It was mentioned in Faramir's wiki that (emphasis mine):

Long after completing The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien would write that of all characters Faramir resembles the author most, and that he had deliberately bestowed upon the character several traits of his own.

What exactly were these traits?

Unfortunately I tried searching for the letter linked in the wiki page but could not find an available source.

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    The story., that's what they have in common wink wink nudge nudge Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 19:47
  • "I am not Gandalf, being a transcendent Sub-creator in this little world. As far as any character is ‘like me’ it is Faramir – except that I lack what all my characters possess (let the psychoanalysts note!) Courage."
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 19:49
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    @Schneejäger, always someone :-)
    – user35594
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 19:49
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    Faramir resembled the author most? o_O I would have guessed Beren. It's on Tolkien's gravestone. drjasonwhiting.com/uploads/3/4/5/9/34596040/editor/… J R R Tolkien had compared himself and his wife, Edith, to the characters, Beren and Luthien, before he died.
    – RichS
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 19:51
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    @RichS Beren and Luthien aren't charaters from the Lord of the Ring, they are only mentioned. Besides, maybe the comparison with these two only compares both couples, not particular individual. Maybe he felt their love and relationship was like these shared by Beren and Luthien while the character he built in his image was Faramir.
    – Sarkouille
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


Wave Dream, Love for his country, thoughts on the realities of war

There are a few similarities between Tolkien and Faramir. Although, before we get onto that, I first want to talk about the character itself and what Tolkien thought of the character, at its early formation.

A new character has come on the scene (I am sure I did not invent him, I did not even want him though I like him, but there he came walking into the woods of Ithilien): Faramir, the brother of Boromir…
Letter 79

Tolkien clearly didn't intend to create the character and it only came to him as he was writing. This means Tolkien didn't plan for this character to be like himself.

Now onto their similarities. The most obvious is the Wave Dream. Faramir often had a dream of a Wave flooding over Gondor. This dream wasn't an invention of Tolkien but something he had indeed dreamt of himself.

I have what some might call and Atlantis complex… I mean the terrible recurrent dream (beginning with memory) of the Great Wave, towering up, and coming in ineluctably over the tress and green fields. (I bequeathed it to Faramir.)
Letter 213

Moving on from there we come to Faramir's love for his country.

In a speech by Faramir, he elaborates on his love for Gondor.

‘For myself,’ said Faramir, ‘I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings, and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace: Minas Anor again as of old, full of light, high and fair, beautiful as a queen among other queens: not a mistress of many slaves, nay, not even a kind mistress of willing slaves. I love… the city of the Men of Númenor; and I would have her loved for her memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom. Not feared, save as men may fear the dignity of a man, old and wise.’
The Two Towers

This is similar to Tolkien's love for his country. Which is demonstrated in the entire initial conception of his works, as a connected legend to England before the realm was ever called Middle-earth. As Tolkien had originally intended for Middle-earth to be a Mythology for England.

Finally, in the above speech, following on from his love for Gondor, Faramir discusses the realities of war

War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory...
The Two Towers

Tolkien says something very in a Letter to his son in 1944

The utter stupid waste of war, not only material but moral and spiritual, is so staggering to those who have to endure it. And always was (despite the poets), and always will be (despite the propagandists)–not of course that it has not is and will be necessary to face it in an evil world

Tolkien not only gave Faramir the Wave Dream but at the same time gave him his same thoughts on war. This is re-iterated in a later letter to Christopher Tolkien where he says of Faramir that he had

some very sound reflections do doubt on martial glory and true glory

Another parallel between the two is for their attention to detail and the excessive depth they describe things in. This is mentioned in the same letter where the Professor tells Christopher of Faramir he talks about the length of history Faramir is discussing.

[Faramir] is holding up the ‘catastrophe’ by a lot of stuff about the history of Gondor and Rohan…but if he goes on much more a lot of him will have to be removed to the appendices.
Letter 79

For those of us familiar with Tolkien's works no various readers have complained about the depth of the descriptions Tolkien goes into and the amount of "unimportant" information that is included. Tolkien had the same complaint for Faramir as shown above.

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    As an aside I read also (cant find the quote at the moment) that Tolkiens Son also had the same dream about a Wave having "inherited" it from his father.
    – Richard C
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 14:15
  • Maybe we can add the more tenuous link that Tolkien loves trees ("I am (obviously) much in love with plants and above all trees, and always have been", letter 165, one of many examples), and Faramir is associated with them as captain of the rangers and then Prince of Ithilien
    – gdelab
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 15:06

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