essentially Beregond's musings on his namesake, Beregond the Steward. His thoughts cover a lot of territory, though, including Gondorian naming conventions, the value of dreams, and memories of Boromir and Faramir as children.
elanor of aquitania
22 Apr 05 7:28 PM
Reply To: 40571
I read your SSP at HA in my 'daily digest'.
I like your story for the sober and restrained style. I like Beregond's reflections.
Compared to the LoTR Beregond he seems to be much older, much more restrained. Was this your intention ?
What I did not like was the naming convention based on stellar constellations. Nowhere in Tolkien's writing I got until now the impression that names were chosen by lore masters.
Elven mothers chose the names by some insight into their offsprings nature. I always thought Dunedain mothers would try to emulate this Elven custom. I always thought Dunedain chose the offspring's name with some hope for and dreams about their future life. I always thought Boromir's name was chosen to invoke the behaviour of his warrior ancestor. And I thought Faramir's name was chosen foreshadowing his selfwilled behaviour (the prince who ran away to battle endangering the Gondorian royal blood line).
So for me there are no lore masters in Gondor who chose the names but Dunedain mothers either trying to invoke some ancestor's fate or chosing a name appropriate to the child's nature.
Tolkien made so much efforts to chose the right names that I cannot believe in stellar constellations defining a name. Tolkien made these efforts to fit the name to the protagonist. I think Dunedain parents should and would make the same efforts.
In A Mantle of Silver Stars
nrink describes the wishes and hopes of the parents.
Tanaqui described Faramir's naming in Cup of Bitterness: First Meeting
by a vision of Finduilas, which overuled Denethor's chosen name.
And Tanaqui wrote in Sufficient
Legolas’s voice broke into his thoughts. “Faramir, who gave you your name?”
Faramir looked up at him. It seemed an odd question in the circumstances, although he knew the Elf must have understood his cry of despair. There was no reason not to answer.
“My mother,” he said. He heard a rough edge to his voice as the suppressed emotion tried to force its way out. He swallowed, determined to speak indifferently. As it was, the Elf quite likely already thought he was mad. Like father, like son he thought hopelessly.
“And did she have a measure of the foresight of your people, as you do?”
“I think she must have been gifted with some foreknowledge, even if she did not fully understand what she saw,” Legolas said softly and with some wonder in his own voice. “Faramir, you are indeed a sufficient treasure. And it was exactly enough. Exactly what was needed.”
In conclusion, I envision the naming in Dunedain culture to be performed by the parents who are guided by visions, dreams, and hopes.
I realize that my thoughts are contrary to the plot of your story, but for me this is the main obstacle. Lore masters involved in future telling somehow seem too much of our world. IMO this fits not into Tolkien's world.
we turn our eyes to the stars, and name our sons what the fates decree for them, by the hour in which they enter the world. My father brought the lore-master three measures of grain -- the usual payment, for a farmer -- and the hour of my birth, and the lore-master gave him my name.
is contrary to all what I have read until now, so I thought I might be allowed to voice my concerns.
Thank you for sharing your story
perhaps in his fifties or even sixties at the time of the War of the Ring
'fifties' 'at the time of the War' for me somehow feels not right. He is not as serene as I would expect of an older man. He shows such an adoring and enthusiastic behaviour (all concerning Faramir) and a very open behaviour towards Pippin like a young man. I feel him to be no more than in thirties with Bergil an early child. That shows how much our minds differ when our brains react so differently to cannon words
. Therefore I thought your story played long after the War.
Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry; in secret chambers withered men compounded strong elixirs, or in high cold towers asked questions of the stars.
I took these words of Faramir (Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, The Window to the West) to refer to fairly useless "l'art pour l'art" occupations. I have not connected them to fates foretold but to old men seeking eternal life. The paragraph starts with "Death was ever present" and ends with "And the last king of the line of Anarion had no heir."
