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Old 06-06-2003, 05:49 PM   #1
Morgoth Bauglir
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Sting Boromir and the Ring

Was Boromir even powerful enough to use the ring, if he had successfully gotten it from Frodo?At worse he could have stolen the ring, where surely either his father or brother could have usen it. But even then the journey would have been long and hard without food.

My main question is the first one. Thanks, its been a while since ive posted here or even read the books! [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]
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Old 06-06-2003, 05:59 PM   #2
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There was probably no-one strong enough to use the Ring, not even Galadriel or Gandalf. But that's another subject for debate. Certainly the Ring would have driven Boromir mad- but there isn't really any precedent. Neither Isildur or Gollum tried to actually use the Ring to conquer the world. I would guess that putting the Ring on and claiming mastery of it would have led Sauron to see exactly where Boromir was and send Orcs there. Or perhaps the will of the Ring was strong enough that it would have driven Boromir to deliver himself to Mordor?

EDIT: I really don't think that Faramir or Denethor would have been strong enough to bend the Ring to their will. Denethor couldn't do that to the Palantir, even. As for Faramir he wouldn't have taken it. (This is book-Faramir not film-Faramir!)

[ June 06, 2003: Message edited by: Lyra Greenleaf ]
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Old 06-06-2003, 06:00 PM   #3
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No one but Sauron uses the ring. The ring will use its bearer. No, Boromir would not be strong enough to bend the will of the ring. Boromir would eventually succumb to the power of the ring. The ring would eventually abandon him, to get closer to Suaron. The same goes for Faramir and Denethor.

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Old 06-06-2003, 09:34 PM   #4
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Sting

Boromir would've ended up just like Isildur.
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Old 06-07-2003, 03:02 AM   #5
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You can't say that, Legolas, you don't know that for sure, and you can't say that what you said would exactly happen.
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Old 06-07-2003, 05:03 AM   #6
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I know it says nobody but Sauron could wield the ring, butthat got me thinking. What about Saurons master, Morgoth. Or one of the Valar, or even Iluvatar? What would happen if a Vala got the ring?
And no, i think no child of Iluvatar could wield it.
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Old 06-07-2003, 06:45 AM   #7
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I think only beings more powerful than Sauron could use it. We don't know just how powerul Gandalf is as he was never allowed to reveal himself in his true might and majesty.
Maybe Luthien could have used the ring as she managed to beat Sauron when she went to rescue beren from that tower (i forget the name) Or did she only manage to beat Sauron cause of Huan the hound.
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Old 06-07-2003, 08:52 AM   #8
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In Letter 246, Tolkien writes that of all the beings of Middle-earth, only Gandalf might be able to defeat Sauron one on one using the Ring (Gandalf using the Ring, that is), thus vanquishing Sauron. Someone like Galadriel or Elrond might use the Ring and amass an army that could defeat Sauron's, but not forever vanquish him.

As has been mentioned, there is no real way to compare Boromir's taking the Ring to Isildur. Isildur took the Ring only as "weregild" for his father and brother, something quite important in the medieval real world, and thus Isildur does not simply desire the Ring for its power. Isildur certainly doesn't use the Ring's power, except when attacked by Orcs and he uses it to give him some chance of escape (which clearly doesn't work). Boromir, on the other hand, wanted to use the Ring to gain glory in war: that the Ring would leave him only as it did Isildur was beyond any hope for him and beyond his lack of nobility.
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Old 06-07-2003, 09:39 AM   #9
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In 'Disaster of the Gladden Fields' in UT Isildur tells his eldest son he cannot bend the Ring to his will. He also realizes he's made a mistake in keeping it and plans to turn it over to 'the Wise', (which might not have been the best move either). This of course is why the Ring 'betrays him to his death' because it knows it's lost it's hold on him.

As for Boromir, why is he *never* given the credit he deserves for mastering the Ring's temptation and repenting? His apotheosis after death is proof he died clean of the Ring's taint. Something he achieved all by himself without aid from anybody, (except perhaps Eru).

