The final movie in the trilogy is by far the best. You aren't spending time on all of the character introductions, on the background history or story setup. By now you know all the characters, you understand what their motivations are, you understand the situation. You can spend a full 100% of your time on the NOW of what is happening and what the characters are going through.
At this point Aragorn has been told by Boromir that he is of King material. He's been encouraged by Elrond and accepted by the Rohans as a general. He knows that his forces are weak, and that his aim is NOT to win the war - it is merely to keep the war going long enough for Frodo to reach Mount Doom.
He therefore makes the decision to walk the Path of the Dead to claim the ghosts that owe him allegiance. This is a risky gamble - he is pretty much missing for most of the fight around Gondor! But he feels that his "role as King" could gain the forces necessary to turn the tide. This is a big moment for Aragorn. He COULD go and fight as a single individual and lend his sword-arm to the battle. But instead he in essence walks away from the battle because it is his *job* to try to enlist others to the cause. It's a hard choice for him to make. He's very much a man of action. But logic dictates to him that if their side is to win, he has to make this sacrifice.
As a result, Aragorn is very much a background character in the third movie. It's the results of his works that are seen - the Rohans are now a solid force again, the Dead show up and turn the tides of war. But it's not Aragorn as an individual that is triumphing. Is the things he has set in motion. Yes, at the end Aragorn stands at the gates ready to sacrifice himself and all of his men in a final stalling move. But even there, he is being a King - pledging his *resources* to the task that needs to be done.
I think Viggo did a great job of showing this transformation. He no longer was the focus as the 'hero'. He was the enabler of heros, the strategist who helped win the war. In the end, his greatest joy was having Arwen back at his side to share in the peace.
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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