Aragorn enters the City and heals Eowyn, Merry and Faramir.
Faramir's healing is especially moving with Aragorn calling Faramir back from a 'dark vale', which is very Christ-like, and reminiscent of the Good Shepherd. He then 'breathed' on the athelas leaves and crushed them. "A living freshness filled the room as if the air itself awoke and tingled and sparkled with joy"; he then cast them into bowl of steaming water and "all hearts were lightened." [LotR p.847]
"Suddenly Faramir stirred and opened his eyes, and he looked on Aragorn who bent over him; and a light of knowledge and love was kindled in his eyes, and he spoke softly, " My Lord, you called me. I come. What does the King command?" [Faramir did not know Aragorn]. Aragorn tells him to be ready when he returns, Faramir replies, "I will lord, for who would lie idle when the King has returned." [LotR p.848]
Then, "...at the doors of the House of Healing many were already gathered to see Aragorn, and they followed after him; and when at last he had supped, men came and prayed that he would heal their kinsman or their friends whose lives were in peril through hurt or wound, or who lay under the Black Shadow. And Aragorn arose and went out, and he sent for the sons of Elrond and they laboured far into the night. And word went through the City: the King is come again indeed." There is a strong Christ-like resemblance here. [LotR p.853]
"The King has come again..." went through the city and they named him Elessar so the name foretold at his birth was adopted by own his people. [LotR p.853]
Aragorn was distrusted in the north, and spurned by men that in fact he protected [e.g. Bree]. Another parallel of a scriptural verse regarding Jesus: 'a prophet is never recognized in his home town.' [Mark 6:4].
Aragorn is the Renewer, as the name Envinyatar denotes. But what is he renewing? Minas Tirith and the Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor. Minas Tirith becomes the Bride prepared for Christ and the Reunited Kingdom becomes the New Jerusalem. [LotR p.845]
Not only is he the renewer, but he also saves Minas Tirith. Boromir requests of him; "Go to Minas Tirith and save my people."
When Theoden came to the aid of Minas Tirith he, "... gazed on her in her agony." But she is truly released when Aragorn appears bearing the Standard displaying the White Tree with the Seven Stars. [LotR p.404] [LotR p.819]
All things were made new after his coming which is very Christ-like. The City became ' full of life' and is repaired. He restored the two halves of the Kingdom, north and south. He becomes King of the Reunited Kingdom and serves a part of more than just defeating Sauron, but brings Restoration to other aspects. The Wedding of "Aragorn and Arwen restored the long sundered lines of half-Elven." [Letters p.445]
Divine and Human are reconciled in Jesus becoming flesh through Mary; and Aragorn [mortal] and Arwen [immortal] restore the Kingdom of the Numenoreans; the men who recognized Eru [monotheists], the One God and creator of Middle-earth.
The website Encyclopedia of Arda mentions that;
"...in both the North and South kingdoms of the Dunedain, there had been no King for many centuries. At the time of Aragorn's coronation, there had been no King of Gondor for 969 years, and no King of a united Arnor for 2,158 years. The last King to rule both realms jointly had been Aragorn's distant ancestor Isildur; though his Kingship was cut short at the Disaster of the Gladden Fields before he could truly take up the rule of his twin realms." [arda]
This paragraph from the Encyclopedia of Arda brings up another point of Aragorn's role as King. He undoes the wrong-doing of Isildur [of not destroying the One Ring when he had the chance] in his fight against Sauron. This is also stated in the text;
"...since it seemed fit that the Isildur's heir should labour to repair Isildur's fault, I went with Gandalf on the long and hopeless search." [LotR p.245]
Just as Jesus undoes the fault of Adam, Aragorn looks to undo the fault of Isildur.
An additional point that is symbolic in the Restoration is the verse that goes with the name of Aragorn;
"All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be King."
Apart from there being great story telling with the sword being reforged and symbolizing the Restored line of Kings [as has almost certainly been used before in other myths] there is interesting imagery in the dates and names of Narsil and Anduril [Aragorn's reforged sword].
The origins of Narsil's name are complex, and contain an element of symbolism. Tolkien himself described the name's derivation in his Letters:
"Narsil is a name composed of 2 basic stems without variation or adjuncts: vNAR 'fire', & vTHIL 'white light'. It thus symbolised the chief heavenly lights, as enemies of darkness, Sun [Anar] and Moon [in Q] Isil." [Letters p.425 No.347]
Anduril had these traced on its blade [sun and moon and stars] [LotR p.269].
"...and the sword of Elendil filled Orcs and Men with fear, for it shone with the light of the sun and of the moon, and it was named Narsil." [Sil]
Narsil was forged by Telchar and symbolized the Chief Heavenly Lights that were made from the fruit and dew of the Two Trees in the Blessed Realm. The Blade is broken beneath Elendil when he falls fighting Sauron at the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. The light of the sword is extinguished but the shards are kept as Heirlooms of the King and would not be reforged until Isildur's Bane is found again [i.e. Isildur's Bane = the Ring, after it is lost in the Great River].
Narsil is reforged for Aragorn, as he begins the Quest with the Fellowship. It is reforged on [or just before] December the 25th! He renames it Anduril, Flame of the West. This is the date of the reforging and the departure of the Fellowship from Rivendell. The Quest begins on 25th December, just as Jesus is born to start the official plan of salvation and reunites the human and divine. The Sword symbolizes the healing of a broken line. That of the Kings of Numenor but there is also similar symbolism here with the broken relationship with God.
