Faramir/Boromir's Dream

NancyL

Member
When Faramir started getting his prophetic dream, he and Boromir were in/near Ithilien fighting a losing battle which ended in the destruction of the bridge of Osgiliath. This means the two had ample opportunity to discuss what the dream was, what it meant, how much/whether they believed in its importance, and what they wanted to do about it before they got anywhere near their father. This tells me that the argument about who was going to go to Imladris was over before Dad weighed in. Clearly the two brothers would have, knowing their father, achieved a united front by then.

I can't help thinking that Boromir's argument would have gone along the lines of (1) the dream is a legit communication from some Power in the West, (2) we have zilch tools/weapons available to deal with the "maybe a dark rider that terrifies the strongest warrior", (3) if there IS something (counsel/token/sword/halfling) available that is "
stronger than Morgul spells" available (and if you believe (1) you have to believe (3)), we need it to combat The Enemy, and (4) as your 1st born it's my responsibility to find it and bring it to Gondor otherwise we (and all the folks hiding behind our valor) are toast.

Whether Denethor got his own version of the dream or not, he might not believe (1) and (3) despite both brother's belief, but he has to agree with (2). He may not like it, but he folded on (4) because if (1) & (3) are true, he'd be more confident of the token's eventual arrival in Gondor with Son #1 vs. Son #2. In the pretty unlikely event that (1) & (3) don't turn out to be true, Boromir gets a 6-month vacation from the war, a chance to see the world and maybe meet some hot (eligible/fertile) chick, while Faramir bumbles around the home front.
 
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Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Hi Nancyl,

There are many possible explanations of why Boromir ended up undertaking the quest for Imladris, rather than Faramir.

I like your reading that the brothers must have discussed the Dream often together before discussing it with Denethor, and come up with a plan.

I think one likely and simple explanation is summed up by Boromir saying to Faramir, "Look brother, we both know that you might be the one meant to go on this quest. But you know Dad. If you want to go (with permission, rather than in rebellion) he will bring up countless objections which will either delay the quest interminably or kill it altogether. We both know that he cannot say 'no' to me. If I say I am going, he will not be happy but he will acquiesce. What say you? I trust you completely to command the armies of Gondor and defend the realm if I am gone. Will you trust me to fulfil the quest as well as you would have done?"
 

NancyL

Member
I agree fully Flammifer. After I realized that the brothers had a lot of time to discuss this, I understood that the issue of Faramir going was raised, debated, argued over, arm-wrestled, mud-wrestled and finally decided before the two ever discussed it with Dad. They would have had to have a united front for anyone to go - let alone the beloved first-born.
 

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
I think Flammifer is right about the family dynamics and how they likely played out. But I think you are forgetting one other factor. Whether Denethor has had the dream or not, he will understand at least one part of it completely - he knows full well what the sword that was broken is and what its return to Gondor would mean, and he does not like it. He does not want a possible heir of Elendil coming to Minas Tirith. He is reluctant for either of his sons to go, but if one of them must, he thinks Boromir is more likely to be skeptical of a possible heir of Elendil - Farimir is too dreamy and romantic about the history of the Kingdom. I think that is why he gives so little information to his sons - they should at least know which direction to head.

But this passage gives another timeline for the decision - that the brothers went to Denethor and only then was there talk of following the dream:

Of these words we could understand little, and we spoke to our father, Denethor, Lord of Minas Tirith, wise in the lore of Gondor. This only would he say, that Imladris was of old the name among the Elves of a far northern dale, where Elrond the Halfelven dwelt, greatest of lore-masters. Therefore my brother, seeing how desperate was our need, was eager to heed the dream and seek for Imladris; but since the way was full of doubt and danger, I took the journey upon myself.
[Boromir, LotR II,2 'The Council of Elrond']
 
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