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Aragorn II Elessar ([personal profile] rangerandking) wrote2016-03-20 12:19 am

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"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?"

PLAYER
Name: Riddle
Age: 28
Personal Journal: I don't really have one? My Plurk fits the bill for that better. ([plurk.com profile] tiger_eyes)
E-mail: Sycophantism@hotmail.com
AIM/MSN/etc: iridescentgnome (AIM), but I don't log on much anymore.

CHARACTER
Name: King Aragorn II Elessar
Canon: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Age: 9092
Timeline: After he becomes the King of Gondor (obviously early in his reign).

Personality: Tragedy struck Aragorn early and, for a time, he was raised in Rivendell - or Imladris - as Estel. Estel had a remarkably carefree childhood, living amongst the Elves and experiencing a freedom and joy he would miss keenly as an adult. Once he came of age, his innocence was broken by the truth (i.e. that he was the descendent of Isildur - the one who betrayed his people and Middle Earth as a whole by taking Sauron's Ring for his own). Since that time, Aragorn has openly avoided his birthright. He carries a seemingly unending amount of doubt in himself. Will he follow in Isildur's footsteps? Will he too betray all of those he knows and loves? Will the people of Gondor suffer needlessly under his rule?

Can he risk putting anyone in such a precarious situation? Decades have passed since he first learned of his heritage and Aragorn has spent the majority of that time in the wild, guarding the kingdom of Men from outside threats as best as he is able. Many Men look fondly upon him, though he never gives them his true name. Is it any wonder, then, that he has so many monikers?

However, now that the Ring has surfaced again, he is forced to make a decision: will he follow the path laid out at his feet and potentially become the King of Gondor or will he shy away from the responsibilities and let others handle the evil that will, slowly but surely, resurface? Because of his nature - he is a true, honest Man - he must choose the former. There is simply no other option for him. He cannot sit idly by and watch Middle Earth suffer.

Aragorn fears some ill nature in his blood - something he inherited from Isildur - will surface and undo all the good that has been done, but at his core, he has a good heart and a will so strong that even Sauron fears it. It is perhaps his heart - and his natural empathy towards others - that makes him fear repeating his ancestor's mistakes so much. Isildur lived three thousand years before him and the records on him are few. If Aragorn had known the Man better, it might be that his fears would have never festered for so long. However his caution is also a strength. He takes nothing for granted; not even his own will-power against Evil.

After being tempted - or seduced, rather - by the Ring personally, there is a marked change in his demeanor. At last, he has faced the temptation of his ancestor and overcome it. While he was always determined to aid Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli and Boromir, that determination seems to burn into a bright fire after he lets Frodo go. He does not see his duty or how he might fail at it; he sees the love he holds for those in the Fellowship (and those left behind) and understands why he must become a leader. Sauron knows Aragorn has defied him and if Aragorn leads the charge, Sauron will know too that he cannot sway him with his usual tricks.

As the journey continues, in Rohan, Aragorn finds further reason to accept his birthright. The people there are suffering and dying needlessly. He is ready and willing - not for the first time, mind you - to die as one of them. He stands side by side with their king in battle and he gains courage in, at last, being Aragorn, son of Arathorn. For the first time, he does not hide his identity from them and it feels good to be accepted and relied upon. Aragorn proves to himself and others that he is not the sort to let anyone down if there is a need or a crisis.

Sauron uses foul tactics to strike fear into his heart concerning Arwen, yet even with that weight on his shoulders, he continues to battle; he continues to push forward to Mordor. By the time he and his army reach the Black Gate, he is ready to be a King. He is ready to lead and guard his people. They are his family and even if he loses Arwen - a heart-break that will take him long to recover from (if he ever does) - he will be empathetic and compassionate about his people's needs. A King should never put himself first - especially not when there is a great foe to be vanquished.

Thus Aragorn is a Man with pride in only what he can do; he does not boast or make promises he cannot keep. His heart is true and when someone becomes a friend, they are loved and counted as family. He will die to protect them if need be and, once revived, feel no blame towards them in the least. His choices are his own and for the first time in his life, he is embracing his strength - both physically and mentally - as he faces the Enemy that has long haunted his dreams. He shows his anger openly before the Mouth of Sauron (by beheading him) and even when Sauron speaks to him - right before battle commences - his thoughts are on his friends. His people. Frodo. Evil cannot make him feel weak, sick or scared; he will not allow it. As the King of Gondor, he stands for all of his people no matter how dark the shadow.

