- "In the middle of the table, against the woven cloths upon the wall, there was a chair under a canopy, and there sat a lady fair to look upon, and so like was she in form of womanhood to Elrond that Frodo guessed that she was one of his close kindred. Young she was and yet not so. The braids of her dark hair were touched by no frost, her white arms and clear face were flawless and smooth, and the light of stars was in her bright eyes, grey as a cloudless night; yet queenly she looked, and thought and knowledge were in her glance, as of one who has known many things that the years bring."
- —The Lord of the Rings, "Many Meetings"
Arwen was the Half-Elven daughter of Elrond who was also known as Arwen Undómiel or Arwen Evenstar in Middle-earth. In marrying Aragorn II Elessar after the War of the Ring, she became Queen of the Reunited Kingdom of Arnor and Gondor, and like Beren and Lúthien before her she united Elf and Man in peaceful love and harmony, and became mortal.
Arwen was the youngest child of Elrond and Celebrían; her elder brothers were the twins Elladan and Elrohir. Through her father, she was the granddaughter of Eärendil the Mariner (the second of the Half-Elven), great-granddaughter of Tuor of Gondolin, and therefore a direct descendant of the ancient House of Hador. Arwen was also a descendant of King Turgon of the Noldor through her great-grandmother, Idril. Through her mother, she was the granddaughter of Lady Galadriel and the great-granddaughter of Finarfin. Éomer of Rohan said that the Lady Arwen was more fair than the Lady Galadriel of Lórien, but Gimli son of Glóin thought differently. Through both of her parents Arwen was a direct descendant of the ancient Elven House of Finwë. Furthermore, Arwen was a descendant of Beren and Lúthien Tinúviel, whose story resembled hers. Indeed, Arwen was held to be the reappearance in likeness of her ancestress Lúthien, fairest of all the Elves, who was called Nightingale (Tinúviel).Arwen was a very distant relative of her husband Aragorn. Aragorn's ancestor, Elros Tar-Minyatur, the first King of Númenor, was her father Elrond's brother, who chose to live as a man rather than one of the Eldar. Elros died in SA 442, some 3,240 years before Arwen was born.
Arwen eventually became Queen of the Reunited Kingdom of Arnor and Gondor when she married Aragorn, who was of the line of the Kings of Arnor. After 122 years of royal marriage, Arwen died of a broken heart a year after the death of Aragorn.
After the War of the Ring ended, Arwen and Aragorn produced the future heir of the throne, Eldarion.
By Arwen and Aragorn's marriage, the long-sundered lines of the Half-elven were joined. Their union also served to unite and preserve the bloodlines of the Three Kings of the High Elves (Ingwë, Finwë, and the brothers Olwë and Elwë) as well as the only line with Maiarin blood through Arwen's great-great-great grandmother, Melian, Queen of Doriath, and also on Aragorn's side, through the line of kings of Arnor and Númenor to Elros, Elrond's brother, whose great-great-grandmother was also Melian.
Aragorn and ArwenEdit
During Aragorn's twentieth year he met Arwen for the first time in Rivendell, where he lived under Elrond's protection. Arwen, then over 2700 years old, had recently returned to her father's home after living for a while with her grandmother Galadriel in Lórien. Aragorn fell in love with Arwen at first sight, when he first mistook her for Lúthien believing that he had "fell into a dream"
About thirty years later, the two were reunited in Lórien; at that time, Arwen reciprocated Aragorn's love; then they "plighted their troth" (promised themselves to each other) on the mound of Cerin Amroth. This showed that she had made the choice given to her as a child of Elrond: to sail over the sea when he left Middle-earth and remain immortal or to stay behind and become mortal. Arwen never broke faith with Aragorn, even when he went to war. While the War in the South raged on, Arwen wove a banner for Aragorn; it would become his standard after he became king.
When Éowyn fell in love with Aragorn, it was his fidelity to Arwen that prevented him from reciprocating. This motivated Éowyn's subsequent heroism during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, which had major repercussions for the defense of Middle-earth. Arwen served as inspiration and motivation for Aragorn, who had to become King before he could wed her.
Before taking the Paths of the Dead, Aragorn was met by a group consisting of Dúnedain, and Arwen's brothers, Elladan and Elrohir. They brought to him a banner of black cloth: a gift made by Arwen, and a sign that encouraged him to take the difficult path. When the banner was unfurled at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields to reveal the emblem of Elendil in Mithril, gems, and gold, it was the first triumphant announcement of the King's return.
She arrived at Minas Tirith after Aragorn had become King of Gondor and Arnor, and they were married. Arwen married Aragorn on Midsummer's Day in the year TA 3019, after the end of the War of the Ring. She became Queen of the Reunited Kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor. After marrying Aragorn, she bestowed upon Frodo Baggins a gift: Her place on the ships to Valinor. She bore Aragorn's son, Eldarion, sometime during the Fourth Age along with several unnamed daughters.
But Arwen went forth from the House, in the light of her eyes was quenched, and it seemed to her people that she had become cold and grey as nightfall in winter that comes without a star. Then she said farewell to Eldarion, and to her daughters, and to all whom she had loved; and she went out from the city of Minas Tirith and passed away to the land of Lórien, and dwelt there alone under the fading trees until winter came. Galadriel had passed away and Celeborn was also gone, and the land was silent.
There at last when the mallorn-leaves were falling, but spring had not yet come, she laid herself to rest upon Cerin Amroth; and there is her green grave, until the world is changed, and all the days of her life are utterly forgotten by men that come after, and elanor and niphredil bloom no more east of the Sea.
— The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A.
Arwen was born in TA 241 and her age was 2,710 when she met Aragorn in TA 2951. Thus she was 2,690 years older than Aragorn, who was born on March 1st TA 2931. Her age was 2,777 or 2,776 at the time of the Council of Elrond. She died at the age of 2,901 in SR 1542.
Portrayal in adaptationsEdit
- "I would rather spend one lifetime with you than face all the Ages of this world alone."
- —Arwen to Aragorn in The Fellowship of the Ring (film)
She was portrayed in The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King by the American actress Liv Tyler. In the Fellowship of the Ring film, it was she who met Frodo at the ford instead of Glorfindel and wielding the fictional sword Hadhafang. She was not mentioned or featured in Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings.
Arwen was voiced by Sonia Fraser in The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series) was voiced by Kath Soucie in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game). In the fan film The Hunt for Gollum, Arwen made an appearance and was played by Rita Ramnani. In The Lord of the Rings: Conquest, Arwen is a playable hero through a DLC.
Behind the ScenesEdit
In the booksEdit
In the moviesEdit
|Half-elves of Arda|
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings"
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, "The Passing of the Grey Company"
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings: Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen"
- ↑ The Complete Guide to Middle-earth