What is Denethor's problem with Faramir?

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shadowy_blue
I don't know whether you already discussed it or not, but I haven't found a thread on this board about it.
So, what IS Denethors problem with Faramir?
I have made some guesses and would like to discuss them with you.

So, here they are:

1. Faramir is too similar to Denethor (Faramir reminds Denethor of himself or somebody else)
2. Denethor feels inferior to Faramir
(Faramir has a brilliant mind and can look into the soul of people what Denethor doesn't like)
3. Faramir loves books more and prefers them to being a warrior
4. Faramir and Mithrandir share a great friendship (Denethor feels skated over, he thinks Faramir loves Mithrandir more than his father)
5. Denethor holds Faramir responsible for Finduilasí death
6. Faramir reminds Denethor of something or somebody from his past he wants to forget

Hm, so what do *you* think?

Exa
I think it's mainly his friendship with Gandalf and his love for books and music instead of wars that make his father not like him so much; Denethor also didnt like Faramir's calm and always friendly character.
After the death of his wife he also looked for anybody to load his anger and depressiveness on because he could not bear it alone.

Godzilla2000
Well, to add my book knowledge here, Boromir was Denethor's first born by his cherished wife. When Faramir was born, she died giving bbirth to him, so Denethor has harbored that bitterness that Faramir's birth took away the one thing he loved most in the world.

Member.
faramir isn't like boromir, that's why.

Exa
I also was always convinced that Finduilas died giving birth to Faramir, but I do not know why, as Finduilas died five years after Faramir was born.

Another problem between father and son was that Denethor could not understand the motives that moved Faramir to do something and so he was often suspicious and mistrusted him.
Both could "look deep into the hearts of men", but while Faramir felt pity, Denethor felt scorn.

Member.
denethor used to be cool.

Exa
If you have nothing of interest to add to this thread,
then do no say anything just for having the last post. Please.

Member.
Denethor looked into the palantir, maybe that's why? he used to be a good guy b4 that.

eldarion
I heard that this wasn't true. I thought this was the case too but I heard a while ago, maybe even on this site, that Faramir's mom did not die giving birth to him. Does anyone know if this really is the case because its really bugging me!

Exa
It cant be the case as Finduilas died in 2988 (or 2987) while Faramir was born 2983

Jade_Eyes
Its possible she did not die during delivery of, but still died as a result of.

eldarion
Great! Thanks for clearing that up for me Exa; I knew you'd come through smile

Phoenix
((people have probs alreay said this but...))

Boromir is the eldest son, and Denethors fave. Faramir ((n D's opinion)) is a poor substitute for B. also, D is hurting, he misses B, and so vents his misery on F.

Godzilla2000
Well, either way, Denethor still ooved his wife. Of course if memory serves me right, Denethor was a prideful, tempestuos man before he met her. She kind of softened him for awhile. But after her death, he returned to the whole bitter, angry man bit. Of course that did make him easier to manipulate via the palantir by Sauron.

Godzilla2000
A favorite saying of mine when people get confused by the more subtle literary hints in the movies is, "Read the books." wink

feanor
Unfortunately for many the visual senses when seeing the movie as oppose to reading the book fills one with excitement and wonder of the scenery and the emotions displayed before them. Whereas reading actually takes discipline and a willingness to actually visualize that which one is reading. Not that many of the LotR fans here have not read the book. I for one have read it many times before seeing the movie more than I should have...

Phoenix
I have read the books! miffed

sauron
and also phoe HAS read the books

but (theres always a but)

he was a ***** to faramir before boromir died

Kitoky
It's mainly because Faramir's birth caused Finduilus to die that's why.

Though his bitterness may also be caused by the Palantir and/or that might've fueled his sadness/anger more and so there goes Faramir riding out to war.

sauron
so his wife had a five year labour..or did she not stop bleeding for five years afterwards....VERY slow blood loss rate the gondorians then?

stick out tonguestick out tongue

Kitoky
O.O holy crap....whew...dang...that's worst then the time of the month...she did it with Boromir too??

sauron
no i was joking

you said his wife died during birth but faramirs birth and her death are 5 year apart

lol

Kitoky
Ohhhh you were kidding! Whew, I thought you were for real, I was gonna faint man....

Ah okie! *after skimming the Appendics*

Finduilus of Dol Amroth loved the sea and she grew weak after she married Denethor II (not because of him or anything) and so after she gave birth to Faramir, she grew extremely weak and died. Certainly the death shocked Denethor. Finduilas had doubtless been his moral support, and without her, he probably had few places to turn.

Perhaps he saw Faramir as responsible for the weakening of his wife, or Faramir reminded his father too acutely of some aspect of Finduilas that he missed dearly?