I'd be willing to accept the idea that, in special cases, where a parent did have a strong prophetic sense regarding a child's name, a "special" name would be chosen by the parents, not the wise men, i.e., astrologers. But this would be a special case. We do know, for example, that Arvedui's name was chosen because of the prophecy of Malbeth the Seer:
I do not think that all Gondorian or even all Dunedain families have strong prophetical abilities, but I think all parents have hopes and wishes for their children. And in Tolkien's world I think those wishes would stear the naming of the child. Tanaqui's examples I cited only to show the tip of the iceberg when providing Finduilas with such visionary abilities. That Malbeth the seer is cited to have given the name of Arvedui is for me a _very_ exceptional occurance so that it merited a rather long entry in the Book of Kings. I never connected this to a normal procedure done for all children. In myth it are the special children for which a seer will have a vision of their fate.
So I gain quite the opposite impression from this Malbeth-reference. "Special" names are given by special persons. Ordinary names are given by the parents according to their hopes and wishes.
(the prince who ran away to battle endangering the Gondorian royal blood line).
Out of curiosity, is this canon?
Hmm, I think it is cannon (as Barbara wrote). though I found no reference to selfwilled behaviour of the first Faramir in HOME or Appendix A. It is described in UT "Cirion and Eorl":
This had always been the custom of Gondor, that the King, if he willed, should command his army in a major battle, provided that an heir with undisputed claim to the throne was left behind. ... he had two sons, both of age to bear arms: Artamir the elder, and Faramir some three years younger.
But Faramir did not do so; he went to the war in disguise, and was slain.
I do not know when "Cirion and Eorl" was written but I always connected these two names and their fates (naturally only after I had read UT). The foreshadowing of selfwilled behaviour in Faramir, Denethor's son, is most probably fannon though. But maybe Tolkien wrote prince Faramir with thoughts of steward Faramir in mind.
I am no great student of classical astrology, but I think that if two people are born under the same stars they are supposed to have similar characters and fates. And the quickest way to identify two such people would be to give them the same names!
Hmm, but what if the fate was bad ? Only good examples would be used I think. And then it is again all reduced to hopes and wishes. It is the human brain which sees order and fate in celestial constellations. And moreover, there are many more babies than known positive models with known birth constellation ;-). Especially female babies would experience such a lack of models.
And why should Dunedain humans have the same fate as Elves even if born under the same constellation. Mumble, mumble ... You might have a point with Finduilas as to the fact that bad fate would not hinder the chosing of the name. Finduilas, daughter of Orodreth, certainly had a bad fate. On the other hand maybe the Dol Amroth parents simply fancied the name itself, or that it was a name of a famous Noldorin princess, or there might have been other human Finduilases in the long row of years, a fact that would concur with both our impressions ;-).
OK, I think we simply see Tolkien's world quite differently. For me the Dunedain are an enlightened people slowly slipping into superstitious medieval culture. You somehow see them already as a superstitious people. So let's agree to disagree ;-)
[As Scott Atran says in "In Gods we trust, The evolutionary landscape of Religion" It is this cognitive architecture that makes it natural to render a supernatural interpretation of events under conditions of uncertainty.
And the fate of a newborn child is certainly a uncertainty which would rise the need for supernatural interpretation: either by the interpretations of stellar constellations as you invoke or by wishes, dreams, and visions, as I ascribe to the Gondorians.]
Best wishes Elanor
I enthusiastically agree: for me it is a very fascinating discussion as Faramir is my Tolkien role model and I see myself more in the place of the adoring Beregond.
OK, "selfwilled" is my own invention I suppose.
Looks into dictionary: http://www.answers.com/topic/self-willed&method=8
No, it is as I wanted to say it: "eigensinnig" in German.
Faramir's decisions depend on noone else than himself. If he makes a decision he sticks to it. His father's wishes are counted far behind.
That I wanted to express. For me that is the quality which makes a leader of men. Consider all facts, hear all persons concerned and then decide what you deem right (and stick to it). Maybe that is what you mean by 'strong willed'.
OK, I do not think that Prince Faramir sought glory, he went in disguise to battle. He made a decision as Eowyn, I think, to fight for his people. But as he was the heir (as was Eowyn) his duty to his people was to stay home. As we all admire Eowyn, I think I myself admire Prince Faramir though he did not meet with success but with death. For me it was a very tragical fate, but a fate not of vainglory but of a self-willed decision carried through to the end. He never revealed his ancestry. Only when the leader of the Eotheod searched his body he found tokens that showed him to be the Prince. No, if you make Prince Faramir "glory-seeking" then I have to protest vehemently.
