The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Many Names, Explained

In The Lord of the Rings, names are emblematic of the people who join them and Aragorn’s many names reflect this idea.

Along the The Lord of the rings, Aragorn had many different names. This is due to his important lineage and also to the extensive history behind JRR Tolkien’s writings. In Tolkien’s work, names always mean something that describes their owner. As such, the names Aragorn used at various times in his life represented the state in Middle-earth that he accepted at that time.

Aragorn II, son of Arathorn II, was a Dúnedain, a descendant of the Númenoreans, and the rightful king of men. Once favored by the Valar, the Númenóreans were strong and powerful, but after Sauron’s corruption, their island sank into the sea. Only a remnant survived and they fled to Middle-earth, where they founded two kingdoms in exile: Arnor and Gondor. After Isildur’s death, there were infighting and fighting; Arnor split and fell to the Witch-king of Angmar, and his people scattered, becoming Rangers of the North. Many forgot their ancient heritage; however, the elves of Imladris retained the line of Isildur. It was there that Aragorn was raised in secret until he was ready to claim the throne.

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Lord of the Rings Aragorn as Strider

Aragron was raised as Estel, the Sindarin word for hope, due to the trust the elves had in his future. Aragorn, however, was not always willing to accept his role as king. This is why he was first featured on Bree as Strider. That name was indistinct and shunned his heritage. In Peter Jackson The Fellowship of the Ring when Gandalf spoke of Aragorn’s potential as king, Elrond regretfully replied that he “strayed from that path a long time ago.” Rather than uniting men under his banner, he was just a Ranger fighting to protect the Shire and surrounding areas from the evils of the North. He wanted to fight evil, but refused to lead.

Aragorn means “Revered King”, a fact first mentioned by Legolas, who proclaimed Strider’s royal status as heir to the kings of Númenor when the Fellowship was formed in Rivendell. Even then, Aragorn was hesitant to fully accept his role, but the trust that Gandalf and the rest of the Fellowship showed in him during their time together allowed him to believe in himself more and more. When the Fellowship broke up, even Boromir, who was initially skeptical of Aragorn’s status, proclaimed his allegiance with his dying breath.

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King Aragorn The Lord of the Rings

At the end of the book series, Aragorn, Isildur’s heir, became king. In doing so, he eventually adopted the title of Elessar, which Galadriel had given him in the language of the Quenya High Elves. It translates as “Elfstone”. The title refers to the gift that she and her husband gave to Aragorn when the Fellowship left Lothlórien. Although it was replaced by the “Evenstar” in the movies, the Elessar was an important elven gem for a long time. It was a green stone made in Gondolin during the First Age of Middle Earth by Enerdhil or Celebrimbor and was said to have sunlight within. It is debated whether Galadriel gave him the original version or a minor version, but the meaning is not diminished. His gift represented the approval of the elves of his reign and heralded his union with Arwen, daughter of Elrond. His taking the name and title of Elessar showed his public acceptance of the role of king of men in Middle-earth, and he ruled many years before his eventual and peaceful death.

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