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Topic: Steward of Gondor

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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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Posts: 43
Date: Jan 31, 2007
Steward of Gondor

Can anyone tell me why the Steward of Gondor was insisting on setting fire to his son Faramer when it was clear he was not dead but still alive?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Jan 31, 2007
Denethor appears to have despaired that Faramir would live, but in any case in this madness he has lost estel 'hope or trust' and notably he states that he would rather have his son die with him.
But the 'Christian answer' to this is that Denethor does not have the authority to order the hour of his own death, much less Faramir's. Gandalf remarks that only the heathen kings under the domination of the Dark Power slew themselves in pride and despair '... murdering their kin to ease their own death'.

Not to be picky about spelling (which really means I'm about to be I guess!) but it is Faramir, with -mir in this example likely meaning 'jewel' (from Elvish), as opposed to -mer in Éomer for example, which has an Old English derivation.

Galin

-- Edited by Galin at 17:50, 2007-01-31

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Feb 1, 2007
Basically Faramir was critically ill and Denethor, having often looked into his Palantir and strove with Sauron who was gazing into his palantir in Barad-dur, grew to despair of the threat of the east. He did not think that any power could overthrow Sauron so he just accepted his death and his Sons and so wished that they both died in their City which they had ruled for many years.

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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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Date: Feb 2, 2007
It would seem them that he was possessed and therefore wanted his son to die with him rather than to continue without him.  As you say, Gandalf said no-one has the right to decide when someone else should die unless they are under the spell of darkness.  I would agree with this. 

About the spelling - I realised I had incorrectly spelt his name as soon as I had submitted the post.

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So do all who live to see such times but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.
Tom Bombadil
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Date: May 16, 2007
Now from a nurse's point of view, Denethor was in a state of shock and when you are in that condition, you lose reason, and sometimes consciousness, pass out. Some people at accident scenes walk around looking lost, they are, they are in a state of shock and not themselves. Their body cannot register and maybe seeing his kingdom slip away, a process that had been going on for so many years, something that Boromir had already told Aragorn" My father is a noble man, but his rule is failing..." Maybe he finally cracked under the presure, thinking that Faramir was really beyond help.

-- Edited by ArwenLegolas at 21:31, 2007-05-16

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Date: May 17, 2007
I think he was more upset with losing Boromir than Faramir. Perhaps Denethor, so proud of Boromir, thinking him invincible finally cracked after he lost him. Over the years his Kingdom was decreasing but when Boromir went he finally caved in and dispaired.

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Tom Bombadil
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Date: May 17, 2007
In "The Return of the King" Gandalf says:" And only the Heathen Kings under the domination of the Dark Power ,did thus, slaying themselves in pride and despair, murdering their kin to ease their own death."

Then he came out of the doorway, and Gandalf could see what he was holding in his hands.

"And lo! he had between his hands a palantir. 'Pride and despair!' he cried 'Didst thou think that the eyes of the White Tower were blind?' "

Obviously the man has been possessed by Sauron through the use of the Palantir for some time. and then he says to Gandalf

" The West has failed. It is time for all to depart who would not be slaves"

And after some more talking, he sets fire to himself and dies with the palantir in his hands while he dies. Later on it gives an indication in the book, that from that time on, anyone who would look into this Palantir, could see Denethor being engulfed and burned by the flames.
To me that would be a warning to anybody but the very strongest, to not mess with this seer stone.

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Men of Numenor - Rank 1
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Date: May 18, 2007
he dispaired and went crazy and want to die in the city he loved and not in bara-dur where he would have ended up.being the ruling stuwart saron would have taken him prisoner.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Date: May 18, 2007
Welcome to the Tolkien Forums kinganarion!
Now...I must disagree with you on this one, I doubt that fear of capture was a big reason. It was pure madness that drove him to this decision, and madness means lack of reasoning.

PS: I would kindly like to ask you to try to use a proper grammar from now on.

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Tom Bombadil
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Date: May 18, 2007
Smiles at kinganarion, Welcome mellon. And thank you The Might Yes, King Anarion there is a function in your word processor on your computer, called spelling and grammar that will help you with grammar and spelling. King Anarion, if you look in chapter 7 of ROTK, The Pyre of the Steward, it is all spelled out in detail.

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Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
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Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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Date: May 21, 2007
As MoS and ArwenLegolas previously mentioned, Denethor consulted the palantir one last time before entering the tomb. I think it probable that, through the influence of Sauron it showed him one possible future for his realm, himself and his son, which was death or a fate even worse. There obviously were other possibilities, but knowing that the Palantiri cannot show what cannot become true, he despaired, being predisposed to a pessimistic view by that point anyway. I am also wholly buying ArwenLegolas' theoretical diagnosis of shock - he had been under continually building stress, each piece of news worse than the last, for many years - I say he finally just lost his grip on reality. I think he thought, in his distraught and irrational state of mind, that he sought death for his son out of mercy and love...

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Valar
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Date: May 28, 2007
Denny was drawn between what he saw in Palantir and and then his love for Faramir.'
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.


But again when Gandalf forbids him to go to faramir, he falls back to those illusions he believed when looking to Palantir.

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Men of Numenor - Rank 1
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Date: Jul 1, 2007
yes he was mad, but he knew that most likely that the city would fall and most likely everyone would be killed. He would feel that son was going to die and he was to be taken away.

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