3.06.*b. Evenstar by Figwit
How does it happen in the movie?
While on route to Helm’s Deep, Aragorn speaks to Éowyn about Arwen. Later on, we see him sitting in the dark, smoking a pipe. He is remembering what happened when the Fellowship departed from Rivendell, weeks before.
First we see a small conversation between Aragorn and Arwen, somewhere inside Rivendell. Arwen assures Aragorn that his going with Frodo is part of the destiny he has to fulfil, once again showing how dedicated she is to him and how much she believes in him – while Aragorn in turn is all worry and hesitation. The scene ends in a kiss.
Then we see Aragorn talking to Elrond, a part of the conversation by Gilraen’s grave we didn’t get to see on the extended edition of ‘Fellowship’. Elrond begs Aragorn not to keep his daughter with him, but to let her take the ship to Valinor.
In the final part of this scene, we see Aragorn trying to sneak out of Rivendell unnoticed. Arwen stops him, upon which Aragorn returns the Evenstar to her, asking her to leave Middle-earth. Arwen reacts hurt and confused, but refuses to take the pendant back.
How did it happen in the books?
‘…This is a dream.’
One of the most confusing and heavily-debated scenes of ‘The Two Towers’ is the ‘dream-sequence’. Is it a dream, is it a vision, is it a fantasy, is it telepathy, is it a memory… According to the audio comment, it is a flash-back scene, showing the couple on the night before the Fellowship’s departure from Rivendell. This scene was supposed to go after the extended scene with Gandalf discussing Aragorn’s role and heritage, and a scene with a young Arwen and Aragorn was supposed to accompany it.
The scene is completely and utterly made up by the scriptwriters, who tried to find a way to keep Arwen in the story and not alienate the audience from her during ‘The Two Towers’. It has, however, some Elvish lines – which ought to make everyone happy.
Elrond and Aragorn
The scene by Gilraen‘s grave was an added scene on FOTR EE, giving some more background to the story of Aragorn and Elrond. In ‘The Two Towers’, another part of it is shown which has Elrond explicitly asking of Aragorn that he let Arwen go. This is of course not literally in the books, but reference is made to this in Appendix A (v), when Elrond – after finding out Arwen and Aragorn have become engaged – warns Aragorn that Arwen will be unhappy with her choice in the end, and tells him he will not give her away if he doesn’t become King.
This scene, which precedes the extended ‘Departure from Rivendell’-scene in ‘Fellowship’, shows us exactly why Arwen gave Aragorn that tormented look when he left Rivendell, and why Aragorn seems so broody. Taking Elrond’s advice, Aragorn returns the Evenstar to Arwen, saying that she should sail to Valinor because he does not want to claim her immortality for his own sake. Arwen reacts quite baffled to that, as will most of the bookies: nowhere in any shape or form does Aragorn even as much as consider giving Arwen up in the book. Even at the very end of his life, when Arwen is overcome with despair and finally understands the consequences of the choice she made, he doesn’t waver. In Appendix A (v) he says ‘… let us not be overthrown at the final test, who of old renounced the Shadow and the Ring. In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory.’
This last statement is echoed in Aragorn’s words in the scene by Gilraen’s grave.
Elrond: Arwen’s time is ending. Let her go. Let her take the ship into the west. Let her bear away her love for you to the Undying Lands. There it will be ever green.
Aragorn: But never more than memory.
But unfortunately, in the movie, he doesn’t manage to convince himself…
– The scriptwriters have not taken in account the very important line ‘Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory’, which Aragorn says to Arwen on his deathbed, and is mentioned in Appendix A (v). In the movie it looks as if mortals, when they die, cease to exist. However, Tolkien calls death ‘a gift’ to Men, and mentions on several occasions throughout his works, as well as in his letters, that there is something outside of Arda and that the reason why Men may leave Arda (in other words, die) is so they can go ‘there’. In giving up her immortality, Arwen would take at chance at this ‘there’ and meet Aragorn after this life – in the afterlife, so to speak. This is not mentioned in the movies, anywhere, which changes the story of Arwen and Aragorn rather dramatically.
In stead of gaining something (eternity with her lover), Arwen looses (life) in her choice. And that was certainly not Tolkien’s intention (or at least, that is what I believe).
– Arwen, as Elrond’s daughter, is a Half-Elf, and as such has not only the right but the obligation to choose between immortality and mortality. This (rather complicated) aspect of Tolkien’s mythology is not mentioned in the movie, once again changing the nature of Arwen’s choice.
– Arwen’s purple dress is NOT see-through. Okay? NOT.
– Wouldn’t Aragorn, Arwen and Elrond always speak Elvish when they’re together?
- 2.03. Departure From Rivendell by Figwit
- 3.06.*d. Breath of Life by Figwit
- Aragorn in TTT by Figwit
- Arwen UndÃ³miel in FOTR by Figwit
- Arwen in TTT by Figwit
- Random Elves in TTT: Elrond by atalante_star
Our Gallery has has screencaps of the theatrical version, as well as the extended edition.
A transcript of 'The Lord Of the Rings: The Two Towers' can be found in our Film Fun & Facts section.
A summary of 'The Lord Of the Rings: The Two Towers' can be found in Elrond's Library.
Some articles that are related to this sequence:
The Middle-earth section has articles about The Half-Elven and their ancestry, Arwen UndÃ³miel and Aragorn and Elrond Peredhil.
Forum threads related to this sequence:
- You can discuss this sequence in detail in TTT Sequence by Sequence #10: The Evenstar in the Movies Forum.
- The Books Forum has threads about Half-Elves and Life After Death.
Take a look at how some artists saw this part in the book:
- The Long Wait of Arwen Evenstar by Michael Green
Looking for something more creative - you may find it here: