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Aragorn II Elessar

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Tengwar Aragorn

For other characters named Aragorn see also: Aragorn (disambiguation).

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Aragorn 2 - FOTR
Viggo Mortensen portrays Aragorn in the Motion Picture Trilogy.

Aragorn

Biographical information

Other names
King Elessar Telcontar, Estel, Longshanks, Thorongil, Strider, Wingfoot, Dúnadan, Stick-at-naught Strider
Date of birth
Year ascended to the throne
Date of death
Realms ruled
Weapon
Andúril, other sword, elven dagger (movies), bow (movies)

Physical description

Race
Gender
Male
Height
Tall (6'6")
Hair color
Dark
Eye color
Grey (book) Blue (movie)
Voice
Character
I am Aragorn son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dúnadan, the heir of Isildur Elendil's son of Gondor. Here is the sword that was broken and is forged again! Will you aid me or thwart me? Choose swiftly!

– Aragorn, in the company of Legolas and Gimli, as they are surrounded by, and speaking to, Eomer and the Riders of Rohan

Aragorn II, son of Arathorn II and Gilraen, also known as Elessar, was the 16th Chieftain of the Dúnedain of the North; he was later crowned King Elessar Telcontar (March 1, TA 2931 - FO 120 or SR 1541), the 26th King of Arnor, and the 35th King of Gondor and First High King of the Reunited Kingdom. He was a great warrior, and as the heir of Isildur, bore the shards of Narsil, reforged and renamed Andúril, the Flame of the West before the War of the Ring.

Names and titles

Aragorn was called the Dúnadan ("Man of the West/Númenórean", given by Bilbo in Rivendell), Longshanks (one of several derogatory titles given by Bill Ferny in Bree), Stick-at-naught Strider, another of Bill Ferny's names for him, Strider, so called by Butterbur, it was under this name that he was introduced to Frodo and co. and Wingfoot (given by Éomer after discovering that Aragorn had travelled forty-five leagues in four days in pursuit of Pippin, Merry, and their Uruk-hai captors). He was the founder of the House of Telcontar (Telcontar is "Strider" in Quenya, after the mistrustful nickname given him by the rustics of the North. this was prompted by Pippin when, as a guard of the citadel, he greeted Aragorn quite familiarly as 'Strider'. Which severely shocked Prince Imrahil who ruled Gondor well into the Fourth Age of Middle-earth) in records, his full ruling name is given as Elessar Telcontar ("Elfstone Strider"). He was also known as Estel ("hope") to protect his true lineage from the Enemy when they were seeking the heir of Isildur until he came of the age of 20. He was also known as Thorongil ("Eagle of the Star") in his younger days when he travelled around Middle-earth and performed services in Rohan and Gondor often by protecting camps and raiding enemy strongholds like he did when he crossed the Corsairs of Umbar.

Characteristics

My cuts, short or long, don't go wrong.

– Aragorn reassuring the hobbits that his short-cut would work.

Tolkien gives a brief but detailed description of him in The Lord of the Rings: lean, dark, tall, with "a shaggy head of dark hair flecked with grey, and in a pale stern face a pair of keen grey eyes."[1] In "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen" in the Appendices, he was said to be often grim and sad, with unexpected moments of levity. Some time after the publications of the books, Tolkien wrote that he was six feet six inches tall.

Aragorn possessed elven wisdom due to his childhood in Rivendell with Elrond and the foresight of the Dúnedain. He was also a skilled healer, notably with the plant Athelas (also known as Kingsfoil). He was also a mighty warrior and an unmatched commander; after the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, he, Éomer and Imrahil were said to be left unscathed, even though they had been in the thick of the fighting. Due to his position as Isildur's heir, Aragorn has impressive powers for a Man; he forced Sauron to let him use the Palantír of Orthanc freely (although this was in part due to the fact that as the descendant of Elendil, Aragorn was the true owner of the seeing-stones).

Though there is no indication of his ever doubting his role and destiny as the future king of the Reunited Kingdom and one of the leaders of the war against Sauron (as he did in Peter Jackson's film), he was not immune to self-doubt, as he doubted the wisdom of his decisions while leading the Fellowship after the loss of Gandalf in Moria, and blamed himself for many of their subsequent misfortunes.

On one occasion, his pride (or reverence for his heritage) led to complications, as he refused to disarm and leave his sword Andúril (a priceless heirloom of Númenor and one of the weapons which slew Sauron) at the door of Edoras, as Théoden had required, and only did so after Gandalf left his own sword (also of high lineage) behind. Even so, he swore that death would come to anyone else who touched it (whether by his own hand or by some magic, it is left unsaid).

History

Early years

Aragorntoddler

Aragorn as a toddler.

He was Aragorn son of Arathorn, the nine and thirtieth heir in the right line from Isildur, and yet more like Elendil than any before him.

Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, The Silmarillion

Aragorn was a descendant of Elros Tar-Minyatur, Lord Elrond the Half-elf's twin brother and the first king of Númenor. His ancestor Arvedui was wedded to Fíriel, who bore their son Aranarth, making Aragorn the last descendant of Anárion as well.

When Aragorn was only two years old, his father Arathorn was killed while pursuing orcs. Aragorn was afterwards fostered in Rivendell by Elrond. At the request of his mother, his lineage was kept secret, as she feared he would be killed like his father and grandfather if his true identity as the descendant of Elendil and Heir of Isildur became known. Aragorn was renamed Estel and was not told about his heritage until 2951.

Elrond revealed to "Estel" his true name and ancestry when he was twenty, and gave to him the Ring of Barahir and the Shards of Narsil. Elrond withheld the Sceptre of Annúminas from Aragorn until he "came of the right" to possess the item. It was also around this time that Aragorn met and fell in love with Arwen, Elrond's daughter, newly returned from her mother's homeland of Lórien where she had visited her grandmother Galadriel.

Aragorn thereafter assumed his proper role as the sixteenth Chieftain of the Dúnedain and the Rangers of the North and left the comforts of Rivendell for the wild, where he lived with the remainder of his people, whose kingdom had been destroyed through civil and regional wars centuries before.

Aragorn met Gandalf the Grey in 2956, and they became close friends. Heeding Gandalf's advice, Aragorn and the Rangers began to guard a small land known as the Shire inhabited by the diminutive and agrarian Hobbits, and he became known among the peoples just outside the Shire's borders as Strider.

From TA 2957 to TA 2980, Aragorn undertook great journeys, serving in the armies of King Thengel of Rohan, and Steward Ecthelion II of Gondor. Many of his tasks helped to raise morale in the West and counter the growing threat of Sauron and his allies, and he earned invaluable experience which he would later put to use in the War of the Ring. Aragorn served his lords in disguise and his name in Gondor and Rohan during that time was Thorongil (Eagle of the Star). With a small Gondorian squadron of ships, he led an assault on the long-standing rebel province of Umbar in 2980, burning many of the Corsairs' ships and personally slaying their lord during the battle on the Havens. After the victory at Umbar, "Thorongil" left the field and, to the dismay of his men, went east.

Aragorn, Ranger from the North
called Strider, Dunadan of great worth.
Heir of Isildur, taking on that guilt.
Rightful King of Gondor, by Numenoreans built.
An Elven-maid called Arwen he loved
And thought of while through Middle-Earth he roved.
Befriended by Gandalf, great of his Order,
Travelling the World from Eriador to Mordor.
After the War he finally took his place
As King of the dwindling Numenorean race.
- Arwen Fastred (pseudonym)

Later in 2980, he visited Lórien, and there once again met Arwen. He gave her the heirloom of his House, the Ring of Barahir, and, on the hill of Cerin Amroth, Arwen pledged her hand to him in marriage, renouncing her elvish lineage and accepting the Gift of Men: death.

Elrond withheld from Aragorn permission to marry his daughter until such a time as his foster son should be king of both Gondor and Arnor. As both Elrond and Aragorn knew, to marry a mortal, Arwen would be required to choose mortality, and thus deprive the deathless Elrond of his daughter while the world lasted. Elrond was also concerned for Arwen's own happiness, fearing that in the end she might find death (her own and that of her beloved) too difficult to bear.

Before the events of The Lord of the Rings properly take place, Aragorn also traveled through the Dwarven mines of Moria, to Harad, where (in his own words) "the stars are strange." Tolkien does not specify when these travels occurred nor does he indicate what happens when Aragorn visits.

In 3009, Gandalf grew suspicious of the origin of the ring belonging to the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, which later turned out to be the One Ring, the source of the Dark Lord Sauron's evil power. Aragorn went at his request into Rhovanion in search of Gollum, who had once possessed the Ring. He caught the creature in the Dead Marshes near Mordor, and brought him as a captive to Thranduil's halls in Mirkwood, where Gandalf questioned him.

War of the Ring

Strider in Prancing Pony - FOTR

Strider at The Prancing Pony in Bree

If you bring a Ranger with you, it is well to pay attention to him, especially if that Ranger is Aragorn.

– Gandalf

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be Blade that was Broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
- Bilbo's poem about Aragorn

Aragorn joined Frodo Baggins, Bilbo's adopted heir, and three of his friends at the Inn of the Prancing Pony in Bree. Though originally the hobbits were suspicious of Strider, they eventually trusted him and prepared to escape Bree and the Ringwraiths. These four had set out from the Shire to bring the One Ring to Rivendell. Aragorn was aged 87 at that time, nearing the prime of life for one of royal Númenórean descent. With Aragorn's help the Hobbits escaped the pursuing Nazgûl and reached Rivendell. There, Aragorn chose to join Frodo, thus forming the Fellowship of the Ring that was formed to guard Frodo, tasked with destroying the Ring in the fires of Mount Doom in Mordor. Besides Aragorn, Gandalf, and Frodo, the company included Frodo's cousins Pippin and Merry, his best friend Samwise Gamgee, Legolas the elf, Gimli the Dwarf, and Boromir of Gondor.

Before the group set out, the shards of Narsil were reforged, and the restored blade was named Andúril.

Aragorn accompanied the group through an attempt to cross the pass of Caradhras and through the mines of Moria. He helped protect Frodo from an Orc captain (Cave Troll in the movies) and became group leader after Gandalf was presumed lost in battle with a Balrog. Aragorn led the company to Lórien and then down the river Anduin to the Falls of Rauros. Originally he had planned to go to Gondor and aid its people in the war, but after the loss of Gandalf he also was responsible for Frodo.

Death of Boromir

Aragorn saying goodbye to Boromir after the latter's death.

Passing through the Argonath and the breaking of the Fellowship, Frodo turned and saw Strider, and yet he was no

longer Strider; for the weatherworn Ranger was no longer there. In the stern sat Aragorn son of Arathorn, proud and erect, guiding the boat with skillful strokes; his hood was cast back, and his dark hair was blowing in the wind, a light was in his eyes: a king returning from exile to his own land.

Fear not! he said. "Long have I desired to look upon the likenesses of Isildur and Anarion, my sires of old. Under their shadow Elessar, the Elfstone son of Arathorn of the House of Valandil Isildur's son heir of Elendil, has naught to dread!

– Aragorn proclaiming his lineage

Legolas talking to Aragorn - FOTR

Legolas talks to Aragorn

After passing into the Argonath, the Fellowship camped in Amon Hen. Frodo saw that Boromir had been driven mad by the influence of the One Ring trying to take it. Frodo put the ring on, rendering him invisible, and ran away from Boromir. Frodo climbed to the high seat on Amon Hen; from there he could see Sauron's eye looking for him. The Hobbit felt the eye but it was distracted by Gandalf the White later found in Fangorn Forest by (Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli looking for Merry and Pippin.) Frodo would struggle against the power of Sauron, finally taking the ring off. Then Frodo knew what had to be done: He was to go alone to Mordor to destroy the ring. On the way back to the river he meets Sam, who goes with him. At this same time, the others were attacked by Saruman's Uruk-hai and a battle ensued. During the ensuing battle, Boromir was killed defending Merry and Pippin and giving up his desire for the ring in a last attempt to resist the ring. After discovering that Frodo had left, Aragorn and the others decided that they would leave Frodo and Sam to continue their quest on their own. Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn put Boromir's body and war gear in one of the elven boats as a funeral boat and tribute to Boromir for his bravery and courage. His body would be sent to the Falls of Rauros.

While Frodo continued his quest with Samwise Gamgee, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli went to Rohan to free Merry and Pippin, who had been captured by the Uruk-hai working for Saruman.

I am Aragorn son of Arathorn and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dúnadan, the heir of Isildur Elendil's son of Gondor. Here is the Sword that was Broken and is forged again! Will you aid me or thwart me? Choose swiftly!

– Aragorn to Eomer and the Riders of Rohan

There is always hope.

– Aragorn to Haleth (Son of Háma) before the battle of the Hornburg

Aragorn in Two Towers

Aragorn while talking to Theoden

In The Two Towers, the Three Hunters (as Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli were ever after known) encountered Éomer, who had recently been pursuing rumours of an orc raid in the area. From Éomer Aragorn learned that the orcs who had kidnapped Merry and Pippin had been destroyed and that the Hobbits had not been found. Dejected, he led Legolas and Gimli to the site of the battle. Clues led Aragorn to believe that the Hobbits might still be alive, and he led the Three Hunters into Fangorn Forest. They did not find the Hobbits, but they did find Gandalf the White, sent back from Valinor to continue his struggle against Sauron. Gandalf told the Three Hunters that the Hobbits were safe with the Ents of Fangorn. Together, Gandalf and the Three Hunters travelled

to Edoras, where Gandalf freed Théoden from Saruman's enchantment and helped him organize the Rohirrim against Saruman. He allied with Théoden and led the refugees to Helms Deep. It is on this path where we learn that Aragorn is 87 years old.

Where now are the Dunedain, Elessar, Elessar?
Where do thy kinsfolk wander afar?
Near is the hour when the lost should come forth,
And the Grey Company ride from the North.
But dark is the path appointed to thee:
The Dead watch the road that leads to the Sea.
- Galadriel's message to Aragorn (The Two Towers, Chapter 5)

They must be warned!

