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Old 09-11-2005, 03:35 PM   #1
Neurion
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White Tree Faramir's armour...... vs Boromir's

What do you suppose might be the reason that Faramir posseses a much more ornate, custom-made suit of armour than his older and more honoured brother? Faramir's armour is similar to the common soldiers' but finer, and with various embellishments that are meant to be personal heraldric symbols, such as the twin ravens on the greaves and vambraces. These can also be seen in the hilt of his sword.

On the other hand, Boromir's harness consists of a standard soldier's cuirass and arm defenses, but minus the gorget, and a maille skirt, with no helmet or other elements of armour.
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Old 09-14-2005, 04:50 PM   #2
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Twenty views, and no responses?
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Old 09-14-2005, 07:02 PM   #3
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This icon shall be waiting in the void until I complete my 'horn of gondor' icon

Cause Boromir has the horn
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Old 09-19-2005, 10:16 AM   #4
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Boromir didn't actually travel in uniform though did he? And would not have sought battle journeying alone so he is unlikely to have wanted full armour. Of course in the book he has no armour and is dressed for riding. If he had armour I guess he would have discarded it when he lost his horse. I doubt he would have taken precious and ceremonial armour on such a journey, or anything else that woud draw attention to a lone traveller. As a backpacker, it is a principle that holds true now - don't take anything you can't bear to lose or that will make you a conspicuous and a target for thieves.....
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Old 09-20-2005, 06:18 AM   #5
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White Tree

Those are good points, but I meant his armour in the Osgiliath scene.
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Old 09-24-2005, 01:34 PM   #6
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... Perhaps Boromir's battle armour was less fancy because it was worn from so much battle and experience, and because he lost half of the cool accoutrements from so much usage, eh?
Besides, the Perky Ent is right. Who needs sweet armour when you've got the horn of Gondor? =D
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Old 09-24-2005, 05:31 PM   #7
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We're talking about the Osgiliath scene in the Extended Edition, right? The flash-back in TTT? Because I always thought that Boromir had the finer armor.

Boromir's armor may look like a common soldier's, but it's also much more protective than Faramir's wimpier leather jerkin. I always thought of Faramir's armor as what a scout might wear. It's less protective, and lighter. Boromir's armor seems more like a mighty warrior's: big, shiny, protective, and generally mightier looking. And Denethor would give his favorite son better armor, right?



A nice side-by-side comparison
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Old 09-24-2005, 05:59 PM   #8
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If it is the armour on the picture we are talking about, then i would have to say that there is not much of a differens in the looks.

If we start talking materials used sure Boromirs armour is heavy and Faramirs is light.

But the best of the armour would be the one of Faramir, if they were to fight on their feet that is. Boromir's armour would be to heavy to fight with and he would get killed quit fast, plus it looks like he is allso wearing a chain mail! Have you ever tried one of those, they are quit heavy i can tell. Even for a mighty warrior. But if they were to fight on horseback Boromir would clearly have the advantage.

I am sorry if this is off topic,
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Old 09-24-2005, 06:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune Son of Bjarne
But the best of the armour would be the one of Faramir, if they were to fight on their feet that is. Boromir's armour would be to heavy to fight with and he would get killed quit fast
It seems a little presumptive to say that Faramir's armor is better because it is lighter. One could turn this argument around by saying that because Faramir's armor is lighter, it is less protective, and therefore he would be killed more quickly. It is leather and padded cloth, after all.

It is true that Boromir's armor would be heavier, but also true that it would definitely stand up to the slashes of orc swords than Faramir's.

If you were an orc, which one would look easier to kill?
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Old 09-24-2005, 06:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcarillo
If you were an orc, which one would look easier to kill?
Faramir would look easier to kill

But the fact is that leather is not a bad armour and Faramir would proberbly have a shield and if not he would be able to move quick and use his sword.

As for Bormir sure he could take quit many hits compared to Faramir, but he would have trouble reaching his fighting potential becourse of the limitede movment his armour would allow him. (allso making him an easyer target for accured hits as he would move slow) He would also grow tired quite quickly and easyer to kill.

