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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
SCOD: "I think at last we understand one another."

Loresilme
Valinor


Jun 17 2013, 7:54pm

Post #1 of 11 (457 views)
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SCOD: "I think at last we understand one another." Can't Post



Sam has just finished his "There's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo...and it's worth fighting for." speech.
Faramir now approaches them and says, "I think at last we understand one another, Frodo Baggins."
Immediately Madril says, "You know the laws of our country, the laws of your father. If you let them go, your life will be forfeit."

Questions:
1. How does Madril already know what Faramir has in mind?

2. What has brought Faramir to this understanding? How much of the events immediately preceding this moment (the Black Rider / Frodo attacking Sam / Sam's speech) did he witness?

3. In contrast to the emotionally charged extreme close-ups of Frodo and Sam (and even, to some extent, Gollum/Smeagol) when they 'understand' what they're fighting for, what is the significance of showing Faramir in all his Gondorian armor, when he comes to his moment of understanding?

4. Looking at the composition of the shot, I notice that behind Faramir (his past), are soldiers, then in the center of the shot (the present), there is Faramir alone in his moment of profound realization where he's about to forfeit his life based on his decision, then to the front of Faramir (his future), there's nothing there (onscreen). In addition, back where the soldiers are, it's slightly darker, and in front, a bit lighter and misty looking. What do you think - is that arrangement by chance or was it intentional?

5. Bonus question: What do you think the soldiers behind Faramir are doing Smile?


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 18 2013, 3:28am

Post #2 of 11 (277 views)
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Faramir makes his decision [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Sam has just finished his "There's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo...and it's worth fighting for." speech.
Faramir now approaches them and says, "I think at last we understand one another, Frodo Baggins."
Immediately Madril says, "You know the laws of our country, the laws of your father. If you let them go, your life will be forfeit."

1. How does Madril already know what Faramir has in mind? I think in their wartime closeness and in the wee hours of the morning, waiting in Ithilien, they have he has discussed the 'maybes' of "what would I do if I had the chance to use the Ring to save Gondor..." I don't think Faramir told Madril about Frodo having the Ring; that's why Madril gives that surprised double-turn when Faramir says that he is sending Denethor a mighty gift: perhaps that is the very language they used when talking about it, and it seems like in that minute Madril realizes what may be in hand. I think he realizes what Faramir has in mind as a bit of an homage to Book Faramir by the writers: the true repugnance Faramir had for the Ring and his wisdom in not holding out his hand for it, which must have been part of their talks that we aren't privy to but maybe see a glimpse of here, in Madril's instinctive knowledge of what Faramir will choose.

2. What has brought Faramir to this understanding? How much of the events immediately preceding this moment (the Black Rider / Frodo attacking Sam / Sam's speech) did he witness? I always thought he saw almost all of it, by the way he approaches them with that sort of sadness, maybe thinking "that could have been Boromir and me, torn apart and rolling in the dust struggling for that hopeless bit of power."

3. In contrast to the emotionally charged extreme close-ups of Frodo and Sam (and even, to some extent, Gollum/Smeagol) when they 'understand' what they're fighting for, what is the significance of showing Faramir in all his Gondorian armor, when he comes to his moment of understanding? A true heir of the best of Numenor? Arrayed for battle - with temptation?

4. Looking at the composition of the shot, I notice that behind Faramir (his past), are soldiers, then in the center of the shot (the present), there is Faramir alone in his moment of profound realization where he's about to forfeit his life based on his decision, then to the front of Faramir (his future), there's nothing there (onscreen). In addition, back where the soldiers are, it's slightly darker, and in front, a bit lighter and misty looking. What do you think - is that arrangement by chance or was it intentional? Wow, great analysis Loresilme: and as you have laid it out I think its unlikely that its an accident! As Darkstone has said before SPJ's scenes are never accidental and have layers of meaning far beyond the obvious.
5. Bonus question: What do you think the soldiers behind Faramir are doing Smile? Probably discussing two important things wartime questions: How long will we last? And where is the food? This was great Loresilme - thanks for putting it together!

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Darkstone
Immortal


Jun 18 2013, 6:58pm

Post #3 of 11 (242 views)
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Faramir died for Gondor's sins. [In reply to] Can't Post

Questions:
1. How does Madril already know what Faramir has in mind?


