As the fairest Elven Princess who walked Middle Earth, Arwen is admired by many peers for her beauty and intelligence. Her role in The Lord of The Rings is rather limited, and in the films, the filmmakers included additional scenes, which were unfortunately cut from the theatrical versions.
Despite her limited screen time, Arwen is a fan favorite, and is often remembered for her gentle Elven tongue; not to mention, her iconic romance with Aragorn, canonized as the uniter of two races.
She’s considered the Luethien of the Third Age, and yet we know so little about the supporting character besides the fact that she is Aragorn's love interest. Part of the reason for this was that the trilogy was told from Frodo’s view, and adapting it to a film requires others character perspectives. Thus Arwen was given more screen time. (Fun fact: in The Hobbit trilogy they created Tauriel, an original elf character, in the second film because there was a lack of female roles.)
There’s more to Arwen Evenstar than what most people know. Originally, based on J.R.R. Tolkein’s notes, she wasn’t Aragorn’s lover. Instead, Aragorn was supposed to end up with Eowyn.
In fact, here are the 15 Things You Never Knew About The Lord Of The Ring's Arwen.
15 Aragorn and Arwen Are Actually Related
Just to be fair, this isn't Game of Thrones' level incest. Technically, Arwen and Aragorn are first cousins 63 times removed. Elrond’s twin brother Elros gave up immortality and lived as a mortal king. His descendants would later find other kingdoms, including Arnor and Gondor. The succession would continue to Elros' descendant Aragorn, the son of the Dunedain’s Chieftains.
Meanwhile, Elrond had been chilling at Rivendell for the next few thousand years, watching his nieces and nephews construct kingdoms and rule over mankind, and eventually took Aragorn in as his foster son, who later learned about his lineage when Aragorn reached manhood.
Unlike the movies, Aragorn’s motivation was clear before he met Frodo Baggins. He promised Elrond that he would be a king worthy of marrying Arwen, and fulfills the prophecy as the Elessar. His destiny is tied to Arwen, so it's no surprise that Elrond accepts Aragorn (aka his distant nephew) as Arwen’s husband.
14 Galadriel Is Her Grandmother
Galadriel, the powerful ruler who can match Sauron's power, is actually Arwen’s grandmother. Most moviegoers remember Cate Blanchett’s supporting role in The Fellowship of Ring as the beautiful yet crazy elf, along with her role in The Hobbit trilogy.
Despite the ten-year gap between the two trilogies, Blanchett remains eternally young, and many wonder if she's actually an elf. Galadriel is considered the fairest elf in Middle Earth and by many. During the forging of the three rings, Galadriel was never tempted by the rings and was unswayed by Annatar, who later turned out to be Sauron. She only used her ring Nenya after Sauron’s defeat to protect the borders of her kingdom.
Prior to Arwen departing for Rivendell, she hung out with her grandmother for a few centuries, during that time Elrond adopted Aragorn as his son. Galadriel was integral in the books. She was the one who hosted the Fellowship and founded a few regions ruled by other Elves. The fact that Galadriel is related to Arwen, we can easily say she is the boss of the family.
13 Her Evenstar Pendant Is Actually Elessar
The pendant Aragorn wore throughout the film was nicknamed Evenstar instead of Elfstone. While the Evenstar had an aesthetic change, the pendant still shared the same purpose compared to the brooch in the books.
At its center is a green stone, which has the light of the Sun, and those who look through it see everything that has aged as young again. When Olorin first told Galadriel about the prophecy, he explained that the stone isn’t hers and, instead, belongs to the uniter who will call himself Elessar. The Evenstar was later given to Aragorn, thus sounding the prophecy that he will become Elessar.
Director Peter Jackson modified the Elfstone from a brooch to a pendant. In the movies, Arwen gives him the pendant during the Fellowship, which was likely meant to deepen Aragorn and Arwen’s relationship. Galadriel passed the heirloom to her daughter, who passed it to Arwen before it was returned to Galadriel.
12 Liv Tylor Stabbed Herself When Filming Nazgul Chase
The epic chase scene in The Fellowship of the Ring had a few outtakes, including Liv Tyler accidentally stabbing herself during the epic Nazgul Chase scene. Many people remember the Ring Wraiths' horses stampeding through the water. The Nazgul demanded Arwen to give up Frodo, only to get obliterated by water magic, a nod to Galadriel's Nenya, which is the Ring of Water.
When Arwen said her famous line-- “if you want him, come and get him”-- she accidentally stabbed herself in her right thigh. They still filmed the scene afterward. On an interesting note, Glorfindel was supposed to take this role.
In the books, Glorfindel aided the Hobbits and defended Frodo from the Nazguls at the Ford of Bruinen. Elrond and Gandalf were the two that conjured the water horses to drive the wraiths away. However, the producers decided to let Arwen and Eowyn’s extra roles stay in, since their arcs were already limited.