That is why plated armour was only used on cavalery in the medieval days, but halt this is turning in to a historical discution.
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Old 09-24-2005, 07:13 PM   #11
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Faramir's lighter armour is far better suited to the kind of guerilla warfare that he would have engaged in as a Gondorian Ranger in Ithilien. Boromir, however, was engaged more in direct combat, for which his heavier, more protective armour would have been better suited.
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Old 09-26-2005, 10:26 AM   #12
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Oh dang, I thought we were talking about Faramir's armour in Minas Tirith versus Boromir's armour in Osgiliath...

I thought, in that case, that Faramir's armour was kind of like the case with Hector and Paris--ceremonial versus practical, which made no sense because he was riding off to war.
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Old 09-26-2005, 10:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanamir of Gondor
Oh dang, I thought we were talking about Faramir's armour in Minas Tirith versus Boromir's armour in Osgiliath...
Well, there was nothing practical or sensible about Faramir's suicide attack on Osgiliath. But, given that it was a frontal assault, rather than a guerilla action, full plate armour would seem the better choice.
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Old 09-27-2005, 06:08 AM   #14
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Well, this thread certainly took off while I was away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anguirel
All this despite the fact Paris is the younger brother and the lesser warrior-Hector is embarassed by him and says "would that the earth might yawn open and swallow him on the spot" to their mother! He also reprimands Paris for his cowardice and slackness twice in Book VI.

Just something to ponder on...all translations by Minocher Dinshaw, Oppidan Scholar, Durnford House, alias guess who...
Cool. Thanks for the quote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcarillo
We're talking about the Osgiliath scene in the Extended Edition, right? The flash-back in TTT? Because I always thought that Boromir had the finer armor.
Boromir's armour there, Faramir's armour in RotK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune Son of Bjarne
But the best of the armour would be the one of Faramir, if they were to fight on their feet that is. Boromir's armour would be to heavy to fight with and he would get killed quit fast, plus it looks like he is allso wearing a chain mail!
Time for a history lesson, Rune.

No armour ever made was too heavy to fight in, with the exception of some tournament armours that were specially-reinforced to make sure that the chances of the jousting knight being hurt by the impact of the lances were miniscule. Some of those suits weighed up to 150 lbs or more, but the average weight of a full plate harness was about 60 lbs (mid-13th century full maille was slightly heavier), which is about the same amount a modern soldier's helmet, body armour, load-bearing gear (with ammunition, rations, etc) and weapon weigh.

Now take into account the fact that modern soldiers will often wear and be expected to move around wearing hundred-pound backpacks in addition to all that....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune Son of Bjarne
As for Bormir sure he could take quit many hits compared to Faramir, but he would have trouble reaching his fighting potential becourse of the limitede movment his armour would allow him. (allso making him an easyer target for accured hits as he would move slow) He would also grow tired quite quickly and easyer to kill.
The first law of medieval combat could probably be rendered as follows (in fact, Malcom Barber stated as much in The Warrior Monks) In close combat, an armoured man will rip a non-armoured man to shreds.

The thing is, I know you think that armour was slow, clumsy and cumbersome to wear into battle, but that's as false an impression as assuming that medival swords weighed ten or more pounds.

Medieval armour (and Gondorian armour follows the pattern quite closely) was designed to be as flexible and light as possible while maximizing protection. A knight in full cap a pie armour, trained to wear it like a well-fitted suit of clothes, could run, jump, turn cartwheels, sprint over short distances and even perform handsprings. A warrior in half or partial armour like Boromir would be even more agile.

*sigh*

I'm going to have to dig up some armour links for you to read up on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune Son of Bjarne
That is why plated armour was only used on cavalery in the medieval days,
Plate armour was generally used by anyone who could afford it. Among other things, it's impervious to arrows, despite what the films would have you think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanamir of Gondor
Oh dang, I thought we were talking about Faramir's armour in Minas Tirith versus Boromir's armour in Osgiliath...
We were...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanamir of Gondor
I thought, in that case, that Faramir's armour was kind of like the case with Hector and Paris--ceremonial versus practical, which made no sense because he was riding off to war.
According to the commentaries, they wanted Faramir's armour to look like it belonged to someone important, without making it to similar to the men he would lead into battle, building on Faramir's humility, I suppose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saucepan Man
Well, there was nothing practical or sensible about Faramir's suicide attack on Osgiliath.
Quite.