And how we perceive Beregond depends much on our own nature and cultural background. I am a restrained person with a middle European calvinistic background. So for me Tolkien's Beregond is a very enthusiastic loving young personality:
'Faramir ! The Lord Faramir ! It is his call ! ... Help ! Help ! Will no one go out to him ? Faramir !'
With that Beregond sprang away and ran off into the gloom.
The last sentence reminds me of a young animal ;-)
Though a Brazilian might find Beregond's behaviour even serene, I do not know.
In Gondor (even more so than in Arnor, I think) there are many of the population, perhaps the majority, who are not Dunedain/Numenorean by descent. This is particularly true for the "common people" as opposed to the lords. In other words, much of the population consists of "Middle Men" rather than "High Men". (There are quite a number of quotes supporting this in the Origins section of my WIP Gondorians bio.)
I can easily see that the "common people" would be more mediaeval and superstitious than their Dunedain lords, just as most people in Europe were still mediaeval and superstitious even after the Enlightenment.
I thought that I would have to embellish my thoughts ;-)
OK, I think even the "common people" of Gondor are much more enlightened than peasants of the french country side around 1850.
Why ? Because of Elves and Maiar. The Maiar KNOW Eru, they know that superstition is superstition. They live with the Elves and the Men of Arda. The Maia Melian lived for many hundreds of years with Elves. And the Istari wander around in Arda. These Maiar are not saints that see God only in visions, they have experienced God. As for me the unfathomable God defines rationality superstition cannot grow between persons who are educated by Maiar. The Religion of Gondor and Arnor is much more enlightened than the religion of the french country side around 1850. These are my arguments why I see no astrologers as name givers. One cannot detect fate in stellar constellations IMO. God shows not the fate of beings through stellar constellations. Would a deer and a Man born at the same time have the same fate ? Or would God create this special fate (that the astrologer infers from the constellations) only for the Mannish baby but not for the deer baby ? Have living beings born at the same place and in the same minute the same fate ? E.g. a cat and a baby, or even identical human twins cut out of the mother's womb ? I cannot believe this.
It is the human brain that seeks order anywhere and uses any offered possibility to make sense out of uncertainty and chaotical informations. Stellar constellations and dreams provide such a possibility to divine a fate which instills order and sense into the uncertain future. I for my part can ere believe to experience God in dreams than I can believe that fate is defined by stellar constellations, but that's only me, others experience God maybe in stellar constellations. I am a physicist, I experience God in the universe but not in the two-dimensional projection of the stars in the intergalactic space around us.
Best wishes Elanor
- may the discussion go on
(and please forgive if I sometimes use not the correct words)
you are right "eigensinnig" has the connotation of headstrong in German also. But I wanted to use the connotation "independent", the rather direct translation "eigen" - self plus "sinnig" - "thinking".
But I do agree that he is a strong and independent person capable of acting on his own initiative: fine qualities for a leader indeed.
So I mean it in the sense of "independent", that is independently thinking. For me Faramir is a person who is a well balanced harmonious person who rests in himself (direct translation).
But I think you're characterising Faramir very much in the way Tolkien characterises his father: "a masterful lord, holding the rule of all things in his own hand. He said little. He listened to counsel, and then followed his own mind."
And yes, I see Faramir's personality to resemble his father's VERY much. The main difference for me is: Faramir takes pity on the lesser beings while his father scorns them.
He (Faramir) read the hearts of men as shrewdly as his father, but what he read moved him sooner to pity than to scorn.
(LoTR, App. A , The Stewards)
Now to Prince Faramir. You are right, we do not know much of him. And what we know is filtered by our minds and then fitted into our value systems. Maybe I interprete his deeds with steward Faramir in the back of my mind which induces me to see more tragical myth than a failed adventure seeker.
Looking again into UT.
OK, in my mind, when the wain raiders and their allies (attacking from north and south) concentrate in the east (and who later overwhelm Ondoher from the side when he is re-forming his lines to counter their onslaught), Prince Faramir realizes the danger of the looming invasion for Gondor. Shirking his duty to wait for the end in Minas Tirith and having not enough confidence in the abilities of Earnil he joins the Eotheod in disguise. I agree, not in such depressed despair as Eowyn, but IMO with a more male background of proving himself a worthy warrior in times of need. He is a young male not a female spurned by her love interest.
