Some of you may have seen this coming. And really, it was inevitable. There are going to be a lot of posts, full of reasons to like this awesome character; there are many things I love about him. But my obsession is, and I think always has been, lodged in this: he’s compassionate.
In the post I write for his birthday last year, I said:
“He’s one of the greatest warriors in the whole trilogy, but he has a soft side too. . . The fact that he can live through anything (and has lived through almost everything) doesn’t dull his awareness of others’ weaknesses.”
I can’t think of a new way to sum it up. I admire the way Aragorn loves “his people” and will sacrifice anything to protect them, and how frank he is about showing that love.
‘There go three that I love, and the smallest not the least,’ he said. ‘He knows not to what end he rides; yet if he knew, he still would go on.’ (760) – “The Return of the King” by J.R.R. Tolkien
I love how he recognizes how hard the hobbits are fighting, even though it often looks different from his kind of strength.
I’m a purist for the books, but I still love Aragorn in the movies, even though they changed him a little. This is probably because they still gave him the caring, selfless nature I saw in the books. Which, as I said earlier, is what’s most important to me. I love the way they portrayed him as always being “there” for people in the movies–this unspoken, behind-the-scenes encouragement.
I love the scene in Rohan, when Aragorn follows Merry up to the battlements and watches Gandalf and Pippin ride away. He just stands there–he doesn’t feel the need to say anything, do anything, fix anything. He just doesn’t want Merry to be alone.
And when you find out how long Aragorn has known Gandalf, you realize they are both watching one of their best friends leave.