Forum: Writing Mary Sue: the Mother of Challenges

Discussing: Aragorn


Ok, you knew I was going to start this thread. I can't resist, even if I'm doing my best over here. If you've spent more than, say, five minutes in my virtual presence, you know I'd be classified as an "Aragornus Adoramus" (in highly technical DwimTaxonomy terms, of course).

So you may wonder: Dwim, why are you not writing an Aragorn/Sue fic? Well, there are two reasons:

1) I've made an attempt already. This is the Aragorn smut piece I'm using to get Legolas to cooperate (why is Legolas cooperating because of Aragorn, you ask? Mostly because Dwim!Aragorn has Dwim!Legolas in a headlock and is threatening hair dye if the Elf doesn't save him from profound humiliation, that's why). I did it as an exercise in whether I could get him to fall in love with someone other than Arwen (or at least sleep with someone other than Arwen) while remaining within the bounds of canonical plausibility.

2) I like Aragorn too much to risk an OFC romance. And thanks to the experience described in (1), I know for a fact now that it's really tough.

I see Aragorn as having a relatively narrow window when he would be open to a relationship with someone other than Arwen. This would be some years after he initially encounters her, but before they meet in Lothlórien. Given the "love at first sight" phenomenon, I think he would not casually dally with the ladies, so that rules out (for me) the prostitute angle (even with a heart of gold); it'd be one or two people who were exceptional in some way to him. And for as long as it lasted, it'd be serious.

Once he commits to Arwen, however, I see him as sticking with that committment--part of being raised by Elves, I would imagine, who marry only once.

But even within Rohan and Gondor, he's got to have time to fall in love, and I think we can rule out any Haradrim girls--too dangerous. So Gondor or Rohan. Gondor has this large problem for him, known as "Denethor." So Rohan, for me.

In terms of minor canonical female characters... geez, I can't think of a one! Ioreth is the only woman for whom he has more than two words (excepting Éowyn, who is by no stretch of the imagination a minor character), and I somehow don't see those words as the basis for even a casual fling! But perhaps others have ideas about this?

Those are my thoughts on the possibilities and limitations of an Aragorn/OFC/minor canonical romance, explicit or otherwise. What do others think? Is anyone here going to take Aragorn on themselves?



Re: Aragorn

re: writing Aragorn/OFC - tell us about it, Dwim!

I have had, for at least the last four months, if not more, a particular piece of Aragorn/OFC romance dropped into my folder on HA. It's been stalled since at least August, possibly longer.

This one is basically an Obsessed!Aragorn, trying any which bloody way to get the thought of Arwen out of his head. Hence the very rapid, gonad-fuelled decision for a quick shag on the beach (blunt? me? How nice of you to notice!)

Problem is, I've got him there to the point where his shirt's been hoicked out of his trousers, and then the bloody bunny fled and hasn't been seen since. Ah well, it could have been worse - he could have got a bit further through things.




Re: Aragorn

Well, I can safely say he got more off than that in my fic. But essentially, I ran out of [cough!] steam after that. We clearly think along parallel tracks in terms of time frames and motivations, too.

So. Are you going to finish it?



Re: Aragorn

It really depends.

For one thing, when Aragorn wants to do his "Mister Uninformative" shtick, he does it very, very well. For seconds, while I've had some practice at writing erotica from a female POV, it's a bit more difficult for me to write realistic erotica from a male POV.

I'm hoping that the quiet time over Christmas will allow me to get a bit of stuff cleared off my list - even one thing would be nice.

Ah well, if all else fails, I can probably turn the whole thing around... oh damn. That would work. Excuse me while I start swearing, and scribbling down my ideas fairly quickly.

/me throws a book at the plotbunny and retreats back under her desk.



Re: Aragorn

>1) I've made an attempt already. This is the Aragorn smut piece I'm >using to get Legolas to cooperate (why is Legolas cooperating >because of Aragorn, you ask? Mostly because Dwim!Aragorn has >Dwim!Legolas in a headlock and is threatening hair dye if the Elf >doesn't save him from profound humiliation, that's why).

"use Lorian, 'cause you're worth it..."

>I did it as an exercise in whether I could get him to fall in love with >someone other than Arwen (or at least sleep with someone other >than Arwen) while remaining within the bounds of canonical >plausibility.

Two words for you Dwim... "A" and "U". Cannon be damned! This would make a great AU. I personally would be intrigued by the whole "Arwen's nice, but this other elf chick....Woohoo!"

