Why was Aragorn carrying the shards of Narsil around?

Discussion in 'J R R Tolkien' started by MorvaShepley, May 28, 2007.

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    MorvaShepley

    MorvaShepley New Member

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    Why was Aragorn wandering around the wilderness with the shards of Narsil?

    In the film, the shards are enshrined at Rivendell, which makes sense. But watching it again has reminded me of the question above. The sword would be an encumbrance to movement, and no use in the face of danger, so why was he carrying it around? It was also a very special item, and Aragorn went into danger, tracking Gollum down by Mordor, fighting orcs, etc, so he risked losing the shards to the enemy.

    I'm assuming there is an answer to this, which I've missed. Hope you can help.
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    Majimaune

    Majimaune Actum pro novus diem

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    Funnily enough I watched FotR the other day but that wont really help...

    Well he was carrying them around because they were heirlooms of his family and he would use no other sword then that. Also it couldn't be reforged until the right moment - hence why it is only done when the Fellowship are about to leave.
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    The Ace

    The Ace Aye fur Alba

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    As the heir of Isildur, the shards were his responsibility. He had to carry and look after them as had the chieftains of the Dunedain and the kings of Arnor before him. He'd never have asked the question.
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    Majimaune

    Majimaune Actum pro novus diem

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    Yes if it wasn't for Anduril then he might not have become king.
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    pyan

    pyan Fortiter et recte! Staff Member

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    And the bits being at Rivendell in the film jibe with the book - Strider shows Frodo and Sam:
    as part of the proof that he is who he says he is - it backs up the rhyme that Gandalf puts in the letter left with Butterbur:
    An essential part of overcoming Frodo's and, especially, Sam's suspicions.
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    Majimaune

    Majimaune Actum pro novus diem

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    Couldn't have put it better myself.
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    MorvaShepley

    MorvaShepley New Member

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    Wouldn't it have been more responsible to leave the shards at Rivendell? Now, I've wondered why they had to wait before getting it reforged, but apparently they were hoping the ring would never be found, Sauron would never rise again, and Narsil would never be needed again despite Elrond's prohecy (Silmarillion). They were in denial. Plus the light in it was special and probably not easy to reforge. I appreciate that, storywise, the king had to have the sword with him. It strikes me, though, that Tolkein usually has a back story for the things that are happening. Is there some place other than Rivendell that he could have been keeping the sword until, being alerted by Gandalf that something was up about the ring, he was fetching it back for reforging? I wish, instead of Children of Hurin, we had an expanded Tale of Aragorn and Arwen so we could find out more about their labours, not to mention about the sword.
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    Majimaune

    Majimaune Actum pro novus diem

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    I looked it up in Wiki but there wasn't the part I was looking for. Ahh well...
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    Sibeling

    Sibeling Born to rune

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    He must have had a second sword - how could he possibly fight with the broken one?

    But he carried it around to prove his identity to people - it was a sign of his positien in the society and of the fact that he is Isildur's heir, even though his looks suggest otherwise.
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    Majimaune

    Majimaune Actum pro novus diem

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    He was such a good fighter that he didn't need another sword.
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    Sibeling

    Sibeling Born to rune

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    He just had to give the villains a stern look, and they all ran away crying :D
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    Majimaune

    Majimaune Actum pro novus diem

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    devilsgrin

    devilsgrin Member

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    lol! thats funny. Strider... scary... LOL!!!
    He would have had to have another weapon. its just that simple. He was always going into danger, he'd have needed a sword that he could actually have fought with.
    I fail to see the reasoning behind him carrying the sword across middle-earth from one end to the other. Its just foolish. if he'd died, been captured or simply lost it, the single greatest evidence of his heritage would have been lost.
    Yes it helps to prove to Sam that Strider is a friend (as Frodo was inclined to trust him anyway). But there would have been other ways to prove his identity. and being reasonable, Frodo, at least, would have realised that there was no other choice but for them to trust to Strider's aid.
    I think that Peter Jackson's placing the shards of Narsil in Rivendell was inspired and one of the places where common sense prevailed over Tolkeinesque romanticism in the films.

    The only reason i can attribute to Aragorn carrying the Shards around is... That as he was the last of his line, if he fell, and Narsil was lost, the line of Numenor would end and no other would need the sword. Had he been responsible and had an heir before gallavanting all over the place, its likely he would have left it behind.
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    Majimaune

    Majimaune Actum pro novus diem

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    It never says anywhere in the books that he has another sword. He might have a dagger or something but not another sword.
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    devilsgrin

    devilsgrin Member

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    but it also never says anywhere that he doesn't have another sword. It makes no specific mention of any weapon he carries other than the shards. As a Ranger Aragorn would not have gone about unarmed its that simple. A dagger would be next to useless. He could have had a bow, another sword, heck he could have carried any type of weapon besides the shards. Point is, aragorn would have been a fool to wander without a proper weapon, and a fool he is not.
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    Majimaune

    Majimaune Actum pro novus diem

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    He was a ranger. They are like the elite. He was the best of them. He could probably ambush some orcs and kill them while having a cup of tea. He didn't need another weapon.
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    MorvaShepley

    MorvaShepley New Member

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    Maybe the reason he had to join the army of Rohan for while was so as to become an archer on horseback and so not have to use a sword. It must have been frustrating for fellow Dunedain when they wanted to attack a group of Orcs, say, but "...But Aragorn, mate, you better stay at the back with that broken sword ... You can fix up our wounds afterwards!" So that's why he became a healer!
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    Majimaune

    Majimaune Actum pro novus diem

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    He had the natural skill of a healer, he didn't need to learn to become one.
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    devilsgrin

    devilsgrin Member

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    um.... he would more than likely have learned his healing arts in the House of Elrond... naturally gifted he may be as a healer, but you still need to learn how to...
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    Sibeling

    Sibeling Born to rune

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    I checked the book, and it really does not say that Aragorn had a second sword (I didn't look through each and every page, though), he fought with sticks and things.

    So he probably didn't want to fight with any other sword but that which belongs to his ancestors, and carried it around because no one else was worthy to keep it.

    But anyway I don't see how he could have spent all those years fighting bad guys without proper sword..
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