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This question is inspired by Why is Arwen dying?

Aragorn is a half-elf, and if he chooses to move to the west together with all the elves, can he live on forever? Can Elrond make Aragorn immortal?

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    No. He is only semi-mortal, and will only live for half of eternity.
    – John O
    Feb 18, 2014 at 13:46
  • @JohnO half of eternity is actually eternity.
    – nakhli
    Feb 18, 2014 at 14:17
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    @Sinbadsoft.com - I think that was the joke
    – The Fallen
    Feb 18, 2014 at 14:38
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    I don't see the duplicate here. The referenced question and answer don't even mention Aragorn.
    – TGnat
    Feb 18, 2014 at 17:44
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    @TGnat - the referenced question and answer don't need to mention Aragorn; they cover everything that is required to answer this question by referring to Elros and his heirs (of which Aragorn is one).
    – user8719
    Feb 18, 2014 at 19:15

4 Answers 4

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Aragorn isn't a half-elf, he's a tiny fraction of an elf. Elros, who was a half-elf (actually 9/16), was his very remote ancestor.

But more importantly, the heirs of Elros were not given the choice to be elven or human, although the Valar did grant them unusually long life-spans. The heirs of Elrond were given that choice, which is why Arwen was able to choose a human life. There's a discussion thread here.

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  • Poking through the LotR Wikia, I think we can quantify "tiny fraction". By my math, he's 62 generations removed from Elros. And I think Elros was 5/8 Elf (his mother's grandmother was Luthien, making her only 3/4 Man).
    – Plutor
    Feb 18, 2014 at 13:36
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    3/4 Man maybe, but 110% woman!
    – John O
    Feb 18, 2014 at 13:50
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    @Plutor But Luthien herself was only half-elf; the other half was Maia. If we look at Elros's 16 great great grandparents, they are one Maia (Melian), nine elves (Fingolfin, Anairë, Elenwë's father, Elenwë's mother, Thingol, Galadhon, Galadhon's wife, Nimloth's maternal grandfather & Nimloth's maternal grandmother) and six humans (Rian's father, Rian's mother, Hareth, Galdor, Barahir & Emeldir). So he's 1/16 Maia, 9/16 elf and 6/16 human.
    – Mike Scott
    Feb 18, 2014 at 18:07
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    @Plutor you can’t really quantify it like that, because you only know that Aragorn is 62 generations remove from Elros in the direct male line of descent. He will also have descent from Elros many many times in part-female lines. He does not have 4.6 pentillion (2^62) different ancestors from 62 generations back, and so the lines of descent merge a great deal.
    – Mike Scott
    Oct 29, 2020 at 6:49
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No, he was granted a long life, but was still mortal

Aragorn has long life as a Númenórean, not as a half-elf. Tolkien describes the lifespans of Númenóreans in a c.1965 writing titled "Elvish Ages & Númenórean", which he had wrote was "the scheme followed in LR and Tale of Years".

The Númenörean scale fixed by the Valar (for other than Elros) was for a life in full (if not “resigned” earlier) of thrice that of ordinary men. This was reckoned so: A “Númenórean” reached “full-growth” at 24 (as with Elves; but this was for them reckoned in Sun-years); after that, 70 × 3 = 210 years were “permitted” = total 234. But decline set in (at first slow) at the 210th year (from birth); so that a Númenórean had an expectation of 186 fully active years after reaching physical maturity.
The Nature of Middle-earth - "Elvish Ages & Númenórean"

Númenóreans age normally for 24 years, than spend another 186 years aging at 1/3 the normal rate, and then decline for another 24 years, after which they die.

In this same writing, Tolkien applies this calculation to Aragorn's death.

Aragorn as 88 at wedding would have a permitted life of 146 more years and could have lived to about 4A 144. When Aragorn “resigned life” in 4A 120 he thus resigned 24 years of life. He had lived 210 years and was already within his “decline”.
The Nature of Middle-earth - "Elvish Ages & Númenórean"

If Aragorn had not chosen to resign his life, he could have lived out an additional 24 years in old age, but he would have still died after that.

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  • Fascinating when we consider Tolkien's Catholicism, which religion takes a dim view of suicide.
    – Adamant
    Dec 6, 2022 at 1:14
  • Allowing yourself to die naturally is not suicide. Catholics do not require heroic measures to prolong life, but do prohibit active measure to end it. As far as we can tell from the appendices to LotR, Aragorn simply accepted a natural death that he might have resisted -- a natural death that was a gift given to him by Eru: "Nay, lady, I am the last of the Númenoreans and the latest King of the Elder Days; and to me has been given not only a span thrice that of Men of Middle-earth, but also the grace to go at my will, and give back the gift."
    – Mark Olson
    Dec 6, 2022 at 2:28
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Definitely not.

Aragorn's potential immortality stems from his descent from Elros, the half-elf who chose mortality for himself. But we know that Elros' descendant, the last king of Numenor, Ar-Pharazôn who clearly wanted immortality (and was willing to attempt to invade Valinor to obtain it) was not capable of choosing to become immortal (or he would have done so). Therefore, it is clear that all other descendants of Elros, including Aragorn, also could not chose to be immortal.

But Ar-Pharazôn and the Númenóreans did not escape death by this means, and eventually the King grew old and was in great fear of the end of his life and going out into the Darkness that he had worshipped. Ar-Pharazôn became wrathful and desperate, and at last Sauron gave the King his final advice. The Maia told Ar-Pharazôn that by warring against the Valar and conquering Valinor, their land in the West, he could gain everlasting life.

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Can he live forever? Probably not:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aragorn

Upon Sauron's defeat, Aragorn was crowned as King Elessar (translated as Elfstone in Quenya), a name given to him by Galadriel. (In Sindarin this becomes Edhelharn.) He became the twenty-sixth King of Arnor, thirty-fifth King of Gondor and the first High King of the Reunited Kingdom. His line was referred to as the House of Telcontar (Telcontar being Quenya for "Strider", the name he was known by in Bree). The Appendices of Return of the King explain that Aragorn married Arwen shortly afterwards, and ruled the Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor until the year 120 of the Fourth Age. His reign was marked by great harmony and prosperity within Gondor and Arnor, and by a renewal of communication and cooperation between Men, Elves, and Dwarves, fostered by his vigorous rebuilding campaign following the war. Aragorn led the forces of the Reunited Kingdom on military campaigns against some Easterlings and Haradrim, re-establishing rule over much territory that Gondor had lost in previous centuries. He died at the age of 210, after 122[3] years as king. It is said that the graves of Meriadoc and Peregrin (who had died in Gondor 58 years prior) were set beside his. He was succeeded on the throne by his son, Eldarion. Arwen, gravely saddened by the loss of her husband, gave up her mortal life shortly afterwards and was laid to rest in Lothlórien. Arwen and Aragorn also had at least two daughters. Upon hearing of Aragorn's death, Legolas built a grey ship in Ithilien, and sailed down Anduin and so to the Undying Lands; and with him, it is said, went Gimli the Dwarf. "And when that ship passed an end was come in Middle-earth of the Fellowship of the Ring."

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    Nothing in this passage suggests he had a choice to not die. I don't know why you are qualify "not" with "probably" here.
    – chepner
    Dec 11, 2022 at 20:11

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