Denethor II

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Denethor II by Eonwe-(Valar)
Denethor II's Depressionby Varda-(Valar)
Images of Denethor II

Denethor II

by Eonwe-(Valar)
June 24, 2003
   
    Son of Ecthelion II, Steward of Gondor.

Reference: Return of the King, book 5 of Lord of the Rings 
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Denethor II's Depression

by Varda-(Valar)
July 14, 2006

    Denethor II was married to Finduilas of Dol Amroth. Their children were Boromir II of the Fellowship and  Faramir II who succeeded his father as Ruling Steward. 
    Denethor was highly intelligent, educated, brave, and driven, but his mind was weakened by depression over the death of Finduilas and possible guilt feelings over it. The death of Boromir, his intended heir added to this.  Faramir's potential death from the Black Breath and Denethor's guilt and inability to make amends with a comatose son added more to the condition. Denethor, responsible for the lands of Gondor, saw it constantly under siege by the growing power of Mordor, an impression added to by Sauron's filtering of the sights that Denethor saw in the Palantir of Minas Tirith, until it appeared with the coming of the Corsairs of Umbar that the kingdom would be certainly taken with no reinforcements coming.
    He refused to be taken by Sauron, but wanted to take his remaining son with him, and in ultimate depression decided to kill himself and Faramir in the funeral pyre of heathen kings. Thanks to intervention by Pippin, who brought in Beregond, and Gandalf, Faramir was saved, but Denethor still managed to kill himself on the pyre. As he did so he held the Palantir, marking it forever after for all other users with the sight of his burning hands before they could tear the vision away to their own choices.

Reference: Lord of the Rings 
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Images:

Image "Denethor grieves for his son". Pippin and Beregond along with one of the unthinkingly loyal guards are in the background. Artist Anke-Katrin Eissman, from Rolozo Tolkien site
Image of Denethor at his pyre with the palantir, Gandalf and Pippin, maybe Beregond, witnessing. Drawn by Robert Chronister, from the Rolozo Tolkien page
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