Despite The Lord of the Rings’ themes of hope and determination, there are plenty of tragic moments. The War of the Ring brought ruin to most of Middle-earth, and many characters met a grim fate at the hands of Sauron’s armies. However, Aragorn pushed through to the end, resulting in the perfect outcome for his character. However, that raises the question: did this happy ending last after the events of The Lord of the Rings?
The last time Aragorn appears is at his coronation, becoming the 35th King of Gondor and the first High King of the Reunited Kingdom. Shortly after, Aragorn reunites with Arwen, and the two marry, just as her Elven people sail away into the Undying Lands. Despite Arwen’s loss, the two find happiness and continue this throughout most of their lives.
As the name “High King of the Reunited Kingdom” may suggest, Aragorn helped reunite the people of Gondor. After Sauron’s defeat, much of the land was ruined, and his armies scattered around the area. He saw to it personally that Sauron’s forces, most notably the Easterlings and Haradrim, were pushed back out of Middle-earth. Then it came time to rebuild, which was a long and tedious process, but one that made Gondor stronger than ever.
Around the same time, Gimli had established his own kingdom of Dwarves in the caves surrounding Helm’s Deep. With this new home completed, Gimli and his people helped rebuild the areas around Gondor, creating a strong bond between men and dwarves. Aragorn ensured this cooperation carried over to the remaining Elves of Middle-earth, which resulted in the major races being closer than ever.
Past this point, author J.R.R. Tolkien wrote little about Aragorn’s reign as king. But judging by how well the rest of Middle-earth prospered, it’s assumed that Aragorn continued to be a great ruler that brought about a much-needed age of peace. It’s also known that he and Arwen had several daughters and a son named Eldarion.
For 120 years, Aragorn ruled as king until he felt his health declining and passed on his crown to Eldarion. He said farewell to his children and passed away by Arwen’s side at the ripe old age of 210. She died just a year later, heartbroken by the loss of her husband. It was then up to Eldarion, the second High King of the Reunited Kingdom, to continue his father’s legacy. And he did exactly that, as the realm is said to have prospered for hundreds of years.
So, after everything he had been through, Aragorn earned his happy ending and managed to keep it. The history of The Lord of the Rings is full of death and destruction, and few kings ever live long or happy lives. Yet, through Aragorn’s will, he received the perfect send-off and granted the people of Middle-earth a chance to become better.