Okay, I promise not to cry.
Lies and propaganda. But I love the Men of Middle Earth a lot, and this is definitely going to be A Journey we’re about to embark on. And, if you missed the Top 10 Characters & Moments from the past two weeks, they’re linked!
“The world of Men will fall.”
OF COURSE WE’RE STARTING WITH THIS. Like, seriously, FIRST OF ALL, the witch-king of Angmar is, um, you know, previously the human lord of an ancient city, so was also a man, and he gets up in Gandalf’s face, all the world of men will fall hahahahahahaha, and then here comes Théoden, who has been a stubborn old ass right up until this exact moment, arriving at Minas Tirith, late, WITH STARBUCKS, to go, “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you, could you come down here and say that to my army of Rohirrim?”
Cirion & Eorl
Okay, look, Cirion was so goddamn dead set on making sure that Eorl knew just exactly how much he appreciated him that Cirion brought Eorl to Elendil’s grave to swear an oath of friendship. That sentence alone doesn’t really do this justice either because in true Tolkien fashion, it’s the most dramatic scene ever. Like, Cirion doesn’t tell Eorl that’s what he’s doing, he just casually asks Eorl if he’ll accept a bunch of land to show his respect of their new friendship, and when Eorl says yes, Cirion asks him to come at a very specific time so they can make it official. So Eorl shows up—ffs, it’s like at an 18% crescent moon on the fourth day of autumn when the wind is blowing east or some nonsense—and Cirion’s like, “Okay, follow me, we’re going to go through this forest that only kind of has a path because only my family’s ever gone on the path, and then we’re going to go up this mountain. It’s just a mountain, nothing more.” Except it’s literally the most sacred place in Cirion’s family, and it’s this hugely guarded secret because it’s ELENDIL’S GRAVE. And he asks Eorl to swear an oath of friendship with him.
Aragorn doesn’t want the kingship of Gondor because he doesn’t want to repeat Isildur’s mistakes.
I mean, does this even need further explanation? Aragorn is already my top fave man (fave character always goes to Sam, duh), and he’s just my favorite character archetype on top of that. But this is not about me
it is, this is about me convincing you why he’s great.
There, you’re welcome.
“YOU BOW TO NO ONE.”
LOOK I KNOW THIS WAS IN LAST WEEK’S POST, DON’T COME AT ME, I AM WEEPING.
I literally cry every single time I watch this. It’s the most beautiful thing in the world. Aragorn has just been crowned king of ALL MANKIND, and his first order of business is to fucking kneel to the hobbits, two of which didn’t even save the damn world. I am deceased.
You know, just in general. Despite his father’s absolutely disgusting treatment of him, Faramir still tries so hard. He wins back Osgiliath, and Denethor’s like okay but you have to maintain that hold now, this wasn’t good enough. He offers to go to Rivendell, which is sure to be treacherous on its own, not to mention putting himself within spitting distance of the ring, and Denethor’s like nah I’m gonna send your brother, you’re just trying to get on my good side. Even when Denethor says that he wishes Boromir had lived and Faramir died, Faramir still willingly leads a host of men to Osgiliath to try to take it back, knowing full-well it’s going to mean his death! Don’t talk to me about Faramir!
Boromir taking three goddamn arrows to save Merry & Pippin
For all the things that make me want to shout at Boromir, this is truly one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in the entire trilogy. The ring is not something to be lightly avoided, and even someone like Aragorn, who is supposed to be the most noble of all men, has trouble resisting it, so I’m not blaming Boromir at all. But after his unfortunate encounter with Frodo, Boromir totally could have sulked off angrily, but instead, he saw a way to redeem some of his behavior while he was overpowered by the ring when he finds Merry & Pippin in need of help. And it’s not even just that he sees a hobbit and is like “ah yes a way to not be a dick to hobbits”–he really likes Merry & Pippin. He’s built a sweet relationship with them, and, if by personality or stature alone, he views them as children that he must protect, and he’s willing to do literally anything and everything to protect them, include giving up his life.
Also, name a single other person that would have taken three arrows to the chest and kept fighting.
Beren & Lúthien
Thingol legit comes at Beren, who has been nothing but kind and polite to everyone, and who wants nothing more in his life than to live happily ever after with Lúthien, and says, “You can only have my daughter as your wife if you retrieve a Silmaril from Morgoth.” OKAY, a) ya punk you can’t just “give” your daughter like that, and Lúthien is gonna be right back to show you what an ass you’re being, but also b) BEREN DOES IT. Thingol sets him this impossible task, and Beren’s like alright brb. I won’t go into the whole thing, but he literally goes up against someone whose name means Black Foe of the World and steals back one of the world’s most precious jewels from him. Like, damn, okay.
“I am no man.”
I was stuck at this point of the list, trying to think of the last ones to round it out, when I remembered that “Men” is just “humankind,” AND OH HI TIME FOR EOWYN!
NAME A MORE ICONIC SCENE, I DARE YOU.
Eowyn does a lot of incredible things–demands to fight alongside everyone else, protects Merry, helps keep the other women & children calm and focused during Helm’s Deep, acts as a leader for her people–and I’m not saying this is her most badass moment, but guys, she totally stands up in front of the witch-king of Angmar, who’s basically Sauron’s general, and spits at him. “No man can kill me,” Angmar says. YA FOOL.
There are a lot of things I don’t love about Children of Húrin, but Morwen is not one of those things. When her husband goes off to war, Morwen immediately acts as leader of her people, and she does so spectacularly. They look to her for everything because she’s so good in a leadership role. And when Húrin doesn’t return (thanks Morgoth), Morwen just decides she’s going to keep on keeping on. if she could do it while expecting him to return, she can definitely do it while accepting the fact that he’s probably never coming home.
And it’s not just that she stands so well as a leader, it’s that the men surrounding her city try to take advantage of her, and Morwen’s, like, I’ll just destroy literally everything so then there’s nothing you can take from me. Even when she decides to leave her home to take refuge in Doriath, she does it with only a few guards and her daughter. I aspire to be as independent and determined as her.
“You will suffer me.”
I told myself I wasn’t going to do two Aragorn scenes, but here we are.
Who else do you know who stood up to a murderous ghost king and said “nah bro?”