The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
When did Aragorn meet Gandalf?



Ithilisa
Rivendell

Jul 14 2014, 8:32pm


Views: 1324
When did Aragorn meet Gandalf?

Hi. If there were any earlier posts on this I didn't find I apologize, but does anyone know when Aragorn first met Gandalf? Something I was reading in"Untangling Tolkien" yesterday made me wonder, but I don't know where to look for the answer.


BlackFox
Half-elven


Jul 14 2014, 8:57pm


Views: 940
T.A. 2956

LOTR, Appendix B, "The Third Age"


“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” - Henry David Thoreau


Ithilisa
Rivendell

Jul 14 2014, 9:13pm


Views: 831
Thanks

Thanks. Missed it the first time. I wish Tolkien had expanded on it a little; that would've been an interesting meeting.


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Jul 14 2014, 9:18pm


Views: 823
Yep.

One of many things we all wish we knew more about!








Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jul 14 2014, 11:48pm


Views: 902
Aragorn & Gandalf

Yes, Aragorn was born in 2931. He leaves Rivendell and begins his great learnings of the wild in 2951-2, at the age of 20. He meets Gandalf in 2956, about five years later at the age of about 25.
I too wish we knew more of their meeting and early relationship.
What super reading it would make.

Maybe someone will write a "factually" accurate tale of this someday? "The Tale of Aragorn and Gandalf the Grey".

Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!


Ithilisa
Rivendell

Jul 14 2014, 11:57pm


Views: 847
What a story that would make

Thanks for doing the math. Wow, if he met Gandalf at 25 and he was over 80 during LOTR, there would be a number of great stories in there in addition to their meeting. I wish Christopher Tolkien would discover the story in a box somewhere.


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jul 15 2014, 5:24pm


Views: 798
More timeline

The LotR timeline has always interested me. More if you’re interested:

Tale of Years states that the Istari came to Middle-earth c. 1000 Third Age. Therefore Gandalf was 1956 years old (as a mortal) when he met Aragorn. During the War of the Ring Aragorn was about 87 years old, and Gandalf was about 2018 years old.

Gandalf, Frodo, and Bilbo sail West Sept. 29, 3021. Gandalf was 2021 years old (as a mortal); Frodo was 53; and Bilbo was 131.
Sam sailed some 61 years later at the age of 99 (SR 1482). Last of the Ring Bearers.
Legolas and Gimli left soon after the death of Elessar, FO 120, the last of The Fellowhip. The King was 210 at his death. Gimli was 262 at his sailing with Legolas.

(The only conundrum is: How old was Gandalf when he first stepped foot on The Grey Havens? – 0 years of age as a mortal I guess?)

Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!


Olorin the Wise
Registered User


Jul 15 2014, 7:34pm


Views: 774
There is a fantastic cut-scene in the PC game 'The Lord of the Rings Online'

In which you see the first meeting of Aragorn and Gandalf in 2956. Of course the details are heavily embellished, but it is rather well portrayed. Aragorn is on a journey to Lothlorien when he meets a strange traveller on the road, whom he initially dismisses as a foolish and nosy old man, slowly coming to the realisation that it is none other than the pilgrim Elrond told him so much about. It's rather reminiscent of the infamous meeting between Luke Skywalker and Yoda in 'The Empire Strikes Back'.
Although as I said most of the details are made up, it's still a fairly accurate representation given that the game designers aim is to be as true to the novels as possible. Unfortunately I can't say I remember the name of the quest or any of the dialogue within it.


(This post was edited by Olorin the Wise on Jul 15 2014, 7:35pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 15 2014, 7:34pm


Views: 799
Aragorn


In Reply To
Tale of Years states that the Istari came to Middle-earth c. 1000 Third Age. Therefore Gandalf was 1956 years old (as a mortal) when he met Aragorn. During the War of the Ring Aragorn was about 87 years old, and Gandalf was about 2018 years old.



