Episode 19
October 12, 2020

A More Robust Line of Succession

Hosted by Jared Pechaček, Ned Raggett, and Oriana Schwindt

Jared, Oriana and Ned talk about Ned’s choice of topic: Boromir, Faramir and Denethor. Uniquely in The Lord of the Rings, the fractured family dynamic between the Steward of Gondor and his two heirs is also one of politics on a grand scale, with all three reacting to the growing threat to the land they rule or are heirs to as well as trusting to a slim hope of salvation. But, of course, how each of them views that slim hope and what has to be done to see it come true is its own issue that divides them further. What does it mean when it’s said that the blood of Numenor runs true in Faramir and Denethor but not Boromir? Is Faramir himself maybe too much of a ‘good boy,’ a paladin in all but name, given the circumstances he and his land find themselves in? Do the three members of the family hearken back to the kind of feelings and sentiments that Tolkien may have seen as a young officer in World War I, on the same side but not in total alignment? Is Boromir and his dilemma served better as a character in Peter Jackson’s adaptation more than in the original text itself? And are Denethor’s final acts of despair, seen by Tolkien as one of the worst things someone can do to others and oneself, possibly a misunderstanding of what depression can be?

[Episode artwork]
0:00 / 1:03:01

Show Notes.

Jared’s Doodle really captures the subject perfectly.

They’re fully filming again in New Zealand. Isn’t it wonderful when a society actually has a plan and sticks to it?

Morfydd Clark continues to give good interview quotes.

Nudes, nudes, nudes. We won’t link all the pieces in response, they are too many and mostly boring.

Denethor via Tolkien Gateway, and more about Boromir and Faramir there too of course.

Jingoism — it’s not a good look.

Our imperialism episode, where we talked some about Gondor as a society/polity.

If you are enjoying the show, and if you can, please consider supporting the show (via our network, Megaphonic). Thanks!