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Basic question on Aragorn's life

R

Robin

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Probably an easy question for the experts, but having just completed reading the trilogy myself, I found one question troubling me most. I didn't read the appendices in complete detail, but thumbed through some of the material, and couldn't entirely figure this out:

Why exactly is it that through all of his already-long life, and with full knowledge of his ancestry, Aragorn never laid claim to his rightful position until the time of our story? The chronology in the appendices reference the times of his "wanderings and errantries" (or something to that effect) during which he served both Gondor and Rohan in disguise. But again, I never caught a decent explanation for why he couldn't have stepped forward earlier.

Now, the obvious explanation to me is that, heck, it just makes a much better story this way! :) It's the classic tale: hero must wander for years (or ages) in anonymity, cloaking his true identity, and must pass great trials in order to truly earn his position, or earn redemption, or ... I don't know, something! So was it just convenient for the story to have him wandering as a "ranger" all those years? Or is there actually some stronger reason given that I missed?

Thanks in advance, all. I know someone out there has this nailed!
 

Greymantle

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Well, if I remember correctly, there was some sort of prophesy or destiny he was meant to fulfill. I know no details about that, I'll leave it to an expert.
But on more basic terms... think about it. One day some unknown northern guy, raised by Elves, comes strolling into Minas Tirith and wants to claim the kingship. I very much doubt anyone would have taken him seriously!
I'm sure there are deeper reasons.... but hey.
Welcome! :)
 
R

Robin

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Originally posted by Greymantle
... But on more basic terms... think about it. One day some unknown northern guy, raised by Elves, comes strolling into Minas Tirith and wants to claim the kingship. I very much doubt anyone would have taken him seriously!
Yah, this occurs to me, too, but then again, consider how it is that he is eventually recognized and acknowledged? By his powers of healing and by the fact that Faramir awakes and instantly recognizes him as being the true king. What about that particular moment made these tokens acceptable then if not before, i.e. if that's all it took, why not years earlier?

OK, I *know* this really shouldn't bug me that much! :)
 

Tar-Steve

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I always thought that the heirs of Isuldur were hidden in the North for their own protection. For survival.

If Sauron had known about them, he would've hunted them down and wiped them out. It's written that he hated Isuldur especially. (What? That thing with the finger? Sauron! ... Buddy! ... You gotta learn to manage your anger! .... Let things go!)

Aragorn has to decide when the time is ripe to reveal that his lineage is intact and that's one of the interesting sub-plots in the story.
 
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Robin

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Originally posted by Tar-Steve
I always thought that the heirs of Isuldur were hidden in the North for their own protection. For survival.

If Sauron had known about them, he would've hunted them down and wiped them out. It's written that he hated Isuldur especially. (What? That thing with the finger? Sauron! ... Buddy! ... You gotta learn to manage your anger! .... Let things go!)

Aragorn has to decide when the time is ripe to reveal that his lineage is intact and that's one of the interesting sub-plots in the story.
Yes, this makes perfect sense. I think you've nailed it.
 

Gothmog

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Had Aragorn, or indeed any of the heirs of Isildur been revealed to Sauron before the time was right then Sauron would have known where to strike to ensure that the war he feared would not have to be fought. The fact that Sauron did not know that any still lived who were decended from Anarion made him unsure about how to deal with Gondor. If he started the war then at any time Isildur's heir could appear and upset his plans. This infact happened when Aragorn used the Palantir to find out what was happening in the war.

So it was to keep the line of Anarion safe and Sauron worried that the heirs of Isildur remained hidden in the north.


Hmmm seems that I posted at the same time as Tar-Steve saying the same thing.:)
 
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graen

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In Aragorn's own words, he revealed himself to Sauron to provoke an attack. "A hasty stroke goes oft astray" or something similar to that.

He was hiding before that because he new an attack would come and he wasn't ready for it. As soon as he revealed himself to Sauron, Gondor was attacked.
 

Tyaronumen

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Originally posted by Thorondor
Grey, you forget that Aragorn was actually a highly loved man in Gondor, for a time. Remember he fought for Rohan and Gondor under the guise of Thorongil, but didn't try to take the throne and disappeared when Denethor was about to take the throne.
Yeah -- he WISELY disappeared because Denethor was obviously _not_ about to tolerate ol' Thorongil, whom it is said was the foremost in the heart of Ecthelion, Steward of Gondor at that time.

