Why was Faramir


less favored over Boromir? Because he was youngest maybe? He married the hottest chick on middle earth deservedly so.., but disdained by his father poor guy.

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Graham Hess: There is no one looking out for us. We are all alone.

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[deleted]

Finduilas, the wife of Denethor II, did die several years after the birth of Faramir. Faramir also had a gentle, studious nature and became something of a student under the wizard Mithrandir (Gandalf). All of this displeased Denethor, especially since he suspected Gandalf of plotting with Thorongil (the disguised Aragorn) against him.

"Hell hath no fury like that of the uninvolved." - T. Isabella

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Faramir was not only gentle, thoughtful, and studious, he was so uninterested in power for its own sake that he was one of the few humans in the book who wasn't tempted by the One Ring. I disagree that Denethor saw his own flaws in Faramir, rather I think he didn't see *enough* of his own flaws - his pride, arrogance, and drive to rule over others.

And BTW, Denethor was entirely right to treat Gandalf with that much mistrust, when he accused the wizard of plotting to remove him from office and replace him with that horrible "ranger of the north", he was 100% correct! Hell of a way to treat a man who'd dedicated his life to fighting against Sauron and all his works, but Gandalf had his reasons.




“Seventy-seven courses and a regicide, never a wedding like it!

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Gandalf and Aragorn were not plotting to replace Denethor, they were hoping to put Aragorn on the entirely vacant throne of Gondor, not make him steward of Gondor. They hoped that Denethor and his descendants would continue to be stewards of Gondor under the restored kings.

It was only because Denethor lusted for power that he didn't want that to happen. And in the end his surviving son and heir Faramir had a much better life as the steward of the restored king of a mighty and once more powerful Gondor and as the Prince of Ithilin than he would have had as the ruling steward of a tiny Gondor facing attacks from far more powerful enemies.

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That's a nitpick. Gandalf was plotting to make Aragorn ruler of Gondor, which would have meant a massive demotion for Denethor as well as forcing him to take orders from a man he resented on a personal level.

So yes, Gandalf was absolutely a threat to Denethor, and Faramir's closeness to the wizard created distance in the father-son relationship.

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Correct. Any Steward would be right to question to bona fides of a claimant to the throne after it was vacant for so long, but Denethor went way beyond that and forgot his place.

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I may be mis-remembering this, but I seem to recall that Faramir's mother died while he was an infant, and perhaps Denethor blamed the birth of the baby for the early death of his wife (it was apparently a love match).

Beyond that, although Faramir was a good soldier and showed leadership and courage, he was one who would fight to protect things, not to conquer them. Power, per se, didn't interest him (which was why, in the books, he did not find the Ring to be a particular temptation). Faramir also had an artistic, reflective side and an interest in history, poetry etc. which his father barely tolerated.

Any of these things would have led him to favor Boromir; moreover, since Boromir was the elder and Denethor's heir, it was natural that he would groom Boromir to be his successor and he would have a special bond with him that he did not have with Faramir.

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The thing that seems to come up most prominently (to me) is that Faramir liked Gandalf and Denethor did not. "Wizard's pupil" is his derogatory reference to Faramir.

The other answers all bring up interesting points, as well.

As long as we're on this topic, I want to request an interpretation of the text from you fine people. From the Appendices:

'So time drew on to the War of the Ring, and the sons of Denethor grew to manhood. Boromir, five years the elder, beloved by his father, was like him in face and pride, but in little else. Rather he was a man after the sort of King Eärnur of old, taking no wife and delighting chiefly in arms; fearless and strong, but caring little for lore, save the tales of old battles. Faramir the younger was like him in looks but otherwise in mind. He read the hearts of men as shrewdly as his father, but what he read moved him sooner to pity than to scorn. He was gentle in bearing, and a lover of lore and of music, and therefore by many in those days his courage was judged less than his brother's. But it was not so, except that he did not seek glory in danger without a purpose. He welcomed Gandalf at such times as he came to the City, and he learned what he could from his wisdom; and in this as in many other matters he displeased his father.


How do you interpret that bolded phrase? To me, it reads similarly to "but also in mind", meaning that Faramir, like Denethor, was someone with a keen and agile mind. I think it reads that way when contrasted with the earlier sentence about Boromir, but I have recently realized that it could be interpreted differently, with "otherwise in mind" meaning more like "not like him in mind".

Now I'm not sure which was the author's intent.

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The passage seems to say that Faramir was very much like his brother in appearance but very different from him in mind. Faramir is not being compared to his father Denethor (although they think differently from each other as well).

"Hell hath no fury like that of the uninvolved." - T. Isabella

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Excellent! I hadn't thought about "him" as referring to Boromir, but that makes sense. I'll have to reconsider my interpretation. Thank you.

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Hm...

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It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing .

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I always felt, at least in the Jackson movies, that the anti-Faramir sentiment from Steward Denethor was a bit too forced. There should have been a little bit of a backstory, besides the recent loss of Osgiliath by Faramir forces, as to why Denethor couldn't stand his second son.

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In the extended edition they seemed to expand on the relationship between the brothers and their father. Boromir seemed very amiable towards his brother. Boromir seems more accomplished and that has him in Denethor's favor. It's been nearly two decades since I read the books so I can't say how Tolkien handled it aside from the passage quoted above.

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Indeed, the extended edition did a much better job than the theatrical showing us why Boromir was the favorite, I definitely prefer this version of Return of the King. I'm about the same with the books, perhaps 15 years, I have a copy again so I'll get reading perhaps this year, we'll see.

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