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 Post subject: A Defense of Character: Boromir
PostPosted: May 31st, 2006, 2:01 pm 
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<center>*Ok I found this and I just had to shear, because I agree with it soo much, it's kinda long*

When speaking of Boromir, it may be hard to keep the name of Faramir away, and vice versa. So in that respect I shall speak first of contrast in the two sons of Gondor. They were brothers, warriors, and best friends. Although we never read a direct conversation between them, we can tell by the way each talk of one another how much they valued their companionship.

The characters of Boromir and Faramir are both halves to a whole. Do not people want to be strong, loyal, honest, and noble? Both brothers were especially loyal (to Gondor and in general), honest, and skilled in battle. Of course, they had elements of their own- Boromir the strongest, more of the warrior type and perhaps the more headstrong. That is not a bad thing, however- people must be headstrong in life, making decisions based on experience and initial reaction. It is strange how although Boromir and Faramir have the same two parents; Faramir is the one that is said to have the Numernorean blood. This would explain why most people believe Faramir to be more noble, and perhaps more spiritually aware than Boromir.

I find this unjust, for Boromir gives his life defending two little Hobbits that he mistakenly cursed minutes before. Repenting his mistake with his life is the most rewarding of spiritual knowingness. Most will read 'The Departure of Boromir' and conclude that without analyzing, Boromir thought himself to have failed, thus making him unaware of his spiritual awareness:

"'Farewell, Aragorn! Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed.'

'No!' said Aragorn, taking his hand and kissing his brow. 'You have conquered. Few have gained such a victory. Be at peace! Minas Tirith shall not fall!'

Boromir smiled." (TT, pg.404)

Boromir smiles because he knows that he shall now go in peace, believing the last words he hears. He knows that Aragorn shall journey to Minas Tirith and save his people. Boromir will be in another place, but his city shall not fall. If he had not smiled, he may not have been aware of spiritual comfort- but as he smiled, Boromir accepts his fate and thus knows his spiritual repent. When mentioning the word repent, an evil deed being vanquished comes to mind. Tolkien accounts for the battle of Good and Evil, spiritually and physically, in complicated ways.

In a letter dated September 25th 1954, Tolkien wrote a reply to Naomi Mitchinson on various issues on the Lord of the Rings. In paragraph three, Tolkien speaks of some hasty reviewers of the novel and makes a reference to Good and Evil and of Boromir:

“Some reviewers have called the whole thing simple-minded, just a plain fight between Good and Evil, with all the good just good, and the bad just bad. Pardonable, perhaps (though at least Boromir has been overlooked) in people in a hurry, and with only fragment to read, and, of course, without the earlier written but unpublished Elvish histories. But the Elves are not wholly good or in the right…In their way the Men of Gondor were similar: a withering people whose only ‘hallows’ were their tombs. But in any case this is a tale about a war, and if war is allowed (at least as a topic and a setting) it is not much good complaining that all the people on one side are against those on the other. Not that I have made even this issue quite so simple: there are Saruman, and Denethor, and Boromir; and there are treacheries and strife even among the Orcs.” (The Letters of J.R.R Tolkien, pg.197)

Here Tolkien makes the effort of mentioning Boromir twice. He speaks of Boromir’s issue within the story as a sort of limbo between Good and Evil. By no means is Tolkien stating that Boromir is bad. The issue he is speaking of is the temptation of Boromir to take the Ring from Frodo. Boromir never fights for the side of the enemy, nor is he ever debating which side is right. The conflict of Good and Evil Tolkien spoke of was the inner struggle within Boromir, and how it ultimately played out in the end, with Denethor in mind. Gondor was weakened at the time of the War of the Ring, and such a burden as bringing this Ring of Power back to the halls of Gondor was laid upon Boromir. Tolkien compared the Men of Gondor to the Elves, in the sense of a withering people, perhaps making stressed and hasty decisions. As you will read, Boromir was not viewed as “withering” to most that knew him.

When hearing of the passing of Boromir, Eomer cries out in dismay:

"'Great harm is this death to Minas Tirith, and to us all. That was a worthy man! All spoke his praise. He came seldom to the Mark, for he was ever in the wars on the East-borders; but I have seen him. More like to the swift sons of Eorl than to the grave Men of Gondor he seemed to me, and likely to prove a great captain of his people when his time came.'" (TT, pg.425)

This gives us better insight into Boromir's good nature. It tells us he is a social person, and "all spoke his praise". This passage alone eliminates the misconception that Boromir was the group antagonist simply for making a human mistake by trying to take the Ring from Frodo. He repented this mistake, did he not? A further glance at Boromir’s personality can be seen on the eve of setting out on the quest from Rivendell:

"Boromir had a long sword, in fashion like Anduril but of less lineage, and he bore also a shield and his war-horn.

