- "Arathorn is a stern man [...] and will be chieftain sooner than men looked for; yet my heart forbodes that he will be short-lived."
- ― Dírhael
Arathorn II (T.A. 2873 - 2933, died aged 60) was the fifteenth Chieftain of the Dúnedain and succeeded his father, Arador, when he was killed in T.A. 2930. He was the father of Aragorn II, King of the Reunited Kingdom.
Arathorn first appears in the annals at the age of fifty-six, in T.A. 2929, seeking Gilraen as his wife. She was only twenty-two, so her father, Dírhael, opposed the marriage. He also warned that Arathorn would not live long. Yet Ivorwen, Gilraen's mother, was gifted with foresight and perceived that hope would be born from their marriage for the people of the Dúnedain. Thus, Gilraen and Arathorn married.
The next year, T.A. 2930, Arador, Arathorn's father, was slain by trolls, and Arathorn became Chieftain. A year later, Gilraen bore him a son, who they named Aragorn. Young Aragorn would never know his father; in T.A. 2933, Arathorn went hunting orcs, but was shot through the eye and killed. Gilraen took their son to Rivendell to be fostered by Elrond.
Arathorn II served as Chieftain of the Dúnedain for just three years. He was succeeded by his only son, who would become Chieftain Aragorn II, and in time King Elessar of the Reunited Kingdom of the Dúnedain.
Arathorn is likely named after his ancestor, Arathorn I. In a letter dated 1972, Tolkien gave the name the meaning "Eagle King" (from aran "king" and thoron "eagle"). However, in work written in the late 50's (published in Parma Eldalamberon 17, 2007), Tolkien gave "Steadfast King" (from aran "king" and thorn "steadfast") instead. Which stands is uncertain.
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