I Am Very Sorry And Sad To Report That LOTR's Aragorn Does Not Canonically Have A Beard

Viggo Mortensen has glorious facial hair in the films, but he is described as having no facial hair in the official canon.


Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn has very memorable facial hair in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film series. This stubble is one of his most defining physical attributes. And in his coronation scene in Return of the King, his beard is very mighty and full.

But it's not how Aragorn would look as described in the books, it seems. In the official lore, Aragorn does not have facial hair, and maybe not by choice. Some believe he cannot grow a beard, perhaps due to his Numenorean lineage and his Elvish ancestry. Aragorn's beard status been well-established already, but discussion picked up again this week thanks to a social media post.

Alex Perry on Twitter shared a wonderful story of a letter her mother received from JRR Tolkien himself about this. "I recently discovered that a fan letter my mum sent Tolkien when she was 15 is cited regularly in Tolkien scholarship, due to him answering her question about whether Aragorn canonically has a beard or not (he does not)," Perry wrote. "She believes he took the time to respond because she wrote to him in the Elvish language. I will never compete with her on being a gigantic nerd because that is truly world cup level."

"Men normally had them when full-grown, hence Eomer, Theoden, and all others named. But not Denethor, Boromir, Faramir, Aragorn, Isildur, or other Numenorean chieftans," Tolkien is said to have written (via TOR).

So there you have it. Aragorn as depicted in the movies maybe should not have had a beard or any stubble to be most accurate to the source material. But if you ask me, it doesn't take much, if anything, away from Mortensen's standout performance as Aragorn. The movies changed a lot from the books, after all.

In other Lord of the Rings news, Amazon's long-awaited TV series is finally scheduled to arrive in September on Prime. The first trailer is out now.

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