Tolkien Gateway

Faramir

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Revision as of 20:51, 8 December 2007

(For other characters see Faramir (disambigation))

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Faramir
Gondorian
Biographical Information
PositionSteward of Gondor, Prince of Ithilien
BirthThird Age 2983
RuleThird Age 3019 - Fourth Age 82
DeathFourth Age 82
Family
ParentageDenethor II and Finduilas of Dol Amroth
SpouseÉowyn
ChildrenElboron
Physical Description
GenderMale
"Things may change when Faramir returns. He is bold, more bold than many deem; for in these days men are slow to believe that a captain can be wise and learned in the scrolls of lore and song, as he is, and yet a man of hardihood and swift judgement in the field. But such is Faramir. Less reckless and eager than Boromir, but not less resolute."
The Return of the King, Minas Tirith

Faramir (Third Age 2983 – Fourth Age 82, aged 120 years) was a Steward of Gondor and the first Prince of Ithilien.

The second of Denethor's two sons, Faramir was briefly the Ruling Steward after his father's death. Upon the arrival of the true king, King Aragorn Elessar, he laid down his office, but Elessar renewed the hereditary appointment of Steward as the advisor to the King. Faramir was also appointed Prince of Ithilien.

Contents

History

In Ithilien

Faramir acted as a Gondorian ranger in Ithilien, harassing Haradrim and keeping evil things from entering the land from Minas Morgul. During one such raid he found Frodo, Samwise Gamgee amd Gollum observing an attack by his rangers on a column of Haradrim. The former two were captured as spies by the rangers though Gollum eluded them. Frodo was questioned by Faramir concerning their errand. Frodo recounted the journies of the Fellowship and its members but referred to the purpose of the travels and only cryptically. During the questioning he denied knowledge of Gollum but revealed that he travelled with both Aragorn, the Heir of Isildur, and Boromir. Faramir informed Frodo of Boromir's death, implying Frodo's involvement in it, though Frodo had not known of Boromir's death until that very moment.

Unsure of how to deal with his captives, Faramir led Frodo and Sam, blindfolded, to Henneth Annûn. There he questioned them further in private, learning that the errand the hobbits were on was linked to the 'Isildur's bane' that had sent Boromir to Rivendell in the first place. Eager to earn their trust Faramir delivered his famous oath, saying that he "...would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. 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. No, I do not wish for such triumphs". In an unfourtunate slip up however Samwise revealed the nature of 'Isildur's bane' and so Faramir was tested, just as Boromir had been, by the lure of The Ring. Where Boromir failed Faramir succeeded, leading Samwise to remark that Faramir had "shown [his] quality".

During the night, Faramir's watch spotted Gollum fishing in the Forbidden Pool. Faramir called Frodo to him who confessed to the part of Gollum in their errand, begging Faramir not to slay him. Gollum was caught and questioned and then surrendered to Frodo. The following morning Faramir released Frodo and Sam (with Gollum), but warned them strongly against taking the pass of Cirith Ungol.

In Pelennor/Minas Tirith

Faramir returned to Osgiliath after his encounter with the hobbits, supervising the defence there. However he retreated over the Pelennor Fields to report to Denethor and was almost caught by the Nazgûl on their Fell Beasts, but was saved by Gandalf. Faramir reached Minas Tirith, telling Denethor and Gandalf of what befell in Ithilien, but soon departed to supervise the defences at his father's bidding. In this venture the host of the Witch King came upon Osgilliath and Faramir was struck down by the Black Breath. Only a sorty by Imrahil and his knights saved the wounded (including Faramir) from that onset.

Faramir remained out of action for the rest of the War of the Ring. During the Battle of Pelennor Fields Denethor planned to burn his stricken son alongside him and Faramir was once again saved by Gandalf, though Denethor completed his suicide. After this he was taken to the Houses of Healing and healed by Aragorn after the battle. Faramir spent the rest of the war recovering in the Houses of Healing where he met Éowyn, also greiviously wounded. The two fell in love and were married after the war.

After the War of the Ring

After the destruction of the Ring and the Battle of the Morannon Faramir, as Steward, led the ceremony in the crowning of Aragorn as King of Gondor and Arnor. Aragorn reinstated the original role of the Stewards before the failing of the Kings of Gondor and made Faramir the Lord of Emyn Arnen

Tolkien's thoughts of Faramir

Faramir was, in the words of Tolkien, "modest, fair-minded and scrupulously just, and very merciful" (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, 244). His appearance toward the end of The Two Towers apparently was as much of a surprise to Tolkien as it is to his readers. "I am sure I did not invent him," he wrote. "I did not even want him, though I like him" (Letters, 66).

Faramir in many ways speaks for Tolkien, who was a soldier in World War I, when he says, for example, "I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness... I love only that which they defend" (The Two Towers, "The Window on the West"). Much later, Tolkien would write, "As far as any character is 'like me', it is Faramir" (Letters, 180).

Portrayal in Adaptations

In the 1981 BBC Radio adaptation Faramir was voiced by Andrew Seear.

In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, Faramir does not at first let Frodo, Sam, and Gollum go, but decides to bring them and the Ring to Gondor. He takes them west to Osgiliath, crossing the river Anduin, and not until the Ringwraiths attack the city does he release them. Many fans of the book criticize this change, saying that it seriously damages the character. Peter Jackson's explanation is that he needed another adventure to delay Frodo and Sam, because the episode at Cirith Ungol was moved to the third movie, and so a new climax was needed. Another explanation often cited is that it was felt that for dramatic reasons it was necessary to show character development, which meant that Faramir had to go through some kind of struggle or difficult decision. Jackson also argued that it was necessary for Faramir to be tempted by the Ring because everyone else was tempted, and letting Faramir be immune would be inconsistent, at least in the eyes of a film audience, and would weaken the films' portrayal of the Ring.

In the extended edition of Peter Jackson's The Two Towers, Jackson has included a new flashback scene showing that Denethor has been neglecting him and favoring Boromir, so that Faramir wanted to please his father by bringing him the Ring. (The relationship is similarly strained in the books, but there his father's favoritism does not seem to affect his decisions in Ithilien.) On the whole, however, new Extended Edition scenes with Faramir brought the character closer to the sympathetic treatment of the books (the line he is given regarding a fallen Southron belongs to Sam in the books, but is not out of keeping with Faramir's character).

Faramir is played by David Wenham in the films. Another minor change is that in the book Faramir and his brother are dark-haired, but in the movie they are blond.

Quotations

  • "I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood."
  • "If I should return, think better of me, Father."

See Also

Preceded by:
Denethor II
27th Ruling Steward of Gondor
III 3019
Followed by:
none (abandoned)
Preceded by:
Mardil, 969 years earlier
Steward to the King of Gondor
III 3019 – IV 82
Followed by:
Elboron
Preceded by:
none
Prince of Ithilien
III 3019 – IV 82
Followed by:
Elboron