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Old 06-03-2004, 09:02 AM   #1
Elianna
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Tolkien Just say 'no,' Faramir

Why do you think Faramir was able to resist the temptation of the Ring?

My thoughts: (1)He had said before he would not "pick it up if it laid by the highway" so he was bound to his word, (2)and he would not see Minas Tirith as a queen among slaves, even a 'kind queen among willing slaves'; he knew Minas Tirith didn't need the kind of power the Ring offered.

Now I wonder if another factor could be added to the list: (3) because he knew what it had done to Boromir. Of course such a smart guy like Faramir would learn from other's mistakes, but there's also the fact that Faramir didn't think there was anyone in Gondor who could best Boromir, and so if Boromir fell to the Ring, how could he possibly weild it?

Boromir would also have had the first two reasons why not to take the Ring. An honest Man of Gondor wouldn't try to steal, and would want to see his city in all its past glory. But since Boromir obviously didn't have the third caution to go on, you think should I perhaps be nicer to Boromir?
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Old 06-03-2004, 01:28 PM   #2
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well i think farimir resisted the ring because he was the stringer sin. Remember faramir considered gandalf's praises above denetor's while boromir was much like his father and was more easily corrupted although this is what happens in the book (holds up shield for protection) i liked how in the movie he brings frodo to gondor.(ducks for protection.
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Old 06-03-2004, 01:48 PM   #3
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Shield Denethor Boromir and the whole Family

To start off Faramir was more of the Numenorean decent then Boromir was so that right there just might contribute to Faramir being able to resist the ring more.

"while boromir was much like his father "
That is incorrect Boromir was the very opposite of his father, that's why Denethor liked him so much. Denethor was a fighter yes, but Boromir was a much better fighter and he cared nothing for lore only victory and battle. Faramir was more like Denethor, Faramir was a capable warrior but he was very wise in lore and studied the ring and learned of Gandalf, similar to his father Denethor who was wise in lore and a wise all around man. Denethor liked Boromir because he was his first born and he thought Boromir was Gondor's last hope. Boromir was the best warrior of Gondor at the time and Denethor knew he needed someone that could fight.

The 2 answers I can come up with are Faramir had more Numenorean blood in him then Boromir and he was much wiser in lore he knew what the ring was capable of. I do agree, I think Faramir learned from the mistake of Boromir.
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Old 06-03-2004, 02:22 PM   #4
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To start off Faramir was more of the Numenorean decent then Boromir was so that right there just might contribute to Faramir being able to resist the ring more.
Huh? Never heard that Faramir was of numenorean decent, where did you find that information?

Well... Im not sure about it but you could be right.
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Old 06-03-2004, 03:02 PM   #5
Fordim Hedgethistle
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This has always been an interesting aspect of the book to me. Faramir was indeed of 'purer' blood than Boromir in his descent from the Men of the West (genetics can do weird things -- my sister and I are more different than you would believe ). We're also told that he took after his mother, while Boromir took after his father (so what does that tell us about Denethor?)

I find this interesting, because the 'pure' blood that is Faramir's comes from his mother; he is also a good fighter, but not a big military hero like his brother, not so consumed with glory and thoughts of battle. What's more, his primary function (thematically) in the book is to be passive -- to let Frodo and Sam go, to NOT kill Gollum, to get hurt by the Nazgul so Aragorn can heal him, to spend time in the Houses of Healing with Eowyn.

The more you look at Faramir, the more feminine he becomes to his brother's masculine. Is his more easy renunciation of the Ring associated with femininity??
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Old 06-03-2004, 03:09 PM   #6
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Is his more easy renunciation of the Ring associated with femininity??
Heh! Some theories just won't stay buried. See the classic thread, The One Ring, for feminine-Ring-resistance speculations.
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Old 06-03-2004, 05:31 PM   #7
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Shield Faramir's resistance

I think Faramir's resistance to the lure of the Ring came from both his own characteristics and also the circumstances under which he came across it.

Faramir had more Numenorean traits than Boromir through the caprice of genetics. This made him wiser, more insightful, and perhaps stronger willed. (Faramir is more like Aragorn -- a leader, while Boromir was more like Eomer -- a fighter.) Faramir also benefitted from the tutelage of Gandalf and knew something of the danger of the Ring. Finally, Faramir was more humble than Boromir and probably had a better idea of his own limitations.

