Saturday, September 26, 2015

Why I Love…{Boromir}

I've been meaning to write another "defense" post, and since we're in the midst of Hamlette's awesome Tolkien Week, why not now?:)  (In case you all didn't know, these "Why I Love…" posts are basically the equivalent of those "In Defense Of" or "Defending" kinds of posts--talking about why I love certain undervalued or misjudged characters, and you can read my previous ones by clicking on the link "Why I Love…" in the labels section:D  Just thought I'd mention it.)

So.  Boromir.


First of all, yes, Boromir is proud.  Boromir is brash.  Boromir is reckless.  But, darlings, that is because Boromir is human.  I'm not excusing all of his behavior by any means, but I do think we all need to step back and look at him objectively as a character and realize how similar to us he really is.  Pride is Boromir's downfall, and it is a weakness with all of us--if not often, at least from time to time.  Hamlette wrote an amazing post on this guy, which you can read here, and which I am now going to quote:

"Some people think Boromir is a villain. But I think he may be the most realistic character in the whole trilogy -- flawed and faulty, but ultimately heroic. I think he's a closer representation of us than any of the other characters. We too trust to our own strength, take pride in our own abilities, and stumble often as a result."

That is so true.  And the beautiful thing about Tolkien's stories is he allows the fallible to be redeemed.  Boromir tries to take the Ring by force, yes, but his motives were at least halfway honorable--he truly did desire to protect his people.  He went about it in the wrong ways, but his end goal was the redemption and rise of Gondor.

Great.  'Cause I had no real plans for my heart in the future, anyway.

Another thing that I had not quite realized is how Boromir sees the potential in those the rest of the world undervalues--namely, his younger brother Faramir (don't even get me started) and the two more foolish, supposedly unimportant hobbits, Merry and Pippin. 

Boromir did supersede Faramir's rightful place in the Fellowship (it was originally Faramir's dream that birthed the idea of traveling to Imladris, a detail I'd never realized until I read Craig Bernthal's Tolkien's Sacramental Vision), and that was wrong, since a portion of his reasoning likely included his own arrogant assumption and desire for glory, BUT I have no doubt whatsoever that he also acted out of a clear wish to protect his brother.  Boromir at that time had probably had more experience in warfare and quests than Faramir, and while it is probable that Tolkien considered Boromir's place in the Fellowship an usurpation, "all things work together for good," and all that.  Boromir's own redemption was ultimately achieved through all his mistakes.  

For the record, I don't know what that slip at the bottom is, nor why it says 'Hitler hated this site too'.


To quote Bernthal, 

"Boromir displays the full range of temptation, fall, entrapment, and recovery within a short narrative."

I love this character for his humanity, his readiness to acknowledge (and mend as best he can) his mistakes, and his attention to those the world considers of no consequence.  While the rest of the Fellowship focuses on Frodo and Sam, Boromir devotes himself heart and soul to "the little ones" (I cannot tell you how much my inner fangirl weeps when Aragorn rushes up to him in the movie and the first words out of Boromir's mouth are "They took the little ones!).  Throughout the majority of the Fellowship's short time united, Boromir takes especial care of Merry and Pippin, though they are often neglected for more pressing matters by others.  And then--and then--but you all know how it all ends.  In a glorious act of sacrifice that I defy anyone not to applaud, Boromir singlehandedly holds back a tidal wave of Uruk-hai while bleeding from multiple arrow wounds.  Gah.  I JUST CANNOT, OKAY?!  

While Boromir is not quite my favorite character (he is the brother to my favorite, though), he is one of the best and I love him dearly.  

28 comments:

  1. You know, I think you're right . . . I mean, sure, it's great when we have the really awesome characters who do a lot of virtuous things and whom we can take as role models, but it's ALSO good to have some deeply flawed characters who recognize those faults and try to fix them. Because, hey, we all have faults! You need a mixture of both, is what I'm trying to say, I guess :)

    That's something I really like about Jane Austen--she wrote a mix of characters, too. Some of her heroes and heroines are really, truly good people already (like Anne and Fanny and Colonel Brandon and Mr. Knightley), and some are not really so cool at the start of the story but work hard to improve (like Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy and Emma). So there's a balance, and we can learn a lot from all of them :)

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    1. Exactly! Quite right, old thing!

      That's true--I confess, I'm not *ahem* a huge fan of Jane Austen's writing style in general, but I do like her stories (and the movies, of course). You're right; the majority of her characters are deeply flawed but come to recognize those flaws and try to mend them, and that's important. (Except Brandon, of course. Brandon is already perfect;P)

      Oh, by the by, I'm currently reading Northanger Abbey for the first time and I'm quite loving Catherine, Eleanor, and Henry:D Of course, I'd watched the 2007 movie, so I knew I was going to like them in the book (since I loved them in the movie), but still. T'is exciting:)

      Thanks for your comment, Jessica!:D

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    2. Amen, sister. Brandon is already perfect. :)

      I just love Fanny Price because I kind of see her as my long-lost twin sister, in a way. She basically has the exact same personality as me, except she's even more timid and less assertive, which I attribute to her difficult upbringing. *shakes fist at Mrs. Norris* Rosie and I were trying to "type" the Austen heroines this weekend, just for fun, and we think Fanny is possibly an INFJ . . . although we could very well be wrong :) I don't know. She's just really intuitive (coughcoughHenryCrawfordcoughcough) and also empathetic and sensitive. And those are all INFJ things.

