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Old 02-29-2004, 12:36 PM   #1
symestreem
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Was Aragorn fleeing from the law?

Seriously though, if they weren't alternate IDs to hide from the police behind, why did Tolkien give Aragorn so many names?

Aragorn
Estel
Thorongil
Telcontir
Elessar
Elfstone
Strider
Wingfoot
I know I'm missing one.

Plus his titles:
King of Gondor
Captain of the Rangers
the Renewer
Dunadan

Is this to emphasize his royalty and importance? Is there a parallel for this in any other story?
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Old 02-29-2004, 01:13 PM   #2
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I don't know...but I've noticed his many names as well. One time my cousin (One of the Nine) and I came up with as many names for Aragorn as we could and we came up with a list of 38. Some of them are pushing it a little bit, but he was named as all of them somewhere in LotR.

For some of them - mosty the ones you listed which I would call the most important ones - I think it is because they all have a purpose. Aragorn - his given name. Thorongil in Gondor/Rohan, Strider in Bree, Elessar Telcontar because it was the name he took as king, etc.
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Old 02-29-2004, 02:11 PM   #3
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Estel was given to him by his mother - many characters in Middle-earth were given a name from each parent. Telcontar was the name he established for his line as king. Elessar (translation of Elfstone) was also a name did not take until he was king - it was foretold that he would take this name later on; Galadriel gave it to him in Lorien. Strider was a nickname others gave him as a ranger. Wingfoot was a name Eomer gave him after he learned how far the Three Hunters had travelled so quickly when following Merry/Pippin.

Thorongil was the only name he chose to use in order to remain anonymous. Denethor would not have taken kindly to the king-by-right coming and impressing the people with his abilities (as shown later in Return of the King when Aragorn returned to Gondor).
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Old 02-29-2004, 02:45 PM   #4
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I believe Aragorn's many names do various things, including the emphasis of his importance and general uses. Important people have monikers, monikers can be translated into different languages, and many nicknames can be derived from said monikers. Royalty must be addressed as such, so they are expected to gain kingly names, kingly titles, etc.

-Aragorn, his real name
-Estel, "Hope", Gilraen's baby name
-Thorongil, "Eagle of the Star", self-proclaimed
-Wingfoot, Eomer's name for Aragorn, moniker
-Strider, Breelanders name for Aragorn, moniker
-Elessar, High title and surname
-Elfstone, title, Aragorn was called "The Elfstone of the House of Elendil"
-Telcontar, Strider in Elvish
-Longshanks is the one you're missing
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Old 02-29-2004, 03:01 PM   #5
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It depends... just exactly what law did Aragorn have to run away from? I can just see it... Denethor going around Gondor, posting up Wanted signs with Aragorn's face and an extremely long list of all his names.
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Old 03-01-2004, 11:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
It depends... just exactly what law did Aragorn have to run away from? I can just see it... Denethor going around Gondor, posting up Wanted signs with Aragorn's face and an extremely long list of all his names.
Yeah, I can definitely see this. Hmm. I think some fanart is in order *grin*
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Old 03-01-2004, 12:05 PM   #7
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Definitely... *chuckles*


But honestly... having that many names would come in handy!

Imagine it...


Denethor: Are you not Aragorn, son of Arathorn?


Aragorn: No! I'm your father's sixth cousin twenty times removed! The name is Thorongil!
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Old 03-01-2004, 04:22 PM   #8
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Tolkien

Oh dear. Mental images of Aragorn running through the woods with the cops theme playing in the background. x_x I think in the world of Middle-Earth, your name and your heritage are very important. It qualifies that you have a right or an heritage that makes you what you are. Most of Aragorn's names as mentioned are nicknames, something you give to someone off-handed. Wingfoot, Longshanks, and Strider all names someone else uses for Aragorn, not Aragorn himself. He just hid behind them. And it is a lot of names, but what better way to stay low? Btw, if someone does the fanart, I wanna see! Middle Earth Justice - The Hunt for the King.....
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Old 03-01-2004, 05:04 PM   #9
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Looks like you're also missing "Envinyatar".

It would appear that Aragorn even has the edge on Turin in terms of the number of names. However, that's counting both "Elfstone" and "Elessar" and "Strider" and "Telcontar" separately. If we count them thus, I think we have ten names; getting rid of the doubles it's eight. I count seven names for Turin, so it looks like Aragorn still holds the title (as if he needed one more).
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Old 03-01-2004, 06:09 PM   #10
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I think perhaps you are getting the film and the books mixed up sleeping beauty ( i don't blame you.) But aragorn never in the true saga, was frightened by or did he shun his destiny. He accepted who he was, and looked to the future; however he had patience, he knew his time would come, or perhaps it would not. Nowhere does he say anything even resembling his words in the films of : "i have turned from that path long ago..." etc.

There are other characters in Tolkien's works that also have many names, of course not as many as Strider, but many none the less. (why can't I think of the other names of the people I am thinking of? in the silmarillion i believe more than 3 names are sometimes given for a character) Like Turin!

