The Lord of the Rings‘ true heroes are the hobbits— unlikely creatures who forever change the course of history in Middle-Earth. But next to them, Aragorn takes the cake. He’s a reluctant hero who’s terrified of repeating the mistakes of his ancestors but still becomes a core member of the Fellowship of the Ring.
I, along with everyone at Bookstr, love Aragorn and his journey throughout The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Watching The Rings of Power has had me reflecting on the films and my favorite scenes, so why not share them with you all?
Take a look at 11 Aragorn scenes from Lord of the Rings that will always live in my head rent-free.
1. The Prancing Pony
First up is Aragorn’s introduction in The Fellowship of the Ring. I’m obsessed with this scene for two reasons: it’s a great first scene for the character and it’s incredibly true to the books. We’re introduced to his character as “Strider” in this scene, and the movie does a fantastic job making him every bit a mysterious, weathered ranger. This shot, specifically, lives in my head rent-free.
It’s even better to watch when you’ve read Fellowship and know this is exactly how Strider is introduced in the books:
Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked in mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits.The Fellowship of the Ring
2. “I would have gone with you to the end.”
This is one of Aragorn’s most heartwarming scenes and, for some (me), a tear-jerker. Minutes before this we see Boromir corrupted by the temptation of the Ring, but when Frodo offers it to Aragorn, he has the clarity and self-control to turn it down. This action proves to everyone that while Aragorn is Isildur’s heir, he “is not him,” as Arwen said earlier in the movie.
The “I would have gone with you to the end,” speech further proves that Aragorn is not in this quest for glory, but for his duty to Frodo and Middle-Earth. He understands and accepts Frodo’s brave decision to break from the Fellowship to continue the quest on his own, but compassionately reiterates that he would have seen the quest to the bitter end. Thank you, Viggo Mortensen, for nailing this scene.
3. Facing Down the Uruk-hai Alone
This is the first of many scenes where Aragorn proves he’s a certified badass. Immediately after passionately telling Frodo that he would have gone with him to the fires of Mordor, Aragorn makes good on his pact to aid Frodo in his quest by guarding his retreat.
Aragorn firmly stands his ground against an entire horde of Uruk-hai is amazing, and it’s just a taste of what we see him do later in the trilogy.
4. “Let’s hunt some Orc.”
Frodo and Sam may be continuing the quest to Mordor alone, but that doesn’t mean Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli’s work is finished. Along with rescuing Merry and Pippin, the three Fellowship members are determined to rid Middle-Earth of as many orcs as possible to help clear the way for Frodo and Sam.
Ending the first film with Aragorn saying, “Let’s hunt some orc,” before cutting to Frodo and Sam gazing at the perilous road ahead of them is the perfect way to end a movie and get audiences excited about what comes next. Between the determination in Aragorn’s voice and the swell of Howard Shore’s music, this scene never fails to get me pumped.
5. The Helmet Kick
By law, I am required to bring up the fact that Viggo Mortensen broke his toe when he kicked the Uruk-hai helmet and the scream he gives here is one of genuine pain. Because he broke his toe. And still didn’t break character.
Just those facts alone make this a top-tier Lord of the Rings and Aragorn scene. Need I say more?
6. Grand Entrance
You may be hot, but you’ll never be Aragorn-busting-open-the-doors-of-Helm’s-Deep hot. I mean, you can’t make a better entrance than this. Everyone thinks Aragorn is dead, having watched him get dragged off the edge of a cliff. He’s worn and exhausted and yet he confidently strides through those doors like the king he is.
The scene is full of hope and promise, something everyone at Helm’s Deep looks for as the Battle of Helm’s Deep ominously creeps ever closer to them. And then you add Legolas’ hilarious burn to Aragorn? It’s peak cinema.
7. Helm’s Deep
I love Aragorn during the Battle of Helm’s Deep simply because we get to see a shadow of what kind of great king he’ll be by the end of the trilogy. Sure, Theoden is the true leader at Helm’s Deep, but even he knows that he’d be putting everyone at a disadvantage if he didn’t let Aragorn take charge during the Battle.
Quite simply, the Battle of Helm’s Deep is my favorite battle scene in the entire trilogy. The rain, the lightning illuminating the battlefield, and all the orcs surrounding the keep just culminate into this palpable tension that breaks when the first orc falls, creating an intense battle sequence that lasts for almost 40 minutes. In other words, I was literally on the edge of my seat when I first watched this scene, and still get that way every time I watch it.
8. “You will suffer me.”
Fresh with the reforged sword of Elendil, Aragorn travels the Paths of the Dead and commands the King of the Dead to fulfill his oath. “The dead do not suffer the living to pass,” the King of the Dead says to Aragorn, who simply responds with, “You will suffer me.”
Aragorn is fully coming into his role and destiny as the true King of Gondor by this point and we see that confidence in him really come out during this scene. It’s incredibly satisfying to watch.
9. The Palantír
I love this scene simply because Aragorn knows the risk of revealing himself to Sauron through the Palantír, but he does it anyway. By revealing himself he strikes fear in Sauron and shows him the very sword that was his undoing in the past.
It’s also one of my favorite scenes because quite simply, it’s just Aragorn and Sauron taunting each other. Both of them are showing each other what they fear, and it turns into a battle of wills. Sure, Aragorn is stunned by the image of Arwen dying, but in the end, he distracts Sauron into thinking he’s the real threat, meanwhile Frodo and Sam are practically under his nose.
10. Final Battle
“For Frodo.” Need I say anything else? Everything that has happened in the trilogy has led to this moment, where Frodo and Sam are climbing Mount Doom’s slopes and Aragorn is leading the charge in a battle to distract Sauron and help the hobbits.
It’s such a momentous scene— you can’t help but stand up and cheer when Aragorn charges forward (or maybe you get emotional and cry like me, I don’t know).
11. “My friends… You bow to no one.”
If you don’t tear up when Aragorn says to the hobbits, “You bow to no one,” you’re crazy. At its core, the entire trilogy is about how the unlikeliest of people and creatures, like hobbits, can change the course of history. While Aragorn being crowned king is a huge deal, he goes and brings it back to the true heroes of the story— the hobbits.
It’s a selfless, honorable act that doesn’t fail to make me cry each time I watch it.