As for the circumstances, Boromir traveled with the Ring close at hand for months, which has got to have been a serious strain on him. Faramir only stayed close to the Ring for a few days at most, and he never even saw the thing. In fact, once he figured out Frodo was carrying the Ring, not only did he not want to see it, but he didn't even want to discuss it.

Maybe if Faramir had been in the Fellowship he would have given in to the lure of the Ring as well. I like to think not, but who can say for sure? All I know is it's a good thing Frodo met Faramir in the Wild and not Boromir.

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Old 06-03-2004, 05:55 PM   #8
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The more you look at Faramir, the more feminine he becomes to his brother's masculine.
I think we do both Boromir and Faramir a disservice by always considering them together. If Boromir hadn't acted as he did, Faramir's resistance to the Ring might have seemed less remarkable: throughout the story, the truly wise and powerful people (Aragorn, Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond) are adamant in their refusals of the Ring's utility for themselves or for the war against Sauron. Any of these people, and Faramir as well, could have taken the Ring from Frodo at any time. By being able to withstand the Ring, Faramir puts himself into this lofty company. He does this without help or hindrance from his father or his brother--and now we come to Why I Didn't Like Movie Faramir: everything Movie Faramir does is directly related to his relationships with his father and his brother. He doesn't seem to have any independent thoughts at all, and I think that Book Faramir (or "Classic" Faramir ) comes across as a stronger will and a nobler hero. This is partly because he's strong, wise, and faithful in a way that stands alone, and doesn't need to be propped up by his brother's perceived weakness or his father's madness. He is heroic with or without comparisons.

However...

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As for the circumstances, Boromir traveled with the Ring close at hand for months, which has got to have been a serious strain on him. Faramir only stayed close to the Ring for a few days at most, and he never even saw the thing. In fact, once he figured out Frodo was carrying the Ring, not only did he not want to see it, but he didn't even want to discuss it.
Lily Bracegirdle makes a really good point as to why Boromir tends to come off badly in comparisons to his brother. He was tempted without respite for months, forced to accept the possibility of the end of the Age of Stewards, and was part of a group of which he was decidedly not the leader for perhaps the first time in his life. It really makes you feel for the poor chap! He had already proven himself as very, very good at defending Gondor, and saw no compelling reason to stop doing so. And without comparisons to his Ring-resisting younger brother, his actions might not seem so venal or shortsighted.
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Old 06-03-2004, 08:12 PM   #9
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and would want to see his city in all its past glory.
Unfortunately, that really can't count as a reason for Boromir (or Faramir) to resist the Ring because Boromir thought that he could bring the past glory of his city back through the Ring. Therefore, that's really a reason for Boromir to try to get the Ring, not to try to avoid it.

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Maybe if Faramir had been in the Fellowship he would have given in to the lure of the Ring as well. I like to think not, but who can say for sure? All I know is it's a good thing Frodo met Faramir in the Wild and not Boromir.
Boromir probably wouldn't have been fun to meet in the wild, but you never know (like you said). Perhaps, although he was unsure about destroying the Ring at the beginning of the Quest (&, at time, throughout it), he would not have hindered Frodo if he was only around him for a few days. And you probably have a point with your Faramir-in-the-Fellowship arguement. He might've held out longer than Boromir, but I bet the results would've ended up being the same, eventually.

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The 2 answers I can come up with are Faramir had more Numenorean blood in him then Boromir and he was much wiser in lore he knew what the ring was capable of.
He was wiser, yes, but the main thing was that he used his wisdom a lot more than Boromir did, & he wasn't so rash. But I don't think it was Faramir's wisdom that kept him from taking the Ring: Why would he have studied about the Ring? Gandalf himself said that 'studying the arts of the Dark Lord was perilous'. But I don't think there's any argument here, because Faramir didn't even know what Frodo was referring to as 'Isildur's Bane', at least not for awhile.