– Aragorn, concerning Gondor's safety

Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli then help the people of Rohan in the Battle of the Hornburg, in which they conclusively and victoriously defeated Saruman's army. Afterward Aragorn went with Gandalf to Isengard only to find Isengard in ruins by the work of the Ents. (One of Gandalf's plans to bring Saruman to his downfall.), Aragorn being present with Gandalf, Theoden, Eomer, Legolas and Gimli negotiate in a final parley with Saruman. Saruman at first tries to bend Theoden to his will and at first Theoden is almost swayed but then he masters his will and refuses to join with Saruman. Saruman then sneers at Theoden and turns his attention to Gandalf and tries to sway him, only to be laughed at. Then Gandalf offers him a chance of repentance without limits. Saruman turns white in his face at this, sadly in the end however Saruman refuses to repent out of pride and to leave Orthanc. Gandalf breaks Saruman's staff as he is no longer the head and is banished from the Order of Wizards and The White Council. After Saruman crawls away, Grima Wormtongue then throws the Palantír of Orthanc at Gandalf as he and the others are leaving the Orthanc tower. But misses not being able to decide who he hated more Gandalf or Saruman. Thus ending the Battle of the Hornburg and the Battle of Isengard. In order to distract Sauron's attention from Frodo, who had gone into Mordor, Aragorn used the Palantír of Orthanc obtained from Saruman and revealed himself as the heir of Isildur to Sauron. Sauron probably believed that the One Ring had come into Aragorn's hands; therefore he made his assault on Minas Tirith prematurely and without adequate preparation.

In order to defend the city, Aragorn travelled the Paths of the Dead, and summoned the Dead Men of Dunharrow who owed allegiance to the King of Gondor. It had been prophesied by Isildur and Malbeth the Seer that the Dead would be summoned once more to pay their debt for betraying Gondor a millennia before. With their aid the Corsairs of Umbar were defeated. Aragorn, a small force of Rangers, and a large contingent of men and soldiers from the southern regions then sailed up the Anduin to Minas Tirith. When they arrived at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Aragorn unfurled a standard that Arwen had made for him which showed both the White Tree of Gondor along with the jeweled crown and seven stars of the House of Elendil. With the help of the southern forces the armies of Gondor and Rohan rallied together and defeated Sauron's army.

The restoration of the line of Elendil to the throne of Gondor is a subplot of The Lord of the Rings; Aragorn's adventures not only aid Frodo in his Quest, but also bring him closer to his own kingship which, though his by right and lineage, has been left open for centuries due to historical, legal, and military circumstances. The people of Gondor have been under the rule of the Stewards of Gondor for centuries, as it was widely doubted that any of the royal line still lived. Shortly after Isildur's departure, Meneldil, son of Anárion, had severed Gondor from Arnor politically, although the formal title of High King remained with the northern line (as Isildur was Elendil's eldest son). This arrangement had been reinforced by the Steward Pelendur in nearly 2,000 years before when he rejected Arvedui's claim to the Throne of Gondor during a Gondorian succession crisis (Eärnil, a member of the House of Anárion, was eventually chosen as King instead). It is worth noting, however, that Arvedui had also based his claim on the fact that he had married a descendant of Anárion: thus, Aragorn was technically a descendant of not only Elendil and Isildur but of Anárion as well.

In this hour take the name that was foretold for you, Elessar, the Elfstone of the House of Elendil!

Galadriel after giving Aragorn the Elessar

In Return of the King, the Steward Denethor II declared that he would not bow to a descendant of Isildur (years before, he had seen "Thorongil" as a rival to his father's favor). Aragorn healed Faramir, Denethor's last heir, winning him the immediate recognition of Faramir as rightful heir to the throne; his humility and self-sacrifice gained him the hearts of the inhabitants of Gondor's capital city. Aragorn's healing abilities, moreover, were a sign to the people of Gondor of the identity of their true king; as Ioreth said, "The hands of the King are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known." The people hailed him as King that same evening.

Arwen-aragorn

Aragorn and his wife Arwen

Despite his immediate success and popularity, however, and despite his claim to the throne through raising the royal banner, Aragorn decided to lay aside his claim for the time being. He knew that if he aggressively promoted his claim, rival claimants or debates as to his legitimacy were not out of the question, and this could be a fatal distraction for

Gondor at a time when the West needed to be united against Sauron. So, to avoid conflict, after he had healed people during the following nights of March 15–16, he left Minas Tirith and symbolically refused to enter it again until he was crowned King on May first.

As Reunited King of Gondor and Arnor

Men of Gondor, hear now the Steward of this Realm! Behold! One has come to claim the kingship again at last. Here is Aragorn, son of Arathorn, chieftain of the Dúnedain of Arnor, Captain of the Host of the West, bearer of the Star of the North, wielder of the Sword Reforged, victorious in battle, whose hands bring healing, the Elfstone, Elessar of the line of Valandil, Isildur's son, Elendil's son of Numenor. Shall he be king and enter into the City and dwell there?" And all the host and all the people cried yea with one voice.

