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Thread: Aragorn and Faramir

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Hi all,

I'd like an opinion on these two characters in interaction, but feel I first have to briefly outline the history of this issue as related to me.

A couple of weeks (or even months?) ago, I got involved into a discussion triggered by a post at one of the forums. The author happened to be a quite militant Aragorn fan who plainly said that Aragorn became King because he was TEH COOLEST GUY EVAH, and Faramir could never have hoped to equal him. I will not give this person's reasoning here; I consider it all very much influenced by personal preferences to be objective.

So, one of the questions is: how are these two related in terms of personal worth? What constitutes personal worth in this case? And, finally, what exactly is a non-ruling Steward's function at the side of a perfect King? Or maybe it's in the shadow of the King, not at his side? Nodding at appropriate intervals? *shudders* Because, if the King has an ability to see ten moves ahead, does he really need anyone who would not be quite as good at it?

I want to make one thing clear: it isn't a "who's better?" question. Personally, I am convinced that there are a lot of differences between these two characters (in addition to similarities), and they make a valid comparison quite impossible...but I'd rather hear what you think first. So?..
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What constitutes personal worth in this case? And, finally, what exactly is a non-ruling Steward's function at the side of a perfect King? Or maybe it's in the shadow of the King, not at his side? Nodding at appropriate intervals?

To answer your questions, JRRT wrote the following in a comment concerning Faramir & Éowyn, ca. 1963 :

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Also to be Prince of Ithilien, the greatest noble after Dol Amroth in the revived Númenórean state of Gondor, soon to be of imperial power and prestige, was not a 'market-garden job' as you term it. Until much had been done by the restored King, the P. of Ithilien would be the resident march-warden of Gondor, in its main eastward outpost – and also would have many duties in rehabilitating the lost territory, and clearing it of outlaws and orc-remnants, not to speak of the dreadful vale of Minas Ithil (Morgul).
I did not, naturally, go into details about the way in which Aragorn, as King of Gondor, would govern the realm. But it was made clear that there was much fighting, and in the earlier years of A.'s reign expeditions against enemies in the East. The chief commanders, under the King, would be Faramir and Imrahil; and one of these would normally remain a military commander at home in the King's absence.
A Númenórean King was monarch, with the power of unquestioned decision in debate; but he governed the realm with the frame of ancient law, of which he was administrator (and interpreter) but not the maker. In all debatable matters of importance domestic, or external, however, even Denethor had a Council, and at least listened to what the Lords of the Fiefs and the Captains of the Forces had to say. Aragorn re-established the Great Council of Gondor, and in that Faramir, who remained by inheritance the Steward (or representative of the King during his absence abroad, or sickness, or between his death and the accession of his heir) would [be] the chief counsellor.
True. A single person can't think of everything whether he be a President or a King and even if he does, its not possible that his ideas will be the best. A Steward acts as a second brain to the King. He advices the King on certain matters and lets the King know if there is a better solution to the problem at hand. And yeah, a steward was also the representative of the seat of the King during his absences. And Faramir was also the Ruler of Ithilien so the restoration and renovation of that part of Gondor was his responsibility hence taking the load off Aragorn's shoulder.
Yes, that makes a lot of sense. I also like the idea that these two would complement each other perfectly: Aragorn as a man of Action, and Faramir a man of Thought.
I like what you say about the two complementing each other. Becuase that's exactly what they do! Aragorn and Faramir are both wise men, and I think they would think in a similar way too. Only Aragorn, who is born with a burden of Kingship, would probably be the one more caught in action, whereas Faramir would be a guy who has more space and time to think, it deosn't mean he doesn't do anything though, he does do things, just not as much, becuase his position does not require it. Aragorn might not really be a war-mongering guy, really, I think he'd be just like Faramir at heart (in the perspective of war). The two are just two same souls coated with different births and titles to me.
Well, in the first years of Elessar's reign, i'm sure there was plenty of action for Faramir in Ithiliën. As JRRT wrote above, there were still some Orcses, Easterlings and other former thralls of Sauron's, to be slaughtered.

Meanwhilst, Elessar and Éomer seemed to have action going on on the far fields of Rhûn and Harad, according to the LOTR appendices.

