The LOTR Movie Site
April 21, 2000

The Boromir Debate Continues
Matthew Bass

I woke up this morning to find my e-mail box packed with more comments on the infamous Boromir scene in the LOTR preview. I may have to move this discussion to our Forum if it gets much larger. Anyway, here it is:

Boromir w/the Ring?

I'm actually kind of surprised at the amount of interest generated over the scene of Boromir with the ring, so I might as well throw my two cents in.

I usually fall on the side of strong opposition to any alteration to the story, but this one doesn't concern me all that much.  I'm sure they will come up with some entirely plausible reason for Boromir to be holding the ring.  In fact, I feel it might even be a necessary scene, as it will give viewers a chance to see the struggle going on within Boromir's mind.  This, I feel, is definitely a situation where the difference between a novel and a movie is evident.  Tolkien had many pages to use to subtly develop Boromir's character, and the effects the Ring was having on him.  In the movie, this development will have to be done more quickly and more blatantly.  Boromir gazing lustfully at the Ring will be the perfect way to show viewers what's going on in his head.

If I'm surprised by the abundance of discussion over the Boromir issue, I'm equally surprised by the lack of discussion over the report from the 'Orc' at Helm's Deep, particularly the mention of an Elven army coming to the rescue.  Am I the only one who sees some big problems with Elves rescuing the Riders of Rohan at Helm's Deep?   First of all, the entire war is between Men and Sauron, the Elves are never directly involved at all (except, of course, for Elladan and Elrohir).  There's a reason that the last army who had faced Sauron was called The Last Alliance of Elves and Men! Furthermore, I'm afraid it will significantly diminish the significance of Theoden and the Riders' charge at sunrise.  I don't know about anyone else, but for me, that was one of the most moving battle sequences in the entire story.

Anyway, I just thought I'd see if I could stir up another ant hill.  Any thoughts on the Elves at Helm's Deep? -- JOSH M.

Perhaps this is some dream Boromir is having, his lust for the ring became obvious, with disastrous results. Perhaps he is dreaming of taking it from Frodo. Perhaps Frodo (or Gandalf) is dreaming Boromir is taking it from him. Neither occurred in the books, but it would not be to much of a stretch to have this in the film.

I too wondered when I saw the trailer what this might be. I'm not familiar enough with the actor playing Boromir. I assumed this scene was of either Isildur before the ring was lost, or more of a stretch, Deagol after finding it (though it looks a bit cold for spear fishing), or Smeagol after he slew Deagol and took the ring.

But once I read some of the recent wonderings on this subject and heard it was indeed Boromir, Iwanted to know if this is for sure Boromir.

Perhaps it is merely the trailer footage and won't be in the films at all.

Thank you for reading my musings. -- DAVID H.

Here is my take.  I happen to be reading the trilogy and just got past lorien a few weeks ago.  In the "Mirror of Galadriel" chapter, when they FIRST meet Galadriel and Celeborn, just before leaving to rest for the night she mentally tempts them all. 

"What did you blush for, Sam?" said Pippin.......

"If you want to know, I felt as if I hadn't got nothing on, and I didn't like it.   She seemed to be looking inside me and asking me what I would do if she gave me the chance of flying back home to the Shire....."

"That's funny," said Merry. "Almost exactly what I felt myself; only, only well, I don't think I'll say any more," he ended lamely.

All of them, it seemed had fared alike: each had felt that he was offered a choice between a shadow full of fear that lay ahead, and something that he greatly desired:  clear before his mind it lay.....

"To me it seemed exeedingly strange," said Boromir.  "Maybe it was only a test, and she thought to read our thoughts for her own good purpose; but almost I should have said that she was tempting us, and offering what she pretended to have the power to give. It need not be said that I refused to listen. The Men of Minas Tirith are true to their word." But what he thought that the Lady had offered him Boromir did not tell.

So I think they were just 'showing' that test of will and purpose.  Boromir keeping his word meant being 'true' to the fellowship and would not betray them. Just my 2 cents.... whadda ya think? -- ADUANNE C.

I've enjoyed the interesting insights on why Boromir is in possession of the Ring, and I can't even hazard a guess.  But I would like to point out something that no one has mentioned yet...Boromir is not actually touching the Ring! -- STEVE E.

I'm kind of thinking that the reason why Jackson might have Boromir holding up the ring at some time is just pure foreshadowing. Maybe during the journey across the mountains, he holds up that chain from a sleeping Frodo. Maybe he mutters some words on what he thinks should be done with it. It all would be good foreshadowing of his intentions. -- JOHN K.

Someone has probably already commented on this, but I haven't seen it.  I've noticed a lot of silly speculation about the picture of Boromir and the Ring and when in the story it will occur.  Look at the background of the picture and at the gloved hand.  This seems almost certainly to put the event at about the time the Fellowship are going up Caradras.  So much for when.

As for why, it's clearly just a small rpt small variation on the storyline that Jackson made to foreshadow and heighten dramatic tension over Boromir's eventual, abortive attempt to possess the Ring.  What's the big deal?  Boromir lusted for the Ring; his ogling is true to the spirit of the work.  It's a graphical image that is useful to a movie maker -- juxtaposing Boromir's covetous face with the shining Ring.  Movies rely more explicitly on such graphical images than books.  So what?

People that get in a snit over taking license with such a small point are going to be insufferable critics when the movie finally comes out.  The book is the book, the movie will be the movie; neither is a sacred text, just good fun as Tolkien intended. -- TURAMBAR