Who is Aragorn?
Aragorn II is the Cheiftan of the Dúnedain of the North, crowned king of Gondor and Arnor, first High King since King Isildur himself, wielder of Narsil, reforged into Andúril, the blade that severed the ring from Sauron’s hand, King of the West and Lord of the House of Telcontar, and leader of the Fellowship of the Ring after the fall of Gandalf.
“I am Aragorn son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dúnadain, the heir of Isildur Elendil’s son of Gondor. Here is the sword that was broken and is forged again! “
Aragorn was descended from both Isildur, King of Arnor, and Anárion, King of Gondor, making him the rightful king of both Arnor and Gondor. He would be crowned as the 26th King of Arnor and 35th King of Gondor, and also the first High King of Gondor and Arnor, since his ancestor Isildur reigned almost 3000 years before.
He is the Chieftan of the Dúnedain of the North (known as Rangers), protectors of the west, friend of Gandalf, raised by Elrond, half-elven in Rivendel, wedded to Elrond’s daughter Arwen, father of Eldarion, the second High King of Gondor and Arnor. Fought alongside King Thengel of Rohan (Theoden’s father) and Steward Ecthelion II of Gondor (father of Denethor).
Aragorn is the rightful king of both Gondor and Arnor, but he is also a Ranger. He is heir to a kingdom of power and glory, yet he is an adventurer and wanderer. He is destined to live in castles and halls, yet lives under the stars and in the wilds. He is both Strider, the Ranger, and Aragorn, the High King; each different, yet exist at the same time.
“‘Fear not!’ said a strange voice behind him. Frodo turned and saw Strider, and yet not Strider; for the weatherworn Ranger was no longer there. In the stern sat Aragorn son of Arathorn, proud and erect… a light was in his eyes: a king returning from exile to his own land.”
As a Ranger, Aragorn has learned many skills of survival and tracking, which are displayed while tracking Merry and Pippin. While chasing the Uruk-kai, Aragorn listens to the ground, to help track them and also the Riders of Rohan, and he also uses his Ranger’s skill to determine what happened to Merry and Pippin after the Riders of Rohan killed the Uruk-kai. He is also well learned in healing, especially the use of Athelas (also called Kingsfoil) and uses it for Frodo while on their way to Rivendell, and in the Houses of Healings, after the Battle of the Pelennor.
As the rightful king, Aragorn displays power and confidence, even more than he usually does. As a descendant of Númenor, Aragorn is gifted with long life (not immortal life like elves), when he meets Frodo Baggins, Aragorn is already 87 years old.
In Appendix A describes Aragorn as the following…
“Thus he became at last the most hardy of living Men, skilled in their crafts and lore, and was yet more than they; for he was elven-wise, and there was a light in his eyes that when they were kindled few could endure. His face was sad and stern because of the doom that was laid on him, and yet hope dwelt ever in the depths of his heart, form which mirth would arise at times like a spring from the rock.”
He was also a fierce and skilled warrior. Escaping unscathed from the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, and fighting off Ringwraiths from Weathertop, during the War of the Ring. Before the War of the Ring, he personally killed the Lord of Umbar, and burned many of the Corsairs’ ships, fought alongside Gondor and Rohan, and raised morale against Sauron. He’s also traveled to Harad, and into Moria.
Examples from the Book
While on the Great River, entering Arnor…
“‘Fear not!’ [Aragorn] said. ‘Long have I desired to look upon the likenesses of Isildur and Anárion, 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 nought to dread!'”
At the Battle of Helm’s Deep…
“So great a power and royalty was revealed in Aragorn, as he stood there alone above the ruined gates before the host of his enemies, that many of the wild men paused, and looked back over their shoulders to the valley, and some looked up doubtfully at the sky.”
While first meeting the Riders of Rohan…
“Aragorn threw back his cloak. The elven-sheath glittered as he grasped it, and the bright blade of Andúril shone like a sudden flame as he swept it out. ‘Elendil!’ he cried. ‘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!’
“Gimli and Legolas looked at their companion in amazement, for they had not seen him in this mood before. He seemed to have grown in stature while Éomer had shrunk; and in his living face they caught a brief vision of the power and majesty of the kings of stone. For a moment it seemed to the eyes of Legolas that a white flame flickered on the brows of Aragorn like a shining crown.
“Éomer stepped back and a look of awe was in his face. He cast down his proud eyes.”
A Brief History
At the age of two, Aragorn was sent to Rivendell to be fostered by Elrond, after his father, Arathorn, was killed by orcs. His mother, Gilraen, asked Elrond to keep who Aragorn was a secret. Elrond kept this secret, and called Aragorn Estel and didn’t tell Aragorn who he was until he was 20 years old, when he told Aragorn his true name, gave him the Shards of Narsil and the Ring of Barahir, an heirloom of his house, but he did keep the Sceptre of Annúminas, the symbol of the ruler of Arnor, until Aragorn proved himself.
Close to this time, Aragorn met Arwen, and fell in love with her, took up the mantel of Chieftain of the Dúnedain and the Rangers of the North. Aragorn also met and befriended Gandalf the Grey, who advised Aragorn and his Rangers to guard the Shire, where he became known as Strider.
