Aragorn, using the name Thorongil, served under Ecthelion, Steward of Gondor, father of Denethor II, and grandfather of Boromir and Faramir before disappearing four years before Denethor II assumed the title of Steward of Gondor. Did Denethor II know that Aragorn, when he came to Gondor during the War of the Ring, was the same person as Thorongil?

2 Answers 2


Some believed he did, but it was never confirmed

This is discussed in Appendix A:

[M]any 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" I: "The Númenórean Kings" (iv) Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion The Stewards


I'm afraid you have your timeline mixed up. Aragorn only entered Minas Tirith during the War of the Ring after the siege was ended. By that time, Denethor had already committed suicide. So the answer to "Did Denethor II recognize Aragorn when he came to Gondor during the War of the Ring?" is unequivocally no.

Would he have recognized him? I doubt it. Denethor was young when they met. If you saw someone who looked remarkably like someone from your past decades later, would you assume they were the same person? Or would you mark it up to coincidence?

  • I think I may be confused indeed. As I am new here, what is the best policy when I ask a question where my assumption is mistaken? Should I remove it, edit it, or just leave it? In addition, I could extend this question as to if Theoden would have recognized him rather than Denethor. Thank you! Jan 5, 2017 at 0:50
  • @Withywindle I edited your question, but this edit more or less invalidates this answer, so I dunno if this was the tight thing to do.
    – Mithoron
    Jan 5, 2017 at 1:00
  • @Mithoron Thanks, I'm going to leave it up because even if the premise is wrong it might be of interest to others. Jan 5, 2017 at 1:09
  • 1
    Just a thought - but Denethor knew of Aragorn via the Palantir (albeit, the vision was probably tainted by Sauron) - could he have seen Aragorn's face through the Palantir?
    – HorusKol
    Jan 5, 2017 at 1:14
  • @Withywindle I would say best policy is to leave it up. It could be that someone else has the same misconception and has a similar question. It will be cleared up here :)
    – DBPriGuy
    Jan 5, 2017 at 1:25

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.