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Faramir in Two Towers
David Wenham portrays Faramir in the Motion Picture Trilogy.


Biographical information

Other names
Date of birth
Year ascended to the throne
Date of death
Realms ruled

Physical description

Hair color
Dark brown (book) Light brown (movie)
Eye color
Grey (book) Blue (movie)

"Here was one with an air of high nobility such as Aragorn at times revealed, less high perhaps, yet also less incalculable and remote: one of the Kings of Men born into a later time, but touched with the wisdom and sadness of the Eldar Race. He knew now why Beregond spoke his name with love. He was a captain that men would follow, that he would follow, even under the shadow of the black wings."
Peregrin Took's thoughts after seeing Faramir for the first time
For other uses of Faramir see also: Faramir (disambiguation)

Faramir (TA 2983 - FO 82) was a wise man of nobility and the second of Denethor's two sons. As the Captain of the Rangers of Ithilien (as well as the Captain of the White Tower after his brother's death) during the War of the Ring, he shared the strength that once belonged to his Númenórean ancestors and succeeded in rejecting the One Ring when it was revealed that Frodo carried it.

After his father's death, Faramir became the twenty-seventh and final Ruling Steward on March 15, 3019. Upon the coronation of the true king, King Elessar, on May 1, 3019 he laid down his office as Ruling Steward, but Elessar renewed his hereditary appointment as Steward and advisor to the King. Faramir was also appointed Prince of Ithilien, also known as Lord of Emyn Arnen.

Faramir was a wise but powerful man able to tame both man and beast. His kind nature and intellectual prowess caused many to believe that Faramir was less hardy and able than his brother and other captains, though Faramir proved his worth in battle many times over and was described by Eowyn as being a greater warrior than any man of Rohan.

"And she looked at him and saw the grave tenderness in his eyes, and yet knew, for she was bred among men of war, that here was one whom no Rider of the Mark could outmatch in battle."
Eowyn's description of Faramir when they first met


Early life

Faramir was born in the year 2983 of the Third Age to Denethor II and Finduilas, daughter of Adrahil of Dol Amroth. The following year, Ecthelion II died and his son, Denethor, succeeded him as the Ruling Steward of Gondor.

When Faramir was five years old, Finduilas died. Her death caused Denethor to become more somber, cold and detached from his family. The relationship between Faramir and Boromir, who was five years elder of the brothers, grew much closer and greater in love. Despite the obvious way that Denethor favored Boromir over Faramir, there was no jealousy or rivalry between them. Boromir protected and helped him, and Faramir looked up to his older brother. Although the siblings were very similar in appearance with their dark hair and grey eyes, it was not so in personality. Boromir was defined to be the more daring one, as well as the more fearless and strong warrior. Faramir’s boldness was incorrectly judged less due to his gentle nature and love of lore and music.

It was this interest that formed a friendship between Faramir and Gandalf the Grey. The youngest son of Denethor learned of what he could from Gandalf’s wisdom and mentoring. Denethor did not approve of Faramir as the "Wizard's pupil", for he neither trusted nor liked the Istar.

Faramir’s leadership, skill-in-arms, and swift but hardy judgment proved to be handy on the battlefield. During the War of the Ring, he was the Captain of the Rangers of Ithilien, who often skirmished with the allies of Sauron in that province. Faramir valiantly defended Gondor from the Enemy, but did not enjoy fighting for war’s sake.

"War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend: the city of the Men of Númenor, and I would have her loved for her memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom. Not feared, save as men may fear the dignity of a man, old and wise."
(The Two Towers, "The Window on the West").

War of the Ring

"We would have made it, but our numbers were too few."
Faramir to his father about defense of Osgiliath

Faramir and his brother Boromir

In June of 3018, Sauron’s forces attacked Osgiliath, under the command of the Witch-king, whose presence caused the soldiers to draw back across the Anduin. When the last bridge was destroyed, in which Boromir’s and Faramir’s companies remained, the two brothers, along with two others, swam to shore and managed to hold all of the west shores of the Anduin.

The night before the assault, Faramir had a prophetic dream of a voice speaking the following riddle:

Seek for the Sword that was broken:
'In Imladris it dwells;
There shall be counsels taken
'Stronger than Morgul-spells.
There shall be shown a token
'That Doom is near at hand,
For Isildur's Bane shall waken,
'And the Halfling forth shall stand”
(The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond").

It came to Faramir twice more and once to his brother, and the brothers told of their dream to Denethor, who only told them that Imladris was an Elvish name for Rivendell, home of Elrond the Halfelven. Although Faramir had wanted to go for Gondor’s sake and was originally chosen by the Council of Elders in Gondor, Boromir, with the urging of his father, stepped forward and claimed the right to the errand, deeming it to be dangerous and doubtful. The Gondorian traveled nearly four months to Rivendell, losing his horse in the process, and arriving just before the Council of Elrond.

