I grew up in the 70s, and I read Lord of the Rings at perhaps age 8. I was immediately struck by many qualities of Aragorn. The way that he was rough on the outside, but the best of men on the inside. The personal strength that had him, while the Bree townspeople openly looked down on him, roaming the forests and risking his life to keep them safe. Aragorn composed poetry and was an incredible fighter. He had the ability to talk with Gandalf about great matters and then with the hobbits about things they felt were important. Aragorn wasn't rich or handsome. He was very talented in many ways, but he never boasted about it.
From the first time that I finished the series, Aragorn literally became the symbol to me of what a person should be like. It shaped my image of what I wanted to be. It molded what I would seek out for myself both in my own actions and in the actions of those I would want near me.
For many, many years he was very much a secret hero of mine - one that was very much a constant presence in my life. When news of the movies began to come out, I was both very excited and very afraid. This could be the great undoing of my life-long dream.
But when I saw that first film on opening night, I was incredibly impressed and astonished. Yes, the other actors did a wonderful job. But Viggo Mortensen had hit exactly the right notes with Aragorn, with his loner qualities, his desire to help others, his strength, his compassion. Viggo's portrayal of Aragorn has made a HUGE impact on me. The poetry, the artistry, the strength and commitment Viggo has in his own character shone a honest life into Aragorn, and made him a visible symbol for all to see and appreciate.
Make sure if you buy the DVD you get the EXTENDED VERSION. It has key additional scenes with Aragorn, many which Viggo fought to have included. They really help expand your understanding of his character.
One final note - if you have not yet read the books, READ THEM!! There is SO much more in the books that couldn't be fit into the movies. It gives you a great deal of background and understanding into Aragorn and into WHY Viggo is playing him the way he is.
Buy Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Extended Version from Amazon.com
Buy Lord of the Rings books from Amazon.com
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