A video I found recently on Aragorn from LoTR and healthy masculinity in regards to the hero archetype. Posting as it could be helpful and interesting to people wanting to further develop their masculine sides (both females and males, men and women) and also people interested in healthy masculinity.
I see this critique as coming from the integral stage of development as it explores amber, green, red and orange, healthy and unhealthy, in relation to different forms of masculine hero archetypes.
I’m curious if you ever read the Trilogy and what you think of the Aragorn of the Book vs the movie.
In the words of Frodo when they met at Bree “I think a servant of The Enemy would seem fairer and feel fouler”, to which Aragorn laughed and made a comment that he seemed foul but felt fair.
In the books Aragorn IMO was more of a “Man’s man” and the movie made him a bit more soft and prettier. Nothing in the book suggested that Aragorn was handsome in anything other than the rugged and hard version of handsome. Also in the book he was much taller than Gandalf. It could be said that he was a “Mary Sue” and superhuman while the movie made him more human. In the book he was never weak and never lost, and that part in the movie where he lost to a single orc never happened in the book. In the book Aragorn is more of a MacGuffin than he is a three dimensional character.
But so are many characters in the Books. The Elves are supposed to be superhuman with very few flaws, and there is an undercurrent that Elves and the men of Numenor were just better in almost every way than normal men of middle earth. Kind of a supremacists idea, which was normal in fantasy literature of the time. It was the idea that we are descended from greater civilizations comprised of superior humans that rose and fell in the Antediluvian world.
It would; however, be humorous to imagine the story from Arwen’s point of view. Kind of a Nice girl bad boy" trope, complete with a brief temptation of infidelity with the red-headed Eowyn.(technically “pale gold”)
Good question, as I actually don’t remember what I thoight of Aragorn in the books - i read them when i was about 8 or so? I think. And i didnt really enjoy them but read all of them anyway (because i loved the Hobbit and because my brother had started reading LOTR and i was competitive). I should try reading them again now. I loved the movies though, so maybe it’s just that the books aren’t as good.
Same in Greece and Rome with believing ancestors were superior - the golden age, the silver age etc. Maybe the idea of superiority of races is why i didn’t like the books. The Hobbit isnt like this. I guess it’s magenta ancestor worship though and probably the case in a lot of writings infused with megenta outlooks. I think also people often think well of the dead generally. It’s polite. Also role models can often be idealised and that can help us aim to be like them. It’s why there’ the saying “you should never meet your heroes”, as of course theyll be flawed. I’d say this can be helpful for the amber stage or amber residue…
Have you seen Rings of Power? This is about Numenor, and shows them as being just ‘normal’ with human flaws. Isildur in the LOTR films is shown to be flawed too, because of being taken over by the ring. But when people become myths they become one dimensional. People like to idealise at amber, especially if theyre not religious and dont have religious figures to idealise. Maybe this is why i didnt like the books though, because i didn’t like religion anymore because Christinaity didnt include all people in its heaven, only Christians.
Maybe this is only the film version of Arwen but she doesnt fit the ‘nice girl’ trope at all. She’s a warrior similar to Aragorn. The first time you see her and Aragorn she’s threatening Aragorn with a knife pretending to be an enemy.
I may be judging here, but I view identifying with superhuman protagonists such as the Greek heroes as a more immature time in my boyhood. Let’s say under 10 years old. That was the period I enjoyed Spiderman, Superman, He-Man, and of course the Greek Heroes and others.
Then when I read the Hobbit and LOTR I was at an age where I identified more with nonperfect characters who strive to overcome their adversity. At a later age I was also able to identify with the antihero archetype.
I don’t know what it means when men over 12 still identify with superhero characters. I tend to think they missed several stages of development but maybe not. Though there is a strong correlation to the return to popularity of the Superhero genre and the rise of MAGA so I tend to think there is something there even if not provable.
This is the interesting thing about Aragorn in the book - he is a secondary character, but follows the perfect superhero archetype. In the movie he is more of a normal mortal human. Even his height is average. I think for sure these changes were to attract more female viewers. Also there was the addition of the mythology of his right to rule coming from the feminine, which is fine but is a different tale. Sure, King Arthur got his sword from Merlin, representative of the Lady of the Lake. Peter Jackson kind of took that story archetype and inserted it into LOTR. It’s actually pretty bizarre for me to think that the fate of humanity in all of Middle Earth (at least in the movies) was at risk because Aragorn needed a surrogate mommy girlfriend to tell him it was ok to be King.
This is actually a more fascinating issue the more I delve into it. Are women really attracted to a man who will only be in his power when the woman allows it? In actuality, Aragorn had the ability and the right to be King regardless of who his girlfriend was. But until Arwen supported him, he was too insecure to be more than the “last of a ragged house long bereft of lordship and dignity”. Then suddenly when his surrogate mommy girlfriend showed him support, he became the hero. The modern equivalent of this is a man who could be making seven figures, but stays in his mother’s basement until he finds a girlfriend who gives him permission to make money. It just doesn’t add up.
This was not in the book, lol. In the book Glorfindel showed up and put Frodo on his horse, which carried him off to the ford while Aragorn and Glorfindel together with the Hobbits intercepted the Nazgul to slow them down.
The movie did a bit of a trope, which takes me out of movies when they do this. With the chase so close, why is she screwing around, lol? She’s so sneaky to catch Aragorn by surprise but she didn’t see or hear 9 horse riders barreling down the road, lol?
What kind of girlfriend sneaks up behind you at work and puts a knife to your throat to show her dominance over you, lol? To me these kind of scenes make my eyes roll and take me out of the movie.
I’ve heard it isn’t very well written. When LOTR stayed close to the source material I enjoyed it but whenever it strayed, it broke the the 4th wall for me. I watched “The Hobbit” but thought it was nothing but a 9 hour disaster and a waste of my time. The 90 minute cartoon Hobbit from the 70’s is much better - because it doesn’t change anything, lol. It’s like if I was watching a movie “Hamlet” but Hamlet is a woman who kills everyone with Kung Fu fighting in 16th Century England or some other absurdity.
The Lord of The Rings as written is a masterful tale and everyone who has tried to adapt it just messes up because they are not even in the same ballpark talent wise. It’s like your average Joe trying to paint Mona Lisa in crayon. The result is generally pathetic in comparison.
Maybe if I get the opportunity to watch Rings of Power for free I’ll check it out, but I don’t pay for any subscription services. I guess just across the board I’m just not interested in watching shows where less talented Directors take masterpieces and mess them up, which has been the trend for the last 20 years. The last 20 years has been mostly a cannibalization of any reasonably successful movie or book by far less talented people than the original authors.