Aragorn went on many adventures before the War of the Ring. He served in the Rohan and Gondor armies in disguise as Thorongil, led a group to the rebel province of Umbar, where he killed their Lord, and burned many ships. He traveled east to Harad, where “the stars are strange”, to Moria and also to Lórien where he met Arwen again. During this visit, he gave her the Ring of Barahir, and Arwen renounced her elvish lineage in order to pledge her hand in marriage to Aragorn.
The War of the Ring
Aragorn met Frodo Baggins and his group, at the Inn of the Prancing Pony in Bree, where he earned their trust, and became their guide and protector. With Aragorn’s help, the group was able to escape Bree, and the Ringwraiths (with a little help from an elf named Glorfindel) and make it to Rivendell. At Rivendell, Aragorn chose to join the Fellowship of the Ring, to help destroy the One Ring, and to travel to Gondor with Boromir in order help the fight against Sauron. The Shards of Narsil were also reforged and renamed Andúril.
While part of the Fellowship, Aragorn fought against wolves and orcs, aided the party at the pass of Caradhras, and through the Mines of Moria. After Gandalf the Grey fell to the Balrog, Aragorn became the leader of the Fellowship. He led the group to Lórien, to rest and recover.
After leaving Lórien, the Fellowship traveled down the Great River, Anduin. At Amon Hen, the Fellowship broke. Frodo and Sam headed towards Mordor to destroy the Ring by themselves, after Boromir tried to take the Ring from Frodo, Boromir died trying to redeem himself by saving Merry and Pippin, who were taken by Uruk-hai, and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, tracked and chased down the Uruk-hai who had taken Merry and Pippin.
The three hunters chased the Uruk-hai through Rohan, where the Uruk-hai were killed by the Riders of Rohan, on the eaves of Fangorn Forest. The group, entered the forest in search of Merry and Pippin, where they met Gandalf the White, who comforted them with the knowledge that the Hobbits were safe.
With Gandalf, the group traveled to Edoras, the seat of power of Rohan, where Gandalf freed King Théoden from Saruman’s influence, and rallied the Rohirrim. The group and the Rohirrim headed to Isengard, but were redirected to Helm’s Deep, when they heard that an army was headed that way. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli fought in the Battle of Helm’s Deep, until Gandalf arrived in the morning with reinforcements, and they were able to defeat the invading army.
In order to protect Minas Tirith from Sauron’s army, Aragorn traveled the Paths of the Dead, to summon the Oathbreakers, Dead Men of Dunharrow, who owed allegiance to the King of Gondor. With the help of the Oathbreakers, Aragorn and company were able to defeat the Corsairs of Umbar, who were on their way to fight against Minas Tirith.
Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, along with Elrond’s sons, Elladan and Elrohir, Dúnedain, Rangers of the North and a host from Lebennin and Lamedon boarded the Corsairs’ ships, and sailed to Minas Tirith. There they, with the Rohirrim and armies of Gondor, were able to defeat Sauron’s army.
After Sauron was ultimately defeated, Aragorn was crowned King Elessar, a name given him by Galadriel, and thus became the twenty-sixth King of Arnor, thirty-fifth King of Gondor, and the first High King of the Reunited Kingdom (Gondor and Arnor). His house was called the House of Telcontar (Tecontar is Quenya for “Strider”). This marked the first year of the Fourth Age.
Reign and Death
Aragorn’s reign was filled with harmony and prosperity for Gondor and Arnor. There was also a strengthening of allegiance between the races of Men, Elves and Dwarves, brought about because of his campaign to rebuild after Sauron’s defeat. The armies of the Reunited Kingdom were led on many campaigns against the Haradrim and Easterlings, in order to reestablish rule over lands that had been lost over the previous centuries. The Reunited Kingdom regained much of its old glory and power under the reign of Aragorn, King Elessar.
At the age of 210 years old, Aragorn gave Eldarion, his son, his crown and the Sceptre of Annúminas, and said farewell. Aragorn died with Arwen by his side, Arwen would then die a year later from a broken heart. Eldarion became the Second King of the Reunited Kingdom.
“A time may come soon when none will return. Then there will be need of valour without renown, for none shall remember the deeds that are done in the last defence of your homes. Yet the deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised.”
“If by my life or death I can protect you, I will. ”
“There is still hope.”
“For my part I forgive your doubt. Little do I resemble the figures of Elendil and Isildur as they stand carven in thier majesty in the halls of Denethor. I am but a heir of Isildur, not Isildur himself. I have had a hard life and and a long; and the leagues that lie between here and Gondor are a small part in the count of my journeys.”
“Lonely men are we, Rangers of the wild, hunters – but hunters ever of the servants of the Enemy; for they are found in many places, not in Mordor only. ”Strider” am I to one fat man who lives within a day´s march of foes that would freeze his heart, or lay his little town in ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly. Yet we would not have it otherwise. If simple folk are free from care and fear, simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so. That has been the task of my kindred, while the years have lengthened and the grass has grown.”