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Old 05-17-2005, 07:28 PM   #1
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White Tree Gandalf a "steward?"

While reading an excellent post on another forum it posed the question of whether Gandalf saying that he was also a "steward" is more symbolic/metaphorical or if we can see Gandalf as actually being a "steward."
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"If you understand it, then be content," returned Denethor. "Pride would be folly that disdained help and counsel at need; but you deal out such gifts according to your own designs. Yet the Lord of Gondor is not to be made the tool of other men's purposes, however worthy. And to him there is no purpose higher in the world as it now stands than the good of Gondor; and the rule of Gondor, is mine and no other man's, unless the king should come again."
"Unless the king should come again?" said Gandalf. "Well, my lord Steward, it is your task to keep some kingdom still against that event, which few now look to see. In that task you shall have all the aid that you are pleased to ask for. But I will say this" the rule of no realm is mine, neither of Gondor, nor any other, great or small. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail of my task, though Gondor should perish, if anythig else passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flawer again in days to come. For I am a steward. Did you not know?"
Tolkien establishes a difference between Denethor's definition of "Steward", and Gandalf's definition of "steward." Notice the use of capitilized, uncapitilized.

There can be two different meanings behind the word Steward. Denethor takes his "Stewardship" as he is the "Lord of Gondor," he is it's absolute ruler, and he throws this lackluster response at the end..."I remain in power! Ohhh...unless the king returns." Where another possible word for steward is "guardian." They look over, protect, land/property for it's master.

I think we can all see that throughout the book Gandalf fulfills this stewardship role, he is the caretaker of Middle-earth. But is this supposed to be taken more symbolically? Or is Gandalf the actual steward of Middle-earth? The "steward" of Eru? "I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor." In that matter, could we also think that all the Istari were the "stewards of Middle-earth," just they strayed from their "stewardship" task?
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Old 05-18-2005, 04:56 PM   #2
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Gandalf says "I am also a steward."

He does not say "I am the steward."

Thus, the door is easily left open to there being several stewards of Middle-earth. Indeed, are not all the Valar and the Maiar "stewards" of Arda, awaiting the "Return of the King"?

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Old 05-18-2005, 05:20 PM   #3
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Thumbs up Good question, Boro.

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Indeed, are not all the Valar and the Maiar "stewards" of Arda, awaiting the "Return of the King"?
I suppose that's right. The wizard's were sent to Middle-earth to kinda take care of it, and keep it in order. That is what a steward does.
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Old 05-18-2005, 07:30 PM   #4
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White Tree

Now that I think about it Nim, they were sort of the Stewards for the Valar. The Valar tried to intervene before, and it didn't seem to work out to well.

Also, it would sort of explain better why Gandalf was the only Istari to succeed in his task. Saruman is pretty self-explanatory. Alatar and Pallando, just not much is said on what they did over there in the east. Radagast was in a way a "steward" of the birds/nature, but as an istar, he was supposed to be a steward of all middle-earth, hence why he falls short.

Good observation Formendacil, using "a" instead of "the."
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:05 AM   #5
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As for the Blue Wizards, I'm not all that sure they "failed" totally.
Doesn't Tolkien say somewhere in "Letters" that they were sent as
emessaries to the east (like missionaries), and that they may have had some positive effect in disuniting the eastern and southern peoples from
uniting against the west? I'll have to reread letters, etc.

Radagast is a generally curiously ineffective istari, for good or evil.

But since even Saruman was given more then one chance to repent,
it would seem possible that the other three wizards were welcomed back to
Valinor.- especially given the extremely difficult working conditions of the
Blue Wizards.
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Old 05-19-2005, 01:43 PM   #6
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Tolkien himself wasn't sure of the effect of the Blue Wizards in the east, I seem to remember that he said (in Letters) that he saw them as being the founders of secret societies and religions. Who can say if they failed, perhaps this was their purpose.