When I read those passages, I personally see a spoilt youth who is angry at being left at home. And, to me, it's not a sign of modesty but subterfuge that he's "in disguise" until he's killed: he'd be sent straight back home if anyone found out he was there.
Up to here I see no difference to Eowyn's tale.
Perhaps he's not "glory seeking" but I can't see his choice as the rational decision of a man on honour and sense.
Hmm, mythical heros are not men of sense, often not even of honour. IMO he tries to be a hero in the sense of the mythical hero, the lone warrior proving his battle skills.
To me, the tragedy of the end of the line of Kings in Gondor is precisely that too many of themlacked the necessary qualities to be good rulers.
Hmm, maybe, maybe not. History is not always kind to leaders. History is written by the survivors. And the survival depends often less on the leader's qualities than it depends on chance occurences. Would the Rohirrim have come two days earlier, the Pelennor would not have been overrun, Faramir might not have been injured by an arrow, Denethor might not have commited suicide and Aragorn might have not become king, at least not uncontested. I think, history meets out good and bad chances evenly. IMO the rulers of Arnor are not a iota better than the rulers of Gondor, ere worse, quibbling and fighting as they were between themselves. And these are the forebears of our future Elessar. No, aside of the mythical need for a king out of a male-male blood line I see no better quality in Aragorn than in Denethor which would gain him the right to be king. But as this is myth, Aragorn has the one necessary quality: the unbroken line of male to male succession. (And if you want my honest opinion: I feel Denethor to be the better ruler, better educated for the government, with deeper roots in Gondorian society and economy and with quite a good understanding for the Ranger duties ;-). Gondor will have to subsidize Arnor's development with tremendous efforts. So for me Gondor will be the more important part of the double kingdom for a long time. And contrary to the long history of a unified upper and lower Egypt, I believe Arnor and Gondor will separate again early after Aragorn's death. In my mind it is the Stewards who will rule Gondor with the Kings as heads of state loved by the people because of their mythical qualities blood-line, healing powers, and Elven relationship.)
And I really see no great difference between Eowyn (who had the luck to slay the the Witch King) and Prince Faramir (who simply died) with respect to fulfilling their duty. If Eowyn had been slayn you would judge her much harsher. History is kinder to the heroical survivors then to the undistinguished killed.
Best wishes from Elanor
who enjoys this discussion tremendously
and who realizes belatedly that we have lost Beregond in between
but I still feel they would not be as "enlightened" as the noblest families of Dunedain descent. They would personally have had little contact with Elves or Maiar. Look at how distrustful Eomer is of Galadriel and elves in general - and he has a Dunedain grandmother and is a nephew of a King. I think the common people of Gondor may be at a similar level of "superstition" to Eomer.
I fully agree to that. Nevertheless, religion is defined by the religious thinkers and those educated to perform the rites. As in Numenor it was the king who performed the rites at Meneltarma, I expect that the Ruling Stewards also were the leaders of religious rites as before and after them the Kings (here I am reminded of the Pharaohs, kings of ancient Egypt, who were spiritual leaders, defining which God was currently the one most worthy of adoration, extreme example for this feature is Ikhnaton).
Tolkien, UT, A Description of the Island of Númenor
Near to the centre of the Mittalmar stood the tall mountain called Meneltarma, Pillar of the Heavens, sacred to the worship of Eru Iluvatar . … Thrice only in each year the King spoke, offering prayer for the coming year at the Erukeyerme in the first days of spring, praise of Eru Iluvatar at the Erulaitale in midsummer, and thanksgiving to him at the Eruhantale at the end of autumn. At these times the King ascended the mountain on foot followed by a great concourse of the people, clad in white and garlanded, but silent.
With that in mind, I agree, surely superstition abounds in the less educated, but I cannot see that this encompasses consultations with astrologers about the fate of newborns. The catholic church condemned astrology: However, in the 16th and 17th cent., Christian theologists waged war against astrology. In 1585 astrology was officially condemned in a bull of Pope Sixtus V, and in 1631, Pope Urban VIII reinforced this with another bull.
