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I was just thinking, as usual, and had this one little question pop up in my mind, again, as usual.

So, I was wondering about The Houses Of Healing. It is said,

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The hands of the King are the hands of a healer


or something similar. I wonder why the King is given so much importance?

I mean, I read in the forums about the line of Kings, Stewards and Princes. (I think it was in the thread about Imrahil) and I can't see why the same principle would apply to the Stewards and the Princes.

I wonder why the King is given so much importance.

Umm, does this question seem stupid? Well, if you don't understand what I mean, it might seem stupid. Anyways.
The Kings of Gondor were descended, like Aragorn, from Earendil and Elwing and Aragorn was descended from the Elros line of that union. Elros and Elrond were half elven and while Elrond chose to be of the race of Elves his brother Elros chose to be of Men. Aragorn had some elven blood in him, as would all the Kings before him. Some elven blood may have given them the healing powers. Elrond was, I think, a healer as well but stronger as he was (although half) an Elf.

Other than that I don't know. Smile Smilie

I wonder if Isildur had a brother
Yes he did. Anarion was the younger son of Elendil and was slain in the siege of Barad-dur. Isildur also had 4 sons, three of whom were slain at the same time he was but his wife and his youngest son, Valandil, escaped. Valandil inherited the Kingship.

Hmm. That shut me up. But then, did Elendil have a brother?
I don't know. If he did then that brother was more than likely killed in the drowning of Numenor.
Someone (Val) will be along to correct me if I am wrong.
Hang on. Now, I'm a bit confused. Where exactly does the line of Denethor and Imrahil start from?
Now, my question is, that had Aragorn died and the line of Denethor ended with both Boromir and Faramir dying then Imrahil would have the throne of Gondor. Then I think from what I read in the thread Imrahil, he would've been the KING and not just prince. Then how come suddenly he would have the hands of a healer?

Am I right with the kingship or not?

If I am right, then I'm wondering about the hands of the healer. Because, if you change only your position, it shouldnt give you any extra abilities, can it? So, in that case, anybody who's in either the line of the king or the steward or the prince should have those abilities.

Am I making sense now???
If I'm not right with the throne of Gondor, will someone please explain to me how it works?

I mean consider that all the three lines came to an end, who would then be the King?
Hey Floyd. You've got an interesting post going! Not sure myself about all the lineage, but I have an opinion on the healing of the king. The art of healing was not a skill magically given to someone when they became king, rather it was a sign of one who was to be king. Since Aragorn possessed the ability to heal, it was one more sign (besides his lineage) that he was the rightful kind of Gondor. Another sign was his ability to command the services of the dead. I don't have my books here with me at work so I can't remember their names, but they were the spirits housed in the mountain that Aragorn claimed command over. Just some thoughts, Floyd!
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Now, my question is, that had Aragorn died and the line of Denethor ended with both Boromir and Faramir dying then Imrahil would have the throne of Gondor. Then I think from what I read in the thread Imrahil, he would've been the KING and not just prince. Then how come suddenly he would have the hands of a healer?

Imrahil would never have the throne of Gondor. He is not a direct descendant of Isildur. He's just related to Faramir and Boromir because Finguilas - Denethor's wife - was his sister. And Imrahil would never have the hands of a healer. Aragorn had knowledge of healing because he was raised in Rivendell by Elrond, and there he learned... a lot. The art of healing is something he learned, not something he magically inherited since the day Elrond told him he was of the line of Kings.

Besides, Aragorn would never die as he was predestined to succeed in everything he wanted to do. If Aragorn had died, Gondor would never have a King again as the last direct descendant of Isildur would be awol.
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Aragorn had knowledge of healing because he was raised in Rivendell by Elrond, and there he learned... a lot. The art of healing is something he learned, not something he magically inherited since the day Elrond told him he was of the line of Kings.


