Disclaimer: Tolkien’s person and place – just a few extra thoughts that didn’t make that page.
The heavy bolt came down with a dull clang, securing the inner door. Aragorn walked away slowly, grateful to be outside that place, but what was waiting beyond the outer doors? The doubts from the back of his mind, terrors that disturbed his sleep? No, terror did not hold him back – fear was a companion to be tamed. Notions of fleeing were rare nowadays; his experience, hard-won at cost to himself and others, had given him judgement… of himself and others. He could see in men’s eyes the urge to throw down their weapons and bolt – but not this day.
He kept his tread even and his back straight; he was bound on his course, his path guarded by unfamiliar men who he had to learn, whose implicit trust he had to earn… His booted feet echoed on stone, dull drumbeats to his own… what? Triumph, or tragedy? He had bound himself to this role, as much as others had seen to his heading and steered him towards this time, this day. But even as it got closer he could already feel himself chafing under the new restraints placed upon him, as much as his skin chafed under unfamiliar garments.
Mithrandir spoke before him; he gazed out… it was a high place, good defences… Aragorn almost smiled to himself among the solemnity… old habits…
When he came to speak, his tongue cleaved to the roof of his mouth. He swallowed, loosening his throat, his words, but he had to close his eyes to focus his thoughts… with every word he sang he separated from his former selves; they cleaved from his identity like slices under a butcher’s knife. Gone was Estel, gone Thorongil, Strider, Captain Aragorn… here was the time of the King!
Yet... his fea… he, still adhered together.