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Old 06-03-2004, 08:49 PM   #10
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Boromir was a man who loved glory and battles, like King Earnur, whereas Faramir could still fight, but wasn't as rash and more ready to listen. The reason Denethor loved Boromir more was because he was different to himself, and his desire for the Ring was - if this makes any sense at all - almost unselfish. Boromir wanted victory for Gondor and would do anything to gain victory; including trying to take the Ring. True, he also wanted it for his own glory, but I think this quote sums up why he wanted it-

Quote:
'True-hearted Men, they will not be corrupted. We of Minas Tirith have been staunch through long years of trial. We do not desire the power of wizard-lords, only strength to defend ourselves, strength in a just cause.'
Now, to get back to the topic. Faramir was in the presence of Frodo less than Boromir and was wiser than him in the respect that he knew what the Ring was capable of. So did Boromir, but his desire to achieve victory for Gondor, as well as his personal glory, blinded him of the dangers that the Ring had for mortals.

Faramir was wiser in lore than Boromir, but as Lily Bracegirdle pointed out, Faramir had never even seen the ring. If you saw something that you really wanted, would you want it more than someone who hasn't even seen it? We must give Boromir the credit that even though he fell to the temptation of the One Ring, he fell for the right reasons. However, Faramir avoided the Ring also for the 'right' reasons.

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The 2 answers I can come up with are Faramir had more Numenorean blood in him then Boromir and he was much wiser in lore he knew what the ring was capable of. I do agree, I think Faramir learned from the mistake of Boromir.
Faramir and Boromir had the same amount of Numenorean and Elvish blood in them. It is stated in the book that Faramir was alike to his father, in that they both saw far and read men's hearts and minds, but Faramir was driven to pity, rather than scorn of them (or something along those lines). Boromir earned his fiery temperament and love for battles from someone other than his father- once more, it's a question of genetics. I suppose that Faramir's pity of Men has stemmed from his mother's side and the Elven characteristics that are expressed more clearly in him than in Boromir.

However, we know that several Elven brothers shared different temperaments- take the two half-brothers Fëanor and Finarfin for example. Feanor was more 'the Boromir type' as he was rash and desired glory through controlling his own land, rather than be 'controlled' by the Valar. Finarfin, however, may not have been 'greater' in the sense that he wasn't as skilled as making gems, etc., but he was wiser and more gentle than Fëanor- like Faramir.

That doesn't mean he was more cowardly in battle though. Far from it. Faramir is known and acknowledged as a great captain in Gondor by all people- except his father. He was wise enough and great enough to resist the Ring without knowing the full dangers of it, while Boromir knew, or learnt this, for a long time.

In the end, I'd have to say that Faramir resisted the lure of the Ring because he was a) less proud and glory-seeking of himself than his older brother and b) more wise in the fact that he knew his limitations and what he could achieve- mastery of the Ring was something beyond him or anyone in Middle-Earth, apart from Sauron.
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Old 06-04-2004, 05:45 AM   #11
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Interesting essay just appeared on TORN. The author analyses Faramir's decision & the way his character is handled in the movie.

The relevant section is:

'The contrast between Faramir and his brother Boromir also portrays the duality of man in The Lord of the Rings. At the end of Fellowship, Boromir succumbs to the temptation of the Ring and attempts to seize it from Frodo. However, when confronted with the Ring, Faramir brashly tells Frodo that, "I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway" (Two Towers 330). Philippa Boyens, an influential writer in the film project, immediately dismisses Faramir's rejection of the ring as "death on film" because of their attempt to portray the Ring as "one of the most evil things ever created" (LotR: Two Towers). He is, simply put, too good: an idea that Tolkien fan and film student Elicia Donze agrees with when she writes, "[In a] film…you simply cannot have FLAT characters" (Donze). It is true that Jackson's Faramir is much more complicated and dynamic than Tolkien's original character. Indeed, it may be difficult for an audience to comprehend how Faramir might dismiss the Ring out of hand. And yet, it would be simplistic to say that no one can outright resist the temptation embodied in the ring; doing so would take away Faramir's free will to reject evil; and Tolkien is very insistent upon the choice we all have do good.