And as for Aragorn only stiking to Arwen because of elven monogomy. Nowhere that I have ssen did Tolkien say that (A) Aragorn was celibate for that whole time after falling for Arwen and (b) that elves have a culture that would lead Aragorn to resort to celibacy because of his love... and (C) I don't recall anywhere it stating that elves believe in monogamy. Tolkien only said that they mary only once. Not the same thing at all....

So a canonically compatible OC is plausible anywhere in Aragorn's life.

And even really emotionally deep, really good men vent sexually. So even prostitution is a very realistic option. Especially in a culture in which prostitution is legal. Most of our abhorrence to utilising whores these days comes from a lawful inclination because it has become unlawful to do so. In ancient culture, it was not against the law.

As for his intensity during his to some young men who are world wise, and ask them serious questions about their encounters abroad. I think you might find it interresting and enlightening with regards to Aragorn. Women often think of men as theses creatures who either can't control their libido at all, or these romantic archtypes who hang up their cocks to dry the instant they are away from the women they love.

The fact is that infatuation CAN grow into love. Intense fatuation does it quicker, but there is no such thing as love at first sight that is permanently binding. Eowyn taught us that when she got over Aragorn in a New York minute. Love, true love, that surviuves the sepoeration for the lengths that Aragorn and Arwen were apart yet still in love, is the result of having an understanding of each other that cannot be aquired in a few days, or even weeks. So who is to say that Aragorn didn't fall for Arwen in the romantic puppy fashion and travel abroad like a lovesick thing..... and then either vent his yearnings (a very common practice) or loose the intensity of the pre-love infatuation long enough for an interspersed romance or three to occur.

Just playing devil's advocate here....




Re: Aragorn

Remember, he wasn't exactly a normal young man. People who have take over the world as a life's goal never are. It's possible that once he decided on Arwen, that was it. He set high goals for himself and stuck to them. Camp followers and the women he'd meet in road houses simply might not appeal, once he'd met her. I view him as a very straight arrow.

I think the time where it was likely would be when he was between 16 and 20, and out on missions with Elladan & Elrohir and/or Glorfindil. The old "let's take the rookie over to the Shaded Lantirn and initiate him proper" story.



Re: Aragorn

"use Lorian, 'cause you're worth it..."

Noted [scribbles that one down to pass on].

AU--well, here's my problem. I can do a lot in an AU that I can't do in a canonical gap-filler, and gap-fillers are primarily what I'm interested in. If I *have* to make it an AU in order to get Aragorn into bed with another woman, then I lose interest in writing it. That's just not the direction I want to go, most of the time.

To answer the devil's advocate:

Re: the joys of puppy love: I don't doubt that he does go through this. What I question is any absolute insistence that of course Aragorn *must* have been sexually active like a 'normal' male. "Of course he had sex when he wasn't around Arwen. He's not repressed, after all, and healthy people do that." I shrink from that sort of a reading, which I see too often, or which is latent (or blatant, depending) in a some truly bad fics. He *might* have been sexually active. But I also think that for a significant portion of his life, he wasn't--namely, post-betrothal.

I'm not saying Tolkien stated positively that Aragorn was celibate until he married Arwen. Clearly, that aspect of Aragorn's life was left untouched by him. And I'm not an Elf-sex expert, but as far as I understood the matter, sex was marriage--once you've had sex, you're committed. There may be good reasons for that attitude towards marriage, if I'm not misremembering. Because as for the dichotomy of monogamy and marrying only once, there is at least one tradition which Tolkien would've been very familiar with that equates those two positions: the Roman Catholic Church.

I try to avoid bringing Christianity to LOTR, but this is one very deep conviction on sexual mores, and we are talking about the author who wrote that a female Elf who was raped would die. The Church may preach understanding and acceptance and working through different lifestyles, but when you come down to it, it's not because the Church authorities believe that love should have a sexual expression if the couple is willing. It's because the Church authorities, recognizing that people *do* have sex outside of marriage, want to hold the door open and encourage members to "return." Because it's still considered wrong to be sexually active outside of marriage. When I tried to go through confirmation eight years ago, it was still "monogamy is not one partner at a time, it's one partner for life." Your partner must die or your marriage must be annulled in order to avoid committing adultery in that tradition. Your average Catholic lay person is likely to feel that the Church is outdated in this respect, but the Church hasn't changed its teaching substantially on these matters so far as I am aware. It may often times fall short of its own standards, but the point is that you would never be taught that the Church finds nothing wrong with sex outside of marrriage. And Tolkien grew up pre-Vatican II, which could make a huge difference in how he viewed departures from something as fundamental as Church-based sexual morality.

