Comment on Aragorn uncloaked:
Comment on Aragorn uncloaked:
- When standing in the Hall of Fire during the Elbereth song, Aragorn is seen wearing a “star”.
- Later, we find out that a broach in the shape of a rayed star is the insignia of the Rangers, so it would seem that this is what Aragorn is wearing here, though Frodo doesn’t know that.
- It would seem that here in Rivendell, Aragorn has no need to conceal his identity, and therefore can wear this insignia openly, unlike in Bree, where it would raise suspicions and questions.
- This is a follow-up on his recent identification as the Dúnedan, though we don’t know that yet.
- Aragorn’s close proximity to Arwen is an expression of their relationship, and Elrond’s tacit acknowledgement and approval of their love, as well as Aragorn’s closeness with them both.
- Frodo, like the readers at this point, don’t know anything explicit about their relationship, and therefore it is a surprise to Frodo that Aragorn marries Arwen in Minas Tirith.
- Elrond’s withholding of permission to marry until Aragorn is king has the shape of a fairytale trope of having the male lover accomplish an impossible task before he can marry the princess.
- However, while appealing to that shape, even remembering Thingol with the parallel with Beren and Lúthien, rather of sending Aragorn to his death, he wishes for Aragorn to fulfill his destiny.
- Elrond is turning that tradition, in which the intention is to deny their request, on its head. He is using their love as the spur to accomplish the task, which in this case, benefits the whole world.
- If his kingship is accomplished, which is only possible if Sauron is defeated and the Ring destroyed, then they will be able to marry. If they fail, then it would be impossible anyway.
- Elrond is in a different position from Thingol, in that he knows the consequences of this choice.
- In comparison to Thingol, Elrond is making a much more positive and constructive condition. This is an entirely unselfish proposition, as he is doing it solely for their good and the world’s.
- If Sauron is defeated and the Ring destroyed, his realm will fail anyway, so this is not about him.
- As Galadriel says, doom has come to them either way. Whether they lose of win, this is the end.
- Note: Elrond’s depiction in the films was more resistant and reluctant toward Aragorn than he is in the book, where he openly accepts Aragorn as kin. What is lost is Elrond’s sense of kindness.
- It’s clear in the Appendices that Elrond and Aragorn view each other like father and son. Elrond has none of the negative reactions that Thingol had toward Beren, but instead understands.
- For Frodo, the idea that anyone, even someone like Aragorn, now that Frodo knows who he really is, would be able to marry someone like Arwen seems impossible.
- Even in the previous instances in the First Age, one of the Edain marrying one of the Eldar came as a shock, and it hasn’t happened since then. There were no unions in the Second Age.
- This shock and surprise would carry over to any first-time reader of The Lord of the Rings, especially those who haven’t read The Silmarillion and know about the other two unions.
- Note: The idea that Imrahil had Elvish ancestors predates the idea of the marriage of Aragorn and Arwen being the third union, but he kept it in, with the notion that this a separate category. In Tolkien’s exploration of that story, the elf-maiden Mithrellas doesn’t marry her human lover and delivers her mortal child into his care. Their fates are not joined together, like in the other unions. This is much more like a traditional medieval fairy romance.
- What defines an Age, and who determines when one Age ends, and another begins? How do they know when an age is ending? Is there an expected timeline for future Ages?
- The Second Age is less clear than the First and Third, defined by the defeat of the Dark Lords.
- In modern history, most of our divisions are more arbitrary and less defined by real differences. The divisions are usually based on time broken up into equal units of time.
- In these definitions of Ages, it is less defined by the passage of time or important events, but in a change in the world and the way it works.
- The fact that the end of the Ages being anticipated points to an understanding that the world will be qualitatively different, which certain people can feel coming as things change.
- Many of the major events would not have been obvious to those outside of the geographic areas where they took place, but the end of the Ages is signaled by a perceptible global change.
- The end of the time of the Elves is not only something that happens, but something that has been known about in advance for a long time. The final fall of Sauron doesn’t cause it.
- The end of the Second Age could plausibly be linked to the fall of Númenor and the changing of the shape of the world but is instead tied to the first fall of Sauron against the Last Alliance.
- This convention of the numbering of years seems to be a Gondorian tradition since they time it from the fall of Elendil and the beginning of the age of Gondor.
- Aragorn decrees the beginning of the Fourth Age based on the destruction of the Ring, so this is something that was done in Gondor. In the Shire-reckoning, the old calendar simply continued.
- However, the Gondorian recognizes that there’s something universally different about the Ages.
- There are correlations between the falls of the Dark Lords and the end of Ages, but this is not necessarily the root cause, especially in the case of Sauron with Second and Third Ages.
- The beginning of the Fourth Age is different because of the departure of the Elves and the beginning of the dominion of Men, not because of the destruction of the Ring and Sauron.
- These are not coincidences either, but they are not the root causes of the change of Ages.
- Specifically, with Gondor, their counting is also tied to the events that affect them locally, but this is not definitive for all Middle-earth, such as in the Shire, who may or may not know of it.
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