Boromir or Faramir

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Boromir or Faramir?

Boromir
8
30%
Faramir
19
70%
 
Total votes: 27

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:16 pm

This has really brought Faramir into focus, hasn't it? He has all Boromir's prowess, courage and stoutness but with a gentler nature, cooler head and greater powers of thought. I think we've had this discussion before, but it surely should have been Faramir who made the journey to Rivendell. He was given the dream with the words 'Seek the sword that is broken' not once, but many times (I believe Boromir had it afterwards and only once) and Boromir's insistence on going instead because he throught Faramir wasn't somehow up to the danger was a serious mistake. I think it was Faramir's destiny. Imagine his meeting with Aragorn at Rivendell! He would been another, like Aragorn, who would have resisted the Ring.

Interesting that Faramir popped up in the Professor's mind only very late into the story, and yet it's clear his place was to aid the Ringbearer and Boromir's was to defend Gondor! The role reversal brings such pathos and tension to the plot. Amazing how these things work out when a writer is weaving a story.
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Lindariel
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Post by Lindariel » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:16 pm

But Iolanthe, I think Boromir played a very significant and important role in the Fellowship -- his Fall from Grace finally cemented Frodo's decision to depart the Fellowship and continue on to Mordor alone. Boromir's actions showed Frodo that the longer he continued to stay with the Fellowship, the greater the likelihood that others would fall to the Ring as Boromir already had.

If Faramir had taken the quest rather than Boromir, would Frodo have been able to make this crucial decision? Would he instead have chosen to go with these two good men -- Aragorn and Faramir -- to Minas Tirith? What if the Fellowship had remained together at Parth Galen, rather than breaking into groups? They would ALL have been attacked by the Uruk-hai, and the Ring might well have fallen into the hands of the Enemy.

I think in many ways Boromir fulfilled his destiny, his part of The Song, at Parth Galen. Yes, he fell to the lure of the Ring, but his Fall served an important purpose, and afterwards he was able to rise above his shame, rather than wallow in it, and come to the aid of Merry and Pippin. He died a great warrior's death, confessing his "sin" to the Warrior-Priest-King Aragorn, and departed the Circles of the World in peace.

Also, if the brothers' roles had been reversed, then it would have been Boromir or some other less subtle-minded captain of Gondor that Frodo and Sam would have encountered in Ithilien. Think of how badly things could have gone then! THAT was properly Faramir's part of The Song, to have the Ring within his grasp and be possessed of the courage, mercy, and humility (as the author of Merry's article points out) to resist its call and make the difficult decision to defy his father's will. Boromir would NEVER have been able to do that, and I suspect there are few others among the leadership of Gondor (perhaps Prince Imrahil or maybe Hurin of the Keys) who would have had the wisdom and judgment to do as Faramir did.

No, I think the quest WAS properly Boromir's to undertake. Faramir was the visionary, Boromir the glory-seeker. Where was the visionary most needed? In Ithilien.
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

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Post by Iolanthe » Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:17 pm

I agree that things worked out for the best - and this is one of the great mysteries of Fate/Destiny and all that malarky. But the dream was given to Faramir and the instruction to 'seek' was given to him first, many times over. Whatever the eventual outcome, someone, somewhere was calling him. Who knows what would have happened if he'd answered it? With his sensitivity and grasp of the broader picture, perhaps he would have persuaded them not to go to Minas Tirith without the crisis that forced the decision on them? Perhaps they would have been more decisive earlier on? But there would still have been the question of rousing the Ents and rescuing Theoden....

Maybe a force greater than the voice that called Faramir was at work and took Boromir's pride and turned it to a greater good.
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
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Merry
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Post by Merry » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:03 pm

Malarky? (harumph! :wink: )

I have this argument with my students sometimes: they think that, because something evil was turned to good, it was good to start with. So they think, for example, that it's okay to do bad things without regret because eventually they'll learn something from it. No, I say! One cannot count on the possibililty of good coming from evil. Plenty of evil is just that, and nothing good comes from it.

Gandalf warns people against this kind of thinking sometimes. I was just reading the part when Pippin looked into the Palantir. After ascertaining that Pippin was alright,
'A fool, but an honest fool, you remain, Peregrin Took. Wiser ones might have done worse in such a pass. But mark this! You have been saved, and all your friends too, mainly by good fortune, as it is called. You cannot count on it a second time. If he had questioned you, then and there, almost certainly you would have told all that you know, to the ruin of us all.'
Gandalf goes on to explain that Pippin's action might have turned into good because it saved Gandalf from looling into the stone. It also led Sauron to believe that Pippin, and thus Saruman, had the Ring, drawing his eye out from Mordor and his real danger.

When Gandalf says 'good fortune, as it is called', we know he is talking about the subtle and mysterious interventions of the Valar, which SOME here call 'malarky :twisted: . They can't be counted on, though, because we can't understand why they happen in the first place.

