A new character has come on the scene (I am sure I did not invent him; I did not
even want him, but there he came walking through the woods of Ithilien): Faramir, the brother of Boromir.
-- J.R.R. Tolkien
Faramir was born in TA 2983, the second son of Denethor, Steward of Gondor, and Finduilas of Dol Amroth.
His mother died when he was five years old. Faramir, like his father, was gifted with the ability to read the hearts of men;
but his perceptiveness was tempered by mercy.
Denethor openly favored his elder son, Boromir, who he felt to be more loyal and ideally suited to
assume leadership of Gondor. At an early age Faramir had became enamored of Gandalf, although Denethor had always
disliked and distrusted the Wizard, fearing that Gandalf was plotting to supplant his rule. Despite their
father's favoritism, Boromir and Faramir were extremely close; there was no jealousy between the two brothers, only great
An able military leader, Faramir disliked the senseless slaughter of battle, preferring music
and knowledge to warfare. It was said he never killed creatures without a reason. He was made captain of the Ithilien
Rangers and charged with defending the northern borders of Gondor from attack by Southrons, who were joining forces
with the evil Sauron. He was beloved by his men, who would follow him into death if need be.
As the War of the Ring drew near, Faramir and Boromir had the same dream which told them to seek in Imladris
(Rivendell) "for the sword that was broken". Faramir begged his father to let him go, but Denethor refused and
sent Boromir instead. After Boromir was killed by orcs, his horn washed up on the riverbank, where it was found a few days
later by Faramir.
In The Two Towers, as Frodo, Sam, and Gollum were traveling through Ithilien, Faramir
captured the hobbits. Although the law of the land prescribed death for all who trespassed there, Faramir took the
prisoners to Henneth Annun (the Window on the West), a network of caves and tunnels hidden by a waterfall that
served as storehouse and dormitory for the Rangers. There he interrogated the hobbits. He learned that Frodo
bore the One Ring, and that Frodo had been travelling with Boromir at the time of his death.
Movie!Faramir was extremely tempted by the Ring (Book!Faramir not at all), seeing the Ring as a chance to
win back his father's favor. He warned the hobbits against Gollum, whom he saw as an evil creature waiting only for
a chance to betray his master.
Book!Faramir let the hobbits go the next morning; Movie!Faramir took the hobbits to the ruined city of Osgiliath,
where he intended to send his father a "mighty gift that will change our fortunes in this war" (the Ring). Ultimately, after
Sam prevented Frodo from giving the Ring to the Nazgul, Faramir's inner nobility prevailed, and he resisted the
temptation to take the Ring. He sent Frodo, Sam, and Gollum on their way, with a final warning to Gollum about not harming
In Return of the King, Sauron's forces began their attack in earnest, led by his lieutenant, the
Witch King. Faramir held the Bridge of Osgiliath until his forces were overrun, and then retreated towards Minas Tirith.
He was followed by the Ringwraiths and was riding under their deadly shadow until he was rescued by Gandalf.
Book!Faramir fought in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, where he was wounded by a Southron arrow; Movie!Faramir
was sent back by his father the same day to try to retake the city, a hopeless suicide charge which left Faramir
the only survivor. His wound, combined with grief over his father's semi-insanity, and the shadow of the Ringwraiths,
caused him to fall into a deep fever. In a fit of madness at seeing his line seemingly ended, Denethor ordered a pyre
to be built, intending to burn Faramir and himself together. Only Pippin's persistence saved Faramir from being burned
alive; Denethor succumbed to the flames.
Faramir was taken to the Houses of Healing, where Aragorn healed him. While recuperating, Faramir
met and fell in love with Éowyn, whom he married after the
War of the Ring. Faramir and Éowyn had at least one son, Elboron.
Their grandson, Barahir, wrote down a history of Middle Earth, including "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen". The name
Faramir is of mixed Sindarin and Quenyan origin, meaning "Jewelled Hunter". He was 35 years old when Frodo left the Shire.