The question of 'stewardship' is interesting, when Gandalf says:

Quote:
"But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care...For I am a steward. Did you not know?"
He seems to be using the title 'steward' almost in its mediaeval sense. As one who takes care of the domestic household and servants of the lord. Another word for steward in those times was 'seneschal'. This word (bearing in mind the Professor's love of words) has its roots in Latin/Ancient Germanic/Anglo Saxon, meaning 'old servant'. I wonder if this was just a coincidence, given the physical appearance of the Istari as they wandered Middle-earth.
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Old 05-23-2005, 08:22 AM   #7
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Gandalf is the/a steward of Middle-Earth while valar aren't there (on a way), as Denethor is the steward of Gondor while the king is away. Gandalf's job is just different. He doesn't actually rule ME. So when talking about Gandalf 'steward' means 'envoy' or 'messenger'.
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Old 05-23-2005, 04:00 PM   #8
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White Tree

I think a bigger question is, is Gandalf in a way an "authority" when it comes to being the steward of Middle-earth? What I mean is does he hold some sort of authoratative power, where some other people of power (Theoden, Aragorn, Denethor) have to listen to him?

I can't recall anytime when Gandalf made someone listen to him, but he's very good at getting people to do what he wants. But, is this more of the fact that people are smart enough to listen to his advice?
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Old 05-23-2005, 06:36 PM   #9
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Maybe the fact that Gandalf doesn't force anyone to listen to what he says is part of the difference between the good and evil forces in Middle Earth. The only characters I've noticed actively forcing another to do something have been on the Morgoth/Sauron side. Something along the lines of you can't be forced to do the right thing. Or also, that you can't remain in the role of good if you try to force your will on to others, even if it's "for their own good" or done in a subtle way - shades of Saurman and a lust for power?
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Old 05-24-2005, 10:22 AM   #10
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rolf,,,,gandolf likes stew !!!
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Old 07-12-2005, 05:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boromir88
While reading an excellent post on another forum it posed the question of whether Gandalf saying that he was also a "steward" is more symbolic/metaphorical or if we can see Gandalf as actually being a "steward."


Tolkien establishes a difference between Denethor's definition of "Steward", and Gandalf's definition of "steward." Notice the use of capitilized, uncapitilized.

There can be two different meanings behind the word Steward. Denethor takes his "Stewardship" as he is the "Lord of Gondor," he is it's absolute ruler, and he throws this lackluster response at the end..."I remain in power! Ohhh...unless the king returns." Where another possible word for steward is "guardian." They look over, protect, land/property for it's master.

I think we can all see that throughout the book Gandalf fulfills this stewardship role, he is the caretaker of Middle-earth. But is this supposed to be taken more symbolically? Or is Gandalf the actual steward of Middle-earth? The "steward" of Eru? "I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor." In that matter, could we also think that all the Istari were the "stewards of Middle-earth," just they strayed from their "stewardship" task?
The above post clearly implies that Gandalf was actually a much more powerful opponent than the WK, but was forbidden by Eru to reveal his true power against the enemy, as that was not the reason Eru sent the Istari to ME. Thats why Tolkein decided not to allow a direct battle between him and the WK. I think that the WK (and almost everybody in ME for tht matter) was not aware of the true nature of Gandalf, hence his abusive curses as the two confronted each other.

The WK could not have killed Gandalf, only a being of similar or greater stature, such as a Balrog, or Sauron, could have done so. Gandalf might have been anxious to face the WK, but that was probably because the WK was more than a match for anybody else in Gondor, and could sway the outcome of the fate of ME during the siege of Gondor, unless Gandalf confronted him, and also of the folly of Denethor. Gonder was vulnerable even with the aid of Rohan.
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Old 07-12-2005, 05:51 AM   #12
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PJ obviously did not think this would work well in the film, leaving people new to the LOTR confused.
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Old 05-10-2006, 08:28 AM   #13
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There's no need to take the phrase literally. Gandalf was simply implying that he is also responsible for others the same as Denethor is.
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:09 PM   #14
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Right. Gandalf is certainly one of the highest stewards, but it is a role that he thought all should take on. He says this when speaking to the Lords of the West in XI. Chapter 9, 'The Last Debate':