I might add that it's quite remarkable that they went out without benefit of either lances nor shields, something no action by medieval armoured cavalry was ever undertaken, so far as I know.
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Old 09-27-2005, 04:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurion
Time for a history lesson, Rune.

I'm going to have to dig up some armour links for you to read up on.
I Love history lessons !


You should do that. This is not the subject in witch i have my greates knowledge so tomrow i will go to The Royal Armouries and when i return i shall either fight to the bitter end or accept my defeat.
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Old 09-27-2005, 05:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune Son of Bjarne
I Love history lessons !


You should do that. This is not the subject in witch i have my greates knowledge so tomrow i will go to The Royal Armouries and when i return i shall either fight to the bitter end or accept my defeat.
I'll look forward to either your capitulation or glorious combat, whichever.
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Old 09-28-2005, 01:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Saucepan Man
Well, there was nothing practical or sensible about Faramir's suicide attack on Osgiliath. But, given that it was a frontal assault, rather than a guerilla action, full plate armour would seem the better choice.
Very true. When Faramir was actually engaged in guerilla action with the orcs in Osgiliath, at the beginning of ROTK, he (along with most of the other Gondorians) was wearing the same leather jerkin as in TTT--ditto in Ithilien, as mentioned.
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Old 09-30-2005, 07:07 AM   #18
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Sting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurion
No armour ever made was too heavy to fight in, with the exception of some tournament armours that were specially-reinforced to make sure that the chances of the jousting knight being hurt by the impact of the lances were miniscule. Some of those suits weighed up to 150 lbs or more, but the average weight of a full plate harness was about 60 lbs (mid-13th century full maille was slightly heavier), which is about the same amount a modern soldier's helmet, body armour, load-bearing gear (with ammunition, rations, etc) and weapon weigh.
Tournaments armours were often the same armour as was worn in to battle; the main difference was that in tournaments you added some extra plates for protection. Only the really rich and I mean really rich could afford two, often these armours was inherited from the father.

I cannot say that much about exact the weight of armour, but I have read that a helmet weight about 13lbs.
I have allso read of cases were a full plated knight has been knocked of his horse and could not get up because of the weight of the armour.

Allthough a chainmail was heavy it was still lighter than a full plate harness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurion
Medieval armour (and Gondorian armour follows the pattern quite closely) was designed to be as flexible and light as possible while maximizing protection. A knight in full cap a pie armour, trained to wear it like a well-fitted suit of clothes, could run, jump, turn cartwheels, sprint over short distances and even perform handsprings. A warrior in half or partial armour like Boromir would be even more agile.
I would weary much like to see some documentation if it is possibel, since every book i have read clearly contradicts this statement. A full plated knight needs i his horse to fight!

I will give you this: Asuming Boromir is so well made as the platedt armour was justy before it got outdated, it would have been light enough for him to be fully mobile on a battle field.


If we go back to the 14th centery the kind of armour Boromir was wearing was manly used by pikemen who did not need great agillety, as there main purpos was to hold a close formation so that the cavelary could not charge.

Basicly what i am saying is: You were right about Boromir's armour and i was wrong, but your arguments i find was mostly wrong.
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Old 10-02-2005, 06:23 AM   #19
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White Tree

Oh, this is going to be fun....

I'll leave you this to mull over while I go limber up the heavy artillery.

From the Association for Renaissance Martial Arts (ARMA)

Quote:
4: Knights in full plate armor were clumsy and slow.

