Fellowship of the Ring: Boromir

Fair and noble, proud and stern of glance

The Fellowship of the Ring was the company chosen by Elrond Halfelven to protect and guide the Ring-bearer on his quest to destroy the One Ring in the fire of Mount Doom. The company was composed of nine, and all of the Free Peoples were represented: Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin for the Hobbits; Legolas for the Elves; Gimli for the Dwarves; Aragorn and Boromir for Men; and Gandalf.

The Captain-General of Gondor

Boromir was a Man of Gondor, the son of Denethor II who served as the Steward of the realm in the absence of an heir to the throne. Boromir was “a tall man with a fair and noble face, dark-haired and grey-eyed, proud and stern of glance”. He was strong and valiant, the Captain-General of Gondor, and he had never taken a wife, preferring the life of a warrior. Both Boromir and his younger brother, Faramir, had each experienced a strange, prophetic dream in which a voice from the West impelled them to journey to far-off Rivendell to seek for the Sword That was Broken. Though Faramir had experienced the dream many times and Boromir just once, it was Boromir who was chosen to undertake the journey, for the way was long, uncertain, and perilous. Boromir is seen here upon his northward journey, preparing to ford the Greyflood at the ruined city of Tharbad. Though he lost his steed in that dangerous crossing, Boromir continued to Rivendell on foot. At the Council of Elrond, Boromir argued against the decision to destroy the Ring, propounding instead that it be brought to Gondor where its power might be turned against the Enemy. His proposal was rejected, but Boromir was selected to be among the company of Nine Walkers that set out from Rivendell. Nevertheless, the protection of the realm and people of Gondor remained Boromir’s chief concern, and he was overcome by lust for the Ring and tried to seize it when the company reached Parth Galen. Thus the Fellowship was broken, but Boromir achieved redemption in a heroic last stand, for he chose not to further pursue the Ringbearer, but instead gave his life in battle against orcs to defend Frodo’s kinsmen, Meriadoc and Peregrin.

The crossing at Tharbad

This outfit is the ninth in a series of portraits based on the Fellowship of the Ring. Boromir is among the more complexly-drawn characters in The Lord of the Rings, so I’ve been eager to depict him. Though he did succumb to the temptation of the Ring, his redeption is almost like something out of the great tales of the First Age, and the heroic funeral by boat that he is given shows that he is ultimately a character to be revered and not reviled: his body was borne down the Anduin to the Sea, over which the Men of Westernesse came long ago. Boromir is one of the most extensively described members of the Fellowship in terms of his appearance and attire, which is unusual for Tolkien: “He was cloaked and booted as if for a journey on horseback; and indeed though his garments were rich, and his cloak was lined with fur, they were stained with long travel. 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.” I’ve dressed Boromir in the colours of Gondor: black and silver, and I chose a fur-lined cloak in the same colours, showing the device of what could be a Númenórean ship in icy waters of  muted green to match the tunic worn underneath his long surcoat. He carries his shield, which will be sundered in his final battle against the orcs and placed in his funeral boat by Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas. Unfortunately, there was no direct way to cosmetically represent his silver collar; Tolkien was using “collar” in the archaic sense of “a heavy necklace or chain”.

Well, it’s been a year in the works, but now that all nine of my portraits of the members of the Fellowship of the Ring are completed, I’ve got a special post planned for this Friday that brings them all together in one place; I hope you’ll stop by to check it out!

Eldest son of the Steward

  • Shoulders: Campaign Pauldrons of the Mark (crafted — tailor T8/Men of the Sutcrofts reputation), black
  • Back: Bearskin Winter Cloak (purchased — LOTRO Store), olive
  • Chest: Tempered Iron Hauberk (quest reward — Dunland [72] Tribunal of Shadows), black
  • Hands: Pever-durnvol (looted — The Foundry), black
  • Feet: Lesser Mark of the West Shoes (bartered — Harndirion novices quartermaster/tier 1 difficulty Rune-keeper armour), black
  • Shield: The Wall of Annúminas (purchased — Tinnudir Wardens of Annúminas reputation vendor)

Tips:  Many of the black and white shoulder pieces from the Tower of Orthanc raid (available at the Ox-clan merchant camp) would make very nice-looking alternatives to the shoulders used in this outfit. The cloak was formerly available for barter during the Yule festival, but recently seems to no longer be available by that means. The Tempered Iron Hauberk shares its appearance with several other Dunland quest reward items, as do Pever-durnvol (the latter specifically drops in Isengard’s Foundry instance). If you don’t have access to the Mark of the West Shoes, the Ceremonial Boots of the Learned (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/Helegrod cosmetic clothing – light), dyed black, would be a very nice alternative.

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15 Responses to Fellowship of the Ring: Boromir

  1. shipprekk says:

    A grand end to a great series!

    I think between Sean Bean’s portrayal of B in the films, and his generally whiny nature in the book, I kind of had a bad taste in my mouth for the son of the Steward; kind of like a “woe be me” coworker who loves complaining. But the more I’ve read and looked at his story, his “whininess” (as I crassly put it) is really understandable and he is, indeed a valiant man. His temptation and fall come from a great desire to save and compassion for his people. And then, as you say, his redeeming death is rather beautiful.

