MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!
THE FILM: The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
THE PAIRING: Arwen and Aragorn
THE ROMANTIC MOMENT: Arwen sacrifices immortality for a lifetime with Aragorn.
Was there ever a movie with more stunning cinematography than The Lord of the Rings trilogy? The scenery didn’t just include the gorgeous natural landscape of New Zealand, but also complex sets built into that landscape. Each shot was breathtaking, adding to the trilogy’s Romanticism and complementing the complexity of its characters and their journeys.
Snow-capped mountains rose starkly against storm-filled skies, while the vivid green of the valleys glowed brightly. The menacing fires of Mordor gleamed in the background; an additional character in every scene the mountain appeared. The Shire was idyllic, it’s gently rolling hills a metaphor for the nature of its inhabitants. Then there was Rivendell. Beautiful. Romantic. And home to Arwen and Aragorn.
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Arwen and Aragorn share only a handful of scenes together in the entire the trilogy. Yet, the emotion of the scenes they do share leave a lasting impression. The memory of their few moments together connects Arwen and Aragorn. First, there is Aragorn’s dream of Arwen, haunting in its sensuality. Then, when they bid each other farewell in Fellowship of the Ring, they are formal but their eyes! Oh, their eyes say so much more! Of course, their reunion in The Return of the King is beautiful. The look in Aragorn’s eyes when he sees Arwen is one of wonder and pure joy. Still, I always go back to Rivendell and the moment Arwen gives Aragorn her necklace, the symbol of her immortality and a token of her love.
The Lead In – Arwen and Aragorn Meet in the Night
Our first hint that there is something more between Arwen and Aragorn is when Arwen finds him in the woods, racing to save Frodo’s life. There’s a small moment, where their hands touch and they exchange a look. A look so loaded with emotion – relief, worry, and something personal, unspoken. However, it’s not until they are safely in Rivendell that we see what is truly between Arwen and Aragorn.
Aragorn is replacing the hilt of Narsil to its proper place when Arwen approaches him. He’s staring at the statue where the broken pieces rest with a mixture of reverence and trepidation. As Arwen studies him, she knows his thoughts are in the past. While steadfast and strong, Aragorn is not without his doubts. Especially when it comes to the ring. He fears the weakness of the blood of his ancestors. Arwen reassures him that he will defeat the temptation of the ring. There is a truth in her words and power in her voice. Aragorn grabs at it with both hands and finds a small measure of peace in that moment.
Romantic Moment – A Sacrifice for Love
Rivendell’s ethereal beauty is the perfect backdrop for Arwen and Aragorn’s romantic moment amidst chaos. The night is soft and perfect for secrets. Hidden among the trees, Arwen and Aragorn stand closely together as they recall the first time they met. It was love at first sight. A dream for Aragorn and the moment that Arwen knew she wanted a life with Aragorn. Arwen asks Aragorn if he recalls what she told him. A look crosses Aragorn’s face as he glances down at her necklace and runs his fingers across the surface.
There is conflict in Aragorn’s features as he recalls her words. Yet, Arwen remains untroubled. Her faith in their love shines brightly from her eyes and the serenity in her expression as she repeats her vow.
“I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.”
At her words, her necklace appears in Aragorn’s hands. Aragorn stares at the gift in his hand and then he lifts his gaze to Arwen. She is an ideal, something unattainable that he cannot have. Except, she is surrendering everything she is for the love they share. Arwen chooses him.
“I choose a mortal life.”
“You cannot give me this.”
“It is mine to give to whom I will….like my heart.”
Arwen gently closes his hand around the symbol of her immortality. She is calm as she searches his face. She glances down at his lips before meeting Aragorn’s eyes again. In response to her words of love, Aragorn seals their destiny with a kiss.
This scene was gorgeous from beginning to end. The actors glowed, surrounded by lush foliage; rich in textures and symbolic of Arwen and Aragorn’s deep love. The quiet of the night, broken only by the distant sound of the waterfall, enhanced the intimacy. The haunting voice of the singer in the film’s score further added to the unearthly beauty of this romantic moment. This moment is one to which Aragorn seeks to return. Throughout the trilogy, it is a part of Aragorn’s quest and the final piece in fulfilling his destiny.
Did you love Arwen and Aragorn? What was your favorite romantic moment between them?
Photo Credit: New Line Cinema