False. The popular belief in untutored knights clumsily swinging crude swords while awkwardly lumbering around in heavy armor is inaccurate and uninformed. Mistaken claims that Medieval armored horsemen had become clanking tanks or that unhorsed a knight was at his foes mercy have become common even among some medieval historians. A warrior in plate armor was far from being the sluggish lobster so frequently mischaracterized by military writers. While an armored man was not as agile as an unarmored one, plate armor overall was well balanced and ingeniously designed to permit considerable maneuverability and nimbleness. This fact is clearly expressed in the fighting literature on armored combat and born out by modern experiments in both antique armor specimens and historically accurate reproductions. Unlike what has been notoriously misrepresented in popular culture, a well-trained and physically conditioned man fighting in full harness was typically a formidable opponent (and there were many different kinds of armor for foot or mounted combat). But this is not to say that fighting in full plate armor was not tiresome or stifling. Armor restricted breathing and ability to ventilate body heat, as well as limited vision and hearing. If armor did not work well it would not have been around for so long in so many different forms. (For more on this see: Medieval Armor: Plated Perfection in Military History, July 2005).
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:09 AM   #20
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Alright, I managed to get enough time off over the week to put up a few links.

Weight of medieval armour

FAQ from the Academy of European Martial Arts

Members' pictures from the Asociation for Renaissance Martial Arts (Ogden chapter). Casper Bradak demonstrating technique for fighting in armour

Two Floryshes in Armour: A short video with Casper Bradak demonstrating how he can move in harness.

I'll get some more eventually.
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Old 10-20-2005, 03:49 PM   #21
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Man, I wish I had come upon this discussion earlier as it is one of my alltime favorite topics; and I found everything I was going to say regarding the myth of knights' armor being extremely heavy, already answered. Though I must say that well-fitting armor doesn't encumber one's movement much, and the weight is something that a fighter grows accustomed to.
There's my two cents.
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Old 12-16-2005, 01:21 PM   #22
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Hi everyone, I am new here, will post an intro in a moment. Though this may not be directly related to the topic, I am wondering what thickness Boromir's armor was:

robe - probably not

light leather armor

medium chain armor

heavy plate mail

Any help would be appreciated; thanks,
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Old 12-16-2005, 05:13 PM   #23
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The only reason i can come up with is that Boromir's armor was disigned to travel. Perhaps this is his traveleing armor...? If you see in a TTT EV flashback when he is still in Gondor. He his heavily clad in silver armor.

Hope that helps...

-Cap.
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Old 03-09-2006, 11:25 AM   #24
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I know I'm late and its all been said but tough.

On this difference in the brothers' armor...



Faramir, and that of his command which were the Rangers of Ithilien were prepared to move quickly and quietly in the woods of Ithilien setting anbushes and such and doing their best at not being seen or heard.

Boromir on the other hand commanded the garrison of Osgoliath and so he and his men had the full battle armor that would come in handy in the direct close-in fighting.

Later, when Faramir and his men was summoned to Osgoliath as emergency reinforcements for the Osgoliath garrison, they wouldn't take the time to get 'suited up' in their armor (which Faramir later did for his suicide ride from Minas Tirith).

Also, when Boromir went to Rivendell, he was dressed so:



More suited for travel, but still quite functional.

And then you have their own personal preferences of adornment.
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Old 08-17-2006, 03:40 AM   #25
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Tolkien he was a ranger of ithilien

he cannot walk around in the woods wearing nice shiny armor
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Old 08-23-2006, 09:51 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calandil
he cannot walk around in the woods wearing nice shiny armor
LOL the simplest responses are always the funniest.

And indeed this is so. That, and given the fact we never have a description of Boromir's actual armour at Gondor, it's safe to say PJ just took what he thought Gondorian armour to look like and put it on Boromir in the Osgiliath scene. There's no real proof to why he made the suits of armour different.
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:14 AM   #27
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The armor of gondor does look like the mail and plate sort from the fourteenth century.

The books stated that some of the Rohirrim wore Gondorian designed armor and were hence better protected than the Dunlendings. But in the movie, they were wearing chainmail armor that was more akin to the late dark ages and early medieval era.

I have personally always thought that Gondorian armor was more like that of high Byzantine ( i.e. lamellae and mail) than late western medieval.

Edit: The helm type used by the Gondorians is known as a barbute. That together with the design of the ornate cuirass makes the Gondorian man-at-arms extremely Italian in appearance!
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Old 09-16-2006, 04:17 AM   #28
Alcarin
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They could kill enemies even if they were naked....so who cares about the armor?
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:34 PM   #29
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Concerning the difference in armour in the Osgiliath scenes from TTT:EE, I always thought it was funny to see Boromir in full armour and Faramir in padded leather. Guess who's Dad's favorite?