Somehow I do not see Tolkien to allow divination and astrology even for the simple folk ;-).
So I see superstition practiced more in prayers to the Valar, or in folk practices as giving offerings to the Valar in hope to change fate or to receive help, or in such folk practices as "knocking on wood" to invite luck.
Maybe the idea is similar to an AU in spirit. I think of it more like the stories in Dwim's piece "To Unwrite Them", where the idea isn't to contradict Tolkien but to go against the way we normally characterize someone or something and see where that leads us.
yes, I certainly agree with you here. I, as a purist, see it as AU in spirit and would label it so. I also labeled Ang's "Hands of the King" in my recommendation as AU because I cannot see Dunedain having bastards (I even cannot visualize them being married more than once). So Ecthelion's numerous "out of wedlock" offspring in Ang's "Hands of the King" makes the story AU in spirit for me ;-).
I decided for once to step outside of what I and I think most people think about the meaning of names, develop a different scheme, and follow that scheme through to see where it lead. If people are able to suspend their disbelief long enough to enjoy the story, I think the story's a reasonable success.
I think, there are certainly not so many purists out there in fandom who might feel as bothered as much as I feel ;-)
If I feel bothered then I start to mull over what bothers me and that somewhat disturbs my enjoyment of the story. [I had once a lengthy discussion with Altariel about the reasons why Faramir's nervous breakdown in "A Game of Chess" bothered me so much. I learned quite many things in this discussion, about me, my perception of Faramir and his relationship with Denethor, and about the perceptions of others.]
Many heartfelt thanks for this story which engendered so many thoughts about Gondorian culture
so let's debate Prince Faramir (and Eowyn) further ;-)
I don't particularly find Eowyn's actions in riding with the Rohirrim to be admirable.
In HOME it is stated that Tolkien wanted a rider of Theoden's household to try to save him, if I remember rightly. And this one became Eowyn (early on described as Amazon, HOME7 p.437) when Tolkien found that Aragorn was too grim for Eowyn (HOME7 p.448 ):
Probably Eowyn should die to avenge or save Theoden.
Thus, only when Faramir came walking into the scenery Eowyn gained a right to live again as Faramir's bride (my interpretation).
I see Tolkien using the scenes with Faramir to bring Eowyn back into a better balance between duty and personal inclination. (And I think the reverse is true: Tolkien uses Eowyn to remind Faramir that he has personal needs he should not sacrifice as completely to duty as he has been doing so far.)
I agree to both.
BUT, and this is a real large BUT, this is myth: Tolkien thought it more important that Eowyn should act as a warrior bound to her head of kin than that she should act as a medieval lady guarding the family realm. And coming from myth, I completely agree with this view. The rationality in the duty-debate somehow not really grapples with Tolkien's intentions IMO.
I think the key words are the ones you have used: shirking his duty. Is that an admirable quality? Seeing a greater duty to a higher authority or principle, which is what I believe Steward Faramir does when he doesn't bring the Ring to Denethor, seems to me to be acceptable. Shirking ones duty when there is no greater duty does not seem acceptable to me.
I in principle agree to that. BUT, for me it is the higher duty to try one's outmost to save the country than to sit at home and safeguard the royal bloodline. In both cases I am fairly sure there were enough experienced warriors at home to defend the populace left behind.
So what is the higher duty for the heir ? Sit at home waiting to become King (Prince Faramir) or waiting to become the heiress of the land to be married to the future king (Eowyn) ? Or better ride out using the trained warrior skills in trying to save the land ? For me it is the second duty. I come from the mythical side not from the rational side. In myth the hero sets out on a quest, he does not wait at home to gain a kingdom.