I ramble! I guess I'm saying I agree more with Iolanthe. Maybe if Faramir had gone to Rivendell, things would have progressed without so much suffering and death. Maybe not. But just because things ended well enough doesn't mean the way they happened was the best thing to have happened. (And I should say that I don't think this is what you were claiming, Lindariel.)
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Lindariel
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Post by Lindariel » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:22 pm

You're absolutely right, Merry. I am certainly NOT trying to say that because good came out of Boromir's Fall from Grace that the Fall itself was OK. It absolutely wasn't. It was indeed a terrible tragedy.

I think my main point is that ultimately Frodo and the Quest were far better served by having Faramir in Ithilien than by having him as a member of the Fellowship. Somehow, the Fellowship HAD to be broken at Parth Galen:

(1) The Ents HAD to be roused. Without their assault upon Isengard and the arrival of the Huorns at Helms Deep, Rohan would have fallen.
(2) Without the breaking of the Fellowship, Aragorn would have continued on as Frodo's guide to Mordor. If Aragorn had not traveled the Paths of the Dead, Minas Tirith would have been overrun, and the Battle of the Pelennor would have been lost.
(3) Likewise, Theoden HAD to be rescued from Wormtongue/Saruman's evil influence, and Rohan HAD to be mustered to the aid of Minas Tirith. Again, without the arrival of the Rohirrim, Minas Tirith would have fallen and the Battle of the Pelennor would have been lost.

How would the Breaking of the Fellowship have been accomplished without the divisiveness of Boromir's insistence that Frodo should come to Minas Tirith rather than continuing to Mordor, not to mention his Fall to the Ring?

Merry and Iolanthe, how do you think things might have been "better" with Faramir taking Boromir's place within the Fellowship? Do you see a way for the same outcome to occur -- Minas Tirith saved, the Ring destroyed, Aragorn crowned as King Elessar -- with the brothers' positions reversed?
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:46 am

I don't really know how that would have happened, but I think that it could.. Who knows what decisions would have been reached with Faramir's input? Or what different events would have taken place? Somehow all those same elements would have had to come together. The things you listed are essential - without them everything would have failed. But Faramir was called, nonetheless, and maybe the Fellowship would still have split along different paths but for different reasons. It's an interesting possibility and a completely different book! Dramatically I like the way it turned out - much more interesting to have flawed Boromir as the pivot for events.
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Lindariel
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Post by Lindariel » Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:45 pm

I think there's another interesting element to consider here. Yes, Faramir was indeed "called" to the Quest. In fact, he had the dream, the call, repeatedly. However, Denethor would not take Faramir's dream seriously and did not take action upon it until Boromir ALSO had the dream.

Does anyone besides me spy the hand of Irmo/Lorien in action here? "Irmo the younger [of the Feanturi, masters of spirits] is the master of visions and dreams." Since Denethor would not respond to the "call" that had been sent to his younger son, Irmo called the elder son.

Perhaps the main point of the "call" was to have one of the sons of the Steward of Gondor meet the Heir of Isildur in a place outside of Denethor's sphere of influence? Winning the allegiance of one of Denethor's sons would be an important step towards attaining the Kingship, especially if Denethor were to oppose the ascendence of the Heir of Isildur.
Lindariel Image

“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:20 pm

Which brings up the interesting point that Faramir would have been confronted with an awkward dilemma if he'd gone to Rivendell. He probably would have recognised and accepted Aragorn much more readily than Boromir, both because of his nature and because he was a second son with no thoughts of becoming Steward. He would then have been in a possible conflict with Boromir who wouldn't have had the chance to get to know Aragorn and see him in the field. The results could have been very interesting!
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

MICHKA
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Re: Boromir or Faramir

Post by MICHKA » Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:45 pm

et si Faramir avait été le fils préféré au lieu de Boromir,quelles auraient pu devenir leur destin et leur attitude? on peut refaire l'histoire avec des propositions, cela s'est déjà fait pour certains scénarios, et le tour du roman se trouve changé, l'imagination n'a pas de limite. Alors est-ce bien de laisser l'écrit en l'état ou pouvons-nous réellement supposer d'autres aventures? Tous les écrivains en herbe doivent se pencher sur le sujet,je pense, et les réveurs aussi,sans doute....
Tout ce que nous avons à décider c'est ce que nous devons faire du temps qui nous est imparti

Merry
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Re: Boromir or Faramir

Post by Merry » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:13 pm

I agree, I think, that we can play 'what if?' too much, in real life as well as in fiction. In logic, there is a fallacy called 'hypothesis contrary to fact', in which one posits a conditional statement (one that begins with 'if') that is false, and then tries to draw a conclusion from it. E.g., 'If Columbus hadn't discovered America, . . .'. It's considered a fallacy because one cannot draw any supportable conclusion in this way, because who knows what would have happened?

Yet it's kind of a fun game to play, if we don't take it too seriously! Interesting thing to imagine: Faramir being the favored son. If that had been the case, Denethor would have had to be a different person and the history of Gondor might have been different as well.
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

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