Aragorn II Elessar (TA 2931-FO 120) was the last descendant of both Isildur and Anarion. The line from Isildur is through his youngest son Valinor, and through King Ondoher’s daughter Firiel on Anarion’s line. He is also a distant relation to Elrond and the House of Elrond, through the House of Elros which all Kings of Numenor are descended. Firiel married Arvedui, Last King of Arthedain and father of the first King of the Dunedain Aranarth.
A great tracker and warrior, could inspire whole armies of hopeless men but was fearful of power with what he saw as corruptible blood in his veins, but still holding an air of reverence and respect to his heritage.
At the age of two years old his father Arathorn II, 12th Chieftain of the Dunedain, was killed while in the pursuit of orcs. He was then fostered into the House of Elrond in Rivendell, and his lineage kept secret at the request of his mother Gilraen. Renamed by Elrond to ‘Estel’ who revealed his true name and lineage at 20 years old, where he was also presented with the shards of Narsil and the Ring of Barahir.
Around the time he learnt of his lineage Aragorn fell for Elrond’s daughter Arwen Evenstar. Elrond would only grant permission for the two to marry and Arwen to give up her immortality when aragorn chose to become High King of both Gondor and Arnor.
Tolkien had said that during his early years he traveled across middle-earth to Rohan, Umbar and others after assuming his role as the 16thChieftain of the Dunedain with the Rangers of the North.
After meeting Gandalf in TA 2956 and on the wizards advice he and the Rangers began to protect the outskirts of the Shire, and due to his 6 foot 6 stature became known as “Strider”.
The War of the Ring
Prior to the founding of the fellowship and after Bilbo’s one hundred and eleventieth birthday with Gandalf’s suspicions of Biblo’s ring, he requested Aragorn to find search for Gollum which he did managed to do. Aragorn bought Gollum to Mirkwood where Gandalf questioned him about the ring. However Gollum managed to escape after aid of Sauron’s orcs.
Upon meeting the Frodo, Samwise, Merry and Pippin in Bree he led the four hobbits away from the 9 Nazgul’s raid of the small town of men, through the Midgewater Marshes, they come across the watch tower of Amon-Sul or Weathertop and decide to make camp there, where after the lighting of a flame the Nazgul spot their camp and advance on the watch tower.
After Frodo is stabbed with with a morgul blade in the film, strider is found by Arwen who takes him to Rivendell for healing however in the book it is Glorfindel who does this.
After reaching Rivendell, forging the Fellowship of the Ring and beginning their journey towards Mordor, Aragorn shows his trait for protection by readying his sword when Boromir is reluctant to return the ring.
Aragorn led the fellowship to Lothlorien after the ‘demise’ of Gandalf in Moria, where Galadriel gave him the Elfstone.
“Long have i desired to look upon the likenesses of Isildur and anarion, my sires of old”Aragorn while passing the Argonath (Anarion was changed to Elendil in the film)
The Uruk-hai attack on the banks of the River Anduin that followed split the fellowship, Boromir declared his remorse for his actions to Aragorn, acknowledging him as his his brother, his Captain and his King before dying. He went on to wear Boromir’s wrist bracers from then on to honour him.
Aragorn led Legolas and Gimli for 4 days into Rohan, chasing the Uruk-hai who took Merry and Pippin, ending up in Fangorn Forest where they were reunited with Gandalf, now Gandalf the White.
This newly formed party ventured to Edoras in Rohan, banished the dark magic Saruman had poisoned Theoden with and elected to travel to the fort of Helm’s Deep for protection. In the book Aragorn travels the whole way there with no incident, but in the film he is ran off a cliff and arrives at Helm’s Deep later on.
After leading a counterattack during the Battle of the Hornburg and witnessing the end of the Battle of Isengard, Aragorn along with the Rohirrim headed to aid Gondor.
Aragorn already had Anduril at this point in the book, but in the film, it was delivered to him on the road to Gondor by Elrond to help him in his next quest…heading to Dunharrow.
To help with the defence of Minas Tirith and Gondor Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli entered the Paths of the Dead to summon the Dead Men of Dunharrow to fulfil their oath, after previously betraying Gondor. Aragorn later used this ghost army to wipeout the Corsairs of Umbar who had joined with Sauron. In the films the army of the dead also clear out an over run Minas Tirith.
After arriving in Minas Tirith Aragorn took command of military forces and lead a march on Mordor to distract the gaze of Sauron from Frodo and Sam. Unwavering at the site of the full force of Mordor encircling the army of men, Aragorn lead the charge with a shout of “Elendil”, and bought enough time for Frodo to cast the One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom, ending the War of the Rings.
Aftermath and later life
At the end of the war Aragorn was crowned King Elessar, where he became the 26th King of Arnor, 35th King of Gondor and the first High-King of the Reunited Kingdom. His line is referred to as the House of Telcontar, a word in Quenya meaning “Strider”. He lead campaigns to reclaim lands once ruled by Gondor like that of the Easterlings and Haradrim.
In the year 120 of the Fourth Age, he realised his life was ending, spending his final days with Arwen at his side and passing the crown to his son Eldarion. With a gift from his Numenorian heritage he could choose the time of his death, he died on March 1st Fourth Age on his 210th birthday.
Trivia– Aragorn in Sindarin means “Revered King”.
Bonus Trivia– Originally Tolkien’s idea for “Strider” was to call him “Trotter”