Quote:
'Other evils there are that may come; for Sauron is himself but a servant or emissary. Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.'
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Old 05-11-2006, 03:42 AM   #15
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That's not what he is saying, Legolas. As you can see in the quote you used, once again inaccuately, Gandalf is calling on the Lords assembled to make decisions as usual despite the challenges they were facing.
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Old 05-11-2006, 06:47 AM   #16
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Denethor sees a steward as someone who rules in the place of another, in his case, in place of an absent King. Gandalf reminds him that the proper role of a steward is to serve, not to rule.

Like Gandalf, I am a Steward. Like Gandalf, I was chosen by others on behalf of a super-natural agency to fullfil certain functions. My tasks are to care and to serve. I have responsibilities but no power or authority over others.

Denethor is reminded of this idea of Stewardship. Gandalf, while recognising his great responsibility for Gondor, tries to tell him that he need not take the woes of all the world on his own shoulders and that if he will be a serving steward as well as a Rulling Steward, then other stewards, all those who serve and care for Middle Earth, can help him to carry the load.

In his pride, Denethor will not serve, only rule. He takes the whole load on himself and it's weight crushes him.
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Old 05-11-2006, 07:53 AM   #17
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Hear, hear! Well said!
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Old 05-11-2006, 09:44 AM   #18
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"once again inaccurately" - what does that mean?

It is accurate. Try reading it again.

Quote:
Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.
He is asking that everyone be stewards of Middle-earth - not to be great generals of countries, but to simply take care of the world whereever they are.

steward - one who manages another's property, finances, or other affairs
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Old 05-11-2006, 02:07 PM   #19
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'Steward' in this context seems equivalent to 'Thain' in the Shire: 'They chose from their own chiefs a Thain to hold the authority of the king that was gone.' (LotR Prologue).

The section in italics makes it clear that the Thain was to all intents & purposes in the position of the King, with all his power & authority. The Steward is in the same position in Gondor - unless the King returns. Denethor, therefore is not simply a 'servant' - he is 'King'. As is the Thain in the Shire. Gandalf is 'Steward' in that he is the representative of the Valar (possibly of Eru, rather, as even though it was the Valar who sent him to Middle-earth, it seems from his words to Aragorn/Gimli/Legolas that he had strayed beyond thought & time - ie beyond/outside Arda itself - that it was He who sent him back). It seems what Gandalf is saying is that while Denethor may be Steward/representative of the political & temporal ruler of M-e, he, Gandalf, is Steward/representative of the Divine ruler of all things. Its the old division of Church & State thing.
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Old 05-11-2006, 02:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Legolas:

it is a role that he thought all should take on
Quote:
Originally posted by Selmo:

all those who serve and care for Middle Earth, can help him to carry the load.
How are these two responses drastically different? How can one be "again inaccurate" and the other be "well said"? Both Legolas and Selmo appear to me to be saying that Gandalf's opinion is that a steward should not rule alone, but be aided in his role by anyone who cares for, and thus is responsible for, middle earth, in which way we all become 'stewards'.

As far as I can see they just used different semantics to express the same general point (a good one at that).

Quote:
Originally posted by Rhod The Red:
Gandalf is calling on the Lords assembled to make decisions as usual despite the challenges they were facing.
This is another good message to be drawn from the quote cited by Legolas. Gandalf does press the need to keep making decisions and working, even if the benefits will only be for future generations, but by referring to "us" he also makes it a collective responsibility, again making everyone responsible for middle earth, and thus all 'stewards' of middle earth.

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Old 05-11-2006, 04:36 PM   #21
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White Tree

Legolas brings up a good point and it goes to the very beginning of this thread. The two different definitions of the word "Stewards."

