Well, my adoring and appreciated fans have requested more, so here it is! Sorry it’s a little late, but COE seems to be a little slower at posting stories nowadays. Thanks so much for the encouragement, you guys! And, as always, I welcome any concrit, too!

This fanfic is kind of a response to the film’s portrayal of Aragorn’s reluctance to become King. After all, according to Tolkien, he “sang, for he was full of hope and the world was fair” after Elrond told him his true name! But he does seem more serious about it afterward. So this is my version of what may have happened in that time. I have borrowed without permission some parts of Apppendix A, but I have tried not to hurt them so no one should be too offended. 😉


“King? I?”

The young man’s grey eyes were wide and bright, and an unbelieving smile showed itself on his face. Lord Elrond of Imladris smiled back at the one he loved as dearly as his own sons. He was much relieved that his charge seemed so eager at hearing his true heritage. Elrond had been concerned that suddenly becoming the last of the sacred line of the Kings of Men might prove to be too much strain for Estel, who was now to be known as Aragorn son of Arathorn. The man standing before him now, however, exuded excitement and joy, if a little disbelief.

“Yes, Aragorn,” – the smile widened – “you are the uncrowned King of Men. You still have much to prove and learn, but I considered you ready for the news.”

The Elf-lord rose from his seat and embraced the youth.

“Thank you, Elrond.”

Aragorn felt that more should be said to the elf who had essentially been the only father in his life, but could find no words to express his feelings. Elrond seemed to understand and responded with a simple “You’re welcome, Aragorn.”

The young man then left Elrond’s presence to wander the gardens in hopes of finding his mother, that he might share the wonderful news with her.

It was not his mother, however, that he discovered. Singing to himself, he caught a glimpse of movement. As he drew nearer, the most beautiful woman he had ever seen appeared before him. She looked exactly as he had always pictured Luthien Tinuviel in his mind. Finally he gathered enough composure to speak and called out to her for fear of her leaving this dream gifted to him. As she turned to him, his breath caught in his throat.

“Who are you? And why do you call me Tinuviel?” She spoke with a smile that made breathing even more difficult for Aragorn. And only then did he realize he had called her so.

“Forgive me, my lady, if I seem impertinent, but I believe you look much as the fair Lady must have.”

The smile faded somewhat from the lady’s face and she answered, “Many have said so, though I have not her name. Perhaps my fate shall not be unlike hers, however.”

Then she seemed to remember herself and asked again, “But who are you?”

“I was Estel, but I am Aragorn, Arathorn’s son, Isildur’s Heir, Lord of the Dunedain.” He had been longing to state his full title, but had thought it would sound better than it actually did. Truly, in the presence of this lady’s dignity and beauty all his words seemed insignificant and small. He nearly blushed at how foolish he must have sounded, but the lady laughed and by that single act lifted the young man’s spirits.

“And I am Arwen Undomiel, daughter of Elrond; therefore we are distant kin.”

Aragorn asked her why it was that he had never seen her, partly for the answer and partly so he could listen to her speak again.

“I have been living in Lothlorien with my mother’s people and only lately have returned to Imladris.”

Then, for whatever reason, a revelation came to Aragorn: he was in love with Arwen Undomiel, daughter of Elrond. And, as their speech continued, she seemed in no way averse to his attention, laughing often during their conversation and seeming genuinely interested in what he had to say.

When they parted company, Aragorn felt if his heart was any lighter it would fly out of his chest and over the treetops. He continued his wanderings of the gardens, for he still had not spoken to his mother, and soon found himself in a small wooded area. Searching it quickly and finding no indication of another’s presence, he turned to leave.

A small pebble struck his back. He smiled and turned. Again seeing no evidence of company, he stepped forward slowly. A second pebble made contact with his left shoulder. He paused, then turned quickly to his right. Catching a glimpse of a foot which disappeared into the foliage before anyone else would be sure he had seen it, Aragorn stooped to collect some stones of his own. He continued moving, so as to not make himself too easy a target, but with slow, smooth movements and careful steps so he could focus his energy on his senses rather than his body. As soon as he felt the short sting of another tiny rock on his chest, he let loose one of his own missiles into the greenery to his left. Nothing came of that, however, and Aragorn knew that from now on his only clues concerning the location of his attacker would be in the form of pebbles.

But he knew very well how to play this game and waited patiently for his next clue, which came by way of a pain in his back. His own pebble flew to the right. Nothing. Another sting on his left shoulder and a pebble straight upward into the trees. Nothing. Sting on right shoulder, pebble forward.

A smiling elf appeared, one hand rubbing his chest. “Well done indeed, Estel! That is two less tries than it took you last time. One of these days, however, you shall be required to strike my head, and that shall be more difficult…” The young man’s response was to tackle the elf to the ground in a warm embrace.

“Legolas! I knew you would come! I knew it! You were the only thing missing in this perfect day!”

Legolas laughed and sat up, pushing the youth off and initiating a gentler embrace. “And I am glad to see you as well, Estel. But, pray tell, why is this such a perfect day in your estimation?”