11 The Tale of Arwen and Aragorn Was Added Into The Live Action
In the original books, Aragorn and Arwen’s relationship was never included, due in part to the fact that the trilogy is told from Frodo’s perspective. The film adaptation included a few additions, like Arwen and Aragorn’s backstory, in order to further develop Aragorn’s character arc.
The story follows Aragorn's background and the reasoning behind his motivation to become the true king. If he became king, Elrond promised that he would have Arwen's hand in marriage. In fact, there was suppose to be a flashback of a beardless Viggo Mortenson dancing with Liv Tyler, during their first meeting, but was cut out from the theatrical release.
The Tale of Arwen and Aragorn was included in the appendix of the The Fellowship of the Ring. Barahir, Faramir, and Eowyn’s grandson wrote the story shortly after Aragorn and Arwen’s death. To summarize, the tale chronicles the beginning of Aragorn and Arwen's relationship, as well as the trials that Aragorn faced in the trilogy.
10 Liv Tyler Can't Speak Elvish
Arwen’s hypnotic Elvish language spawned parodies and drove Tolkein fans to learn the lovely language. In high fantasy series, actors often learn the dialect and how pronounce the words with the help of a linguists. The Game of Thrones actors learned Dothraki and Valaryian for the series.
However, it shattered our hearts when we learned that Liv Tyler never actually picked up Elven. Admittedly, Tyler reiterated the lines on the script, thanks to few dialect coaches on set.
According to an interview with Empire, Tyler spoke about a hotline called 1-800-HELP-AN ELF, which is a helpline for people who need an Elven linguist to decipher or pronounce specific phrases.
It is understandable, since the Elven language is more complex than most other fictional alphabets. Elvish evolved from the old tongue Quendian and separated into different dialect branches: Quendya, Telerian, Sindarin, and Nandorin.
Tolkien loved foreign languages and constructed fictional ones at a young age even before writing the trilogy.
9 She Was Supposed To Fight At Helm's Deep In The Two Towers
A lot of side characters were cut off in the theatrical release but managed to make it into the extended DVD release. However, the filmmakers excised Arwen’s battle sequence at Helms Deep altogether, and fans could see a few snippets of her hacking a few enemy soldier in the distance.
Originally, Arwen was supposed to fight alongside Aragorn on the battlefield, which would have been an epic scene. It’s a shame that the filmmakers decided to focus instead on Haldir, whom we barely remembered in the first film. (He was in an extended scene where he frowned at the hobbits and Gimli.)
Spoilers: an orc hacks him from the back, which cues Haldir's dramatic death scene, though it was barely memorable. If it was Arwen rallying the elves to support Aragorn and boost the morale of the hapless soldiers in face of the orcs, it would have been more epic than words can describe.
8 She Fell In love With Aragorn When She Was 2,700 Years Old
When they first met, Arwen was over 2,700 years old. Elves in Middle Earth are known for their beauty and longevity. Elrond is over 6,000 years old, Galadriel is over 7,000, and Arwen’s siblings are over 3,000 years old after Arwen’s death.
Fun fact: the oldest elven recorded is Cirdan, the Lord of Gray Haven who is said to be well over 11,000 years old. Since elves are immortal, the species are unafflicted and mature quickly once they reach a certain age.
By the time, Aragorn meets with Arwen, she has been acquainted with elven nobleman, while Aragorn is still “a yearling” compared to her. Elrond gives Aragorn "the talk," telling him that Aragorn is unworthy of Arwen... unless he proves himself by becoming the King.
7 She's An Image Of Lúthien Tinúviel
Aragorn first thinks that Arwen is Luthien Tinuviel, from the Tale of Luthien Tinuviel and Beren. She admits that most people have mistaken her for the fair elf. She shares another resemblance with Luthien-- Luthien also fell in love with a mortal man. However, the two couples' fates were slightly different.
Luthien was the daughter of Thingol, the King of Doriath, and fell in love with Beren, a mortal man, which complicated matters due to her lineage as the daughter of a high Elven King and the Ruler of Ainur.
Because of her lineage, Beren was given the impossible task to recover a Silmaril from Morgoth’s crown. He succeeded, but was badly injured and died from his wounds. Luthien then sacrificed her immortality in order to revive Beren. There are some similarities between the two couples: both mortal men are given impossible tasks, though each task is very different.
Aragorn and Arwen’s love story focuses on Aragorn’s tribulations and bravery through the long quests, so that he may finally be worthy of becoming king and marry Arwen. Luthien's story, on the other hand, is based on a forbidden love.
6 She Is The Third Elf To Fall In Love With A Mortal Man
Arwen is the third elf to fall in love with a mortal man. The first was Luthien who fell in love with Beren, and the second was Tuor who fell for Idril. Interestingly enough, Aragorn and Arwn are descendants of the previous elf/mortal lovers, most likely set up as a foundation where half-elves are given a choice to accept immortality or embrace the Gift of Men.
