When he first laid eyes on the Evenstar he had thought her the maid Lúthien of legend, of whom he had been singing, for she was the fairest of all elven maids he’d seen -- though he had been raised among the elves, and their lore and customs were his own -- and he had loved her, although he did not yet know her, and for all that her father told him she was too far above him, and knew herself to be so, and for all he knew he might love but a dream.
Yet in Lothlórien they met again and wandered long together and he found he only loved her more to know her truly, and was joyous to find that Elrond’s high opinion was not shared by his beloved, who pledged her troth to him for all her father’s forbidding. He learned to love all things about her, then. Though she was touched with elven grace and flawless, and lacking in the little imperfections a man might come to love in a mortal wife, he saw beyond the elven light within her, and his soul spoke to the heart of a woman whose love answered his.
They had known since that time that for her to be with him she would have to give up her life’s grace and embrace the doom of men, and doom seemed a foreboding word and nothing she should have to face, and so Aragorn dreaded the day that grace would leave her as much as he longed for it, for they would no longer have to bear long separations that day forth. And yet, when he saw her for the first time, mortal, standing there upon the white pavement of his kinsfolk of old, he understood most suddenly that the light that had left her had been only that which blinded the eyes to the full breadth of her beauty, and when they kissed he felt the warmth and passion of her in place of cool and graceful elven reserve, and he knew without doubt that this change was for the better. The life of the Eldar was the bright white flame of stars that burned evenly and eternally in the heavens, and tempered the light of the souls touched by it to a steady glow, but the life that was left to Arwen now as free to burn in bursts of passion and swoons of anger or of joy, and her heart was no less noble, but it was instead now free.
She took joy now in the small things, in the coolness of the palace’s white stone floors beneath her bare feet, and the cozy warmth of comfortable bed covers. She became all at once fascinated by new and varied scents, and was caught in the kitchen once smelling all the spices, for they had never, she confided in him later, smelled so different from each other as they did now with her baser mortal senses. As great as their devotion had been before, he might have spoken of it as platonic, yet, and he now took great joy in her sudden fascination with his form and figure and the way she had abruptly become ticklish. She leaned in to touch him at odd intervals, and took strange enjoyment when he did not bathe for days as she said he smelled very powerfully and that she had never truly appreciated it before, for in her days as an immortal all scents were bearable to her perfect senses. They made love many times on their wedding night and she blushed like the maiden she was for all the long years that she had walked the earth and her laughter delighted him as much as the way she seemed enraptured by the responses she could illicit from him did.
If before she had seen all for its place in the world and understood all with the wisdom of millennium it was as if she had hung suspended in a state of steady yet tepid joy and was only now for the first time reveling in the little quirks unique to each aspect of the world around her. She had been beautiful before and grace-filled, but he could not have said her graceless, even if now she sometimes misstepped when she moved in a hurry and if she had a new way of wrinkling her nose when she was smiling with great mirth. Her laughter no longer sounded like the sparkling of wind chimes, and one time she laughed and snorted and blushed very deeply and overcome with affection he kissed her, and knew there was no greater joy than this, to be mortal, and live mortal at her side.
When Harad and the countries over the sea threatened war and plagued trade and the armies of the Reunited Kingdom and of Rohan went to war she stayed ever at her husband’s side when she could, riding alongside Lady Éowyn for they were both strong women in their own right and though they did not ride to battle, woe came to any man who might come at them with a blade, and Aragorn saw his wife’s cheeks smudged with dirt and her hair tangled, and saw her plunge her hands in wash basins and lather up lye soap to do the wash with the other women for their was little service at the camps, and felt her fingers develop calluses from all her life and labors and loved her more with every slight imperfection through which her body and spirit blossomed into an individuality that the Eldar, in their divinity, lacked.
She seemed more radiant than even before when her stomach swelled with child, and when she remained a little chubby for months after their first boy was born, and he loved to watch her watching Eldarion as she rocked him in her arms. “He is so small!” she said. “He is so alive. He watches everything, you know,” she told him, and it seemed as if it was a marvel to her when his tiny fingers tugged at her long hair, and her radiance only increased as a mother.
Their relationship did not always pass smoothly and was not always perfection, and this, also, was welcome, for all that he had known her long before. Sometimes they came to argument, and at a certain period of each month she grew short tempered and irritable. The first time her moon days came she chastised him suddenly for being gone all day and coming home and tracking mud on the carpet and stomped her foot and slammed the door and sat on the bed and cried, and cried on his shoulder when she apologized when he at last crept in to comfort her after his astonishment had passed. One time they got into an argument over the decoration of their bedroom, for he had had their comforter replaced without consulting her and she thought the new one was an aesthetic monstrosity. She sometimes chastised him when his manners were less than fitting at a dinner they had attended or in other social situations, things he was yet accustoming himself to after so many years in the wild. It brought them close to be at disagreement, however, and put him more at ease, for his imperfections and mistakes were no longer forgiven with almost patronizing elven patience and Arwen was fetching in her anger, if not frighteningly intense, for she was very ancient, and could come up with very scathing words.
And so the married years of Aragorn and Arwen passed, not in a state of constant and divine bliss, but with the give and take of mortality, with its good days, and its awful ones, and they changed and grew together with the passing of the seasons, Arwen living a life waned slowly, but living as she had never before, and Aragorn blessed with a relationship all the more fulfilling for it, until they came to their last days together, the account of which has already been told.