Born of Hope: The Ring of Barahir
Release date: December 1, 2009
Director/Producer: Kate Madison
Official Website: http://www.bornofhope.com/
Watched: late September 2019
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I stumbled across this fan film last week while researching (translation: falling down another Tolkien rabbit hole) the backstory of Gilraen, mother of Aragorn. I am always interested in Tolkien’s female characters because there are so few of them and nearly all of them have surprising agency considering Tolkien’s times. The Tolkien Gateway article for Gilraen includes a link at the very bottom that delves deeper into her tragic tale, gleaned from The Lord of the Rings Appendices and other Legendarium sources: The Tragedy of Gilraen, Aragorn’s Mother
Gilraen probably has the saddest epitaph of any of Tolkien’s characters (except perhaps Turin and his sister):
Onen i-Estel Edain, ú-chebin estel anim.
“I gave hope to the Dúnedain; I kept none for myself.”
Gilraen could not see the light for the growing darkness and despaired, living only half as long as she should have, as one of the few remaining Dúnedain.
Thankfully, Born of Hope shares Gilraen’s thrilling story, stopping well before she abandons Rivendell and dwindles away unto death, moments before (compared to the grand scheme of ages) the triumphant return of the Dúnedain in the person of her son, Aragorn, Son of Arathorn and Gilraen, Ilsildur’s Heir and ultimately Ellesar, High King of the Dúnedain and the reunited kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor.
For such a low budget (£25,000), this film is well done and well acted. You can stream it (embedded link below) but I highly recommend you stream it to your big screen and not your tiny smartphone device or tablet.