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Boromir

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The name Boromir refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Boromir (disambiguation).
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Boromir
Gondorian
Biographical Information
PositionCaptain of the White Tower, Captain-general
BirthThird Age 2978
DeathFebruary 26th, Third Age 3019, aged 41 years
Family
ParentageDenethor II and Finduilas of Dol Amroth
Physical Description
GenderMale
"There was a tall man with a fair and noble face, dark-haired and grey-eyed, proud and stern of glance. His garments were rich, and his cloak was lined with fur and he had a collar of silver in which a single white stone was set; his locks were shorn about his shoulders. On a baldric he wore a great horn tipped with silver that now was laid upon his knees."
The Fellowship of the Ring, The Council of Elrond

Boromir was the eldest son of Denethor II, older brother of Faramir. He was one of the Nine Walkers who made up the Fellowship of the Ring.

Contents

History

Boromir was born in 2978, was five years before his brother Faramir. Between the brothers there was great love, and had been since childhood, when Boromir was the helper and protector of Faramir. He was only ten years old when their mother Finduilas died, and after her death their father became grim and remote. Boromir was beloved by his father and was like him in face and pride, but in little else. Boromir's temperament was similar to King Eärnur of old, he took no wife and was more interested in arms and warfare. He cared little for lore, save the tales of old battles.

Boromir was man of great strength and valour. He had a fair and noble face, dark haired and grey-eyed, proud and stern of glance. When Sauron attacked Osgiliath, Boromir was the commander of the company which drove back the Orcs and held the last bridge until it was destroyed behind them, to prevent the Orcs from crossing the river.

Journey to Rivendell

"In that dream I thought the eastern sky grew dark and there was a growing thunder, but in the West a pale light lingered, and out of it I heard a voice, remote but clear, crying:

 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.

"
― Boromir; The Fellowship of the Ring, The Council of Elrond

On the evening before Sauron's attack on Osgiliath, Faramir had a dream. A similar dream came to Boromir. Both Boromir and Faramir could understand little of these words, therefore they spoke to their father who was wise in the lore of Gondor. But he could only say that Imladris was a dale in the far north where Elrond lived. Faramir was eager to seek Imladris, however since the way was full of doubt and danger Boromir took the journey upon himself.

Boromir's journey took 110 days. He passed through the Gap of Rohan and travelled north through the lands west of the Misty Mountains. He faced many hardships, for that land had fallen into decay and the North-South Road no longer existed except for crumbling remains of the old causeways. He lost his horse near Tharbad while crossing the Greyflood using a dangerous ford formed by a ruined bridge. The rest of the way he travelled on foot.

When he reached Rivendell, he attended the Council of Elrond. Boromir spoke to the Council of Gondor's vigilance and the struggle to keep the forces of Mordor from crossing the Anduin. However, he said, he had not come seeking military aid but counsel. When he told of the dream that had led him to Rivendell the answers to its riddles were revealed: Aragorn brought out the Shards of Narsil and Frodo Baggins the Halfling held up the One Ring that was Isildur's Bane. There he attempted to persuade the Council to let him take the One Ring to Gondor so that it could be used in the defence of the realm. But Elrond explained that the Ring could not be used, for even though it is used for the purpose of doing good it would twist all deeds and intentions to evil in the end.

The Fellowship of the Ring

It was Boromir's intention to return to Minas Tirith, therefore he joined the Fellowship of the Ring. When the Company of the Ring reached Caradhras, Boromir advised that each of them should carry a faggot of wood. This saved the Company's life when they got caught in a blizzard on Caradhras. The next morning Boromir and Aragorn plowed their way through the snow and carried the four Hobbits back down the mountain to safety.

As the Redhorn Pass was now blocked, Boromir proposed that they should travel southward on the west side of the Misty Mountains and then either pass through the Gap of Rohan or cross the Isen and go through the southern lands of Langstrand and Lebennin. But Gandalf opposed this saying that, because of Saruman's treachery those lands were no longer safe. He proposed that the Company should instead go through the mines of Moria, but Boromir said that he would not go that way, not unless the whole company voted against him.

