We know Galadriel tempted the members of the Fellowship, did she tempt Boromir with visions of taking the Ring and saving Gondor?

In the books, Boromir willingly accepts the judgement of the council that the Ring should be destroyed, but after the meeting with Celeborn and Galadriel his personality seems to change.

Was the temptation offered by Galadriel in some way responsible for Boromir's fall?

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    I'd just like to thank you for changing my view of Galadriel. I never thought she could be so evil. But she truly is of the house of Fëanor! Even if she lived in Menegroth for years!! I'd gone into the answer with the same viewpoint as Daniel but how that viewpoint has changed!
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 14:34
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    You have two conflicting answers in the sense that one says "No" and the other says "It's likely", but they're actually answering two different questions: "did she plant the idea?" and "did she tempt him with the Ring?" respectively. In the future, you should ask questions in a way that all answers are about the same thing.
    – isanae
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 15:18
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    Sure, but now Daniel's answer doesn't make sense because you changed your question. You also misquoted my username, so I didn't get your ping. But I won't neg you further.
    – isanae
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 15:41
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    This was all part of Galadriel's plan of lifting her ban and getting back to Valinor. Did you notice how she almost defeated Sauron too easily in Dol Guldur? Plans within plans.
    – void_ptr
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 17:42
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    @void_ptr - Ha! I knew she was Bene Gesserit! -- The Witch of Lothlórien to be sure! :D
    – user23715
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 19:50

3 Answers 3


It's likely, but not certain

I believe it is likely Galadriel tempted him with the ring, and in doing so re-ignited a pre-existing idea to take the ring, but to be clear lets break this down into three parts.

  • Boromir at the Council of Elrond
  • Boromir after setting off
  • Boromir after being tempted

Boromir at the Council of Elrond

Boromir pleas for the ring to go to Minas Tirith, to help Gondor in its defense against Mordor.

“ Why should we not think that the Great Ring has come into our hands to serve us in the very hour of need? Wielding it the Free Lords of the Free may surely defeat the Enemy. That is what he most fears, I deem.”

However after it's decided that the ring will go to Mordor, Boromir seems to be content with the decision.

“So be it,’ he said. ‘Then in Gondor we must trust to such weapons as we have. And at the least, while the Wise ones guard this Ring, we will fight on.”

Boromir after setting off

After setting off Boromir pays no special attention to Frodo, playing his part in the Fellowship, carrying faggots of wood to keep everyone alive, and carrying Hobbits through the snow. It is not until after talking to Galadriel that he makes mention of the Ring again.

Boromir after being tempted

“To me it seemed exceedingly strange,’ said Boromir. ‘Maybe it was only a test, and she thought to read our thoughts for her own good purpose; but almost I should have said that she was tempting us, and offering what she pretended to have the power to give. It need not be said that I refused to listen. The Men of Minas Tirith are true to their word.’ But what he thought that the Lady had offered him Boromir did not tell. And as for Frodo, he would not speak, though Boromir pressed him with questions. ‘She held you long in her gaze, Ring-bearer,’ he said. ‘Yes,’ said Frodo; ‘but whatever came into my mind then I will keep there.’ ‘Well, have a care!’ said Boromir. ‘I do not feel too sure of this Elvish Lady and her purposes.”

It would seem that Boromir had been tempted, and quickly went into denial of the fact. He seemed to be trying to solve what Galadriel was doing, and may have been tempted by the Ring, saying pretended to have the power to give. Boromir is fully aware she could not give the Ring as she pleases and this may be what he's suggesting. Boromir also suddenly has a great interest in Frodo, and what she said to him while staring at him.

It is undeniable that this is a turning point for Boromir, where his temptation for the Ring grows tremendously. This is supported by his obsession with the Ring as they paddled down the Anduin. But whether this is due to Galadriel's temptation or not is unclear, although it is quite likely.

Merry and Pippin in the middle boat were ill at ease, for Boromir sat muttering to himself, sometimes biting his nails, as if some restlessness or doubt consumed him, sometimes seizing a paddle and driving the boat close behind Aragorn’s. Then Pippin, who sat in the bow looking back, caught a queer gleam in his eye, as he peered forward gazing at Frodo.

It seems clear from the final chapters of the First Book that Boromir has become obsessed with Frodo, which I now believe is likely due to Galadriel's temptation.

