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In this video, Denethor orders his son, Boromir, to go to Rivendell. Denethor guessed that the purpose of this meeting was to decide what to do with the Weapon of the Dark Lord that has been found. Denethor even says to his favorite son "Bring me back this mighty gift".

Boromir did not want to go to Rivendell. He even said that "My place is here[Gondor] with my people -- not in Rivendell.".

Faramir suggested to Denethor that he should go to Rivendell instead. But Denethor refused as he disliked and distrusted Faramir. Denethor said "I trust this mission to your brother, the one who will not fail me".

Boromir even disagreed with his father. But in the end, he went to Rivendell to attend the Council of Elrond.

I know why Denethor commanded his son to go to Rivendell -- it is because of the ring. Denethor wanted it. His sons wanted it also, but the older son was tempted while the youngest resisted it. Faramir knows that his father didn't like him as much as Boromir. But

Does Faramir hate his father, Denethor? Does Denethor want the ring more than his 2 sons?

If yes, then do both Boromir and Faramir love their father?

Correct me If I am wrong, Because both Boromir and Faramir were ordered by Denethor to take the Ring and give it to Denethor.

  • 5
    If you think Denethor hated Boromir you've seriously misread the text imo. I'm not going to downvote yet, but I think the title should be adjusted and the text of the question is rather disjointed - bordering on 'unclear what you are asking' – NKCampbell May 10 '17 at 19:58
  • 1
    Denethor is an ambitious old bastard who wants to be remembered as Gondor's king even though his office is supposed to be just keeping the throne warm, and thinks being a King means telling other people to go do things that make him look good. His sons are just a vector for that ambition, and Boromir the more successful of the two, in his eyes. That's pretty much his entire character, right there. – Radhil May 10 '17 at 20:40
  • 3
    When you ask if Denethor wants the Ring more than his sons, are you asking if he values the Ring more than he values his sons, or are you asking if he desires the Ring more than his sons desire it? – Quasi_Stomach May 10 '17 at 23:15
  • @Radhil Looks like the core of a good answer – KorvinStarmast May 11 '17 at 15:12
  • 5
    Never judge a book by its movie, especially this one. – EvilSnack Jun 17 '17 at 5:25
11

No.

Denethor loved his sons, but was unable to show it to the son in whom he saw too much of himself. He carried the weight of the whole world on his shoulders and couldn't resist the lure of the Ring in the same way his beloved son could not.

{Long and mostly unnecessary description follows. You have been warned}

Denethor's love for Boromir was obvious in the books. Most of what we know for sure, we get from Gandalf. A few quotes about Denethor from The Return of the King, Chapter 1: Minas Tirith:

'He loved him greatly: too much perhaps; and the more so because they were unlike.' [....]

'...The blood of Westernesse runs nearly true in him; as it does in his other son, Faramir, and yet did not in Boromir whom he loved best.

Denethor himself spoke very bitterly of how he lost his elder son. Here are a few quotes from Denethor himself:

'My Boromir! Now we have need of you. Faramir should have gone in his stead.'

[....]

Alas, alas for Boromir!

[....]

'Stir not the bitterness in the cup that I mixed for myself...'

Of course, in his pain at losing the son he loved best, he is quite cruel, mocking his remaining son (whom he has always treated poorly, it seems):

'Your bearing is lowly in my presence....'

'I know you well. Ever your desire is to appear lordly and generous as a king of old...

But Gandalf gives Faramir a glint of hope before he goes to fight on the front lines, with barely any rest, at his Father's orders:

'Your father loves you, Faramir, and will remember it ere the end. Farewell!'

Faramir was wounded to near death and when his father found out, he was stricken with grief. It is true that the weight of all that happened was on him and he had only recently consulted the Palantir (through which he was being deceived and cowed by Sauron), but it was this final weight of the possible loss of his younger son (and the Palantir had convinced him that this loss would be complete) that lead him to this fatal dispair:

During all this black day Faramir lay upon his bed in the chamber of the White Tower, wandering in a desperate fever.... And by him his father sat, and said nothing, but watched

[....]

No hours so dark had Pippin known.... And as he watched, it seemed to him that Denethor grew old before his eyes, as if something had snapped in his proud will, and his stern mind was overthrown. Grief maybe had wrought it, and remorse. He saw tears on that once tearless face, more unbearable than wrath.

[....]

