Dec 5 2019, 4:14pm
I always like how Tolkien often introduces new characters with an air of mistrust.
Quality is as quality does
That's a nice observation! However, it seems to be the case mainly with Human characters. Gildor and Glorfindel are not introduced with mistrust. Perhaps Haldir is - but he is not a High-Elf.
There is some ambiguity as the whether Faramir actually saw his brothers body or not. I myself am not fully satisfied with this but I suppose its moot since we as the reader know that Boromir is gone.
If not Boromir, he saw an accurate vision, Galadriel's belt and all. Also, the horn was found.
In the movie, it appears to be quite ambiguous; but in the book - remember the description of the Gondorean legend in The Departure of Boromir; I would guess it was a true vision.
Faramir does consider that duty requires him to present the hobbits to his father, but instantly dismisses it. (in comparison to his film counterpart)
Yes, in the film-version he acted much more logically and lawfully.
We find out a bit about Gandalfs history, his many names and his search for the ring.
And a lot about much else, of course.
What do you like/dislike about this chapter?
I'd rather answer this question last.
As a matter of fact - in CuriousG's discussion on the previous week, I did answer this question last, but in the place he put it; however, I think it would be best for this to be the last question, rather than the first.
I will say, however, that this chapter was named by me as a possible favourite in a previous discussion. Rather than repeat myself, here_is the link.
Frodo and Sam feel that it is likely that they are the last survivors of the company. In what ways do you feel this affects them going forward?
Faramir immediately disabuses them of the notion. And it is curious and in later chapters (especially The Stairs of Cirith Ungol), Frodo thinks of Faramir more than of any of his erstwhile companions.
Was this a good time for Tolkien to do a bit of an info dump about Gondor? and more important reveal quite a bit about Boromir's character?
Well, so far we only had Elrond's account from the Council, and Boromir's. It is time we know what we are about - what it is that makes the Return of the King so important.
As some have commented in previous discussions, Boromir seems more likable and heroic after his death, as we learn what others have thought of him - Eomer, Gandalf, Théoden, Faramir and Denethor (Beregond has a slightly different take). Also Pippin.
I think this is important - and as a matter of fact, I think the creation of Faramir, which came to Tolkien nearly as an afterthought* - both reddemed the character of Boromir, and made Gondor, and by extension all Men of the West, something to admire and wish are saved.
* See Letter 66 (a paragraph I discussed here):
A new character has come on the scene (I am sure I did not invent him, I did not even want him, though I like him, but there he came walking into the woods of Ithilien): Faramir, the brother of Boromir.
Did Sam really screw up by mentioning the ring?
Yes - unless you accept Faramir's mystical: "Your heart is shrewd as well as faithful, and saw clearer than your eyes".
But that is Faramir's greatness - he successfully disarms the suspicions of Frodo, the reader and finally Sam. And it is done masterfully. If I had the time I might compare Farmir to Galadriel in the chapter we discussed in the last week - and note that both are "rewarded" with a chance to prove their quality!
Is Faramir truly a man of quality?
I would say yes.
By the way - other things I like in this chapter are the stunning scenery (which will be complemented in the beginning of the next chapter), the description of the meal, and comparison of cultures, and also how Gollum is nearly forgotten - but as we will see in the next chapter, not by Faramir.
Thank you, demnation, for this discussion!
Thinking about things I don't understand