And movie Faramir *never* wants the Ring for himself, anymore than his literary alter-ego does. He intends to send it to his father in Minas Tirith for Denethor to keep or use in the defense of Gondor. Nor is it hard to see why he might consider this a better alternative than sending the Ring into Mordor in the hands of a mentally fragile Hobbit accompanied by his gardener and a creature suffering from advanced MPD!
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Old 06-07-2003, 10:10 AM   #10
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You can't say that, Legolas, you don't know that for sure, and you can't say that what you said would exactly happen.
Oh? Then speculative threads are useless, then, eh? On a speculative thread, every post has a supposed "IMO" in front of it. I can say that, and I did. It was my opinion, and I shared it. You did the exact same thing, and actually said exactly what I meant:

Quote:
Boromir would eventually succumb to the power of the ring. The ring would eventually abandon him, to get closer to Suaron.
This is what you said previously. Is that *not* what happened to Isildur? I didn't say "Boromir would lead an army of Gondor along the western side of Mirkwood and be attacked by orcs, falling before Thranduil's elves could aid them, leaving only three survivors and the Ring lost in the Anduin." Silly you.

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As has been mentioned, there is no real way to compare Boromir's taking the Ring to Isildur.
There certainly is. I'm led to believe the Ring would abandon Boromir just as it did Isildur. It is no more interested in being used by the leaders of Gondor than it is being a heirloom of the Heirs of Isildur. I do think it's possible for Boromir to be taken by the Ring and march right up to Morannon with it, but I think it's more likely that he would lose it sooner before being able to use it. If he had taken the Ring from Frodo upon Amon Hen, he might have even lost it there, encountering the orc band that the Fellowship encountered, should his path cross with theirs. By the Anduin...sounds familiar.

The matter of who could wield the Ring is discussed in plenty of other threads, where I've quoted the statement that Westerly Wizard is speaking of. Please use the search function and post on those threads if anyone wishes to carry on that debate.

[ June 07, 2003: Message edited by: Legolas ]
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Old 06-07-2003, 03:56 PM   #11
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Although no one can belittle the last actions of Boromir before he dies, they hardly show that he had mastered the Ring's temptation. They are the last repentive efforts of a man who fell to the Ring's temptation: and his fall is not from the Ring's overmastering irresistability as is Frodo's in the Sammath Naur, but from his own desire to use the Ring for his own glory. His death does not change this, though it might offer him some last chance of saving grace for his otherwise unnoble character.

There is no real basis to say that the Ring would abandon Boromir as it did Isildur. It might have, but the fact that it happened to Isildur makes it no more likely that it would happen to Boromir. And again, the attitude of Isildur towards the Ring is quite contrary to that of Boromir.
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Old 06-07-2003, 05:00 PM   #12
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The fact that Boromir does not pursue Frodo, certainly he was good enough a tracker to do so, but instead returns shamefacedly to the Company shows that he had indeed mastered the temptation of the Ring.

And the baser side of his character as well. 'few have won such a victory' Aragorn tells him - and he *isn't* talking about all those dead orcs!

Boromir has done something quite remarkable, something that nine great Kings of Men, and even Bilbo and Frodo failed to do. He has freed himself of the Ring's taint. The aura of light surrounding his body in the boat is proof of that.
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Old 06-07-2003, 05:18 PM   #13
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Taking the Ring for oneself would entail breaking Sauron utterly. After doing this, I believe the Ring would probably be useless. I'll explain. Power is the ability to effect one's will. Spiritually speaking, power is an abstract concept, and I believe that without any particular "device" defined as the effector, we could consider "power" synonymous with "will". The power within the Ring was Sauron, so to break the will of the Ring is to overcome Sauron himself. In other words, to 'use the Ring against Sauron' did not mean that the usurper would shoot beams of power from the Ring and destroy Sauron. It meant that the claiming of the Ring, if ultimate, would, in itself, defeat Sauron. The outcome would be the same as the physical destruction of the Ring.
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Old 06-07-2003, 05:50 PM   #14
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There is no real basis to say that the Ring would abandon Boromir as it did Isildur. It might have, but the fact that it happened to Isildur makes it no more likely that it would happen to Boromir. And again, the attitude of Isildur towards the Ring is quite contrary to that of Boromir.
It doesn't have anything to do with the bearer's intentions. Isildur didn't use the Ring and lost it. Gollum did use the Ring and lost it. Hobbits were the only race to prove they could keep up with it. The Ring was part of Sauron, and didn't want to be divided from him.