Denethor's "Steward" is to rule and run the Kingdom as davem points out. Which was the job of the Stewards until a King should return. Hence the title "ruling Steward."

Where Gandalf's "steward," is to act more as an emissary of the Vala and Eru, and to be a caretaker. Also, I would like to point out Formendacil's point when Gandalf says:
"For I am a steward."
The keyword being "a," Gandalf is not the only "steward" there are others. And as Legolas shows Gandalf wants others to act as "stewards."

It comes down to the difference between the two definitions. Tolkien was a linguist, as he purposefully left one capitilized and the other not to emphasize the difference between "Steward" and "steward."
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Old 05-12-2006, 03:12 AM   #22
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"Steward" in Denethor's case is capitalised because it's a title, not a common noun.

One point that comes out of the conversation between Gandalf and Denethor is that although Denethor has the title Steward, he is not acting as a steward. A steward serves the interestes of another. Denethor isn't doing that. He thinks that he is serving Gondor but, as he sees himself as an embodiment of Gondor (a function of a King), he is really serving himself. He may be sitting on a plain wooden chair on the lowest step below the Throne but he is, in effect, not steward but Ruler. He calls himself the Lord of Gondor and acts as, and believes himself to be, the King. He rejects the idea that the line of the Kings could ever be re-established.

Gandalf tells him that he should be a steward as well as having the title Steward. As a steward of Gondor, his care for the land and its people should out-weigh his pride as Steward of Gondor, and that that care should mean swallowing his pride and accepting Gandalf's help and advice.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Some posters have suggested that one of Gandalf's roles as a steward is that of Envoy or messenger of The Valar.
I don't see it. If he were a messenger, he would be proclaiming the message he had been given by his masters. He doesn't do that. He never speaks of The Valar or his own origins. Only Cirdan and a few others know that he has come from The West and no-one, except perhaps Galadrial, realises that he is Maiar.
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Old 05-12-2006, 05:29 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selmo
One point that comes out of the conversation between Gandalf and Denethor is that although Denethor has the title Steward, he is not acting as a steward. A steward serves the interestes of another. Denethor isn't doing that. He thinks that he is serving Gondor but, as he sees himself as an embodiment of Gondor (a function of a King), he is really serving himself ...

Gandalf tells him that he should be a steward as well as having the title Steward. As a steward of Gondor, his care for the land and its people should out-weigh his pride as Steward of Gondor.
(emphasis added)

Interesting that Tolkien, in one of his Letters I think, describes Denethor as a politician, as there is a message there for today's politicians ...
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Old 05-12-2006, 05:58 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selmo
A steward serves the interestes of another. Denethor isn't doing that. He thinks that he is serving Gondor but, as he sees himself as an embodiment of Gondor (a function of a King), he is really serving himself. He may be sitting on a plain wooden chair on the lowest step below the Throne but he is, in effect, not steward but Ruler. He calls himself the Lord of Gondor and acts as, and believes himself to be, the King. He rejects the idea that the line of the Kings could ever be re-established.
Well, there are no more Kings of Gondor, & more importantly no-one with a legal claim to the Kingship. The last king of the line of Anarion is long dead. That means that there will be no new king as far as Denethor is concerned. The House of Isildur is 'Long bereft of lordship & dignity' – the first part of that statement is absolutely correct from Denethor's pov. The second part is at least arguable (in terms of the 'House'. The Arnorian kings were pretty useless.

Hence Denethor is king in all but name & has not only the power, but more importantly the responsibility of the king. Of course he has come to identify himself with the realm & has a pretty inflated ego by the end, but based on what he knows of them the House of Arnor are a disaster waiting to happen. We know Aragorn, he does not. There's a war on, & disaster is just around the corner. Then some wizard pops up & intends to put the last loser of a line of losers on the throne. What is any war leader going to do in that situation. And Gandalf doesn't help Denethor in the slightest way to understand the situation. Denethor has isolated himself & come to believe that the safety of the Realm depends on his rule. Put yourself in his position – would you just hand over the rule of the city & realm to a total stranger with no rightful claim just because some wizard pops up & tells you to? His own line has failed – Faramir has just handed the Ring over to Sauron by letting Frodo go.