Faramir the Steward announces the coronation of King Elessar

King Aragorn

Aragorn, son of Arathorn, King of Gondor

Upon Sauron's defeat, Aragorn was crowned as King Elessar (translated as Elfstone in Tolkien's invented language of Quenya), a name given to him by Galadriel. (In Sindarin, another of Tolkien's languages, this becomes Edhelharn.) He became the twenty-sixth King of Arnor, thirty-fifth King of Gondor and the first High King of the Reunited Kingdom, though it would be several years before his authority was firmly reestablished in Arnor. His line was referred to as the House of Telcontar (Telcontar being Quenya for "Strider"). Aragorn married Arwen shortly afterwards, and ruled the Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor until 120 of the Fourth Age. His reign was marked by great harmony and prosperity within Gondor and Arnor, and by a great renewal of cooperation and communication between Men, Elves, and Dwarves, fostered by his vigorous rebuilding campaign following the war. Aragorn led the forces of the Reunited Kingdom on military campaigns against some Easterlings and Haradrim, re-establishing rule over much territory that Gondor had lost in previous centuries. He died at the age of 210, after 120 years as king. He was succeeded on the throne by his son. Arwen, saddened by the loss of her husband, gave up her mortal life shortly afterwards. Arwen and Aragorn also had at least two unnamed daughters.

Elendil's Oath sung by Aragorn when he is crowned King is as follows:

"Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta!"

Death and End of Reign

When in the year 120 of the Fourth Age, King Elessar realised his days were at an end, he went to the House of the Kings in the Silent Street. He said farewell to his son Eldarion and his daughters and gave Eldarion his crown and sceptre. Arwen remained at Aragorn's side until he died. Shortly a year after Aragorn died, Arwen soon died of a broken heart. Eldarion began his reign as the Second King of the Reunited Kingdom after his father's and mother's death.

Then a great beauty was revealed in him, so that all who after came there looked on him in wonder; for they saw that the grace of his youth, and the valour of his manhood, and the wisdom and majesty of his age were blended together. And long there he lay, an image of the Kings of Men in glory undimmed before the breaking of the world.

– Description of Aragorn's death.

Weapons

Anduril

Anduril Flame of the West

Sword

Main article: Andúril

Aragorn's skills in battle lay primarily in his sword craft. He was a mighty warrior with the sword and easily defeated many types of foes, ranging from large groups of orcs to far more powerful foes such as Trolls and Ringwraiths, evident throughout various battles like Helm's Deep and the Morannon. In each case, Aragorn's finesse in battle has served him greatly and earned him much recognition and respect from both the Fellowship of the Ring and the people of Rohan and Gondor. He was arguably the greatest swordsman of the Third Age, surpassing the likes of Faramir, Boromir and perhaps even Elrond.

Aragorn's sword is Andúril, Flame of the West, the reforged sword Narsil, Elendil's blade that Isildur used to cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand. Aragorn uses it with the same skill the Numenoreans had long ago.

Concept and creation

Identity

The "first term" of the character that later evolved into Aragorn or Strider was a peculiar hobbit met by Bingo Bolger-Baggins (precursor of Frodo Baggins) at the inn of The Prancing Pony. His description and behavior, however, was already quite close to the final story, with the difference that the hobbit wore wooden shoes, and was nicknamed Trotter for the "clitter-clap" sound that they produced. He was also accounted to be "one of the wild folk — rangers", and he played the same role in Frodo's journey to Rivendell as in The Lord of the Rings.

Later Tolkien hesitated about the true identity of "Trotter" for a long time. One of his notes suggested that the Rangers should not be hobbits as originally planned, and that this would mean that Trotter was either a Man, or a hobbit who associated himself with the Rangers and was "very well known" (within the story). The latter suggestion was linked to an early comment of Bingo: "I keep on feeling that I have seen him somewhere before". Tolkien made a proposal that Trotter might be Bilbo Baggins himself, but rejected that idea.

Another suggestion was that Trotter was "Fosco Took (Bilbo's first cousin), who vanished when a lad, owing to Gandalf". This story was further elaborated, making Trotter a nephew of Bilbo, named Peregrin Boffin, and an elder cousin of Frodo. He was said to have run away after he came of age, some twenty years before Bilbo's party, and had helped Gandalf in tracking Gollum later. A hint was also given as to why Trotter wore wooden shoes: he had been captured by the Dark Lord in Mordor and tortured, but saved by Gandalf; a note was added by Tolkien in the margin, saying that it would later be revealed that Trotter had wooden feet.

