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Aragorn

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This article is about the King of Gondor and Arnor. For the Chieftain of the Dúnedain, see Aragorn I.
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Aragorn II
Arnorian
Biographical Information
Other namesAragorn II, Elessar, Thorongil, Strider (see more below)
PositionChieftain of the Dúnedain and King of the Reunited Kingdom
BirthMarch 1, T.A. 2931
RuleT.A. 3019 - Fo.A. 120
DeathFo.A. 120 (210 years old)
Family
ParentageArathorn II & Gilraen
SpouseArwen Undómiel
ChildrenEldarion, at least two daughters
Physical Description
GenderMale
"Tall as the sea-kings of old, he stood above all that were near; ancient of days he seemed and yet in the flower of manhood; and wisdom sat upon his brow, and strength and healing were in his hands, and a light was about him."
The Return of the King, The Steward and the King

Aragorn (S, pron. [ˈaraɡorn]; Third Age March 1, 2931 – Fourth Age 120, aged 210 years[1]) was the son of Arathorn II and Gilraen. He was a Chieftain of the Dúnedain and a direct descendant through many generations of Isildur, the last High King of both Arnor and Gondor. Aragorn would become the greatest man of his time, leading the Men of the West against Sauron's forces, helping to destroy the One Ring, and reuniting the Kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor.

Contents

History

Early Life

At his birth, he received the name Aragorn from his father as "a name used in the House of the Chieftains". But his grandmother, Ivorwen, noted with foresight that Aragorn would one day wear on his breast a green stone; from this would come his royal name Elessar (Quenya for "Elfstone"), and he would be a healer and a renewer.

When Aragorn was two years old, his father was slain when an Orc arrow pierced his eye. As was the tradition of his people, Aragorn was fostered in Rivendell by Elrond. By Elrond's order, his identity was kept secret, as he feared he would be slain like his father and grandfather. Aragorn was named Estel (Sindarin for "Hope") instead, and was not told about his heritage until he came of age in T.A. 2951.

Elrond revealed to "Estel" his true name and ancestry in 2951, when Aragorn was twenty years old, and delivered to him the heirlooms of his House: the shards of Narsil and the Ring of Barahir. The next day, in the woods of Rivendell, Aragorn met and fell in love with Arwen, daughter of Elrond, who had newly returned from Lothlórien.

Aragorn and Arwen by Stephen Hickman

Life as a Ranger

Aragorn took up his proper name as Aragorn II, sixteenth of the Chieftains of the Dúnedain, and went into The Wild. In 2953 he was not present in Rivendell for the last meeting of the White Council. Aragorn met Gandalf the Grey in 2956, and they became great friends. At Gandalf's advice he started to become interested in the Shire, and became known around the area as Strider.

From 2957 to 2980 Aragorn took great journeys, serving in the armies of King Thengel of Rohan, and Steward Ecthelion II of Gondor. Many of his tasks weakened Sauron and his allies, which during the War of the Ring helped the West survive. His name in Gondor and Rohan was Thorongil (Sindarin for "Eagle of the Star"), and with a few Gondorian ships he led a Surprise Attack on the Havens of Umbar, destroying many of their ships and slaying its lord. He later left Gondor to travel into the far East and South "exploring the hearts of men good and evil" and learning about the "plots and devices" of the servants of the Dark Lord. Later in 2980 he was in Lothlórien, and there once again met Arwen. He gave her the heirloom of his House, the Ring of Barahir, and Arwen pledged her hand to him in marriage.

Elrond gave his foster-son permission to marry his daughter, on the condition that he must first become king of both Gondor and Arnor, for only a king would be worthy of Arwen's hand. This may seem a harsh condition, but it should be noted that it is significantly more lenient than the closest precedent: King Thingol's request that Beren obtain a Silmaril from Morgoth before marrying his daughter Lúthien.

Before and during the War of the Ring

In the year 3001, as a now revealed Sauron continued to regain power in Mordor, Aragorn began assisting Gandalf for news of Gollum. Gandalf suspected that the ring Bilbo Baggins found near Gollum's lake was in fact the One Ring. In 3018 after searching intermittently over the years, Aragorn finally overtakes Gollum in the Dead Marshes and takes him to Thranduil in Mirkwood to be held captive. He then returns west where he meets with Gandalf and learns of Frodo Baggins' plan to leave the shire with the ring.