Yep. A possible difference from the films: In the legendarium, Aragorn was 87 years old when he met Frodo in Bree. He turned 88 on March 1, 3019 (TA), the day that the Three Hunters encountered Gandalf the White and the four of them set out for Edoras. On film, Aragorn tells Eowyn that he is still 87. One wonders if he simply lost track of the date and didn't realize that his birthday had past.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 15 2014, 8:01pm


Views: 739
Lothlorien?

My question about that scenario is why would Aragorn be making for Lorien at that time? Another destination might have been better.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Olorin the Wise
Registered User


Jul 15 2014, 8:17pm


Views: 734
It does indeed seem a strange choice

I had always imagined the meeting to occur somewhere a little more conventional, such as in Bree-Land or at least somewhere in the North. Also as far as I'm aware (though I may be wrong), Aragorn's earliest recorded venture to Lorien is in 2980 when he betroths himself to Arwen, some twenty-four years after his meeting with Gandalf (though of course it is possible that he may have ventured there before).


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 15 2014, 8:31pm


Views: 753
When did Arwen return to Lothlorien?

I suppose that it's entirely possible that Aragorn visited Lothlorien for the first time before he reunited with Arwen in 2980. It would have had to have been before Arwen left Rivendell again to return to Lorien. In my imagination, though, Aragorn would have been on a more adventurous undertaking.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jul 15 2014, 8:34pm)


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jul 15 2014, 9:41pm


Views: 770
That's the films for ya... **grain of salt** //

 

Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!

(This post was edited by Bracegirdle on Jul 15 2014, 9:42pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 15 2014, 9:49pm


Views: 726
Yeah...

Well, Jackson already muddled the timeline when he made Sam, Merry & Pippin all roughly the same age as Frodo.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jul 15 2014, 9:59pm


Views: 733
and...


Quote
He turned 88 on March 1, 3019 (TA), the day that the Three Hunters encountered Gandalf the White and the four of them set out for Edoras.

That’s why I used the word “about” 87. I’ve always imagined The War of the Ring to have begun when Frodo left the Shire until the destruction of the Ring; but we could also consider it not ended until The Scouring of the Shire and the “death” of Saruman.

So, right; Aragorn was both 87 and 88 during the WOR.

Cheers

Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 15 2014, 10:13pm


Views: 755
One other descrepency by Jackson

This irritated me because it was so utterly needless: In FotR-EE, Jackson altered the year of Bilbo's eleventy-first birthday party to T.A. 3000 instead of 3001. This also theoretically changes the year of the Quest of Erebor (in the three The Hobbit movies) from 2941 to 2940. This is all very bothersome if a person attempts to create a coherent timeline for all six films. This (coupled with the age discrepancy for the Hobbits) is how I end up getting an approximate age of 25 for Aragorn at the time of Thorin's quest.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jul 15 2014, 10:32pm


Views: 729
B-but


Quote
This (coupled with the age discrepancy for the Hobbits) is how I end up getting an approximate age of 25 for Aragorn at the time of Thorin's quest.


Yeah, but this blows the whole “Tale of Years”:
Thorin’s Quest was in 2941. Aragorn was born in 2931, and he would have been 10 yrs. old.

To create a timeline from the “source” can be tricksy. To create it from the films- fu-get-about-it….

Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 15 2014, 10:36pm


Views: 726
I know...

I just sent you a PM on this very subject. The whole thing is based on the idea that at least one year passes after Bilbo leaves the Shire before Frodo sets off for Rivendell--but not much more than that, since Sam, Merry and Pippin don't have a Ring to keep them young for another 17 years.

Jackson, Boyans and Walsh discuss this in the FotR-EE commentaries and estimate that as little as a few weeks pass before Frodo leaves. But this doesn't work because he doesn't have enough time to reach Rivendell by October 20 and Gandalf doesn't have enough time for his researches (much less the Hunt for Gollum).

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jul 15 2014, 10:38pm)


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Jul 15 2014, 11:15pm


Views: 725
I wonder if

Gandalf had met the other chieftains of the Dunedain as well.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 15 2014, 11:54pm


Views: 703
Probably...


In Reply To
Gandalf had met the other chieftains of the Dunedain as well.