Boromir finally agreed, but upon reaching the Doors of Durin he was angry that Gandalf did not know the password and he threw a stone in the Dark Water. This alerted the Watcher in the Water. When Gandalf stepped into the mines the Watcher attacked Frodo, but all the Company were able to escape into the mines.

Boromir fought valiantly when the Company was attacked in the Chamber of Mazarbul, and he blocked the western door and hewed at the arm of a Cave-troll. After escaping from the Chamber, the company reached the Bridge of Khazad-dûm they were again attacked by Orcs, and with them was a Balrog. Boromir sounded his Great Horn which caused their enemies to pause, but then continued to advance. As Gandalf fought with the Balrog, Boromir and Aragorn ran towards him, but just they reached the bridge Gandalf shattered the bridge and the Balrog fell into the abyss, dragging Gandalf in as well.

Aragorn then led the Company towards Lothlórien. Boromir advised against this, saying that the woods had a perilous reputation in Gondor and that few escaped unscathed. Aragorn replied that only those who were evil or brought evil with them had reason to fear Lothlórien. After Galadriel had spoken to each member of the Company in their thoughts, Boromir was keen to know about the conversation between the Lady and the Ring-bearer, but what he thought that the Lady had offered him he did not tell. When the Company were set to depart from Lothlórien, Galadriel gave each of them a gift. Boromir received a golden Belt.

As the Company set out down the Anduin. Boromir shared a boat with Merry and Pippin. As they travelled down the river, Boromir became increasingly consumed with thoughts of the Ring. He muttered to himself and bit his nails and sometimes paddled closer to Frodo's boat. His behavior made Merry and Pippin uneasy, and Pippin noticed a strange glint in Boromir's eye as he looked at Frodo. As the Company approached the rapids of Sarn Gebir it was Boromir who alerted them and they were able to turn back. Boromir then advised the company to leave the river and strike a westward and southward road to Gondor. But Frodo did not intend to go to Gondor, hence the Company continued on their way down the river.

When the Company reached Nen Hithoel, it was time for the Company to decide their next course. When Frodo wandered off into the forest to think, Boromir followed him after a while. He tried to persuade Frodo to bring The Ring to Minas Tirith. As Boromir spoke, the lure of the Ring grew stronger in him. He envisioned himself as a mighty king who would overthrow Sauron and lead Gondor to victory and glory. When Frodo refused to accompany him to Minas Tirith, Boromir became enraged and tried to take the Ring from Frodo by force. Frodo put the Ring on and vanished, and Boromir was overwhelmed with the realization of what he had done. He wept and called for Frodo to return, but it was too late.

Boromir's Last Stand by Ted Nasmith.

When Boromir returned to the Company he would only say that he had argued with Frodo and that the Hobbit had disappeared. Merry and Pippin ran off looking for their friend, and Aragorn told Boromir to follow them and guard them. Boromir did as he was asked. When he found the Hobbits they were surrounded by dozens of Orcs. Boromir slew many of them and the rest fled. He began to lead the Hobbits back to the campsite, but they were attacked again by at least 100 Orcs. Boromir sounded the Great Horn and fought valiantly to prevent the Orcs from seizing Merry and Pippin. He was pierced by many arrows and fell at last, and the Hobbits were taken prisoner.

Boromir was still alive when Aragorn found him. At least twenty Orcs lay slain around him. Boromir still held his sword, though the blade had been broken off at the hilt, and the Great Horn had been cloven in two. Before he died, Boromir told Aragorn that he had tried to take the Ring from Frodo. Then Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas laid Boromir's body in one of the boats. His shattered horn and sword they laid across his lap and the weapons of his enemies were laid at his feet. The funeral boat was taken out to the middle of the Anduin and the river carried Boromir's body over the Falls of Rauros.

Through Rohan over fen and field where the long grass grows
The West Wind comes walking, and about the walls it goes.
'What news from the West, O wandering wind, do you bring me tonight?
Have you seen Boromir the Tall by moon or by starlight?'
'I saw him ride over seven streams, over waters wide and grey;
I saw him walk in empty lands, until he passed away
Into the shadows of the North. I saw him then no more.
The North Wind may have heard the horn of the son of Denethor.'
'O Boromir! From the high walls westward I looked afar,
But you came not from the empty lands where no men are.