It's logical that in the King's absence, the King needs to be replaced. The replacements logically were Prince Imrahil (the King's replacement) and Faramir (the King's chief counsellor).
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The replacements logically were Prince Imrahil (the King's replacement) and Faramir (the King's chief counsellor)

I disagree with you there. The Role of a Steward is to hold the seat of the King during his absence. He manages the affairs of the Kingdom in the King's name. Therefore Faramir wold have been the King's replacement and as for Prince Imrahil, he would have been the King's military advisor and also the commander-general of the armies of Gondor.
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The Role of a Steward is to hold the seat of the King during his absence.

Strange though, that Queen Evenstar wasn't apparently deemed fit for such a task.

Either she wasn't allowed to take part in state affairs, or either Elessar took his spouse with him on his bloody travels in the East of Middle-earth.

I have a feeling though, that Éowyn would've liked that, that her husband held the seat of the King, even though she supposedly no longer desired to be a Queen. Hah.
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or either Elessar took his spouse with him on his bloody travels in the East of Middle-earth.

Sure, behind the success of every man is a she-elf!
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Sure, behind the success of every man is a she-elf!

Yes, and in case of Legolas : a legion of she-elves.
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Yes, and in case of Legolas : a legion of she-elves.
Or rather a legion of teeny-boppers. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
well its a bit strange about what you said about Queen Arwen not being fit for the task. it brings to my mind the akallabeth and the history of the first ruling queen of numenor. althought it is true that no mention was made about a she-steward but even as faramir had said they still followed some numenorian customs but not all. this may be why that there had been no ruling queen or female stewart in gondor and arnor.
I think Arwen followed her husband on his trips to Rhûn, Harad, etc.

I can't see any other reason why Faramir would rule in the King's name instead of the Queen. I don't think King Elessar reinstated the old Númenoran law instated by Ar-Phârazon that abolished the ruling Queen.
Perhaps the Queen decided on her own that since she had chosen a mortal life and time was now important, she would attend to having babies a and enjoying them and ordinary life in favour of such a weighty task as seeing to the affairs of state. Not everyone is wanting to be King or in this case Queen of the hill!
If Queen Evenstar didn't go on those long trips with Elessar, then i'd presume she did rule in his stead. The reasons why the stewards ruled so long in Gondor was because there was no royal family left in the line of Isuldur to claim the throne. However if there is royalty still seating in Gondor, even if it was a Queen, I'd like to think the power would stay in the family, instead of being passed a side.
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she would attend to having babies a and enjoying them and ordinary life in favour of such a weighty task as seeing to the affairs of state. Not everyone is wanting to be King or in this case Queen of the hill!

Strangely enough, you've reminded me of the movie AntZ.
well if the appendix says that faramir still riled as steward in the king's absence it may well be that arwen accompanied him; the reason might be that she didn't want to be separated from her husband maybe because of the knowledge of the forthcoming parting between them (F.A 120?). well who knows??
Queen Arwen probably ruled on policy as Head of State in Aragorn's absence; while Faramir ruled using Executive powers on day to day matters to keep food in the shops, the trains on schedule, the army resupplied, etc. {And of course I know they didn't have steam locomotives, they were mule trains.)
Oh yes. I agree with Grondy. Arwen could've been like a figurehead sort of person, the one people go to for counsel and comfort, a sort of figure just there to reassure the people. Faramir would be the one who would actually oversee the military at home, the taxes, the contruction of things etc.
Ah yes, that sure explains the title of Faramir's memoirs : "The Queen and I".
Faramir's memoir? i never heard of that not meaning to be disrespectful. could you clarify me a bit pleasse?
hahah it's a joke bud Wink Smilie
Yeah, along with them singing "Shall we dance?" and dancing in the throne room, with Arwen being thrown around and Faramir shaving his head........... plus with the bucket fulls of children that of course were clinging onto a very tiresome Éowyn.........
Big Laugh Smilie Big Laugh Smilie Big Laugh Smilie Big Laugh Smilie
grondy sounded so serious that i really got in the soup! Big Smile Smilie
This seems the most fitting place to post my question so:
when aragorn challenges hes enemies in battle he shouths out "Elendil!" i have often wondered why he does this..
Is it to tell hes foes that he is of the house of elendil?
I personally would have yelled 'Help'but.......yes that is a good question, didn't each group yell out something to do with their house or ancestry?
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when aragorn challenges hes enemies in battle he shouths out "Elendil!" i have often wondered why he does this..

