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Faramir's origins
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DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Mar 22 2014, 6:15pm

Post #1 of 50 (602 views)
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Faramir's origins Can't Post

Just wondered if I was the only one to agree with this. http://www.lotrplaza.com/showthread.php?10312-Faramir-Tolkien%92s-Noblest-Accident
After reading it I now have what I believe is a rather unusual perception of Faramir. The best description we get of Faramir the best description we get of Faramir is from Pippin. Clearly Pippin thinks there is something different about Faramir, evident particularly in this quote:
"Pippin pressed forward as they passed under the lamp beneath the gate-arch, and when he saw the pale face of Faramir he caught his breath. It was the face of one has been assailed by a great fear or anguish, but has mastered it and now is quiet... "Yet suddenly his heart for Faramir was strangely moved with a feeling he had not known before. Here was one with an air of high nobility such as Aragorn at times revealed, less high perhaps, yet also less incalculable and remote: one of the Kings of men born into a later time, but touched with the sadness of the Eldar race."
We get similar but opposite statements from Sam when he first meets Faramir:
"You've spoken very handsome all along, put me off my guard talking of elves and all. But handsome is as handsome does we say..."
Sam is very wary of Faramir and doesn't trust him. He starts to compare Faramir to elves in his mind which he has begun to mistrust, starting with Galdriel's mirror. Faramir's perception of truth seems more than the average ability, and his prophetic dream of the great wave that came upon Numenor is also very telling I think. Faramir's way with words and getting the truth from people seems more to me like a gift than a highly refined talent. It also reminded me of the quote, "Go not to the elves for advice for they will say both yes and no." Faramir's whole conversation in Window on the West with Sam and Frodo reads like a very skillful questioning like in a mystery case. All this to say I don't think Faramir is entirely human.


(This post was edited by DaughterofLaketown on Mar 22 2014, 6:17pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 22 2014, 7:27pm

Post #2 of 50 (420 views)
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Welcome Daughter of Laketown! [In reply to] Can't Post

True, I think if we see Faramir as a throwback to ancient Numenor he would not be entirely human, but by blood closer to the half-Elven continuum of Elros.

Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Mar 22 2014, 7:42pm

Post #3 of 50 (423 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think that Tolkien ever hinted that Boromir and Faramir might have had different mothers; on the other hand, neither do I believe that he ever confirmed that they shared the same birth-mother. It may just be that Faramir is a throwback to the Numenoreans of old.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Mar 22 2014, 10:26pm

Post #4 of 50 (404 views)
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That's the thing [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it is possible they did have different mothers. And that is why Denethor showed favoritism to Boromir.


DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Mar 22 2014, 10:28pm

Post #5 of 50 (392 views)
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I would [In reply to] Can't Post

add more examples but I couldn't find what I was looking for. The article however is really good.


squire
Half-elven


Mar 23 2014, 1:11am

Post #6 of 50 (388 views)
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I think it goes a bit too far in some ways [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with the essayist at LotR Plaza that Faramir is an extraordinary man. I don't agree with the supposition that he is in any sense not a Man, nor with the absurd speculation that he was not Boromir's full brother.

Faramir is descended from Numenor, and Numenor is the closest that mortal Men ever came to acquiring Elvish grace. That is the meaning of Faramir's correction of Sam's guess that he is 'Elvish' with the assertion that he is, distantly but proudly, 'Numenorean'. His extraordinary gifts of perception, empathy, leadership, and heroic courage are all in keeping with the book's mythology of that race of 'super-Men' who returned to the mortal lands to rule as Kings. The irony is that, as Faramir admits, he is an outlier among his own people. Gondor, a land of exile in Middle-earth, as a whole has regressed back towards what he calls the 'People of the Twilight' such as the Rohirrim. He and his father Denethor are among the last of their race to show traces of the gifts of the line of Elros, half-Elven son of Earendil and Elwing. He is not just a 'man' like us; but he is certainly a 'Man' -- not anything else, elven or otherwise.

The whole point of the Boromir/Faramir pairing is that they are different, but brothers. Every parent knows the joy and confusion that results when the second child comes along and proves to be different in so many ways from the first one. Faramir and Boromir are different; the blood of Numenor 'does not run true' in the heroic and ambitious Boromir, but that does not give us any reason to speculate that they had different mothers! They were just brothers - and brothers can be very different. If they were half-brothers, Tolkien would have said so; after all, he builds an entire mythology (the Silmarillion) around a drama of half-brothers, so it's not like he hadn't thought of the concept before.