How does Legolas and Gimli know what Aragorn has in mind at Dunnharrow? How does Sam, Merry, and Pippin know what Frodo has in mind at Amon Hen? In forging the bonds of fellowship one gains quite a bit of insight into the workings of a comrade’s mind.


2. What has brought Faramir to this understanding?

Observing Frodo’s relationships with Gollum and Sam. On the one hand, how one treats others is a big tell into their true motivations and character. Frodo has done his best to shield Gollum/Smeagol, first from discovery, and then from harm. On the other hand, how one’s friends treat someone is also a big tell. Obviously Sam is quite willing to risk death, even at Frodo’s very own hand, to aid and protect his friend. Therefore Faramir understands the nobility of Frodo’s character, the desperation of his quest, and the deep loyalty he is given. Similarly, what with the obvious loyalty of Faramir’s men to their captain, Frodo can gain insight into the true character of Faramir.

Finally, at Henneth Annûn, with Gollum a mere whisper away from death, Faramir saw the line that Frodo would not go over to save the quest. Here, with the fate of the White City in the balance, Frodo can see the line that Faramir will not go over to save Gondor.

They finally understand each other.


How much of the events immediately preceding this moment (the Black Rider / Frodo attacking Sam / Sam's speech) did he witness?

I’d assume all of it. After all, Faramir was tracking the Nazgul from the git-go.


3. In contrast to the emotionally charged extreme close-ups of Frodo and Sam (and even, to some extent, Gollum/Smeagol) when they 'understand' what they're fighting for, what is the significance of showing Faramir in all his Gondorian armor, when he comes to his moment of understanding?

Pretty simple. Like Frodo is fighting for Sam and Gollum, Faramir is fighting for Gondor. But rationally, at face value, without the benefit of faith, Frodo's foolish decision will destroy his friends, and Faramir's foolish decision will destroy Gondor.


4. Looking at the composition of the shot, I notice that behind Faramir (his past), are soldiers, then in the center of the shot (the present), there is Faramir alone in his moment of profound realization where he's about to forfeit his life based on his decision, then to the front of Faramir (his future), there's nothing there (onscreen). In addition, back where the soldiers are, it's slightly darker, and in front, a bit lighter and misty looking. What do you think - is that arrangement by chance or was it intentional?

Intentional. Faramir stands alone before Gondor. He has made the decision, made the sacrifice, that no one else -not Boromir, not Denethor- would have the strength and courage to make. He is giving up the ring. He is acting against all reason and acting purely on faith. And by doing so his self-sacrifice is making Gondor worthy of redemption, worthy of being saved.

(Exactly how many Christ figures *are* there in LOTR anyway?)


5. Bonus question: What do you think the soldiers behind Faramir are doing ?

They seem to be praying…

But more probably they’re just goldbricks who’ve found someplace to hide from their sergeant and talk about girls.

******************************************
Pippin: "When you guys fall in the forest, does it make a sound?"
Bregalad: "Are you kidding? Scott fell last week and he hasn't shut up about it since!"


Rostron2
Gondor


Jun 18 2013, 10:27pm

Post #4 of 11 (214 views)
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SCOD [In reply to] Can't Post

1. How does Madril already know what Faramir has in mind?

As others have said, I agree with the idea that he's served with him so long (and possibly with Denethor) that he knows Faramir down to his boots.

2. What has brought Faramir to this understanding? How much of the events immediately preceding this moment (the Black Rider / Frodo attacking Sam / Sam's speech) did he witness?

It's a way of admitting that he was in error after seeing the effect of the Ring. It's possibly that he also saw some of the drama between Frodo and Sam.

3. In contrast to the emotionally charged extreme close-ups of Frodo and Sam (and even, to some extent, Gollum/Smeagol) when they 'understand' what they're fighting for, what is the significance of showing Faramir in all his Gondorian armor, when he comes to his moment of understanding?