Perchance he is trying to summon the old, valiant warrior-king to compensate for his own lacklustre skill in combat.

A better try than shouting "Elendil!!" would have been shouting "Arwen!!!", but understandably the silver-tongued rogue refrained from that in the company of the other members of the Fellowship, to not hurt his male pride too much.

Beren, his ancestor, did not suffer from such restraints and unreluctantly yelled "Tinúviel!! Tinúviel!!" to his heart's content (literally).
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when aragorn challenges hes enemies in battle he shouths out "Elendil!" i have often wondered why he does this..

I suspect it is actually because when he does this he also brandishes Anduril, 'The Flame of the West' above his head rallying his followers and trying to instill fear amongst his enemies.

Remember, Anduril was forged from the shards of Narsil, the sword of Elendil, Aragorn's great-great-great-great......great-grandfather. And it was Elendil who helped lead the free peoples of Middle-earth when Sauron was last defeated. And it was with the main shard of Narsil that the Ring was cut lose from Sauron's hand by Isildur, Aragorn's one less great-great-great-great.. ....great-grandfather.

So he was trying to pump-up (fortify) himself, as well as to rally his followers and to instill fear in his enemies, especially those who knew the significance of the name 'Elendil' and the history of that flaming blade. Teacher Smilie
Yelling Elendil was a way for him to increase his adrenaline and tell everyone he was the heir of the latter. Hearing someone utter the name of a long dead king stunned them thus allowing Aragorn to finish them without harm.

As for Faramir, he did not know what to shout, so he took up the bow and arrow to kill his enemy from afar. When he did use his sword he had one of his soldiers shout Gondor so that every enemy would look at him and not notice faramir!
It seems Aragorn yelled "Elendil" to try to lure as many opponents to him as possible, eager to prove himself in battle and slay as many as possible, somehow thinking such reckless barbarism would make up for his many years of hiding in the wilds, fearful of his supposed heritage & destiny.

But of course, his lacklustre swordsmanship prevented him from ever obtaining any glory in battle, although later on he made the world believe the opposite.

In truth, in battle he had always hid behind Gimli's broad back & Boromir's unrelenting shield and only stepped in to finish off the maimed casualties the two left behind in their wake. One shouldn't even wonder about his passivity during Boromir's demise - was he hiding behind a tree (or in a tree) whilst the noble Gondoran single-handedly slew a pack of Uruk-hai, eventually succumbing?

I think the answer is obvious.
Exactly. Vir is soooo right. To further back him up we have to go to the Weathertop episode. During the nazgul attack he had laid down as nobody who knew how to fight was with him and only frodo's call had revived him. Then in trying to flee he stumbled on the end of a burning faggot which got thrown on the Nazgul. It was so dark and the others were so confused that they thought Aragorn had helped them. Then still scared he went to hide on the other side of the road with the pretension that he was after kings foils which was in fact already with him.

As for Faramir he begged to be able to go harry the Haradrim when in fact all he wanted to was to get away from war. He spent most of his time living like a king in Henneth Annun and seldom went out even to scout the area. The battle to which Sam was witness was the only good thing he did and that also after Anborn and Mablung had pressurised him. And when Sam saw him running with a sword he wasn't pursuing the Haradrim but was fleeing as his bodyguards were a bit far from him during the battle and as he couldn't play with a sword he ran away!

So much for choosing between the two of them!
Moderator Smilie Sheesh, I hope none of the newbies take to heart the funny things that you guys have been saying, without understanding you've been pulling their legs. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
Well...........if they are anything like I was when I joined, I believed it all, hook , line and sinker. I had to have my family fall down laughing when I told them the new things 'I learned' on Planet-tolkien. And then I had to listen to them correct my pathetically small understanding for like oh .........hours. ...............and hours............and ..

But my hat is off to you tongue in the cheek guys, really, you are brilliant. Smile Smilie
Thanks Leelee. Well I fell miserably into Grondy's invention of "The Queen And I" (look above) and so I thought I would have a go at this myself. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie Elk Grinning Smilie