“[Faramir] is bold, more bold than many deem; for in these days men are slow to believe that a captain can be wise and learned in the scrolls of lore and song, as he is, and yet a man of hardihood and swift judgement in the field. But such is Faramir. Less reckless and eager than Boromir, but not less resolute.”
Faramir (T.A. 2983 – Fo.A. 82, aged 120 years) was the last Ruling Steward of Gondor and the first Prince of Ithilien.
The second of Denethor's two sons, Faramir was briefly the Ruling Steward after his father's death. Upon the arrival of the true king, King Aragorn Elessar, he laid down his office, but Elessar renewed the hereditary appointment of Steward as the advisor to the King. Faramir was also appointed Prince of Ithilien.
Faramir was born in T.A. 2983, five years after Boromir. Faramir was five when his mother Finduilas died. When that happened Boromir and Faramir formed a great bond with each other.
He grew to become a brave warrior admired by his soldiers, although unlike his brother he did not care much for battle and arms. He loved lore and music, and his gentle nature (and love of Gandalf) displeased his father.
Denethor grew cold and grim and favored Boromir over Faramir. But there was no rivalry between the brothers.
During Sauron's attack on Osgiliath which started the War of the Ring, the two brothers commanded the defenses of Osgiliath. They protected the last bridge across the Anduin until it was destroyed. Only the two brothers and two others survived by swimming.
Later during the War, Faramir went to command the Rangers of Ithilien.
Faramir acted as a ranger harassing Haradrim and keeping evil things from entering Ithilien from Minas Morgul. During one such raid he found Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee and Gollum observing an attack by his rangers on a column of Haradrim. The former two were captured as spies by the rangers though Gollum eluded them. Frodo was questioned by Faramir concerning their errand. Frodo recounted the journeys of the Fellowship and its members but referred to the purpose of the travels only cryptically. During the questioning he denied knowledge of Gollum but revealed that he travelled with both Aragorn, the Heir of Isildur, and Boromir.
Faramir informed Frodo of Boromir's death, implying Frodo's involvement in it, though Frodo had not known of Boromir's death until that very moment. Unsure of how to deal with his captives, Faramir led Frodo and Sam, blindfolded, to Henneth Annûn. There he questioned them further in private, learning that the hobbits' errand was linked to the 'Isildur's bane' that had sent Boromir to Rivendell in the first place. Eager to earn their trust Faramir delivered his famous oath, saying that he '...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'. In a slip up however Samwise revealed the nature of 'Isildur's bane' and so Faramir was tested, just as Boromir had been, by the lure of The Ring. Where Boromir failed Faramir succeeded, leading Samwise to remark that Faramir had 'shown [his] quality'.
During the night, Faramir's watch spotted Gollum fishing in the Forbidden Pool. Faramir called Frodo to him who confessed to the part of Gollum in their errand, begging Faramir not to slay him. Gollum was caught and questioned and then surrendered to Frodo. The following morning Faramir released Frodo and Sam (with Gollum), but warned them strongly against taking the pass of Cirith Ungol.
In Pelennor/Minas Tirith
Faramir returned to Osgiliath after his encounter with the hobbits, supervising the defense there. However he retreated over the Pelennor Fields to report to Denethor and was almost caught by the Nazgûl on their Fell beasts, but was saved by Gandalf. Faramir reached Minas Tirith, telling Denethor and Gandalf of what befell in Ithilien, but soon departed to supervise the defenses at his father's bidding. In this venture the host of the Witch-king came upon Osgiliath and Faramir was struck down by the Black Breath. Only a sortie by Imrahil and his knights saved the wounded (including Faramir) from that onset.
Faramir remained out of action for the rest of the War of the Ring. During the Battle of Pelennor Fields Denethor planned to burn his stricken son alongside him and Faramir was once again saved by Gandalf, though Denethor completed his suicide. After this he was taken to the Houses of Healing and healed by Aragorn after the battle. Faramir spent the rest of the war recovering in the Houses of Healing where he met Éowyn, also grievously wounded. The two fell in love and were married after the war.
After the War of the Ring
After the destruction of the Ring and the Battle of the Morannon, Faramir, as Steward, led the ceremony in the crowning of Aragorn as King of Gondor and Arnor. Aragorn reinstated the original role of the Stewards before the failing of the Kings of Gondor and made Faramir the Prince of Ithilien. As Prince of Ithilien, Faramir was one of the two Chief Commanders of King Elessar and his duty was to guard and maintain the eastern borders of Gondor. He also defeated the remaining enemies and cleansed the Morgul Vale.
Faramir and Éowyn settled down in Emyn Arnen, a range of hills in Ithilien in sight of Minas Tirith, and Faramir became the Lord of Emyn Arnen. He and Éowyn had at least one son named Elboron, who followed his father as Steward and Prince of Ithilien when Faramir died in the year Fo.A. 82. Faramir lived to be 120 years old, due to the large percentage of pure Dúnedain ancestry he possessed as a member of the Gondorian nobility.
Faramir was, in the words of Tolkien, 'modest, fair-minded and scrupulously just, and very merciful'. His appearance toward the end of The Two Towers apparently was as much of a surprise to Tolkien as it is to his readers. 'I am sure I did not invent him,' he wrote. 'I did not even want him, though I like him'.
Faramir in many ways speaks for Tolkien, who was a soldier in World War I, when he says, for example, 'I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness... I love only that which they defend'. Much later, Tolkien would write, “As far as any character is 'like me', it is Faramir”.
Translation of Faramir is not given, not even if it is Quenya or Sindarin.
As all the Kings of Gondor and their heirs had names in Quenya, and the name is also attested as a name of the royal family (in the case of Faramir son of Ondoher) the name apparently is Quenya.