Sunday, March 27, 2011

Aragorn/Alf Comparison

I thought an interesting comparison between The Lord of the Rings and "Smith of Wootton Major" was the role of the "hidden king." In LOTR, Aragorn is the heir of Isildur and has long lived in the the North Kingdom as captain of the Dunedain, hiding his true identity from most. In "Smith," Alf is the king of Faery, but he lives a hidden life in the human world, working for and as the Master Cook. Both Aragorn and Alf are obviously unique from their counterparts: Aragorn as the heir of Numenor and Alf as an integral part of Faery. Both are incredibly humble despite wielding exceptional power: Aragorn often checks his own desires in order to serve others, and Alf is submissive to Nokes despite Nokes's pride and deceitfullness. And both are full of justice: Aragorn in the ruling of his land and Alf in the way he deals with Nokes at the end of the story.


Idril said...

I find Alf to be a very good comparison to Gandalf as well. Both are incredibly wise and articulate with their advice and actions. Both exist in human form within the human world, and assist those that require assistance. For example, Gandalf desires to support the goodness of Middle-earth, and Alf, as an element of Faerie, desires to help individuals like the Smith and Tim grow into themselves and their imaginations.

Aredhel said...

Very true! I hadn't thought of Alf that way, but you're right. I feel like they both kind of help others in an offhand way...Alf's lesson to Nokes in the end, and Gandalf throughout the books sort of prodding people off on adventures (Bilbo) or sticking up for people and allowing them to come on adventures (Merry and Pippin).