If Boromir had took it or been given it, do you think he would've been able to use it and make it all the way back to Minas Tirith before being caught? It would abandon him by chance or be taken. I know not which, but I don't think he would've made it. This would mean losing it as a result of an attack. That's what happened to Isildur.

Isildur wasn't killed specifically because he had the Ring, nor did they find it, but it wasn't simply by chance that he lost it.
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Old 06-07-2003, 06:01 PM   #15
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Isildur didn't use the Ring and lost it
Do you mean that he didn't lose the ring as a result of using it?
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Old 06-07-2003, 11:04 PM   #16
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No. I meant what I said - that he didn't use the Ring (except to run away from the orcs at the Disaster of Gladden Fields) and lost it.
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Old 06-08-2003, 01:35 AM   #17
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Poor Boromir! He hasn't even SEEN the Ring apart from a brief glimpse at Imladris and it has driven him crazy! Is it possible that perhaps it never actually had any influence over him at all? He was just desperate to save Gondor and the Ring seemed like a good idea at the time and that silly hobbit is going to get himself killed and the Ring taken back by Sauron anyway... of course he's upset! But Boromir is also a decent man, and a kind one, as can be seen in the course of FOTR, in his consideration for the hobbits' needs. Naturally, he feels bad when Frodo has run off and he comes to his wits. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 06-08-2003, 02:35 AM   #18
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Ok, cause I was going to bring up the part where he lost the ring.

Oh yeah, check your PM.

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Is it possible that perhaps it never actually had any influence over him at all?
No, because such a noble man as himself would not have tried to take it from Frodo if the ring did not influence him. But it did. It was on his mind constantly, and it was growing, ever since the council of Elrond. At Lothlorien, he seemed to be obsessed with it, and the ring played on his opinion of it. It sort of enhanced it, and blocked out any advice or knowledge of the matter given by those such as Gandalf or Elrond. At least that's what I think.

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Old 06-08-2003, 11:48 AM   #19
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Boromir, unfortunately, is not exactly shown to be a noble man. He falls to the Ring because he desires what it offers, just as Faramir does not fall to it because he does not desire it.
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Old 06-08-2003, 01:19 PM   #20
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What would happen if a Vala got the ring?
I belive a Valar would have no use for the ring considering their power is already far superior to Sauron's. Even Sauron weilding the one ring wouldn't stand a chance against the Valar.
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Old 06-08-2003, 03:28 PM   #21
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Just because he falls to the ring does not mean that he isn't noble. Boromir was a noble man, he was well respected, especially in Minas Tirith. Faramir was too, but Faramir did not let himself be taken by the ring. Boromir let his guard down, he let the ring take advantage of him. It has nothing to do with being noble. Yes, he wasn't displaying his noble quality at the time, but he still was noble.

Boromir did fall to the ring because he did desire what false offer it gave, but Faramir did not because his knowledge of the ring was not given falt out, like Boromir's was. Boromir was shown the ring at the Council of Elrond. He was told of it and what power it could wield, and that's where the ring had taken him. He let down his guard and he becaem vulnerable as he desired to use it. That is why you always should give the warnings first. Tell someone of the dangers before you tell them of the item, because they might not listen if you tell them after. They might be too occupied with the item to listen to any warnings. That's what happened to Boromir. And it was the ring that was the item, so you know that he desire to have it and to use it was greater than that of any other item.

Faramir did not know of the ring. He had to guess and guess and put parts and pieces together before he knew what it was. It was like a jigsaw puzzle to him, and before he saw the whole picture he could see teh dangers of it. He knew that it has caused great grief and he knew that it had played some part in the death of Boromir. So, before he knew wholey of what it was, he made the decision not to use it. But as for Faramir not desiring it, I don't think we'll ever know. I think that he actually did, but he knew not to.
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Old 06-08-2003, 05:34 PM   #22
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"I who was his father say that he would have brought it to me" (ROTK "The Siege of Gondor"). Denethor is, of course, incorrect--Boromir would have kept the Ring himself as Gandalf notes--but his comment is clear that Boromir's fall to the Ring was something not simply the product of what knowledge he had of its power. That he wouldn't wish to destroy the Ring was forseeable by his father from the beginning. Denethor was able to forsee Boromir not giving in to the counsel of the Wise without Boromir having even known what the Ring was. Faramir does the same: "I canwell believe that Boromir, the proud and fearless, often rash, ever anxiou fo the victory of Minas Tirith (and his own glory herein) might desire such a thing and be allured by it" (TTT "The Window on the West).

