Hello Sir Alleyne, and welcome to this forum! I am by no means a Tolkien scholar, but really admire his work and enjoy learning more about it. You’re not going to get any ‘arrows’ from me.
Originally Posted by Sir_Alleyne
You have brought up an intriguing question, and one which doesn’t have a lot of source info to go off of AFAIK, so while we can’t fully resolve it, the discussion so far has been interesting. The additional points that I would like to bring up:
- Your hypothesis that the Numenorians of Gondor by the end of the Third Age were more ‘mixed’ or ‘watered down’ seems reasonable to me at first thought. However, when one considers the perspective of the Northern Faction, I would think it would be quite hard to simply interbreed among your fellow Dunedain for over 1000 years. You’d be ending up with a few three-eyed inbreds wouldn’t you?
- One of the few members of the Dunedain that we know the lifespan of is Gilrean, mother of Aragorn, who lived to be 100. However, there is a sense of her despairing near the end of her life, so possibly 100 years is the shorter of the expected range for her people?
- From the lifespan of the Stewards of Gondor, it seemed that 100 was a pretty fair life expectancy towards the end of the TA (Ecthelion II – 98, Turgon – 98, Turin II – 99, Thorondir – 100).
So maybe the life expectancy of a Dunedan wasn’t that different from their Southern counterparts? Or that, at best, it was only a decade or two longer?
I do fully agree with you that Aragorn's lifespan may have been exceptional, not the norm for his people.
"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.