    Good job!
    -Derek

    • Thanks Shipwreck! I actually quite liked Sean Bean’s performance in the films (except he apparantly isn’t good at doing accents since he spoke with his own Sheffield accent, which I felt was too “working class” for Boromir, who should rather sound quite aristocratic). I agree with you that book Boromir becomes more compelling the more closely you look at the character. The character didn’t grab me on my first few readings of the book either. A lot of the good stuff is between the lines and I only started to notice it as a more mature reader.

  2. cennwyn says:

    What’s always struck me in the books is that Aragorn is (if you read between the lines) rather cold towards Boromir–indeed, everyone is quick to rebuke and slow to listen to him. If one wanted, one could jump straight to his first appearance in the books and read from there–imagining you know nothing of the Ring, you’ve never met Gandalf or the Hobbits and you know little to nothing about the lineage of the Rangers–essentially reading these scenes from Boromir’s point of view, and suddenly, it becomes clear how inevitable (and truly tragic) his fall (and redemption!) really are. The reader has a huge leg up on Boromir, because we KNOW Gandalf and Frodo and Aragorn, and we trust them–Boromir doesn’t know these cats from Adam.

    • Very good points Cennwyn, thank you! I can totally see how from Boromir’s point of view he’s being teamed up with a bunch of vagabonds and halfwits (I mean halflings) with a crazy plan to throw away Gondor’s only hope for survival. You’re totally right about his interactions with Aragorn, stuff gets pretty tense during the Council of Elrond!

  3. Wow what a stunning end to a fantastic collection of Fellowship outfits! This one is awesome! You know I love that chest piece and combined with those shoulders and boots it’s just perfect. I don’t share the compassion for Boromir so much, I understand we are at an advantage as readers but come on… let’s take all for me and nothing for all, that’s the typical narrow minded warrior’s attitude. But he’s a looker nonetheless!
    Looking forward to you upcoming post now! 😀

    • I think it’s great that some sympathise with Boromir, and others not so much. It’s good evidence that Tolkien is not exactly as black and white as some inattentive readers claim!

      So glad you like the outfit, thank you Hymne! I’ve taken your suggestion to make a composite picture of all the Fellowship — it’s nice to see them all together! 😀

    • Scott says:

      I respectfully disagree that Boromir had an “all for me, and nothing for all” point of view. He did not seek the Ring for personal glory, at least at first. I imagine that he had witnessed Gondor’s women and small children murdered by Mordor’s orcs, and those that remained lived in constant fear and hopelessness, and his original intentions were to save his people. He lived so close to Mordor that he knew better than anyone (save Gandalf) what they were really up against in “sneaking” into that land, and probably had visions of every man, woman and child of his land massacred by Sauron when that little halfling inevitably got caught. Of course, by the time they got to Amon Hen his daydreams had changed to glorious Boromir, the vanquisher of Sauron. That was the true power of the Ring (and temptation in general), to take good intentions and slightly twist them until only selfish ambition remain. Boromir’s legacy in the books should be that of a hero, although a flawed one.

      • Hi Scott! I unfortunately found your comment in my spam folder this morning. I do apologise and I hope you haven’t been commenting all along while getting caught by the spam filter! 😦

        Anyway, now that I’ve restored your comment, it shouldn’t be a problem going forward. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, and welcome to the blog! 🙂

        • Scott says:

          Thanks for the reply! This was going to be my last comment since none of them ever showed up, I’m glad you fixed it! Keep up the great work.

  4. eldaeriel says:

    It’s a great outfit – and it’s nice to see something that hasn’t got gold or brown in!

    I have to admit, Boromir is one my favourite characters. His final scene (both in book and on screen) is pretty powerful and moving. I think it’s made more tragic by the fact that it was meant to be Faramir who attended (and presumably become part of the Fellowship), I do wonder how the tale may have played out if Faramir had attended the council instead.

    • Thanks very much Eldaeriel, and welcome! 😀

      Definitely an interesting “what if”. I think there’s a lot to consider about the interaction of fate and free will here. Boromir’s going is part of that complex web that led to things ending up just the way they did, and also led to Faramir being in the right place to help the hobbits later in their journey. How different it might have been if Frodo and Sam somehow encountered Boromir im Ithilien instead! Or the negative effect on Éowyn if Faramir hadn’t been in the Houses of Healing at the same time as she. Lots to ponder…!

  5. Lol, great minds think alike:) I started laughing when I saw this post, because for the past two days or so I’ve been trying to put together a Gondor-outfit for my champion, and that chest-piece is a strong contender. Time will tell if I manage to create something I like, I’m not gonna copy this one:)

  6. Urahara-san says:

    Damn, that sword looks so awesome. Why are there no cosmetic weapons in the game… 😦

    • I know, cosmetic weapons (and shields) is one of my biggest wishes. So many of the LIs are just too gaudy for my taste. But at least the recent toning down of the ugly LI glow is a bit of a step in the right direction!

      Thanks for your comment Urahara-san, and welcome to the blog! 🙂

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