Boromir's Last Stand

by Varda

It seems hard to believe that Boromir won't be in the next two films. He was such a solid believable character, a real person, there will be something missing. He was a bit larger than life. He resembled that warrior in Kurasawa's Seven Samurai, the one played by Mifune I think, always brashly and brutally going straight to the point when the finer sensibilities of the other samurai hold them back.

He always put his oar in, right from the beginning, jumping up in the Council of Elrond to read the riot act to those delegates whose countries were sheltering behind Gondor without giving it any support. 'Much praise but little help' as he says in the book. He comes across as a plain bluff soldier but that is misleading, because as Gandalf tells Pippin, the Stewards of Gondor have a lineage as ancient and noble as the kings themselves. His clothes are rich and finely decorated but his movements are those of a combat veteran.

His down-to-earth character brings him closer to Gimli, and in the film he lays a supporting hand on Gimli's shoulder when the dwarf finds Balin's tomb, and again when they escape from Moria. He does not have much time for Elves, at least not at the start, and gives Legolas a look that is worth a war on its own. Legolas leaps up to answer him back, Boromir's headstrong and outspoken nature brings out the headstrong in others. Aragorn lets him have his say, swallowing his pride, one soldier making allowances for another soldier.

When he is not being aggressive, when he does not feel threatened or worry about Gondor being threatened, Boromir has a kind and gentle side. You can't imagine Aragorn wrestling with Merry and Pippin. It is Boromir who carries these two over the chasm in Khazad-dum. It is Boromir who asks Aragorn to show some pity to the others when they get out of Moria. But all too often his actions are marked by a kind of desperation.

For Boromir has lost hope, or is in the process of losing it. He is barely concealing his frustration and despair. He is sure his city is going to be destroyed. Galadriel sends him a dream, telling him there is still hope, but it only deepens his gloom. He confides in Aragorn, who is taken aback at how desperate Boromir has become. It brings them closer together, but Boromir is already lost.

In Rivendell, at the council, Boromir paints a vivid picture of Mordor, in an attempt to show how futile any attempt to enter it would be. Frodo stares bleakly at him as he describes a barren wasteland riddled with fire and ash, the very air a deadly fume. Where did Boromir get this vision? Perhaps from his father, who had looked into the Palant?r and perhaps seen there a vision of Mordor. Pippin saw the dark tower when he looked into it. Did the despair that Sauron infected Denethor with spread to his son?

The Ring works on people's weaknesses. In Saruman it worked on his addiction to power. In Boromir, it worked on his loss of hope. It promised an easy way, a short cut to power that would save his city without doubtful war. As Sam tells Faramir, from the time he saw it, Boromir wanted the Enemy's Ring.

Boromir's attack on Frodo is a terrible betrayal. He swore an oath, on behalf of his city, to protect Frodo. He is betraying the Fellowship. and he is attacking a friend, someone who trusts him, and someone far weaker and smaller than he is. In the scene in the film the camera looks over Boromir's shoulder to emphasise his great height towering over Frodo, his strength many times that of the hobbit, and Frodo's frantic attempts to escape him. The shock of what he has done drives off Boromir's madness and brings him back to himself. The shock of Boromir's transformation jolts Frodo into taking that step he had dreaded taking; going on alone.

But for Boromir there is nowhere to go. he has broken all the rules of his own codes, as soldier and friend and member of the Fellowship. Aragorn assures him he has kept his honour but Boromir knows he has broken every law that matters to him. 'I have paid' he says in the book, and Lurtz is only an avenging angel.

But Boromir goes out on his own terms. Having attacked one hobbit, he tries to save the others. Struck down at last his eyes meet those of Merry and Pippin, the hobbits he had befriended in his kind-hearted way and he seems to seek a final absolution for his betrayal of their kinsman.

Sorry for rambling again, sorry to the many Boromir fans..