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08.03.15

Aragorn and Bard

Internally? There is no connection between the two. But from the meta/character analysis point of view, there are quite a few similarities between these two. Take a quick trip down memory lane with me, if you will: the year is 2012, and I’m discussing the new Unexpected Journey movie with my friend, a casual Tolkien fan. She confessed that she was sort of bored by the movie, since she saw it as too much of a repeat of LotR, since Thorin and Aragorn were pretty much the same character. This took be aback a bit, since I’d never really thought of comparing the two before. It was only after the conversation that I realized that Thorin wasn’t the Aragorn of The Hobbit, but rather the Boromir. Aragorn’s place in this story is definitely held by Bard:

  • On a purely physical level, both are generally described as “tall, dark, and grim”
  • From an external/authorial point of view, neither were originally intended to be part of the story. The earliest versions of Aragorn were a hobbit named Trotter, and Bard was actually a pretty last-minute addition to the story.
  • They’re both kings by the end of the story. And while Bard’s ancestor was only a lord, they both have a noble/royal family line.
  • Both are (or become) leaders of a “fallen” people. Aragorn’s northern Dunedain are reduced to a small group of rangers, and Bard’s fishing village is all that remains of a great trade city. To add to that, both kingdoms prosper after the events of the stories (Bard rebuilds Dale to a prosperous kingdom, and Aragorn’s Reunited Kingdom is the greatest kingdom of the Fourth Age.)
  • Both are (in the movies, at least) sort of reluctant leaders. In the books not so much…
  • Both are sort of disregarded by the local population. Bard is a talented bowman, but not really in much of a leadership position until Smaug attacks and everything falls apart. And Aragorn is openly mistrusted by the inhabitants of Bree, and the Dunedain in general are considered to be strange and dangerous.
  • Both have allies among the elves. Aragorn was basically raised by Elrond and was friends with Galadriel and Legolas. And while Bard’s friendship with Thranduil is in it’s beginning stages in The Hobbit, they quickly prove to be a capable team.
  • Most interestingly, in the movies both prove able to overcome the greed inspired by Tolkien’s shiny objects. In a scene that doesn’t appear in the books, Aragorn directly rejects the One Ring, sending Frodo off to continue his quest alone. Similarly, Bard comes into contact with the Arkenstone that has led Thorin to obsession, but seems perfectly willing to give it up in return for a peaceful resolution.

All in all a lot of the similarities were either created or emphasized by the movie (unsurprising, since Bard has very very little character development in the book), but even looking at the cold hard facts, the two fit a very similar character type. The major difference between the two is that Bard really is (in the book) an underdeveloped after-thought, basically put there to give Tolkien a way to kill Smaug. Meanwhile, Aragorn is (after Frodo) the most important protagonist of the story.

SOURCES: The Hobbit, LotR

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The wedding ringer 2015

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☞ The Wedding Ringer Movie Storyline
Jimmy provides best man services for socially challenged guys, who – for whatever reason – have no one close enough to agree to stand by them on the day of their wedding. Doug a groom-to-be, has found himself in just such a situation, but, to make matters worse, he fabricates the names of not only a best man but nine groomsmen as well. When all else fails, Doug seeks out Jimmy’s services to carry out a charade designed to make Doug look his best, but threatens to destroy everything if it fails.

➪ The Wedding Ringer Movie Detail
Release Date : 2015-01-16
Casts : Cloris Leachman, Josh Gad, Affion Crockett, Olivia Thirlby, Aaron Takahashi, Ken Howard, Kaley Cuoco, Nicky Whelan, Corey Holcomb, Jenifer Lewis, Jorge Garcia, Kevin Hart, Mimi Rogers
Duration : 101 minutes runtime
Rating : 7.4