Some of these arguments I tried to voice in a discussion
with MadGamgee about Problem of Eowyn, The: A Look at Ethics and Values in Middle-earth
citation from first post:
In conclusion, for me Eowyn chooses to ride as Dernhelm shirking her duty as an obedient proxy out of Theoden's kin because she decides to shield Rohan and her king herself and because she decides to seek either unexpected victory or honourable death on the battle-field together with her kin and king after having lost all hope for the future and especially for a honourable future as a great man's wife.
citation from last post:
In conclusion, I think 'shield-maiden' is a self-definition of Eowyn, who sets shielding her kin in glorious battle before shielding the people secured in Dunharrow by a host of experienced warriors waiting for the battle decision. She wants to be part of the decisive battle and she really seeks death in battle in contrast to Theoden and Eomer as she sees no other future for herself than in case of defeat to be butchered by Sauron's hordes or in case of victory to be married off to a Rohirrim noble.
OK, for me Prince Faramir and Eowyn act in similar ways. Eowyn and Prince Faramir go the way of the mythical hero, but Eowyn succeeds and Prince Faramir fails. Maybe Eowyn only succeeds because Steward Faramir has to find an appropriate wife as matrimony and offspring is Tolkien's scheme to reward his heros unmarred by the Ring.
but I have a hard time believing he could rationally consider Earnil to be incompetent.
Prince Faramir has not to consider Earnil as incompetent, IMO he only has to lose hope that the armies will be able to defend Gondor. Then he is justified IMO to go to war. Maybe he is even trying additionally to safeguard the royal line by joining the Eotheod and not the Gondorian Armies ? This fact of joining the Eotheod opens many ways for speculation ;-). AND, knowing Tolkien's hard work in chosing the right names for his protagonists, I simply look on Prince Faramir with my most open mind and my kindest eyes as for me Steward Faramir is my most admired Tolkien personality.
And in this I agree fully with you, my highest esteem has Faramir who shirks no duty whatsoever. Though, on the other hand, come to think of it, he has not to choose between being warrior and a 'sit at home heir'. [In my fic I give him such a choice as his father wants him to become a Minas Tirith soldier and self-willed Faramir gets the disapproving Denethor's consent to become a Ranger ;-) ]. Maybe if Denethor had not used his sons as weapons but had safeguarded them at home Faramir II had run away the same as Prince Faramir
. Ducks and covers
. I know many fanfic authors see Faramir as a being brutalized by his father but I see him as a personality who has more pity for than fear of his father. And he wants to defend the Gondorian culture. How should he do that in this society of continuous war than in becoming an accomplished warrior himself. I cannot see him sitting at home with scrolls even if his father had commanded this. It is not that he seeks the glory of a warrior, he uses his abilities simply to defend Gondor with all his might IMO.
Whereas I think I read somewhere recently that prophetic visions in Tolkien were a form of interaction and guidance by the Powers, which I can see being similar to what I know of the concept of saintly visions in the Catholic church.
Yes, dreams and visions I also can see as 'a form of interaction and guidance by' God.
Thank you for this interesting discussion
do not misunderstand me. I valour psychodramatic fics very much, I like them very often. And I like an elaborated cultural background.
but I don't think either of us is going convince the other one to become comfortable with the other's interpretation, although we can recognise the other one as being a valid one.
I do not know if I can become comfortable with a spoilt vainglory-seeking Prince Faramir. For any interpretation, being a purist through and through, I ask me always first: does this interpretation work within LoTR as it was written by Tolkien. And if it chafes it reduces my enjoyment because I constantly wonder how Tolkien would have written this.
BUT, I think you can write without many problems such a brat Prince Faramir convincingly even to me ;-). Maybe I would label it AU in spirit. Despite of labeling it AU in spirit I like Ang's story 'Hands of the King' very much, nevertheless.
my mind immediately leapt away to wondering if you would think it "heroic" for Faramir to abandon those scrolls (and the duty laid on him by Denethor) if those scrolls related to the supply lines and logistics for the Gondorian army. It's pretty hard in practical terms for warriors to do the heroic stuff without someone ensuring they have food, shelter and warmth - and the way my brain works, I simply can't ignore those needs.
You see, though I come from the mythical side, it is not taciturn Aragorn, THE mythical saviour-king, who is my hero. No it is eloquent, sophisticated Faramir. The one character which speaks the most sentences in the whole book, more than all the other characters together I sometimes suspect. And in a fantasy story Faramir would sit behind the scrolls and steer the armies from the background as any realistic leader knowing that his mind's work is more important than the small part in the grand scheme he could play as a captain.
