Faramir is the son of Denethor II and is both
Steward of Gondor and
Prince of Ithilien. Married Eowyn
of the Rohirrim
Reference: Lord of the Rings
Aug 28, 1999
Younger son of Denethor II, the last Ruling Steward of Gondor. His
brother Boromir, who was the heir to the stewardship,
was slain by orcs on Tol Brandir while away from Minas Tirith as a member of the Fellowship of the Ring. Faramir then
had to continue not only his own work as Captain of the Rangers of Ithilien but also take on the extra duties of his brother.
Faramir was similar to his brother in many ways, yet was not as
proud and reckless, considering the other free lands as
well as his home city of the Tower of the Gaurd. Denethor, who preferred Boromir, took his death badly and to others
it seemed as if he had wished that Faramir had died instead.
Before the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Faramir was wounded by a
Southron Dart while trying to hold the Rammas Echor. He was carried
away by Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth to the City and to Denethor.
Denethor, having gone mad, attempted to
burn his son and himself like the Heathen Kings. Peregrin and Beregond played a part in preventing that madness and
Gandalf had Faramir taken to the Houses of Healing.
After being healed by the not yet crowned King, Lord Aragorn,
Faramir fell in love with Eowyn,
Lady of Rohan, who was also in
the Houses of Healing. He married her some time later at the hall of Meduseld in Rohan, before a great many Lords and
After the crowning of the King Elessar Telcontar, Faramir was given
Ithilien to be his princedom and was bade to continue the
Stewardship for as long as he and his heirs should last.
References: Lord of the Rings including chapters: "Council of
Elrond", "The Houses of Healing", "Many Partings"
Faramir seems to be Tolkien's back-door way of
helping the reader learn to know Aragorn better, as well as being the
unlooked for" of the prophecy. This may be why Denethor's son is
one of the most developed characters in the Lord of the Rings,
we know his family life, his love, the feelings of his people and even
of animals for him, many jobs that he fulfilled, his interests, and his
philosophy. As the Captain of the Rangers of the South, also called
of the Rangers of Ithilien, he mirrors Aragorn's job of Captain of the
of the North, showing us some of the day to day activity as they slip
the woods, check on strangers, fight invaders, and rest in their main
place of Henneth Annun (which had been built behind a waterfall in
Ithilien by Turin of Gondor in TA 2901, manned continuosly since that
until the Witch-king's armies' attack forced them out before the Siege
Gondor). As Eowyn's suitor, Faramir gives some idea of the genteel
of courtship which Aragorn might have used with Arwen, with the walks,
speech, and the restraint from physical expression. Both are tall,
Dunedain with that bit of intermixture of elvish blood.
Of Faramir's family, we know that his mother, Finduilas (named after the elvish princess of whom more is written in the story "Of Turin Turambar" in the Silmarillion) died after twelve years of marriage, seeming to wither in the guarded city so close to the horror of the shadow. Her death left her husband, Denethor II, more cold than he might otherwise have been and perhaps more willing to at last look into the palantir and use it, aging and warping him.
Faramir's father, Denethor II, was the Ruling Steward of Gondor from a line which had ruled in the place of powerful kings for a longer time than most who were given the actual title of kings. He was used to great power and felt that any of the line of kings who might be surviving in the North could not possibly be as qualified as himself or his two sons.
Boromir, born in 2978, was the elder son, greatly interested in the military part of his duties, a very necessary part of being Steward of the city which stemmed the tide of Mordor for so long. Faramir, the younger by five years, was born in the same year as Sam Gamgee, in 2983 of the Third Age. Faramir too was a very capable military leader, adding to that his knowledge of guerilla warfare as leader of the southern Rangers.
The brothers had no rivalry between them, as both Faramir and Boromir believed no one in Gondor could rival Boromir. Indeed, Boromir considered himself Faramir's protector and helper. This attitude may have contributed to Boromir's taking the road to Elrond's house, as it seemed so important to Faramir but their father would not allow his going.
Studying in the great libraries of Gondor was an activity Boromir preferred to avoid (except for tales of old battles) but done by Denethor and enjoyed by Faramir. Denethor might well have approved of the learning of his younger son, but was angered by the way Faramir interpreted what he learned (with help in that interpretation by Gandalf, as Denethor correctly suspected). For Faramir discovered a different philosophy used by the old Kings and lived by that rather than the way his father did, an indirect way of calling his father wrong. Yet that same ancient philosophy may have been a part of the reason men and beasts both obeyed Faramir's commands. He believed in being completely fair even to trespassing strangers who would have been summarily executed by others, as in the case of Frodo and Sam. Faramir took the time to learn "why" and to act on compassion, rather than go strictly by the letter of the law.
Faramir also loved music. This, added to his interest in lore, made him seem less a warrior to others, yet it was not so. Rather he made battle with purpose, knowing exactly what he was doing.
Both Denethor and Faramir could see into the hearts of men, yet treated that knowledge differently. Denethor felt scorn, but Faramir felt compassion.
