Few books have had as much of an impact on their genre as The Lord of the Rings has had on fantasy. One of the most popular characters from the series is Aragorn, the King of Gondor disguised as an ordinary ranger. In many ways, Aragorn is the most important character in the story, tasked with uniting men, elves, dwarves, and all the other magical races against the forces of Mordor.
Naturally, such a compelling character has had a number of memorable lines from the books as well as the movies. Here are some of the best ones:
10 “I am Aragorn son of Arathorn; and if by life or death I can save you, I will.”
Strider was referred to by Gandalf long before we saw him for the first time meeting Frodo, Merry, Pippin, and Sam at The Dancing Pony inn. At that time, he was still an unknown quantity, and when Frodo and the others saw a heavily bearded, fearsome-looking man watching them intently from across the room, they felt a thrill of fear that translated to the audience as well.
Then Strider revealed his true name and the lineage saying, "But I am the real Strider, fortunately. I am Aragorn son of Arathorn; and if by life or death I can save you, I will.” Quite the intro.
9 "Not nearly frightened enough. I know what hunts you."
When Strider spoke to the frightened hobbits at the inn, audiences felt a certain relief, thinking the heroes had found a safe haven with a friend.
Then Strider stated that not only was their fear the correct emotion to feel at the moment, but that they were not actually feeling fearful enough, because they did not understand how truly terrifying the monsters hunting them were. At this point, the mood dialed right back up to eleven.
8 “But I must admit that I hoped you would take me for my own sake. A hunted man sometimes wearies of distrust and longs for friendship."
When people think of Aragorn, the words that are immediately conjured up are strong, skilled, unafraid- a true leader of men. While all those thoughts are valid, there is another sensitive and vulnerable side to him that few were ever allowed to see.
This was one such rare moment when Aragorn admitted that the years of living on the fringes of society, rejected and feared by the very people he fought to protect, had taken its toll on him. This made him feel an acute desire for genuine friendship and laughter.
7 "Alas! An ill fate is on me this day, and all that I do goes amiss!"
These words were spoken in despair by Aragorn as he looked around himself and saw the fellowship that was supposed to deliver the ring to Mount Doom in tatters. Gandalf had seemingly died, Boromir had breathed his last, and Sam and Frodo had disappeared along with Merry and Pippin.
Only Legolas and Gimli were left with Aragorn to pick up the broken pieces of the fellowship and decide whether to go after Sam and Frodo or Merry and Pippin. Aragorn could not help but blame himself for what had become of the team he was supposed to be leading.
6 "I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dúnadan, the heir of Isildur Elendil's son of Gondor."
We had known at this time that Aragorn was the King in Hiding, but here the world of the characters finally came to know that Isildur's heir, and Sauron's bane, was not only alive but actively working in opposition to the forces of Mordor.
You can't help but feel chills when you imagine the reaction of the Riders of Rohan to realizing they are in the presence of the one true king.
5 "Frodo, I have lived most of my life surrounded by my enemies. I will be grateful to die among my friends."
Aragorn has lived his whole life with the weight of his legacy heavy on his shoulders. He was always aware that fate would bring him, sooner or later, directly into the path of Mordor, yet he never flinched.
After training his whole life, Aragorn was ready to lead the charge against Sauron, and even with the knowledge that he could very well die before the quest ended, he felt glad at the prospect of a noble death in the line of duty, with his friends at his side.
4 "My friends… you bow to no one."
All through the story, we become familiar with Aragorn, the king in waiting. At the end of the tale, we finally meet Aragorn, King of Gondor.
It becomes clear that this new figure of authority is just as kind and humble as Strider, the Ranger. He has no problem bending his knee in front of Frodo and Sam and honoring them as the real heroes of the War of the Rings.
3 “A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day."
At the black gate, the entrance to Mordor, Aragorn stood with his army. Even as the courage of the soldiers quailed at the prospect of what lay beyond the gate, Aragorn proved his worth as a king and a leader of men.
Standing at the front of his army, Aragorn declared that today was not the day that they allow their fear to get the best of them. Today was the day to remember the bonds of fellowship that unite them as they stand at the very edge of the black precipice.
2 "You will suffer me."
One of the tensest standoffs occurs when Aragorn travels away from his army to enter the realm of spirits of the past. These warriors had broken their promise to Isildur, and were cursed to wander the Earth as a result. Aragorn faced the army head-on and was not cowed by their malevolent fury.
Instead, he revealed his sword, claimed the title of Isildur's heir, and demanded the spirits honor the vow they made to his ancestor to fight at his side.
1 "For Frodo."
When Aragorn led his massive army to the gates of Mordor, he knew his mission was doomed from the start, yet he went anyway. Only to give Frodo the chance to reach Mount Doom while Sauron's focus was centered elsewhere.
Even as Aragorn charged into what he believed would be his final battle, his only thought was a prayer for the young hobbit on whose mission rested the fate of Middle Earth.