Denethor sends Faramir to defend Osgiliath
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: March 11, 3019
An event in the prelude to the Siege of Minas Tirith; see that entry for an overview:
'[The garrison at Osgiliath] is not strong,' said Faramir. 'I have sent the company of Ithilien to strengthen it, as I have said.'
'Not enough, I deem,' said Denethor. 'It is there that the first blow will fall.'....
[The] Lord of the City was master of his Council, and he was in no mood that day to bow to others. Early in the morning the Council had been summoned. There all the captains judged that because of the threat in the South their force was too weak to make any stroke of war on their own part, unless perchance the Riders of Rohan yet should come. Meanwhile they must man the walls and wait.
'Yet,' said Denethor, 'we should not lightly abandon the outer defences, the Rammas made with so great a labour. And the Enemy must pay dearly for the crossing of the River. That he cannot do, in force to assail the City, either north of Cair Andros because of the marshes, or southwards towards Lebennin because of the breadth of the River, that needs many boats. It is at Osgiliath that he will put his weight, as before when Boromir denied him the passage.'
'That was but a trial,' said Faramir. 'Today we may make the Enemy pay ten times our loss at the passage and yet rue the exchange. For he can afford to lose a host better than we to lose a company. And the retreat of those that we put out far afield will be perilous, if he wins across in force.'....
'Much must be risked in war,' said Denethor.... 'I will not yield the River and the Pelennor unfought — not if there is a captain here who has still the courage to do his lord's will.'
Then all were silent, but at length Faramir said: 'I do not oppose your will, sire. Since you are robbed of Boromir, I will go and do what I can in his stead — if you command it.'
'I do so,' said Denethor.
'Then farewell!' said Faramir. 'But if I should return, think better of me!'
'That depends on the manner of your return,' said Denethor.
Gandalf it was that last spoke to Faramir ere he rode east. 'Do not throw your life away rashly or in bitterness,' he said. 'You will be needed here, for other things than war. Your father loves you, Faramir, and will remember it ere the end. Farewell!'
So now the Lord Faramir had gone forth again, and had taken with him such strength of men as were willing to go or could be spared.
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 4, The Siege of Gondor
Elena Tiriel 5Sep04