What I miss most in the essay is an acknowledgment that Faramir is what I think of as a 'mortal' calque on the true Numenorean of the book, Aragorn. Aragorn is greater than Faramir in every way, as Faramir is the first to admit - it's admittedly a difficult distinction between two supremely gifted leaders for us mere mortal readers to perceive - but Faramir has the compensating gift of being more 'accessible' and 'human', as Eowyn discovers to her delight. Tolkien did 'discover' Faramir in a burst of inspiration during his writing of Frodo's passage through Ithilien, but the character works and was kept in the ever-expanding story because he gives pre-Aragorn Gondor its best voice and presence to contrast with his gifted but flawed father and brother. If all we had to see Gondor was Denethor and Boromir, we'd be justified in thinking of it as a kind of Mordor-in-the-making. Faramir (and his 'descendants', Imrahil and even Beregond) show us that Aragorn will inherit a kingdom still worth inheriting.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd & 4th TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion and NOW the 1st BotR Discussion too! and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Mar 23 2014, 1:18am

Post #7 of 50 (377 views)
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I respect [In reply to] Can't Post

Your points but I think we will have to agree to disagree.Smile


DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Mar 23 2014, 1:19am

Post #8 of 50 (377 views)
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I am really [In reply to] Can't Post

Just glad you find it interesting.


noWizardme
Valinor


Mar 23 2014, 8:59am

Post #9 of 50 (363 views)
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different mothers? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm interested to know if you see things in the text that suggest this directly (as opposed to it being an inferred explanation if the two brothers being different)?

I think one has to 'read against the text' to reach your conclusion (by which I mean that we are told that Boromir and Faramur are the sons of Denethor and Finduilas: you have to argue that the text says one thing and means another. That's not an impossible position of course, but it is an exposed one)

We are, of course, all entitled to infer what we will. And it certainly can be fun to speculate about such things. For me, the 'different mothers' inference is pretty startling, though: I would expect Tolkiens views on extra-material sex to be pretty disapproving, given his remarks about love and sex in his letter #43, to his son Michael. I can't think of any illegitimate characters anywhere else in Tolkiens mythos (am I overlooking anyone?). Even Nienor and Turin Turambar, who unwittingly commit incest, get married first. And Tolkien has nearly all his Valar arranged into tidy married pairs, when this seems wholly irrelevant to the needs if his plot. So I see Tolkien as very big on the importance of marriage.

So- do I think that Tolkien wanted and expected us to reach the conclusion you have? No, I don't think so. It's an interesting idea to think about, though.

As Squire has mentioned, two very contrasting siblings is not unfeasible. I think Tolkien is up to something else too. I think that Faramir and Boromir are a contrasting pair, like Denethor and Theoden; or Aragorn and Isildur; or Frodo and Smeagol. Put in similar situations, the different reactions of these individuals in the pair 'show their quality'.

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Mar 23 2014, 1:41pm

Post #10 of 50 (352 views)
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noWizardme [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for your interesting reply. I am inclined to speculation and sometimes have the mind of a sleuth so pardon me. It's just there seems to be something really odd about Faramir that I cant put my finger on. I just feel he was more than meets the eye. Not to mention I also have a literary crush on him. Blush


(This post was edited by DaughterofLaketown on Mar 23 2014, 1:42pm)


DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Mar 23 2014, 1:47pm

Post #11 of 50 (347 views)
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True [In reply to] Can't Post

  So I see Tolkien as very big on the importance of marriage.

Quote
I touched on this briefly on another post.


noWizardme
Valinor


Mar 23 2014, 2:42pm

Post #12 of 50 (348 views)
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Faramir is indeed odd [In reply to] Can't Post

Some readers find him a bit too perfect - for example, they expect him not so easily to be able to renounce any claim on the Ring.

Faramirs unintended arrival from Tolkien's imagination might be part of his oddness. I wonder whether he solved so many of Tolkien's plot problems that he was received a bit uncritically, and not worked into the story in the same way as other characters.

My other thought is that Faramir is notable (and noble) mostly in what he chooses +not+ to do (rather than in what he chooses to do, like a more conventional hero).

He chooses not to capture the Ring
He chooses not to rebel against his mistreatment by his father
He chooses to accept the return of the King gladly, rather than disputing it

In fact, it could be that the only significant thing he chooses actively +to do+ is to court Éowyn (thereby showing great taste and discernment, and making us Éowyn fans happy).

Perhaps what is odd is that we're not so used to heroes- especially male heroes - showing their quality by what they +don't + do? To be sure Faramir does plenty of derring-do stuff harassing Saurons assembling forces, but that's not the point of him, I think (& he says so himself).