It's sort of like a non-verbal tribute to Faramir's book line:
"Perhaps from far away you discern the air of Numenor"

4. Looking at the composition of the shot, I notice that behind Faramir (his past), are soldiers, then in the center of the shot (the present), there is Faramir alone in his moment of profound realization where he's about to forfeit his life based on his decision, then to the front of Faramir (his future), there's nothing there (onscreen). In addition, back where the soldiers are, it's slightly darker, and in front, a bit lighter and misty looking. What do you think - is that arrangement by chance or was it intentional?

Some kind of shot choice was made. Being in command is a lonely job.


5. Bonus question: What do you think the soldiers behind Faramir are doing?

They're sharing some cram after the action. They don't have smokes, so...



FarFromHome
Valinor


Jun 19 2013, 1:41pm

Post #5 of 11 (215 views)
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Love what everyone has written [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's my take.

1. How does Madril already know what Faramir has in mind?

He must have seen everything that Faramir saw. He's seen Frodo begging to be let go, and Faramir sticking to his plan to send the Ring to his father. Now he's seen the danger of the Ring, and he too must realise that sending it to Denethor could lead to disaster. So when Faramir goes over and kneels before Frodo, he must know what's coming. And he loves Faramir too much to let him throw his life away without at least warning him.

2. What has brought Faramir to this understanding? How much of the events immediately preceding this moment (the Black Rider / Frodo attacking Sam / Sam's speech) did he witness?

I agree with others - all of it. Plus also the things Sam blurted out earlier, before the Nazgul attack, about Boromir, and about the need to destroy the Ring. Faramir is finally able to put the pieces together and understand exactly what this is all about.

3. In contrast to the emotionally charged extreme close-ups of Frodo and Sam (and even, to some extent, Gollum/Smeagol) when they 'understand' what they're fighting for, what is the significance of showing Faramir in all his Gondorian armor, when he comes to his moment of understanding?

He's so alone in this moment - the fate of Gondor lies in his hands. He stands in the ruins of Gondor's great city and contemplates the possible destruction of everything he holds dear for the sake of the greater need of destroying the Ring. I guess this isn't a moment of emotion for him - the emotional response was earlier, when he thought he could save his country by capturing this "weapon". Now he's got to make a fateful decision, and his mind is clear and calm.

4. Looking at the composition of the shot, I notice that behind Faramir (his past), are soldiers, then in the center of the shot (the present), there is Faramir alone in his moment of profound realization where he's about to forfeit his life based on his decision, then to the front of Faramir (his future), there's nothing there (onscreen). In addition, back where the soldiers are, it's slightly darker, and in front, a bit lighter and misty looking. What do you think - is that arrangement by chance or was it intentional?

I love your interpretation, as well as what others have come up with. Embroidering on these ideas some more, I'm seeing Faramir the leader, contemplating the ruin of everything he holds dear (the ruins of Osgiliath in front of him), but still responsible for those men we see behind him. Are they two of the soldiers who will follow him to certain death? The weight of responsibility on Faramir's shoulders is immense.

Thanks for a great SCOD, Loresilme!


They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



Loresilme
Valinor


Jun 24 2013, 2:22pm

Post #6 of 11 (151 views)
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"that could have been Boromir and me" [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
2. What has brought Faramir to this understanding? How much of the events immediately preceding this moment (the Black Rider / Frodo attacking Sam / Sam's speech) did he witness? I always thought he saw almost all of it, by the way he approaches them with that sort of sadness, maybe thinking "that could have been Boromir and me, torn apart and rolling in the dust struggling for that hopeless bit of power."


Oh my... Brethil, that is inspired. And so very likely, that he would be thinking this. And true too - it would indeed have come to this between Faramir and Boromir as well. I never thought of that! Now I will always see that written in the sadness in Faramir's expression at this moment.


Loresilme
Valinor


Jun 24 2013, 2:34pm

Post #7 of 11 (142 views)
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Inspiring loyalty [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
2. What has brought Faramir to this understanding?

Observing Frodo’s relationships with Gollum and Sam. On the one hand, how one treats others is a big tell into their true motivations and character. Frodo has done his best to shield Gollum/Smeagol, first from discovery, and then from harm. On the other hand, how one’s friends treat someone is also a big tell. Obviously Sam is quite willing to risk death, even at Frodo’s very own hand, to aid and protect his friend. Therefore Faramir understands the nobility of Frodo’s character, the desperation of his quest, and the deep loyalty he is given. Similarly, what with the obvious loyalty of Faramir’s men to their captain, Frodo can gain insight into the true character of Faramir.

