Slightly over 15 years ago, Fellowship of the Ring was released into theaters. If you’ve ever seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Aragorn is one of the greatest examples of a man in modern film. His demeanor and actions provide some great manhood lessons.
Aragorn stands out as an icon of manhood because he’s not the stereotypical action hero. He doesn’t try to charm every lady he meets, he doesn’t throw out one-liners like a woodchipper, he’s not loud and boisterous, and he doesn’t try to one up, out-yell, and “out-man” every other guy.
Manhood Lessons from Aragorn
1. Aragorn fights for his beliefs.
In the ancient Greek language the definitions “warrior” and “man” fell under the same word: “andros” which is actually where my name, Andrew comes from. To be man is to be a warrior.
In the modern world, we’re not in dire need of men who physically fight, but we ARE in need of men who will fight for ideals, others, and are WILLING and ABLE to fight physically if necessary.
2. Aragorn sacrifices for others.
From taking on the Uruk-hai (an advanced orc breed) so the main character Frodo can escape in Fellowship of the Ring, to taking on an army hundreds of times the size of his just to give Frodo a chance to make it to Mount Doom in Return of the King, Aragorn is willing to sacrifice himself to give others a chance to succeed. But he also lives a life of sacrifice when he takes on the mantle of king and gives up his freedom to serve others.
3. He’s measured in speech and conduct.
Brash moves and outbursts are rarely seen from Aragorn. He tries his best to handle every situation he can in the most reasonable way. He doesn’t yell frequently or try to intimidate others to get his way, even when he heavily disagrees. Consider when Theoden is reluctant to face the enemy and retreats to Helm’s Deep in the movie. Aragorn honors Theoden’s leadership over his people.
4. He’s humble and doesn’t throw his weight around.
Aragorn knows who he is and what his abilities are. In the Council of Elrond he doesn’t speak up, demanding that Boromir recognize him as his king. He doesn’t keep score in the battles and he never brings up the fact that he IS a king. He allows others to speak for him and his strengths, preferring simply to show them when necessary.
5. He assumes responsibility.
When the Fellowship was leaderless, when the walls of Helm’s Deep needed defending, when Gondor needed a king, Aragorn steps up. He assumes responsibility not only for his own actions, but for the well-being of those around him. In the modern man’s life that takes its form in family, the workplace, and spiritual belief.
6. He inspires.
Whether talking to hundreds of people or just one, Aragorn breathes life into peoples’ lives with truth, positivity, encouragement, and hope.
7. He’s gentle and romantic.
Aragorn slaughters on the battlefield, but when he’s with the people he cares about, a new side of him emerges that’s far less stoic and coarse. He has a gentleness that never detracts from his strength, but balances it.
8. He’s loyal.
Aragorn never turns his back on his friends and is always there when they need him. He also stays loyal romantically, over time and distance, to the woman he left behind.
9. He avoids temptation.
When the ring with its all-encompassing power is offered to Aragorn, he runs in the opposite direction, almost literally. He knows what he can and can’t handle and makes sure not to let his weaknesses get the best of him.
10. He’s authentic.
Aragorn cries. You see his heart get broken, you see him weak. Aragorn is vulnerable in a way that invites other people to be the same. He doesn’t lament the tragedies of his life and he doesn’t use it as an excuse to get attention. He’s simply real about the struggles at the time they’re happening. It’s a type of vulnerability that REQUIRES strength.
Aragorn is by no means the bad boy who likes to break rules and keep people guessing. He’s not the red pill, alpha male that a magazine article might try to teach you how to be. And yet he’s a man that others look up to and women adore. He’s a teacher of some great life manhood lessons.