“Oh, you need not call me Estel anymore, Legolas. Elrond has told me my true name and lineage. I suppose you knew all along, didn’t you? And how clever you were, too, never dropping a word! Anyway, have you met the daughter of Elrond? Her name is Arwen, called Undomiel, and do you know she spoke nearly an hour with me, and me alone? She is wonderful…”

Legolas had not the heart nor the energy to attempt to slow the man down and so let him babble until he pieced together the full tale of Estel’s – Aragorn’s – day. Eventually his companion realized how giddy he must sound and so finished his soliliquy with, “I apologize if I am making no sense, but I am very excited. After all, I have just learned that I am to be a king and I have an excellent idea as to whom my queen shall be. Does that not make this the perfect day?”

Legolas sighed deeply. He felt that Aragorn’s mother should be the one to have this talk with him, but Aragorn had obviously not seen her and needed to be checked immediately. So he looked into the eyes of his friend, shining with joy, and spoke.

“Aragorn, I am very proud of you and happy for you, but I believe you have not thought all of this through as of yet. No, don’t interrupt me. I know you have heard many stories about kings and in those stories kings are wise and wonderful and beautiful…”

“Not always,” Aragorn interrupted before Legolas could stop him, “Some of my forefathers misused their gift of longevity and did not accomplish anything. But I shall not be like that. I shall be like your father, well-loved by my people and strong. I shall have servants and live in the palace in Minas Tirith and…”

It was now Legolas’ turn to interrupt. “Who are you, to know the future?”

The young man was taken aback. Legolas continued.

“You have thus far never said the phrase ‘I shall attempt to.’ You have only said ‘I shall.’ Pray tell, Aragorn, how do you know what you shall do? Did you ever suppose that perhaps the kings you mentioned first had honest intentions before they became king? I will wager that not once did they say to themselves, ‘I shall misuse my gift of longevity and not accomplish anything.’ They did not see it as such.

“And as for my father, there is much you do not know about him as a king. He wished it to be so. To everyone – all of my friends – he was always seen as king of Mirkwood first. To you he could be merely the father of your friend. He concealed most of his responsibilities from you to preserve that aspect of your relationship with him.

“But that is just as well, for your kingship shall be extremely different from his. My father sits on the throne of his father, while you shall occupy a throne that has been empty for many generations. Perhaps some of your people shall still be loyal to the steward whom you shall have to dethrone. If you indeed chose Arwen to be your queen, a great number of your people shall not appreciate an elf as queen. And, Aragorn, do you know what it means to be in love with the daughter of Elrond?”

Aragorn was accustomed to the Elves’ habit of quickly changing the direction of a conversation, but the nature of Legolas’ question caught him off guard. He shook his head, so Legolas continued.

“Arwen and Elrond are very close. If she were to marry you, it would mean giving up her immortality, thereby seperating her from her father possibly forever. And though she appears to be little more than your own age, she has seen many centuries. Did you believe you were the first man to notice her beauty? Many others – of greater influence and higher lineage than yours – have sought her hand and failed.”

“But I am a King of Men. Have there been any kings among her suitors?”

“You *shall be* a king, Aragorn, and my point was that you cannot rely on lineage alone to impress her. Keep in mind that those failed suitors of high lineage I spoke of were elves, and marriage to one of them would not have sacrificed her immortality, yet they were still denied.”

“Your words might be seen as encouragement,” Aragorn argued, “For it seems to me that you are saying that she did not love those suitors and so turned them down. I was never intending to impress her with my heritage. Our marriage shall be based upon love and respect.”

“Aragorn, you are hearing but not listening!” Legolas nearly shouted. “You must listen to my words and take them in the manner in which they are intended!”

This sudden outburst startled Aragorn. He stared at his friend, who steadily held his gaze. The man had seen Legolas this irritated before, but never had that irritation been directed at him. Finally Aragorn looked away, sighed, collected himself, and spoke.

“Forgive me, my friend. I am listening now; say what you will.”

Legolas had also taken the time to collect himself.

“My point is this,” he said, “It is no wrong or foolhardy thing to dream. Dreams are the Valar’s gift to us to remind us of their presence. The dream becomes wrong and foolhardy when the dreamer realizes not how large the dream is. You will notice that I say ‘large’ and not ‘unattainable’ for I believe that nothing is unattainable, but one must consider everything. Otherwise you shall simply spend a lifetime being embarrased and dissapointed.”

Aragorn hung his head as Legolas continued, his words sinking into the man’s consiousness with deep meaning. “You are to be king one day. That is a great privilege which comes at a great price. Even Mithrandir and Elrond cannot tell you what that price will be for you – what you shall have to sacrifice – but I promise you this.” The elf gently turned the man’s face toward his own and waited for Aragorn to make eye contact before going on. “I shall always be at your side to offer what aid I can. No matter what trials you face, I shall never forsake you.”

The two sat there for a moment, each looking in the other’s eyes and seeing what he sought there: Legolas’ eyes held love, truth, confidence, faithfulness, and forgiveness while Aragorn’s displayed love, understanding, sorrow, gratefulness, and faithfulness. Then they embraced as the brothers they considered themselves to be, rose, and together walked toward the House of Elrond.

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