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Old 03-01-2004, 09:32 PM   #11
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He was a well traveled man, with a long life that seemed to have qute a few "stages". A complex man, yet his many names probably helped him keep a low profile in the first half of his life.
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Old 03-01-2004, 11:33 PM   #12
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Osse wrote:
Quote:
(why can't I think of the other names of the people I am thinking of? in the silmarillion i believe more than 3 names are sometimes given for a character) Like Turin!
I can think of the following names for Turin:

Turin
Neithan
Agarwaen
Adanedhel
Thurin
Mormegil
Turambar

Am I missing any? One more and he ties Aragorn.
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Old 03-02-2004, 03:08 AM   #13
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What's in a name?

Men sure have got fancy names: I don't remember reading of any such names among Elves, Hobbits or Dwarves. Ents have got L-O-N-G names, but they had practically lived for such a long time that it is understandable. But Men! *mutters about egoists*
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Old 03-02-2004, 06:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Am I missing any? One more and he ties Aragorn.
I'm not sure if this counts, but my UT index lists him also as "Wildman of the Woods." Is that a name? Even if it is, I would still say that it is fair to say that Aragorn has more names because if you were to count up all of his titles and all his names (including things like both "Strider" and "Telcontar") he has way more than Turin does.
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Old 03-02-2004, 01:39 PM   #15
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Gandalf had two more than Aragorn, not counting his various epithets and translations:

Olrin
Gandalf
Mithrandir
White Rider
Grey Fool
Stormcrow
Greyhame
Lthspell
Tharkn
Incnus
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Old 03-02-2004, 03:43 PM   #16
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If Aragorn is also known as:
Quote:
Originally posted by Firefoot "Wildman of the Woods"
then surely he was also known as "Ranger of the North."
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aiwendil
Osse wrote:


I can think of the following names for Turin:

Turin
Neithan
Agarwaen
Adanedhel
Thurin
Mormegil
Turambar

Am I missing any? One more and he ties Aragorn.
I believe you've forgotten Gorthol.

Most of these names show different sides of Aragorn's personality: Estel, the name given by a mother to a son she hoped would accomplish great feets; Strider, the rough ranger; Thorongil, the "I'm-not-ready-for-taking-the-throne-yet-so-I'll-just-sneak-in-and-have-a-look-around-while-waiting"; Elessar, the king...
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Old 03-02-2004, 06:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
If Aragorn is also known as:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Firefoot "Wildman of the Woods"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

then surely he was also known as "Ranger of the North."
I meant Turin was listed as "Wildman of the Woods". I suppose that wasn't very clear, reading back over it I think I should have been more specific.
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Old 03-02-2004, 07:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Falagar
Thorongil, the "I'm-not-ready-for-taking-the-throne-yet-so-I'll-just-sneak-in-and-have-a-look-around-while-waiting"
So that's what Thorongil means!
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Old 03-02-2004, 09:10 PM   #20
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I think the only reason that he had so many names was because he was a well traveled man. And with all the different languages and cultures in Middle Earth, the names were just bound to stack up

It is funny to see all those names. I wonder if he would have ever gotten confiused. Like someone would come over and say "Hello Strider", and he would like be "That's not my name! *thinks* No, wait, *thinks of the list*, yes it is, sorry" So many names, so little time

The only thing I am wondering about now is that did people in the Middle Ages, or the long gone past have a giant collection of names like Aragorn and Gandalf or was it just a Middle Earth thing?
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Old 03-04-2004, 09:42 AM   #21
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As I said, its just Men. And M-E-N, to boot. You will never hear of a Woman with so many fancy names.

And Gandalf is an Istari. So he is not really a man. For all that we know, he could have even more names back in Aman.
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Old 03-05-2004, 10:39 AM   #22
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I am rather suprised he doesn't have a name from the Elves other than that of Galadriel: Elessar. Although they could have called him many nasty names behind his back. You never know about those elves.
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Old 03-05-2004, 11:28 AM   #23
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Oh yes... I'm sure that Elladan and Elrohir had their own little pet names for their ickle Estel.
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Old 03-05-2004, 01:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Oh yes... I'm sure that Elladan and Elrohir had their own little pet names for their ickle Estel.
Lets not forget Arwen. And of course his kids would call him Daddy one more name to the list
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Old 03-05-2004, 08:23 PM   #25
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Eye

And of course, don't forget that if Aragorn had revealed his exact ancestry he'd have been pursued with redoubled vigour by the servants of Sauron. It was meant to be a secret that the heir of the King had survived after all. (And no doubt an unwelcome surprise to big S during the whoe Palantir incident)
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Old 03-06-2004, 12:00 PM   #26
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Hot, crispy nice hobbit wrote:
Quote:
As I said, its just Men. And M-E-N, to boot. You will never hear of a Woman with so many fancy names
Well, Galadriel has also quite a lot of fancy names, and she is an elf-woman
  • Artanis, her name, which means noble woman
  • Nerwen(d), her mother-name, which means man-maiden
  • Galadriel, given to her by Celeborn as an epess, in sindarin
  • Altariel, the quenyarized form of Galadriel
  • Alatriel(l), the telerin form of Galadriel
Not as many names as Aragorn or Gandalf, but she didn't travel as much as them
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Old 03-07-2004, 09:35 AM   #27
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Dark-Eye A few missing names

Just a couple names you guys missed

Gandalf:

Greybeard and herald (2 names the Mouth of Sauron called him)

Aragorn:

Stick-at-naught (bill ferny called Aragorn)
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Old 03-07-2004, 09:48 AM   #28
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Well, Galadriel has also quite a lot of fancy names, and she is an elf-woman
Oops, got me there...

