so I added him too (and it is his fault that I had to delay publishing the other kings until Castamir was ready. Filthy Usurper, shame on him! ;-) ).
For the look of Castamir, I had much clearer idea than with most of the ancient Gondorian kings. But I realized it is strongly influenced by another Usurper described by another Inkling writer: king Miraz of Narnia from Prince Caspian. To be precise, his depiction in the film. Or, to be even more precise, not just king Miraz himself, but something of a blend of him and his generals. I found this quite fitting, as the Telmarines from Narnia have a Mediterranean (I would say Spanish) look in the film and Castamir is associated with the southern coastal regions of Gondor. What do you think about it?
As for his outfit, it is mostly inspired by Byzantine Empire, though I wanted it to be of a slightly different style from the previous kings to emphasize his rejection of their line. There are also several items or elements evocative of pure Númenorean heritage: The pendant with the device of Idril used by Númenoreans, the pattern with the device of Eärendil, the inscription on the scabbard (by the way, can you read it? ;-) ). He is quite logically depicted as standing in the haven of Pelargir. The ship in the background is inspired by Byzantine navy, particularly dromons.
The ornamental border represents a strong break from the previous Northern-inspired tradition. It is more simple and austere, in its elements reminiscent of the Ship-kings, such as Tarannon Falastur (I imagine Castamir fancied himself as another Ship-king), including also the device of Eärendil in the corners. Lastly, the lines or stripes that delimit the basic shape of the border ornaments and that with all other kings are alternately gold and silver, here are painted in a sort of blackened gold, to signify his illegitimacy as a king.

I hope you like it and I will appreciate your comments! :-)


Castamir's predecessor as well as successor on the throne: Eldacar of Gondor by MatejCadil

For my portraits of earlier kings of Gondor, see the Early Kings of Gondor and the Ship-kings of Gondor
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:iconrearda:
Rearda Featured By Owner May 19, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Superb!  Beautiful attention to detail and perspective.  I love the outfit you've given him, and the design of the ship.
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:iconmatejcadil:
MatejCadil Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot! It took me quite some time to design all of it but I am quite satisfied with the way it turned out. :-)
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:icontoraach:
Toraach Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2018
I looked at image and I conviced an idea about how to describe a conservatism of this style, before I read your description, and you draw this image with a similar idea :D 

So I was thinking that decorations here are very conservative, which is also a typical for a ruler who arose against unpureness of the line of the kings. So I started to seak an inspiration for this style in portrait of earlier kings. And there wasn't any in the early kings, but during the ship kings was the most similar style :) Yet it is much more geometrical than those were. So I found what you described here.

So "in-word" description. The ornament of portrait of Castamir is very conservative, but not the same as the portrait of much admired in the South of Gondor the ship kings, but even more conservative, it looks like the gondorian artists from this area think is conservative and "numenorean" from the age when the kings were pure, and even further from the times of Numenor. So it's so geometrical, unlike the baroque of the lazy kings and "filthly northric" decorations popular in the royal court of that age. Nothing strange that Castamir used the star of Earendil so much, it was a propaganda tool to show his devotion to the great past and dedication to the true dunedain ways.

I enjoy this portrait very much :) It's so original, I like those geometric decorations, and an overall medditerain feel of the portrait. I also think that those regions are Spanish/Italian in their climate, architecture, vegetation, and even perhaps food :) Castamir is also nicely painted and he looks like his own person, just like other rulers from this era :) A nice choice of pose, clothes, armor etc. His face also I can see that he is a sea wolf, he faces many storms. 
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:iconmatejcadil:
MatejCadil Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks, I am glad you enjoy this picture. :-) Castamir is undoubtedly one of the most interesting persons in the line of Kings and it was an interesting challenge to draw him and devise the portrait and the style of the borde ornaments.

Indeed, while I imagine Castamir as thinking about himself as another Ship-king, I wanted the decoration of his portrait not to be just a copy of the ship-kings, but in his pursuit of purity to go even further in the way of geometric simplification and symmetry, to better express the contrast with previous kings.
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:iconaredhelfromtirion:
aredhelfromtirion Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2018
Já jsem věděla, že mi někoho připomíná! Dokonce mě napadla i Narnie, ale nějak mi to vůbec nedošlo... :D
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:iconmatejcadil:
MatejCadil Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No vida.. =D Tohle je prostě podoba, kterou mu ve svém pojetí už neodpářu (zatímco u většiny ostatních králů jsem nijak jasnou představu neměl)... =D
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:iconzatgeneral:
ZatGeneral Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2018
I love your incorporation of the Theodosian Walls in this gorgeous piece. The Byzantine style fits your take of Numenor so well!
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:iconmatejcadil:
MatejCadil Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you, well recognized! :-) Indeed, Byzantine Empire in its architecture, design and fashion is for me a strong inspiration in depicting Gondor. :-)
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:iconmensjedezeemeermin:
MensjeDeZeemeermin Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2018
He has the look of a self-doomed soul aware of that fact... Umbar must have been a place of such blighted hopes, such fruitless malice...  Very well drawn, great elements.
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:iconmatejcadil:
MatejCadil Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot for your comment, I am glad it makes such an impression! :-)
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:iconsamo-art:
SaMo-art Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2018
Very well done! I like so much all the details! 
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:iconmatejcadil:
MatejCadil Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you, I'm glad you like it! It took me so long to finish.. =D
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