By the Third Age, half-elves were common but were often frowned upon, given that elves saw love as eternal-- if the human dies, then the elf will suffer eternal grief and unendurable pain.
It would explain their additional skepticism of men, aside from the fact that humans are easily tempted by follies, as demonstrated by Sauron manipulating nine men with the rings of power. Interspecies marriages are uncommon and rarely documented. However, marriage between elves and men were integral to Middle Earth’s foundation at that time.
5 "Arwen’s Song" Was Intended For Arwen’s Vision
Originally, the production team intended to use "Arwen's Song" during Arwen’s vision in The Return of the King but producers decided to replace it with Renee Flemming’s "The Evenstar".
In the extended edition, Doug Adams explains that "Arwen’s Song" was already made when The Two Towers was in production. “The scene and the song were saved for Return of the King. It was then decided that it didn’t work to have Arwen singing about her own situation… a little too meta and self-reflexive. So the piece was pulled, and replaced with the Fleming piece, which was written with the Return of the King score proper.”
Fun fact: Liv actually sang "Arwen’s Song" and it was drafted a couple of times before it was slotted for The House of Healing scene. Parts of the drafted lyrics were later used for other songs in the films.
If viewer’s listen closely to “The Breath of Life” and its intro choir, they can make out the same tone. It’s suggested that the lyrics from both songs were from the original draft. The vocals, mixed with English and Sindarin can be heard.
4 Her Sword Hadhafang Isn’t In The Books
Hadhafang is the first elven sword we see in the Lord of the Rings, and was replicated so that other elven swords that the same design. However, the sword is much more unique compared to the others. The ancestral blade belongs to Idril, who passed the sword to Elrond. Elrond used the sword in the Last Alliance Between Elves and Man during the battle of Sauron.
Arwen carried Hadhafang on her mission to save Frodo Baggins from the Nazguls, which again, never happened in the books. The sword never appeared in the novels and was made up by Weta Workshop.
On its earlier drafts, the sword was inscribed in Elven: “Idril i hel en aran Gond dolen” which translated to "Idril, daughter of the king of Hidden Rock.” Many viewers originally believed that the elven swords were based on the Japanese katana, but they're actually based on of European calvary sabres.
3 She Can Choose to Live as An Elf Or As A Mortal
Like her previous half-elf ancestors, Arwen is given the choice to live as a full elf or a accept the Gift of Men (death). The choice was given to the descendants of Beren and Luthien, who are considered half-elven.
Arwen’s choice in the movie consisted of her wavering between which option to choose, whereas in the books she made up her mind to marry Aragorn years ago. This forces Aragorn to become the king and unify the races of elves and men in order to marry Arwen.
In the film trilogy, their love story is portrayed to show that they're both unsure, with the twist emerging that Arwen is dying because of Sauron’s growing power– this did not happened in the books. However, they still-- at the very least-- kept the portion that involves Arwen deciding to live as a mortal being.
2 She Dies Of A Broken Heart
In the films, we are given the happier version of the story. Arwen reunites with Aragorn and they both have a fairy tale ending. The filmmakers spared us from what really happened at the end. While Arwen does live a long life with Aragorn who becomes the King and uniter of both races, at the very end, Arwen dies of a broken heart.
After Aragorn’s passing, Arwen couldn’t bear the loss, and leaves her children behind. She travels to Cerin Amroth, the place where she and Aragorn first met, and she dies alone with a broken heart just one year after his death.
Although it ends tragically, she was able to grow old with Aragorn and they both had a happy family. Arwen’s son Eldarion inherits the throne and their daughters later continue to rule. We actually don’t know much about their daughters, but the fact that they don’t even have names speaks volume on their limited roles.
1 She Sang the Prologue For The Lord Of The Rings Musical
After the mediocre presentation of animated film version of the trilogy, Kevin Wallace and Saul Zaentz moved on to claim the rights of a Lord of the Rings musical.
To ride off from the success of Jackson's trilogy, the producers had the bright idea of creating a musical. The whole spectacle costed $30 million. Over 65 actors partook in the grand spectacle, and it was nominated 15 Dora Awards, winning Best Musical, and was praised for its art direction. To give them credit, the show condensed three books into three hours, something Peter Jackson couldn’t have done, and it was very popular when it was first announced.
In the musical, Arwen’s storyline is similar to the books; she’s a love interest of Aragorn, and like the books, it's established they're both lovers. She also sang the prologue in Elven, and she and Aragorn additionally sang a duet about hope, titled “The Song of Hope”.
The musical was another interesting adaptation, but like the films and movies, Arwen was mainly a supporting character.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Lord of the Ring's Arwen? Let us know in the comment section!