      Henry Tilney . . . Well, I've never actually seen the movie, I've only read the book, but to be honest, I really DON'T like him. He just strikes me as way too sarcastic and also kind of "superior" . . . I don't know. We just "clash." A lot. It would be super-interesting to try "typing" him sometime . . . I bet we'd come up as opposites in virtually everything :)

      But, you know, I never tend to like characters of Henry's type in fiction. I'm far more attracted to the "strong, silent" types, the ones who are really quiet and don't say much but have lots of feelings under the surface :) Like, of course, Brandon. And also Captain America. Have you ever seen any of the Captain America movies, by the way? I'd highly recommend the first one--it's not too violent, for a superhero movie, and Steve (Captain America) is DA BESTEST. There are days when I even like him better than Brandon, and that's saying a lot, as thou knowest :)

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    3. That's so cool! I haven't watched MP for quite a long time, but I remember enjoying it:D I bet it'd be fun to type Austen heroines!

      Funny you mention that about Henry--reading some more of it yesterday, I definitely started to see that more. We'll see what I think at the end, but oh, do watch the movie! He's such a sweetheart in the movie:)

      Oh, I KNOW--my favorite heroes are always the strong, silent types: Faramir, Tom Harte, etc. Yes, I've seen both CA movies, and the first Avengers. I really like Steve as a character, but I'll confess I have an *ahem* interesting relationship with Marvel movies as a whole;) Cap is definitely my favorite Avenger, though!

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    4. "The First Avenger" is the only Marvel film I've ever seen all the way through, because, in general, superhero movies aren't really my thing . . . It definitely wasn't my favorite film, or anything like that, it's just that Steve HIMSELF turned out to be one of my favorite characters in any movie, ever. He's just so sweet and so protective :) I didn't care much for Peggy, though--I didn't feel like she was really the best match for Steve, which surprises a lot of people, because most of them think that Peggy and Steve are the most perfect couple ever. So I'm kind of in a minority . . . What did you think of Peggy when you saw TFA?

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    5. I totally get what you mean! I haven't watched it in a while, but p'raps I'll rewatch it soon.

      Hmm, Peggy. I don't remember having a very strong opinion of her either way; I liked that she at least didn't totally dismiss Steve before he became the big hulking guy ;) , but at the same time...I can't really remember:P I did see a picture of them recently and it did give me a couple nostalgic feels, so I dunno, haha!

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    6. I think she just isn't my type. She's pretty aggressive and that's not me at all . . . and she wears bright red lipstick. I don't hold with bright red lipstick. Not like it's bad or anything, but it "jars" on my aesthetic sensibilities :)

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    7. I understand. I typically don't like the overtly aggressive characters either:-/ Haha! Usually I don't mind red lipstick, but occasionally, yes, it can get a bit jarring.

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  2. YES!! I really like the extended scenes with him and Faramir, it makes you love him more, the way he stands up for his brother to his dad. Grrrrr I don't like Denthor. He's just... THE WORST!
    Back to Boromir, yes, he's a good guy. I like that Aragorn was able to be there when he passed. At least someone was. No one was there for Allen-A-Dale in Robin Hood BBC. *Sniff* Post well done, Olivia! :) I agree with ya! :D

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    1. I feel you, Morgan, I feel you! So many feels. Ugh DO NOT MENTION THE ABHORRENT WORM'S NAME IN MY PRESENCE. Just no.

      I knooooowwww--I love the dynamic between Boromir and Arargorn, particularly in the extended FotR. The scene in Lothlorien when they're talking about Gondor together…sniffle. Aaaack, my poor Allan! I think Allan is my favorite out of the gang and THAT PART WAS TOO MUCH. Actually, that whole episode was, but I was kind of steeling myself for it, so I endured, but only just.

      Thanks so much, Morgan!:D

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  3. I fully agree with everything that this post says!!! And another thing about him trying to take the Ring, a lot of that was the Ring. The Ring driving him mad. And yeah, if Denethor had had his way, Faramir would have been the one with the Fellowship.

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    1. Thanks, Bailey! Exactly--I don't know why we tend to forget the fact that the Ring did have power, and very few were totally unaffected by it. Heck, even SAM was tempted by the Ring! And ultimately Frodo did give in to it, if we think about it technically. *sigh* Anywho. Yeah! Well, wasn't it actually Denethor who refused to entrust the mission to Faramir? I thought that's what I'd seen/read, but…p'raps I got mixed up:D

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    2. Oh, no. Denethor and the counsels gave the errand to Faramir, but Boromir decided to do it and Denethor very reluctantly gave his consent. Faramir tells Frodo and Sam, "I should have been chosen by my father and the elders, but Boromir put himself forward as being hardier and older (both true) and he would not be stayed."

