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The First Meeting of a King and a Wizard - by Anonymous
Aragorn, son of Arathorn, Lord of the Dúnedain, and heir to the throne of Gondor, had decided to take his leave of Rivendell and the house of Lord Elrond Half-elven. Needless to say, Elrond was sorry to see Aragorn--also called Estel--leave, but he also knew that only time could bring things about as they should be. Having seen that, at only twenty years of age, Aragorn was to become great in mind and body beyond his years, Elrond had revealed to him his heritage as Arathorn's son, Isildur's heir, and Gondor's rightful king. But Aragorn was not yet ready to take up the throne; things had yet to come to pass of which he knew not.

Girding himself simply as a Ranger, Aragorn took up his sword and made ready to leave. As he mounted his horse, Nerothel, he noticed a bright form pass before the gilded window above the courtyard. A slender hand appeared on the sill and the noonday sun glinted from jewels in Lady Arwen's dark hair. Aragorn dipped his head respectfully in farewell to the Elf-maid whom he had loved upon sight, but said nothing.

The sight of Evenstar was enough to send his heart into a breathless stillness before it felt it would break. Though their hearts had turned towards each other, her hand had been refused him until the time came that he was worthy of such a gift of the heart.

Setting his face grimly, Aragorn spurred Nerothel into movement and sped from Rivendell. Soon, he was over the Ford of Bruinen and into the wilds of Middle-earth.


Known to the outside world as Strider the Ranger, he traveled alone for many years. His ways took him east over the Misty Mountains to the forests of Mirkwood, then northeast towards the Lonely Mountain and the shores of Long Lake Esgarot. The Elves of Mirkwood knew him to be Aragorn and a friend of Elves and so did not impede his journey through their forest but, rather, welcomed him among them with friendly courtesy. He tarried with them a while but soon moved on, turning south and then west, his path never firmly charted.

One eve, as night fell upon Middle-earth, Aragorn sat by his campfire, mending a torn cloak. Though his eyes were occupied, his keen ears were ever attuned to the voices of the forest. In the quiet, a shape glided in the wooded dark, but Aragorn's sharp eyes and ears perceived it.

"Come forward, grandfather, and warm yourself. I mean no harm to an old man with a stick." Aragorn called to the shape, careful to address the stranger respectfully.

"Better an old man with a stick than a king with a crown of athelas, when it should be the crown of Gondor." Then, an old man indeed stepped forward into the firelight. He was shrouded in a torn, gray cloak with an old, blue, pointy hat atop his head. His hair was silver, his hands aged yet strong, and, in his right hand, he carried a gnarled wooden staff.

Aragorn's spirit was stirred by the stranger's words but his face was ever grim. "Of which king would you speak, grandfather? Gondor has no king."

The old man moved further forward into the firelight, his bushy brows showing underneath the brim of his hat. "I speak of a king whose palace is forest trees and whose bed is clover leaves. I speak of a king who lives in exile. I speak of you, Aragorn son of Arathorn. Yes, I know who you are and more than that even." The wizened old man seated himself across the fire, pulling out a long pipe.

"And who might you be, grandfather?" Aragorn asked, releasing the hilt of his sword, which he had grasped at the mention of his given name and heritage.

"Oh, I am called many things in many places," he replied. "The Elves among whom you were raised call me Mithrandir, but you may call me Gandalf. And, in case you are too preoccupied to have noticed by now, I am a wizard." With this, he began blowing smoke rings in the most comfortable fashion, watching as they flew up and mingled with the campfire smoke.

Unbidden but unchecked, a smile tugged its way at Aragorn's mouth, for something inside him said that this was to be a most interesting companionship.

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