Other Tolkien male characters like this? Well Celeborn, perhaps: he may be the quiet centre of the Lorien royal couple, with the sense to leave the geopolitics to Lady G. But we see very little of Celeborn's character, so there is little to go on here.

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Mar 23 2014, 3:02pm

Post #13 of 50 (358 views)
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Finduilas of Dol Amroth [In reply to] Can't Post

I had forgotten that Tolkien did name the wife of Denethor II, who was mother to both Boromir and Faramir. Finduilas wed Denethor in TA 2976 and died in 2988, five years after giving birth to Faramir. Sorry, but your speculations seem to be without merit.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Mar 23 2014, 4:13pm

Post #14 of 50 (343 views)
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Here is my reasoning far flung as it is [In reply to] Can't Post

I am aware that Faramir and Boromir's mother had a name. I found Finduilas an interesting character even though we learn next to nothing about her. The only definite things we know about her are that Faramir was gentle like her and that she died young because she withered in Gondor after leaving Dol Amroth.
This to me lends some credence to my idea. Tolkien didn't make it a mystery that Finduilas was unhappy in Gondor, which probably meant she wasn't happy in her marriage to Denethor. To me it seems plausible that Finduilas could have sought comfort from a loveless marriage in another. Faramir would have been the product of that union. This explains why Denethor seems to dislike Faramir. He prefers Boromir his legitimate child by Fiduilas because Faramir is a constant reminder that Finduilas didn't love him. The evidence for this exists in that we are told Denethor loved Finduilas and was never the same after she died. Finally when Denethor dies he sees Faramir one last time and in that moment he realizes he loves Faramir and forgives Finduilas for her choices. That is how I imagine it and see it. I am sorry if you find it far fetched but this is how I see it.


(This post was edited by DaughterofLaketown on Mar 23 2014, 4:13pm)


DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Mar 23 2014, 4:15pm

Post #15 of 50 (341 views)
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Yes Brethil [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe this. I am not saying Faramir was not partly human only that he wasn't all human. Thank you for the kind welcome.


(This post was edited by DaughterofLaketown on Mar 23 2014, 4:17pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Mar 23 2014, 4:20pm

Post #16 of 50 (339 views)
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That's only because it is far-fetched. [In reply to] Can't Post

If Tolkien had ever given any indication that Lady Finduilas had been in love with anyone else and had hinted at who that might be then you might have a leg to stand on. As it is, this is pure conjecture and idle speculation. It is fodder for fan-fiction and little else. But, hey, have fun with it!

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Riven Delve
Tol Eressea


Mar 23 2014, 6:17pm

Post #17 of 50 (330 views)
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It's fun to speculate [In reply to] Can't Post

I've done a fair bit of it myself. Angelic But I agree with the other posters that there is no textual evidence that Faramir is anything more than "merely" an extraordinary man, a throwback to the Numenoreans of old, perhaps, but very much like his (book) father in his ability to "see far" and his amazing perceptiveness. My opinion is drawn largely from this paragraph, spoken by Gandalf in the chapter "Minas Tirith" in ROTK:

"He [Denethor] is not as other men of this time, Pippin, and whatever be his descent from father to son, by some chance the blood of Westernesse runs nearly true in him; as it does in his other son, Faramir.... He has long sight. He can perceive, if he bends his will thither, much of what is passing in the minds of men..."

So I think the case for Faramir having a different father is ruled out, and we also see that his noble ancestry (through his father, it should be noted) is in large part responsible for his character.

P.S. Welcome to the boards! Smile


“Tollers,” Lewis said to Tolkien, “there is too little of what we really like in stories. I am afraid we shall have to try and write some ourselves.”



elaen32
Gondor


Mar 23 2014, 7:41pm

Post #18 of 50 (328 views)
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Well..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Finduilas was the sister of Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth and, according to legend, that family had Elvish blood due to intermarrying with the people of Nimrodel. We all know that genetic traits are expressed differently in the offspring of the same two parents, so it's quite reasonable to expect Boromir and Faramir to differ in this respect too. Nothing in Tolkien's writings suggests anything than that Boromir and Faramir were both the sons of Denethor and Finduilas.


Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in April. Happy writing!