Aragorn and his Rangers kept watch over the border of the Shire waiting for sight of Frodo. While staying in Bree, Aragorn crossed the paths of four hobbits in The Prancing Pony. Aragorn watched as the hobbits clumsily hid their names and intentions. He watched as Frodo Baggins, the leader of the party, fell from a table and disappeared as he put the ring on. Aragorn, whose name was given as Strider, seemed to show no surprise, only annoyance at Frodo’s foolish vanishing act. He arranged for an interview that night, where he warned them of the Black Riders and Bill Ferny, then bluntly requested that they use him as a guide. After some consideration, and a note given them by the forgetful Barliman Butterbur from Gandalf condoning him, Frodo agreed.

Aragorn’s plan to reach Rivendell was to first head toward Archet and bear right to Weathertop. After the Ambush at Weathertop and the wounding of Frodo, Merry took over the position as leader of the Hobbits. After a while they met Glorfindel, a friend of Aragorn’s, and it was not much later that they arrived in Rivendell.

At the Council of Elrond Aragorn was as a member of the Fellowship of the Ring. Aragorn's intentions were to travel with the company for a while before returning to Gondor with Boromir.

Leading the Fellowship of the Ring

Aragorn encouraged the taking of the Redhorn Pass, which ended in disaster. He reluctantly conceded to Gandalf’s plan to pass through Moria, though his sense of foresight warned him for Gandalf. Indeed, after Gandalf fell into the abyss with Durin's Bane, Aragorn was naturally elected leader of the company, despite some resentment by Boromir.

Aragorn again amazed the rest of the Fellowship by his apparent closeness to the people of Lothlórien, and his friendship with Celeborn and Galadriel. At their departure, Galadriel offered him the Elfstone as a wedding gift from the family of the Elven bride to the groom, foretelling his marriage to Arwen.[2]. It was worn by Aragorn ever after and from that he later took the name Elessar.

Even at the Falls of Rauros he was undecided, leaving it to Frodo for the final decision. For though it was obvious he wished to go to Minas Tirith with Boromir, he yet felt that it was his duty to go where the Ring-bearer chose.

Aragorn at the death of Boromir, by Inger Edelfeldt

After Frodo escaped him and Boromir perished, he with the remaining members of the Fellowship, namely Legolas and Gimli, chose to try and save Merry and Pippin from the Uruk-hai that had ambushed them, forming the group that would later be known as the Three Hunters.

He met Éomer in the fields of Rohan, and an instant friendship formed, both feeling the honesty and lordliness of the other. Éomer took a risk for his sake, giving him horses, with the promise that one day soon Aragorn would return to Edoras. Aragorn, tracking the Hobbits, followed into Fangorn forest, where he met the resurrected Gandalf the White. After the restoration of Théoden, he rode to Helm's Deep to fight in the Battle of the Hornburg. There he, alongside his new-found “brother” Éomer, and King Théoden, marshaled the defense against Saruman’s army. His revealed majesty upon the battlements of the Hornburg as he waited for the dawn caused some of the Wild men to pause and shudder, and he heralded the return of Gandalf with Erkenbrand.

After Pippin’s terrifying experience with the Orthanc-stone, Gandalf presented it in a formal manner to Aragorn, its rightful master, who hinted that it would be used by him eventually. After the departure of Gandalf and Pippin to Minas Tirith, he rode for a while longer with Théoden, meeting up with his friend Halbarad of the North, Elladan and Elrohir, and a company of staunch and fearless Rangers. Elladan and Elrohir gave him a message from Elrond: "The days are short. If thou art in haste, remember the Paths of the Dead". Halbarad bore a gift from the Lady Arwen – the Standard of Elendil. Aragorn knew the path set before him.

Return of the King

A little while later Aragorn took his companions and his rangers and set out for Dunharrow, departing from the King’s company. His course was clear: to take the Paths of the Dead, to summon the Dead Men. In Dunharrow, he met the lady Éowyn, who had fallen in love with him. After making it clear that he could not accept her love, he turned towards the evil road with the dawn.

The Grey Company passed through the Dark Door and the Dwimorberg, the Dead following, and coming at last to the Stone of Erech, Aragorn summoned them to his aid. They drew their swords and blew their horns in answer, and swept down upon the Corsairs at Pelargir drove the mariners away. Aragorn released them, and took the Black Ships north to Minas Tirith, where the Battle of the Pelennor Fields raged. The Standard of Elendil broke forth, and his Dúnedain swept down, giving the final blow to the army of Gothmog. The counter-attacked army of Sauron crumbled utterly. But Aragorn did not enter the city.

The Black ships, by Luca Michelucci

Aragorn, furling his banner, appointed Imrahil the temporary lord of the City, as the law demanded. Eventually, however, Aragorn did come to the Houses of Healing, where he tended and restored Merry, Éowyn, and Faramir, in accordance with the prophecy “The hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known”. Aragorn then left the city, hooded and cloaked, and yet the people of Minas Tirith followed him, for they had heard rumours. Yet when in the morning they saw the banner of Dol Amroth, they wondered if the Return of the King had been but a dream.

