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The political dynamics of Gondor were complex and many-layered. This complexity was due to the fact that Elendil's sons did not - indeed, could not - abolish pre-existing Númenórean leagues of independent colonies, which had entrenched itself in the hearts and minds of the Faithful for nearly a thousand years by the time that the Realms-in-Exile were founded. Even at the height of royal power under the Ship-kings, the shadow of the old confederacy still clung tenaciously to its ancient moorings. The Númenórean aristocracy that controlled the Pelargirean League forged its ultimate basis of power in lineage and the continuity of blood, and the enduring forms of its power underwent fundamental change only as a result of the failure of lineage to survive the tribulations of the age.

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