The Lord of the Rings books and movies have become a staple of pop culture throughout the years. Even once the initial movies ended, the world of Middle-earth has remained through the Shadow of Mordor video games and the Hobbit trilogy. It seems like there’s just not enough Tolkien to go around, including one of the fandom’s favorite topic: Arwen and Aragorn.
The enduring love of the couple has became a fan favorite. Between their devotion to one another and the obstacles they overcame to be together, their love was a light at the end of the tunnel during the brutal war for the ring. Readers and movie-goers alike latched onto their story.
Though these two are beloved by fans, there are many things that fans of the movies, and even fans of the books, may not know about them.
The story of Arwen and Aragorn is more intriguing, complex, and beautiful than some people might have ever known.
With that said, here are the 15 Things You Didn't Know About Arwen And Aragorn's Relationship In Lord Of The Rings.
15 Aragorn mistook Arwen for an legendary beauty when they first met
When Aragorn first met Arwen, he was wandering the woods as a young, twenty-something year old man. He was humming a folk song about Luthien, an ancient, beautiful elf, who fell in love with a man named Beren and and became the first elf to marry a human.
He saw Arwen and thought she was her, since he was humming the song in the Lay of Luthien. He was immediately smitten.
Though Arwen was not Luthien, her story did follow a similar path. Like Luthien and Beren, Arwen and Aragorn fell in love despite their differences. They also shared quite an interesting connection with the tale, and their love was arguable just as strong as Luthien and Beren's.
14 They are very distant cousins
Speaking of the tales of Luthien and Beren, the great-grandchildren of the couple chose very different lives. Elrond, Arwen’s father, chose life as an elf, while his brother, Elros, began the line of Dunedain men, becoming a forefather for many kings who lived abnormally longer lives.
Many generations later, Aragorn was born, who was one of Elros’ descendents. He was also thus the true king of Gondor, as well as the lover of Elrond’s daughter, Arwen.
Though many generations separate them, this does mean that, in theory, Arwen and Aragorn and related and have share the same bloodline, though they are not immediate family. They are also repeating history by doing exactly what their forefathers, Luthien and Beren, did before them.
13 Aragorn loved Arwen at first sight, but she did not
When Aragorn and Arwen met in the Lay of Luthien, Aragorn fell in love with Arwen the second that he saw her.
Elrond kept Arwen away from Aragon for so long because of this very fear. At only 20 years old, Aragorn decided that this woman was the woman he wanted to be with for the rest of his days. However, Arwen wasn’t quite convinced.
Arwen didn’t feel sure about her love of Aragorn until he came back from years of fighting for Gondor and Rohan under the name of Strider. He was forty-nine years old when he returned.
Then, after spending more time with him, she knew that he was the one for her. This was thirty years later than he did, but better late than never. They then promised to marry before the war got in their way.
12 They grew up with the same culture
After Isildur’s fall, Aragorn was raised under the protection of the elves. Not only had his father been the one to fail many people, but also he was a very young boy whose destiny was to be king.
He was in grave danger from birth. Aragorn wasn’t even told about his parentage until he was much older, so for much of his life he was just a young man who was raised as an elf.
Because of this, Arwen and Aragorn are far less different than one might expect. They both were raised under the tutelage of Elrond and explored the halls of Rivendell as children. Once they finally met, they weren’t completely alien to one another-- they were more like kindred spirits.
Aragorn was a man, but he could understand Arwen and her life more than the average man ever would. Similarly, she could also understand him.
11 Their age difference is weirder than you'd think
In the movies, it's briefly mentioned that Aragorn in 80 years old during the war. This fact is explained better in the books.
Aragorn is apart of a special clan whose royal bloodline lives much longer than the average human. Since they descend from Elros, a half-elf, they are a bit more than human themselves.
When they meet, Arwen is thousands of years old immortal beauty and him a young 20-something man. However, next time they meet, Aragorn is in his 50s, quite an older age for a mortal man.
This was when Arwen fell in love with him, as well, so his 30 years of maturing must have done him some good. Aragorn eventually would live to be 210.
Not only do they have such a large age gap, but they also spend many years apart, a lot even for mortals, only to come back to one another every time.
Their love story spans 190 years, over most all of Aragorn’s life. That makes their ages a little more interesting than just the gap in years.
10 Arwen’s grandmother approved of their relationship
Arwen’s maternal grandmother was Galadriel, Lady of Light. When the fellowship passed through her lands, she was doing more than just give Aragorn comfort when handing him Arwen’s Evenstar/Elfstone.
This present was like a wedding gift to elves. She basically told Aragorn that she approved of his impending marriage to Arwen and was giving her blessing. Despite Elrond’s distaste of the union, her whole family was not displeased with Arwen’s choice.
Galadriel also had to watch her daughter, Arwen’s mother, suffer with the pain of living before leaving to the Undying Lands. It's very likely that she just wanted her granddaughter to be happy, regardless of the costs.
It was also something that she wanted Aragorn to know-- that some of her family understood their decisions. There was no better parting gift she ever could have given him.
9 Arwen lost more than just her father by choosing Aragorn
The LotR movies follow Arwen’s disconnection from father and her decision to become mortal. However, Arwen lost a lot more than her father and her immortality. First of all, she also lost her brothers, who she seemed very close to.
It is hinted that her two brothers decided to stay with the elves and go on to the Undying Lands like Elrond.
Arwen also lost her mother. Her mother sailed to the Undying Lands many years ago because of her own pain and suffering, and thus Arwen now had no chance to ever see her again.
