Gwynnyd's 2005 Birthday Presents
2. Too many names - Tanaqui
They debated many choices, for a name may seal a child’s fate. Did Arathorn settle on this one because, now more than ever, valour was needed?
So great a title for one so small! Gilraen, nursing her son, called on the Valar to grant him time to grow into it.
“I name him Aragorn!”
A roar of approval rose from the gathered court. At Gilraen’s side, her mother gasped. Turning, Gilraen recognised the signs; a moment of fear gripped her. Then Ivorwen spoke: a green stone, healing, renewal.
I beg you speak true, mother, and my son will know peace.
Long had he known he was a Dúnadan: aware one day he was no elf-child; dark-haired, grey-eyed; even, he learnt, with some measure of royal blood from his mother. Yet his father remained a mystery: a Ranger; my true love was all she would say.
He reeled at Elrond’s words.
“What shall I call myself?” the young man asked anxiously. “Neither Aragorn nor Estel will do!”
“No, indeed.” Gandalf pondered. “Hmmm, what did old Bill Butterburr at the Pony say after you routed those cheating gamblers out for him? An eagle with a star, that was it! Will Thorongil suit?”
The Pony serves all sorts, but those Rangers are stranger than most. This one – never did get his right name – would nurse a single pint all evening, listening, watching, but nary a word. They teased him once about striding around on those long legs o’ his and seems it stuck.
Hope, we called him: hope for the future, ours and his. But the world grows ever darker, while my son cherishes a hope that is akin to folly. I shall not live to see the line of kings renewed, nor even know the joy of a grandchild in my arms.
Bilbo wasn’t surprised he first met Aragorn by tripping over his legs. He was used to tall Men, but when the Man lounging on the path-side seat helped dust him down, he seemed taller than any Bilbo had known.
”Some do call me Longshanks,” the Man conceded with a grin.
’Twas not much at first sight, that green jewel. Why, Lady Finduilas went decked in finer things, and not just on high-days.
It was like the kingsfoil, maybe, or the Lord Elfstone himself: none too polished, scarce seeming worth a second glance. And yet no one could ask for better.
“You know the king well?” Faramir asked cautiously.
Merry nodded. “As well as most.”
“Does he enjoy a jest?”
“He writes of the name he takes as king, but I think he jests.” Faramir paused before hazarding, “Footsoldier? Walker? Marcher?”
Merry frowned. Then he laughed. “Oh, you mean Strider…?”
“I should warn you they called me Stick-at-Naught Strider.” He brushed a lock of hair from her face. “Perhaps you will find me easily distracted, lacking stamina….”
Arwen gave a helpless gasp as he gently drew a finger along the neckline of her wedding gown.
“I trust not,” she murmured.
Aragorn carefully cradled the small bundle in his arms. Arwen had rained many blessings on him since first they met in Rivendell’s woods, but this was the greatest. Gazing on the son who would carry the world into a new age, he knew himself at last to be the Renewer.
“Beat you, beat you!” Eldarion’s childish tones rang out across the field as he touched the tree a moment before his father.
Éomer, newly arrived, sent Elfwinë down to join his friend. When Aragorn, still breathless, joined him, Éomer remarked caustically, “I see you no longer deserve the title Wingfoot.”
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.