I think there is a misunderstanding of the role of 'Steward' in this context. We're not talking of the political equivalent of wine stewardhere, but of someone who stands in for the King. In hereditary terms Denethor probably does have more right to rule Gondor than Aragorn anyway.
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Old 05-13-2006, 03:45 AM   #25
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"In hereditary terms Denethor probably does have more right to rule Gondor than Aragorn anyway." Why? Isn't the line of Isildur legitmaite in your view?
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Old 05-13-2006, 04:28 AM   #26
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"In hereditary terms Denethor probably does have more right to rule Gondor than Aragorn anyway." Why? Isn't the line of Isildur legitmaite in your view?
Pelendur & the Council decided it wasn't legitimate in 1944. My view is beside the point, really. Aragorn did not have a legal claim on the throne according to Gondorian law.
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Old 05-13-2006, 09:11 AM   #27
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davem, I agree to an extent. According to the rules set down by Pelendur and the Council, Arvedui's claim was illegitimate (which the law itself they made is what was illegitimate. They found a loophole and they took advantage of it. Politics and power will do that. )

The loophole in Arvedui's claim is he claimed to be Isildur's heir, and was restoring the High Kingship. Where the Council found the loophole that Isildur forsook his Kingdom:
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The Council of Gondor answered: "The crown and royalty of Gondor belongs solely to the heirs of Meneldil, son of Anßrion, to whom Isildur relinquished this realm. In Gondor this heritage is reckoned through the sons only; and we have not heard that the law is otherwise in Arnor.~Appendix A: Of Gondor and the Heirs of Anarion
And we are told that:
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But soon he departed, and after he had given counsel to Meneldil, his brother's son, and had committed to him the realm of the south, he bore away the ring, to be an heirloom of his house, and marched north from Gondor by the way Elendil had come; and he forsook the South Kingdom, for he purposed to take up his father';s realm in Eriador, far from the shadow of the Black Land.~The Silmarillion: Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
This is what the Council uses to deny Arvedui's claim. The law was illegitimate, and aside from our opinions about that law, this was the law Gondor had made and Arvedui's claim was illegitimate. But there's a difference between Arvedui's claim and Aragorn's claim.

Arvedui claimed to be Isildur's heir and was restoring the High Kingship. The Council said, na can't do that because Isildur gave up his rule here (even though if we are told he didn't), but still that's what the Council had made law. Aragorn claimed to be Elendil's heir and was restoring the High Kingship. Aragorn was probably aware of Arvedui's claim being rejected, so all the more important to claim to be Elendil's heir, who indeed was the High King, and restore that Kingship. Where Isildur (again according to the Council) had relinquished his rule in Gondor and was not the High King, he gave up his rule in Gondor and went to rule Arnor.

Aragorn most likely knew about Gondor's ruling in Arvedui's claim, hence the importance of claiming to be Elendil's heir and not Isildur's. Which I think makes it look as if Aragorn's claim was in accordance to Gondor's law.
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Old 05-13-2006, 09:57 AM   #28
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There are greater things here than the petty squabbles of politics and claims. Aragorns ancestry cannot and will not be denied, only through him will there be reunification, only through him will there be the saving of the last remnents of the Dunedain, and that includes Gondor. It is not in a name, nor the imaginary lines drawn on the soil of Middle-earth that he claims leadership over the world of men, it is in his blood that he is the greatest man alive during the closing years of The Third Age, for who else of The Atani is descended from Beren and Luthien, who else can weild Anduril, who else can wear The Elessar and The Ring of Barahir, these tokens are ancient and their history predate Gondor and Arnor, they are given to the rightful heir of Beren, Earendil and Elendil, who of the race of man can claim these to his own, not for nothing is Aragorn named Estel, remember the very existance of the Free West was at stake here. Is Gandalf the Steward of Eru, when he crowns Aragorn is he handing over the stewardship of Middle-Earth to the Dominion of Men, have Men been given lordship over the world that is, only for it to come to this?............................................. ........
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Old 05-13-2006, 10:17 AM   #29
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I take your point. Its arguable though that if Aragorn had just walked in & claimed the High Kingship while Denethor was alive he would have split the realm & we'd have seen a repetition of the Kin-strife. Denethor could certainly have claimed that Elendil had bequeathed the realms to his sons & therefore only the Heirs of Anarion had the rightful claim to rule Gondor. This was clearly Aragorn's fear even after Denethor's death - otherwise why not proclaim himself after the battle of Pelennor Fields? I note that Faramir asked the people at the coronation if they would have Aragorn as their King. Isildur did not so much 'relinquish' rule of Gondor as acknowledge that his nephew was next in succession after Anarion.