The conception of Trotter being a hobbit was discarded with the following recommencing of writing; another short-lived idea was to make Trotter "a disguised elf − friend of Bilbo's in Rivendell", and a scout from Rivendell who "pretends to be a ranger".

Quite soon Tolkien finally settled on the Mannish identity of Trotter, from the beginning introducing him as a "descendant of the ancient men of the North, and one of Elrond's household", as well as the name Aragorn. While the history of Númenor and the descendants of Elros and Elendil were not fully developed, the terms of it were in existence, and would come to be connected with The Lord of the Rings as the character of Aragorn developed. Thus the evolution of the history of the Second and Third Ages was dependent on the bringing of Trotter to association with them.

Further character developments

The development of Aragorn's connection to Gondor was long and complex, as was his association with Boromir. Initially it is said that Aragorn's forefathers were the exiles of Númenor who ruled over the people of Ond (early name of Gondor), but were driven out by the Wizard King "when Sauron raised a rebellion". The story of the two branches of Elendil's descendants ruling over two kingdoms of Men through many generations only emerged gradually; at one time, Tolkien even seems to have conceived only three generations between Isildur and Aragorn.

One significant feature which was not established until late stages was Aragorn's relationship with Arwen. When Tolkien first introduced Éowyn, the interest which she showed towards Aragorn was not one-sided, with suggestions in notes that they would marry at the end of the story. Another proposal was done soon, that Éowyn would die to save or avenge Théoden, and Aragorn would never marry after her death.

The first mention of Elrond's daughter, named Arwen Undomiel, was in reference to the banner which she made for Aragorn, but Tolkien did not give any hint whether she had any further part to play. The references to her marriage with Aragorn were made later, but it was explicitly stated only near the completion of the book. It is only in his working on the appendices for The Lord of the Rings that Tolkien recorded the full tale of Aragorn and Arwen.

A passing idea was that Galadriel gave her Ring to Aragorn, and that he would accordingly be titled the "Lord of the Ring".

Rejected names

The original nickname Trotter was retained for a long while, and Tolkien decided to change it to Strider only after the story was completed. There were also several experimental translations of Trotter to Sindarin: Padathir, Du-finnion and Rimbedir, with Ethelion possibly being equivalent to Peregrin (Boffin). Instead of the latter title "the Dúnadan", Quenya Tarkil ('noble Man') was first used, synonym with Númenórean.

Tolkien hesitated for some time about Trotter's "real" name. Although Aragorn was the first suggestion when the Mannish descent was settled, it was changed a number of times. At one point Tolkien decided that an Elvish name does not suit a Man, and thus altered it from Aragorn via Elfstone to Ingold, where the last one is an Old English name with ing- representing 'west'. Later, however, a new plot element was introduced: Galadriel's gift of a green stone, and Tolkien reverted the usage to Elfstone in order to make an additional connection. This was retained into the final version of the legendarium as a side name and a translation of Elessar.

Among other names to be used instead of Elfstone Tolkien considered Elfstan, Elfmere, Elf-friend, Elfspear, Elfwold and Erkenbrand, with various Elvish forms: Eldamir, Eldavel, Eledon, and Qendemir. The name of Aragorn's father also passed through many transient forms: Tolkien intended Aramir or Celegorn to go in pair with Aragorn before settling upon Arathorn; Elfhelm and Eldakar with Elfstone and Eldamir; and Ingrim with Ingold.

History and Mythology

Richard J. Finn presented a paper titled, Arthur and Aragorn - Arthurian Influence in LOTR at the Forty-First International Congress on Medieval Studies. The are additional similarities between Aragorn and Arthur beyond those pointed out by Finn. Arthur is descended from Kings of Goddodin - Coel Hen, Aragorn becomes King of Gondor. Kings of the period in Goddodin lived at both Traprain Law and Din Eidyn (Edinburgh, still known as Dùn Éideann in Scottish Gaelic) remarkably similar to Dúnadan. For "Men of the North", Goddodin was a far northern kingdom. Arthur was crowned by St. Dubriticus, who wore a long gray robe for which he was called "His Grey Eminence", Gandalf the White who also wore a gray robe to indicate he at one time was Gandalf the Grey and crowned Aragorn.

Appearance in the books and films

In the books

In the movies

Portrayal in Adaptations

Films

Aragorn was voiced by John Hurt in Ralph Bakshi's 1978 animated film version of The Lord of the Rings. Bakshi's Aragorn, unlike all other portrayals that were to follow to date, has no beard. This actually conforms to a statement appearing in Unfinished Tales that implicitly says that Aragorn was not supposed to have one, due to his Elvish ancestry (Elves did not grow beards). In a note written in 1972 or later, among the last writings of my father's on the subject of Middle-earth, there is a discussion of the Elvish strain in Men, as to its being observable in the beardlessness of those who were so descended (it was a characteristic of all Elves to be beardless. However, Tolkien actually wrote elsewhere that Elves did have beards; in The Lord of the Rings itself Círdan is described as having a beard. Also, some viewers and critics have said that this version of Aragorn looks Native American though not necessarily to the detriment of the film.