Boromir can be characterized by an Old English word which Tolkien deals with in length in his essay "The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth." That word is ofermod, which Tolkien translates to "overmastering pride." It is a word found in the poem "The Battle of Maldon" (and its only other use is applied to the Devil), of the earl Beorhtnoth doing the chivalrous act of equaling the battlefield for his enemies ("as he should not have done") so that his image could be raised in glory. In that essay, Tolkien singles out another Old English Word, the last used in the poem Beowulf, applied to the hero: lofgeornost, "most desirous of glory."

The actions of Boromir throughout LOTR are indicative of both these words. "Take it and go forth to victory!" he shouts at the Council of Elrond, and he really means it to. Boromir's fall to the Ring has nothing to do with anything but his own shortcomings, those clearly exposed qualities that contrast him from Faramir.

[ June 08, 2003: Message edited by: Westerly Wizard ]
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Old 06-09-2003, 01:57 PM   #23
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I think we all agree that Boromir would not have been able to weild and use the Ring, but I believe the seduction of the Ring made him think otherwise. The Ring has a way with peoples' minds and can generate thoughts and images in an attempt to crumble even the strongest of wills:

"Wild fantasies arose in his mind; and he saw Samwise the Strong, Hero of the Age, striding with a flaming sword across the darkened land, and armies flocking to his call as he marched to the overthrow of Barad-dûr." (RotK, The Tower of Cirith Ungol)

Could Boromir have had a similar vision in the short glimse of the Ring? Boromir was a noble man, but his love and pride in his country was almost like his weakness. He grew up in a kingdom that saw him as their next leader; the heir to the Steward's throne over Gondor. Had Aragorn not presented himself, Boromir would have been next in line to rule the country. It would be in Boromir's nature to want to be a strong and powerful leader. With something as powerful as the Ring, it would seem that no one could match his strength, not even the heir of Isildur. Could the Ring have been able to pick up on his eagerness to lead Gondor to victory? I think under everything else, Boromir desired power. Faramir did not. Aragorn, Frodo, and Sam did not. They were for the most part able to see through the Ring's visions and realize that it was not their place to have such power:

"...but deep down in him lived still unconquered his plain hobbit-sense: he knew in the core of his heart that he was not large enough to bear such a burden, even if such visions were not a mere cheat to betray him. The one small garden of a free gardener was all his need and due, not a garden swollen to a realm; his own hands to use, not the hands of others to command." (RotK, The Tower of Cirith Ungol)

In the last moments of Boromir's role in the Fellowship, he also realizes he was not meant to wield such a power, and it is when he realized that that he truely conquered the Ring. It wasn't until he could face his own defeat and mortallity that he could be victorious in defeating the temptation and allowing others to succeed where he could not:

'Farewell, Aragorn! Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed.' (FotR, The Departure of Boromir)
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Old 06-09-2003, 08:23 PM   #24
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Yes! that's exactly what I've been trying to say. The Ring worked on Boromir's own weaknesses tempting him to his fall. But he defeated it in the end, by defeating himself and mastering his own baser side. 'A great victory'.

BTW: If Boromir is 'ignoble' for desiring power what does that make Galadriel? She admits right out that she's long desired the One Ring.
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Old 06-09-2003, 08:30 PM   #25
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Galadriel is human in that she desire for power, and a noble human in that she overcomes that desire when its effection is offered to her. Galadriel is not pure, but she is not ignoble as Boromir is, for she overcomes the desire to have the Ring when it is offered to her. Boromir never nears this. The only resistence he puts towards the temptation of Ring comes as catharsis after it has been taken from him in a moment which he gave in entirely to the Ring.