That seems very likely. Gandalf would have wanted to keep track of potential allies--especially the dedicated enemies of Sauron.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jul 16 2014, 12:07am


Views: 710
A quick ref. to Foster's Guide

says that all the 'latter' Chieftains of the Dunedain were raised in Rivendell. And I'm sure Gandalf made many stops in this freindly territory.

Although there was probably a 20 year gap between the birth of Aragorn and his meeting with Gandalf at the age of 25 - or Aragorn could have been out on an extended picnic between the ages of 0 and 20. Smile as he was gone into the wild after the age of 20.

Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 16 2014, 12:16am


Views: 737
Would Elrond have told Gandalf about young Aragorn?

Aragorn as a child would have been present in Rivendell when Gandalf was there in 2941 and 2942. However, Elrond was concealing his true identity and might not have even told Gandalf about Estel. On the other hand, if Tolkien had completed his 1960 revision of The Hobbit, it would have been interesting to see if Bilbo would have met the young Dunedain boy.


Quote
Although there was probably a 20 year gap between the birth of Aragorn and his meeting with Gandalf at the age of 25 - or Aragorn could have been out on an extended picnic between the ages of 0 and 20.



Um...how about a 25-year gap?

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jul 16 2014, 12:20am)


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jul 16 2014, 2:31am


Views: 738
**Flummoxed and discombobulated**


Quote
Um...how about a 25-year gap?

Bad conveyance of meaning here on my part. I meant that Gandalf could have met Aragorn in Rivendell between Aragorn’s ages of 0 and 20, but not after 20 as Aragorn was not in Rivendell between 20 and 25.

And you're right, Gandalf (or Bilbo) could have met a young Aragorn during the year of Bilbo's quest.

Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!


Ithilisa
Rivendell

Jul 16 2014, 3:57am


Views: 708
I think it would be interesting to know if Elrond did or did not tell Gandalf about Aragorn's identity.


Quote
"Elrond was concealing his true identity and might not have even told Gandalf about Estel."


If Elrond knew who Gandalf truly is and what his mission in ME truly is, I would think he would tell Gandalf about Aragorn's true identity due to the potential role Isildur's heir could play to aid Gandalf's cause. As Imladris was such a safe haven, I would think it would be safe from Sauron's spies and would have been a safe place for Elrond to tell Gandalf the truth.



Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 16 2014, 4:04am


Views: 685
We will never know...

Unless someone discovers additional notes from Tolkien from his uncompleted revision that touch on the subject.

Similarly, I would welcome the descovery of a lost genealogical chart that includes the mother of Legolas.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jul 16 2014, 4:07am)


Ithilisa
Rivendell

Jul 16 2014, 4:15am


Views: 423
Revisions to the Hobbit

I understand that the revisions are incomplete, but have the changes Tolkien did draft been released? I agree, it would be interesting to see mention of Legolas' lineage on his mother's side as well.


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Jul 16 2014, 5:36am


Views: 406
I can't imagine his *not* telling.

Elrond knew who & what Gandalf was, and Gandalf had been monitoring the other potential heirs, so he must have told him. If Estel was still a child, I can see that Gandalf may not have struck up much of a relationship with him until he grew up, hence the later date given for "meeting".








squire
Half-elven


Jul 16 2014, 11:47am


Views: 409
Safe haven?

If I remember, we are specifically told by Gandalf and Elrond that they are reluctant to think of even Rivendell as safe from the Enemy's spies or more likely, from traitors among the Elves.

Once we read the Silmarillion, we see why. The loss of Gondolin - the original hidden safe haven on which Rivendell is based - to Elvish treason must have been traumatic to the Eldar, and had certainly not been forgotten by the end of the Third Age.

Not that your central point isn't correct! I agree that Elrond and Gandalf trusted each other and that Estel's identity could safely have been revealed to Gandalf in Rivendell.

I wonder, though, if this kind of intensive time-line analysis, of who met whom and when they must have done so, is really how Tolkien went about his story-creation. When he notes that Aragorn encountered Gandalf as a young man during his first adventures, I have always taken that to be the final word from Tolkien as to when they first met - from the fact that the event is mentioned in those eccentrically sparse annals at all. A footnote along the lines of "(except that Gandalf had long known of the boy's existence as heir of Isildur)" seems too precise for Tolkien, whose back story is usually deliberately fuzzy unless he has been inspired to spin a new and very specific story to illustrate a point.