I don't know whether there is anything in LotR about Aragorn's healing powers but from The Letters of JRR Tolkien he says

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Anyway, a difference in the use of 'magic' in this story is that it is not to be come by by 'lore' or spells; but is in an inherent power not possessed or attainable by Men as such. Aragorn's 'healing' might be regarded as 'magical', or at least a blend of magic with pharmacy and 'hypnotic' processes. But it is (in theory) reported by hobbits who have very little notions of philosophy and science; while A, is not a pure 'Man', but a long remove one of the 'children of Luthien'.


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Then an old wife, Ioreth, the eldest of the women who served in that house, looking on the fair face of Faramir, wept, for all people loved him. And she said: 'Alas! if he should die. Would that there were kings in Gondor, as there were once upon a time, they say! For it is said in old lore: The hands of the king are the hands of a healer. And so the rightfull king could ever be known.' - four pages into RotK, Book V, Chapter 8
I think what she was doing here was remembering more of a prophesy, which Aragorn's training was able to fulfill.

On Weathertop after Frodo had been stabbed, Aragorn is speaking to the hobbits:
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'These leaves,' he said, 'I have walked far to find; for this plant does not grow in the bare hills; but in the thickets away south of the Road I found it in the dark by the sent of its leaves.' He crushed a leaf in his fingers, and it gave out a sweet and pungent fragrance. 'It is fortunate that I could find it, for it is a healing plant that the Men of the West brought to Middle-earth. Athelas they name it, and it grows now sparsely and only near places where they dwelt or camped of old; and it is not known in the North, except to some of those who wander in the Wild. It has great virtues, but over such a wound as this its healing powers may be small.' - FotR, Book 1, Chapter 12.
To go along with Ioreth's rememberance was that of the herb-master, which he relegated to just a rhyme of the old days, also with no understanding:
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When the black breath blows
and death's shadow grows
and all lights pass,
come athelas! come athelas!
Life to the dying
In the king's hand lying! - RotK,
Book V, Chapter 8.
So basically I think it was just knowledge that came from Numenor and Aragorn had learned it as part of his ranger training, or more probable, when he read about it in the library of Minas Tirith, back when he was working for Denethor's daddy.
I don't doubt that herb-lore was involved. But from what Tolkien says as I quoted above and from RotK - Houses of Healing.....

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...as if Aragorn himself was removed from them, and walked afar in some dark vale, calling for one that was lost.


Aragorn also says
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Here I must put forth all such power and skill as is given to me.


and

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Then, whether Aragorn had indeed some forgotten power of Westernesse, or whether it was but his words...


Plus the strange effect that this so called weed, athelas, seems to have on people I would say there is more to it than just a learnt craft. He is of the'children of Luthien' and this has a lot to do with his healing power.


Hey people, I need an answer about the Kingship of Gondor. Can anybody please explain to me how it would change hands???
Aragorn is to be King as he's Isildur's Heir. If Aragorn is dead, then Gondor will never have a King anymore as the last direct descendant of Isildur would have gone awol. It's as easy as that.

Concerning Aragorn's healing abilities, that's because he was a real Numenoran, directly descending from Isildur. It was his pure Numenoran blood that did it and made him much more than any other human character in LOTR, who were all of lesser blood. Don't forget those Numenoreans were able to wipe out Sauron's armies in the second age, whilst even the so-called High-Elves of Lindon couldn't do this. Aragorn was one of those, a direct descendant from all the way back to Elros, who himself was a descendant of Melian.
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Hey people, I need an answer about the Kingship of Gondor. Can anybody please explain to me how it would change hands???
The Kingship of Gondor, as well as that of Arnor, was hereditary, passed down from father to eldest living son (or daughter if there was no son) it could also be usurped, but that broke the line and it reverted back to the line from Elendil when the usurper was overthrown. In the Third Age the line of the King of Gondor ran out with no heir aparent, and the Stewards took charge in the Kings name.

Prior to this, Angmar defeated Arnor and the Northern line directly decended from Isildur, took the title 'Chieftain of the Dunedain', Aragorn was a direct decendent from Isildur via this northern line and thus he had a right to the Kingship, if anyone would choose to follow him.