[ June 09, 2003: Message edited by: Westerly Wizard ]
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Old 06-09-2003, 08:42 PM   #26
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... a moment which he gave in entirely to the Ring.
But that's just the point. Boromir did not act solely out of free choice. The Ring was appealing to his baser desires and he did not have the strength to resist it and free himself of its enticement until after his unsuccessful attempt to seize it.

And being a Man, albeit of (watered down) Numenorean descent, it is hardly suprising that he fares less well in resisting the Ring than a 6,000 year old Elf, one of the most powerful ever to walk ME.
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Old 06-09-2003, 09:26 PM   #27
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Boromir's fall to the Ring has nothing to do with anything but his own shortcomings
No it is not so. Yes, of course, his flaws were a reason, but it is not the only reason. I told you about how Boromir learned of the ring. Had he been warned before he learned of it it might have been different. Boromir would a chance against the ring. If you can see your folly before it happens it is so much easier to prevent it. Boromir would not have looked upon the ring with his guard down, and therefore the ring would not have had a wide open shot at Boromir's flaws.

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Galadriel is not pure, but she not ignoble as Boromir is, for she overcomes the desire to have the Ring when it is offered to her. Boromir never nears this. The only resistence he puts towards the temptation of Ring comes as catharsis after it has been taken from him in a moment which he gave in entirely to the Ring.
Being noble has nothing to do with refusing the ring or not. The Saucepan Man has a good point on this and not to mention Galadriel's vast knowledge of the ring. She knew of the dangers that the ring had, and she fully understood them. Boromir, did not understand them. He did not have time to even understand them. The ring already had a hold on him. But it doesn't matter anyways, he still is noble, even if he gave in to the ring.
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Old 06-09-2003, 10:04 PM   #28
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You can not blame the Ring for Boromir's desire as you can blame it for Frodo's ultimate physical failure. Boromir had never even held the Ring, yet had turned his will toward possessing it from his first glimpse of it. Frodo bears it until the point of its making and only then gives in. Boromir's failure actually is an act of free will. When I said moment, it is not a moment of duress under the Ring's temptation, just a reference to time, nothing more.

The argument that Boromir did not know of the Ring's danger is entirely without validity. He sat through the Council of Elrond, and was repeatedly told of its dangers. He simply chose to ignore the wisdom he had been offered. It took Frodo one talk with Gandalf to understand the danger of the Ring (at least to the point that one should not want it): Boromir had plenty of time. If his guard was down when looking upon the Ring, he would have no one to blame but himself (and there was no desire for a guard to be raised) . Furthermore, Galadriel's knowledge did not put her in any special position to resist it. The character, besides Sauron, with the greatest knowledge of the Ring was Saruman, and he craved it for himself.

[ June 10, 2003: Message edited by: Westerly Wizard ]
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Old 06-09-2003, 10:54 PM   #29
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It is clear to me that Boromir was influenced by the ring. He may have only seen it once, but the ring was drawn to those with power, and Boromir did not have the "will" to resist that Aragorn, Gandalf, et al possessed. Whether this was due to his ignorance, which seems wholly debatable, or his PRIDE, which seems far more likely, it is clear that proximity worked on Boromir.
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Old 06-09-2003, 11:21 PM   #30
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1420!

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You can not blame the Ring for Boromir's desire as you can blame it for Frodo's ultimate physical failure.
I never did.

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Boromir had never even held the Ring, yet had turned his will toward possessing it from his first glimpse of it.
That's a quality of the ring. You don't even need to hold it to have it lure you to it. Smeagol hadn't held it when Deagol first found it, yet he had an an overwhelming desire for it. He went so far as to kill, just to obtain the ring, and headn't even ouched it yet. You don't need to touch the ring. Just to see it is enough, and sometimes even to hear of it, without seeing.

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Frodo bears it until the point of its making and only then gives in.
No, he gave in to it first at Weathertop. He disobeyed Gandalf and all of his advice, and he put the ring on. He does resist it very well throughout his journey and it is not until he gets to 'the point of making' that he claims it, fully giving in to it. Not to mention the fact that Boromir is "a Man, albeit of (watered down) Numenorean descent" (as The Saucepan Man put it) while Frodo is a simple minded hobbit who have a great resistance and endurance to the ring.

