On the last Hobbit movie, after the Battle of the Five Armies, Legolas tells Thranduil that he won't be coming home. The latter tells him to go to find the infamous son of Arathorn, that goes by the name of Strider.

But, the Battle of the Five Armies was fought on T.A. 2941 and Aragorn was only born on T.A. 2931. Aragorn did not leave Rivendell until 20 years old.

How could Aragorn be such an infamous rogue in the age of only ten and still in Rivendell??

Sources: Aragorn, Battle of Five Armies and History of Middle Earth Timeline.

  • 12
    Probably in the same way that Gandalf spent 17 years researching the One Ring, only to have it condensed into two months in LOTR1
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 10:02
  • 17
    @JamesKhoury You might be famous due to heritage, but being infamous is sort of difficult. Also why would he already go by the name of Strider as a small child?
    – Erik
    Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 11:08
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    @Erik Thats a good point. He was Estel to the elves and Strider was his name around bree/shire region. (after he met Gandalf who sent him that way. IIRC) Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 11:15
  • 41
    Because Peter Jackson GeorgeLucas'd it. Thranduil probably sensed the Midi-Chlorians in Anakorn Stridewalkers blood :P
    – BMWurm
    Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 11:56
  • 5
    IIRC the word "infamous" doesn't occur in the movie. My recollection is that Thranduil tells Leggy to find the young ranger called Strider, mentions his father (Arathorn) by name, and comments that his father was a good man, he could be a great man. Even leaving aside the different timeline in my answer, there's nothing in this that couldn't have been a foretelling rather than a description of the way things are now.
    – user8719
    Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 22:56

5 Answers 5


The Jackson movies are operating on a different timeline to the books.

Some examples:

  • The White Council don't know about Sauron's return until the time of the Hobbit movies.
  • Mirkwood not becoming corrupted until the time of the Hobbit movies.
  • The condensed timescale between Bilbo's birthday party and Frodo's leaving of Bag End.

What is certain is that at least 60 years pass between the Hobbit movies and the LotR movies, per Gandalf's words (source):

For sixty years the ring lay quiet in Bilbo's keeping, prolonging his life, delaying old age...

Given in particular the condensed timescale in my third example, it's likely that not much more than 60 years pass, so therefore - and in movie-canon - Aragorn wouldn't have been 10; he would have been about 27/28.

  • Good answer, plus the 27/28 age jives with Thranduil calling him a "young ranger".
    – Omegacron
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 16:35
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    I think the key point here is that the 17 years between Bilbo leaving the Shire and Frodo setting out with the ring has been compressed to a few months in the movie, meaning that Aragorn was 17 years older at the time of The Hobbit.
    – Mike Scott
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 7:14
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    If Aragorn was around 27/28 at the time in the Hobbit movies, and we have a 60 year gap between the two trilogies, wouldn't that put Aragorn over 80 years old at the time of the LotR trilogy? Do years work differently in Middle Earth, do humans live longer, something else is going on?
    – Moo
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 10:30
  • 7
    @Moo - this is already dealt with on other questions on this site. See scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/13467/… and scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/20217/…
    – user8719
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 10:31

"The four hobbits had set out from the Shire to bring the One Ring to Rivendell. Aragorn, going by the nickname "Strider", was then aged 87" - "For sixty years the ring lay quiet in Bilbo's keeping, prolonging his life, delaying old age" = Strider was 27. (movie canon)


Lets assume the movies "operate at a different time line than the books". Umm okay... We know for a fact, since it is explicitly mentioned in the movies that:

  • Bilbo is 111 years old at the start of LotR
  • Aragorn is 87 years old in the middle of Two Towers.
  • Thus Bilbo is ~24 years older than Aragorn.
  • At the start of the Hobbit movies, Bilbo is around 50. As someone quoted from the movies, "Bilbo had been laying low for around 60 years" at the start of LotR. (The events in The Hobbit play out during ~1 year.)
  • Meaning that Aragorn is at most 51-24 = 27 years old during the Hobbit movies.
  • According to the books (not mentioned in the movies), Aragorn leaves Rivendell around the age of 20.
  • Leaving him a window of 6-7 years to get a big reputation, which seems at bit unlikely.

All of this is pretty consistent with canon/the books.

Thranduil telling Legolas to find the famous Strider is not. If Legolas actually went looking, that would mean that it took him 60 years to find his way to Rivendell, the famous elven homestead quite near Legolas' own home... thumbs up, Peter Jackson.

  • 1
    "it took him 60 years to find his way to Rivendell": I'm not sure this is what the movies are implying, in fact this is the first time I hear this theory. In the FOTR movie we see Legolas arriving in Rivendell together with other elves, so they must be envoys recently despatched by king Thranduil, and he talks about Aragorn as if he knows him well already.
    – lfurini
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 16:14

take it simply as foreshadowing. the elves, effectively immortal, perceive time differently. i heard it more as a prophecy of Legolas's destiny than a directive to locate Strider immediately. this is the best way I can "forgive" non-material inconsistencies in the cinematic timeline.

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. This seems like a personal theory; do you have any evidence for this?
    – DavidW
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 0:58
  • 1
    Can you support this interpretation with any evidence from the source material? Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 1:04

Can't be true. Roughly 18 years between Bilbo and Frodo leaving the Shire. (It is mentioned in Fellowship that Gandalf visited Frodo for roughly 17 years till his disappearance. They left the Shire around 18 years (on Frodo's/Bilbo's birthday). Aragorn should not have been born in the Hobbit.

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. The question is about the movie timeline, not the books. You're citing the timeline of the books, which the movie messed with.
    – DavidW
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 14:42
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    Even in the books, Appendix A explicitly states that Aragorn was born in 2931, while he events of The Hobbit takes place in 2941.
    – chepner
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 14:51

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