'I sent my son forth, unthanked, unblessed, out into needless peril, and here he lies with poison in his veins.' [....] 'I must stay beside my son.'

[....]

Now Denethor stood up and released the fevered hand of Faramir that he had held.

[....]

...Faramir moaned and called on his father in his dream. Denethor started as one waking from a trance, and the flame died in his eyes, and he wept; and he said: 'Do not take my son from me! He calls for me.'

We can see that Denethor not only suspected the One Ring was at stake, but he had even made plans for it. He felt that if his plans failed, then nothing else would matter, anyway, as everyone that mattered (his people), would be dead.

'...Boromir was loyal to me and no wizard's pupil. He would have remembered his father's need, and would not have squandered what fortune gave. He would have brought me a mighty gift.'

[....]

'Would that this thing had come to me!'

'Comfort yourself!' said Gandalf. 'In no case would Boromir have brought it to you. He is dead, and died well; may he sleep in peace! Yet you deceive yourself. He would have stretched out his hand to this thing, and taking it he would have fallen. He would have kept it for his own, and when he returned you would not have known your son.'

The face of Denethor set hard and cold. 'You found Boromir less apt to your hand, did you not?' he said softly. 'But I who was his father say that he would have brought it to me. You are wise, maybe, Mithrandir, yet with all your subtleties you have not all wisdom. Counsels may be found that are neither the webs of wizards nor the haste of fools. I have in this matter more lore and wisdom than you deem.'

'What then is your wisdom?' said Gandalf.

'Enough to perceive that there are two follies to avoid. To use this thing is perilous. At this hour, to send it in the hands of a witless halfling into the land of the Enemy himself, as you have done, and this son of mine, that is madness.'

'And the Lord Denethor what would he have done?'

'Neither. But most surely not for any argument would he have set this thing at a hazard beyond all but a fool's hope, risking our utter ruin, if the Enemy should recover what he lost. Nay, it should have been kept, hidden, hidden dark and deep. Not used, I say, unless at the uttermost end of need, but set beyond his grasp, save by a victory so final that what then befell would not trouble us, being dead.'

'You think, as is your wont, my lord, of Gondor only,' said Gandalf. 'Yet there are other men and other lives, and time still to be. And for me, I pity even his slaves.'

'And where will other men look for help, if Gondor falls?' answered Denethor. 'If I had this thing now in the deep vaults of this citadel, we should not then shake with dread under this gloom, fearing the worst, and our counsels would be undisturbed. If you do not trust me to endure the test, you do not know me yet.'

6

He loved both of his sons - he just didn't feel as proud of Faramir as he did of Boromir.


Boromir,

was especially loved by Denethor, though both of them were so 'unlike in mind'. Why? Boromir was older and had the right of primogeniture. He was the heir of Denethor: eventually Boromir was going to succeed his father as Steward at Denethor's death (didn't happen of course). Here is proof that Denethor loved Boromir:

'So time drew on to the War of the Ring, and the sons of Denethor grew to manhood. Boromir, five years the elder, beloved by his father, was like him in face and pride, but in little else. [...].'

Denethor loved Boromir much more than Faramir because Boromir was more loyal to him.

'Do you wish then, said Faramir, 'that our places had been exchanged?'

'Yes, I wish that indeed,' said Denethor. 'For Boromir was loyal to me and no wizard's pupil.'

Faramir,

on the other hand, doesn't receive as much love from Denethor as Boromir.

Faramir, seeking knowledge, looked up to Gandalf when the latter visited the city. Denethor, of course, did not approve of this, as he had learnt much about Gandalf's hidden intentions of supplanting him through the use of the Palantir and his keen perception.

'Ill?' cried Denethor, and his eyes flashed suddenly. 'Why do you ask? The men were under your command. Or do you ask for my judgement on all your deeds? Your bearing is lowly in my presence, yet it is long now since you turned from your own way at my counsel. See, you have spoken skilfully, as ever; but I, have I not seen your eye fixed on Mithrandir, seeking whether you said well or too much? He has long had your heart in his keeping.

[...]

'Would that have availed to change your judgement?' said Denethor. 'You would still have done just so, I deem. I know you well. Ever your desire is to appear lordly and generous as a king of old, gracious, gentle.

Even so, Faramir was still loved by his father. This love was further reinforced upon the death of Boromir, actually, since Faramir would've been the Heir of Denethor and Denethor's last remaining son. Denethor grieved as Faramir lay in his fever.

