0

In the LotR movies, Aragorn did not make his identity as a descendant of the rulers of Gondor and Arnor known to the general public after the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, when his actions at the Houses of Healing sparked rumours of who he truly is.

Prior to that, however, which individuals are aware of his lineage?

  • Which individuals? The ones who read the 'Council of Elrond' chapter in the Fellowship of the Ring :-) – Ekaterin Nile Sep 5 '16 at 18:01
11

Loads of people

To be fair, he wasn't exactly keeping it a secret; he announces it pretty much everywhere he goes:

  • Aragorn himself, obviously,
  • Arwen
  • Almost certainly Aragorn's Ranger buddies

  • Everybody at the council of Elrond:

    'And who are you, and what have you to do with Minas Tirith?' asked Boromir, looking in wonder at the lean face of the Ranger and his weather-stained cloak.

    'He is Aragorn son of Arathorn,' said Elrond; 'and he is descended through many fathers from Isildur Elendil's son of Minas Ithil.

    Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 2: "The Council of Elrond"

    Merry and Pippin presumably find out shortly after this.

  • Galadriel, Celeborn, and an unknown number of the Elves of Lórien

  • Éomer and his riders:

    Aragorn threw back his cloak. The elven-sheath glittered as he grasped it, and the bright blade of Andúril shone like a sudden flame as he swept it out. 'Elendil!' he cried. 'I am Aragorn son of Arathorn and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dúnadan, the heir of Isildur Elendil's son of Gondor. Here is the Sword that was Broken and is forged again! Will you aid me or thwart me? Choose swiftly!'

    The Two Towers Book III Chapter 2: "The Riders of Rohan"

  • A bunch of people at Edoras, including Théoden, Háma (the door-ward), Wormtongue, and others:

    'It is not clear to me that the will of Théoden son of Thengel even though he be lord of the Mark, should prevail over the will of Aragorn son of Arathorn, Elendil's heir of Gondor.'

    The Two Towers Book III Chapter 6: "The King of the Golden Hall"

  • Faramir, and probably most of his Rangers:

    'Because Aragorn is descended in direct lineage, father to father, from Isildur Elendil's son himself. And the sword that he bears was Elendil's sword.'

    The Two Towers Book IV Chapter 5: "The Window on the West"

  • The Dead Men of Dunharrow:

    Then Aragorn said: 'The hour is come at last. Now I go to Pelargir upon Anduin, and ye shall come after me. And when all this land is clean of the servants of Sauron, I will hold the oath fulfilled, and ye shall have peace and depart for ever. For I am Elessar, Isildur's heir of Gondor.'

    Return of the King Book V Chapter 2: "The Passing of the Grey Company"

  • Possibly Denethor; he knows quite a lot about Isildur's Heir, but it's not entirely clear if he specifically knows that it's Aragorn:

    With the left hand thou [Gandalf] wouldst use me for a little while as a shield against Mordor, and with the right bring up this Ranger of the North to supplant me.

    Return of the King Book V Chapter 7: "The Pyre of Denethor"

    Although it's worth noting that many other people believed Denethor had figured it out1, having met Aragorn years before, when he was bumming around as Thorongil:

    Therefore later, when all was made clear, many believed that Denethor, who was subtle in mind and looked further and deeper than other men of his day, had discovered who this stranger Thorongil in truth was, and suspected that he and Mithrandir designed to supplant him.

    Return of the King Appendix A "Annals of the Kings and Rulers" (iv) Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion The Stewards

In the Films

If you're only interested in the Jacksonverse films, then the list gets somewhat shorter; Aragorn actually was actively shying away from his destiny here, so it's a more select group:

  • Once again, we have Aragorn and Arwen
  • Possibly Thranduil:

    Thranduil: Go north, find the Dúnedain. There's a young ranger amongst them; you [Legolas] should meet him. His father, Arathorn, was a good man. His son... might grow to be a great one.

    The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

  • Again, the Council of Elrond:

    Legolas: This is no mere ranger. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance.

    Boromir: Aragorn? This is Isildur's heir?

    Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

  • Almost certainly Galadriel, and possibly Celeborn

  • Possibly Éomer and his riders; it depends on whether they recognize the name "Aragorn, son of Arathorn" the way Boromir obviously did:

    Éomer: What business does an elf, a man, and a dwarf have in the Riddermark Speak quickly!

    [...]

    Aragorn: I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn, this is Gimli son of Gloin, and Legolas of the woodland realm. We are friends of Rohan, and of Théoden your King.

    The Two Towers (2002)

  • Saruman and Wormtongue, though they don't believe it at first:

    Wormtongue: One of the Dúnedain Rangers, I thought he was. His cloth was poor. And yet he bore a strange ring. Two serpents with emerald eyes. One devouring, the other crowned with golden flowers.

    Saruman: The Ring of Barahir. So Gandalf Greyhame thinks he has found Isildur’s heir. The lost king of Gondor.

    The Two Towers (2002)

  • Possibly Faramir and his rangers, by the same reasoning as the Rohirrim:

    Frodo: We set out from Rivendell with seven companions. One we lost in Moria...two were my kin, a Dwarf there was also. And an Elf and two Men. Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and Boromir of Gondor.

    The Two Towers (2002)

  • Everyone who went to see Saruman after the battle of Helm's Deep; leaving aside anyone we've seen before, this includes Théoden and another man of Rohan whose name I don't know:

    Saruman: Something festers in the heart of Middle-Earth. Something that you [Gandalf] have failed to see. But the Great Eye has seen it. Even now he presses his advantage. His attack will come soon. You’re all going to die. But you know this, don’t you, Gandalf? You cannot think that this Ranger will ever sit upon the throne of Gondor. This exile, crept from the shadows, will never be crowned king.

    Return of the King (2003)

  • Denethor:

    Denethor: Word has reached my ears of this Aragorn, son of Arathorn. And I tell you now, I will not bow to this Ranger from the North, last of a ragged house long bereft of lordship.

    Return of the King (2003)

  • The Dead Men of Dunharrow:

    Aragorn: I am Isildur’s heir. Fight for me, and I will hold your oaths fulfilled!

    Return of the King (2003)

  • Sauron:

    Aragorn: [looking into the palantír] Long have you hunted me. Long have I eluded you. No more. [raises Andúril] Behold the sword of Elendil.

    Return of the King (2003)


1 Nod to Daniel Roseman for reminding me of this in comments

  • They definitely met; there's a whole description in Appendix A of Denethor's jealousy of Thorongil. "At that time many thought that Thorongil had departed before his rival became his master ... Therefore later, when all was made clear, many believed that Denethor, who was subtle in mind and looked further and deeper than other men of his day, had discovered who this stranger Thorongil in truth was..." – Daniel Roseman Sep 5 '16 at 18:58
  • "bumming around" :-D – Matt Gutting Sep 5 '16 at 19:23
  • @DanielRoseman Cheers; corrected – Jason Baker Sep 5 '16 at 19:57
  • Great in-depth answer. I will add that Bilbo Baggins knew, he even wrote a poem about Aragorn called " The Riddle of Strider" >"All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king." – RedOculus Sep 12 '16 at 19:52
  • 1
    @RedOculus Bilbo is included in the "attendees of the Council of Elrond"; note that I'm not making any claims about when people first found out, otherwise I'd have to move Elrond and Gandalf into separate bullet points as well – Jason Baker Sep 12 '16 at 19:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.