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Boromir's failure actually is an act of free will. When I said moment, it is not a moment of duress under the Ring's temptation, just a reference to time, nothing more.
I knew what you meant, but it is not free will. His decision was distorted on behalf of the ring. The ring was using him. I believe that the ring can think or at least it acts in accordance to its own survival and the task of getting back to it's master. If it were to stay with Frodo, it would be destroyed. If it were to go with Boromir, Sauron would learn exactly of its whereabouts in a matter of time. And then he could take it. Sauron would be looking towards Minas Tirith, not in his own land.

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The argument that Boromir did not know of the Ring's danger is entirely without validity.
I never said that Boromir did not know of the danger. He did not understand the dangers.

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He sat through the Council of Elrond, and was repeatedly told of its dangers. He simply chose to ignore the wisdom he had been offered.
Once again, he did not understand it. He was not ignoring the advice. He listened to it and thought he knew what it meant, but he didn't. He didn't really go into depth in thinking about it, I believe, because he was too taken by the ring.

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It took Frodo one talk with Gandalf to understand the danger of the Ring
Yes, but Frodo did not ahve a land and people that he was defending. Frodo had no need or want of the ring. And he had a one on one conversation with someone who I'm sure is intimidating to a little young hobbit. Frodo would believe that the sky would turn purple and green if Gandalf said so.

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Boromir had plenty of time.
It doesn't matter how much time. He wanted the ring before he understood the dangers. And he tought he understood the dangers, so instead of taking that time to understand them he used it to argue and obsess over the ring.

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If his guard was down when looking upon the Ring, he would have no one to blame but himself (and there was no desire for a guard to be raised) .
It wasn't his fault. If any of the wise had made sure that he understood the dangers before telling him of the ring, then his guard would have been up. If they had taken that time, it would have been up. But it is not their fault either, because they did not know that could happen. It's no one's fault.

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Furthermore, Galadriel's knowledge did not put her in any special position to resist it. The character, besides Sauron, with the greatest knowledge of the Ring was Saruman, and he craved it for himself.
Her knowledge I was refering to was that of the dangers of the ring, that which she fully understood. Saruman, however, did not, and that is why he craved it for himself.
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Old 06-10-2003, 05:47 AM   #31
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i think at first he would think that it's easy to use the one ring but as his journey going back to gondor would start, he would have a hard time because the fellowship and the group of uruk-hai's are hot on his trail and when they would find boromir, he would certainly die or be cursed by the fellowship.
if he reaches gondor without any confrontation's from the fellowship and uruk-hai's, he wouldn't still have the strength to overcome the one ring because of the ring's will to go back to his master, the dark lord sauron. and then after sauron had got the ring, boromir would eventually die and middle earth would burn in the wrath of sauron.
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Old 06-10-2003, 09:05 AM   #32
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As it happens I agree Boromir is to blame for giving in to the Ring. Granted it is working on him, (and no you don't need to touch it to feel it's influence) and yes he is more vulnerable because he doesn't quite believe what he's been told, (by a bunch of strangers) about the Rings corruptive power. BUT he had the strength to resist it and should have resisted. He is indeed to blame for giving in to it as he does.

*HOWEVER* He is also deserves a great deal of credit for recognizing, however belatedly, what's happened to him and breaking the Ring's hold on his mind by mastering his temptation. Had he *not* genuinely repented and freed himself of the Ring's hold he would have pursued Frodo instead of returning to the company. Aragorn recognizes the victory he has won over his baser self and praises him for it. The light that bathes Boromir's body as it lies it the boat is a visible sign of the Grace he has achieved.

Boromir did indeed fall - but he got up again and all alone with no aid except that of Eru. An extremely impressive feat.
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Old 06-10-2003, 11:02 AM   #33
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Boromir chose to give in. Aragorn had ample opportunity to seize the ring from Frodo but chose not to. Faramir resisted as well. All three would have acted out of the same motives. Gandalf explained that motive does not matter the ring cannot be used against Sauron.

Even those who at first did not recognize it's true importance and simply used it to hide like Bilbo and Gollum eventually were drawn to serve it rather than it serving them.

Gandalf might have had the power to use it, but look what happened to Saruman the White when he tried to manipulate Sauron to his own advantage. Gandalf recognized his own frailty even as the White.