In other words both sides had valid points to make. Denethor ruled as Steward of the decendants of Anarion, not of Elendil. For all Aragorn could claim the High Kingship he could have just been laughed out of court. The argument would have been on technicalities as far as I can see & in the world of realpolitik such technicalities are just words. Aragorn was not a direct heir & did not have a claim to the Kingship of Gondor & Denethor knew that. Aragorn was playing politics as much as Denethor. His real claim was based on his success in the war against Sauron. He was the closest thing to an 'Heir to the throne', but he wasn't actually one in a real sense. I suspect Pelendur & the Council would have rejected Arvedui's claim if he had invoked his descent from Elendil in the way they rejected his descent from Isildur.

Note, my point was based on 'legality', not moral or ethical 'right'. Legally, Aragorn's claim to the rule of Gondor is desputable, while Denethor's & his heirs is not. Hence Denethor's right to rule by inheritance ('heredity') is greater than Aragorn's.
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Old 05-13-2006, 10:33 AM   #30
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I agree in principal with most of what you say Davem , however if Aragorn had declared himself to the people of Minas Tirith I doubt they would have rejected the Weilder of The Sword that was Broken, The Dead men of Dunharrow had no doubts, even Eomer can see the advantage of Anduril fighting alongside The Sons of Eorl. The people of Gondor were on their last legs, I think they needed HOPE.
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Old 05-13-2006, 10:45 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by narfforc
I agree in principal with most of what you say Davem , however if Aragorn had declared himself to the people of Minas Tirith I doubt they would have rejected the Weilder of The Sword that was Broken, The Dead men of Dunharrow had no doubts, even Eomer can see the advantage of Anduril fighting alongside The Sons of Eorl. The people of Gondor were on their last legs, I think they needed HOPE.
No - & in the end they didn't reject him, but that was for a couple of 'negative' reasons as well as the positive ones you mention. First, Denethor was dead, second, Faramir had accepted Aragorn's claim. If Denethor had lived, or Faramir had rejected Aragorn's claim there would have been a split Probably not 50-50 but large enough to cause problems of a serious kind. The kin-strife was still in the minds of the people. The worst outcome imaginable, aside from a victory by Sauron would have been a victory over Sauron followed by civil war. Certainly any claim by an earlier descendant of Isildur (or of Elendil if you want) would have been rejected. Arathorn could have claimed the Kingship but I can't see any notice being taken of him.

Denethor or his heirs (I include Imrahil as well) had to either be out of the picture or to accept Aragorn's claim as well as Aragorn achieving victory in the spectacular way he did in order for him to attain the throne without splitting the realm & bringing more bloodshed.
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:07 AM   #32
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You are probably right in saying that Denethor would have caused some problems had he lived, however if Boromir had lived and remained true, he would surely have seen Aragorn in a more positive manner, I even believe he would have bent his knee before the whole world and accepted Aragorn as his King. Denethors madness would have been his downfall, in the same way Hitler imploded. Mad men cannot think, their followers soon come to hate them, ruin and destruction are the battle honours of deranged leaders. In saying all this, I believe what you say to be true, for Politicians, Leaders and Councils of Leaders are corrupted by power and have only one true agenda, that is to hold on, clinging as hard as they can to power, at all costs, spending the lives of their followers until utter ruin.
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:26 AM   #33
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You are probably right in saying that Denethor would have caused some problems had he lived, however if Boromir had lived and remained true, he would surely have seen Aragorn in a more positive manner, I even believe he would have bent his knee before the whole world and accepted Aragorn as his King. .
Possibly. If we look at his death scene though its open to interpretation:

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Aragorn knelt beside him. Boromir opened his eyes and strove to speak. At last slow words came. "I tried to take the Ring from Frodo," he said. "I am sorry. I have paid." His glance strayed to his fallen enemies; twenty at least lay there. "They have gone: the Halflings: the Orcs have taken them. I think they are not dead. Orcs bound them." He paused and his eyes closed wearily. After a moment he spoke again. "Farewell, Aragorn! Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed." 'No!" said Aragorn, taking his hand and kissing his brow. 'You have conquered. Few have gained such a victory. Be at peace! Minas Tirith shall not fall!" Boromir smiled. "Which way did they go? Was Frodo there?" said Aragorn. But Boromir did not speak again.
Unlike in the movie there is no mention of 'our people' by either Aragorn or Boromir. Boromir still claims the people of Minas Tirith as 'my people'. I just don't know. Boromir was wayward to say the least. He would have followed Aragorn to war against Sauron, maybe, but afterwards? He could have gone either way, imo, so I can't argue with you, but I'm not as certain of him as you are - maybe that's the old cynic in me
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Old 05-13-2006, 12:17 PM   #34
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Boromir had not really seen the greatness of the warrior/leadership of Aragorn, how would he have reacted to the scene at The Stone of Erech for instance, surely he would have seen the power of The Heritage of The Heir of Elendils son Isildur, the rights of The House of Hurin would pale into insignificent beside The man within whose veins flowed the blood of Melian and Luthien.
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Old 05-13-2006, 12:20 PM   #35
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davem, oh I agree, if Aragorn had really just pulled an Arvedui and claimed Kingship, he may very well have been laughed out of the Court. He had to prove himself first and after Pelennor and the Black Gates, I think he gets the support he needs. Even after this, I think Aragorn understood how to play politics:
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Faramir met Aragorn in the midst of those there assembled, and he knelt, and said: 'The last Steward of Gondor begs leave to surrender his office.' And he held out a white rod; but Aragorn took the rod and gave it back, saying: 'That office is not ended, and it shall be thine and thy heirs' as long as my line shall last. Do now thy office!'~The Steward and the King
This is Aragorn's first day as King, he really isn't well known to the people yet. It may not have been a wise mood to suddenly change a system that had been in place for quite some time. This shows Aragorn understanding realpolitik and why he was a "good King."