Granted, of course, LOTR (as noted) isn't part of the Catholic tradition, as it were. But I do suspect that in this case, the idea of committment, sexually and psychically, is informed by that particular notion of sexual propriety. I'm not saying Aragorn is a monk (and if we think monks and priests have no sex drive, please look to your local newspaper for the latest Catholic sex scandal); I'm not saying he should be written as neutered in the sense of not interested in sex. Of course he would be interested in sex--we all are, and in the long run, he can't afford not to be. But I do think he's got a scary amount of self-discipline, and if he were at all reluctant, it'd take a lot to get past that restraint, and it wouldn't be simply a load of hormones that slipped past.

That is why, when all is said and done, I find it hard to write Aragorn as having sex with someone other than Arwen, especially after he'd promised himself to her. It's not impossible, but I think it can't be done easily, especially in a non-AU setting.

And now that I've spent quality time debating the sexual habits of a fictional character, I'm going to go see if I can't force Legolas to cooperate some more. :-)



Re: Aragorn

Aragorn or Arwen with someone else ... usually means an AU. Since most of my stories are AUs, yes, I've tried this. Two timelines lightly sketched in summary. Both depend on one of the two getting killed.

Aragorn. With this plot bunny writers could have several different approaches: Shortly after the betrothal in Lorien. Arwen, a la Celebrian, is captured by orcs on the road back to Rivendell. The rescue attempt ends badly. Aragorn is chieftan of the Dunedain, he needs an heir. His true love killed he marries a young woman of the Dunedain, OFC. Gilraen, much to her surprise, lives long enough to see grandchildren. Ring War, odd twist, the nine include Aragorn and his son, age about 20.

Arwen. Aragorn dies in the Ring War amid much other extreme nastiness, though Sauron is defeated. It’s rather a cheat of a “Denethor Lives” scenario. Arwen doesn’t want to leave Middle Earth. She doesn’t want to abandon the Dunedain (understandably demoralized) – they’re all she has left of Aragorn. If she doesn’t become human, she will never reunite with him. ... As Ang digressed in her story forum [OMY Ch. 2] Halbarad ... Aragorn's heir in absence of a son? Hmm, there's an interesting idea) Yep.

In canon. I agree with your analysis that it would have to prior to betrothal, which means Rohan or Gondor. Meg's got a very nice start ... I don't know how I want that story to continue.



Re: Aragorn

I agree that Aragorn has an intensity of nature that would lead him to be much more discriminating in his behavior. I think that too, his asthetics are more than a cut above the average human's, perhaps above the average Dunedain's.

But, I will stand by the idea that as intense as he is, as devoted to Arwen as he is, as high as his asthetic standards might be....
He would be suceptable to the right woman, in the right situation.
Of, course, that is something I have thought a lot about because I am trying hard to fit Irhenir into cannon.

I figured that the pimply, big titted, loud, bawdy whore of your average inn would have had absolutely NO appeal to Arragorn, though she may be a favorite of the more mundane patrons. But I also did not see him actively seeking out more sophisticated company by going to a brothel. I see his non-Arwen romances or encounters as being something of a child of happenstance. And Ilrhenir, was a product of this. I invented Jenna, Ilrhenir's mother, to be someone of intelligence, if not education, and I also invented her to be sensative and subtle of nature. She was also very sweet and pretty. It would take a unique person to catch Aragorn in any situation though and Ilrhenir's nature is very unique amongst peasant boys more because his mother was a unique peasant herself, than because he shares Aragorn's blood.

So while I agree with the unlikelyhood of the occurence, unlikely is not the same impossible. With the right circumstances, say a very hard, nearly lifethreatening situation where Aragorn had been tested to his would be possible and maybe, just maybe, even likely.

Aragorn stumbled tired and spiritually exhausted into a Breeland inn. He had barely escaped with his life and Buthek had not survived at all. The house of Arthyen was out its heir and Aragorn had been unable to even retrieve the body of his fellow Dunedain to return it to his family, before it had been sundered and carried off. He really hated Trolls.

He was sitting there, deep in thought, sipping mead in the corner and eating his meal. Aragorn hoped the warmth of the fire would ease away the ache in his body. The ache in his heart was another matter all together.

He had chosen to sit where he could see all that unfolded in the common room. All who entered, all who left, all who were served were there, under his gaze, and eventually, his eye fell on an uncommon sight.

She is very pretty, fair haired. And unlike him, she was very clean. She was slight of form, willowy yet short, but it is something more than that drew his eye to her. She was sitting at her own table near the the bar tap, quiet, almost austere and before long she seems to sense someone looking at her. Her purpose there was not immediately obvious and Aragorn began to think she might must be someone's waiting wife, except that as time passes, she remained alone.