As he had proved himself a leader in battle by leading the forces of the West against the Black Gate, had proved himself Isildur's heir by leading the Oath Breakers against Pelargir, and had shown he had the hands of a healer in the Houses of Healing. Thus they all decided, "Your it!" and Gandalf jammed the crown on Aragorn's head.
I provided a quote from the Letters of JRR Tolkien of which this is the last sentence and shows that Aragorn's lineage has much to do with his ability to heal and other powers such as they are. It is not solely because he is Numenorean at all.

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while A, is not a pure 'Man', but a long remove one of the 'children of Luthien'.


So I wonder if anyone actually reads what is posted.......

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Concerning Aragorn's healing abilities, that's just because he was a real Numenoran, directly descending from Isildur. It was his pure Numenoran blood that did it and made him much more than any other human character in LOTR, who were all of lesser blood. Don't forget those Numenoreans were able to wipe out Sauron's armies in the second age, whilst even the so-called High-Elves of Lindon couldn't do this. Aragorn was one of those, a direct descendant from all the way back to Elros, who himself was a descendant of Melian.



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So basically I think it was just knowledge that came from Numenor and Aragorn had learned it as part of his ranger training, or more probable, when he read about it in the library of Minas Tirith, back when he was working for Denethor's daddy.



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The art of healing is something he learned, not something he magically inherited since the day Elrond told him he was of the line of Kings.


It was something he had in his blood as both a Numenorean and a descendant of Luthien and Melian and I fail to see why there is so much arguement against this.

So, provide me with evidence from Tolkien that Aragorn's healing powers had nothing whatsoever to do with being of the children of Luthien. I ageed that herb-lore had a part in his skills but I will not accept that his elven blood contributed nothing. His healing skills in the Houses of Healing are way beyond mere herb-lore.

Additional:

from the Silmarillion - Of The Voyage of Earendil
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...but Elros his brother chose to abide with Men. And from these brethren alone has come among Men the blood of the Firstborn and a strain of the spirits divine that were before Arda; for they were the sons of Elwing, Dior's daughter, Luthien's son, child of Thingol and Melian; and Earendil their father was the son of Idril Celebrindal, Turgon's daughter of Gondolin.

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So, provide me with evidence from Tolkien that Aragorn's healing powers had nothing whatsoever to do with being of the children of Luthien. I ageed that herb-lore had a part in his skills but I will not accept that his elven blood contributed nothing. His healing skills in the Houses of Healing are way beyond mere herb-lore.

No one in this thread said Aragorn's healing powers had "nothing whatsoever" to do with being of the children of Lúthien. Elven blood? Maian blood would be more exact.

Art of healing : at one point in his life, Rivendell perhaps, someone learned Aragorn that "that plant overthere - athelas, Estel - has healing powers!". Aragorn learned what plants were poisonous and what plants could be used for healing or food, etc.

But how to use the healing powers of athelas : that's something else. After all, Aragorn used it to cure the Black Breath. I said his healing powers come from his Numenoran lineage, so what's the problem? Aragorn's Numenoran lineage tracks him back all the way to Elros, who himself was a direct descendant from Melian, who was a Maia ŕnd Lúthien's mother. The whole of the Numenoran line of kings, of which Aragorn was a descendant, has maian blood. So this maian blood made Aragorn have the healing powers he had. Or don't you think Elros and all Numenorean Kings after him weren't children of Lúthien then?

But regardless of this, even Aragorn must've learned from someone how to use his 'powers' he had inherited, for instance for use of healing. Elrond was a great healer as well, as Aragorn himself pointed out, for the same reasons as Aragorn, but even he must've learned from someone how to heal, how to use the talents he had inherited. I don't think his ability to heal was something he could magically do when it was needed but something he learned. He just inherited the power, the ability to heal but not the skill. I think he learned that in Rivendell, from Elrond. Aragorn learned what plants had healing powers and such, he learned what plants could heal the body, but he also learned how to heal the spirit, which was the case with the Black Breath. So basically, i think Aragorn's talent for healing was inherited due to being a descendant of Melian, but the skill of healing (how to use his talent) was learnt by him in Rivendell.

