In the movie the return of the king, Denethor was seen holding Boromir's broken horn. But in Two Towers it is shown that Faramir sees the boat bearing his dead brother floating past him on the River Anduin.

There is also a quote in the book which indicates Faramir might have recovered the body.

But in Gondor in after-days it long was said that the elven-boat rode the falls and the foaming pool, and bore him down through Osgiliath, and past the many mouths of Anduin, out into the Great Sea at night under the stars.

But if Faramir had recovered the body of Boromir, people would have known since he was Captain-General of Gondor. Does Faramir recovers his brother's body or it floats into the sea?

  • 11
    How does that quote suggest that Faramir recovers the body? I read it saying exactly the opposite of that Apr 9, 2015 at 16:24
  • 1
    @JasonBaker I got confused because I saw in the movie that boat passes by Faramir which I thought meant body was not recovered. But the "But" in the quoted statement made me think maybe it was recovered.
    – Vishvesh
    Apr 10, 2015 at 9:46

1 Answer 1


Boromir's body was never recovered, at least not by Faramir.

The Two Towers, Book IV, Ch. 5 The Window on the West:

[Faramir, speaking to Frodo (and Sam)] ‘I sat at night by the waters of Anduin, in the grey dark under the young pale moon, watching the ever-moving stream; and the sad reeds were rustling. So do we ever watch the shores nigh Osgiliath, which our enemies now partly hold, and issue from it to harry our lands. But that night all the world slept at the midnight hour. Then I saw, or it seemed that I saw, a boat floating on the water, glimmering grey, a small boat of a strange fashion with a high prow, and there was none to row or steer it.
‘An awe fell on me, for a pale light was round it. But I rose and went to the bank, and began to walk out into the stream, for I was drawn towards it. Then the boat turned towards me, and stayed its pace, and floated slowly by within my hand’s reach, yet I durst not handle it. It waded deep, as if it were heavily burdened, and it seemed to me as it passed under my gaze that it was almost filled with clear water, from which came the light; and lapped in the water a warrior lay asleep.
‘A broken sword was on his knee. I saw many wounds on him. It was Boromir, my brother, dead. I knew his gear, his sword, his beloved face. One thing only I missed: his horn. One thing only I knew not: a fair belt, as it were of linked golden leaves, about his waist. Boromir! I cried. Where is thy horn? Whither goest thou? O Boromir! But he was gone. The boat turned into the stream and passed glimmering on into the night. Dreamlike it was, and yet no dream, for there was no waking. And I do not doubt that he is dead and has passed down the River to the Sea.’
Then turning again to Frodo, he spoke in a quiet voice once more. ‘To those questions I guess that you could make some answer, Frodo son of Drogo. But not here or now, maybe. But lest you still should think my tale a vision, I will tell you this. The horn of Boromir at least returned in truth, and not in seeming. The horn came, but it was cloven in two, as it were by axe or sword. The shards came severally to shore: one was found among the reeds where watchers of Gondor lay, northwards below the infalls of the Entwash; the other was found spinning on the flood by one who had an errand on the water. Strange chances, but murder will out, ’tis said.

The shards of Boromir's horn were returned to their father, Denethor. There's no mention of who, specifically, retrieved the shards from the river and brought them to Denethor.

The Return of the King, Book V, Ch. 1 Minas Tirith:

‘He would have gone,’ said Gandalf. ‘Be not unjust in your grief! Boromir claimed the errand and would not suffer any other to have it. He was a masterful man, and one to take what he desired. I journeyed far with him and learned much of his mood. But you speak of his death. You have had news of that ere we came?’
‘I have received this,’ said Denethor, and laying down his rod he lifted from his lap the thing that he had been gazing at. In each hand he held up one half of a great horn cloven through the middle: a wild-ox horn bound with silver.
‘That is the horn that Boromir always wore!’ cried Pippin.
‘Verily,’ said Denethor. ‘And in my turn I bore it, and so did each eldest son of our house, far back into the vanished years before the failing of the kings, since Vorondil father of Mardil hunted the wild kine of Araw in the far fields of Rhûn. I heard it blowing dim upon the northern marches thirteen days ago, and the River brought it to me, broken: it will wind no more.’ He paused and there was a heavy silence. Suddenly he turned his black glance upon Pippin. ‘What say you to that, Halfling?’

There's no record that Boromir's body was ever recovered by anyone. The Elvish "magic" of the boats from Lorien may have allowed the boat to pass unseen and unmolested down the river and out to sea.

The Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, Ch. 8 Farewell to Lorien:

‘Heed the words!’ said the other Elves. ‘These boats are light-built, and they are crafty and unlike the boats of other folk. They will not sink, lade them as you will; but they are wayward if mishandled. It would be wise if you accustomed yourselves to stepping in and out, here where there is a landing-place, before you set off downstream.’

  • So was Faramir actually dreaming? Secondly the fact that Boromir's horn was found could indicate that the boat might have capsized before reaching the sea?
    – Vishvesh
    Apr 10, 2015 at 6:11
  • You can interpret it that way if you like. I imagine it depends on whether you prefer Tolkien's subtle form of magic or a more mundane explanation.
    – Joe L.
    Apr 10, 2015 at 12:59

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