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Old 08-15-2014, 02:53 PM   #75
Haunting Spirit
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 67
Corsair_Caruso has just left Hobbiton.
Other people have addressed the issue of Aragorn's ability to make an arrest, but I'd also like to throw in my two-cents. Before he was crowned as King of Gondor and Arnor, he had zero authority except over those who swore allegiance to him. He was the Chieftain of the Dunedain, and as such, the Dunedain of the North owed him allegiance, but he claimed to ability to command or exercise authority beyond those people, not even the lands which his ancestors ruled, but merely those who counted themselves as his subjects. He did not exercise lordship over the Shire, over the the human settlements in the former territories of Arnor, but merely over the Dunedain who gave themselves over to his command.

Had he attempted to exercise authority over any land before being recognized by the existing government (say in Gondor before he was crowned), he would have been ignored. Aragorn even traveled to Gondor under an alias during the rule of the Steward Ecthelion II, but exercised no authority as King of Gondor; he merely served the steward as an advisor and commander in Gondor's armies.

Aragorn is not the only rightful king who refused to exercise his authority when he had no de facto rule over his territory. Thorin II did not reign as king until he had reclaimed Erebor. He, like the Chieftains of the Dunedain, exercised authority over subjects, but not the title and rights of a king over his kingdom. During the War of the Ring, Aragorn even wanted to avoid entering Minas Tirith until he had been crowned!

So, exercising any kind of authority as an officer/leader of Gondor is right out. Whether or not he had a right to isn't really the question, it's a question of would he have done so. The answer is no: Aragorn would exercise no authority derived from his status as king of Gondor until he had been crowned.

Next, his status as a member of the Fellowship. It has been brought up before that he might have challenged Gandalf's leadership if it appeared that Gandalf was leading the company to ruin. Arrest might be interpreted as simply devesting him of leadership authority and taking on the role himself. This is possible, but exceedingly unlikely. It would, first, require the support of either the rest of the Fellowship, or the Ringbearer, as even Gandalf deferred to Frodo's decisions. As has been brought up before, Gandalf was known (to Aragorn) to be a true and faithful servant of the Valar. His wisdom, while not entirely beyond question, was not to be taken lightly. Aragorn understood that Gandalf had the experience to properly evaluate the risks of traveling through Moria, despite their lack of knowledge of what was occupying the place. Gandalf's fall demonstrates that he was not infallible, but all other roads had been reasonably disqualified, and Boromir's evident desire to get the Ring to Gondor was troubling to all those who recognized it.

Gimli's desire to enter Moria wasn't exactly bias, in my opinion, but a combination of information and ignorance. Though the dwarves had not heard from the colony in Moria for some time, they had traveled to Rivendell (in large part) to seek Elrond's advice on investigating. They had no evidence that the colony had been destroyed; they just had no word whatsoever. Hardly confidence inspiring, but also not a reason to believe that it had been completely destroyed. Gimli obviously believed that some kind of friendly party likely occupied the place, or that whatever hostile force had occupied it before had been sufficiently subdued that it would present less of a threat than paths that were known to be watched by active enemies.

And, despite all that, Gandalf still thought it was a bad idea. He just saw no better option. He and Aragorn, in fact, agreed on that. They resolved that without a safer option, they would take the path of least resistance that wasn't confirmed to be under the watchful eye of a known enemy, but one that might be occupied by an unknown enemy that could reasonably have been recently defeated, in part if not in whole.
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