If you added the fact that Ecthelion favored Thorongil over his own son to the fact that Denethor was quite proud and didn't like Thorongil always over-shadowing him in every deed, it is clear (to me anyhow :D) that any attempt by Thorongil to reclaim the throne of Gondor at this time would have met with large scale resistance from Denethor and may have done more to help the cause of the Enemy than hurt it.

Also, I think that Aragorn would not attempt to re-claim the throne of Gondor while Narsil was still broken -- and he did not countenance the re-forging of this weapon until he was prepared to go to war against the Black Enemy as the Heir of Isildur...

IMHO, of course!
 

Walter

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Everyone made one - or more - good and valid point(s) here! Aragorn wanted wait until the time was right, wanted his alliance to be ready and well prepared - as far as this was possible under the given circumstances - before he finally took it up with Sauron and made his presence known to him through the Palantír and still, I do like what has been said in the first post the best: "...heck, it just makes a much better story this way!"

And welcome to this forum, Robin & graen :)
 
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Evenstar

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Also, didn't Aaragorn know that Sauron's power was rising and he did not have the power to fight him yet. He needed his sword to be forged anew by the elves. He did not want to reclaiim the throne until he had the powee to support his kingdom.
 

Grond

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A) There was no kingdom, per se, in Arnor. It was just a bunch of solitary ranger (remnants of the Dunedain). So there was nothing really to claim kingship over... in the North.

B) He wasn't ready to press his claim of the throne for Gondor. Remember that had been done once by Arvelig or Ardevui (I don't have my text in front of me) and the ruling Steward and the citizens of Gondor rejected it. Even after winning great reknown as Thorongil, his time was not ripe.

He hesitated to press his claim, even after the Battle of Pelannor Fields. Remember that he asked Prince Imrahil to only say he was a "Ranger of the North". It wasn't until his claim was beyond reproach and he had returned victorious from the Gates of Morannon that he chose to take up the Kingship.:)

By the way, IMHO, everyone in the thread has thus far given intelligent and correct answers to this question.:D
 

Brent

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I must take issue with the mighty Grond. Arnor was most defintely a Kingdom, it was the Kingdom of Elendil.
Elendil and his sons left Numenor but their ships became seperated. Elendil was cast up in Linden and befriended Gil-Galad and went up the river Lhun to found Arnor with his capital at Annúminas on Lake Nenuial.
Isildur and Anarion went south and came up the Anduin and founded Gondor. Minas Ithil was the home of Isildur and Minas Anor the home of Anarion but they had two thrones in Osgiliath.

Arnor broke up into three Kingdoms; Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur. Eärendur's eldest son, Amlaith of Fornost, became King of Arthedain, and is considered the true heir to the line of Isildur.

Its all in the rings of power and the third age.
 

Brent

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whoops got cut off in mid flow there.

what I was about to say was There are hints in The History of Middle-earth that Aragorn refounded the city and may even have made it his capital. No definite statement on this matter appears in the canonical works, though, so this must be considered speculation.

but then thats the fun of these forums !!
 

Grond

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Gad Brent.... read between the lines. We are talking in the time of Aragorn and in the time of Aragorn THERE WAS NO KINGDOM OF ARNOR!!

Arnor was his rightful realm but there wasn't nothin left of it except barrows and barrow wights and the shire and good ole Bree. The rest was Wilderland, which was kept at bay from what civilization was left, by the Rangers and Aragorn.
 

DGoeij

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And the Dunedain of the North were a wandering people aka the Rangers, on request of Gandalf protecting the Shire from the eyes of the enemy. When the Rangers left to aid Aragorn in his actions in the South (Paths of the Dead and from then on) the Shire and Bree were almost immediatly harassed by robbers and thiefs, and some other evil things that kept undiscribed.
A victorious and noble man, fulfilling a prophecy, is more likely to be accepted as heir to the throne, than a unknown wandering Ranger, even when he is carrying a broken sword.
 

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