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Did Faramir make the right choice?

Eonwe

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It boggles the mind the final wonderful choice Faramir makes at Hennuth Annun, not based on logic:

Faramir:
I should now take you back to Minas Tirith to answer there to Denethor, and my life will justly be foreit, if I now choose a course that proves ill for my city.
He whispers with Frodo as they go to the hideout, concerning Isildur's bane, and remarks how, if it gave advantage in battle, he can see how Boromir would be tempted.

and later,

Not if I found it on the highway would I take it I said. Even if I were such a man as to desire this thing, and even though I knew not clearly what this thing was when I spoke, still I should take those words as a vow, and be held by them.

But I am not such a man. Or I am wise enough to know that there are some perils from which a man must flee.
And the next morning talking about taking the Pass of Cirith Ungol:

Frodo: 'Then what would you have me do?'
Faramir:
'I know not. Only I would not have you go to death or torment. And I do not think that Mithrandir would have chosen this way.'

'Yet since he is gone, I must take such paths as I can find. And there is no time for long searching', said Frodo.

It is a hard doom and a hopeless errand.', said Faramir.
Faramir, even more than Aragorn, decides to let the fate of the people he loves go up with Frodo, Sam and Gollum, to a known awful pass called Cirith Ungol, on a hopeless errand. If anyone dropped the ball big time as far as choosing to help a few people rather than the whole free world it was him.

The most amazing quote:

Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory...
What do you think? :D
 

Niniel

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I thnik Faramir is one of the wisest men in het whole book, not because he knows what is the right thing to do, but because he knows that there are things that he can do nothing about, and that he has to let others (Frodo and Sam) do the things they think are right.
Faramir knows he can't help Frodo by going with him to Mordor; he thinks it is quite impossible to do what Frodo intends, and Faramir knows that if he stays to defend Gondor, he would be much more useful.
As for not taking the Ring away from Frodo, I don't know why Faramir does this; maybe because he is a pupil of Gandalf and knows that he can never use it to do good. And besides, he has said that he didn't want it, when he didn't know yet what Frodo was carrying, and he feels that as an oath he cannot break.
So, Faramir did make the right choice, maybe not totally conscious of what he was doing, but because he felt it was the only thing he could do in the situation.
 

Elanor2

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I also think that even if he does not show it, Faramir must have been very shocked to know that his brother had attacked a Hobbit to get the ring. Frodo forgave Boromir and did not say anything against him, but that he had a big scare was evident to Faramir.

If you find that your big bro to whom you look up to has done something so dishonorable as to attack a smaller person and try to steal an object from him, wouldn't you be repulsed by that object? I think we all would.

I think that Faramir treated Frodo and Sam (and Gollum by extension)with extraordinary leniency considering that they were in the middle of a deadly war. I had the feeling that Faramir was, in a way, making an apology for his brother's behaviour. I like to think that Boromir's failure, in a way, facilitated Frodo's treatment in Faramir's hands and helped Faramir to take the "right" decision.
 

Eonwe

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Great points Niniel and Elanor2. Indeed Elanor2 he talks at length to Frodo and Sam about Boromir's temptation and his desire for glory... Its sad, knowing as he does that he should have probably gone in Boromir's stead.

Can we say that, when Faramir made this decision, he knew his father was not going to like it at all??:confused:
 

Greenwood

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Eonwe

Faramir is yet another example in LOTR of a character following his heart to a right decision when logic might have suggested a different course. It is part of the internal logic of the LOTR that a person's heart can outweigh "logic" and show the way to the correct decision. And yes, I agree with others here that Faramir is one of the most noble characters in LOTR. Among Men, I would say second only to Aragorn and perhaps given that his heritage is not quite as high as Aragorn's, perhaps not even second to Aragorn, but at least on a par.
 

Eonwe

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whatever. It wasn't for his benefit nor to trap him. I thought it stood on its own. There were other people besides him arguing that Aragorn abandoned Frodo and Sam, I just wanted to make sure that Faramir was brought up also.

I think what he did was not what you would expect at all from a military leader. He had responsibilities that he dropped for the sake of following what he knew somehow was the right thing to do. And it caused him much grief in the near term.

The simple act of bringing Frodo back with the Ring on to Minas Tirith would have brought him honor with his father (and perhaps patched things up between them).
 

aragil

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Not if I know Tolkien. Outside the story we can say that Faramir could have brought the Hobbits to Minas Tirith and it would have helped him and his father. However, with Tolkien writing the story, the ends no longer justify the means. If Faramir had forced Frodo and Sam to come with him, then no good could have resulted from it. I think that this is how Tolkien felt, so within the story Faramir could have chosen otherwise, but as long as Tolkien was writing it Faramir made the only decision which would have gone over well in the long term.
 

Eonwe

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If Faramir had forced Frodo and Sam to come with him, then no good could have resulted from it.
eggzactly :)

From Faramir's point of view, beyond his quotes, what do you think he thought of the whole thing? I mean, seeing Frodo, Sam and Gollum must have looked like, wow this looks like a crazy bunch going to a bad place :)
 

Greenwood

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Yes, Faramir knows the "sensible", the "logical", perhaps even the "smart" thing to do would be to bring Frodo back to Minas Tirith. (In modern terms one might even say it was the CYA thing to do. :) )

While it is possible to advance a few intellectual arguments in favor of Faramir's decision to let Frodo and company go, most are emotional rather than intellectual. On the "non-emotional" side you have the fact that Gandalf, who Faramir clearly respects a great deal, not to mention the legendary Elrond, sent Frodo out on this mission. Does Faramir really want to second guess them? Also, if Faramir brings Frodo and company back to Minas Tirith, it is unlikely given the obviously gathering forces of Sauron, that Frodo (or anyone else on the same mission would ever make it back and through Ithilien again. On the "emotional" or "follow your heart" side is that the lure of the Ring evidently in some way led to his brother's downfall; does he want to bring it to Minas Tirith? His dream that sent Boromir north; here is the proof of it in front of him -- should he ignore it? There is of course also the question of honor as Eonwe showed in one of the quotes he used to start this thread: "Not if I found it on the highway would I take it I said. Even if I were such a man as to desire this thing, and even though I knew not clearly what this thing was when I spoke, still I should take those words as a vow, and be held by them." In the end, Faramir's decision was dictated by his heart rather than his head, and was of course, the right one.
 

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