Aragorn's fostering?

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Elleth
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Aragorn's fostering?

Postby Elleth » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:03 pm

Lore folk -

How much do we know of the period leading up to Aragorn's fostering at Rivendell? I know "Born of Hope" tries to fill it out, and I've seen a couple scattered bits of trivia of Aragorn's immediate family (in the Appendices I think?) : but is there any known narrative? Or failing that, is there a complete list of references where the Professor speaks to the topic?
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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Greg
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Re: Aragorn's fostering?

Postby Greg » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:00 pm

I'll do digging this evening.

[EDIT]
So far, relevant sources:
LotR Appendix A
The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 9, The Making of Appendix A: The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen
The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 7, The Heirs of Elendil: The Chieftains of the Dúnedain
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Udwin
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Re: Aragorn's fostering?

Postby Udwin » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:27 pm

There doesn't seem to be much...breadcrumbs at best. Appendix A and B are going to be your best resources, I think.

We have basic genealogy: names of maternal grandparents (Dirhael and Ivorwen), Dirhael was descended from Aranarth (TA 1938 - 2106). His paternal grandfather, Arador (TA 2820 - 2930), "taken by hill-trolls in the Coldfells north of Rivendell and was slain".
His mother Gilraen born 2907, weds Arathorn in 2929 (age ~22).

The Tale of Years gives us a few notable events:
2901
Ithilien is deserted due to Mordor Uruks attack; Henneth Annûn built.
2911
The Fell Winter.
2912
Great floods devastate Enedwaith and Minhiriath. Tharbad is ruined and deserted.
2930
Arador slain by Trolls. Birth of Denethor II son of Ecthelion II in Minas Tirith.
2931
ARAGORN II son of Arathorn II born on March 1st.
2933
Arathorn II slain. Gilraen takes Aragorn to Rivendell to be fostered by Elrond as 'Estel'.

I realized it the other day, but this seems a good place to bring it up since it is very useful for our purposes of better mentally placing ourselves in Middle-earth. Due to the large dates of the Third Age, it can be hard to get a sense of timescale...but for a more relate-able idea of how long events are removed from the War of the Ring, just subtract 1,000. The War happens in 3018-19, which is only our current year + 1000. This means for example, Saruman starts searching the Gladden a decade before the American Civil War, Tharbad has been abandoned since just before WW1, Aragorn would be born in 1931, Bilbo was born in 1890, Frodo in 1968, Boromir is a Gen Xer (born 1978), Faramir and Sam are old Millenials (1983), Pippin 1989, Eomer 1991 and Eowyn 1995, &c.
Personae: Aistan son of Ansteig, common Beorning of Wilderland; Tungo Boffin, Eastfarthing Bounder, 3018 TA
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Greg
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Re: Aragorn's fostering?

Postby Greg » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:33 pm

That is ingenious, Udwin.
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Harper
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Re: Aragorn's fostering?

Postby Harper » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:00 am

---

^What Greg said.

It really does help to put the timeline into perspective.
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Elleth
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Re: Aragorn's fostering?

Postby Elleth » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:20 am

Thank you gentlemen! I'll start there.

And that's ingenious Udwin! It helps so much! Thank you!
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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Grimolt
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Re: Aragorn's fostering?

Postby Grimolt » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:07 am

I apologize for reviving an old post. I have some thoughts on Aragorn's fostering. You've probably already found it though.

In Appendix A (iii) the old man reports that:
"After Arvedui the North-kingdom ended, for the Dúnedain were now few and all the peoples of Eriador diminished. Yet the line of the kings was continued by the Chieftains of the Dúnedain, of whom Aranarth son of Arvedui was the first. Arahael his son was fostered in Rivendell, and so were all the sons of the chieftains after him; and there also were kept the heirlooms of their house..."

For the particulars of Aragorns fostering, in Appendix A, (v), Tolkien notes that Aragorn wasn't fostered until he became the Heir of Isildur upon the death of his father, stating,
"Then Aragorn, being now the Heir of Isildur, was taken with his mother to dwell in the house of Elrond; and Elrond took the place of his father and came to love him as a son of his own. But he was called Estel, that is "Hope", and his true name and lineage was kept secret at the bidding of Elrond; for the Wise then knew that the Enemy was seeking to discover the Heir of Isildur, if any remained upon earth."

