This essay is from Austin Johnson
Published on November 21, 2002
Frodo and the Force:
A Comparison of Modern Epic Stories
Aragorn, The Triumphant King
Another character in The Lord of the Rings who greatly reflects the ideals of Christianity is Aragorn. Aragorn son of Arathorn is the heir to the throne of Gondor, the great kingdom of the southeast. His coming has been long prophesied by the people of Gondor. In his character we see a reflection of another side of Jesus. Just as in Frodo we see the self-sacrifice of Jesus, in Aragorn we see the coming of the triumphant Christ at the end of the Age.
The similarities between Jesus and Aragorn begin long before Lord of the Rings or the events of The New Testament. Aragorn is the descendant of Isildur who comes to take the throne and restore the kingdom of his ancestors. His coming was foretold many times in the literature of Gondor. Aragorn is not the only person who has a famous lineage. Jesus was known as the Son of David. He is descended from King David, one of Israel's greatest kings. He restored the house of his father in his coming to earth as the sacrificial lamb, and it is prophesied that he will complete his work by coming again as the conquering king. Frodo's journey tells of the suffering lamb, but Aragorn's journey is that of the triumphant King.
Another notable similarity is the shortcomings of both Jesus and Aragorn's ancestors. David was a man after God's own heart, but he had one great fall in his life. The story of David and Bathsheba is well known. David lusted after Bathsheba, another man's wife, and did whatever it took to have her, including murder. He later repented, but still suffered the consequences. Isildur is looked at with much the same mindset as David. Isildur was a great King. He destroyed Sauron at the end of the Second Age by cutting off the finger that Sauron wielded the Ring on. But Isildur still fell from grace. He took the Ring for himself. No reflection in literature of scripture is perfect. This tale is no exception, since Isildur had no chance to repent before his death and the loss of the Ring. Nonetheless, both great kings faced the consequences of their self-gratification.
It is also notable that neither Jesus nor Aragorn marry until after they become triumphant kings. The Church is referred to as the Bride of Christ several times in the Bible. At the end of time, when Jesus is restored to his throne, there will be a wedding of him and the Church. Aragorn also refuses to marry. He is faithful to his betrothed, Arwen, despite the pleas of Eowyn, who longs to be his bride. Aragorn is loved by all that meet him. He is gentle, kind and compassionate. He very closely resembles Christ in his actions.