The Ruling Stewards held the seat of highest power in the coming Fourth Age, and one of the highest in the Third Age, so the Valar must surely have been watching all three members of that family. They would surely have used Gandalf as their main instrument of guidance. Aragorn would have to take the seat from them. If either Denethor or Boromir held the seat, Aragorn would have to battle for his rightful position. Denethor was already set in his ways and suspicious of Gandalf's influence, so the sons had to be the ones for Gandalf to teach. Boromir was the heir, but not easily reached by the Valar's methods (dreams, pity, study, Gandalf). Instead, they may have worked on him through Faramir. The youngest son was most willing to listen to Gandalf and, due to Boromir's love of battle, had a strong possibility of taking the White Rod of the Ruling Steward. Yet if he did not, he had the best chance of being a Valar influence on Boromir.
The visions sent to the willing mind of Faramir were heard by his brother until he knew them well, able to describe one as if he had had it. It is possible that Boromir may have been given the dream as a last resort by the Valar. Although Faramir requested to be the one sent to Imladris/Rivendell and was quite capable of making the dangerous journey, Boromir was the one who could prevail on their father to let one of them go, himself of course. Denethor felt suspicion of Faramir's motives, but trusted Boromir's loyalty and agreed.
Boromir's probable choices may even have been expected by the Valar. They may have had a good idea of how he would react to the sight of the One Ring, and that he would force the best choices on the Fellowship. Frodo and Sam had to go to Mordor as soon as possible, while Aragorn had to go to Minas Tirith to distract Sauron from Frodo, as well as setting up the Fourth Age. Faramir would never have tried to take the Ring, the whole Fellowship would possibly have gone to Mordor, no distraction would have been made, and the Ring might have been taken by Sauron, giving back his full power. Goodbye to the Valar plans for Middle Earth.
Alternately, Faramir would have easily seen that the Fellowship needed to break into sections, as he would see into their hearts. Frodo needed to go on with no more than Sam, Aragorn needed to go to Minas Tirith. He might have persuaded them to go the ways they needed, rather than forcing it on them, and they might not have been delayed until the orcs were on them; he might even have listened to Legolas' warning.
Boromir died at the time of the breaking of the Fellowship, protecting Merry and Pippin as they distracted the orcs from Frodo. Denethor suicided. This left Faramir as the ruling Steward when Aragorn came to claim his crown, the only one who would have given over the throne to its rightful owner without civil war.
Faramir had another job foretold for him, as a "friend unlooked for". He fulfilled this for Frodo, Sam, and Gollum when they needed help in the wilderness on the way to Cirith Ungol. Again he did this as the surprise friend for Eowyn in the Houses of Healing, a reward for her brilliant victory over the Witch-king by giving her a desire for life again, and a loving husband. Still again he was the friend for Aragorn, who instead of having to fight his way over Denethor and Boromir to the throne, was given it in by the ruling Steward in such a fashion that the Fourth Age began in joy and victory, rather than civil war. Also this meant that Aragorn had a highly capable, trained, trustworthy Steward in whose hands he could leave the Kingdom whenever he and Eomer went out to yet another battle. Aragorn showed his complete understanding of the situation and competence to rule by giving Faramir a reward as well, making him Prince of Ithilien, and therefore Eowyn the Princess of Ithilien. Faramir was also called the Lord of Emyn Arnen, the hills in southern Ithilien where the prince had residence.
Faramir's and Eowyn's son was named Elboron (Peoples of Middle-earth), and they had a grandson named Barahir (Fellowship, "Prologue"). Barahir wrote the full account of "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen" some time after the passing of the King, according to The Fellowship's "Prologue".
Peregrin Took named his own son Faramir (who married Goldilocks, daughter of Samwise Gamgee). Pippin had come to admire Faramir while serving in Gondor.
Faramir died in 82 of the Fourth Age.
The name of Faramir is not completely translated, that this author can find, although "-mir" means jewel. If anyone knows the actual meaning, please email. (see Lady Nan's unusual suggestion below in the Feb 8, 2002 article.)
In other sources, "Fara" appears to mean "sufficient", and is not an Elvish word.
RotK Appendix F "Of Men" says "Boromir" is a mixed form, so we might presume so too is "Faramir".
References: Fellowship of the Ring, Two Towers, Return
of the King, "Appendix", Silmarillion, Peoples of Middle-earth.
by Lady Nan
Feb. 8, 2002
You stated you wanted another opinon of what
mean. I have always felt that a good dictionary gave a better
meaning of Faramir. In the standard dictionary, "far" means great
or very much. "Amir" is a Persian word meaning king.
Faramir equals very much a king. After all, in a letter to his
son Christopher, Tolkien stated that he was sure he did not invent
Faramir and that "a new character has appeared on the scene. He
is Faramir, brother of Boromir, and is holding back the shadow...."
One other thing, Faramir was actually the last ruling steward for about a month and a half. Aragorn was crowned after the fall of Sauron when the Captains of the West had returned to Minas Tirith.