Yet he is human too - with all the expected complexities. Part of his anger - and pain - towards Sauron stems from Arwen dying. He wants to kill the Evil that is harming her so and see her alive and well again. It was her choice to not Sail - and it does not surprise him that she chose not to - but he feels that it is up to him to give Frodo a chance to see Sauron killed for good. He must not fail or all will truly be lost for the second, and likely last, time. Thus he uses that energy - that fire - to combat his foes and give the Hobbit he openly admits to loving the most (out of all the Fellowship) a chance to drop the Ring into the fires from whence it was forged.

In the midst of the battle that commences before the Black Gate, there is a moment of helplessness - of uncertainty. Aragorn is pinned under a troll's foot and, briefly, he realizes that he might be crushed. Yet he does not lay down and allow it to happen. He stabs the creature with a knife and makes it clear that he will die fighting if he must die at all. Just then, the Ring is dropped into Mount Doom's fires and the battle comes to an abrupt end as Sauron's tower collapses. Thus is how the war - at last - ends. Once the Hobbits - and the rest of his party - are healed, he holds his coronation on top of Minas Tirith and becomes the crowned King of Gondor and the lead defender of her lands.

Kingly fits Aragorn quite well now that he has accepted his birthright and settled into his role. He is brave, selfless, empathetic to the problems/fears of others and extremely efficient when it comes to strategizing/fighting a battle. He also has the humbleness and respect required to befriend just about any being on Middle Earth (as long as they are willing to give aid to his cause).

Aragorn does have his weaknesses despite all of his good traits. Underneath his courage, humbleness and kind heart lies a tormented man. The actions of his family - particularly the ancestor who fell prey to the Ring - haunt him day and night. He fears accepting any power in case the curse lies in his blood. He fears that, if tested, he will fail. However, after being offered the Ring by Frodo, Aragorn is beginning to realize that he does have the strength to withstand the allure of might/power. Yet he isn't naive enough to expect that he will always be strong enough to withstand it. Thus the fear remains within him and it will likely remain tucked away in his heart throughout his reign as King of Gondor.

After all, shouldn't a King fear failing his people? Shouldn't a King fear his heart becoming so hardened that he can no longer empathize with those who follow him? Aragorn thinks so and he will continue to fight the baser urges that led to the downfall of his ancestor.

On a lesser level of importance, Aragorn can be quite head-strong and stubborn at times - and sometimes to his own failing. He really does give his all in every discussion/battle/journey. The man doesn't accept anything but the best from himself and he has a tendency of taking the burdens of others onto himself - which only makes him push himself harder. He is learning to find balance, yet the cautionary words of friends and councilors alike is always welcome for a man and King who is likely to overwork himself if left to his own devices.

Background: His history as well as his part in LotRs. I will post it all below for convenience's sake.

"The son of Arathorn II and his wife Gilraen, Aragorn was born on 1 March, T.A. 2931. Through his ancestor Elendil (whom he closely resembled) Aragorn was a descendant of the first king of Númenor, Elros Tar-Minyatur; the twin brother of Elrond.

When Aragorn was two years old, his father 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 Isildur's heir became known. Aragorn was renamed Estel ("hope" in Tolkien's invented language of Sindarin) to hide his existence from Sauron and his servants. He was not told about his heritage until he came of age in 2951.

Elrond revealed to Aragorn his true name and ancestry, and delivered to him the shards of Elendil's sword Narsil, and also the Ring of Barahir. He withheld the Sceptre of Annúminas from him until he "came of the right" to possess it. Aragorn met and fell in love with Arwen, Elrond's daughter (whom he mistook for Tinúviel), when she had returned from Lórien, her mother's homeland.

Aragorn thereafter assumed his role as the sixteenth Chieftain of the Dúnedain, the Rangers of the North, and went into the wild, living with the remnants 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. At Gandalf's request, the Rangers began to guard the Shire, inhabited by the diminutive and agrarian Hobbits. In the areas around the Shire and Bree he became known as "Strider".