He goes on to detail the moment of Aragorn's coming of age, when Elrond revealed his heritage and delivered to him the heirlooms of his house (save the sceptre of of Annúminas I). As Aragorn is about twenty years old at this point, it is interesting to note that he had not yet ever met Arwen until the very next day, and their love story began then. While Aragorn wouldn't be considered a fosterling anymore, he was still young enough to be all mopey in the blush of first love. Both his mother Gilraen, and Elrond counseled him that Arwen was out of his league, (much to Aragorn's chagrin, it seems). After that, Aragorn made his way into the world as a man in his own right.

I think we can safely speculate that Aragorn's education and skills training were of the highest possible quality. As Elrond's foster son, (and extremely distant relative through descent from Elrond's brother), he was certainly the recipient of a first-class liberal arts education. This is apparent in that by age twenty, not only had he evidently mastered several languages, become a puissant and confident warrior (enough to impress Elrond and his sons), and gained healing, woodcraft and animal husbandry skills, but he also had learned enough history and world heritage and song to be singing part of the Lay of Lúthien when he met Arwen. He knew it so well, in fact, that in FOTR when he translated and recited part of it to the Hobbits on Weathertop right before the Ringwraiths showed up, he went so far as to mention that it was difficult to translate, (into poetry in the common tongue no less) and the mode in which it was composed. "...'That is a song,' he said, 'in the mode that is called ann-thennath among the Elves, but is hard to render in our Common Speech, and this is but a rough echo of it.' "
That kind of deep knowledge could have only come from the Elves, and would have had to have been part of a more formal education than just having heard it a few times as a foster child in Elrond's house, especially given Elrond's maternal connection to Lúthien.

In addition to Elven history and heritage, Aragorn had also at some point been deeply immersed in his human heritage and family history. In ROTK he was able to quote (off the top of his head), the words of Malbeth the Seer who had been alive in the days of Arvedui. In addition to which, to tell the tale of how the dead came to be in obligation to the heir of Isildur. It's totally possible that he could have learned that in his many years of Rangering and being the Chieftain of the Dúnedain, but that kind of lore seems more like something he would have learned in a more scholastic setting than a martial one.
Supporting this idea of receiving education in his human heritage in Rivendell, in a conversation with the Hobbits after Weathertop, Aragorn was giving them a short history lesson, in response to which Pippin asked how Aragorn knew all that stuff, given that the land was "empty and forgetful". To which Aragorn replied, "The heirs of Elendil do not forget all things past...and many more things than I can tell are remembered in Rivendell." Which I believe alludes to his childhood education there.
He would have required an excellent education even to fully comprehend the implications of the heirlooms of his family anyway, (such as the ring of Barahir, which required geography and history knowledge all the way back to Finwë).

Aside from education, and meeting the material needs of a growing young man, we can deduce that Elrond was certainly tremendously fond of Aragorn, both as a foster son, and son-in-law. Elrond's sons were relatively close to Aragorn as well. Aragorn had been traveling with them, (and presumably learning leadership and war-fighting skills) just prior to reaching his majority with Elrond. Also, just after Frodo woke from his convalescence in Rivendell before the meeting of the White Council, Aragorn mentioned that,
"...Elladan and Elrohir have returned out of the west unlooked-for, and they had tidings that I wished to hear at once." This implies a great deal of closeness.
Additionally, in ROTK, the brothers joined up with Halbarad and the Grey Company to go to the wars and fight by Aragorn's side, as well as to deliver the message from Elrond about the paths of the dead. When Gimli and the hobbits were discussing how and why the rangers and brothers showed up, Gimli says that the message got to Rivendell that Aragorn needed help, and that what all they needed to gear up and ride out. Gimli thought maybe Gandalf sent the message, but Legolas pointed out it was Galadriel. Either way, it makes perfect sense that they would ride out in support of their "little brother", whom they would also have had a certain amount of affection for as he was close to them when he was young, and was deeply in love with their sister.

Anyway, I hope this post has some value to it, despite being a bit of a resurrection.

V/r

Grimolt
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Elleth
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Re: Aragorn's fostering?

Postby Elleth » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:55 am

Wow! Thank you Grimolt! That's fantastic research.

Very useful. :)
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.

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