During all this black day Faramir lay upon his bed in the chamber of the White Tower, wandering in a desperate fever; dying someone said, and soon 'dying' all men were saying upon the walls and in the streets. And by him his father sat, and said nothing, but watched, and gave no longer any heed to the defence.

And as he watched, it seemed to him that Denethor grew old before his eyes, as if something had snapped in his proud will, and his stern mind was overthrown. Grief maybe had wrought it, and remorse. He saw tears on that once tearless face, more unbearable than wrath.

He was crying!

'Do not weep, lord,' he stammered. 'Perhaps he will get well. Have you asked Gandalf?'

'Comfort me not with wizards!' said Denethor. 'The fool's hope has failed. The Enemy has found it, and now his power waxes; he sees our very thoughts, and all we do is ruinous.

Proud though he is, he doesn't even deny that he's crying. That's definitely concrete proof that he loved Faramir.


Did Faramir hate Denethor?

I dare say the answer is no. This is never implied directly in the books, but I have found relevant material that suggests Faramir's love for his father:

Wood was piled under it, and high all about it, and all was drenched with oil, even the garments of Faramir and the coverlets; but as yet no fire had been set to the fuel. Then Gandalf revealed the strength that lay hid in him; even as the light of his power was hidden under his grey mantle. He leaped up on to the faggots, and raising the sick man lightly he sprang down again, and bore him towards the door. But as he did so Faramir moaned and called on his father in his dream.

Denethor started as one waking from a trance, and the flame died in his eyes, and he wept; and he said: 'Do not take my son from me! He calls for me.'


Does Denethor want the ring more than his sons?

We don't know. Denethor was never presented outright with the One Ring, so we will never know whether he will 'pass the test' - just as Faramir did. Though, he was given a choice:

'What then is your wisdom?' said Gandalf.

'Enough to perceive that there are two follies to avoid. To use this thing is perilous. At this hour, to send it in the hands of a witless halfling into the land of the Enemy himself, as you have done, and this son of mine, that is madness.'

'And the Lord Denethor what would he have done?'

'Neither. But most surely not for any argument would he have set this thing at a hazard beyond all but a fool's hope, risking our utter ruin, if the Enemy should recover what he lost. Nay, it should have been kept, hidden, hidden dark and deep. Not used, I say, unless at the uttermost end of need, but set beyond his grasp, save by a victory so final that what then befell would not trouble us, being dead.'

Of course, we will never know what Denethor would have really done, as he did not feel the direct temptation of the Ring before, unlike Boromir and Faramir, who both failed and passed the 'test* respectively.


Film-wise...

Boromir is shown to have argued with Denethor over Faramir's competence. He was not arrogant against Faramir, though it may have seemed so. Boromir's 'argument' with Denethor is seen in: Scene 41 ~ Sons of the Steward

BOROMIR: (seeing Denethor talking to the soldiers behind them) One moment of peace, can he not give us that?

DENETHOR: Where is he? Where is Gondor's finest? Where's my first-born?

BOROMIR: (looks jaded and turns to face his father) Father!

DENETHOR: They say you vanquished the enemy almost single-handedly.

BOROMIR: They exaggerate. The victory belongs to Faramir also.

He looks towards Faramir who walks towards them

DENETHOR: But for Faramir, this city would still be standing.

Faramir looks uneasy

DENETHOR: Were you not entrusted to protect it?

FARAMIR: I would have done, but our numbers were too few.

DENETHOR: Oh, too few. You let the enemy walk in and take it on a whim. Always you cast a poor reflection on me. (he walks up to Faramir. Boromir drops his head)

FARAMIR: That is not my intent.

Boromir walks away and Denethor follows him.

BOROMIR: You give him no credit, and yet he tries to do your will. He loves you, Father.

DENETHOR: Do not trouble me with Faramir...I know his uses, and they are few. We have more urgent things to speak of. Elrond of Rivendell has called a meeting. He will not say why, but I have guessed its purpose. It is rumored that the weapon of the enemy has been found.

In the films, Boromir is seen to love his brother dearly and argues for his sake.

[...]

FARAMIR: lf 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. (Faramir lowers his eyes, deeply hurt) I trust this mission only to your brother. The one who will not fail me.

Boromir is on his horse. He looks up at the Gondor banner and then at his brother

BOROMIR: Remember today, little brother.

He rides out of Osgiliath

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