From 2957 to 2980, Aragorn undertook great journeys, serving in the armies of King Thengel of Rohan (King Théoden's father) and of Steward Ecthelion II of Gondor (father of Denethor). His tasks helped to raise morale in the West and to counter the growing threat of Sauron and his allies, and he acquired experience that he would later put to use in the War of the Ring. Aragorn served his lords during that time under the name Thorongil (Eagle of the Star). With a small squadron of Gondorian ships, he led an assault on Umbar in 2980, burning many of the Corsairs' ships and personally slaying their lord during the Battle of the Havens. After the victory at Umbar, "Thorongil" left the field, to the dismay of his men, and went East.

Aragorn also travelled through the Dwarves' mines of Moria and to Rhûn and Harad, where (in his own words) "the stars are strange".

In 2980, he visited Lórien, and there 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 mortality, the "Gift of Men". Elrond withheld from Aragorn permission to marry his daughter until such time as his foster son should be king of Gondor and Arnor reunited. To marry a mortal, Arwen would be required to choose mortality and thus eventually deprive the immortal Elrond of his daughter; and Elrond feared that in the end Arwen might find the prospect of death (her own and that of her husband) too difficult to bear.

Gandalf grew suspicious of the ring belonging to the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, which was later discovered to be Sauron's One Ring. Gandalf asked Aragorn to track Gollum, who had previously possessed the Ring. This hunt led Aragorn across Rhovanion, and he finally captured Gollum in the Dead Marshes northwest of Mordor and brought him captive to King Thranduil’s halls in Mirkwood, where Gandalf questioned him.

In The Fellowship of the Ring, Aragorn joined Frodo Baggins, Bilbo's adopted heir, and three of his friends at the Inn of the Prancing Pony in Bree. The four hobbits had set out from the Shire to bring the One Ring to Rivendell. Aragorn, going by the nickname "Strider", was then aged 87, 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 Frodo volunteered to destroy the Ring in the fires of Mount Doom, and Aragorn was chosen as a member of the Fellowship of the Ring to accompany him. The Fellowship also included Gandalf, the Hobbits Pippin and Merry along with Frodo's faithful gardener Samwise Gamgee, Legolas the Elf, Gimli the Dwarf, and Boromir of Gondor. Before the company departed, Elven-smiths reforged the shards of Narsil into a sword, setting into the design of the blade seven stars (for Elendil) and a crescent moon (for Isildur), as well as many runes. Aragorn renamed the sword Andúril (meaning "flame of the west" in Sindarin), and it was said to have shone with the light of the Sun and the Moon.

Aragorn accompanied the group through their attempted crossing of the pass of Caradhras, and subsequently through the mines of Moria. After Gandalf was lost there in battle with a Balrog, Aragorn led the company to Lothlórien and then down the river Anduin to the Falls of Rauros. Originally he planned to go to Gondor to aid its people in the war, but after the loss of Gandalf he became increasingly concerned about his responsibilities to Frodo and the quest. The Fellowship, however, now quickly fell apart: Frodo decided to continue his journey alone (accompanied by Sam) and Boromir was killed trying to defend Merry and Pippin, who were captured by orcs.

In The Two Towers, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli (calling themselves the Three Hunters) set off to track the Uruk-hai, hoping to rescue Merry and Pippin. They encountered Éomer, who was pursuing rumours of an orc raid in the area. From Éomer, Aragorn learned that the orcs that kidnapped Merry and Pippin had been slaughtered, and that no hobbits were found among the remains. Dejected, he led Legolas and Gimli to the site of the battle. Clues led Aragorn to believe that the hobbits might still be alive, prompting him to lead the party into Fangorn Forest. They found not the hobbits, but Gandalf the White (whom they initially mistook for Saruman), sent back from death to continue his duties in Middle-earth. Gandalf told them that the hobbits were in the care of the Ents of Fangorn. Together, the four travelled to Edoras in Rohan, where Gandalf freed Théoden from Saruman's enchantment and helped him muster the Rohirrim against Saruman. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli then helped the people of Rohan in the Battle of the Hornburg, in which they decisively defeated Saruman's army.

