A rugged Ranger he seems to be, unknown to most inhabitants of Bree. Everyone appears to be respectful around him, letting him be, sitting there in the corner of the Prancing Pony. Right away we get a sense of uncertainty about this particular character, leaning perhaps towards him being after the Ring, given the way he stares at Frodo.
However, after the first fright, he becomes the little company`s guide through the Wild. He takes upon himself to help them along on their journey.
The fear within
In Rivendell, his demeanor changes and he comes across as a very emotionally stable, secure and strong character in front of the members of the Council. However, while replacing Narsil on its pedestal, we get a glimpse of another side of Aragorn – a noble, respectful and fearful side.
Arwen: “Why do you fear the past? You are Isildur`s heir not Isildur himself. You are not bound to his fate.”
Aragorn: “The same blood flows in my veins. The same weakness.”
Arwen: “Your time will come. You will face the same evil, and you will defeat it.”
There is fear clouding Aragorn`s eyes as Arwen brings his weakness to the foreground. Her love for him is eternally hopeful and trusting. He will defeat his fears and become who he was born to be.
The burden of the past
Aragorn, however, struggles with the past. He believes, he is weak and will, therefore, fall as Isildur had. To avoid this flaw he has chosen exile, fleeing from his heritage rather than facing it.
The tales told and things taught to you by your surroundings and by other people in your life in a way defines you. It also, however, leads you astray of who you really are and what you can achieve. Aragorn is the same way. This is of no surprise considering he doesn`t have a cause to fight for, at least he thinks he doesn`t. He is afraid of his own presumed weakness. This is not his character trait, it is something he has taken from his ancestor`s experiences.
He believes that only because he is related to them, this weakness would be his doom too. This is completely understandable, he is simply trying to protect himself from what he believes might come to pass if he were to fulfill his destiny. This is his distorted reality. As Sauron uses his malice and evil to live out his reality, so does Aragorn project his out of fear of failure. Everyone can relate to that.
What is our truth?
We convince ourselves of the truth about ourselves, and to avoid negative feelings, we simply quit. It is always an easier road in life to stay where you feel most comfortable. However, this comfortable state of mind is a numbing agent. If you don`t challenge yourself in being the best version of yourself that you can be, you are settling for less than what you really are capable of, simply because of an unrealistic fear of failure.
The reality you live, might not be the true reality of your surroundings. More often than not, people tend to look at their reality through their subjective eyes, through the eyes of their fears, their insecurities, the mistakes they made. But what if all of this is not true? What if everything you thought and how you were brought up to believe, is wrong?
People that brought you up are not perfect, and they have made mistakes on the way. They might have said something to you while you were growing up, that in that moment of fight or frustration they simply let slip, without meaning to. They might have said it because something else was troubling them, and you had nothing to do with it.
You, as a child, however, absorb things like a sponge, so you might have picked things up that had nothing to do with you, but everything to do with them.
See, no one really seems to care how you interpret their words, they don`t bother asking for feedback. They say what they want and move on. You absorb that information and store it away as the truth of the situation. So, when you`re older, you start to mimic the behavior you saw around you. Moreover, you act out the belief system you learned, which might be completely false.
Weakness – an heirloom?
The story of Men failing to defeat Sauron because of their susceptibility to the power of the Ring and their desire for power itself is the only story he knows and has therefore taken it as his only reality, and what will ultimately happen to him if he ever faced it.
The whole of the story, however, has nothing to do with him. It is a simple tale being passed on from generation to generation. It mentions his kin, whose experiences and traits don`t hold over Aragorn, not in the slightest. He, however, strongly identifies with this story and takes it as his own prophecy. Aragorn fears his weakness. Only by embracing his own flaws can he overcome them.
Accepting who you are is a major step, one that frees your mind and opens up a bundle of possibilities. You can explore and know yourself better than ever, and the acceptance is just a starting point.
Developing your talents further is the most fun you can have. As Aragorn does during the trilogy. His integrity is challenged along the entire way of the journey. And he, probably without even realizing it, comes into his own with every conquered challenge, setting the path to a destiny that should be, without ever consciously deciding.
As Aragorn leads the Hobbits through the Midgewater Marshes, we get a glimpse of his softer side. He sings the song of Lúthien, the Elf-maiden who gave her love to Beren, a mortal. As Frodo inquires what happened to her, Aragorn simply says: „She died.“ During this song, his eyes turn to sadness, longing, and pain. It would seem that this song is his private prayer, not for Lúthien though, but for Arwen.
The Elf Maiden and a Man
Aragorn and Arwen. A story should live on for generations. A story of true love and self-sacrifice. An impossible love in Aragorn`s eyes, he doesn`t want the same fate for Arwen as Lúthien had, so his emotions are complex, to say the least. Aragorn being insecure about himself and his path in life also feels undeserving of Arwen`s love and would not have her give up her immortality for him.
Arwen is more than sure for both of them and overwhelms him with hope and security in their future together. Arwen knows him as he was, as he is, and what he is capable of. She is also very patient in waiting for him to discover this for himself and accept himself for who he really is.
He starts his journey of acceptance as Gandalf falls in the Mines of Moria. He takes the lead from Gandalf as he was instructed, and powers through. As they reach Lothlórien, emotional journeys of the characters take alternate routes. How do they individually cope with the loss of Gandalf? How does the dynamic of the group change? Read on in my following post.
Featured image by Ana Segota.