A good example of this is the scene where Aragorn meets Arwen in their "Tale" - there is an elaborate asterisk moment where it's carefully explained why he had never met her before, despite growing up in her father's house!



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd & 4th TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion and NOW the 1st BotR Discussion too! and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 16 2014, 1:10pm


Views: 414
The History of The Hobbit


In Reply To
I understand that the revisions are incomplete, but have the changes Tolkien did draft been released? I agree, it would be interesting to see mention of Legolas' lineage on his mother's side as well.



Yes. What you want to find is John Rateliff's The History of The Hobbit. The book includes the 1960 revisions (which cover up to the encounter with the trolls) and notes (which touch briefly upon Rivendell and the company entering the Misty Mountains). As you doubtless know, Tolkien abandoned this version because he decided that it changed the tone of the book too radically.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jul 16 2014, 1:13pm)


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jul 16 2014, 1:34pm


Views: 410
A different look


Quote
Elrond was concealing his true identity and might not have even told Gandalf aboutEstel.

I assume that Elrond WOULD have told Gandalf about Estel if Gandalf had visited Rivendell between 2931 (Aragorn’s birth) and 2951 (Aragorn’s leaving Rivendell), and had Gandalf visited between those two dates (which he did twice that we know of in 2941-2).

Remember that Cirdan read the heart and integrity of Gandalf (and who he really was) upon his (Gandalf’s) arrival at The Grey Havens, and gave him a most special and coveted gift – Narya the Ring of Fire – surely one of the most coveted possessions of the Elves. How very important would this gift be – to give one of the Three to a non-Elf.

Elrond, keeper of another of the Three Rings would certainly also been aware of the integrity of Gandalf and their friendship would have been absolute, and Elrond would have no reason to not reveal to Gandalf the existence of the young “Heir of Isildur”.

Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 16 2014, 1:42pm


Views: 387
Perhaps...

Even if Lord Elrond did reveal the existance of Estel to Gandalf while the heir was still a boy in Rivendell, it seems that the two did not formally meet until after Aragorn reached adulthood.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jul 16 2014, 4:25pm


Views: 376
Depends on what the meaning of “is” is. –B. Clinton

I think an elder can “formally” meet a ten-year-old.
But, yes, their true friendship began at Aragorn’s age of 25.

Cheers
BG

Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 16 2014, 4:44pm


Views: 361
That's fine.

It isn't an issue of can, though, it is an issue of would they have met in Rivendell. Since Aragorn (as Estel) was unaware of his heritage, there is a strong possibility that Elrond never actually introduced him to Gandalf, even if he did make the Wizard aware of the boy's true identity (which is at least debatable).

Granted, a ten year-old boy in Rivendell might have been intensely curious about a group of strangers passing through that included a legendary Wizard, a group of Dwarves and a Hobbit. I can easily see Estel and Bilbo striking up a casual friendship.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jul 16 2014, 6:22pm


Views: 365
And as is often the case it seems to boil down to personal preference.

You propose that Elrond would probably not introduce Gandalf to a ten-year-old Estel (preferring to keep the secret) because Estel wasn’t aware of his lineage, and that Elrond saw no reason to reveal the Heir to Gandalf.

I propose the two Ring Bearers, G & E had no secrets, and Elrond having complete and absolute faith in Gandalf, would have no reason not to introduce him to Estel, whether he was ten-years-old or two. Whether Estel was aware of his lineage is of no consequence at this age, but Elrond surely would have told Gandalf of this and Gandalf would keep this secret from Estel.


Quote
I can easily see Estel and Bilbo striking up a casual friendship.

Yes, so can I. Then Elrond would allow the introduction of Bilbo to Estel - but not Gandalf??

But, as you say, this is all supposition on both our parts; and as it is so, can we not both live with our theories, and say “Happy Trails” to one another? Smile

Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 17 2014, 12:26am


Views: 346
Yes. However...

