Aur Onnad Meren, Telcontar, or for those of you who don’t speak elvish, Happy Birthday, Strider.
Aragorn, son of Arathorn and Gilraen, was born on this day, the 1st of March, in the 2931st year of the Third Age.
While the noble Aragorn, champion of the West and the twenty-sixth King of Arnor, thirty-fifth King of Gondor, and the first High King of the Reunited Kingdom, is a paragon of epic fantasy, it was his role as Strider, Ranger of the North, that spoke to me first and foremost. That was the character I fell in love with when I read the Fellowship of the Ring as a pre-teen living in the wilds of rural Indiana.
Of course, that was long before Peter Jackson’s films.
Beyond the original source material, we had Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings in 1978 and the animated Return of the King in 1980 to look to.
Of the two, it was John Hurt’s brilliant voice acting of Aragorn that remains burned into my brain.
This was who I emulated as a twelve year old boy running through the woods along Turkey Creek.
It has always felt like such an honor to share the same birthday as the Chieftain of the Dúnedain, whom the Northmen called Strider and the warriors of Gondor and Rohan called Thorongil.
Much like Howard’s Hyborian Age, Middle-Earth has always felt like real history to me, as if it all existed in the forgotten annals of our world’s ancient past. It pleases me to imagine that a man such as Aragorn once walked this earth and with wisdom, tenacity, and a strong sword arm staved off the threat of all consuming evil and gave hope to the world and its peoples.