Waterfall in front of a cave

Fates Intertwined

The strength of the Ring-bearer is failing. In his heart, Frodo begins to understand: the quest will claim his life. You know this. You have foreseen it. It is the risk we all took. In the gathering dark, the will of the Ring grows strong. It works hard now to find its way back into the hands of Men. Men, who are so easily seduced by its power. The young captain of Gondor has but to extend his hand, take the Ring for his own and the world will fall. It is close now. So close to achieving its goal. For Sauron will have dominion over all life on this Earth even unto the ending of the world. 

Galadriel

A Fate Foreseen

To know of another`s certain impending doom, knowing the struggle and pain his body and spirit face and having known it in advance is as much of a burden for the Elves as it is for Frodo. There is but only one way to ensure the survival and renewal of Middle-Earth, the destruction of the Ring.

Frodo was never pushed the accept the quest, he volunteered to take the Ring to Mordor. And precisely because of his resilience towards the Ring`s influence, he seemed the perfect candidate to ensure the completion of the quest. However, even his pure heart had started to crumble under the weight of this burden. 

The Elves dared not take the quest upon themselves, for they knew how its malice would work through them, providing them with powers they beyond their reckoning and in the process destroying Middle-Earth as we know it. They would have been too susceptible to its power.

So, in order to protect the world from this turn of events, they quietly stepped aside and waited for the right Ring-bearer. 

Now, we slowly approach the point that may decide the fate of all the world. 

Interrogation

Faramir`s company hold Frodo and Sam captive in the caves of Ithilien. Since there are no good-natured beings roaming through these lands, Faramir`s company perceive the two Hobbits as Orc spies. Faramir`s demeanor is one of an interrogator. He demands to know who they are. Frodo, after a moment of hesitation, decides to introduce himself and Sam. 

Faramir: “And where is your skulking friend? That gangrel creature. He had an ill-favored look.”

Frodo: “There was no other.”

Frodo`s eyes widen as Faramir mentions Sméagol, with an expression of fear and of passing anger. Faramir`s piercing look drives Frodo to deny the existence of a third party in their little company.  

Reasoning

Firstly, Frodo may have only wanted Sméagol to stay undetected, thinking rightly, that they might hurt him, whereby Sméagol might change his mind about helping the two Hobbits. 

Secondly, he may have wanted to protect this creature without any motive behind it. Sméagol has proven himself worthy of attention and help, and has, therefore, given rise to Frodo`s belief of recuperating fully after their quest is over. 

Thirdly, however, because of a slight passing of anger in his facial expression, Frodo might be angry at Sméagol for simply leaving them without a word, vanishing into thin air, when the two of them were captured. He may see this passingly as a betrayal.

As he himself said, when Gollum pledged himself to him, “the Ring is treacherous”, meaning the creature who swore on the Precious will be as well. That is a thought that Frodo, from the moment they met, may have held in the back of his mind, knowing it may come forth at some point. 

Lastly, he may have omitted a connection to Sméagol because if he had claimed him as part of his little company, an explanation would be in order. As Frodo has now established a relationship with Sméagol, it would be hard to separate himself from Gollum. For they share the same fate and admitting weakness to a Man he isn`t ready to trust fully, would be considered a mistake. 

News of Boromir

As Frodo mentions Boromir as one of his companions who set out from Rivendell, an obvious lump in Faramir`s through stops his breath. His eyes aren`t suspicious anymore but glisten with sorrow. 

Faramir: “You`re a friend of Boromir?”

Frodo: “Yes. For my part.”

This question somewhat confuses Frodo, for he cannot know he is standing in front of Boromir`s brother.  Demand for information about Boromir`s death ensues between Faramir and Frodo. As Frodo has heard of his death for the first time now, it lays on Faramir`s to tell what he knows. 

Understanding Boromir

Frodo saw a friend in Boromir to an extent. He took his word that Boromir would protect him on their journey into Mordor. However, at the Council of Elrond, a glimpse of suspicion shows in Frodo`s face. After all, there could not be blind trust between him and the rest of the company, for he had let his weakness get the best of him.

In that scene, he had shown what his true intentions were. Frodo, with all his might, put his trust in Boromir no matter the peril, fearing it may come to an unpleasant culmination. 

I believe, however, that Frodo regarded him as a friend for one special reason. Frodo himself, being stabbed by the Morgul-blade and carrying the Ring, sensed the Ring`s influence better than anyone else. The rapid progression the Ring had over Boromir, was a kind of a warning sign for Frodo. 

If this is what the Precious around his neck could do to a mighty Man of Gondor, what chance does a Hobbit have? Fear of experiencing the same fate as Boromir was inevitable. Apart from that, Boromir was a loyal member of the company, protective and at times playful with Frodo`s kin.

Therefore, knowing that the alteration to Boromir`s character was brought on by the Ring, there is a deep sense of understanding Frodo feels towards his fallen companion. 

Frodo`s good nature and undying belief in the good in everyone, help him distinguish a person`s true character from the creature one becomes under the influence of pure evil.

A boat on water
Photo by Muradi on Unsplash

Two brothers

His horn washed up upon the riverbank, about six days past. It was cloven in two. But more than this, I know it in my heart. He was my brother. 

Faramir

As Faramir speaks of Boromir, tears well up in his eyes, threatening to overflow. Frodo stares in shock and disbelief. There are no words of comfort anyone can offer Faramir now. 

The flashback scene between Steward of Gondor and Faramir is a very important one. It explains why Faramir is how he is and his father`s perception of him in comparison to Boromir. Denethor belittles him, saying he “casts a poor reflection on him”.

He then goes on telling Boromir who stands to defend his brother that Faramir only has a few uses. Faramir is portrayed as a weakling and a disappointment to his father. The death of his brother grieves him that much more because he lost his advocate, his protective shield and the only person in his family who truly cared about him.

Faramir

As opposed to Boromir, who stands against his father as he belittles his brother, Faramir takes his father`s criticism with silence and resignation. His valid arguments are insignificant to Denethor, for he only has eyes for his first-born. Faramir seems almost intimidated by his father`s mere presence. He knows that he is in the right, but, nevertheless he crumbles before him. 

Without proper acknowledgment and love, a child may grow up to be as Faramir. Always with a need to please his father but ultimately rendering it impossible. Faramir cannot but hold himself second best to his brother. He admires Boromir and may have wanted to be like him, or even deemed as worthy as him, but Denethor is blind to the needs of his son. 

Faramir: “If there is need to go to Rivendell, send me in his stead.”

Denethor: “You? Oh, I see. A chance for Faramir, Captain of Gondor, to show his quality. I think not. I trust this mission only to your brother. The one who will not fail me.”

Faramir offers service to his father, only to be denied in the most degrading way possible. His eyes and demeanor rise as he hears of the possibility of doing a good deed for his father and having his brother rest for a while. As his father rejects this, his eyelids weaken, his spirit crushed anew by his own father`s disapproval. 

Being cast as a failure, being brought up as an unworthy son, is a painful burden to bear. He always finds the inner strength to continue and try to defend his country the best he can, only to be cast asunder by the one person whose unconditional love should raise him.

With a relationship as difficult and torturous as Faramir has with Denethor, it is marvelous to witness his integrity and strength of character shine through in the scene to come. 

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