What would you do, if you were to choose between the “right” thing and your heart`s desire? If you follow your heart, would you consider that decision a selfish one? Would you be selfish in love or would you suffer for a just cause?
In a dreamlike mirage, we enter Aragorn`s intimate memories with Arwen. They are both in Rivendell before the Fellowship begins its journey. An ease of being, coupled with beautiful angelic music gives a sense of two entities, completely involved in their own perfect existence.
Although the troubles of the world may be weighing down on Aragorn`s shoulders, the magical connection he shares with Arwen is not tainted in any way.
Their love exists in a pure state, untouched by grief that is slowly enveloping Middle-Earth. It is a continuous strand of never-ending affection and hope. It exists beyond any measure of time or space, never waning, never ceasing. Ever-Burning energy conquering all.
Arwen: “The light of the Evenstar does not wax and wane. It is mine to give to whom I will. Like my heart. Go to sleep.”
Aragorn: “I am asleep. This is a dream.”
Arwen: “Then it is a good dream. Sleep.”
Arwen`s necklace represents her heart, the devotion of emotion that she feels toward Aragorn. She is perfectly aware of her choices, as well as her decisions. Her strength of character and overall surety in her decision is the solid foundation of her love of Aragorn.
Arwen has given her heart to Aragorn with confidence that it will stand the test of time and overcome all hindrances.
The unbelievability of this perfect state of mind must feel like a dream to Aragorn. The beauty that is Arwen, and her presence alone, are the centerpiece of the dream. Her graceful countenance and manner of being are godlike in a way, and it is no wonder Aragorn should feel as if being caught in a dream.
However, the troubles weighing on his mind bring him to reality. His brow frowns slightly, his eyes show fear.
Aragorn: “You told me once this day would come.”
Arwen: “This is not the end…it is the beginning. You must go with Frodo. That is your path.”
Aragorn: “My path is hidden from me.”
Arwen: “It is already laid before your feet. You cannot falter now.”
Aragorn places his fears and insecurities before Arwen in the lightest way. Baring his soul to her as if it were the easiest thing in the world. Though he presents himself confident and tough with others of his company, Arwen is the one to see him as he is. He is uncertain of his future, for the path that now lies in front of him, does not concur with his own predictions.
It takes courage and a sense of complete trust in the other person, to bare yourself. This is again proof of their incredibly strong bond, their trust in each other and, above all, the honesty of feeling.
The fear that we have about opening our soul to someone is crippling. It leaves us closed to possible understanding and support from the other person. If one side doesn`t share their inner world, chances are the other side won`t either, subjecting the relationship to a platonic level.
If, however, we are confident enough in ourselves, giving a great deal of importance to expressing our emotion verbally without fear of being scolded or judged, then there is no telling what depths of emotion the relationship can reach.
I do believe that because of the depth of feeling that Arwen and Aragorn, share, their relationship is able to withstand time and distance.
An inner struggle
He cannot see where the path leads, and in that state of mind, he is insecure and afraid. Aragorn is still fighting against his predetermined fate, struggling with himself. He cannot see what she sees. Arwen is sure in her encouraging words, she knows this Fellowship is the beginning of Aragorn`s much-needed transformation from a Ranger into a King.
It is only logical that he should not think the same way, for his inner battle is a long way from ceasing. What he doesn`t suspect is the way that the impending journey will have on him as a whole. His role may change as the story progresses, but his character will reach new positive heights, a change that he himself could not have predicted.
If you trust nothing else, trust this, trust usArwen
Arwen sees his doubts in himself and the future. Therefore, to give him the necessary strength she reminds him of the strong bond they share. His trust in them provides a safe haven from all the troubles facing him now, which is why he flees to this particular memory in this uncertain time.
A father`s request
Where is she? The woman who gave you that jewel.Éowyn
As Éowyn enquires about the jewel around his neck, Aragorn remembers the choices of Arwen herself and of her father.
Our time here is ending. Arwen`s time is ending. Let her go. Let her take the ship to the West. Let her bear away her love for you to the Undying Lands. There it will be evergreen.Elrond
A strong opinion and an impossible request Elrond presents Aragorn. The Elves are leaving Middle-Earth, which of course then means that Arwen should follow suit. The sense of belonging is still strong within Elrond and it is his opinion that Arwen`s is the same. To follow one`s race only to satisfy the prescribed norm of conduct, is not something one should take for granted.
Arwen`s love for Aragorn is much too strong to make her leave him only to conform to certain behavior. To ask her beloved to let go of his feelings toward her is not something fathers usually do. It means that he could not get through to her and is asking Aragorn to change his attitude toward her in order to let her go, for the sake of something he himself does not agree with.
Aragorn: “But never more than a memory.”
Elrond: “I will not leave my daughter here to die.”
Aragorn fights back, knowing that if he did what Elrond asks of him, her memory of him would fade in time and he would only remain a distant recollection of a possibility that never crystallized. She would have been in as much pain as Aragorn if they parted.
A father`s love
Elrond, as a father, has a different view of this particular problem. He, naturally, does not want his child to die, by letting her stay. Therefore, his reasoning for her leaving Middle-Earth is more than understandable. But his understanding of her as an individual, as a woman in love, is beyond his grasp.
A father`s love trumps all other love in his mind and is therefore superior to whatever feelings she might be harboring towards Aragorn.
It is an unconditional kind of love that provides the utmost form of protection. It might sometimes be blind in acknowledging the child as grown and able to make its own decisions.
A choice of perspective
Aragorn: “She stays because she still has hope.”
Elrond: “She stays for you. She belongs with her people.”
Aragorn believes that Arwen remaining in Rivendell is only due to her undying hope of a better tomorrow. He may only be fooling himself, or he is ignoring the true purpose of her stay. As he doesn`t hold any hope for himself and may feel unworthy of Arwen`s love, he could easily misinterpret her decision to stay.
He is aware of the way she feels about the future and about his future in particular. She has hope of him becoming the man he doesn`t even believe he can be. The whole premise of his journey may be linked to her hope of his realization.
Aragorn`s eyes well up with tears as he listens to Elrond`s reasoning. He fights his grief but is unable to restrain it. This conversation leads him to leave the presence of Elrond in an abrupt manner. This gives credibility to the notion that he isn`t able to let go in any logical way.
An ulterior motive
However, Elrond sees it as it is. She wants to stay because of Aragorn. And since Elrond is not convinced of a good outcome, it seems foolish for her to stay and face pain, grief and ultimate death because of one man. He sees his daughter`s choice as moot, for she is Elf-kind and is therefore bound to the same fate as the rest of her kin.
Elrond`s dismissive manner, however, might have something to do with the fate of his late wife Celebrían. She succumbed to a poisoned wound inflicted by Orcs. Elrond was too late to heal her and she remained tormented by the memories of torture she endured.
To observe a beloved one`s demise, whether it be physical, spiritual or mental, must be torture of unspeakable magnitude. He was helpless in that situation while still being there for her. Seeing her torment cannot but give flight to him wanting to protect his daughter.
Aragorn`s reminiscence does not finish here. Follow me to the second part of this post.
Featured photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash.