A Man of Quality
Re-reading the books I realized how different Faramir in the movie is from book Faramir. I think David Wenham did a wonderful job playing Faramir, but as many places say, I “just can’t get over the way Faramir acted in TTT.”
Reading through it all again, I remembered how my friend will sometimes talk about “my Faramir,” who someday I will meet, and I thought about how so many character qualities that Faramir has are ones I want for my husband someday:
Most of my favorite quotes from LotR are all from Faramir, and they show his character, his quality, as Sam would say.
“Patience!” Said Faramir, but without anger. “Do not speak before your master, whose wit is greater than yours. And I do not need any to teach me of our peril. Even so, I spare a brief time, in order to judge justly in a hard matter. Were I as hasty as you, I might have slain you long ago. For I am commanded to slay all whom I find in this land without the leave of the Lord of Gondor. But I do not slay man or beast needlessly, and not gladly even when it is needed.”
When Faramir is telling Frodo of Boromir’s death, Frodo asks
“Do you mean that he is dead and that you knew it? You have been trying to trap me in words, playing with me? Or are you now trying to snare me with a falsehood?”
“I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood,” said Faramir.
“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.”
“Neither did the council,” said Frodo, “Nor do I. I would have nothing to do with such matters.”
“For myself, said Faramir, “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. 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.”
“Now’s a chance to show your quality,” says Sam…
“So it seems,” said Faramir, slowly and very softly, with a strange smile. “So that is the answer to all the riddles! The One Ring that was thought to have perished by the world. And Boromir tried to take it by force? And you escaped? And ran all the way – to me! And here in the wild I have you: two Halflings, and a host of men at my call, and the Ring of Rings. A pretty stroke of fortune! A chance for Faramir, Captain of Gondor, to show his quality! Ha!” He stood up, very tall and stern, his grey eyes glinting….
…But Faramir sat down again in his chair and began to laugh quietly, and then suddenly became grave again. “Alas for Boromir! It was too sore a trial!” He said. “How you have increased my sorrow, you two strange wanderers from a far country, bearing the peril of men! But you are less judges of Men than I am of Halflings. We are truth-speakers, we men of Gondor. We boast seldom, and then perform, or die in the attempt. ‘Not if I found it on the highway would I take it,’ I said. Even if I were such a man as to desire this thing, and even though I knew not clearly what this thing was when I spoke, still I should take these words as a vow, and be held by them. But I am not such a man. Or I am wise enough to know that there are some perils from which a man must flee.”
“… and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you. Once I pitied your sorrow, but now, were your sorrowless, without fear or any lack, were you the blissful Queen of Gondor, still would I love you.”
A man who will hold what he believes over what he is commanded to do – listening to the higher power rather than men.
A man who values truth to the point he would not lie even to the foulest of enemies.
A man who knows he must protect those he holds dear, and will do it to death.
A man who can withstand temptation. No one is perfect, but we all have the ability to ward off temptation when it comes.
A man who is humble.
A man who keeps his word even when it may go against what he desires.
A man who does not desire power.
A man who knows when to flee temptations in life.
A man who loves that which is beautiful.
A man of quality.