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For the common good

By Nerey Camille

Posted 10 January 2011

Why would Denethor have belittled Faramir, when his youngest son was so obviously better prepared to rule than his great-warrior-but-no-politician eldest? Denethor never second-loved Faramir. Before she died, Finduilas foresaw that Boromir’s rashness would lead him to death and that Faramir would have to become Steward under difficult circumstances. She and Denethor decided then that the Mir brothers be educated accordingly. Boromir should be allowed great joy and glory to make for his untimely death, and Faramir should be hardened so that he could rise in time to the challenges he would have to face (the Ring!). Up to you how much Denethor and Finduilas guessed of the future, but one of them left a letter of explanation, to be given to Faramir when the time was ripe (I expect he gets it after Denethor’s death) and in which they said how they loved him and why his life had to be made so difficult. If you’re not comfortable with the letter, the task of giving Faramir the information can be entrusted to a person, or whatever other means you can think of.

I’d like this story to justify Denethor through explaining his behaviour towards Faramir, while being canon-friendly regarding events and characters (book-verse or movie-verse, your choice). I should like Denethor and Finduilas to be in love with each other, and to love their two sons deeply. A few remarks: this plot would explain so much about Denethor’s remorse when he thought Faramir was going to die (never having shown him any love and all); about Denethor’s obvious state of long suffering (it would break him, having to belittle a son that he loved for everybody’s good) and even about the fact that he tolerated the great love between the brothers (Faramir would need something to hold on, and Denethor must make sure that his eldest son’s memory would be honoured once Faramir ruled). And a last suggestion… what would Gandalf’s position be in all this mess? Did he ever know, did he guess… and decide to do his bit in his own way?


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