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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
"The Blood of Westernesse"


Feb 1, 12:35am

Post #1 of 3 (316 views)
"The Blood of Westernesse" Can't Post

I'm curious about what you all think about Gandalf's comment to Pippin in RotK, when speaking about Denethor:
"He is not as other men of this time, Pippin, and whatever 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, and yet did not in Boromir whom he loved best." -RotK, 742.

All due respect to Gandalf, but how in the world would he know what type of blood ran through the veins of the three? I see little similarity in Denethor and Faramir, save for the fact that it was "difficult to deceive" them, "and dangerous to try" (743). Well, wouldn't it have also been dangerous to deceive Boromir, who was shrewd in his own right, and took to the sword much faster than Faramir?
From what we know of Denethor, he would have taken the Ring as quickly as Boromir tried to. Faramir passed the test, but this sets him apart from his father and brother, rather than being akin to Denethor as Gandalf's comment suggests.

"I have seen it..."

N.E. Brigand

Feb 1, 1:18am

Post #2 of 3 (306 views)
"I do not love the bright sword..." [In reply to] Can't Post

Faramir, our window on the west, explains it pretty well in "The Window on the West".

Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.

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Feb 1, 2:59am

Post #3 of 3 (295 views)
I think "shrewd" is being overly generous to Boromir [In reply to] Can't Post

If you re-read him at the Council of Elrond, he was pretty slow, and the others pretty much told him so.

Faramir and Denethor were similar in being bright and discerning--they're the shrewd ones. I think of Denethor as a corrupted Faramir. Or to put it another way, Denethor would have been like Faramir if his wife hadn't died early and he hadn't foreseen the mortal blow from Mordor coming during his reign (and if he hadn't dabbled too much in the palantir).

One way Faramir and Denethor were certainly different was that the father was overly proud, which made him paranoid and unwilling to take advice. And yes, Denethor would have jumped all over the Ring that Faramir turned down.


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