Boromir was the first son of the Steward of Gondor and a captain of Gondor. Yet, he was sent without escort North-West with only his horse, shield, sword, and horn to investigate Faramir's dream. Why didn't Denethor send some soldiers with him, or perhaps a guide? The chances of him being injured, lost, or waylaid seemed pretty high given that he didn't even know where Rivendell was.


1 Answer 1


The only indication we get for why he went alone is because the way was

"full of doubt and danger..."

Boromir wouldn't allow his brother to go, because of the above fears, and decided he would go himself. His father likely demanded he take people with him but Boromir would've had the same fears for them as he did for his brother.

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. Loth was my father to give me leave, and long have I wandered by roads forgotten, seeking the house of Elrond, of which many had heard, but few knew where it lay.’
Fellowship of the Ring - Book II, Chapter 2: The Council of Elrond

Another reason, may be because the people of Gondor expected no dangers to their West. As Boromir says, they've protected the West from the dangers to the East.

By our valour the wild folk of the East are still restrained, and the terror of Morgul kept at bay; and thus alone are peace and freedom maintained in the lands behind us, bulwark of the West.

Denethor and Boromir likely would not have feared what lay West given the horrors they faced to the East.

Boromir described the lands to the West as being protected and "behind" the fighting:

But still we fight on, holding all the west shores of Anduin; and those who shelter behind us give us praise, if ever they hear our name: much praise but little help. Only from Rohan now will any men ride to us when we call.

There is but one note made about the journey outside of the trilogy and it reinforces the bravery of Boromir to travel on his own. This, in my opinion, strengthens the idea that Boromir did not care to put other people at risk but himself, knowing the effect their losses would be on the wars to come.

When Boromir made his great journey from Gondor to Rivendell — the courage and hardihood required is not fully recognized in the narrative — the North-South Road no longer existed except for the crumbling remains of the causeways, by which a hazardous approach to Tharbad might be achieved, only to find ruins on dwindling mounds, and a dangerous ford formed by the ruins of the bridge, impassable if the river had not been there slow and shallow — but wide.
Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Chapter 4, Appendix D, The History of Galadriel and Celeborn: The Port of Lond Daer

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    @just_happen_to_know post apocalyptic tends to imply some mass destruction. But I doubt it was anything that bad. From the final quote it seems more like the elves had begun to keep of themselves, trade with the Dwarves stopped after the fall of Moria and the roads were neglected. This made the passage difficult to follow. Rivendell was also hidden unless you knew the way into the Valley. I also reckon there was a level of secrecy required and hence why Boromir went alone, but I haven’t had time to revisit the answer yet
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 12, 2018 at 16:23
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    +1 for the first quote. I think the fact that Denethor didn't want him to go, shows everything we wanted to know. Maybe Denny did want to send guards, but B was gonna do what B was gonna do. I would guess that the old man was secretly pleased/proud of his favored son for taking on the dangerous mission on his own. Jul 12, 2018 at 16:45
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    And yet another part to the answer: Gondor is facing a very serious threat, and Boromir says they lack men already. Under those circumstances, how many skilled warriors can Gondor spare on this weird quest? Jul 12, 2018 at 21:40
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    There's also Faramir's take on the matter (Book four) "Alas that ever he went on that errand! I should have been chosen by my father and the elders but he put himself forward, as being the older and the hardier (both true), and he would not be stayed." During Denethor's discussion with Gandalf, Faramir (and Pippin), Denethor also implies he chose Boromir to go. The absense of escort is probably explained by the fact that west was considered relatively safe as Rohan was an ally and Saruman's treachery had not been discovered.
    – RedBaron
    Jul 13, 2018 at 5:53
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    @just_happen_to_know We know elves are masters of concealment (cf. the elvish cloaks). Elrond was the great-great-grandson of Melian the Maia, a divine being who used her magic to conceal the realm of Doriath for thousands of years, and he also had the Ring of Air. Seems pretty likely that the uncertainty about Rivendell was due to magical protection by Elrond, rather than bad record-keeping in Gondor.
    – G_B
    Jul 13, 2018 at 9:57

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