The Return of the King

The Return of the King

by

J. R. R. Tolkien

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Faramir Character Analysis

Faramir is Denethor’s son and Captain of the Rangers of Ithilien. After his brother Boromir’s death, he is also Denethor’s heir. Though Pippin sees Faramir as wiser and kinder than Boromir, Denethor acts cruelly towards his only living son, saying he wishes Faramir had died in Boromir’s place, and sends him into a hopeless battle in Osgiliath. Faramir returns from the battle alive, but he’s been pierced by a poisoned dart, and instead of attempting to find help and medicine, Denethor resolves to burn him alive. Faramir’s dart wound proves less dire than the affliction of the Dark Shadow, which Aragorn suspects has been worsened by Denethor’s derision and cruelty. After recovering, Faramir falls in love with Éowyn and marries her. His humility is proven by his willingness to claim his stewardship for only a short time in order to make the city ready for Aragorn’s return, and Aragorn rewards his devotion to Gondor by appointing him the Prince of Ithilien.

Faramir Quotes in The Return of the King

The The Return of the King quotes below are all either spoken by Faramir or refer to Faramir. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
).
Book 6, Chapter 5 Quotes

Then the heart of Éowyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on her.

“I stand in Minas Anor, the Tower of the Sun,” she said; “and behold! the Shadow has departed! I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren.”

Related Characters: Éowyn/Dernhelm (speaker), Faramir
Related Symbols: The Shadow
Page Number: 262
Explanation and Analysis:
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Faramir Character Timeline in The Return of the King

The timeline below shows where the character Faramir appears in The Return of the King. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 5, Chapter 1 
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Wisdom, and Mercy Theme Icon
...die. He adds that he regrets sending Boromir on that journey, and should have sent Faramir, his other son, instead. Gandalf tells Denethor that Boromir would not have been stopped from... (full context)
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Wisdom, and Mercy Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...remarks that each following day will bring more bad news. He wishes he knew where Faramir is—but for now he has to go to Denethor’s council meeting. He leaves the lodging,... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
...up when Gandalf returns in the middle of the night. Gandalf paces and sighs, wishing Faramir would return to Minas Tirith. He urges Pippin to go back to bed, and says... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 4
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Beregond wishes Faramir would return—he would not be as cowed by the shadow as the rest of the... (full context)
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...they ride up through the city, he hears many voices crying out the names of Faramir and Gandalf. When the two of them reach the Citadel, Pippin sees how closely Faramir... (full context)
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In Denethor’s chamber, Faramir eats a little before relaying his travels of the past 10 days. He recounts the... (full context)
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War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
Faramir describes his journey back to Minas Tirith. He asks Denethor whether he carried his errands... (full context)
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Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Denethor changes the subject to ask Faramir about Osgiliath’s strength. (Osgiliath was the main city of Gondor before the Black Riders took... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
...cries from the Black Riders. They worry that the Riders of Rohan will never arrive. Faramir counsels Denethor that the enemy will greatly overpower them at Osgiliath. Denethor refuses to yield... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...Osgiliath from Mordor. The men doubt that Osgiliath will hold against the enemy, even with Faramir at its command. The next day, they learn that the enemy has won Osgiliath—they’ve been... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...escorting wagons of wounded soldiers. He meets Denethor in a high chamber, bringing news that Faramir has stayed behind with the rearguard but there’s little hope the men will hold together... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
...the walls of Minas Tirith, the men see more fires lit across the fields. Then Faramir and his men appear, marching towards the city. Suddenly, they’re swarmed by orcs and Southron... (full context)
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Faramir finally appears at the rear of the company, carried by Prince Imrahil: he’s been wounded... (full context)
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Expectation vs. Ability Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Faramir lies in the Citadel in a fever. Rumor reaches the rest of the city that... (full context)
Expectation vs. Ability Theme Icon
...to stop Denethor from doing anything destructive. Beregond must choose between following orders and saving Faramir’s life. Pippin runs down to the city’s lowest level. Fires are raging, and he hears... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 7
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Expectation vs. Ability Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...the battle on the field, Pippin cries for Gandalf to come with him to save Faramir. He explains that Denethor has gone to the tombs and will burn himself and his... (full context)
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...he and his son are still alive. He judges Denethor to be mad and lifts Faramir from the pyre to carry him away. Denethor weeps to see his son taken from... (full context)
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Denethor watches Gandalf take Faramir away, but when Gandalf calls him to follow, he laughs instead. He shows Gandalf that... (full context)
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Wisdom, and Mercy Theme Icon
Gandalf tells Denethor’s knights that their obedience would’ve led to Faramir’s death had Beregond not disobeyed his orders. He and Pippin take Faramir to the Houses... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
...brings new hope, Gandalf can sense there’s grief, too—he tells Pippin and Beregond to take Faramir inside while he goes to the wall to observe the battle wreckage. When Beregond and... (full context)
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Pippin says that this explains the change in Denethor between leaving and returning to Faramir’s side. Beregond supports this theory with his description of the bright light in the high... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 8
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Faramir, Éowyn, and Merry are laid in the Houses of Healing, where the Healers are unsure... (full context)
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Gandalf greets them and says that Éowyn is near death, and Faramir, who is the new Steward of Gondor, is sick with poison from the dart. Imrahil... (full context)
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...takes the throne. They enter the room where the sick lie. Aragorn tends first to Faramir, then to Éowyn and Merry, and judges that he’ll have to use all his skill... (full context)
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Aragorn thinks Faramir has fallen under the Dark Shadow, too, and his condition has been worsened by the... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 5
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...battlefield than be stuck here with nothing to do. She demands to be taken to Faramir, who is still resting in the Houses of Healing. (full context)
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Faramir is walking in the garden when Éowyn finds him. She explains that she’s not upset... (full context)
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Faramir goes on to tell Éowyn that he’d enjoy her company during his walks in the... (full context)
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In the morning, Faramir sees Éowyn again. They walk and talk together, seeming to grow stronger in each other’s... (full context)
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...has been overthrown, and the people of the city sing in all their different languages. Faramir takes up his position as Steward of Gondor until the king’s return to take charge... (full context)
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Faramir asks Éowyn why she refused to go to Éomer. He suggests there are two reasons:... (full context)
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...arrive in the field below. The next morning, the captains ride towards the city where Faramir greets them. Aragorn leads the company of Dúnedain forward, and with them are Éomer, Gandalf,... (full context)
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Faramir brings Aragorn the crown of the last king. Aragorn gives the crown back to Faramir,... (full context)
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...orders, he would have once been sentenced to death, but instead Aragorn appoints him to Faramir’s guard as a captain. Aragorn gives Ithilien to Faramir’s command. Éomer returns to Rohan to... (full context)