'Loud and clear it sounds in the valleys of the hills,' he said, 'and then let all the foes of Gondor flee!' Putting it to his lips he blew a blast, and the echoes leapt from rock to rock, and all that heard that voice in Rivendell sprang to their feet.

'Slow should you be to wind that horn again, Boromir,' said Elrond, 'until you stand once more on the borders of your land, and dire need is on you.'

'Maybe,' said Boromir. 'But always I have let my horn cry at setting forth, and though thereafter we may walk in the shadows, I will not go forth as a thief in the night.'" (FOTR, pg.272)

This wonderful passage shows us how the determined Boromir always wears his pride. Even to Elrond of Rivendell Boromir does not apologize for winding his horn, for it is a custom that he holds dear. His honesty also shines in the line “I will not go forth as a thief in the night.” No matter the danger of the journey ahead, Boromir stuck to his customs.

Throughout the journey, Boromir's skills prove useful and beneficial to the whole of the Fellowship. In fact, without Boromir's strength and courage the Fellowship may not have made it back down Caradhras in the early stages of the quest. He is the one who suggested bringing as much wood as they could up the mountain to make fire. Without Boromir’s help in this quest, half of the Hobbits most likely would have fallen, and the Fellowship would have suffered a great loss in the area of battle. The character of Boromir is up there with his brother Faramir and even with Aragorn in valor, strength, and sacrifice. He was an honorable warrior who cared tremendously for those he swore to protect. Minas Tirith itself would have fallen if not for the valiant efforts of Boromir prior to his leaving for Rivendell. He rode solitarily to Imladris to seek an answer to a dream and attend the Council of Elrond- a journey that took one hundred and ten long days. Boromir proved on many occasions that he was indeed a noble and knowledgeable man worthy of the utmost of remembrance. Without the help he provided to Gondor and to the quest, who knows what would have went astray.




Bibliography:

"The Lord of the Rings." Tolkien, J.R.R. 1954.

"The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien." Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien, Christopher. June 1 2000.</center>

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: June 1st, 2006, 11:45 am 
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wow, that was really good Lady Rinoa. i could not have explianed as good as you. I think what you said all make sense and is a very good point. Boromir was a good man and if not for him half of the hobbits would have died. And Farimir and Boromir do have good diffrences.

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PostPosted: June 3rd, 2006, 12:09 pm 
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Aye, Lady Rinoa, you've got great insight into Boromir's character. Have you seen the other threads on Boromir? I'm sure you could add some worthy ideas to the discussions! Boromir is my favourite character--Tolkien really knew what he was talking about, ya know?


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PostPosted: June 3rd, 2006, 12:15 pm 
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wow you wrote quite a lot. I agree with vikingmaiden, there are a few threads about Boromir and I think it would be great if you wrote something about him, because I think you understand his character very well and can explain it better than most people here..

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 Post subject: So beautifully written!
PostPosted: June 3rd, 2006, 5:15 pm 
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I really apreciated your sharing that, Lady Rinoa. In several places it brought tears to my eyes because you said so eloquently what I knew in my heart was true about Boromir. I posted a little about him in "A place to grieve Boromir" in the Mount Doom forum but your insight goes so much farther and is so much more moving. Thank you.


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PostPosted: June 3rd, 2006, 9:21 pm 
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Wow, thanks so much for sharing that! I think you know Boromir's soul more than me! ;)

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PostPosted: June 4th, 2006, 7:35 pm 
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I'm sure that you all have guessed that Boromir is my fav. :P
I have found a lot of the topics on Boromir and have added a bit more about him.

I think the reason I know so much about him is though reading (duh) and the fact that we have similar personalities. I try my best to make those who don't like Boromir, to see that he was not really all that bad.

Boromir's my home-boy :lol: I'm j/k. But with all seriousness, I think it is because we have similar personalities that I have a little more insite than most people. Sinbearer, your post on the What do you think of Boromir? thread was a good part of the truth as well, and I thank you for posting that. I repied to it and basicaly said the same thing I did here. That I didn't realize because I maybe a woman, but I have more of a guys personality and intrests. Because of that, I would have never realy thought about a man's nature.

*You all are very welcome. I'm glad that I found a good place to post a thing like this.*

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PostPosted: June 4th, 2006, 9:47 pm 
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I agree with you, Sinbearer.
Boromir is one of those caracters that we can learn a lot from. I have internal battles that are just as bad as his. Everytime I fall to deep into darkness, I think of Boromir, and it gives me hope.