Boromir's situation of accepting Aragorn is a toss-up I think. Early in his writings, Tolkien plays with an idea of Aragorn and Boromir reaching Minas Tirith, and Boromir trying to kick Aragorn out of power:
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Boromir and Aragorn (who notes a change in Boromir - who is keen to break off the chase and go home) reach Minas Tirith, which is besieged by Sauron except at back? Siege is briefly told from point of view of watchers on battlements. Evil has now hold of Boromir who is jealous of Aragorn. The Lord of Minas Tirith is slain (9) and they choose Aragorn. Boromir deserts and sneaks off to Saruman, to get his help in becoming Lord of Minas Tirith.~The Story Foreseen from Moria, The Treason of Isengard
Also as Faramir tells us in The Window on the West:
Quote:
"It does," said Frodo. "Yet always he treated Aragorn with honor."
"I doubt it not," said Faramir. "If he were satisfied with Aragorn's claim, as you say, he would greatly reverence him. But the pinch had not yet come. They had not yet reached Minas Tirith or become rivals in war."
Throughout the journey (despite a rocky start) Boromir trusts Aragorn and seems satisfied with his claim. When he's about to die, he tells Aragorn to save his people, whether this was because he knew he was going to die and he thought Aragorn could be the only person now to save Gondor? Who knows, but we are left with doubt as to whether, if Boromir had lived, would he have resisted Aragorn's claim, would they have become rivals? And even more interesting, if so, what about Faramir? Anyway, just some question to stir some minds.
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Old 05-13-2006, 12:21 PM   #36
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Boromir had not really seen the greatness of the warrior/leadership of Aragorn, how would he have reacted to the scene at The Stone of Erech for instance, surely he would have seen the power of The Heritage of The Heir of Elendils son Isildur, the rights of The House of Hurin would pale into insignificent beside The man within whose veins flowed the blood of Melian and Luthien.
Assuming he would have gone on with Aragorn & not just returned to Minas Tirith.....
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Old 05-13-2006, 12:27 PM   #37
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We can also assume that Denethor would have caused trouble had he not been roasted......
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Old 05-13-2006, 01:23 PM   #38
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We can also assume that Denethor would have caused trouble had he not been roasted......
I think he would have - to the extent that he could. With Boromir I think his dedication to Gondor would have over-ridden his (possibly) developing loyalty to Aragorn. Even at his death Boromir's concern was with his people. He may have seen Aragorn as the means of survival of his folk, but I don't think he saw Aragorn as more important than them. I think if he had survived he would have gone straight home - which was his stated aim all along. Of course, Boromir is single-minded - he can only hold one idea in his mind at a time. His obsession with Gondor's survival is what drives him to desire the Ring. He could well have transferred that focus from the Ring to Aragorn once the Ring had passed out of his reach (& we're assuming also that he wouldn't have sought to follow Frodo - which could have brought him into conflict with Aragorn actually), but I think Gondor would always have been uppermost in his thought. If Aragorn had decided to follow the Orcs I think its more than likely he would have seen that as a betrayal of his duty to Gondor & that Boromir would have gone back to Minas Tirith alone, perhaps feeling betrayed by Aragorn.

Boromir has inherited his father's obsessive love of Gondor & I think that explains a lot about him & the choices he made, & would have made.
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Old 05-14-2006, 04:43 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
If Aragorn had decided to follow the Orcs I think its more than likely he would have seen that as a betrayal of his duty to Gondor & that Boromir would have gone back to Minas Tirith alone, perhaps feeling betrayed by Aragorn.
Boromir gave his life in an effort to save Merry and Pippin from capture. Had he survived that encounter, but nevertheless failed to prevent their capture, I suspect that he would have felt duty-bound to help rescue them. In such circusmtances, it is, I think, quite likely that his respect for Aragorn, and therefore the chances of him accepting Aragron as the returning King, would have increased.
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Old 05-14-2006, 07:43 AM   #40
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We won't ever know. I don't see Boromir as being all that 'nice' - certainly the movie rewrote him as a flawed hero, as opposed to the proud, but often thuggish, warrior of the book. Which is not to say he didn't have some good in him. His final act was selfless & worthy of the respect Aragorn & the others show him (respect for his prowess in battle, not for his social skills or pleasant company btw). But this is one moment. He died heroically, but his concern all along was with Gondor. His repentance came with the realisation that he was dying. If he had succeeded in avoiding death I don't see any reason that he would have changed essentially. He wouldn't have turned into a Faramir.

The idea that he would have 'betrayed' his city, his people & most importantly his father by going off on a wild goose chase after a couple of Hobbits is something that is not in character for him - much though we all might like the 'Happily ever after-ness' of it. Boromir was 'lucky' - he achieved a heroic death & had time to 'confess his sins'. As B88 has so cogently argued, though, things had not come to the 'pinch'. Boromir, I think, would have sided with his father. Denethor would have determined whether Boromir accepted or rejected Aragorn. He wouldn't have chosen Aragorn over his father, if push came to shove.
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