Aragorn was voiced by Theodore Bikel in the 1980 Rankin/Bass animated version of The Return of the King, made for television. He first appears at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, leading the reinforcements from southern Gondor.

In the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy (20012003) directed by Peter Jackson, Aragorn is played by Danish-American actor Viggo Mortensen, who took over the role from Stuart Townsend after a month of rehearsals. In these movies, Aragorn must overcome his self-doubt to claim the kingship. This specific element of self-doubt is not present in Tolkien's books, where Aragorn intends to claim the throne all along. Daniel Day-Lewis was offered the role, but declined.

Climax of the Return of the King film scene

Sons of Gondor, of Rohan! My brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me! A day may come when the courage of men fails , when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day! An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I BID YOU STAND, MEN OF THE WEST!!

– Aragorn encouraging the Men of Rohan and Gondor

In order to ensure safe passage across Mordor for Frodo to fulfill his quest, Aragorn then led the Army of the West out from Minas Tirith to make a diversionary feint on the Black Gate of Mordor itself in the Battle of the Morannon. Gandalf had been given supreme command of the war effort after the Pelennor Fields, and acted as chief spokesman in the parley with the Mouth of Sauron; but Aragorn commanded the Allied troops during the battle and its aftermath.

Stage

(See the stage article: The Lord of the Rings)

Aragorn was portrayed by Evan Buliung in the three-hour production of The Lord of the Rings, which opened in 2006 in Toronto, Canada.

In the United States, Aragorn was portrayed by Josh Beshears in the Cincinnati, Ohio production of The Return of the King (2003) for Clear Stage Cincinnati. At Chicago's Lifeline Theatre, Aragorn was played by Robert McLean in the 1999 production of The Two Towers.

Radio

Robert Stephens voiced the character in the 1981 BBC Radio serial of The Lord of the Rings.

Non-Canonical weapons

Note: The following is from the movie adaptation.

In the film adaptation, Aragorn never carries the shards of Narsil as he did in the books, and only receives the reforged Andúril before entering the Paths of the Dead. Up until this time, Aragorn uses a different, more basic sword that is never given a name. Attached to the scabbard of this sword is a small utility knife that Aragorn uses in the wild country.

Dagger

Note: The following is from the movie adaptation.

Aragorn also uses a long, curved dagger in battle, though a lot less frequently than his sword. This dagger is used for close combat and as a last resort if the sword is useless in a particular situation, such as when Aragorn is knocked down or assassinating Sauron's servants. He received a curved dagger from Celeborn in the movie, upon leaving Lorien. In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (video game), Aragorn uses his dagger as a finishing blow for his Final Judgment and Warrior Bane combos. Aragorn also uses his dagger to cut a piece of Athelas to help Frodo's wound when he gets stabbed by the leader of the Nazgûl's Morgul-blade.

Bow

Note: The following is from the movie adaptation.

Aragorn's next weapon in his arsenal is his bow. This bow is rarely used at all. Aragorn only uses it in Moria, shooting Goblins in the beginning of the Fight in Balin's Tomb and while fleeing the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. During these few scenes, Aragorn shows that, though he does not have the expert bow skill and speed that Legolas possesses, he is still an effective shooter when he successfully brings down two goblins through small cracks in the door.

In "The Two Towers" and "Return of the King" video games, Aragorn's missile weapon is his bow and arrows. In each case, Aragorn has 30 arrows.

Army of the Dead/Black Stone

Aragorn's final weapon is the Black Stone. He uses it once in The Return of the King to summon the Oathbreakers and defeat the Corsairs of Umbar. He is not shown using it in the movie adaptation.

In LOTR: Conquest, Aragorn's special, heavy attack is to summon the Army of the Dead.

In The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, Aragorn's most powerful ability is to summon the Army of the Dead, which appears as four abnormally large, invincible ghost units, who can kill infantry almost instantly, though they are weak against buildings. The only units capable of doing any sort of damage to the Dead are heroes (and possibly siege engines), which even then get immediately wiped out.