Aragorn held council with his trusted companions, namely Gandalf, Éomer, Imrahil, and Elrond’s sons – Halbarad had fallen in battle. He agreed to draw forth the forces of Mordor for the benefit of the Quest of the Ring, and so arranged matters for the Battle of the Morannon. After the destruction of the Ring in Orodruin and victory at the Morannon, Aragorn returned at last in the triumphant manner that befitted his position. He was crowned at the gates of Minas Tirith, winning the hearts of the people of Gondor. Gandalf took him up the slopes of Mount Mindolluin, and there Aragorn found the scion of Nimloth, the symbol of his mastery of the Reunited Kingdom. He wedded Arwen on Midsummer's day of 3019, and then was forced to bid his old friends farewell. He turned back to his new kingdom as the Fourth Age dawned and the Ringbearers left the shores of Middle-earth forever.

Reign as Elessar

Brothers Hildebrandt - The Return of the King
Aragorn ruled the Reunited Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor until year 120 of the Fourth Age. He died after 210 years of life and 122 years of rule. His wife Arwen, now mortal, gave up her life shortly afterwards in year 121, aged 2,901.

He founded the House of Telcontar, and was succeeded by his son Eldarion. He also had a number of daughters, whose names were not recorded.

Through his ancestor Elendil, Aragorn was a descendant of the Númenóreans, great Men who were granted long lives by the Valar. Though Númenor was destroyed, its people lived on as the Dúnedain, and like their ancestors they too were long-lived. Thus Aragorn lived to a great age, finally passing on at 210 years.

Etymology

The name Aragorn is Sindarin, meaning "Revered King", from aran ("king") and (n)gorn ("dreaded, revered").[3]

This clear etymology from Tolkien was not revealed until the publication in 2007 of "Words, Phrases & Passages in The Lord of the Rings", a late 1950s manuscript. Before that, several theories were proposed:

  • Ruth S. Noel and several others proposed "King of the Tree",[4] but Tolkien specifically said that this was not the case.[5]
  • David Salo deduces "Having Kingly Valor"[6] from Tolkien's cryptic "'Kingly Valour' (for so is that name interpreted)".[7] This is still the most often cited etymology; Robert Ireland's A Tolkien Dictionary gives the variation "Royal Zeal".[8]
  • Carl F. Hostetter proposed the meanings "King of the Globe" or "King of the Hill" in his analysis of the King's Letter.[9]

The Quenya form of Aragorn was Aracorno.[10]

Names and titles

  • Aragorn II - Aragorn's name as Chieftain of the Dúnedain. He was likely named after Aragorn I.
  • Thorongil - S "Eagle of the Star", a pseudonym used in Gondor and Rohan. Pronounced [θoˈroŋɡil].
  • Elessar - Q "Elfstone", Aragorn's name as a king. Despite popular use as such, Aragorn was never known as "Aragorn Elessar", "Aragorn II Elessar" or "King Aragorn". Pronounced [eˈlesːar].
  • Edhelharn - The Sindarin equivalent of Elessar, used in the King's Letter.[11] Pronounced [eˈðel.harn].
  • Elfstone - The Common Speech version of the previous two.
  • Estel - Q. Usually glossed as "Hope", the concept estel more widely means "hope, trust, a temper of mind, steady fixed in purpose, and difficult to dissuade and unlikely to fall into despair or abandon its purpose". Pronounced [ˈestel].
  • Strider - A sobriquet given by the men of Bree. Aragorn used it mockingly.
  • Wingfoot - A honorary name given by Éomer after the pursuit of the Uruk-hai through the Eastemnet.
  • Telcontar - A Quenya form of "Strider", this was the name of Elessar's Royal House. It was not used independently. Pronounced [telˈkontar].
  • Isildur's Heir - A poetic address, as he was the heir of Isildur.
  • The Dúnadan - "Man of the West", a name given by Bilbo Baggins when their friendship evolved.
  • Longshanks - another, though less frequently used, sobriquet in Bree, ascribed to Bill Ferny. The legs of the Bree-men were shorter than the legs of the Dúnedain.
  • Arakorno - A rare Quenya form of Aragorn, which only appeared in a discussion about the words for Quenya "and".[10] Pronounced [ˌaraˈkorno].