Well, I have to admit that is an exceptional, not undeserving one though. But elves are different, for all we know, back in Aman they might be called a dozen other names!

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Old 03-07-2004, 04:23 PM   #29
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Tolkien

I don't think Aragorn liked his Ranger names though, remember what he said at the Council of Elrond about Butterbur? And I'm always annoyed at omer for giving him yet another name. Like he really needed another one!

All his names are different sides of his personality, different aspects of who is.

With all his names, he has ties with the Elves (Ellesar and Estel), ties with Arnor (Aragorn), ties with Bree (Strider), ties with Gondor (Thorongil), and ties with Rohan (Wingfoot). He's got connections like a good king should.

*gasp* We've all forgotten one: The Dunedan! (Note the capital "T") Add that to the list and he's beating Trin for sure.
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Old 03-08-2004, 03:07 PM   #30
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Elianna, it was not forgotten, it was in symestreem's original post, assuming the title "Dunadan" meant "THE Dunedan" as Bilbo so impressively referred to him!

And we thought he was just a Ranger!
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Old 03-08-2004, 05:51 PM   #31
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oopsthanks for the correction.
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Old 03-12-2004, 05:40 PM   #32
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Quote:
Artanis, her name, which means noble woman
Hmm... Arwen's name means the same thing. Arwen must have been named after Grandma then.
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Old 03-13-2004, 04:33 PM   #33
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Though very similar, Arwen actually means 'noble maiden'.
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Old 03-21-2004, 03:40 PM   #34
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Sting

Um what does Arwen have to do with Aragorns names?
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Old 03-21-2004, 09:31 PM   #35
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Silmaril

You have a point there. Maybe because Arwen is Aragorn's...forget it.

To go back, Faramir has to recite some of these names when he asked the people of Gondor if they would receive him as king. Poor Faramir...

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Old 03-22-2004, 05:15 PM   #36
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In terms of the name Wingfoot, it wasn't a name he was ever called by, but the statement by Eomer "I name you Wingfoot" was in fact more of a compliment at their journey on foot, not actually something he was ever called. Also I'm sure that Aragorn probably had many other names that he received on his journeys to far Harad and to the east but they are unknown to us.

Quote:
And Gandalf is an Istari. So he is not really a man. For all that we know, he could have even more names back in Aman.
I doubt it, as he would've just been called Olorin, his proper name.
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Old 03-22-2004, 09:22 PM   #37
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Just a thought... Olorin could have been called by his name in Valarin (Olorin is Quenya). That would probably add another one to his list of names.
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Old 03-24-2004, 07:57 PM   #38
Elianna
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Just something I thought was interesting:

Aragorn, in the passages I found and can remember, always said: "I amcalled Strider" but "I am Aragorn."

Just shows who he though of himself as.
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Old 03-25-2004, 05:09 PM   #39
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I don't think the issue was Aragorn hiding from the law. After all, what did he do wrong? Wasn't he always helping people? Maybe all his names were given to him because of his many talents. I think though, that he was trying to hide from his destiny (sort of). In RotK, he didn't want people to recognize him in the Houses of Healing, so he went in his Ranger outfit. I think he might be reluctabt to accept his role as King.

Just a thought...
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Old 03-25-2004, 08:12 PM   #40
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Hmm. So many posts identifying Aragorn's various names, and so few considering why he acquired so many.


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I don't think the issue was Aragorn hiding from the law.
No, not from "the law", but from he who would seek dominion of Middle-earth and in effect become "the law", namely Sauron.

While recuperating in Dol Guldur, and particularly after his return to Mordor, Sauron was not seeking only for the Ring. He was also seeking Isildur's heir, with whom he had a score to settle, and whom he feared. Sauron feared the return of the king - hence he was provoked into playing his hand sooner than he would have liked when Aragorn revealed to him his true identity in the Palantir.

Certainly, it made sense for Aragorn to assume an alias while in Ecthelion's service. To have revealed himself as Isildur's heir, and therefore the rightful heir to the throne of Gondor, at that stage (before the time was right for him to assume the kingship) would have destabilised Gondor and possibly led to civil war (a second kinslaying). It would probably have provoked Sauron into an immediate attack on Gondor too.

So, it was in Aragorn's interests not to let his identity slip before the time was right. It would have placed him in great personal danger, and it would probably have sealed the fate of Gondor, if not the entirety of Middle-earth, too.

While I agree with Gorwingel that the fact that Aragorn was so widely travelled led to the variety of names given to him (and this is certainly true of Gandalf too), the fact that he needed to travel incognito in the first place is, I believe, attributable to the need to conceal his true identity from Sauron and his minions.
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