EomundDaughter
Lorien

Mar 23 2014, 8:00pm

Post #19 of 50 (306 views)
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Love this discussion!! [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Elanor of Rohan
Lorien


Mar 23 2014, 8:45pm

Post #20 of 50 (337 views)
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Faramir is unconventional [In reply to] Can't Post

in many ways: he is perceived as odd in his family but this does not mean that he is not his parents' son.
Many times in families there is the weird one, who becomes a serviceman, or a nun, a pilot or a musician.
Boromir resembles his father and he loves being a man of action and a soldier. Faramir is learned in lore and he is the only member of his family who welcomes Gandalf every time he visits Minas Tirith.

He obeys his father's rules or commands but he does not crave for power: in this his figure is almost ascetic. He knows his place, he has no personal desires about his position in Gondor's government.
That's why Philippa Boyens wanted Faramir to be "tempted" by the Ring and only after long reflection and some action to eventually reject it, because his behaviour would not have been consistent with the main assumption of the film, that is the irrepressible power of the One Ring (a film shows, it hasn't the possibility to explain like the written page).

For Faramir, his inner life is more important than exterior power or importance: when he comes back from death's door, he immediately recognizes in Eowyn a fellow spirit and declares his love for her with both candour and dignity (he would still love her if she were the blissful Queen of Gondor). He is not afraid to show his true feelings, he offers her no pity, because he loves her .
The fact that Eowyn slowly understands that this is a real man of flesh and blood, brave and thoughtful, stern but gentle, who can be loved for what he is, not a dream figure to be revered like Aragorn, is one of the best parts of ROTK.
Their hair, raven and golden, blowing and mingling in the wind, their hands clasping, and he kisses on her brow; some days later while they are standing on the ramparts, he is not afraid to embrace her and kiss her in front of everybody, because she has finally accepted his love.
So in this book Tolkien decides to dedicate the most passionatescenes (and they are the only ones where a real passion is described) not to the hero Aragorn but to his Steward Faramir.
Nothing about Faramir is conventional...


DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Mar 23 2014, 10:05pm

Post #21 of 50 (308 views)
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I love this! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Their hair, raven and golden, blowing and mingling in the wind, their hands clasping, and he kisses on her brow; some days later while they are standing on the ramparts, he is not afraid to embrace her and kiss her in front of everybody, because she has finally accepted his love.
So in this book Tolkien decides to dedicate the most passionatescenes (and they are the only ones where a real passion is described) not to the hero Aragorn but to his Steward Faramir.
Nothing about Faramir is conventional...

Quote


DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Mar 23 2014, 10:06pm

Post #22 of 50 (305 views)
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I am astonished this discussion is still going! [In reply to] Can't Post

I will eagerly await more.Smile


DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Mar 23 2014, 10:08pm

Post #23 of 50 (291 views)
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Glad you're enjoying it Eomund daughter ! [In reply to] Can't Post

 


(This post was edited by DaughterofLaketown on Mar 23 2014, 10:08pm)


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 12:06am

Post #24 of 50 (310 views)
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Tolkien is remarkably consistent in one thing: [In reply to] Can't Post

...there is no mention or implication of any kind of sexual impropriety in any of his writings. There is no rape*, no instances of infidelity, and although marriage didn't necessarily require a ceremony, they were considered permanent even though some were unhappy.

You are quite welcome to imagine Faramir as coming from a different father, but I'm quite sure Tolkien didn't intend that!

*Personally, I consider the "enchantments" with which Eol enticed Aredhel into his house to be a kind of rape, but Tolkien says she "wasn't entirely unwilling," so he apparently didn't.








squire
Half-elven


Mar 24 2014, 1:11am

Post #25 of 50 (301 views)
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That's a trifle overstated [In reply to] Can't Post

I know what you mean, and I generally agree about Tolkien's sexual reticence as an author. But "no mention or implication in any of his writings" goes too far, I think.

I do remember suggestions that Morgoth began thinking evilly lustful thoughts about the dancing Luthien in the "Lay of Leithian"; and Grima's lust for Eowyn almost drives Eomer to murder him preemptively. The cross-breeding of orcs and men by Saruman is pretty improper, all seem to agree, and I've never read any commentator that doesn't seem to think that Celebrian was violated by her captor orcs. There is even a form of 'rape' in the way Tom Bombadil takes Goldberry in the poem Adventures of Tom Bombadil. Turin's torment of Saeros in the extended version in CoH evokes a brutal sexual assault.

We've had good discussions about all of these, as well as your example of Eol; although we never all agree about just how explicit the sexual references are meant to be in Tolkien's works, we do tend to admit that he pushed that nasty envelope of prudery at least a little jiggly bit from time to time.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd & 4th TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion and NOW the 1st BotR Discussion too! and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.

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