Family tree

Eärendil
 
Elwing
 
Galadriel
 
Celeborn
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elros
 
Elrond
 
Celebrían
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kings of Númenor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lords of Andúnië
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elendil
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Isildur
 
Anárion
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kings of Arnor
 
Kings of Gondor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kings of Arthedain
 
Ondoher
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Arvedui
 
Fíriel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chieftains of the Dúnedain
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Arathorn II
 
Gilraen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ARAGORN II
 
Arwen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eldarion
 
several sisters
 
 
 
 

Other versions of the legendarium

In the earliest unpublished versions of The Lord of the Rings (see The History of The Lord of the Rings), the character that later became Aragorn was called Trotter instead of Strider, and was a Hobbit instead of a Man. He had wooden feet, because he had once traveled to Mordor and been tortured there.

Portrayal in adaptations

1955: BBC Radio's The Lord of the Rings:

The voice of Aragorn is provided by Godfrey Kenton.

1978: Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings:

The voice of Aragorn is provided by John Hurt. Some critics have accused this character of looking too much like a stereotype of a Native American.

1979: Mind's Eye's The Lord of the Rings:

The voice of Aragorn is provided by Tom Luce.

1980: Rankin/Bass' The Return of the King:

Aragorn was voiced by Theodore Bikel.

1981: BBC Radio's The Lord of the Rings:

Aragorn was voiced by Robert Stephens.

1988: J.R.R. Tolkien's War in Middle Earth:

Aragorn is a playable character. He has brown hair and is bearded, he bears a golden sword.

2001: Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring:

Aragorn is played by Viggo Mortensen, though originally, Stuart Townsend was cast in the role. Townsend was deemed too young. Mortensen had just two weeks to train for his first scene, the standoff with the Nazgûl at Weathertop. Mortensen portrays Aragorn full of self-doubt; a change that was presumably made to fit him in the modern "anti-hero" jacket.

2002: Vivendi's The Fellowship of the Ring:

Daran Norris provided the voice of Aragorn.

2002: Peter Jackson's The Two Towers:

Aragorn's part is this film is largely similar to the events in book. The most significant difference being that in the book, their was no Warg attack on the party traveling to Helm's Deep and Aragorn did not fall down a cliff.

2003: Peter Jackson's The Return of the King:

Aragorn shows great trouble over the choice whether or not he should become king, whereas in the book, there is no doubt of his purpose to return as the king from the very first time his lineage is revealed.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Aragorn is a non-playable character, who the player first meets at the Prancing Pony and later in the story in Rivendell and Lórien.

2011: The Lord of the Rings: War in the North:

Eradan, Andriel and Farin meet Aragorn in the Prancing Pony to warn him, on Halbarad's request, that the Nazgûl defeated the Rangers who protected the Shire at the Sarn Ford.[12] Aragorn sends the three heroes to the ruins of the ancient city Fornost.[13]

See also:
"Aragorn Seen Through Different Media" by Connie Veugen, comparing the introduction of Strider in Ralph Bakshi's film, the radio play, Peter Jackson's film and Vivendi's video game of The Fellowship of the Ring.

Titles

Aragorn
House of Telcontar
Continuation of the senior branch of the House of Isildur
Born: March 1, T.A. 2931 Died: Fo.A. 120
Preceded by:
Arathorn II
Chieftain of the Dúnedain
T.A. 2933 – T.A. 3019
None
Position abolished
Preceded by:
Gandalf
Leader of the Fellowship of the Ring
January 15 - August 22, T.A. 3019
None
Position abolished
Vacant
Last held by:
Eärnur, 969 years earlier
King of Gondor
T.A. 3019 – Fo.A. 120
Followed by:
Eldarion
Vacant
Last held by:
Eärendur, 2,158 years earlier
King of Arnor
T.A. 3019 – Fo.A. 120
Vacant
Last held by:
Isildur, 3,017 years earlier
High King of the Reunited Kingdom
T.A. 3019 – Fo.A. 120
None
New title
Head of the House of Telcontar
T.A. 3019 – Fo.A. 120


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


See also

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B.
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (II) The Second Phase: Laws and Customs among the Eldar"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 113
  4. Ruth S. Noel, The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-earth, p. 114
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 347, (dated 17 December 1972)
  6. David Salo, A Gateway to Sindarin, p. 341
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Foreword", p. xii
  8. Robert Ireland, A Tolkien Dictionary, The Lord of the Rings A-C.
  9. Carl F. Hostetter, "The 'King's Letter': An Historical and Comparative Analysis", Vinyar Tengwar 31, p. 18
  10. 10.0 10.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 71
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part One: The End of the Third Age: XI. The Epilogue: The second version", p. 128ff
  12. Offical Xbox Magazine Online, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, dated 28 April, 2011 (accessed at 7 July, 2011)
  13. Gamespot, Game Videos, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North New Heroes Movie (accessed 7 July, 2011)