Similarly, Arwen’s choice of mortality went to an extreme. Once Aragorn died, she only had a matter of time before she had to die too. This was because of “the bittering of mortality.”
Their children lost both of their parents relatively quickly. She didn’t have the choice to keep advising and caring for her children until a natural, mortal death. Arwen had to sacrifice a great deal, even more than many know, in order to spender her life with Aragorn.
8 Arwen wove a banner to show her love for Aragorn
While Aragorn was off fighting in battle, Arwen spent time waving a grand banner in order to help profess her love to Aragorn.
Made of beautiful dark material and gems, the banner was one of a kind. Once it was finished, it was given to him right before the final battle in Return of the King.
Arwen’s brothers traveled various dangerous terrains in order to ensure that it would reach Aragorn safely while he was away. It marked the return of him as the new king of men.
Aragorn later used it as his official banner as king. Arwen’s work, support, and love became integral to who he was both as a leader over men and also as a human being.
7 Arwen’s support helped Aragorn win the war
That banner from Arwen wasn’t just a grand and beautiful token of her love for him, and nor was it just the symbol that eventually marked his kingship over men. In fact, the banner also helped Aragorn win the war.
The banner, to Aragorn, was a sign of support that he needed to take the difficult path to victory. The banner encouraged him to go to raise the army of the dead and ask for their assistance in order to take down Sauron’s armies.
With this boost of confidence, and with the army of the undead at his side, Aragorn took back Middle-earth for all of the free people. Arwen’s thoughtful and loving gift gave Aragorn that final push that he needed to save their world.
6 They had more than just a son
After Arwen and Aragorn were married, they had a son, which many die-hard fans may know about. His name was Elborin and he became king of men after his parents’ deaths.
He was even referenced in the movies in Arwen’s visions. He was seen as a young child who helped Arwen decide (at least in the movie) that she should stay with her beloved Aragorn.
However, beyond their son, Aragorn and Arwen also had many daughters. Unfortunately, they are never named and seem to have little to no bearing on future tales.
However, this does change their legacy, at least a bit. Instead of just one son, they also have multiple female descendents who were able to continue on their bloodline and history.
5 They died only one year apart
Arwen was an immortal elf maiden, however she gave up her immortality in order to be with Aragorn. This process is a little more complicated than some might think.
In actuality, this didn't mean that she therefore had a human lifespan or could not go across the sea. In reality, it meant that she experienced the bittering of mortality and was able to die early.
This bittering meant that Arwen died whenever the thing that she chose over immortality died as well-- i.e., Aragorn. One year after Aragorn’s inevitable passing, she was doomed to follow in his footsteps.
Arwen went to the place where they promised themselves to each other and basically died of a broken heart. Without Aragorn, she literally had no place on this earth anymore.
4 In the books, Their relationship is barely described
Though their love is fairly central in the movies, Arwen and Aragorn’s strife and suffering to be together is far more tertiary in the novels.
Frodo is the sole perspective and narrator in the books, so it makes sense that Arwen and Aragorn would only be mentioned in passing. The reader knows about Arwen’s banner, Aragorn’s love for her, and their eventual marriage. However, their backstory and how they got to that point aren’t explained.
Luckily for readers, Tolkien wrote a tale in the appendix that tells the story of Arwen and Aragorn in full: before, during, and after the great war. That is where a reader learns details of this love story that rocked the LotR fandom forever.
3 Their love story was written by Faramir’s grandson
As mentioned, Tolkien included a tale in the appendix that told the story of Arwen and Aragorn. This story was written by Faramir’s grandson, Barahir.
After their reign and their passing, Barahir wrote their story so that the world may know of it. Just like Luthien and Beren before them, Aragorn and Arwen would be forever remembered by the love that got both of them through the darkest times that Middle-earth had ever seen.
This is where most readers of the books fell in love with the couple and their complete devotion. The tale is also where the movies drew a lot of its ideas for them. Barahir’s short tale really shaped the depiction for this couple, as well as their following.
2 J.R.R Tolkien almost wrote their romance out entirely of the final book
Frustrated while working on the Return of the King book, Tolkien was struggling with some of his decisions and what to include in the novel. In a letter to his editor, he described his uncertainties.
Most of all, he feared that the romance between Arwen and Aragorn was unnecessary and irrelevant. He contemplated removing their romance from the books entirely and instead focusing solely on the journey of the Fellowship and the Ring.
Luckily for all of us, his editor argued against it, stating that their love story was the ray of hope in a bleak war. Tolkien seemed to eventually agree, as the story ends with Arwen and Aragorn marrying, and living out the rest of their lives as one.
1 Arwen was not Aragorn’s intended love interest when Tolkien began his novels
When Tolkien started his novels, he intended for Eowyn to be Aragorn’s primary love interest. He also planned to have her die avenging her father. This meant that not only would Aragorn’s love life been completely different, but it also would have ended very tragically.
Then Tolkien began writing about the immortal elf maiden, Arwen, and everything changed.
Tolkien's trajectory for Aragorn’s life altered drastically. He changed from being a love-lost king to one fighting for love. Also, by removing her heightened attachment to Aragorn, he spared Eowyn from death.
Instead, Tolkien made her as much of a hero as he could. Not only did this shift end up making more thematic sense and elevate Eowyn as a grand warrior, but also it allowed space for one of the most beloved love stories in pop culture.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Arwen and Aragorn's relationship in Lord of the Rings? Let us know in the comment section!