The significance of Faramir's rejection of evil can be explored further by examining Michael Swanick's essay on his personal experience with Tolkien's work. Here, Swanick introduces the idea of the Ring as a "God-sent integrity test… to test all of creation and decide whether it is worthy of continuance" we can begin to understand the moral significance of Faramir's decision (Swanick 42). While Swanick exaggerates with this claim, since the Ring is definitely not God-sent, it is clearly true that the Quest is a test with the most dire consequences for failure. Throughout the story, the characters that resist the Ring's temptation--Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel, Sam and even Aragorn--are more than simply human. Gandalf is an angelic spirit, Elrond and Galadriel are elves and Sam is a hobbit. Aragorn, while a man, is descended from the lords of Númenor and is blessed with both inner strength and longevity that far exceeds other men(King 389). The Fourth Age that begins at the end of the novels is the Age of Men and so it is of the utmost importance that men, too, pass the test of the Ring. This is why Faramir must have the choice to derail the quest and it is why he does not fail. As we have seen, Tolkien shows us that we always have the choice to resist temptation and evil. Jackson and Boyens, in order to produce a film, have lost this pivotal triumph of human will--I hesitate to say "good" --over evil. They posit the Ring as a Manichaean source of evil that can create ill will within others, rather than simply magnify the desire for dominance that is already there. While it initially appears as if the movie has an added element of depth lacking in the novels, it is this depth that actually polarizes the concepts of good and evil.

The whole essay is at:

http://greenbooks.theonering.net/gue...060204_02.html
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Old 06-04-2004, 09:28 AM   #12
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3) because he knew what it had done to Boromir. Of course such a smart guy like Faramir would learn from other's mistakes, but there's also the fact that Faramir didn't think there was anyone in Gondor who could best Boromir, and so if Boromir fell to the Ring, how could he possibly weild it?
This is true. Faramir knows what kind of person his brother is, but he still loves him (I love the way the EE depicted this).

Although the duality that Boromir and Faramir represent is true for every person, this is not enought to explain why Faramir stuck to saying no to the ring. Boromir is next in line to being the Steward of Gondor, and as a ruler with constituents and territories to protect and reclaim, Boromir sees the Ring a tool to reclaim what rightly belongs to the Kingdom. It's all pointing towards Boromir's flaw when it comes to the resisting the Ring.

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Faramir had never even seen the ring. If you saw something that you really wanted, would you want it more than someone who hasn't even seen it? We must give Boromir the credit that even though he fell to the temptation of the One Ring, he fell for the right reasons. However, Faramir avoided the Ring also for the 'right' reasons.
This could be right, and it interestingly questions the duality that Faramir and Boromir represent, with the ring as a central thing.

The real difference lies in their abilities to think of the consequences of giving into the ring.
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Old 06-04-2004, 09:39 AM   #13
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Thanks for posting that extract, davem. It really encapsulates why I feel that each Faramir, book and film, work well in their own place. But I don't want to start a discussion of film Faramir here. There are enough threads in the Movies forum for that.

More pertinently to the discussion, I think that the extract explains very well why Tolkien had Faramir resist the Ring.
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Old 06-04-2004, 09:46 AM   #14
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1420! flat vs. fizzy characters

I have heard before that characters in a film simply cannot be "flat." If it's true, it's quite a good rationale for Movie Faramir (Faramir 2.0). But I have never understood why all characters in a film should have to be dynamic--it seems a little arbitrary and very limiting to filmmakers. Also, it seems to apply only to the good guys. In the LOTR films no one seems concerned that Saruman, or the Nazgul, or Sauron should change or grow, and yet they are all very good movie villains. So it has always seemed to me that heroes can be just as static, and instead of unrelenting evil they can portray steadfastness, loyalty, and unfaltering honor. These are the characteristics missing from both Movie Faramir and Movie Aragorn, who were evidently altered so that their characters could be more dynamic. But doesn't it lessen the impact of the heir to the thrones of Arnor and Gondor if he is portrayed as having "turned from that path a long time ago," and has to be coaxed into accepting his destiny ("Become who you were born to be")? It's true that static characters limit the filmmaker's ability to tell a certain kind of story that is commonly found in films (the character arc), but it is clearly possible to keep people interested in characters who don't arc (the bad guys). This shows that there is more than one way to skin a Nazgul, so to speak, and perhaps the LOTR filmmakers should have applied the same kinds of broad strokes to their heroes that they did to their villains. I think it would have added to the story (at least in the cases of Aragorn and Faramir) rather than detracted from it.

Sorry, Saucepan Man! This is exactly what you were trying to avoid, I'm sure.
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