Also, the sheath that Galadriel gifts to Aragorn is;
"...overlaid with a tracery of flowers and leaves wrought of silver and gold and on it were set in Elven runes formed of many gems the name Anduril and the lineage of the Sword." [LotR p.365]
These flowers and leaves of Silver and Gold reflect the origin of the original name, Narsil; that of the light of the Sun and Moon that were made from the flowers and leaves of the Silver and Golden Trees, Teleperion and Laurelin in the Blessed Realm.
The name and lineage is reminiscent of the East-West theme in the Lord of the Rings. Anduril is Flame of the West. The West is very much a location of good and the East is often where evil resides. The Blessed Realm exists in the West. In the section First and Last Things, it is outlined how Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden through the Eastern Gate, and Cherubim holding Flaming Swords were placed to guard the Entrance [Gen 3:24]. Aragorn, being very much a Second Adam type of figure, carries a Flaming Sword from the West, in his restoration of the Kingdom of Gondor.
Other small excerpts that indicate his royalty, supremacy and almost divinity are continued below:
At the end when Gandalf and the others say goodbye to him, Tolkien writes;
"With that they departed, and it was then the time of sunset; and when after a while they turned and looked back, they saw the King of the West sitting upon his horse with his knights about him; and the falling Sun shone upon them and made all their harness to gleam like red and gold, and the white mantle of Aragorn was turned to a flame. Then Aragorn took the green stone and held it up and there came a green fire from his hand." [LotR p.960]
Telcontar [Strider] is also adopted by Aragorn as the "name of my house and all the heirs of my body", another parallel with Christ's Body, His Church.
Legolas mentions the love that all come to have for Aragorn as a true King of Men and Lord of the West when he comments to Gimli that they were;
"...held to the road by the will of Aragorn, and also by love of him." [LotR p.856]
Gandalf says to Saruman when they meet him on the road travelling north; "You could have met the King and received his Mercy." [LotR p.961 ]
When Aragorn takes up the Crown he repeats the words of Elendil, "Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth I am come. In this place will I abide and my heirs unto to the ending of the world."
And Gandalf proclaims, "Now come the days of the King, may they be blessed while the thrones of the Valar endure!" [LotR p.946] [LotR p.946]
Aragorn is crowned King;
"But when Aragorn arose all that beheld him gazed in silence for it seemed to them that he was revealed to them now for the first time. Tall as the sea-kings of old, he stood above all that were near; ancient of days he seemed and yet in the flower of manhood; and wisdom sat upon his brow, and strength and healing were in his hands, and a light was about him. And then Faramir cried, 'Behold the King'." [LotR p.947]
"And in that moment all the trumpets were blown and the King Elessar went forth and came to the barrier, and Hurin of the Keys thrust it back; and amid the music of harp and of viol and of flute and the singing of clear voices, the King passed through the flower-laden streets and came to the Citadel, and entered in; and the banner of the Tree and the Stars was unfurled upon the top most tower, and the reign of King Elessar began of which many songs have told." [LotR p.947]
The similarities of biblical writing in the two paragraphs above cannot be ignored in Aragorn's Kingship [see the Trees of Life regarding the Standard of the Tree and Stars and the significance of the Keys].
"In the days that followed his crowning, the King sat upon his throne in the Hall of the Kings and pronounced his judgments." His supremacy is confirmed. [LotR p.947]
Arwen's words to Aragorn on his deathbed, "Would you then, lord, before your time leave your people that live by your word." Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the Lord [Luke 4:4] [LotR appendices p.1037].
In the appendices, Aragorn is described at his death, which he freely chooses the time of:
"Then a great beauty was revealed in him, so that all who after came there, looked on him in wonder; for they saw that the grace of his youth, and the valour of his manhood, and the wisdom and majesty of his age were blended together. And long there he lay, an image of the splendour of the Kings of Men in glory undimmed before the breaking of the world." [LotR appendices p.1038]
Aragorn becomes the Great King of Men heading into the Fourth Age. He brings unity, healing and restoration. His wisdom is clearly laid out by Tolkien and he is shown to be preeminent as the foremost leader in Middle-earth now that the Elves are departing. Many leaders in Middle-earth come to pay him homage or send emissaries.
Certainly there are aspects of the True King that have worked their way into Tolkien's writing of Aragorn King.
Priest, Prophet and King: some aspect of each of these offices is reflected in each of the characters of Frodo, Gandalf and Aragorn.
But there is another reflection in these characters and offices: just as Jesus calls us all to share in his Kingship, Priestly ministry and Prophetic fulfilment when we become adopted sons and daughters of God; Frodo, Gandalf and Aragorn represent what we are, could be and should be.
Frodo is the everyman; he is very much us, forging his way in a dangerous world. Weak, often powerless and fragile, he gives all through his littleness.
Gandalf and Aragorn show us what we could be in God's full plan if we let him transform us through grace, life and prayer. Through the grace of Christ we are regenerated to an unfallen nature and even higher than that. Dignity, nobility and integrity are displayed in Aragorn and Gandalf.
These aspects are communicated in a subtle way when Gandalf says to Frodo and Sam at the Field of Cormallen,
"...in Gondor the New Year will always now begin on the twenty-fifth of March when Sauron fell, and when you were brought out of the fire to the King. He has tended you, and now he awaits you. You shall eat and drink with him. When you are ready I will lead you to him." [LotR p.931]
At the fall of evil, Frodo is brought out of the fire to the King, just as each one of us is brought out of the fire to the Father when Jesus died for us. We are delivered to the King where we can feast at the Banquet of the Lamb.
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