She too perused the room visually, and she seemed to sense every set of eyes on her. And there were many giving her suggestive glances. Aragorn thought that only a fool would leave a woman of her carriage alone in this common room. The bar keep seemed to know her though and he nodded to some question or another and brought her a small tankard.

He continued to watch her and finally she seemed to notice him in the corner. She was unsure for a moment, almost afraid, and Aragorn realized that he must present a frightening sight indeed. And then, to his surprise, she rallied herself, took up her drink and rose, coming over, asking in the softest voice if she might join him at his table.

She shyly smiled when he silently gestured to a seat next to him and moved his booted foot from the chair. She sat gracefully and for several moments, there were no words between them. He looked her over closely, trying to recon her motives and though he could not, he had learned many years ago when to percieve a threat, and he sensed none here.

The silence stretched on between them, her soft green eyes never meeting his, but the gentle hand suddenly trailing a soft path up his thigh under the table conveyed all that she intended. Her hand was not not harsh in any way as it settled on his groin. He looked at her and noticed that her glance was still dropped though she eyed his at a sidglance. And he knew her for what she was, if not what she seemed to be.

At that moment he was about to say no, push her hand away from it's gentle massage, but she spoke finally, ever so softly. "My name is Jenna and I have a house not far away."

And Aragorn was lonely. This woman he looked upon was not like the others. Her kind nature radiated from her fair face, as welcoming to him as the heat from the hearthfire in the common room. His stomach was full and his head is warm with drink and he allowed her to take his hand as he threw coins down on the table for the meal. She lead him out opf the inn, but he was not at all sure he wanted what she is offering. More interesting to him than her lovely body was perhaps her seemingly unsoiled nature, and perhaps the offer to sleep in a home, rather than an inn. A home....

His mind is still filled with the horrors of his previous misadventure and he followed her through the streets as much to seek the place to escape the memories as to seek her bed. But he was an old hand at violence and such reprieve from the hauntings of his toils was rare and not to be had in the arms of a whore. Rather he would find peace only in the mystical beauty of Imladris, in the company of she whom he loved.

Before long they were there at her simple home and he stoped. She looks up at him and met his gaze for the first time, straight on. There was a question in her eyes. "no?" she asked, a little afraid. He looked down at her pleading face and could smell the scent of her on the night air. It held no purfumes, no cloying musk of an unclean body or arousal, not certainly even the smell of another man's presence. She was just there, sweet and clean, and asking him to enter. And he did.......


And there you have it! See how easy that was?

It does not have to be implausable or an AU to get him into bed with another woman, you just have to set it up, accounting for his personality.




Re: Aragorn

Well ........ the Aragorn!E.W. & Aragorn!Julie aren't quite on the same page. The Aragorn in my head, confronted with above, would stop Jenna's hand before it reached his groin, would thank her for the compliment, but that which she would have him share with her is promised to another. Maybe ask if she could spare the insult of taking a night's pay for company and lodging for the night, in a house rather than an inn.

Having someone's death influence his actions is a good start for pushing him over that line. But I think a better way to deal with a reader's likely "I don't believe it" reaction (my I "I don't believe it" reaction) would be to have him consider Arwen rather than avoid thinking of her. Think of how Buthek's father will react when he is told; think of how Elrond will be hurt. If Aragorn's depressed enough, if he feels there's no way to achieve the goal -- and, death again: is this what he wants for Arwen?: if she become his wife she will die -- an author might possibly convince me Aragorn would weaken on this matter, if his subcouncious is doing it out of guilt: if he betrays his oath, he's not worthy, Arwen wouldn't marry him, she'd go West and not die ...

... or maybe you need more than a few screens of text to sell me on the idea.

As for Ilrhenir -- I'm enjoying the story, and am accepting his parentage as "given". The test for me on that story is going to be how Aragorn reacts when he finds out. I'm hoping the scene goes well.

who thinks there would need to be something self-destructive happening to get Aragorn over that line post-betrothal



Re: Aragorn

Having someone's death influence his actions is a good start for pushing him over that line. But I think a better way to deal with a reader's likely "I don't believe it" reaction (my I "I don't believe it" reaction) would be to have him consider Arwen rather than avoid thinking of her.

Julie, who thinks there would need to be something self-destructive happening to get Aragorn over that line post-betrothal

I have to say I see Aragorn this way also. I see him very disciplined in the book version, and too much in love with a perhaps-idealized Arwen in the movie. I ran into this problem when I wrote 'Hidden Wounds,' and the solution I found was similar to what you have mentioned. The only way I could get him to cooperate was to make it for Arwen's sake, so he could come to her as a husband and lover should.