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    This is like saying a therapist getting you to open up and examine your emotional problems is responsible for your own thoughts. The sentences immediately preceding the quote above speaks about how she opens them up to the choice between the hard quest taken reluctantly and their deepest desire. The desire is theirs not hers.
    – Yorik
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 16:22
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    I do not agree with the interpretation that Boromir was content after the council's decision. He strikes me multiple times as someone who is borderline sarcastic, as in 'yeah sure I am fine with your decision. Guard this ring while we fend off the hordes of mordor, no problem for me!'
    – Philipp
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 16:30
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    Everything I read here is consistent with Galadriel tempting Boromir not to bring about his fall, but to bring his buried desire for the Ring to the surface, maybe bringing a hidden problem into the open. It's hard to imagine what an 'evil' Galadriel would have gained from Boromir's fall, and easy to imagine how much damage Boromir could have done had he arrived with the Rinbearer in Minas Tirith Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 18:01
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    This answer is wrong at every level. It shows no understanding of the characters, nor the nature of temptation. -- This answer is literally the inverse of the correct answer. -- Sorry to be harsh but if I don't make it this concise the criticism would be longer than your answer. No joke.
    – user23715
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 19:54
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    I agree that she deliberately tempted him, and that it likely contributed to his actions at the falls of Rauros. I disagree that her intentions were in any way evil and I don't think we can know whether Boromir would have tried to take the ring even if he'd never met her. I interpret her testing/tempting of the fellowship as a crucible for their hearts. Perhaps all the choices at Rauros were influenced by her crucible: Frodo mistrusting the rest of the party, but Sam knowing in his heart he is true, and perhaps Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli doubting their resistance of the ring. Commented Jun 17, 2017 at 3:34

No. Boromir had been tempted by the Ring ever since he first saw it in Rivendell. Sam, for one, saw this clearly, as he explains to Faramir at Henneth Annûn:

[Said Sam]. 'It strikes me that folk takes their peril with them into Lórien, and finds it there because they've brought it. (...) Now Boro—' He stopped and went red in the face.

'Yes? Now Boromir you would say?' said Faramir. 'What would you say? He took his peril with him?'

'Yes sir, begging your pardon, and a fine man as your brother was, if I may say so. But you've been warm on the scent all along. Now I watched Boromir and listened to him, from Rivendell all down the road – looking after my master, as you'll understand, and not meaning any harm to Boromir – and it's my opinion that in Lórien he first saw clearly what I guessed sooner: what he wanted. From the moment he first saw it he wanted the Enemy's Ring!'

The Two Towers, chapter 5, "The Window on the West"

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    The perfect quote! Perhaps also "'I should have said that she was ... offering what she pretended to have the power to give. It need not be said that I refused to listen. ...' But what he thought that the Lady had offered him Boromir did not tell." Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 11:58
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    (Tinfoil hat mode ON) "and it's my opinion that in Lórien he (Boromir?) first saw clearly what I guessed sooner" After reading this question, now I suspect that Galadriel gave Boromir a complicity nod, which he understood as her "blessing" to try and seize the Ring. Why would she do that? Well, because she is petty (I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.... so f&%# Middle Earth!!).
    – xDaizu
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 12:58
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    @xDaizu And I disagree with you. Not only would it be completely out of character for Galadriel, but there are no texts that support this. In fact, Gandalf says "[she] told me that [Boromir] was in peril" when he first meets Aragorn as the White Wizard.
    – isanae
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 15:15
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    @xDaizu: No. she is not petty, she passed her test. She finally realizes that her clinging to middle earth in a misguided attempt at ordering her own realm and the pride which held her to that ideal was wrong and it is time for her to let go. The whole mythology is centered on The Fall through the corruptive desire to order and control. I mean, even Sauron was "less evil for having served another."
    – Yorik
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 16:29
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    @xDaizu All the bearers of the eleven rings, and many of the wise besides, must know that either way things play out all of the rings of power are nearing their end. Either Sauron regains the One and the Three are laid bare, or the One is destroyed and the Three become little more than jewelry. The only other option is that someone strong thinks they can master the One and do good with it, which is the test Galadriel passes. She knows all work done with the One is corrupted. So her ring will become useless or corrupted, and she will diminish in power, and pass into the West one way or another. Commented Jun 17, 2017 at 3:40

Movie-based answer

I haven't read the book but when the Fellowship enter the Lothlórien and come up to meet Celeborn and Galadriel, she enters Borormir's mind, making him realize that his beloved people are in great danger. That vision makes Boromir reconsider the power he could possibly acquire if the ring was in his possession (and then how he could save his people from Mordor). He later confesses to Aragorn the vision he had and his fear regarding the future of Gondor.

Galadriel knows how humans are attracted by the power of the ring and could have cast this vision inside Boromir's mind in order to push him to try to steal the ring from Frodo when they were alone, making Frodo realize that the only way he could achieve his quest was on his own (or at least with someone he trust more than everything like Sam) without the threat of humans' avidity for power (the same thing reoccurs later with Faramir). I think Galadriel was trying to help Frodo rather than the Fellowship itself and that she already planned Boromir's decadence, possibly even his future sacrifice.

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    The book is quite different, especially in Faramir's reaction to having the Ring within his reach. Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 13:18
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    The movie did have a somewhat tense scene on the slopes of Caradhras where Boromir almost had the ring, and there are likely statements by Boromir during the council to imply a pre-Galadriel interest in the ring.
    – thrig
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 15:17
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    The book is pretty, pretty, pretty good Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 19:56
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    You should give the book a chance. Or, at least, sample the mostly excellent BBC audio dramatization in 13 episodes. Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 23:28
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    Galadriel's characterization in the movies, while not bad, is way less subtle than in the book. The episode of The Mirror of Galadriel is both better and more powerful than the pretty hamfisted scene from the movie. Like others have said, you should give the book a try.
    – Andres F.
    Commented Jun 17, 2017 at 2:34

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