I've been on a Lord of the Rings kick for the past two days and as I was watching, I believe, Peter Jackson's Return of the King film, I took special notice, unlike before, of the scene where Arwen and quite a few other elves are on horseback, presumably on their way to the ships that will take them to Valinor.

During this journey, Arwen looks more deeply into the forest and has a vision of her and Aragorn's son; the little boy is running about, and then Aragorn -- looking decidedly older -- catches the boy up and holds him in his arms. Arwen turns back and returns to Rivendell, where she confronts Elrond, who has the gift of foresight, for telling her only that information about Aragorn and the future that would persuade her to move on to Valinor, alone. He says, "I looked into your future and saw only death," to which Arwen responds, "There is also life!"

Does Arwen's vision of the child constitute foresight in the same way as Elrond has it? Was Peter Jackson representing Arwen as having the gift of foresight? Or was it just a random vision created by hope and longing on Arwen's part?

Just a quick reiteration that I am asking about Peter Jackson's interpretation of Lord of the Rings, and I realize that Arwen's character in the movies is much more embellished than in the book trilogy.

  • Seems a very reasonable question to me. I recall the scene and yes it's just an embellishment of the Aragorn-Arwen story arc. However since Elrond wears the Elven-Ring Vilya it's not unreasonable to assume he has similar powers to Galadriel and her mirror. She makes it clear that the mirror sometimes only shows possible futures which do not happen. Apr 9, 2013 at 15:29

1 Answer 1


I think that Arwen's vision was somewhere between a vision, a hope, and a realization. The dialog with Elrond when she returns to Rivendell sounds a lot like someone trying to get information they have no access to:

Arwen: "You have the gift of foresight, what did you see?"

Elrond: "I looked into your future and I saw death."

Arwen: "But there was also life. You saw there was a child. You saw my son."

I think that if Arwen herself had this gift, she wouldn't have spoken in terms of what Elrond saw. It's tenuous, but I don't think there's much to go on otherwise.

This actually matches what we hear in the book. The only elves that have some sort of foresight in the book are Elrond and Galadriel, powerful lords of elves. Even if Arwen wasn't still young, it's clearly not a common talent (and even Elrond's is 'dim', and Galadriel's mirror isn't particularly dependable either).

  • Was she pregnant already at that moment in time?
    – Mallow
    Apr 18, 2014 at 17:45
  • No, she was not.
    – Oldcat
    Nov 7, 2014 at 22:07
  • 2
    Within the context of the movies (obviously not the books), I would say it's an indication that she DOES have the gift, albeit not as powerful as Elrond and with little to no control over it. After all, she asked Elrond to CONFIRM what she saw, and he did.
    – Omegacron
    Jan 6, 2015 at 18:13

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