Faramir, the G. Q. Guy from Gondor

by Vison
This guy hasn't come in for his fair share of discussion, if you ask me.

Everyone fastens on the part about him "hating killing". Well, was he really so different? Does it ever say that Boromir "loved killing"? I never liked Boromir, but I never thought he was a psychopathic type, just not very thoughtful. It was Boromir's business to be a warrior, and when you're a warrior you sometimes have to kill people and that's that. I imagine if you asked him he'd say, "What? What's the point of all that worrying? It's got to be done, so let's get it over and get onto the next set of marauding minions of the Dark Lord." My husband used to play rugby with a lot of guys like Boromir. But then, he played rugby with a lot of guys like Faramir, too. Thoughtful guys, sensitive guys, who, like their buddies, loved to grunt and roll around in the dirt.

That's where Faramir differs, as Varda implies below. He THINKS about things. He understands consequences. Since he's never been expected to be the Big Shot, he's had time to think things out.

I never saw him as the skinny little brother, totally overshadowed by his big brother. I think he was a big guy, like Boromir, and just as adept at warrior skills. But I think there was a lot more to him, and that he was a better man, or at any rate, a better man for our ideas nowadays. Boromir was always having to live up to expectations, and it seems to have suited him. But I think it stunted his "spiritual" side, though I hate that word!!! I think he felt the weight of the White City, and of his father, with every breath he drew. I think it gave him blinders, so that he never allowed himself to see beyond.

Someone in the book says, "Sometimes it's better to be overlooked". Was it Merry or Pippin? Well, Faramir was overlooked, so we are told, for much of his life. It gives you a kind of freedom, to be overlooked. It maybe allowed him the freedom to grow into his own kind of man.

I also know, from many readings of the book, that Faramir was no wimp. He could fight and kill with the best of them. He could do something much harder, too, he could send other men to their deaths if he had to. And then, when it was all over, he understood what he had done. That somewhere in Middle Earth, maybe right in his own White City, there were children left fatherless, wives widowed because of his strong arm and sharp sword, or because of his orders. He fought despite being afraid, and I know he had compassion for other men who were afraid. He would never sneer at anyone whose hand shook, or who vomited out of fear. He'd been there, and done that. His men loved him, we are told that. Well, of course they did. He cared about them.

Boromir might have felt such fear, but I think he had the capacity to deny it. I think he was that kind of man. Bluff and hard, seemingly thoughtless. Maybe his way, after the battle, was to get drunk. Who knows? Those are things Tolkien never told us. Would his men have loved him? Yes, I think they did. They would have loved what they SAW: a man without fear, strong, trustworthy, who would always do his duty. His strength would give them strength, they would imitate him, if it killed them.

Faramir and Aragorn were much alike. Warriors whose prowess was admired, whose deeds of courage and daring were the stuff of songs. But both men would always look for another way, to find a way without killing, if it could be found. Both men took their responsibilities seriously, to their hearts, both men would remember every man who ever fought and died beside them. Who besides Faramir would remember Boromir as kindly as Aragorn did? Who understood him better? His father? Denethor had a lot to regret, and he was no dummy. Maybe he understood what he'd done, to both of his sons.