Ask Aragorn: a Lord of the Rings Help Column

Dear Aragorn,
Is it true? Are they really taking the hobbits to Isengard?
Thanks,
Fearful in Fangorn

Dear Fearful,
Yes. Yes it is. I’m sorry, but it is.
Best,
Strider

Dear Aragorn,

As Captain of the Guard in Gondor, my position is regularly overshadowed by my brother, who does nothing except go looking for the ring. In the movie version, he’s played by a guy who dies in every movie he’s in. Please tell me I have a chance at impressing my father.

Best,

Raging Ranger

Dear Raging,

Look bud, everyone’s parents have a favorite kid. Back in Numenor we had a tradition of seeing who could bring down a mountain troll with the fewest arrows, but in Gondor I suspect you need all the manpower you can get. My advice: find a different kingdom. Also, buy your dad some flowers and take him out for a round at the pub. Greasy old British men always enjoy a round at the pub. Since it’s medieval times, you could always win your spurs in battle, or just kill the guy. Lots of people killed annoying folks in the Middle Ages. Hell, he’s your dad, but he’s annoying. Keep it in mind.

Yours,

Strider

Dear Aragorn,

Gondorian soldier here. Best orc-killing methods? I can’t seem to figure it out.

Sincerely,

Ruddy Helmeted Extra

Dear Ruddy,

Well first off, orcs bleed much the same as people. Try punching their little piggy faces or smashing into them while giving a nasal tenor exclamation of anger – that’s what I do in the film adaptation and it works for me. In the 80s animated version (heinous I know) they’re a singing, whip-cracking bunch. Try joining into their sing-a-long and then cut them down from behind! Other orc killing methods: frying pans, letting them push each other off bridges, and shooting a bow at them faster than a gun. Just hit them something and act confident. They leave themselves open for attack constantly.

Slicin’ and dicin’ at Amon Hen,

Strider

Dear Aragorn,

I’m a dwarf but I find a certain…Elven lady….very attractive if you know what I mean. What’s your opinion on cross-species dating?
Sharpening my axe if you don’t reply,

Bearded Friend

Dear Bearded Friend,

I have a feeling I know who this is. First let me say dwarfs are just hysterical! There’s one in the new Hobbit movie who attempts to replace me, but angry greasy heroes are a harder to replicate than they seem. Try reading the books: that helps. No really I have no idea. Tolkien never mentions elves and dwarfs getting hitched. Scour The Silmarillion for hours in the library: you might find some tips, and if not, you’re sure to make friends with a cute elf that way!

Alright to cut to the chase, I happen to know a little bit about this situation. The cycle is simple: be a human, but be a human with extraordinarily long life so you can sort of make things work with an elf. Both of you should be painfully cool in a medieval sort of way. Think Westley and Buttercup from The Princess Bride (don’t be doing that Romeo and Juliet schtick brah). So let’s get you started: step one, you’re…a dwarf. So it’s done now.

Wish I could help more,

Strider

aragon-viggo-hobbitDear Strider,

Is it true? Is Grima Wormtongue really a former Gondorian captain who betrayed his men to the Corsairs of Umbar, fled the fall of Osgiliath, sided with Saruman, and used connections to an old flame called Gudrid (80 yr old seer) in the Rohan courts, plus a strange obsession with horses and blondes, to secure his position helping Saruman?

Just curious,

Hobbling Hobbit

Dear Hobbling,

What the bloody hell are you talking about?

Love,

Strider

Dear Aragorn,

Why is everyone in Gondor brunette, everyone in Rohan blonde, and why are the humans divided so “good” humans are European and “bad” humans working for Sauron are Middle-Eastern in influence? In both the books and films this is apparent.

Concerned,

Catholic School Student Looking to Write an Essay that Will Knock his Teachers’ Socks Off

Dear Looking,

Quite frankly you’re right. Tolkien might be a beloved writer but his stories reflect the racism of the time. You could say “He was basing it on the Crusades, guys!” since that’s just such great source material.

Anyway, yeah. It’s pretty obvious.

Awkwardly wondering why Harad is so far south on the map,

Strider

Dear Aragorn,

As a young Uruk-hai, I’ve noticed my body changing in strange ways. Is this normal? Am I the only one?

Screw you,

Confused in Isengard

Dear Confused,

The changes your body will go through around the age of 13-14 hours as an Uruk-hai is completely natural. To be battle-ready, your sight will improve, you’ll burst out of a gooey sack of clay and be pulled to your feet by a goblin, and your arms and legs will swell to ridiculous sizes. You may notice pointed ears developing – that’s the bit of elf Saruman just kind of chucked in there. Anyway, don’t be embarrassed if you grow faster or slower than your fellow killing machines. It’s all part of Saruman’s plan. I’d say nature’s plan but you’re not human. Everyone morphs at their own rate, but one thing is for sure: all Uruks wear the same armor!

Not terribly damn fond of you guys either,

Strider

Dear Aragorn,

Are the urban legends true? Are there really mole people living under Gondor?
Signed,
Gondorian Teen Who Lost his Apprenticeship to one of those Rohan Transfers

Dear Lost,

Those might just be the Hobbit drug dealers. The Gondorian garrison had them under control for a while but they’ve started up again, as attention is diverted away from their activities what with the imminent siege by Mordor. If you see one with a purple eye patch, say hi for me! His name’s Lundervon and he’s got great athelas. Knows Arwen.

Just kidding. If you see one, kick him off the nearest Minas Tirith spire.

Don’t do drugs,

Aragorn

Yo Aragorn,

Trying to keep this casual, but really, I’m a skateboarder who lives in Helms Deep. Be real with me: how much air do you think I could get off that big-ass hole the Uruks just kind of put in our wall?

Peace,

Bored Boarder

Dear Bored,

Put down the goddam skateboard. Legolas is the only person in Middle Earth to ever skateboard and it’s going to stay that way, understand? He did it to defend his allies and countrymen. So put down the “skateboard,” pick it back up. It’s a shield, isn’t it? That’s right. Now put it on your damn arm, buckle on mail, helm and sword like a man of Rohan and march to join the Men of the West as we drive Sauron from these lands! And seriously stop hanging out with that crowd that’s always skating at the Isengard ruins, they’re a bad influence. Your elders told me.

Pissed,

Strider

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