Aragorn's LOTR Beard Is Uncanonical, Will RINGS OF POWER’s Isildur Have One? - Nerdist
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Aragorn’s LOTR Beard Is Uncanonical, Will RINGS OF POWER’s Isildur Have One?

Recently, a charming anecdote went viral regarding The Lord of the Rings‘ leading man (one of many) and his beard. As a child, Twitter user Alex Perry’s mother wrote to J.R.R. Tolkien with a simple question. Of course, at the time, she couldn’t have known Tolkien scholars would go on to cite her letter in published articles. The powerful question? “Did Aragorn have a beard in The Lord of the Rings books?” The answer, of course, is not that serious. But it is interesting to consider how this little bit of Lord of the Rings history, and the extra information Tolkien gave to go with it, could impact another Lord of the Rings property. Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series is heading our way soon. And this Lord of the Rings show features one of the other characters namedropped in Tolkien’s response, Isildur.

Aragorn had a beard in the Lord of the Rings movies, will Isildur have one in Amazon's LOTR show Rings of Power, closeup of Aragorn's face
New Line Cinema

Here is what Perry shared about her mother’s correspondence with Tolkien about Aragorn’s beard:

Honestly, we love this story. And we love hearing these extra details about The Lord of the Rings’ world the delighted both children and scholars, alike. (And, finally, we love the excuse to post many bearded Aragorn images.) According to Tor.com, here’s what Tolkien had to say on the matter of Aragorn’s beard, “Men normally had them when full-grown, hence Eomer, Theoden, and all others named. But not Denethor, Boromir, Faramir, Aragorn, Isildur, or other Numenorean chieftains.”

Aragorn had a beard in the Lord of the Rings movies, will Isildur have one in Amazon's LOTR show Rings of Power
New Line Cinema

There you have it. Aragorn’s iconic stubble and sometimes full-grown beard from The Lord of the Rings movies is not Tolkien canonical. But it is wonderful.  Of course, every new property creates its own new canon. And, ultimately, whether a character has a beard or not doesn’t seem that important—it’s just a fun fact to mull over. But while we’re mulling, we can’t help but wonder if all this beard-buzz will impact the Amazon Lord of the Rings series.

The Lord of the Rings The Rings of Power series stories and plot articles - Númenor
Amazon Studios

After all, Tolkien also calls out Isildur in his hairy response. And Isildur is slated to play a big role in the upcoming show. One of its major plots will revolve around “the rise and fall of the island kingdom of Númenor. (Emphasis on the fall.)” And Isildur will play a central role there. Will Rings of Power defer to Tolkien or will they too stray from what canon prescribes? We can’t yet say for sure because we haven’t yet glimpsed the character, so far. Though we are sure he is hiding in one of the many unnamed character posters the Lord of the Rings show released.

But you can be sure we’ll have our eyes out for it when The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres on September 2.

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