Yet, to answer your question if [I] would think it "heroic" for Faramir to abandon those scrolls (and the duty laid on him by Denethor) if those scrolls related to the supply lines and logistics for the Gondorian army
: yes, I would think it heroic to abandon the scrolls about military supply lines. In a myth there are no supply lines, there is often not even a military command structure. An heroic warrior band is a band of individualists like the Sarmatian knights portrayed in the movie "King Arthur", which I very much enjoyed as a mythical tale. IMO Clive Owen's Arthur represents much more the mythical saviour-king than Viggo Mortensen's doubting Ranger. If I think of LoTR Aragorn then I see Clive Owen's Arthur not Viggo's Aragorn. Especially, if I try to visualize a raven haired Dunedain. Mythical fights are between the main leaders, realistical leaders stay on the hill and lead through the command structure, surrounded by their elite troups. Only when the troups are in imminent danger to be routed a realistical leader would fight with his men at the front to bolster their courage. Because realistical troups nearly always are routed if the leader falls. So, while a realistical leader has to have a strategical mind, a mythical leader has to have very good battle skills. Ergo: Faramir being a protagonist in a myth has to leave the scrolls and go to hone his battle skills.
Gondorian king Ondoher, on the other hand, is protagonist of a more historical narrative. He stays on the hill surrounded by his men, as is Theodred when he falls. You see: the realistical leaders fall despite behaving realistically. Only the mythical heros with supreme battle skills survive ;-). So Faramir save yourself, go and leave the scrolls, hone your battle skills !
As this is LoTR, the myth for England that Tolkien wanted to write, I think Faramir really has to comply to mythical surroundings somehow. So LoTR Faramir must be a warrior captain even if he would prefer to read and write. Rationality is not the right background for a myth. So for me Faramir is a role model because he does his duty as a mythical hero in a myth, and that is being a leader of warriors, though he would very much prefer to sit in the library. And in a myth young Faramir would set himself the goal to become an accomplished warrior, because hero myths are about lone warriors proving their battle skills outside of society. Only saviour-king heros come back from the wilderness into the towns, into society. Normal mythical heros stay in the wilderness, their wifes being often no more than quest prizes and bearer of offspring. So Steward Faramir is partly also a saviour-king type, but lacking the mythical blood-line he stays Steward and becomes not King.
And LoTR works for me because it is a myth, not because it is a fantasy novel with developed characters. Nevertheless I can enjoy fantasy LoTR fanfiction. I enjoy it as fantasy, but not as LoTR gap fillers.
As to the 'Eowyn' - 'Prince Faramir' - 'shirked duty' debate:
I wonder why nobody ever wondered about Aragorn sauntering around in Arda endangering this precious mythical male-male blood line. No, it is accepted all around in the fanfiction community that there is no heir around sitting fast at home while Aragorn takes on tasks any able Ranger could have fulfilled (Halbarad comes to my mind; maybe Halbarad is additionally this heir, but unconvincingly he falls on the Pelennor, and that he can boast a male-male blood line back to the kings of Arnor I do not remember to have ever read). Again, any able Ranger could have tracked Gollum, lead the Hobbits to Rivendell and beyond. Why do you all accept Aragorns dangerous lone wanderings, while Eowyn has to sit dutifully at home and show the stiff upper lip to the not-fighting populace ? I think this is due to the fact that you accept Aragorn as a mythical hero but not Eowyn. Do you really think a realistic throne heir wanders around lonely in the wilderness like Sigurd dragon slayer ? He would have least some companions as the mythical Beowulf or a friend as mythical CuChulain. Yet, I never read that anybody wondered about Aragorn's lonely wanderings. And in this context, what about the Captain of the White Tower who seeks Imladris unaccompanied ? No real leader of men would make a journey like this. It is again the mythical quest of the warrior alone in the wilderness. And don't you wonder that this last heir of Isildur battles on the Pelennor and at the Black Gate? No, I think not, because of all the trappings of the mythical hero: named sword, named horse, and unsurpassable battle skills.
So, why have Eowyn and Prince Faramir have to behave realistically but not Aragorn or Boromir ?
Despite these questions I eagerly await your realistical Prince Faramir story