From the mouths of the Sea the South Wind flies, from the sand hills and the stones;
The wailing of the gulls it bears, and at the gate it moans.
'What news from the South, O sighing wind, do you bring me at eve?
Where now is Boromir the Fair? He tarries and I grieve.'
'Ask not of me where he doth dwell – so many bones there lie
On the white shores and the dark shores under the stormy sky;
So many have passed down Anduin to find the flowing Sea.
Ask of the North Wind news of them the North Wind sends to me!'
'O Boromir! Beyond the gate the seaward road runs south, But you came not with the wailing gulls from the grey sea’s mouth.'

From the Gate of Kings the North Wind rides, and past the roaring falls;
And clear and cold about the tower its loud horn calls.
'What news from the North, O mighty wind, do you bring me today?
What news of Boromir the Bold? For he is long away.'
'Beneath Amon Hen I heard his cry, there many foes he fought.
His cloven shield, his broken sword, they to the water brought.
His head so proud, his face so fair, his limbs they laid to rest;
And Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, bore him upon its breast.'
'O Boromir! The Tower of Guard shall ever northward gaze
To Raurors, golden Rauros-falls, until the end of days.'

- Aragorn and Legolas' song of Boromir after setting his funeral boat adrift

Three nights later, Faramir was sitting by the banks of the Anduin in Osgiliath when he saw a boat float past him on the river. Faramir had heard the Great Horn sounding in the distance when Boromir was in need, and now he saw his brother's body laid out in the boat, but the Great Horn was missing. The two halves of the horn were later washed ashore and they were returned to Denethor. It was said that the boat bearing Boromir's body was borne down the Anduin and out into the Sea.

Inspiration

One of the many similarities between Roland, the paladin of Charlemagne, and Boromir is that both bore a white horn.[1] Like Roland in battle with the Saracens blew his horn to call for Charlemagne, Boromir called for Aragorn. In both cases, help came too late.[2]

Portrayal in adaptations

1955: The Lord of the Rings (1955 radio series):

Derek Prentice voiced Boromir.

1978: The Lord of the Rings (1978 film):

Michael Graham Cox provided the voice of Boromir. His appearance was inspired by the popular image of a viking: he wore a fur tunic and a horned helmet. He did not have a shield.

1979: The Lord of the Rings (1979 radio series):

Erik Bauersfeld provided the voice of Boromir.

1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series):

Cox reprised his role of Boromir. In the mean time, he learned to pronounce Elvish words correctly: he came from "My Nasty Rith" in Bakshi's film, but he uses the correct pronounciation here.

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

Boromir is played by Sean Bean. Differing from the book, Boromir dies (killed by the Uruk-hai leader Lurtz) at the end of the film instead of the beginning of The Two Towers.

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game):

James Horan provides the voice of Boromir, clad in blue and carrying a great shield. His death is not shown; he is not seen again after the first camp at the foot of Amon Hen.

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers:

The extended edition includes a scene not taken from the book in which Boromir and his brother Faramir see each other for the last time, and we see their father Denethor's attitude toward his two sons. At the Council of Elrond in Rivendell, Boromir says that his prophetic dream came to first his brother, Faramir, and then to him, on the night before an attack on Osgiliath. This reference to Osgiliath may be the inspiration for the flashback scene in The Two Towers.

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

Boromir is seen in a brief flashback being pierced by arrows, as Pippin explains to Denethor the circumstances of his death. In the extended edition, he is seen again in a vision of Denethor, walking proudly towards his father until he fades away.

Genealogy

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Húrin of Emyn Arnen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mardil Voronwë
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Barahir
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dior
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Belecthor I
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Orodreth
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Adrahil II
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ecthelion II
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Imrahil
 
 
Finduilas
 
 
 
Denethor II
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
BOROMIR
 
 
 
Faramir
 
Éowyn
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elboron
 
 
 


See Also

References

  1. Gerard Seaman, "Old French Literature", published in J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia (edited by Michael Drout), page 468-9
  2. Wayne G. Hammond, Christina Scull, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, page 359


Members of the Fellowship of the Ring
Frodo · Sam · Merry · Pippin · Gandalf · Aragorn · Legolas · Gimli · Boromir