In The Return of the King, Aragorn used a palantír and revealed himself to Sauron as the heir of Isildur, in order to distract Sauron's attention from Frodo, who was approaching Mordor. Sauron 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 entered 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 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 the royal standard that Arwen had made for him, showing both the White Tree of Gondor and the jewelled crown and seven stars of the House of Elendil. With the help of the southern forces the armies of Gondor and Rohan rallied and defeated Sauron's army.

To continue to distract Sauron's attention from Frodo's quest, Aragorn led the armies of the West to the gates of Mordor, where Sauron attacked with overwhelming force. But at that moment the Ring was destroyed, and Sauron and his forces were vanquished.

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 unclaimed for centuries due to historical, legal, and military circumstances. The royal house of Gondor descended from Elendil, but through Anárion, Isildur's brother. 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 elder son. When Gondor's throne became vacant in T.A. 1944, the separation of the kingdoms had been reinforced when the Steward Pelendur rejected the claim of the northern prince Arvedui (Eärnil, a lateral member of the House of Anárion, was eventually chosen king instead). But Arvedui's wife was also of the House of Anárion, so Aragorn descended not only from Elendil and Isildur but also from the ruling family of Gondor. By the time of the Lord of the Rings, however, Gondor had been under the rule of the Stewards of Gondor for centuries, as it was widely doubted that any of the royal line still lived.

In The Return of the King, the Steward Denethor, who years before had seen "Thorongil" as a rival for his father's favour, declared that he would not bow to a descendant of Isildur. Aragorn healed Faramir, Denethor's heir, who had been expected to die; Faramir, unlike his father, recognized Aragorn as his lord and the rightful heir to the throne. Aragorn's humility and self-sacrifice gained him the hearts of the inhabitants of Gondor's capital city. His healing abilities were noted also by the people of Gondor; 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 Aragorn as King that same evening.

Despite his immediate success and popularity, however, Aragorn decided to lay aside his claim to the throne for the time being. He knew that if he aggressively promoted his claim, rival claimants or debates over his legitimacy might ensue, 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 he left Minas Tirith and symbolically refused to enter it again until he was crowned King.

In order to ensure safe passage across Mordor for Frodo to fulfil 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."


Therefore, in summation, Aragorn is a pivotal player in the war against Sauron and the armies of Mordor. While he was raised (as Estel) by Elrond (along with Elrond's twins Elladan and Elrohir and his daughter Arwen) after the death of his father (when Aragorn was only two) and the rest of the Dúnedains (except for his mother, who was the one who brought him to the Elves in the first place), Aragorn manages to forge a strong connection to the world of Men. He has known, since the age of twenty, that he had a connection (at least in blood) with his much shorter-lived brethren, however it wasn't until the War of the Ring that he truly came into contact with them. Boromir was perhaps one of the first Men that he truly bonded with. Through the trials and eventual death Boromir suffered, Aragorn learned a great deal about the strength and resiliency of the Men of Gondor. He discovered that he is proud to call himself one of them after making a promise to Boromir that he would not let their people fall.

However the teachings of the Elves (despite what certain Dwarves might think) serve Aragorn well. Because of them, he has a knack for being even-handed, kind and wise - as well as elusive when he chooses to be. Yet when the War of the Ring becomes his only focus, Aragorn discovers that he does far more good staying put and defending/aiding those who need him most than staying away from the throne of Gondor. Because of his decision to see the war through to the end - and his decision to risk putting himself in contact with the One Ring - he has seen the effects Sauron and Mordor have had on the Dwarves, Hobbits and other races. Everything is falling into darkness and he knows that he has to find a way - with the aid of his companions - to unite the bright specks of light in Middle Earth to chase the darkness back into Mordor where it belongs. He knows that Sauron remembers the damage Isildur caused and he plans on using those memories to his advantage - which is why he rides into battle before the Black Gate with Andúril at his side.

Yet he does not ride into the (likely to be final) battle by himself. At his side, his loyal and dependable companions (Legolas, Gimli and Gandalf) as well as the Men of Gondor and Rohan ride. Therefore, if one counts the two Hobbits climbing Mount Doom, all of the human-like races of Middle Earth are uniting to oppose Sauron at the same moment. (Thus the reason why I chose this point to bring him into the game. It is a pivotal point where the residents of Middle Earth are, quite literally, releasing one last battle cry in hopes that Frodo will destroy the accursed Ring for all time.)