Frodo, if it were not for Gollum, would not have destroyed the ring in the end. Boromir was burdened by his father's dependance on him, and the fact that he wanted to save Gondor from falling. The ring got a hold of him faster than all the rest. The ring slowly took hod of Frodo in the end as well.
The thought that you have has always sent shivers down my spine as well.

May the lord of Gondor rest in peace,
-Lady Rinoa

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PostPosted: June 5th, 2006, 2:17 pm 
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yes I agree with ya Sinbearer and Lady Rinoa. Boromir seems to me like the typical man, ya know interested in fighting and all that and brave and so on. Very masculine

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PostPosted: June 5th, 2006, 9:29 pm 
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I think what Boromir was very heroic, but I'd like to bring up one point. I'm not saying he could've done this, he didn't have a choice, but living for something you believe in is harder than dying for it. With his passing, he left the cares of the world, so is it really a fair exchange for cursing someone's life? He was a good person at heart, but I think, if Frodo hadn't forgiven him, he would've been to blame.

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PostPosted: June 6th, 2006, 5:26 am 
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arrrrrrgh if I could only delete this post *grrr* however... I love that line Lady Rinoa, it's so sad and inspiring. I also had it in my mind for quite a long time.

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 Post subject: Boromir"s hope...
PostPosted: June 6th, 2006, 5:11 pm 
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I am intrigued by Boromir’s struggle with the ring. It was fear that Frodo struggled with. “For I know what I should do, but I am afraid of doing it, Boromir: afraid.” But it was not fear that Boromir struggled with, it was hope.

All, except Boromir trusted in the fools hope that destroying the Ring was the only way to thwart the evil at hand; even though the other paths seemed easier. Boromir didn’t see their course as a hopeful one.
“If you wish to destroy the armed might of the Dark Lord, then it is folly to go without force into his domain.” He believed to try to destroy the ring was “walking openly into the arms of death.” And in the section Lady Rinoa quoted was his final feeling. “She said, even now there is hope left. But I can't see it.”

So, did he die without hope? What could convince him of hope in such a seemingly foolish course—so obviously fraught with danger?

I believe what convinced him and even began to give him hope was his realization of the strange hold and power that the ring had on him causing him to treat Frodo the way he did. He said himself, “A madness took me!” I think that had a very deep impact on Boromir. Because of this I think Boromir began to believe and embrace this hope that his companions clung to. And it was in this crazy hope that he spent his last strength.

I think Gandalf’s comments help to confirm this idea of Frodo helping him to understand the ring and embrace hope: " It was not in vain that the young hobbits came with us, if only for Boromir's sake.”

Revelations of hope are all about us and so often we don’t see them. To every soul, in time, the vision comes that hope may be renewed. Remember the small white star above the darkness and evil that Sam saw? “The beauty of it smote his heart as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing; there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”

I guess I believe that even to Boromir the vision came and he not only came to see the truth but hope returned to him as well.

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PostPosted: October 30th, 2006, 4:39 am 
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Boromir is one of the best characters to study... There's so much going on in him. The struggle with the ring, knowing Gondor needs his help... There's so much he has to think about, but he handles it all well. I would say he makes a great role-model. Sure, he sins, but he realizes what he did wrong and repents from it, and dies well.

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PostPosted: October 30th, 2006, 4:48 pm 
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That was very interesting to read Boromir is a very interesting character and interesting to look at.


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PostPosted: November 30th, 2006, 8:36 pm 
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I really admired Boromir, not just for his martial skill but that as has probs been said, the manner of his end. His penance in his act of final defiance towards the Uruk Hai showed that his soul was pure at his end.
I spose he seemed without hope becuase he had witnessed th efall of his people and the growing shadow.He saw the ring as a way to defeat the shadow threatening Gondor and he is not alone. Noldoli, even the great Isildur was snared by th e ring. At least boromir didnt not take advice or attempt to justify his folly. He died trying to rectify his mmsitake showing that th eshadow had not overcome him, as it had doenb with so many others.
He fought his inner demons and won, which all should respect him for, for men can be defeated relatively easily, while ideas, dark thoughts are exceedingly hard to destroy.

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 Post subject: A clearer picture....
PostPosted: January 17th, 2007, 2:41 am 
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The Nightingale wrote:
Boromir is one of the best characters to study... There's so much going on in him...


I think you are so right. In studying his struggle you get at clearer picture of the struggle of many of the other characters in the story too. Boromir is a testimony to Tolkien's brilliance and understanding of life.

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