Ancient ruin

Osgiliath Revelations

Osgiliath burns! Mordor has come.

Man of Gondor

A devastating sight. The enemy has reached Gondor. Darkness descends on the world of Men. 

In spite of the battles raging in Isengard and Helm`s Deep, the armies of Sauron has advanced into Gondor, the last free kingdom of Men. 

All three story threads in the Two Towers silver screen adaptation of Sir Peter Jackson, come to a climactic ending. The Uruk-hai meet their end at Helm`s Deep, the Ents fight their own battle against Saruman. And lastly, Frodo faces the doom of all in Osgiliath.

Pleas for freedom

Frodo: “The Ring will not save Gondor. It has only the power to destroy. Please, let me go.” 

Faramir: “Hurry!”

Frodo: “Faramir, you must let me go!”

To fulfill his father`s wishes, which Denethor bestowed upon his now-deceased brother Boromir, Faramir takes his captives, Frodo, Sam and Gollum to Osgiliath, in an ill-guided notion to use the Ring against the enemy. Although Frodo pleads for release, the pleas go unheard.

Frodo`s good-natured character and trusting disposition, lead Faramir to temporarily question his decision. His eyes show the disaccord his mind is having with his feelings.

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Eager to please

He can sense that this decision to take the Ring to Osgiliath may be the wrong one. However, his eagerness to please his father, thereby securing the long-awaited affection, is a much stronger and a much deeper rooted sensation. 

When a child is emotionally mistreated by an emotionally distant parent, the child will, in an attempt to win the love of this parent, adapt to any decision or situation in order to find security and comfort it has been longing for.

The behavior of the parent has made the child insecure and vulnerable with a need to please. Until the child, or later in life, a man or a woman, realize this misinterpretation of love, all subsequent relationships will suffer in the same way. 

The call of the Ring

Madril: “Faramir! The Orcs have taken the eastern shore. Their numbers are too great. By nightfall, we will be overrun.” 

Sam: “Mr. Frodo?”

Frodo: “It`s calling to his, Sam. The Eye is almost on me.” 

Sam: “Hold on, Mr. Frodo. You`ll be all right.” 

Frodo does not hear the rest of Sam`s pep speech, for the Ring`s call for its master mutes every sound that surrounds him. His eyes widen with terror, his body slouches from the heaviness of the burden around his neck. He is out of control, he cannot resist, fight or ignore it. The Ring has taken away his senses, he cannot hear or feel anything apart from what the Ring wants him to feel. 

The Ring draws Frodo to the Nazgûl flying overhead. Without seeing him, he can sense his presence, the same way he did when they were leaving the Shire. At that moment he sensed a presence that he could not pinpoint. Now, though, he knows exactly who and what calls to him. The difference between then and now is his ability to influence his behavior. 

When leaving the Shire, when he sensed unknown danger, he hid or ran away from it. Now, he cannot but follow the call of evil, for the Ring`s power, so close to its maker, is magnified. Which in turn manifests itself on Frodo`s behavior. The greater the influence of the Ring, the more incapacitated its bearer.

The truth

Faramir: “Take them to my father. Tell him Faramir sends a mighty gift. A weapon that will change our fortunes in this war.” 

Sam: “Do you want to know what happened to Boromir? You want to know why your brother died? He tried to take the Ring from Frodo after swearing an oath to protect him! He tried to kill him! The Ring drove your brother mad!” 

The moment of truth has come. The truth about their quest confessed by Sam in the caves of Ithilien has not brought a change of heart in Faramir. Therefore, something much more personal must be presented to make a case for themselves and for the Ring. 

Sam had had enough of convincing Faramir of their task and its importance. In a wave of impulsiveness and anger, he divulges Boromir`s fate to Faramir and his company. This particular information wouldn`t normally be impressed upon those left behind. When a great man of Gondor such as Boromir dies, then it is only his achievements and victories that are passed on for generations. “Do not speak ill of the dead”, is a phrase we learn as kids. 

A matter of integrity

Sam`s attempt at Faramir`s change of thought could have gone a completely different way. If he were anything like Denethor he would never have allowed anyone to sully his brother`s name and reputation. He could have taken Sam`s delivery of this information as an offense to him and his family and could have imprisoned or harmed all three of them, taken the Ring to his father, and the fate of Men and the whole of Middle-Earth would have ended differently. 

As it is, Faramir stands watching and listening to Sam`s words without them causing anger, but rather a sense of sadness. His brother`s name brings tears to his eyes. More than anything, he is pleased to hear Boromir mentioned, in any context. He misses his brother and is therefore in a way glad to have been given an insight into his journey before death found him. 

This information also influences his own mind. It is the personal impact of the information that gave him another perspective and a decision to change the outcome of the oncoming war. He had sensed in the caves of Ithilien the alluring call of the Ring. If the Ring remained in their possession, and particularly in possession of his father, its malicious influence would have become their doom.

He may have considered that if the Ring were capable of twisting his brother`s strength of character into madness then no one could be trusted with it. As a little brother, he looked up to his brother, and as such considered him a strong and unwavering character. Boromir`s weakness was known only to his eight companions who set out from Rivendell.

Eyes on fire
Photo by Gerhard G. on Pixabay.

Facing doom

Sam: “Mr. Frodo?”

Frodo: “They`re here. They`ve come.” 

Faramir: “Nazgûl!”

Although hidden from sight against the walls of a ruined city, Frodo moves as if mesmerized, hypnotized to meet the call of the Ring. He climbs the stairs to the top of the city wall. With the Ring in his hand, he faces the Nazgûl astride a fell beast. In slow motion, with only the Ring`s emanating sound and the fell beast`s wing flap.

He seems afraid but also looking for relief as he faces the Nazgûl with an irresistible urge to put his Ring on. He wants to be rid of this burden and simply give in to the growing power of the Ring. The appeal and malice are like a drug altering his mind and moving him towards it. 

Frodo is at this point powerless to resist it and so he meets the Nazgûl head on holding out the Ring for him as if in a daze. 

Read on in part two….

Featured photo by Mick Nolan on Pixabay

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