“Arador was the grandfather of the King. His son Arathorn sought in marriage Gilraen the Fair, daughter of Dirhael, who was himself a descendant of Aramarth. To this marriage Dírhael was opposed; for Gilraen was young and had not reached the age at which the Dúnedain were accustomed to Marry.” (LR App. A)
His father Arathorn became the Chieftain of the Dúnedain after Arador was taken by hill-trolls in Rivendell. And thus their son Aragorn was born in TA 2931.
At 60, Arathorn was slain by an orc-arrow that pierced his eye, when Aragorn was just two years old.
Aragorn the Heir of Isildur was taken with his mother to dwell in the house of Elrond in Rivendell, where Elrond became Aragorn’s foster-father. But Aragorn was called Estel or ‘Hope’ at the time to keep his true name and lineage secret.
Arwen was in Lothlórien with her grandmother. She was born in TA 241, making her 2,778 years old when she eventually wed Aragorn. This would make sense as Elves go through a much longer time period than Men like Aragorn.
When they first met, Aragorn first mistook Arwen for Lúthien, as Arwen was singing part of Lay of Lúthien which tells for her meeting with Beren in the forest of Neldoreth.
Later, he finds that she was not, and was indeed Arwen, Elrond’s daughter. And soon after that, Aragorn had realized his love for Arwen.
Reuniting of Aragorn and Arwen
Aragorn went into the wild for 30 years in the cause against Sauron, and became a friend of Gandalf’s, then he rode in the host of the Rohirrim to fight for the Land of Gondor and went alone far into the east and deep into the South – before he returned from Mordor where Sauron was again busy with evil.
Aragorn wanted to go back to Rivendell to rest after journeying into the far countries, though he stopped by Lóthlorien after being admitted by Lady Galadriel.
He met Arwen again and they went into the glades of Lóthlorien. There, Arwen chose a mortal life with her beloved. “I will cleave to you, Dúnadan, and turn from the Twilight. Yet there lies the land of my people and the long home of all my kin.” (App. A)
When Elrond heard of this choice, he said nothing – though he was doomed for the path that Arwen was about to take on. However, Aragorn had headed back to Rivendell, so Elrond said:
“My son, years come when hope will fade, and beyond them little is clear to me. And now a shadow lies between us. …Therefore, though I love you, I say to you: Arwen Undómiel shall not diminish her life’s grace for less cause. She shall not be the bride of any Man less than the King of both Gondor and Arnor. To me then even our victory can being only sorrow and parting – but to you hope of joy for a while. “ (LR, App. A)
Aragorn went back abroad to danger and toil, while Arwen remained in Rivendell. While Aragorn was out and about, Arwen watched over him setting a ‘kingly standard.’
Gilraen left Elrond and went back to Eriador years later. She has been stern and pessimistic that Aragorn was going to lose Elrond’s favors. Her last words to Aragorn before she left were:
“Ónen í-Estel Edain, ú-chebin ester anim,” meaning, “I gave Hope to the Dúnedain, I have kept no hope for myself.”
Aragorn’s heart was heavy, and his mother died before the next spring.
During the War of the Ring, Aragorn was first hailed as king when he went into the Battle of the Fields of Pelennor and unfurled the standard of Arwen. Afterwards he received the crown of Gondor and scepter of Arnor, and they were wedded in the Midsummer after the Fall of Sauron.
This ended in victory and hope – but also sorrow in Elrond and Arwen. They were approaching an ending, as Elrond was about to leave Middle-earth and Arwen was about to become a mortal woman. The endings were anticipated by the ending of the power of the Three Rings.
Since Arwen became mortal – she joined her husband Aragorn’s scale of ‘expectation of life,’ which scaled her age to mortal definitions but did not alter her age of 43, or 32-33 mortal years (NoME). Aragorn was 88.
And lastly, I do have a video about her ability to make decisions about her mortality which would go further into what gave her the ability to choose a mortal life.
Post-Coronation and Decline
Arwen and Aragorn continued to live in wedded bliss as Queen of Elves and Men. But she was overborne by her grief as Aragorn was starting to sense the beginning of the end of life. Right before Aragorn died, he was already in his decline, feeling more greatly and deeply the effects of having aged.
Aragorn was the last of the Númenoreans (NoME) – and ended up living three times as long as normal men.
Right before his death, he had remarked to Arwen that “the hour is indeed hard, yet it was made even in that day when we met under the white birches in the garden of Elrond where none now walk,” which also implied the ending of Elrond’s home in Rivendell. By then, all the Elves were making their way out to Valinor as well.
“And on the hill of Cerin Amroth when we forsook both the Shadow and Twilight this doom we accepted…I am the last of the Númenoreans and the latest King of the Elder Days; and to me has been given not only a span [three times as long as] Men of Middle-earth, but also the grace to go at my will, and give back the gift.” (LR App. A)
Arwen gave up her choice to go to the Undying Lands, and she “must indeed abide the Doom of Men.”
“She went forth in the house, and the light of her eyes was quenched,…she had become cold and grey as nightfall in winter that comes without a star. Then she said farewell to Eldarion, and then her daughters…and she [left] Minas Tirith and [passed] in the Land of Lórien, [dwelling] there alone under the fading trees until winter came.” (LR App. A)
And thus, Aragorn resigned life on his 210th birthday on March 1, 4A 120 having resigned 24 years of life. Arwen resigned shortly after and died on March 1 of the following year in Cerin Amroth, in 4A 121, in the Land of Lórien.