The Lord Of The Rings: Aragorn & Arwen’s Relationship Timeline, Movie By Movie

Summary

  • Aragorn and Arwen’s relationship in the Lord of the Rings movies had more twists and turns than in the books, making their timeline more interesting.
  • Peter Jackson added more trials and tribulations for Aragorn and Arwen, which aligned with Tolkien’s other Middle-earth romances.
  • Aragorn and Arwen were married as King and Queen of Gondor, ruled side by side for over a century, and had a son and daughters before their deaths.


The Lord of the Rings movies saw Aragorn and Arwen’s romance and relationship take some twists and turns before they ultimately found their happily ever after. Of course, their story is significantly different than in the Lord of the Rings books, where Arwen was a far less prevalent character. Peter Jackson added several more trials and tribulations for the future King and Queen of Gondor to work through before they could be together, and almost none of this was included in Tolkien’s works. Ultimately, this helped to make Aragorn and Arwen’s relationship timeline more interesting throughout the Lord of the Rings movies.

The Lord of the Rings books were more about Frodo’s journey, which means that Aragorn’s romance took a back seat to the general war against Sauron. It was only in the Appendices of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King that Tolkien dived into the pair’s relationship, including how they met, what happened between them throughout the War of the Ring, and how they lived their lives together afterward. Jackson ultimately used this information to construct a more involved story for each of his Lord of the Rings movies, and though this doesn’t always align with canon, it’s largely in the flavor of Tolkien’s other Middle-earth romances.

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Aragorn & Arwen’s Relationship Before The Lord Of The Rings

Rivendell in Lord of the Rings (1)

Though the Lord of the Rings movies never fully describe how Aragorn and Arwen met, it can be assumed to be the same as described in Tolkien’s works. When Aragorn was a boy, he was placed under Elrond’s care, where he was eventually told of his destiny to become the King of Gondor. When he grew into adulthood, Arwen, who had been away living in Lothlórien with her grandmother, Galadriel, came to visit her father in Rivendell, and this is where she met Aragorn. He immediately fell in love with the Elven woman, but Elrond told him that he must first fulfill his destiny of reclaiming his throne before he could be bound to a wife.

In the Lord of the Rings books, Elrond didn’t have a problem with his daughter falling in love with a Man. His primary concern was the path that lay before Aragorn. Elrond loved the boy like a son but knew that Aragorn’s future had two possible endings. He would either rejoin the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor as King or fall to the temptation and evil of the Dark Lord Sauron. Until a clear path was determined, Elrond didn’t want Arwen bound to this fate, especially since the cost would be her immortality.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring – Arwen Gives Aragorn The Evenstar

In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Peter Jackson brought the events of the stories told through Tolkien’s Appendices to the screen as part of the primary story. This means several scenes between Aragorn and Arwen that weren’t in the original book. These moments provided a valuable foundation for the pair’s relationship. First, Arwen comforts Aragorn about his destiny by the broken sword of Elendil. Aragorn fears that, as a king, he will make the same mistakes as his ancestor Isildur, and Arwen reminds him that the mistakes of past kings do not define him. Ultimately, this demonstrates how much she (rightfully) believes that Aragorn will make a great king.

Arwen’s dedication to Aragorn is later demonstrated in the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring movie when she gives him the Evenstar pendant. This piece of Elven jewelry is another invention of Jackson’s since it never existed in the Lord of the Rings books. It served as a visual representation of everything Arwen desired to give up to be with Aragorn—her immortality. This was something Aragorn didn’t want in Fellowship of the Ring, and he encouraged Arwen to travel to the Undying Lands with her kin since, mortal or not, staying in Middle-earth with him would ultimately mean her death.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers – Arwen Is Conflicted About Her Fate

Arwen Lord of the Rings (1)-1

When Aragorn left with the Fellowship of the Ring in the movies, he believed he would never see Arwen again. He hoped she would do as Elrond said and travel with her people to the Undying Lands, somewhere Aragorn could never go. So, when Aragorn met Eowyn in Rohan in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, it seemed, for a time, that this was a romance that made more sense. Eowyn quickly fell in love with Aragorn, and it was clear he felt affection and respect toward her in return. Still, though he never expected to see Arwen again, he couldn’t bring himself to love someone else and ultimately broke Eowyn’s heart.

Arwen, on the other hand, remained in Rivendell, where she wholeheartedly believed that Aragorn would eventually come back to her. She didn’t want to travel to the Undying Lands as her father wished, instead intent on following through with her premise to live a mortal life by Aragorn’s side. Still, as the Light of the Eldar continued to fade and her peoples’ time in Middle-earth came to a close, Elrond became all the more determined to convince his daughter to abandon her hope that Men could defeat Sauron. Elrond reminded Arwen that even if Aragon became king, she would ultimately be the only Elf in Middle-earth, doomed to live forever in misery. So, Arwen decided to leave.

The Valar gifted Elrond’s family the choice to be immortal Elves or mortal Humans in Tolkien canon, so the story in the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring movie about Arwen living forever after Aragorn’s death didn’t make much sense.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King – Aragorn Finally Earns Elrond’s Blessing

Arwen and Aragorn kiss in The Lord Of The Rings

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King saw the beginning of Arwen’s reluctant journey to Valinor. However, on the way, she saw a vision of her and Aragorn’s son, which confirmed that there was hope that Sauron would be defeated and the King of Gondor would reclaim his throne. This led her to hurry back to Rivendell to confront her father. Elrond could no longer ignore the fact that there indeed was hope for Aragorn. So, after some encouragement from Arwen, he had Elendil’s sword reforged and delivered it to Aragorn.

This was ultimately a sign of Elrond’s blessing. Using the sword Andúril, Aragorn was able to lead the Dead Men of Dunharrow to Pelennor Fields, thus turning the tides of the battle there. This wasn’t entirely how things went down in the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King book, where Aragorn himself had reforged Elendil’s sword back in the Fellowship of the Ring. However, Jackson’s movies allowed Arwen’s love to play a more significant part in Aragorn’s victory. This made it all the more satisfying when Arwen and Aragorn reunited in Gondor at the end of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Aragorn & Arwen’s Relationship After The Lord Of The Rings

Arwen stands by Aragorn's tomb in The Lord of the Rings.

Though the details of Aragorn and Arwen’s relationship throughout the Lord of the Rings movie were significantly changed, their story still boiled down to a similar end. The pair were married in Gondor, and Arwen chose to accept the gift of mortality offered to her family. They ruled side by side as King and Queen of Gondor and were beloved by their subjects for over a century. They had a son, Eldarion, and an unspecified number of daughters (whose names were never given).

She stayed there under the Mallorn trees alone, mourning the death of her husband until she died of a broken heart

Aragorn and Arwen were married for 120 years after Lord of the Rings before the King of Gondor felt his age creep up on him. When he died, Arwen traveled alone to Lórien, now void of Elven life. She stayed there under the Mallorn trees alone, mourning the death of her husband until she died of a broken heart. Though she was mortal, it’s implied that Arwen could have continued living for many years (since even mortal Elves don’t age the way Men do). However, her love for Aragorn was so strong that there was nothing left for her to live for in Middle-earth. Though Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings are never clear about the lovers’ fates after death (since Elves and Men go to separate realms after death), it can be hoped they were reunited in the afterlife.