Aragorn hides his fear well in this scene and - even though his heart aches for those that are lost or burdened with a seemingly impossible task - he is ready to fight. Even the Mouth of Sauron can't distract him from his resolve; he has heard the poisonous words of the Black Lord for far too long and he is eager to silence them for good.

Character HISTORY with OTHER CHARACTERS: I think it's important how Aragorn interacts with his companions and enemies. Those around him have shaped his past and his personality (which is why I'm placing this between his history and his personality).

THE GOOD:

Frodo: Most of his faith has been placed in this little Hobbit. He loves Frodo with all his heart and he prays that he will succeed. Yet he knows faith and prayer aren't enough if those who promised to support Frodo don't do everything in their power to make his way easier. Aragorn is prepared (obviously) to travel to Mount Doom - if necessary - and use himself as a shield for the Hobbit. The burden that has been placed on Frodo's shoulders is great - too great for many - and the fact that he senses that Frodo is carrying on is enough to spur him forward.

Sam, Merry & Pippin: He doesn't know how far the other Hobbits have traveled, but he won't be surprised upon learning the truth. Hobbits are truly remarkable and he respects them to the core of his being. There will come a day - should the Ring fall into the fire from whence it came - that he will gladly bow to them. They are the true heroes; Aragorn only sees himself as a shield or a point of diversion.

Elrond: In many ways, Elrond is Aragorn's father. He was raised by the Elf from the age of two until he left Lothlórien to become a Ranger. Elrond is the one who taught Aragorn his healing abilities, which is not surprising considering Elrond is one of the greatest Healers. Yet what really connects these two - beyond fatherhood and healing - is Arwen. They love her in very different ways, but the intensity of that love is the same. Aragorn did not argue with Elrond when the Elf told him she was to travel to the Grey Havens. He knows Elrond will do what is best for her and, for that reason, he does not dispute his judgment. Rather he redirects his pain at her loss towards Sauron and all of those who follow him.

Arwen Undómiel: There is no other that he loves more than Arwen. His love for her is deep, lasting and, yet, humble. Her well-being matters more to him than his own life - yet she sacrificed her immortality for him (even though he tried to stop her). He keeps that gift close to his heart (thanks to Legolas retrieving it after his fall over the cliff with the Warg), but he will never feel worthy of it.

To make matters more complicated and after Elrond informed him that she would travel to the Grey Havens - where she would not feel the Ring's power (because it was making her very ill) - Aragorn realized that there was a very real possibility that he would never see her again. He has carried the pain of losing her along with Andúril (the reforged Narsil). To him, the sword represents a potentially brighter and better future, yet said future might be bereft of his beloved. Even so, he knows he must carry on for the sake of the people of Gondor (as well as the other races and the whole of Middle Earth).

He cannot let himself succumb to his grief.

Legolas: While Boromir might be his brother because they share the same blood (i.e. the blood of Men), Legolas is the brother of Aragorn's heart. He would lay down his life for the Elf and he knows Legolas would do the same for him - though he hopes such a moment never comes to pass. He is proud to stand by the Elf's side at the end - or the beginning - of things.

Gimli: Over their journey, Aragorn has come to see Gimli in much the same light as Legolas. The Dwarf's resilience and strength have amazed him since they forged the Fellowship of the Ring. However he has also come to know that Gimli possesses a kind and friendly disposition underneath his gruff exterior. Once again, Aragorn is proud - and honored - to have such a friend - and, should the future permit, he hopes his path crosses with more Dwarves.

Gimli and himself share something beyond their friendship, however - something that he doesn't like to think about much. Gimli lost his kin thanks to Orcs and Trolls, which was the same way that Aragorn lost most of his kin (sans his mother). He understands Gimli's pain, which is why he does his best to support the Dwarf in their endeavors.

Gandalf: No matter what color he comes in (Grey or White), Gandalf is a Wizard Aragorn respects - particularly after he encountered Sarumon and saw the devastation he wrought. He considers himself lucky to have the companionship of someone so powerful, yet it is Gandalf's personality that truly appeals to Aragorn. (The two seem to share a propensity for worrying and feeling affectionate towards Hobbits, at least.)