For movie Aragorn, he could take a human wife to save Arwen from giving up her immortality for him, and the wife could conveniently get killed by orcs. Very predictable, but a good writer could probably pull it off. I couldn't, I fear.




Re: Aragorn

Given... I agree completely that It would not have happened that easily or quickly....but the idea of a dead OC named Buthek pulled literally out of my ass at a moments notice, and a situation in which Aragorn's will might lag in the face of momentary despair was just one easy illustration of how it might happen.

My illustration does go far towards argueing that going into an in depth story could and would produce a plausible non-Arwen encounter. It would take fleshing it out to truely sell it as plausibly cannon, though. And It would take a really deep chapter not half a dozen smallish paragraphs, but my point was only that it CAN be done.

In fact, I may do that tonight. Thanks Dwim for this scintillating forum in which to argue this most difficult of conundrum's for the Aragorn fan.

I wonder....where has all of this left you?




Re: Aragorn

I wonder....where has all of this left you?

With an Aragorn smutfic that needs an ending and a goodly amount of revision. ;-)

I do like the different possibilities that have been broached here--there is a definite middle ground of realism w.r.t. Aragorn's sex life that could use some development, particularly given the flood of badly done Éowyn/Aragorn fics I foresee once the fair lady of Rohan shows up on the silver screen.

Thank you all for coming over to discuss. I do hope to see some fics from at least some here (the "insufficiently reluctant," as Ainaechoiriel calls them, heh heh) that show us how an Aragorn/OFC romance can realistically be done.



Re: Aragorn

With an Aragorn smutfic that needs an ending and a goodly amount of revision. ;-)

The heck with the challenge. The Aragorn smutfic, we wantssss it, my precious! in any form!




Re: Aragorn

The biggest problem I find with writing Aragorn at all is that he is a really, really, *REALLY* private type. He quite literally will not talk to me about this area of his life. Boromir is another matter - catch Boromir in the right mood, and he's more than willing to talk. And talk. And talk.

(It's very annoying. The two of them seem to have formed an alliance in my head. Anytime I start pestering Aragorn about the personal side of his life, he carefully either doesn't answer, or answers elusively until Boromir gets his curiosity piqued and comes over. Then the topic changes to *Boromir's* personal life, and I get urged to write that instead.


Incidentally, there *is* an AU plotbunny floating around out there which asks what might have been the consequences had Arwen not been in Lothlorien when Aragorn was growing up in Rivendell. Would they have been likely to fall in love at all? Have a look in the Nuzgûl hutch, folks - it's the other option for a plausible "in" to Aragorn's love-life.

Other options - what happened in the years immediately following his departure from Rivendell after his 20th birthday? All that the canon says is that he went off into the wild for two years, and to be honest, I really can't see him spending all of that time either mooning over Arwen, or sulking about the fact that both his mother and foster-father have told him not to think about her. It's a good time period to have him discovering the joys of sex.

I think this is the point where I chuckle my evil chuckle, and wander off....



Re: Aragorn

E.W. wrote:

It does not have to be implausable or an AU to get him into bed with another woman, you just have to set it up, accounting for his personality.

I am an incorrigible romantic and earnest advocate of Aragorn/Arwen and as such you’d think I’d be up in arms against the thought of him straying one inch from the straight and narrow. However, I’m feeling reasonably happy with the EW scenario – it would have to be really well done though – and I think he’d have to come clean to Arwen. The odd bit of comfort in extreme circumstance just about O.K. but deception would be out of the question. And anyway she’s a mature adult at 2000 plus – surely she would be understanding? I know he’s supposed to be the noblest man around but IMO that’s undermined if he’s perfect. It’s much harder to face the consequences of your actions and keep on going than to never stray in the first place.



Re: Aragorn

Ahh, I adopted that particular Nuzgul, but I cannot work out a MS for it, because the slasher in me has already worked out a long fic about the consequences of a romantic liason in the light of the politics and econimy of Gondor circa. 2998 T. A. with the change that Elendil's heir is still in Minas Tirith...



Re: Aragorn

>I think he’d have to come clean to Arwen. The odd bit of comfort in extreme circumstance is just about O.K. but deception would be out of the question. <

I wholeheartedly agree....As a small spoiler.... In my story, he has already told Arwen long before that there was a woman up North that for a while, he used to seek solace with on occasion, and she has already gone,...." okay, I see." But Aragorn just doesn't know about Ilrhenir.

But yes, Aragorn's nature would lead him to have a talk with Arwen.... of course, I don't see Arwen having a problem with it. Personally, I think she has been keeping busy with Glorfindell while Aragorn was away... *snigger*




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