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Discussing: Addressing the King (post ROTK)

Addressing the King (post ROTK)

I wonder how King Elessar is formally addressed; or even not so formally? "Sire"? "Your Majesty"? Or just "My Lord"? I need to figure out different people who know the King might address him on a battlefield, specifically, Faramir, Eowyn, the Captain of Rangers (this is several years after ROTK) and a young Tower Guard who has known the King all his life (being the son of friends of his). I don't think Legolas and Gimli will address him by anything other than "Aragorn" though.. Still can't find my copy of ROTK; and I don't recall anyone calling Theoden "Sire" or "Your Majesty". Thanx for any advice. Raksha



Re: Addressing the King (post ROTK)

I don't recall anyone calling Theoden "Sire" or "Your Majesty". Definitely not "your majesty" and I didn't see any "Sire"s either; mostly My Lord. Ioreth did refer to Aragorn as "Lord Elfstone" at the coronation. Lyllyn



Re: Addressing the King (post ROTK)

...I don't recall anyone calling Theoden "Sire" or "Your Majesty".
In the entirety of Lotr, majesty is used only as an adjective; never as a form of address. Sire is used several times where it clearly refers to a father or forefather. The one use that might be seen that way or as addressing a lord is found in this exchange between Denethor and Faramir:
'...I will not yield the River and the Pelennor unfought - not if there is a captain here who has still the courage to do his lord's will.' Then all were silent, but at length Faramir said: 'I do not oppose your will, sire. Since you are robbed of Boromir, I will go and do what I can in his stead - if you command it.' THE SIEGE OF GONDOR: RotK
It is my opinion that there is a double meaning in Faramir's use of that word in this exchange. The father-son dynamic in this exchange is every bit as potent as the lord-captain dynamic. At any rate, since this is the only such usage of the term, I don't take it as a sign that the term would be more widely used - though it could reasonably be used if done so sparingly (I could see Éomer addressing Théoden as sire for the same reasons that Faramir does Denethor, though in LotR Tolkien never has him do so). Throughout LotR, lord or my lord is the preferred form of direct address for kings, princes and stewards - and wizards! When Éomer is freed in The King of the Golden Hall, he offers his sword to Théoden with these words:
'Take this, dear lord!' said a clear voice. 'It was ever at your service.'
Aragorn and Gandalf likewise address Théoden as lord - as do Grima, Háma and any of the other Rohirrim who directly address the king. Imrahil always addresses Aragorn as lord, and as does Faramir, both after having acknowledged Aragorn as king and liege-lord. I think it would be fair to say that in private there would be less formality - Éomer and Aragorn, for example, would be on equal footing and likely address each other by their given names. Faramir I would also imagine would address Aragorn less formally when in private conversation - as many fanfic writers have Aragorn insisting he do - it's very much in character for Aragorn, and it also fits the RL conventions for private address between peers in the nobility. Only those subservient to them would always use the more formal address of lord. Didn't mean to go on so long. I hope there's something useful for your purposes in all of this. ~Nessime



Re: Addressing the King (post ROTK)

This thread has been very helpful! When Aragorn is sitting on his throne, I take it the normal person would bow to him or kneel briefly? But would a soldier? For instance when Beregond is brought in front of him for judgement ... would a soldier stand at attention in front of the king or would he bow and then stand at attention?



Re: Addressing the King (post ROTK)

A solider would bow to his king. The king would probably order him to rise as he would any other subject. A soldier automically stands at attention unless ordered to relax or be at ease. This is the way my Coast Guard daughter stands in a formal situation. She is polite and uses the form Sir or Ma'am depending on the situation. RiverOtter



Re: Addressing the King (post ROTK)

Still can't find my copy of ROTK; and I don't recall anyone calling Theoden "Sire" or "Your Majesty". In the *real* medieval period, kings were usually 'your grace'. It was only the later kings who insisted on being called "your majesty". Gwynnyd



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