Denethor: "Hey Faramir, go help your brother fight the orc army. Oh, don't bother with all that armour, all the COOL warriors are wearing leather jackets these days."

to himself: that ought to get rid of the wizard's apprentice!
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Old 10-21-2006, 02:50 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saurreg
Edit: The helm type used by the Gondorians is known as a barbute. That together with the design of the ornate cuirass makes the Gondorian man-at-arms extremely Italian in appearance!
Yes, the designers seem to have been going for a sort of Roman/Medieval esthetic in the visual design of the Gondorian culture.

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They could kill enemies even if they were naked....so who cares about the armor?
Because if someone happens to land a blow on you (as is inevitable in the press of battle) you're not going to be immediately disembowled.
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Old 10-21-2006, 09:43 PM   #31
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White Tree No expert knoledge , but I'll post anyway

Faramir didn't really need to have plate armor, did he? He was deployed with the rangers-light and stealthy. Guerilla attacks on the dark lord's forces, like the Harad road battle scene in TTT. The rangers wore brown or green cloaks and hooded their faces. As calandil said before (too lazy to hit the quote button)"he cannot walk around in the woods wearing nice shiny armor". He would be pretty easy to see, and with the weight and heft of plate armor he would be easy to track and follow as well. Not good, as the rangers' strength is being able to sneak around Ithilien in their secret forts and over and back the Anduin.
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Old 10-21-2006, 11:42 PM   #32
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Aye Damrod I have always thought of rangers of both the north and south as scouts and at times ambush troops. Strike sudden, strike fast, strike hard, that be their motto!

However me thinks ambushes and such are also extraordinary, highly skilled rangers dressed in quilted surcoats and leather vests should be used as the eyes and ears of the army and not the striking arm.
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:53 PM   #33
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Of course, none of this changes the fact that the thread is about the fact that when Faramir does wear armor, it's totally different from Boromir's, which is kind of the reverse of what you'd expect.

Boromir spends more time on the front lines, presumably weaing armor, so you'd think that his armor would be custom-made for him, while Faramir, who's primarily a Ranger, seems more likely to just grab a suit off the rack when going out openly onto the battlefield, but instead, we get Boromir in what's basically the ordinary infantry soldier's armor minus the gorget and with the addition of some extra maille, while Faramir has this ornate, highly personalized suit of armour that's completely different than anyone else's and specially made for him.

This gets even weirder when Denethor comes into the equation. Wouldn't he be more likely to order a special suit of armor for his favourite son, rather than that embarassment Faramir?
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Old 11-23-2006, 06:29 AM   #34
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I also find it strange that Faramir has seemingly more ornate armour. However, when you think that armour was a highly personal thing, perhaps not and Boromir's is hardly drab. Perhaps he just preferred the extra mobility, or for that scene has removed parts of his armour. Afterall, he's talking to his brother AFTER the battle. We see Faramir fully-coated when he's about to charge.

Another argument would be that faramir's armour is in some way supposed to represent his Numenorean blood to the audience, whereas Boromir was more 'common'. This is a purely film-making reason.

Also, to reply to the post above..I doubt Denethor would have ordered anything for Faramir. As the steward's son and presumbaly a wealthy man in his own right, Faramir would have got exactly what armour he wanted.
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Old 12-24-2006, 11:37 AM   #35
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Personally, I thought Boromir's and Faramir's armor suited each of them perfectly and were inherently different because of the different needs of each man.
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Old 10-07-2007, 05:40 PM   #36
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Sting Boromir's

We seem to be forgetting the fact of physical strength. Boromir was much stronger than Faramir, so he could use heavier armor. It makes sense: Tolkien himself described him as a warrior, a champion, =)
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:04 AM   #37
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We seem to be forgetting the fact of physical strength. Boromir was much stronger than Faramir, so he could use heavier armor.
Boromir's armour is not what could be described as "heavy". In fact, it's lighter than Faramir's suit.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:30 PM   #38
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Not very good at weapons and armor stuff, but to me they both have armor that suits both of em well and remember Boromir didn't have any armor when he was with the fellowship expect his vambraces and shield.
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