I started reading The Fellowship of the Ring. I just got to the part where Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin meet Strider and he joins the party. I forgot how cagey Tolkien portrays Strider and it’s an interesting situation both parties are in. Strider has to figure out if Frodo is the Frodo Gandalf told him about or if it’s a trap set by the Enemy. He says traps have been laid for him before. Meanwhile Frodo is dealing with this shady guy who is being cryptic and intense and helpful.
And all the while Strider is this shaggy vagabond and a disguised king. It’s pretty interesting, and it’s something you see in Gandalf too, the idea that someone great disguised as someone lesser. Strider’s and Gandalf’s names are sort of pseudonyms adopted to hide their real identities. Strider’s real name is Aragorn, and Gandalf’s “real” name is Olórin. But Aragorn is a king and Olórin is an angelic being, so are identities that are a hindrance to what they need to do.