Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2 Sides to Aragorn?

Today in class, we were talking a little bit about the two contrasting sides of Aragorn: that of Strider and that of the rightful King of Gondor. However, I think that even the "Strider side" of Aragorn shows how he would make a good king. He cares for and thinks of others first. He seeks to help those who are under his care, such as when he burries Boromir before following the orcs. It's also shown how he cares for even the smallest and will do whatever he can for them when he decides to go after Merry and Pippin. At one point he even says that if all they can do is show their friendship by starving to death in the forest with the hobbits, he will do it still. He cares more for these people who trust and follow him than for himself. He could have just left them and gone on to claim his throne in Gondor, but he chose to care for his charges. I think this shows a side of him that is like a ranger, but it is also a good quality for a king: to care even for the smallest of his subjects.


Elwing said...

I agree completely with Radagast. Being a Ranger makes him an even better King. The comparison is really clear with Denethor who is very vain, lives in comfort, and wears a sword ceremoniously. Aragorn, on the other hand, has seen battle, lived in the wild, and has travelled over most of Middle Earth. This makes him rugged (and attractivie of course), and also gives us a greater sense of fulfilment when he does take the throne. He is the best of both worlds and therefore better suited to rule Gondor.

Luthien said...

I really like what was also mentioned in class about Aragorn being both a SERVANT and a king (which is just a different way to say what both of you said here). Like we've talked about a lot - things aren't necessarily what they seem, such as (like above comment) corrupt leaders like Denethor, who should be actually LEADING their country, but are ... well, not. (I could say a lot more than that, haha)

So maybe, on that note, to many leaders, Aragorn's role as this sort of servant to others at first appears silly and weak and mockable and not fit for kinghood. But, as we can tell, these characteristics and others that come along with his many different titles more than make him a good king.

Something else I've noticed - when Aragorn is seen as kingly by any other character in the book (at least up to this point), there's a lot of emphasis on his physical appearance (attractive, yes :) and his sword. It never seems to be when he's DOING something, like protecting or fighting. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but what's up with that? (Or am I just being petty?)

Radagast said...

I would think that his being portrayed as physically kingly is kind of like the sterotype we have in our heads. Aragorn was supposed to be the stereotypical hero, and when we each think of a king, we get that picture in our heads of the lordly man with his sword. If you think about someone running across the country to rescue two little hobbits, it doesn't necessarily make you think of him being kingly (however, as I said, I think that it makes him even more kingly). But I think it's described this way just because it is a stereotype and that's what portrays it the best.

Fingolfin said...

Later in the novel it talks about a king having the "hands of a healer", and Aragorn later demonstrates this at Minas Tirith. We see Aragorn start as some mysterious stranger in a pub and turn into a great king, and this is shown in many ways. Others in the series can actually feel the "kingliness" coming out of Aragorn; at Helm's Deep fighters stop and stare at Aragorn at some point.

Aredhel said...

I honestly think that Aragorn is not very divided. There are parts of the novel where Aragorn will appear more kingly or more ranger-y, but he never really changes personas. He may grow in appearance or have a flickering crown about his brow at times, but even crowned kings do not always appear super majestic. I also think half the time we see Aragorn through the eyes of characters who don't know who or what Aragorn actually represents. The hobbits stumble across "Strider" in Bree, and they've never seen a king before so who are they to judge what he is?

Instead of two sides I think Aragorn operates in a "veiled" kingship if you will. It would be dangerous for him to walk around declaring, "Alright everyone I'm the King of Gondor, respect me!" That's basically like Aragorn giving his GPS signal to Sauron and being like "Come get me!" Aragorn has to guard his actions and his visibility so he cannot always appear in kingly light.