What you seem to forget to take into account is that Elrond could reveal the truth about young Aragorn to Gandalf wiithout the Wizard and the boy actually meeting each other. The one does not require the other. That said, the details are unknown and one can speculate on several different scenarios.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Bracegirdle
Valinor


Jul 17 2014, 3:47am


Views: 362
Sure, agreed, and we have speculated - and it was fun - Cheers //

 

Cuio i Pheriain anann! Aglar'ni Pheriannath!


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Jul 22 2014, 12:34am


Views: 308
Knowing the Rangers mission

To keep the common folk free from fear in Eriador and seen as there was not that many of the Rangers, maybe in his quieter times, Gandalf might have lend them a hand.


Ithilisa
Rivendell

Jul 22 2014, 12:58am


Views: 304
That's what I thought too about the Rangers.

I got the impression in the history of how Aragorn and Gandalf searched for and found Gollum that Gandalf was familiar with the Rangers. As Gandalf was the wizard to actively aid the races of ME in the battle against Sauron, it would make sense that he would ally with others seeking to protect those that needed the aid in ME. I'm glad I'm not the only one to draw that conclusion.


Wilros
The Shire


Jul 24 2014, 2:47pm


Views: 323
Details of the LOTRO Encounter


In Reply To
In which you see the first meeting of Aragorn and Gandalf in 2956. Of course the details are heavily embellished, but it is rather well portrayed. Aragorn is on a journey to Lothlorien when he meets a strange traveller on the road, whom he initially dismisses as a foolish and nosy old man, slowly coming to the realisation that it is none other than the pilgrim Elrond told him so much about. It's rather reminiscent of the infamous meeting between Luke Skywalker and Yoda in 'The Empire Strikes Back'.
Although as I said most of the details are made up, it's still a fairly accurate representation given that the game designers aim is to be as true to the novels as possible. Unfortunately I can't say I remember the name of the quest or any of the dialogue within it.


The quest is titled The House of Isildur, and follows some of the history of the Dunedain from the drowning of Arvedui to Aragorn's encounter with Gandalf. As you say, it is basically pure fan-fic, but probably as good as any. The quest goes like this:

Aragorn and Túgonn have encountered an old man on the road through the Dimrill Dale.

Aragorn says, "You are a long way from home, old man. What brings you to this road?"
The old man smiled with amusement.
Old Man says, "What you say is true. It might also be said of you, Aragorn son of Arathorn."
Aragorn says, "How do you know my name? No, hold, Túgonn. I do not believe this man is our enemy."
Old Man says, "I know a great deal about you."
Old Man says, "I know that you were fostered by Elrond of Rivendell after the death of your father."
Old Man says, "I know that he has told you something of your noble lineage."
Old Man says, "I know too that he has given you heirlooms of your house: the shards of Narsil and the Ring of Barahir."
Aragorn says, "But how do you know these things, old man?"
Old Man says, "I know because it is my business to know. I am Gandalf."
[Narrator] Yes, it was Gandalf, and if Aragorn in his youth spoke roughly, the Wizard surely forgave him.

Old Man: 'There are great things in store for Aragorn your chieftain, Túgonn, but he must arrive at them in his own time. It is the solemn duty of all the Dúnedain to protect him, for he is descended from Isildur in line unbroken, and one day he must rule in Gondor.
Gandalf smiles with amusement, peering at you from underneath his eyebrows.
'But these are mighty words, and the time is still far off. We all have work to do before that day comes, not just Aragorn, and not just -- in our small way -- the Wizards, but you as well, Túgonn. You will not travel with Aragorn on his journey into the kingdoms of the south, for he has made up his mind, but you still have your role to play. In friendship, you will carry it out and have victory, I am certain, for that is a weapon no servant of the Enemy fully understands.'

Aragorn: 'Elrond has spoken to me of Gandalf the Grey, and I am ashamed I did not recognize him at the first, Túgonn!
'Still, he has warmth, though perhaps he tries to hide it. There were many things I wanted to ask him, should we ever meet, but now I cannot think of any!
'What a chance meeting! Let us continue on to Lothlórien, and perhaps then I will remember the questions I wished to ask.'