      The Dream with the poem came first to Faramir on the eve of a great assault upon Osgiliath (from which only Boromir, Faramir and 2 other escaped), then came several more times to Faramir and once to Boromir.

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    3. Ahhhhh--that makes it a lot clearer. Thanks for clearing that up for me, Miss March!:)

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  4. I agree!

    And your caption for the second picture. xD

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    1. Heehee, thanks, Meredith;) It's true, though!

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  5. Alright, well, I've only seen the first LOTR movie and that was yeeeaaaars ago, but I DO remember that I liked Boromir a lot. (It may or may not have been because he's played by Sean Bean...) AND HIS DEATH SCENE. That was indisputibly epic. ;-D I really like what you've said here about his character -- this is how I feel about a lot of my favorite characters, actually. *coughlikeeverysinglecharacterinlonesomedovecough*

    Well said, Olivia. :-)

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    1. Yay! That makes me happy, Emma:D (*cough cough* Yes, the fact that he's acted by S.B. certainly doesn't hurt matters *ahem*) RIGHT?!?! I just CAN'T, I tell you! (Well, actually, I can, but it's hard.) Haha, yes! LD has a bunch of those characters, too, you're right.

      Thanks!:)

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  6. I like Boromir, too! He truly has a noble heart despite his pride and desire for glory. And his relationship with his brother...at least how it was portrayed in the movie...is so sweet. I can definitely see him wanting to protect Faramir. And Faramir clearly loves and respects him.

    I like your point about Merry and Pippin. Boromir really does show concern for their well-being. (And that scene in the movie where they're sword fighting. Aww!! I love how he takes the time to do things with them.) Does his concern for the hobbits come across in the books, or is that more of a movie thing? I can't quite remember.

    Anyway, I just want to say, this was a very good post, Olivia! I enjoyed it! :) And I agree, Boromir is a very good character. I think his flaws make him even better because they create that contrast at the end when he realizes his mistakes and repents of them. Too bad he was only in the first book. :(

    ~Miss March

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    1. Miss March, I agree *sniffle*

      I know, the sword-fighting scene! Just. Can't. :D I can't remember, though I should since I just recently re-read FotR...I don't think it was as pronounced as in the movies, but I think it was there at least a little.

      Thanks so much!:D Yup, definitely. And I know--it's such a pity:(

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  7. Yes. Thank you for making this. Boromir is one of my LOTR favorites and more people need to see why he was so good. :)

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    1. *high fives* Thank you for reading it, Laura! Yep, Boromir is a very special character, no doubt about it.

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  8. Ohhh....Olivia, you sure know how to make me FEEL for my characters. ;)
    I never used to like Boromir much (I really wasn't an understanding child when I was 10 - I thought Frodo and Boromir were annoying!) but now I really do like him a lot. He's not my favourite character, but he's such a gem anyway. (And of course, Sean Bean kind of made a slight difference too...) There are two scenes I LOVE with him in it - the "Remember today, little brother" scene when they're all so happy and Boromir stands up for Faramir and you can tell they love each other so....*sniffles* Unfortunately, we have the 'abridged' version of the movies, and they cut that scene out (NOOOOOO!! It's just plain AWFUL) but I remember seeing it once, when we borrowed the extended from friends. I'm determined to get myself the extended movies someday. Once I've got money to spare, haha. ;P The second scene is actually his death scene. It sounds awful of me, but he's so humble and courageous in that scene, I cry every. single. time. I watch it. ("I would have followed you my brother....my captain.....my king." *sobs*) And yes, how he watches out for Merry and Pippin, and then gives his life for them...*grabs box of tissues* Yes, I do so love Boromir. He was a good and valiant man.
    ~Miss Meg March

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    1. Do I? That makes me so happy, Miss Meg:D

      *gasp* Why, you didn't like him at first?! Oh, the scandal!;) At least you like him now (I know. Sean Bean.) :) I knoooooowww--his scenes with Faramir are the beeeeest. They are the most precious brothers! Gahhh. (And the theatrical version--the pretentiousness of them! I greatly dislike how many Faramir scenes they cut out *scowls*)

      Oh, I hope you can! Haha, I feel you about the money thing.

      No, I completely understand! I love his death scene, too. Sometimes well-done death scenes are some of the best, no? (Aaaaack, don't mention his and Aragorn's dialogue! Too many feels.)

      Amen--"a good and valiant man." *sniffles*

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  9. Waiiittt.....you mean some people don't like Bormir?!?!? ;) haha
    Ahh, this was such a good post, Olivia. It made me appreciate Boromir even more. And yes! Eek-"the little ones!" Sooo sweet and heroic. I approve of this post 100%.

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    1. I KNOW, right? I was shocked too;)

      Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it:D

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  10. As you know, I am a devoted Boromir fan. Oh, the splendor of that character and his arc! I must admit I have spent an enormous amount of time over the years imagining his life before he arrives in Rivendell. Anyway, this is a lovely post, and I deeply enjoyed reading it. And thanks for linking to mine -- that brightened my day :-)

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    1. Imagining his life before Rivendell is awesome!

      Aww, thank you! And you're quite welcome:)

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