Aragorn truly mourned the loss of Gandalf after the Balrog tried to pursue them, however that pain was soon transformed to awe - which has stayed with him - when Legolas, Gimli and himself encountered Gandalf the White in Fangorn Forest. To him, Gandalf represents one of the strongest forces of good and Aragorn is more than happy to fight at his side.

Boromir: While their time together wasn't easy - the furthest thing from it - Aragorn saw many good qualities in his fellow Man. But he also saw a great deal of himself in Boromir - especially where the Ring was concerned. Boromir's weakness for the Ring's powers was (and is) something Aragorn fears above all. He does not want to repeat the mistake of his ancestor, Isildur, and he realizes how easy it would be to travel down that path - which is why he eventually decides to let Frodo go.

He also made Boromir a promise as the man laid dying and he will keep his word. Somehow. The Men of Gondor will be united under the peaceful rule of Aragorn - or they will die trying.

Théoden: Considering the poor relationship between Gondor and Rohan, it was inevitable that Aragorn and Théoden would have a disagreement or two. Regardless Aragorn believes Théoden was a good king who did the best he could for his people. There was nothing malicious about the ruler of Rohan once Saruman had been purged from him by Gandalf. Yet that didn't stop Aragorn from being frustrated at Théoden's lack of action when it came to Sauron pursuing the his people. Instead of hiding, Aragorn wanted the people of Rohan to fight. Théoden thought otherwise and nearly lost his people and his life in the process. If the Elves hadn't arrived and Gandalf hadn't returned with reinforcements, the people of Rohan would have ceased to exist.

But Théoden learned from his mistakes and that made Aragorn forget all of his frustrations. The king ended up saving the Gondor people - or, at the very least, gave them a chance to even the score against a drove of Orcs and Trolls. Of course then they had to deal with Men and Mumakils. But they won and that was all that counted for the world of Men to exist for a little while longer.

Sadly that was the battle that Théoden lost his life to the Witch King of Angmar. Aragorn feels a deep sadness over the loss of the king, yet the loss also reminds him that he needs to do his best to strengthen the bonds of friendship between Gondor and Rohan should Sauron be destroyed. No kingdom of Man, Elf, Dwarf or Hobbit should worry about no one coming to their aid should they be in dire need.

Eowyn: Though he was aware of her feelings for him fairly early on, Aragorn also saw the strong, warm heart of Eowyn (as well as her impressive abilities with a sword). He sees her as nothing less than equal and he wishes keenly for her body to heal (during her battle with the Witch King of Angmar, she was gravely injured) and for her to discover a bright and wonderful future. She is one of the many reasons he approaches the Black Gate with such zeal.

Dead Men of Dunharrow: While it would have been extraordinarily helpful to hold the Dead Men of Dunharrow in his keeping for future battles, Aragorn is not the sort to break his promises. They served him well and he was content to lay them to rest. Their rest was long overdue, after all. How long was a Man expected to suffer in an intangible form for his cowardice?

The reason I site Aragorn's relationship with the ghosts is because it showed that he is not someone who is swayed by his own selfish desires. He is able to see beyond what might benefit him and give those who serve him their dues.

THE BAD:

Sauron: One could say Aragorn's relationship with Sauron began during Isildur's reign. The weaknesses and shortcomings of his ancestor have rested on his shoulder since he was born - and Sauron is well aware of that fact. In fact, one of the reasons Aragorn became a Ranger was so he could stay far away from any path that might lead to him becoming Gondor's King - and thus following Isildur's footsteps. But it was inevitable. Once Aragorn realized that his future was more or less sealed as King, he wielded Andúril fearlessly and even summoned those that could only be controlled through the use of the sword (i.e. the Dead Men of Dunharrow).

But let it not be said that he was never tempted by Sauron's Ring...

The Ring: Aragorn has felt the attractive power of the One Ring up close and in person. He was tempted to take it and, if he had succumb to that desire, he would have become a power to be reckoned with. Much like Galadriel, he would have been a great and terrible ruler. ("In that hour I looked on Aragorn and thought how great and terrible a Lord he might have become in the strength of his will, had he taken the Ring to himself. Not for naught does Mordor fear him. But nobler is his spirit than the understanding of Sauron.") However he managed to withstand it because he cared more for Frodo and the Hobbit's well-being than he cared about power for himself.