Faramir was 4 at the time and he was the closest to his mother, but Boromir had the longest memory of her.

shadowy_blue
Personally I have always thought that Denethor's feelings towards Faramir had several major (and countless minor) reasons:

1. Denethor was brought up in a time and a society in which the value of a man was mostly judged by his abilities as a soldier, his strength and valour in battle. The appendices state that Denethor was not the only one to judge Faramir's courage and valour less than Boromir's and I guess that it's a question of tradition and of the general understanding of the male role and duty in society which in that time of darkness and doubt was the defence of the country. And here is Faramir, a man who not only admits openly that he doesn't delight in fighting and loathes killing but also loves books and music and is in general "gentle in bearing". I guess gentleness in times like those is easily mistaken for weakness and IMO weakness was the one thing Denethor dreaded most, in himself and in those close to him. IMO he lived in the constant fear of failure and to have a son who to many in his time appeared less valiant, less strong and less courageous than was expected of the Steward's son in Denethor's mind came a little too close to failure.

2. Denethor's relationship to his own father, Ecthelion II, was obviously a difficult one. For young Denethor it must have been about the most painful thing in the world to see the one person he so desperately wanted to please, whose love and favour would have meant more to him than anything else (here I find it quite interesting that Denethor's mother is never even mentioned), turn away from him, from his own son, to seek the counsel and the company of a stranger (Thorongil/Aragorn) instead. Maybe that experience is kind of reflected in the way he treats Faramir. Faramir is in a way like Denethor once was, trying to please yet knowing that all he can do will never be enough. Maybe treating Faramir in such a manner Denethor sees the injustice done to him revenged, in some strange, twisted way. Now that he is at last in the position to give and deny love and favour he needs to make someone else feel the pain he has once felt... I don't know...

3. I definitely think that a major reason for Denethor's behaviour towards Faramir is the loss of Finduilas whom after all he loved "in his fashion more than anything else". John Noble IMO has an amazing understanding of how much of a blow the loss of his wife was to Denethor and even though she did not die in childbirth but several years after Faramir's birth I believe that in his heart Denethor still, in some irrational way, holds Faramir responsible for her death, maybe just for the reason that it makes him feel better to be able to blame someone so he can, at least for a time, forget about blaming himself. And Faramir, having inherited Finduilas' gentleness, must be as an ever present reminder of her loss.

Kitoky
Stole my glory

lol

stick out tongue

laughing

shadowy_blue
LOL...big grin

rianna_d
Yup, shadowy got it all right! poor denethor, his father was always seeking the counsel and the company of Aragorn at that time, it must have been frustrating to him, no wonder why he hated Aragorn. ANd also it's right that when Finduilas gave birth to Faramir she started to get weaker and weaker with every year that passed, and finally, she died, Faramir also looks a lot more like his mother than Boromir, so when Denethor sees him, he's reminded of his beloved wife, and the fact that she is dead as a result to giving birth to him. Faramir is a very good friend of Gandalf and we all know that Gandalf isn't very dear to Denethor, this also bothered Denethor. He must be a little jealous of Gandalf, in the book this is more clear.

It makes me sad

Bar-en-Danwedh
I always thought that it because F reminded D of his wife, wher B reminded him of himself when he was younger. but rianna got in there before me...
Boromir would have been a tough act to follow. Faramir is more of a ranger type and i guess he and aragorn would make a good steward/king pair.
but boromir would have made a pretty good steward. and (don't get me wrong, i like faramir) but if faramir had gone with the fellowship and boromir stayed back to fight at Minas Tirith, things may have turned out a little better. but who knows...?


John Noble actually brings the mother resemblence thing up in the actors comentary in the TTT:EE. I really like what he has to say.

shaber
The answers are both (1) and (4) I think I may have choked at the point where Denethor is telling Faramir that he wishes he was dead instead of Boromir embarrasment Uncharacteristic. I very rarely cry in movies!

shaber
A quote from Gandalf when he is admonishing Pippin to be sensible before his first audience with Denethor; "he loved him (Boromir) greatly, too much perhaps, the more so because they were so unlike." He mentioned that in Faramir and Denethor the Numenorean blood is very strongly manifest, though it is very recessive in Boromir. Faramir and Denethor are too similair.

Denethor also derides Faramir as being a "wizards pupil," and on his pyre accuses Gandalf of having continuously conspired to steal Faramir away from him.

shaber
Hey, I just recalled that Saruman had visited Denethor before. Saruman used to browse Minas Tirith's archives a great deal. That almost certainly began Denethor's distaste for Gandalf. Saruman's hatred of Gandalf is very deep set, going back to the time when he first realised that Gandalf had been entrusted with the Naria. Saruman would be a bad influence on anyone, but Denethor really went wrong after seeing Sauron devil in the Palantir.

Bar-en-Danwedh
maybe faramir walked in on denathor using the palantir to watch ladies bathing... and so faramirs presense alway embarrases him?

Darth Bandon
D hates F because F ate the last of the nachos.

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