Add Story to Favourites The Lineage by Shirebound
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Author notes:  Written for Lindahoyland for her birthday.  The “Ranger pledge” originated in my 2006 story “When the King Comes Back”.

DISCLAIMER:  The Professor’s wonderful characters don’t belong to me; I just get to think about them day and night.

The Lineage

“What troubles you, little one?” Aragorn asked his son gently.  “Here, come closer.”  He picked up his 8-year old son and placed him in his lap.

Eldarion looked up at his father.  “Why don’t I have an Ar-name?” he asked.

“An R-name?” Aragorn asked, puzzled.  “Do you wish your mother and I had named you Rumil, or Radagast?”

Eldarion giggled.  “No, an AR-name, a secret Ranger name.”  He began to recite.  “Aragorn, Arathorn, Arador, Argonui...”

“Ah, I see,” Aragorn said with a smile.

“Even mother has an Ar-name,” Eldarion pointed out.

“So she does.  And so shall you, my son,” Aragorn promised.  “Allow me time to consult with your mother, and we will tell it to you.”  Eldarion beamed up at him.  “Now, I believe you have a music lesson with Uncle Elladan?”

It was several evenings later when Aragorn and Arwen came to Eldarion’s bedroom together, where the boy lay waiting for them to tell him goodnight.  As his parents stood hand in hand beside his bed, smiling, he was surprised to see his father dressed in brown tunic and trousers, a green cloak, and worn boots.  His mother was dressed in a simple gown, much less ornate than her usual garb.

“Rise, Eldarion,” his father spoke in a proud, ringing voice.  “Receive the Ar-name which will link your heart and mind to the lineage of the Dúnedain, protectors of the weak and oppressed; and to the blood of Arwen Undómiel, daughter of the stars.” With a shout of joy, Eldarion threw back his coverlet and bounced to his feet beside his parents.

“Come out on the balcony with us, beneath the stars,” Arwen said softly, taking her son’s hand and leading him outside in the cool night air.  As his parents raised their hands above his head, Eldarion felt his heart beating with excitement.

“We name you Arion, prince and heir,” Arwen and Aragorn spoke as one.  With their words, Eldarion’s eyes shone with such happiness, he fairly glowed.

“Will you take the Ranger pledge, Arion, son of Aragorn?” his father asked, and Eldarion nodded.

Slowly, phrase by phrase, Aragorn led his son through the pledge he had learned as a young man, modified slightly for the boy.

My life and honor now given to defense, justice, and steadfast diligence for the safety of the lands and peoples under our protection.  Beneath bright Eärendil who lights our way, and in remembrance of Elros Tar-Minyatar, father of line and blood, I swear this oath of fealty to the Dúnedain here in the presence of my family.

“My son,” Aragorn added, “with your new name comes a mighty task.  Can you keep your Ar-name secret and safe, as did I, and my father, and his father before him?  Will you content yourself to be known as Eldarion to all whom you meet, and keep to your heart alone your secret Ranger name this night bestowed?”

“I will,” Eldariion whispered.

Arwen bent and kissed her son’s forehead, as did Aragorn.

“Thank you,” Eldarion said solemnly, then broke into a joyous smile.

“Back to bed now, love,” Arwen whispered, and Eldarion lay down obediently and allowed his mother to tuck him in.  “Sleep, my prince, and may your dreams be sweet.”

And they were.      

Note:  Arion is Sindarin for 'heir' or 'prince'. 

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