Denethor and the Council of Elrond


New Member
I was watching the Extended Edition of The Two Towers at the theater the other day; in one of the scenes, Denethor says that Elrond has called a meeting for unknown reason. Denethor assumes the Ring has been found, to which Boromir says 'Isildur's Bane.' This blatantly contradicts the book, where Boromir says they didn't even know where Rivendell was. Do you think the Council would have gone differently if Boromir had known what the Ring was from the beginning?


Well-Known Member
Hi AslansCompass,

I think it sort of depends on what Boromir 'knew' about what the Ring was from the beginning.

At the Council of Elrond, all the participants, including Boromir 'know' that if Sauron regains the Ring he will be invincible. So it is critical to keep him from getting it. They also 'know' that there is a danger in trying to use the Ring as a weapon against Sauron, as the wielder would become a new Dark Lord. (It is not exactly clear where this 'knowledge' ultimately comes from. It does not seem to have been 'known' to Elrond and Cirdan when Isildur claimed the Ring, that a wielder might become a new Dark Lord. It is obvious that Sauron gaining the Ring would be disastrous, mainly because the wielders of the Three would fall under Sauron's power.)

At any rate, Boromir learned all these things during the Council, at the same time as most of the other participants, and I'm not sure that knowing some things about the Ring earlier would have affected the Council much.

The one thing that might have changed the course of events is if Boromir had known that destroying the Ring would destroy Sauron. No one knew this at the time of the Council. It is only at the Meeting of the Captains of the West, after the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, that Gandalf suggests it. How did he know by then? Maybe he got the info in the process of becoming Gandalf the White?

If Boromir knew that destroying the Ring would destroy Sauron, he might have been more positive towards the quest for Mt. Doom? Great risks for great rewards might appeal to Boromir more than great risks just to deny Sauron the Ring, leaving him still as an extremely dangerous and deadly threat to Gondor.
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Anthony Lawther

Well-Known Member
The other blatant contradiction of the book is that Elrond didn’t call the Council; many folks simply turned up at the right time.

Now, from a purely superficial perspective, the Council would have to have gone differently if Boromir had already known what the Ring was, as a number of conversation threads were started directly from Boromir’s questions and challenges.

If you instead wonder whether the outcome of the Council would have been different, I think it is reasonable to infer that Borimir’s interjections only change how the information is laid out. The basic shape of the Council proceedings and the conclusions drawn seem to have been worked out in advance by Elrond and Gandalf, and possibly some others.

I think that if you wish to read it this way there is evidence for this being an example of how things work out according to the plan in the Music regardless of, or even despite, the free will actions of people in Middle Earth.

In short, I don’t think the outcome would have been significantly affected.
Of course, if Gondor knew where Rivendell was, the dream summons may have come later to avoid Boromir arriving too early, or he may have encountered even more difficulties on the road to correct his arrival time at Rivendell.