Who Is Elrond’s Brother Elros, & Why Is He Human?

elros and elrond

We all know that Elrond has always been one of the most important figures in The Lord of the Rings and in all of the other writings of JRR Tolkien himself, as he had important roles to play in the history of Middle-earth. But a lot of different people tend to forget that another son of the great Half-Elven named Eärendil also had a role to play in the events of the world. This was Elros, who we actually saw in a painting in The Rings of Power. But who is Elros, and why is he human?

Elros is the twin brother of Elrond as they were both born to Half-Elven parents Eärendil and Elwing during the final century of the First Age. After the defeat of Morgoth, the Valar allowed Elros and Elrond to choose what they wanted to be. Elros chose to be human and went on to establish Númenor as its first king.

The very choice of Elros to become a Man was the reason why Númenor was ever established, as the Valar gave his people a home to live in because of their efforts in the battle against Morgoth. It was Elros who is actually the first ancestor of the great kings of Men. And that means that Aragorn, the king of Gondor during the Fourth Age, was one of his descendants.

Who Is Elros?

Episode 4 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power allowed us to see Númenor for the very first time on our screens, as this land was never shown in any of the previous adaptations of JRR Tolkien’s writings (because it sank well before The Lord of the Rings). During that time, Galadriel came to become friends with Elendil, the captain of the ship that rescued her and Halbrand from the sea. And it was through Elendil that Galadriel was able to go to the Hall of Lore of Númenor.

One of the most important things that happened in the Hall of Lore was that Galadriel was able to decipher that Sauron’s mark was not a sigil but was actually a map of the Southlands (soon to become Mordor). That was when she understood that Sauron was planning on transforming the Southlands into a realm for himself and his Orcs. However, there was also a very interesting moment that happened while Galadriel was exploring the Hall of Lore.

As she was walking around the Hall of Lore, Galadriel was impressed by how the records were kept well enough and how the entire structure was actually built by Elros himself. That was when Elendil asked if she knew Elros, to which she replied that he was a rare spirit. Galadriel also said that she was much closer to Elros’s brother, who was depicted in a painting along with Elros himself. But who is Elros?

elros painting 1300x811 1

Born in the latter portion of the First Age, Elros was the son of Eärendil and Elwing, who are two Half-Elvens. Of course, one of the most notable things about Elros is the fact that he is actually the twin brother of Elrond, who met earlier in the series and is one of the most notable characters in the history of JRR Tolkien’s writings and in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

Of course, while a lot of us know who Elrond is, not a lot of people actually know who Elros is, given the fact that he was not always talked about by Tolkien in his writings. But the one thing that people should know about Elros is that he was just as important as his brother because it was through him that the great kings of Men were able to thrive on Middle-earth.

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It all started when the father of Elros and Elrond, Eärendil, went to the Valar to seek help against Morgoth. This event led to the War of Wrath, which led to Morgoth’s defeat and the end of the First Age. The Valar thanked the Half-Elven people for their contribution to the war, and that was when Elros and Elrond were given choices that helped shape the future of the Middle-earth.

Why Is Elros Human?

As seen in the painting of Elros and Elrond, it was clear that Elros was an elderly old man in comparison to the younger-looking Elrond. But if they were actually brothers, why is it that Elros was human?

Well, it all goes back to when the Half-Elven were given a choice by the Valar after the defeat of Morgoth at the end of the First Age. While Elrond chose to be an immortal Elf and went on to become a great lord among the Elves, Elros chose to be a mortal human with a long lifespan. As such, he was able to live for hundreds of years but was not immortal like his brother.

It was also after Elros made his choice that he was able to establish arguably the greatest kingdom of Men in the world. The Men that helped in the battle against Morgoth were given their own kingdom, as the Valar raised the island of Númenor from the sea. This island became the new kingdom of those Men, as Elros became the first Númenorean king that ruled for more than four centuries until his death. But the Valar prohibited the Númenoreans from ever sailing to Valinor.

During the time when Elros ruled Númenor, he did so as a man that kept in touch with the Elves and his brother. However, long after Elros died, Númenor became secluded as it cut off its ties with the Elves and Middle-earth. This soon led to the Downfall of Númenor during the time of Al-Pharazôn’s rule as king, as he was too ambitious that he wanted to invade Valinor in the hopes of obtaining eternal life.

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While Númenor did indeed fall as the entire island returned to the sea, there were still some Númenoreans that were able to go to Middle-earth to establish their own settlement there. That was when Elendil, the leader of the surviving Númenoreans, established the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor. Of course, because he was the only descendant of Elendil, Aragorn became the new king of Gondor by the end of the Third Age, more than 6,000 years after Elros became the first king of Númenor.

As such, while Elros wasn’t the most epic character in terms of his accomplishments and deeds, it was from him that the kings of Men descended. That is why Aragorn’s bloodline can be traced all the way back to Elros himself, as there would be no great kings of Men without Elros.

  • Ysmael Delicana

    Ysmael “Eng” Delicana is a writer based in Davao City, Philippines. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at Ateneo de Davao University before continuing to teach part-time at the same university. While teaching was a fun gig, being a geek and a writer seemed to be his cal...