Finally, at Henneth Annûn, with Gollum a mere whisper away from death, Faramir saw the line that Frodo would not go over to save the quest. Here, with the fate of the White City in the balance, Frodo can see the line that Faramir will not go over to save Gondor.

They finally understand each other.

3. In contrast to the emotionally charged extreme close-ups of Frodo and Sam (and even, to some extent, Gollum/Smeagol) when they 'understand' what they're fighting for, what is the significance of showing Faramir in all his Gondorian armor, when he comes to his moment of understanding?

Pretty simple. Like Frodo is fighting for Sam and Gollum, Faramir is fighting for Gondor. But rationally, at face value, without the benefit of faith, Frodo's foolish decision will destroy his friends, and Faramir's foolish decision will destroy Gondor.




It seems leaders who inspire such loyalty are those who follow their own convictions to a point where they make some decisions that appear foolish, yet those decisions in the end turn out to be the right ones after all!


Loresilme
Valinor


Jun 24 2013, 2:40pm

Post #8 of 11 (152 views)
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"Perhaps from far away you discern the air of Numenor" [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
3. In contrast to the emotionally charged extreme close-ups of Frodo and Sam (and even, to some extent, Gollum/Smeagol) when they 'understand' what they're fighting for, what is the significance of showing Faramir in all his Gondorian armor, when he comes to his moment of understanding?


It's sort of like a non-verbal tribute to Faramir's book line:
"Perhaps from far away you discern the air of Numenor"


Ah yes ... perhaps this is where the movie reveals book-Faramir's nobility of character. Up until now he's been a possible threat, a question mark. In this scene he does look noble, set apart from others, with the White Tree upon his chest, he has that 'air of Numenor' about him!


Loresilme
Valinor


Jun 24 2013, 2:52pm

Post #9 of 11 (155 views)
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"Are they two of the soldiers who will follow him..." [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
4. Looking at the composition of the shot, I notice that behind Faramir (his past), are soldiers, then in the center of the shot (the present), there is Faramir alone in his moment of profound realization where he's about to forfeit his life based on his decision, then to the front of Faramir (his future), there's nothing there (onscreen). In addition, back where the soldiers are, it's slightly darker, and in front, a bit lighter and misty looking. What do you think - is that arrangement by chance or was it intentional?

I love your interpretation, as well as what others have come up with. Embroidering on these ideas some more, I'm seeing Faramir the leader, contemplating the ruin of everything he holds dear (the ruins of Osgiliath in front of him), but still responsible for those men we see behind him. Are they two of the soldiers who will follow him to certain death? The weight of responsibility on Faramir's shoulders is immense.


Aha! Your 'embroidery' adds a whole new dimension, FFF - "are they two of the soldiers who will follow him to certain death". That is so terribly probable. And there they stand in the back of the scene - as they are in the back of his mind - as he makes the decision.


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 24 2013, 4:25pm

Post #10 of 11 (151 views)
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Faramir's sadness [In reply to] Can't Post

was so well done too, so wistful, and I thought David did a wonderful job with it. I feel like he has that knowledge of Boromir, though he loved him so much, because he is able to tell Denethor what the Ring would have done to change Boromir, had he taken it. Glad you like the insight, and these were just an inspired set of shots Loresilme - took me a day to respond for thinking about them!

As we've said before here, even after all the years and views there are still things to discover in these films. Fantastic.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Elenorflower
Gondor


Jul 10 2013, 11:25am

Post #11 of 11 (131 views)
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It is a great looking moment [In reply to] Can't Post

but Faramir would never for one moment have forced Frodo and Sam into that situation, it shows Faramir making the same mistake as Boromir. Nothing in those scenes could have changed his mind. Seeing Frodo almost give the Ring so easily to the Nazgul would have made him all themore determined to 'save' it from such a feeble custodian. The scenes per se were great to watch, but only if you dont know the 'real' Faramir's nobility, he was far more akin to Aragorn than Boromir was.

 
 

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