"Boromir, Finduilas, Faramir Study". Finduilas reads to her young sons.
Artist Catherine Karina Chmiel. Rolozo Tolkien
Image: "Seek for the Sword". Faramir bids Boromir farewell. Artist Catherine Karina Chmiel. Rolozo Tolkien.
Image: "Faramir". Faramir using his bow. Artist Elizabeth Wyeth. Rolozo page.
Image: "Faramir". Faramir using bow, back to a building. Artist Mirela Orozovic. Rolozo
Image: The ranger Faramir in the woods with his bow. Artist Anke-Katrin Eiszmann. Rolozo Tolkien.
Image: "Faramir of Ithilien" using bow. Artist: Soni Alcorn-Hender. Bohemian Weasel
Image: Ranger Faramir slipping through the woods. Artist Eiszmann. Rolozo Tolkien.
Image: "Encounter with Faramir." Faramir and his men with Frodo in the forest. Artist Eiszmann. Rolozo Tolkien.
Image: "Faramir and Frodo in Ithlien". Faramir tries to figure out Frodo. Artist Catherine Karina Chmiel. Rolozo Tolkien.
Image : "Faramir". Faramir and three of his Rangers meet Frodo and Sam in the forest. Artists Greg and Tim Hildebrandt, from Rolozo
Image: "Rejection". Frodo, Sam, and Faramir. Artist: Anke-Katrin Eissman. Rolozo Tolkien site
Image: "Ithilien". Faramir and the hobbits traveling through Ithlien. Artist Eiszmann. Rolozo.
Image: "On the way to Henneth Annun". Artist Eiszmann. Rolozo.
Image: "The Forbidden Pool". Faramir asks Frodo whether or not to release the arrows at Gollum, forcing him to admit the relationship. Artist Eiszmann. Rolozo.
Image: "Faramir". Frodo and Sam in quiet discussion with Faramir about the Ring, inside Henneth Annun. Artist Eiszmann. Rolozo Tolkien.
Image : "Pippin and Faramir". Faramir notices another of the hobbits in his own city (Pippin), reminding him of Frodo and Sam on their secret mission. Artist Anke-Katrin Eissman, from Rolozo
Image: Faramir tells of Frodo and Sam. Artist Eiszmann. Rolozo Tolkien.
Image: "Father and Son". Denethor berates Faramir in front of Gandalf and Pippin. Artist Eiszmann. Rolozo Tolkien.
Image: "If I Should Return". Faramir bids farewell to his father, Denethor. Artist: Soni Alcorn-Hender. Bohemian Weasel
Image: "Bitter Farewell". Faramir leaves Denethor to go to battle. Artist Eiszmann. Rolozo.
Image: "Before the Battle". Gandalf speaks to Faramir. Artist Anke-Katrin Eiszmann. Rolozo.
Image: "Faramir falls in battle". Artist Stacy Bautista. Rolozo Tolkien.
Image: "Imrahil tends to his nephew, Faramir". Artist Anke-Katrin Eiszmann. Rolozo.
Image: "Your son has returned, Lord". Artist Anke-Katrin Eiszmann. Rolozo.
Image: "Denethor grieves for his son." Artist Eiszmann. Rolozo Tolkien.
Image: "The Pyre of Denethor". Artist Robert Chronister. Rolozo Tolkien.
Image: "Healing Faramir." Artist Eiszmann. Rolozo Tolkien.
Image: "Eowyn is brought to Faramir". Artist Eiszmann. Rolozo.
Image: "A Gentle Man"."He looked at her, and being a man whom pity deeply stirred, it seemed to him that her loveliness amid her grief would pierce his heart." Artist: Soni Alcorn-Hender. Bohemian Weasel LotR site.
Image: "Faramir". Artist Alexandra Kitlickova. Rolozo
Image: "The Houses of Healing". Faramir listens to Eowyn. Artist Eiszman. Rolozo.
Image : Faramir and Eowyn at the Halls of Healing, by Stuart Anderson from the Rolozo Tolkien page
Image : "Faramir and Eowyn". Artist Maria Lombide Ezpeleta. Rolozo Tolkien
Image: "Sleepless". Artist: Anke-Katrin Eissman. Rolozo Tolkien site
Image: "Then the heart of Eowyn changed." Artist Anke-Katrin Eiszmann. Rolozo Tolkien.
Image: "Eowyn and Faramir" on the wall in the darkness. Artist Eiszmann. Rolozo Tolkien.
Image: "Eowyn and Faramir" close to a kiss. Artist Anke-Katrin Eiszmann. Rolozo
Image: "The Steward and the King". Faramir gives over the white rod to Aragorn. Artist Eiszmann. Rolozo Tolkien.
Image: Portrait of Faramir. Artist: Catherine Karina Chmiel. Rolozo Tolkien
Images: Collection of pictures with Faramir on the Rolozo Tolkien page.
Images - Collection of pictures by Anke-Katrin Eiszmann. The Making of the Quest Fulfilled. Her thoughts on Tolkien and drawing.