Discussion in 'Character Profiles' started by Eledhwen, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. Eledhwen

    Eledhwen Cumbrian

    May 11, 2002
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    Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, England, UK
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    Faramir son of Denethor: Captain of Gondor, Steward of Gondor, Prince of Ithilien

    Faramir was born To DenethorII, son of Ecthelion, Steward of Gondor and Finduilas, daughter of Prince Adrahil of Dol Amroth, in TA 2983 – the same year Samwise Gamgee was born; and five years after his brother Boromir.

    From the Appendix to Lord of the Rings, comes a description of Faramir's appearance and character, and a mention of the tense triange between Faramir, Denethor and Gandalf the Grey. From this quote, we learn that Faramir was genuinely humble and had a good relationship with his brother Boromir, offering the latter no challenge to his glory.

    Tolkien admits that Faramir stepped into the story uninvited and unlooked for. Here is a quote from a letter he sent to his son, Christopher, whilst writing TheTwo Towers:
    Faramir’s involvement in the quest began before the summer of 3018. He had been troubled often by a dream in which he hear the words:

    Seek for the Sword that was broken:
    In Imladris it dwells;
    There shall be counsels taken
    Stronger than Morgul-spells.
    There shall be shown a token
    That Doom is near at hand,
    For Isildur’s Bane shall waken,
    And the Halfling forth shall stand.

    His brother Boromir also received the dream on one occasion, and together with Faramir they consulted Denethor. Boromir told the Council of Elrond: ”Therefore my brother, seeing how desperate was our need, was eager to heed the dream and seek for Imladris; but since the way was full of doubt and danger, I took the journey on myself. Loth was my father to give me leave…” From the Appendices, we know that the decision was not born of any rivalry between the brothers.
    Despite his father’s reluctance to send Boromir, and Faramir’s willingness to go (the dream had visited Faramir often, and Boromir only once), Boromir set off in July of 3018 for Rivendell, arriving 110 days later. The effect this had on the quest was crucial: Boromir was instrumental in causing Frodo to depart alone/with Sam. If Boromir had instead allowed Faramir to make the journey, the fellowship may not have been broken, or may have fared worse at the hands of Saruman’s Uruk-Hai; and if they had escaped, would not have met Gollum (presumably Aragorn would have guilded them), would have met Boromir in Ithilien (who may have then tried to take the ring), and then what? There was no plan for how to get the ring to Mount Doom.

    Instead, Frodo and Sam were alone in Ithilien. Even Sam’s accident with his cooking fire seems ordained – a part of the plan – set to introduce Faramir to the Ringbearer at last.

    Yet in Frodo’s eyes, (and Tolkien’s, when Faramir first appeared), the encounter held up the progress of the Ringbearers. Also, when Faramir turned out to be the brother of the man who tried to take the Ring from Frodo, nothing would have tempted the latter to reveal or even mention the Ring; but through Sam’s guilelessness, the secret is loosed. Thankfully for the two, Faramir is not like his brother. The text tells us that he does not lie, so can discern truthfulness in others. Faramir had previously told the hobbits that if Isilsur’s bane were there for the taking, he would not take it. His reaction to finding the Ring of Power within his grasp proves him to be a man of his word. The very act of saying he would not take it would have been enough to bind Faramir, even if he did not discern that to do so would be unwise. Faramir was not tempted to take the Ring to Gondor for even one moment.

    ..... Continued next post >>>
    edited for unclosed quote, 19.March.04

    Faramir continued...

    Of course, this decision did not go down well when he reported the whole incident to his father Denethor, back in Gondor. Denethor grieves the loss of his eldest son, and wishes Faramir had gone to Rivendell instead (This is not proof that he wished Faramir had died in Boromir’s place. Denethor possessed great wisdom. He knew that once Boromir understood that Isildur’s Bane was the One Ring, he would counsel that it should come to Gondor, perhaps too forcefully “Alas, alas for Boromir! … He would have remembered his father’s need, and would not have squandered what fortune gave. He would have brought me a mighty gift.” In his heart, he may have suspected his older son of bringing about his own doom; “I tried to take the Ring from Frodo, I am sorry. I have paid.” He now knew, if he did not know before, that Faramir would not have been so tempted.

    Following this, Denethor sent his son into battle again, and he returned wounded by poisoned weapons. Denethor then knew that he loved Faramir, but his madness gave his love deadly expression. Faramir was rescued from his father and taken to the Houses of Healing where he met the wounded Eowyn, Princess and Shieldmaiden of Rohan. First he pitied her, and then he fell in love with her. Tolkien himself sums up the forces behind their relationship better than I could, in the following excerpt from a letter:

    Faramir and Eowyn were wed in the presence of the noblest and greatest of Middle-earth. No more is told of them, but in 1430, Peregrin Took’s wife, Diamond of Long Cleeve, gave birth to a son, who was also named Faramir.

    There is a glimpse of Tolkien himself in Faramir, to whom the professor bequeathed his own dream:
    The scene is the gardens of the House of Healing, where Faramir waits with Eowyn for news from the Black Gate: “A sound like a sigh went up from the lands about them; and their hearts beat suddenly again. ‘It reminds me of Numenor,’ said Faramir, and wondered to hear himself speak.
    ‘Of Numenor?’ said Eowyn.
    ‘Yes,’ said Faramir, ‘of the land of Westernesse that foundered and of the great dark wave climbing over the green lands and above the hills, and coming on, darkness unescapable. I often dream of it.’

    Faramir displays the differences between brothers. The inspiration for the Faramir/Boromir relationship is not given, though the story of Mary and Martha came to my mind when I read of Faramir’s relationship with Gandalf. The story is in the Christian New Testament – two sisters, one who spent all her time serving and one who sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to his wisdom. In the end, it was the one who sat at the master’s feet who was the only person to understand the later situation, (John 12) not the one given to much serving. It was in sitting at Gandalf’s feet, learning his lore and wisdom, that Faramir became the person who could risk his father’s wrath rather than hinder Frodo and Samwise on their quest.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2018
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  2. Sir Gawain d'Orchany

    Sir Gawain d'Orchany To Rivendell where elves yet dwell

    Jan 9, 2018
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    Knight of Imladris, Lore Keeper, Healer, Herbalist
    Imladris (Rivendell), formerly Gondolin
    Faramir is my favorite character and is also the one with whom I identify most. He had the courage to allow the one ring to leave his grasp. Even though he was a pacifist he still fought to protect the people and land he loves. In the process he saw his father aflame as he attempted to cremate himself and Faramir whom Denathor believed to be dead. Despite his losses he still found love and healing with Eowyn.

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