On February 29, 3019 at midnight, Faramir, who was on guard duty on the western shore in Osgiliath, waded down to a boat floating down the Anduin River. To his grief, it contained the dead body of his brother, which was pierced with many wounds. In it lay his sword, broken, but there was no sign of the Great Horn, which he and his father had heard being blown far across the distance in the North three days prior.

During a battle with Southrons, Faramir, who took over his brother's position as the Captain of the White Tower, encountered the Hobbits Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee, recognizing them to be the Halflings his dream spoke of. After the skirmish, Faramir took the pair to Henneth Annûn and questioned them further.

Hooded Faramir

Faramir as a Ranger

Through intelligent questioning and intuition, Faramir determined that Frodo was carrying some great evil weapon of the Dark Lord of the Enemy. At this point, he showed the crucial difference between him and his proud brother:

"But fear no more! I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs, Frodo son of Drogo."
(The Two Towers: "The Window on the West")

Sam accidentally revealed Boromir’s desire for the Enemy’s Ring, Isildur's Bane. Despite the hobbits’ fears, Faramir remained true to his vow that he would not take it even if it lay on the highway, for he was wise enough to realize that such a weapon could not be used for good. With this knowledge, he also realized the peril his brother had faced.

On the very same night, Gollum was spotted fishing in the Forbidden Pool next to Henneth Annûn -- an act punishable by death. Faramir listened to Frodo’s pleads to spare Gollum’s life though, and after interrogating the creature he deemed that Frodo and Sam would be free in the Lands of Gondor and Gollum under Frodo's protection. Giving them provisions, he sent them on their way to continue their quest. At their parting, Faramir warned Frodo of Gollum's treacherous nature and that the path Gollum had proposed (Cirith Ungol) had an evil reputation of old.



Faramir and his company retreated to Cair Andros, an island in the River Anduin that guarded the northern approaches to Minas Tirith. After noting that the sky was now covered in complete darkness, Faramir sent his company south to reinforce the garrison at Osgiliath while he and three others of his men rode to Minas Tirith directly. Along the way, they were pursued by the Winged Nazgul. The men, except Faramir, were unhorsed and it was the Captain, a master of both beasts and men, who was still horsed and rode back to aid the fallen. If Gandalf had not intervened, they would have surely perished.

Faramir ride


Arriving at Minas Tirith, Faramir reported to Denethor and Gandalf of his encounter with Frodo and Sam. Denethor became angry that Faramir had not brought the ring to Gondor, wishing that he and his brother’s places were reversed, since Denethor believed that Boromir would bring the Enemy’s weapon to him.

Denethor sent his remaining son to hold Western Osgiliath against the hosts of the Enemy that outnumbered their own greatly. Although Faramir disagreed with his father’s strategy, he agreed to go.

"If I should return, think better of me, father."

"That would depend on the manner of your return."

The Witch-king overwhelmed the men of Gondor and won Osgiliath. Faramir drew back to the Causeway Forts, in which many of the men were wounded or killed. Faramir decided to stay with the rearguard in order to make sure that the retreat over Pelennor Fields would not turn into a disaster

Faramir was gravely wounded by a poisonous arrow during the retreat. Fortunately, Gandalf and Faramir’s uncle, Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth, rode to the aid of Faramir and the troops with hosts of cavalry. Imrahil bore Faramir back to Denethor, telling him that his son had done great deeds.

Regretting that he had thanklessly sent his son off in needless peril without his blessing, Denethor, after looking in the Palantir, believing that the Ring was captured and the end was near, ordered his servants to build a funeral pyre for him and his son, who was believed to be poisoned by the Witch-king’s dart. Despite the protests of the Hobbit, Pippin Took (serving the steward in payment of Boromir's death) that Faramir was still alive, Denethor continued with this madness and released him from his service.

Horrified, Pippin went to alert Gandalf and Beregond, one of the Tower Guards. Beregond, who loved his captain enough to abandon his post and risk his life protecting him, stopped the servants from lighting the pyre. Pippin returned with Gandalf, who intervened by taking Faramir off the pyre as Faramir moaned out to his father in his dreams. Denethor took out a knife, trying to take Faramir back, but Beregond placed himself in front of Faramir. Seeing that he could not win, Denethor lit the pyre and laid himself down upon it, burning himself alive.

Then Faramir was laid in the Houses of Healing until Aragorn came and revived Faramir with athelas. It was not a poisoned dart of the Witch-king that wounded him in a state near death, but the arrow of a Haradrim, along with Faramir’s weariness and grief concerning his constantly strained relationship with his father and the Black Breath of the Nazgul, who, under Sauron's orders, hunted Faramir ever since he had left Ithilien. When he awoke, Faramir immediately recognized Aragorn as his rightful King, therefore realizing that no proof was needed after all.