Back to Boromir. He failed miserably with the ring. I agree that his repentance and the light around him are evidence that his failure was not his doom. Those who never fail (or have no potential to fail) require no redemption.
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Old 06-10-2003, 11:18 AM   #34
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As it happens I agree Boromir is to blame for giving in to the Ring.
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He failed miserably with the ring.
I still feel that this is somewhat harsh on Boromir. Yes, he could (in theory) have resisted the pull of the Ring. But its power was such that he (a Man of physical vigour but less strong in mind) was unable to do so. It was simply not possible for him to resist it, just as it is not possible for someone to lift a great weight if they are not physically strong enough to do so. The fact that someone of Galadriel's stature struggled to resist the Ring when exposed to it tells volumes of how difficult it would have been for a Man like Boromir to resist it. He simply did not have the strength of mind to do so.

Now, I am not saying that Boromir did not have his faults. He was proud. He thought that he knew better than those wiser then him and failed properly to heed their warnings concerning the Ring. And, yes, these faults played a large part in him surrendering to the pull of the Ring. As I said earlier, it appealed to his baser instincts. But he was certainly not without his good qualities. He was a brave and proficient warrior. He took care to assist the Hobbits when they were struggling on Caradhras. And let's not forget that his desire to protect his people from the encroaching evil of Mordor played a large part in his motivations concerning the Ring.

In these circumstances, I find myself unable to condemn Boromir for failing to resist the lure of what was a powerful and evil artifact with the power to tempt those of much greater mental fortitude than he. It seems to me that, in Boromir, almost uniquely amongst the Fellowship, we can see the frailties of our own condition. Who among us can say with certainty, hand on heart, that they would definately not have succumbed to the Ring, even though it might have been with the best of intentions?

The fact that he was ultimately able to free himself of the Ring's influence, thereby redeeming himself, does him great credit. This is something that Gollum was never able to do. Nor were the great Kings of Men who became the Nazgul able to acheive such a victory over the Nine (presumably less powerful) Rings.

[ June 10, 2003: Message edited by: The Saucepan Man ]
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Old 06-10-2003, 06:38 PM   #35
Morwen Tindomerel
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I think Saucepan Man and I are essentially in agreement. One must not underestimate the lure of the Ring. After all Gandalf himself declared he couldn't trust his strength where the Ring was concerned. He also makes it clear that close proximity is not a requirement. Gandalf tells Denethor that even locked away in Minas Tirith's deepest vault the power of the Ring would undermine his will.

Galadriel and Faramir both refuse the Ring, well done, but they also send it away from them at the earliest opportunity. Neither is subjected to the months of pressure that Boromir withstood quite well until after Lorien.

My personal opinion is Galadriel's well meant meddling somehow tipped the balance of his mind in the wrong direction. Possibly Boromir was coping with the temptation by suppressing it. Galadriel with her telepathic psychodrama forced him to face it head on with near disastrous results.

More interesting to my mind is the fact that Galadriel *knows* Boromir is wavering, (she tells Gandalf so after his return) and it is highly unlikely that Aragorn missed, or failed to correctly interpret the numerous clues of a troubled mind Boromir gave during the journey down river.

For that matter how could Gandalf and Elrond have missed Boromir's skepticism about the quest or his vulnerability to the Ring's spell?

They couldn't have. So why was Boromir included in the Company, and why was he kept with them even after it became clear he was in trouble? For both his sake and the quest's one would think they'd have left him behind under some pretext or other.

The answer I believe is because their foresight told them Boromir's presence was somehow vital to the success of the Quest. And so it was. Had he not attacked Frodo and frightened him into instant flight it is very likely he and the Ring would have been taken by Saruman. Boromir's 'fall' saved the Ringbearer and Middle Earth and so was in this sense 'providential'.

But Boromir himself, had he continued under the Ring's spell, would have been equally dangerous to the success of the Quest. Had he not immediately repented and broken the Ring's control over him.

Boromir was vital to the success of the Quest. Neither Faramir nor anybody else could have played his role. He was *meant*, as Gandalf would say, to be a member of the Company for without his weakness and his strength the Ring would not have escaped Saruman's grasp and been ultimately destroyed.
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