Perhaps i confused you and made you think that any Numenoran would have healing powers, as it looked like i was generalizing Numenoran blood. Well, as to Numenorean lineage, i was only referring to the Numenorean line of Kings who descended from Elros and thus from Melian. You can say i didn't stress the maian blood enough, which should be the biggest contributing factor to Aragorn's 'special powers'.

Actually, the use of 'children of Lúthien' when regarding any of Aragorn's special powers must not be considered lightly. I know every Elf in LOTR speaks about it, because they're all obsessed about Lúthien because she - the fairest of all children of Illuvatar who has ever lived - left their race and truly died, but it would be more exact to use 'children of Melian' if someone is referring to special powers. Melian, as a Maia, had special powers and was responsible for Lúthien having special powers since she was her mother. Lúthien was very special indeed, but only due to her Maian blood was she able to do what she did... for instance enchanting Morgoth Bauglir himself.

Hey, no big deal.
Yes, you did confuse me - not about any Numenorean having healing powers but because you seemed to imply that it was his Numenorean blood alone that gave him those powers. I mistakenly referred to 'elven blood' when I should have said Maian blood - I was thinking of Luthien as an elf and yes, I know Melian was a Maia and that is where the bloodline began but Aragorn was of the Children of Luthien not the Children of Melian, so forgive my error.

The line was divided at Elrond and Elros but their blood line was the same. I am saying that it is not that Aragorn was a Numenorean that made the difference but his ancestry prior to that. You said he didn't magically inherit that power (although maybe you meant something different) and I say he did inherit it but not magically and not just when Elrond told him of his lineage. Any learning of herb-lore and healing was subsequent to that.

So the upshot of all this is that the Hands of the King are the Hands of a Healer because that King is Aragorn descended from Melian - Luthien - Elros etc. It was another way of showing that Aragorn was the rightful king as no other, Numenorean or not, would have that lineage.

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But regardless of this, even Aragorn must've learned from someone how to use his 'powers' he had inherited, for instance for use of healing. Elrond was a great healer as well, as Aragorn himself pointed out, for the same reasons as Aragorn, but even he must've learned from someone how to heal, how to use the talents he had inherited. I don't think his ability to heal was something he could magically do when it was needed but something he learned. He just inherited the power, the ability to heal but not the skill. I think he learned that in Rivendell, from Elrond. Aragorn learned what plants had healing powers and such, he learned what plants could heal the body, but he also learned how to heal the spirit, which was the case with the Black Breath. So basically, i think Aragorn's talent for healing was inherited due to being a descendant of Melian, but the skill of healing (how to use his talent) was learnt by him in Rivendell.


It is confusing when a post is edited after being replied to - is this the bit you added? Now it makes sense to me but this is not how I interpreted your opinion before.

Seems we agree.
Another main reason that "The hands of the healer are the hands of the king" as the servant Iorel states in the Return of the King, is because it is a sure fire way to find out the true kings identity. If the king has the healing hands, so to speak, then he is the rightful king of Gondor. This way, even if has been a thousand years since the last king of Gondor sat on the throne, and all the decendants scattered or dead, the rightful king shall be known. (It also helps to have Anduril and the Ring of Barahir).
If Aragorn et al had failed to defeat Sauron the only way for the Kingship to continue would be for Aragorn to survive and have children, probably with Arwen. Then they would inherit his 'healing hands', sword and ring. If he had no children then either the line of Kings would end and that would probably put paid to prophecies being fulfilled or a bastard line of heirs might have to be looked for in the hope that one of Aragorn's ancestors (or Aragorn) had been naughty. Obviously Tolkien intended for Aragorn to take the Kingship, and he did, otherwise Return of the King may have been called Search for the King.