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About Faramir Son of Denethor

Faramir is the youngest son of Denethor II, and brother to Boromir. Denethor, a jealous man himself, favored his oldest son, who had love for battle, fearless, strong, and proud, while the younger cared for lore and music and was deemed as the lesser of the two, even if he was simply shrewd and did not seek danger without a purpose.

Between Faramir and Boromir there was no rivalry, as Faramir himself believed that there was no one in Gondor who could rival his brother. But Faramir had always been pained by his father's lack of concern and affection for his younger son.

While in Ithilien, he encountered Frodo, Sam, and Gollum on their way to Mordor. Hearing of their connection to Boromir and the words about the Sword that was Broken, he offered them safety and spoke at length with them about their journey. Hearing of Isildur's Bane, he pressed for information for a while but turned aside and asked abot his brother, as there were many men about and Frodo was unwilling to talk.

Later on, on the way to their hideout, Faramir again talked with Frodo about Isildur's Bane, though he only expressed his beliefs and ideas on what it is and how Boromir might have been allured by it; and then reassured Frodo that he neither wanted it, nor wanted confirmation if he had hit near the mark, being of a different nature from his brother and not wishing for fame and valor in battle by foul means.

They also encountered Gollum, who had come to their pool to fish. Frodo saved Gollum from death, and Faramir placed Gollum un Frodo's protection and freed them, giving them some food and offering advice on where to go. However, upon returning to Minas Tirith, he received only censure from his father regarding the release of the Halflings, and compared him to his brother:

"Ill?" cried Denethor, and his eyes flashed suddenly. "Why do you ask? The men were under your command. Or do you ask for my judgement on all your deeds? Your bearing is lowly in my presence, yet it is long now since you turned from your own way at my counsel. See, you have spoken skilfully, as ever; but I, have not I see your eye fixed on Mithrandir, seeing whether you said well or too much? He has long had your heart in his keeping.

"My son, your father is old but not yet dotard. I can see and hear, as was my wont; and little of what you have half said or left unsaid is now hidden from me. I know the answer to many riddles. Alas, alas for Boromir!"

"If what I have done displeases you, my father," said Faramir quietly, "I wish I had known your counsel before the burden of so weighty a judgement was thrust on me."

"Would that have availed to change your judgement?" said Denethor. :You would still have done just so, I deem. I know you well. Ever your desire is to appear lordly and generous as a king of old, gracious, gentle. That may well befit one of high race, if he sits in power and peace. But in desperate hours gentleness may be repaid with death."

"So be it," said Faramir.

"So be it!" cried Denethor. "But not with your death only, Lord Faramir: with the death also of your father, and of all your people, whom it is your part to protect now that Boromir is gone."

"Do you wish, then," said Faramir, "that our places had been exhanged?"

"Yes, I wish that indeed," said Denethor. "For Boromir was loyal to me and no wizard's pupil. He would have remembered his father's need, and would not have squandered what fortune gave. He would have brought me a mighty gift."

Faramir was sent to guard the walls, and he came back stricken and wounded. Denethor grieved over him and soon went mad with his grief, and prepared to burn Faramir and himself together on a pyre. Pippin, alarmed, had gone to find Gandalf, while Beregond protected his master from the other servants of Denethor. When Gandalf arrived, he saved Faramir but Denethor, still mad, burned himself and his palantír on the pyre.

Faramir was then brought to the Houses of Healing, where Aragorn healed him with athelas.

Note: in the movie, Faramir is also tempted by the Ring, as was his brother, to highlight Aragorn's resistance to the Ring and maybe bring clearer notice to Faramir's desire to be acknowledged by his father; however, seeing first-hand the heaviness of Frodo's burden and Sam's dedication to his master, he is moved and is able to resist the ring, and decides to let them go.


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