Understanding the Prophecy of Arvedui
One thing (of the many) I don’t think I understand fully is the prophecy made concerning Arvedui, the last king of Arthedain, which is also the meaning of his name.
What was the choice that came to the Dúnedain? Was it the choice of who would inherit the throne of Gondor after the death of Ondoher, and his male heirs? If that is the case, how was the choice of Eärnil “less hopeful” than if they had chose to accept Arvedui’s claim to the throne? And do you see how this would have changed the fate of Arthedain if Arvedui were King of a (partially) Reunited Kingdom?
"Arvedui you shall call him, for he will be the last in Arthedain. Though a choice will come to the Dúnedain, and if they take the one that seems less hopeful, then your son will change his name and become king of a great realm. If not, then much sorrow and many lives of men shall pass, until the Dúnedain arise and are united again." Pronounced by the seer Malbeth and recorded in The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
The other suggestion I’ve heard is that the prophecy instead refers to Arvedui’s decision to board the ship sent by Círdan to rescue him from Forochel. I guess I can see how staying the winter in Forochel might be a choice “less hopeful”, but even if Arvedui had done so and survived to meet up with Círdan, Glorfindel, and Eärnur and rout the Witch King of Angmar, I don’t see how there would have been “a great realm” for him to rule over, as the death of Arvedui didn’t change what was left of his kingdom. Arvedui’s son Aranarth was rightful heir to anything that would have been Arvedui’s, but there was nothing left to inherit so Aranarth instead became Chieftain of the Dúnedain.
Anybody else have thoughts on this? What was the choice that was made that sealed Arvedui’s fate?
"I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend," Faramir in TTT by JRRT.