lotr challenge, day 4: in which I have a favorite main character …

God, there are so many main characters in Lord of the Rings, and it grows exponentially throughout the trilogy, which should actually make this challenge post a bit easier. Luckily for me, my favorite main character shows up early in the story!

I bet y’all thought it’d be Eowyn (she’s a very close second, and Sam follows very closely behind her), but nope, it’s Boromir from Gondor.

Boromir is a tragic character, something that becomes even more readily apparent in the extended version of The Two Towers, where he is shown as a charismatic, country-loving older brother to Faramir. His downfall in The Fellowship of the Ring becomes even more poignant, an indicator of the power of the One Ring; it can corrupt even the bravest, most stalwart people. He is aware of the dangers of the Ring, and yet he is still tainted by its evil, enough so that he finds himself behaving in a manner that he normally wouldn’t. Even though he ultimately succumbed, his intentions were focused on saving his people, on using an extremely powerful weapon that he believed would end the darkness that threatened Middle Earth.

Even though I don’t necessarily like stories that center around a person’s gradual spiral into villainy (see: Breaking Bad), Boromir’s development was a nuanced, slow burn, foreshadowed at the beginning of the movie and culminated in his attempt to kill Frodo and steal the Ring from him. But once he regained himself, he immediately was remorseful and then sacrificed himself for his new friends, representing his true heart: one of bravery and dedication. He was redeemed through his own actions, even if it resulted in his death, an event I feel he knew was coming. Maybe that made it easier for him to be able to make that choice, but it doesn’t make it any less heroic. Boromir’s death affected me pretty strongly when I saw the movie in the theaters because I identified with him; I’ve made poor decisions out of loyalty to the wrong person (in Boromir’s case, a crazed Denethor, obsessed with owning the Ring for himself).

His flaws paired with his pure intentions make him one of the most interesting characters to me. He knows the dangers of the Ring, just as Aragorn does, but his desperation to secure a vulnerable Gondor’s salvation makes him more susceptible to fall. That’s one thing that I truly appreciate about Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Lord of the Rings; no one escapes the Ring. Even Faramir is tempted to take the Ring initially, and Frodo constantly fights against its influence. No matter how good a person Boromir was in the beginning could prevent what ended up happening, and his corruption and ultimate death were our first introduction of the consequences that could befall anyone in the Fellowship (or anyone in Middle Earth).

Art Credit: Gabz, Fanpop

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