Aragorn & Legolas Friendship

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Pairing
Pairing: Aragorn & Legolas
Alternative name(s):
Gender category: gen
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings
Canonical?: yes
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Aragorn & Legolas Friendship is a popular genre of fanfiction within the The Lord of the Rings fandom.

While it is not impossible that Aragorn and Legolas might have met prior to the events depicted in Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkien never suggests directly that such a meeting might have taken place. Therefore, authors writing A/L Friendship stories generally refer to the scene in Peter Jackson's movie adaption, in which Legolas defends Aragorn against Boromir. Here, Legolas clearly has knowledge of Aragorn's true identity, which allows the educated guess that the two know each other. This means, that while A/L Friendship stories may be canonical to a certain extent, they include quite some fanon as well.[1]

The best known series of stories in this subgrenre are Cassia and Siobhan's Mellon Chronicles, a collection of stories of varying length depicting Aragorn's and Legolas' friendship from the time Aragorn is around twenty up to Aragorn's death (and beyond). The series is so influential that it not only has its own Fanlisting[2], but also its own fansite[3]. Additionally, some authors write in the universe Cassia and Siobhan created - for instance by using some of their original characters.

Typical Aragorn/Legolas Friendship stories are action and drama-driven. Authors like to send the two protagonists off on doomed adventures, during which they are captured by orcs, kidnapped by dark elves or abducted by evil men. Angst and Hurt/Comfort follow, usually because either or both of the characters are tortured and then have to first free themselves and then find their way home to Rivendell to get patched up by Aragorn's foster father, Elrond. Recurring themes are Aragorn's growing ability as a healer, Legolas' fear of caves and dark spaces and conflicts that arise from the differences of elves and men (e.g. Aragorn falling ill, or Legolas being harrassed in a human town).

Female characters usually only play a marginal role, if they appear at all. More often than not Gilraen, Aragorn's mother, is killed "off-screen", making Aragorn an orphan. This is possibly done to intregrate him more fully into his adopted elven family. Arwen, Aragorn's betrothed, is opften shipped off to Lothlórien. This means that while Aragorn may moon over Arwen from afar, she is rarely included in the actual story.

The situation looks similar for Legolas. Tolkien never mentions his mother and fanfiction authors generally follow him there. They assume that his mother has either sailed or was killed by orcs.

Therefore, Aragorn/Legolas Friendship stories are mostly inhabited by male characters. This includes many canon characters based in Rivendell, such as Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir or Glorfindel. It can also mean that authors invent original characters to populate Mirkwood or Aragorn's ranger camps.

Many stories are set in a time period preceding the War of the Ring. They concentrate on a younger Aragorn and how a friendship between an elf and a man might have worked (or not worked). Often, authors will come up with scenarios of how Aragorn and Legolas might have met - these stories are usually called first meeting stories. This seems to be a favourite topic, because some authors tend to revisit it, writing several stories that describe how and under which circumstances the two protagonists met first.[4]

Story Tropes[5]

  • Legolas is afraid of humans, or at least distrusts them.
  • Thranduil and other Mirkwood elves are often disproving of Legolas's friendship with Aragorn.
  • Legolas is afraid and/or deeply hates caves[6], while insisting that Mirkwood's palace is not a cave.
  • Aragorn usually has doubts about his ancestry and doesn't want to be king whatsoever, which results in him angsting over his destiny and his worth as a person.
  • Aragorn leaves Imladris feeling he is no longer welcomed there, usually after he is told of his true identity.
  • Young Estel, growing up in Rivendell, is scorned by the elves, sometimes by Legolas.
  • Aragorn and Legolas are both pathologically incapable of telling the truth in regards to their own injuries, usually insisting they are fine[7].
  • When one is injured the other will blame himself, even if he wasn't there when the injury took place.

Archives and Communities

Notable Fanworks

References

  1. Canon? Not! It's Fanon has a section regarding this question. Accessed November 22th 2008.
  2. Untold Adventures, accessed November 16th 2008.
  3. Where You Noe One, offering general info on the series as well as some goodies.
  4. One example are Mirrordance's stories. Both Allies and Exile show a different scenario.
  5. The tropes listed here are a result of a discussion on Owners of Aragorn Angst in November 2008.
  6. This may be traced back to The Mellon Chronicles, especially the story Captive of Darkness.
  7. This has become an inside joke and is repeatedly used by many authors. As soon as one character is claiming to be fine, one can expect him to faint any moment.
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