The great-grandson of the unremarkable King Calmacil, Castamir was not in line for the throne, but his royal background had made him the Lord of Ships under the previous king, Valacar. His lineage and influence left him in a position to challenge the new king, Eldacar, who was only half Dúnadan. As King Valacar's only son, Eldacar was the legitimate heir to the throne, but his half Rhovanion lineage angered those who believed in a pure Dúnedain royalty. Capitalizing on these feelings, Castamir was able to incite rebellion and besiege Eldacar within the city Osgiliath in TA 1437 of the Third Age. The city was set on fire by Castamir's troops, destroying the famed Dome of Stars. Shortly thereafter, Eldacar fled the city and went into exile in Rhovanion, to the north. With the defeat of the king, Castamir seized the throne.
For ten years Castamir ruled Gondor with an iron fist, while Eldacar quietly regained power. Castamir ruled cruelly, and committed many foul deeds, including executing Eldacar's own son, Ornendil. At first the people of Gondor tolerated Castamir because of his pure Númenórean blood, but as Castamir proposed to move the royal seat to Pelargir and because of his many cruel acts, the people and cities of Anórien and Ithilien turned against him. So, in 1447, when Eldacar returned with an army from Rhovanion the people of Gondor turned against the Usurper. Castamir was defeated at the Battle of the Crossings of Erui, the decisive battle of the Kin-strife as this period came to be known and was killed personally during the battle by Eldacar.
Castamir's influence did not end there. Remnants of his forces, and his surviving sons, retreated from the battle to the port of Pelargir and after a year long siege, escaped by ship to Umbar, far to the south. These descendants of Castamir became the Corsairs of Umbar, fierce pirates who terrorized the coasts of Gondor with the help of the men of Harad. They were perhaps the greatest threat to Gondor for nearly 400 years, commanding massive fleets of ships. Their most infamous exploit was the Raid of Pelargir in TA 1634, in which a Corsair armada led by Castamir's great-grandsons Angamaitë and Sangahyando sailed up the river Anduin to the port of Pelargir, deep in Gondor's territory. This raid coincided with King Minardil's visit, and he was slain by the Corsairs in the attack.
They remained a significant threat until TA 1810, when King Telumehtar of Gondor retook Umbar. So great a victory was this, that forever after Telumehtar was known as Umbardacil, which literally means "victor over Umbar". In this battle the last descendants of Castamir were finally killed.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Dutch||Castamir de Ursurpator|
|German||Castamir der Thronräuber|
|Spanish||Castamir el Usurpador|
|King of Gondor (Usurped)|
|Castamir the Usurper||Succeeded by|
|TA 1437 - TA 1447|
|Kings of Gondor|
Elendil | Isildur | Meneldil | Cemendur | Eärendil | Anardil | Ostoher | Rómendacil I | Turambar | Atanatar I | Siriondil | Tarannon Falastur | Eärnil I | Ciryandil | Hyarmendacil I | Atanatar II Alcarin | Narmacil I | Calmacil | Rómendacil II | Valacar | Eldacar | Castamir the Usurper | Eldacar (restored) | Aldamir | Hyarmendacil II | Minardil | Telemnar | Tarondor | Telumehtar Umbardacil | Narmacil II | Calimehtar | Ondoher | Eärnil II | Eärnur | Aragorn II Elessar | Eldarion