Argaladiel (aka Notes From A 400lb Nuzgûl)
3. Various notes
* Argaladiel (it's supposed to mean "Royal light" - check whether it would) would be expected to marry young, and bear at least an heir and a spare. Probably have children between 27 - 35 years of age, last child arriving around age 40 - 45, then 20 years of raising children to adulthood.
* An arranged marriage would be likely - Halbarad is a childhood friend of a sufficiently good bloodline that she's willing to take as husband.
* By the time of the events of the Ringwar: Argaladiel is 87 (same age Aragorn would be) and looks to be a woman of about 40 or so. She's also a grandmother, as her first child (a daughter, Armirwen) and her second (a son, Eldarion) have both wed young (at her insistence) and bred young (again, mother nagged).
* I'll stick with the rather popular fanon notion of Gilraen and Arathorn having wed for love. It's going to be a nagging ache in the bottom of this woman's heart, that she was never able to find the match that she wanted.
* At the age of 87, Argaladiel is now at the point where she's taken to leading a ranger band of her own. She snuck the hobbits out of Bree ("nobody ever thinks of asking questions of a woman and her children") and led them to Rivendell with the aid of Eldarion acting as bodyguard to the lot of 'em.
* She and Eldarion are at the council. She winds up volunteering her services, and delegates her authority over the Rangers and the rest of the Dunedain to her children. Eldarion has been acting as Captain of the Rangers for at least 20 years now, so he's in charge of getting the defences organised, while Armirwen is watching over the home guard.
* It is very tempting to have her fall for Boromir, although it would be rather Sue-ish of her. Certainly the dynamics between the two heirs (Kingship and Stewardship) alters greatly when one of these is female. I don't know whether the fact that she is quite literally old enough to be his mother alters things a little.
* Alter cutscene one to fit in this one. It's probably workable. I can still see Boromir looking for solutions, or at least some kind of comprehension for the scene, at the bottom of a wine bottle.
* While Argaladiel doesn't have *quite* as many nicknames as Aragorn (not having wandered about quite as much yet), she does have a few. In Bree, she's "Mistress Kingsfoil", a trader from parts unknown. In Rivendell, she's "The Dúnwen". She's the one who grew up with the use-name "Estel" while she was small, although she didn't hold onto it for quite as long as Aragorn did - I have a strong suspicion that she was let into her heritage a lot earlier, because she had to be prepared for the notion of settling down and marrying on a timeline that had absolutely *nothing* to do with Elven speeds of doing things.
* While she's not yet a brilliant battlefield commander (not enough combat experience for a start) she is a damn good tactician, and she's got a very good network of intelligence agents and scouts. The Dúnedain of the North have been making themselves known as elite mercenaries for a good many years under her command.
* Eldarion is doing most of the physical stuff that Aragorn would have done. Argaladiel is supplying the brain power, the direction finding, and oddly enough, a lot of the survival skills. I have a feeling that this will alter when the Fellowship get moving. She's a better archer and close in knife fighter than she is a swordswoman.
* Would the Nine still be significant? I'd say so, simply because the history hasn't altered *that* far back.
* Does the "Dreamwalker" stuff belong in here? Feels a bit too mystical in tone. Admittedly, there probably is a bit of a mystical side to the Northern Dúnedain, but I don't think it's quite that pronounced.
* The title of "The Dúnwen" is one which is rather like that of "The Took" in the Shire. Any woman of the Dúnedain is entitled to the name "Dúnwen", just as any of the men can be called "Dúnadan". But Argaladiel is the only one who is entitled to call herself *The* Dúnwen. It's an acknowledgement of her hereditary position as Chieftain of the Dúnedain of the North. It's also a nice subtle hint on who she is, if those around her have ears to hear it, rather than a clunking great title that she can keep tripping over. I think she prefers it to the whole "Chieftain" and "Heir of Isildur" thing. Especially since the "Chieftain" title has formally belonged to Halbarad for quite a while now, him being battle leader and soforth.
* State of the union between Argaladiel and Halbarad: neither of them hates the other, they're friends. Good friends, friends who occasionally do the horizontal mambo, but they're not "in love" with each other. They married for reasons of duty and perpetuating bloodlines, rather than for love. So they've each turned their eyes aside when the other has the occasional "fling", especially now that the children are both grown.
* Eldarion got handed the title of "Chieftain" by his father with something of a sigh of relief. Halbarad is a better second-in-charge than a leader. He's too prone to getting bossed about by his wife and daughter to really be comfortable with command. He can lead, but he isn't comfortable with the idea of being in full command.
* Mix this in with the "Culture Shocked" stuff?
* Change names for her son. Arador is probably a better name - it's one of the less outlandish ones in the bloodline, and one of the ones which hasn't been used again.
* Bring out more of that ruthless streak that's in Aragorn - I'm envisaging this particular AU as being more fraught politically, and where the deceits of the Dark have been taking a slightly more solid hold and are slightly more widespread. I can see Saruman's politicking in Rohan being an offshoot of a wider net that he's casting, playing on more peoples, more cultures. Part of this would be the stirring of Arador into at least rebellion against his mother's right to rule. However, this tougher political climate at home would be what leads to Aramiriel having a far stronger and more visible ruthlessness. She would seem a lot harder than Aragorn is on first acquaintance, but she would be a very politically savvy type.
* I'm seeing her as identifying far more as a woman of the Dúnedain, and as the Chieftain of the Dúnedain than as something elven, mainly because the differing pressures of being female and being the sole *female* heir of a prestigious title would have necessitated her being made aware of her heritage far earlier than Aragorn was made aware of his. She would have been probably disillusioned of any dreams of growing up as an elf prior to her teens. She would also have been told of her ancestry to ensure that any husband she chose was of a suitable bloodline.
* She doesn't think of herself as attractive, although she is a handsome woman. Such attractiveness as she has comes from her strength, from her mind, from her personality, and from her decisiveness. She's been aware of who she was for too long, and she knows too much of flattery aimed at winning over the Chieftain, the Heir, to ever be comfortable with a man who tells her that she's beautiful. She's also grown up comparing herself to her mother ("Gilraen the Fair") and to Arwen Undomiel, and beside the two of them, she knows that she isn't. (In any ordinary company, she'd be a stunner, partially from height alone - she's close on 6 foot tall).
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