Voice Dubbing actors

Foreign Language Voice dubbing artist
Japanese Hōchū Ōtsuka (大塚 芳忠)
Korean (SBS TV Edition) An Ji Hwan (안지환)
French (Québec) Jacques Lavallée
French (France) Bernard Gabay
Spanish (Latin America) Sergio Gutiérrez Coto
Spanish (Spain) Juan Antonio Bernal
Catalan
German Jacques Breuer
Italian Pino Insegno
Portuguese (Brazil) (Television/DVD) Affonso Amajones
Turkish Boğaçhan Sözmen
Polish ????
Czech Michal Dlouhý
Slovak Pavel Višňovský
Hungarian Selmeczi Roland †
Tagalog (Flipino) ????
Russian Aleksei Ryazantesv (Рязанцев, Алексей Анатольевич)
Ukrainin Michael Zhonin (Михайло Жонін)
Mandarian Chinese (China / Taiwan) Kui Lu (陆揆)
Cantonese Chinese (Hong Kong) Luo Ooa (羅偉傑)
Thai Uttaporn Teemakorn (อรรถพร ธีมากร) (Kapook, Films 2-3)
Wanchai Paowiboon (วันชัย เผ่าวิบูลย์) (Channel 7)
Hindi ????
Tamil ????
Telugu ????
Persian Saeed Mozafari (سعید مظفری)
Punjabi ????
Urdu ????

Trivia

  • Near the end of the first movie(fellowship of the ring), in the scene where Aragorn fights the Uruk-hai Captain Lurtz, Aragorn uses his sword to deflect his Elvish dagger, which Lurtz threw at him after he stabbed him in the leg with it. This was not meant to happen as in the original script the knife was supposed to miss and hit the tree behind Aragorn, though the mask Lurtz's actor was wearing restricted his vision, causing him to miss his mark and throw the knife directly at Aragorn. Luckily he was able to use his sword to deflect the knife just in time. The director decided to keep that scene rather than the originally planned scene, as he did just barely manage to knock the dagger away.

Miscellaneous Information

Aragorn was also the name of a heavy metal band from Pretoria, South Africa, until they changed it to Stryder in 1990.

Preceded by:
Arathorn II
16th Chieftain of the Dúnedain
TA 2933 - TA 3019
Followed by:
Assumed the Throne
Preceded by:
Isildur
3rd King of all the Dúnedain
TA 3019 - FO 120
Followed by:
Eldarion
Preceded by:
Arathorn II
16th Lord of the Dúnedain
TA 2933 - TA 3019
Followed by:
Eldarion
Preceded by:
Arathorn II
16th Heir of Isildur
TA 2933 - TA 3019
Followed by:
Eldarion
Preceded by:
N/A
King of the West
TA 3019 - FO 120
Followed by:
Eldarion
Preceded by:
Vacant, title last held by Isildur
3rd High King of Gondor and Arnor
TA 3019 - FO 120
Followed by:
Eldarion
Preceded by:
Vacant, title last held by Eärnur
35th King of Gondor
TA 3019 - FO 120
Followed by:
Eldarion
Preceded by:
Vacant, title last held by Arvedui, King of Arthedain
26th King of Arnor
TA 3019 - FO 120
Followed by:
Eldarion
Preceded by:
None
1st King of the Reunited Kingdom
TA 3019 - FO 120
Followed by:
Eldarion


Chieftains of the Dúnedain

Aranarth | Arahael | Aranuir | Aravir | Aragorn I | Araglas | Arahad I | Aragost | Aravorn | Arahad II | Arassuil | Arathorn I | Argonui | Arador | Arathorn II | Aragorn II (Elessar)


The Fellowship of the Ring
Frodo · Sam · Merry · Pippin · Gandalf · Aragorn · Legolas · Gimli · Boromir


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

House of Isildur

                               Elros
                                 :
                          Kings of Númenor
                                 :
                              Amandil
                                 :
                          Lords of Andúnië
                                 :
                              Elendil
                                 |
                    ------------------------------
                    |                            |
                 Isildur                      Anárion
                    |                            :
    ---------------------------           Kings of Gondor
    |        |       |        |             
 Elendur  Aratan   Ciryon  Valandil        
                              |                                
                          Kings of Arnor 
                              :                                
                           Ëarendur
                              |
                              ---------------------------------------------------
                              |                     |                           |
                     Kings of Arthedain      Kings of Cardolan           Kings of Rhudaur
                              :
                 Chieftains of the Dúnedain
                              :
                         Arathorn
                              |
                          Aragorn II =  Arwen (Daughter of Elrond)
                                            |
                                        Eldarion 
                                            |
                             Kings of the Reunited Kingdom
                                            


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People: Faramir · Sauron · Witch-king of Angmar · Gollum · Elrond · Frodo Baggins · Samwise Gamgee · Meriadoc Brandybuck · Peregrin Took · Gandalf · Aragorn II Elessar · Legolas Greenleaf · Gimli · Boromir · Galadriel · Elves · Hobbits
Locations: Gondor · Mordor · Middle-earth · Rohan
Other: Mithril · The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game · The Fellowship of the Ring (novel) · Works inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien · The Lord of the Rings · The Lord of the Rings (1978 film) · Ainulindalë · Tolkien vs. Jackson · Tengwar · Quenya

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, pp. 156, 169 (Houghton Mifflin, 50th Anniversary Edition, 2004)

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