Before Aragorn left to lead the soldiers to the Black gate, he commanded the Warden of the Houses of Healing to have Faramir and the Lady Éowyn of Rohan to remain resting for at least ten days. After Éowyn demanded that the Warden take her to the Steward of the City to have her released so she could ride out in battle, Faramir, whose heart was moved with pity and pierced by her beauty, told Éowyn that he too, had to heed the advice of the Warden. He fulfilled her request to have her room look east to Mordor and asked her to talk with him at times.

Faramir and Éowyn walked together in the gardens nearly every day, and he learned from Merry Brandybuck of Éowyn’s despair of feeling trapped, waiting on the waning of King Théoden, and Aragorn's rejection of her love.

On March 25, Faramir gave Éowyn a dark blue mantle sewn with silver stars that had once belonged to his mother, as they stood at the wall that looked towards Mordor. There, they saw a threatening darkness towering over and seeing this, Faramir told her of his dream of the Downfall of Númenor that the darkness threatening to overtake Middle-earth reminded him of the great wave that swallowed the land of Númenor. Somehow, to Faramir and the people of the city, a hope and joy welled in their hearts and he kissed Éowyn’s brow.

Éowyn, however, still felt languished and unfulfilled. Several days after he’d given her the mantle, Faramir told Éowyn that he understood that she desired to be lifted in greatness and out of the cage she had felt trapped in, and when Aragorn only gave her understanding and pity, instead of love (which she later realized was a shadow of love), she had wanted to die valiantly and gloriously in battle. He told her that though he had first pitied her, he now loved her. There, Éowyn’s grief was fully healed, and no longer did she desire glory or greatness and realized that she had come to love Faramir in return. Upon hearing this, Faramir kissed her, uncaring of whether or not the people of Minas Tirith could see this in full view.

After the War of the Ring

Faramir and Eowyn during coronation

Faramir and Eowyn during Aragorn's coronation.

Faramir briefly served as the Ruling Steward of Gondor, and began preparing the city for the King's arrival. On the day of the King’s official coronation on May 1st, Faramir surrendered his office, which was represented by the white rod of the Steward, kneeling as he did so. Aragorn however, gave the rod back, announcing that as long as his line would last, Faramir and his descendants would be Stewards of Gondor. After Faramir had asked the people of Gondor if they accepted Aragorn as their King (which they did), Faramir took the crown out and Aragorn was crowned King Elessar.

King Elessar appointed Faramir as the Prince of Ithilien and Beregond to be the Captain of his guard, the White Company. As Prince of Ithilien, he and the Prince of Dol Amroth, Gondor's two highest-ranking nobles, became King Elessar's chief commanders. His duties also included acting as resident march-warden of Gondor's main eastward outpost, rehabilitating the lost territories, as well as clearing it of outlaws and orcs and cleansing Minas Morgul of evil-remnants (Letters, 323). Faramir also fulfilled the traditional role as Steward, acting as the King’s chief counselor as well as ruling Gondor in the King's absence.

With Éowyn, the two settled in Emyn Arnen, where they had at least one son (named Elboron), who succeeded him as Steward of Gondor, Prince of Ithilien, and Lord of Emyn Arnen, after Faramir's death in FO 82. One of his descendants was Barahir, who may have been the son the Elboron.

Other information

Fighting Style

Faramir's fighting style is a bit unbalanced. His skill with the bow is better than his skill with a sword. It is also noticed that despite his accuracy with the bow being better than Aragorn's, his skill with the sword was not nearly as great as Aragorn's and therefore not even close to Boromir's (even though in the cinematic adaptation Boromir also fought with a shield while like Aragorn, Faramir fought with a sword that required two hands.) Still, he was very much capable of using the blade with great effectiveness. The blood of a ranger truly ran through his veins.


Faramir proved he possessed great willpower, as when he was presented with the Ring of Power, he completely disregarded it, and sent Frodo and Sam on to Cirith Ungol with presents.


In the books

In the movies

Portrayal in adaptations


Faramir in Osgiliath about to attack the invading orcs.

In the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy by Peter Jackson, Faramir does not at first let Frodo, Sam, and Gollum go, but decides to bring them and the Ring to Gondor. He takes them west to Osgiliath, crossing the river Anduin, and not until the Ringwraiths attack the city does he release them. Many fans of the book criticize this change, saying that it seriously damages the character; some have jokingly dubbed him "Filmamir" or "Farfromthebookamir", among other names [1].