Saruman: Like Sauron, Saruman has far too much insight into Aragorn's past and his fears. The Wizard knew how to push his buttons (for example he openly said that no one would accept a Ranger on the throne of Gondor), yet he paid for it in the end. Aragorn cannot say he pities him in the least. When one allies themselves with the powers of darkness - and revels in them, they can only expect a nasty and bitter end.

Denethor: The corrupt custodian of the throne of Gondor represents the sort of man Aragorn does not want to be. Denethor's close-minded, bitter, selfish and even maniacal approach to ruling "his" city is enough to sour Aragorn almost immediately upon their meeting. Yet I believe Denethor also plays an important role in showing Aragorn how badly Gondor needs a wise and just King. They cannot even hope to survive simple battles with a leader so delusional and corrupt.

Gollum: Simply put - Aragorn does not trust Gollum. He can understand why one might feel sympathy for such a creature, but, had he been at Frodo's side, he would have warned him against following the creature blindly. One cannot depend on Gollum's redemption when he still pursues the Ring so hungrily. Aragorn realizes that anyone with such a lust for the Ring and lacking the ability to fight it will do whatever it takes to steal the Ring into their possession. He does not doubt that Gollum would even go so far as to kill a friend.

Abilities: His ability to rule and strategize in battle go without saying, I think. This covers his swordsmanship. I will copy it below:

"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."

And this covers the weapons he uses in the movie (but doesn't use in the books. I will include them (because I see no reason not to). Again, I will copy them below for ease:

"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.

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'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."

(He also uses something called a Black Stone to summon the Army of the Dead in the books. But I don't think that's applicable in Ruby City.)

And, finally, Aragorn is an adept Healer. He can use various herbs to ease pain, swelling, bruising or even to take down a fever.

Network/Actionspam Sample: There is a magic here that I have never encountered in all of my journeys across Middle Earth. I do not know what to call it or even where it originates. {His anger over having been taken from the final battle at the Black Gate has diminished. In its place, Aragorn looks solemn and paler than usual.} I can only ask that it returns me from whence I came. It is of the utmost importance that I do not -

{For the first time, his voice cracks and he falls silent.}

There is a battle. It will decide the fate of my world. If I do not fight within it; if I do not lend my strength to my men, more of them will perish. {Perhaps they will lose heart. Perhaps all of them will die in the face of their greatest fear. All of the possibilities are incredibly grim.} I must return.

My name is Aragorn. I am the son of Arathorn and the rightful heir to the throne of Gondor. My place is with my people and my friends.

Prose Log Sample: Fatigue pulled at every inch of him. He knew that no rest would be able to banish it - this fatigue was in his heart as well as his body. The only cure would be a victorious end to this - the final battle. Aragorn was certain he had just enough strength to fight, though his thoughts were fixed on Frodo...and the Ring.

This is all we can do for him. He gazed upon Mount Doom, expression unwavering. He will make it. We must believe. His gaze slid from the Mount to the warriors behind him. There was obvious fear in their eyes. He could not blame them. The Black Gate was a horror to behold. Yet...

Yet...

Spurring his horse forward, Aragorn felt a renewed determination to show his men that he was not frightened. They needed a leader - one who did not quake in the face of Sauron or his accursed army. He could give them that; he could give them someone to follow.

As his horse's hooves pounded against the ground, bringing him closer and closer to the immense Black Gate, his thoughts drifted back to far more peaceful times. It seemed strange to think that the horror at the very center of this war had always been apart of the Middle Earth he had come to know and love. His heart ached as he imagined Frodo struggling beneath the malicious whispers of the Ring. He had heard them for himself and he knew that he would not have been able to do what the Hobbit was doing.

Destroy it, Frodo, and I will see you safely back to the Shire.

His gloved hands tightened on the horse's reins, but he did not pull. He was not afraid to face the wrath of Sauron. A flash of white caught his vision as he, at last, pulled his horse to a halt in front of the monstrous structure. As ever, Gandalf the White was bravely at his side - along with his two greatest friends Legolas and Gimli.

No, he was not alone. This was the day Sauron would perish.

Raising his voice, he called:

"Let the Lord of the Black Land come forth! Let justice be done upon him!"

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