Interesting thoughts, Faramond.
I tend to agree with you. But this question still remains: why did the people of Gondor say in old lore "the hands of the king are the hands of a healer.
And so the rightful king would ever be known" if the old kings were not really healers? Wishful thinking?
"The King" in the sense that the English a few hundred years ago might have had a prophecy about King Arthur: an ideal king as opposed to a real, mundane one?
Anyway, here's my take on this topic:
Aragorn is an idealized king; a Christian king in a pre-Christian era. Aragorn#1 is Strider the Ranger, whose emblem is The Sword that was Broken and, yeah, it is unrealistic that a guy would lug a broken sword around with him, but in this heroic world, that is what he would do. He switches incarnations when he casts the broken sword onto the table at the Council of Elrond where he is acknowledged as the heir of Elendil. From then on he is Aragorn#2, a warrior and leader whose emblem is the newly forged Anduril. No longer a wanderer; he is a king en route to his kingdom.
We lose sight of him as he approaches Gondor. He is now so exalted that his deeds can only be recounted later by a storyteller, narrating a tale of a legendary king, one who descends into the underworld and commands the Dead.
Too noble to take over Minas Tirith during the power vacuum caused by Denenthor’s implosion, he enters in other guise, as a healer, actual and metaphorical.
While Boromir doubted his king: “Who are you….”, the newly healed Faramir immediately affirms him – a Biblical recognition:
“My lord, you called me. I come. What does the king command?”
But then Faramir has always been the true spiritual heir of the Faithful, as his father and brother were not. Aragorn can begin Éowyn’s healing, but not complete it. And Merry’s healing adds bathos and humour to the exalted scene. It is in this hour that Aragorn#3 appropriately takes upon himself the names Elessar
, the Elfstone, and Envinyatar
, the Renewer. The final blessing of Nature upon his kingship takes place after the last battle, with the finding of the sapling which becomes the White Tree, his third and final emblem. So Aragorn has an “arc”, although not one as defined by the film-makers.
And yeah, LOTR
is a romance, in the literary sense of the word, not the debased Mills-and-Boon sense. A heroic romance.
On the subject of service/stewardship, don’t forget Sam!
He serves Frodo and without that care and love Frodo would never have been able to carry the One Ring to Mount Doom.