Peter Jackson's explanation is that he needed another adventure to delay Frodo and Sam, because the episode at Cirith Ungol was moved to the third movie, and so a new climax was needed. Another explanation often cited is that it was felt that for dramatic reasons it was necessary to show character development, which meant that Faramir had to go through some kind of struggle or difficult decision. Jackson also argued that it was necessary for Faramir to be tempted by the Ring because everyone else was tempted, and letting Faramir be immune would be inconsistent, at least in the eyes of a film audience, and would weaken the films' portrayal of the Ring, which was that of a seduction of normal men.

A number of fans however, remain unimpressed and unconvinced by Jackson's explanations, and have complained that Faramir was changed into a carbon copy of Boromir and have commented that Tolkien himself, who once likened himself to Faramir, would not have liked the way the film characterized him. Jackson counters that the important difference between Boromir and Faramir is kept: Boromir was completely incapable of resisting the temptation of the Ring. Faramir, realizing what his brother went through, what Frodo and Gollum must endure, and his own morals and personality in check, realizes the danger, and freely decides to let Frodo go.

There was also criticism concerning the Rangers' treatment of Gollum. Fans bitterly complained that Faramir, whose gentle heart was easily moved by pity, would have never let his men treat a prisoner (no matter how evil) in any way but with kindness. In the book, Faramir calls the creature Sméagol instead of Gollum, and told his men to "treat him gently...but watch him" (The Two Towers, "The Window on the West").

In the extended edition of The Two Towers, Jackson has included a new flashback scene showing that Denethor has been neglecting him and favoring Boromir, so that Faramir wanted to please his father by bringing him the Ring. (The relationship is similarly strained in the books, but there his father's favoritism does not seem to affect his decisions in Ithilien.) Overall, however, new Extended Edition scenes with Faramir brought the character closer to the sympathetic treatment of the books (the line he is given regarding a fallen Southron belongs to Sam in the books, but is not out of keeping with Faramir's character).

Furthermore, instead of numerous captains and commanders taking charge of Gondor's defense, it is heavily implied throughout the films that when Boromir leaves all responsibility lies on Faramir to take command and defend Gondor, he does this to the best of his ability leading Gondorian forces through a prolonged battle that lasts from Midnight to the afternoon following, despite having legions of orcs pouring over the Anduin, thankfully his ability to lead a prolonged retreat that lasted the whole night, gave time for Gandalf the White to take over command of Minas Tirith and lead the oncoming siege.

Faramir is played by David Wenham in the films, who joked that he got the role because he and Sean Bean, who played Boromir, both had large noses. A minor change is that in the book, Faramir and his brother are dark-haired and lack beards, but in the movie, they have fair hair and are slightly bearded.

In the BBC Radio adaptation, Andrew Seear voices Faramir.


Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles.

  • Faramir's name in Elvish either means 'sufficient jewel' or 'jeweled hunter'. The -mir meaning "jewel, precious thing, treasure" and the -phar meaning "suffice" or the element far (from faras) meaning "hunting."
  • Faramir was, in the words of Tolkien, "modest, fair-minded and scrupulously just, and very merciful" (The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, 244). His appearance toward the end of The Two Towers apparently was as much of a surprise to Tolkien as it is to his readers. "I am sure I did not invent him," he wrote. "I did not even want him, though I like him" (Letters, 66).
  • Faramir in many ways speaks for Tolkien, who was a soldier in World War I and saw action in the Somme, when he spoke that he only fought to defend Gondor, not for glory or triumph or valour. Much later, Tolkien would write, "As far as any character is 'like me', it is Faramir" (Letters, 180). It is for this reason that Tolkien bestowed his dream of a great wave (that reoccurred in his family) to Faramir. "For when Faramir speaks of his private vision of the Great Wave, he speaks for me. That vision and dream has been ever with me—and has been inherited (as I only discovered recently) by one of my children, Michael" (Letters, 180).


"But fear no more! I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs, Frodo son of Drogo."
Faramir discussing the ring

"For myself, I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings, and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace: Minas Anor again as of old, full of light, high and fair, beautiful as a queen among other queens: not a mistress of many slaves, nay, not even a kind mistress of willing slaves."
Faramir talking to Frodo

"I am Faramir, Captain of Gondor, but there are no travellers in this land: only the servants of the Dark Tower, or of the White."
Faramir speaking to Frodo and Sam for the first time
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See also

Preceded by
Faramir Succeeded by
Preceded by
Faramir Succeeded by
Preceded by
Faramir Succeeded by
Stewards to the King of Gondor

Húrin of Emyn Arnen | Pelendur | Vorondil | Mardil | Faramir | Elboron

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There is another Faramir, Faramir (son of Ondoher), who died at the Battle of the Camp. During the Fourth Age, Pippin Took's son, Faramir Took, is named after Faramir, son of Denethor II.


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