"If I return,think better of me father."
"It depends on the manner of your return." -Denethor
Faramir was the second son of Denethor II, the Steward of Gondor at the time of the War of Ring. As one of the Dúnedain, Faramir, tall with the tell-tale grey eyes and dark hair of those of the realm of Gondor, contained in him the almost pure looks and wisdom of those men of ancient Númenor, something matched in no one else, save Aragorn. As a result of this, Faramir contained the gift of clear sight, enabling him to truly see into the very hearts of men. But where his father Denethor contained a similar gift that moved him to disdain, Faramir’s gift led him to pity those who lacked the strength to remain steadfast. This, combined with Faramir’s quiet, gentle, and more studious nature (vs. his brother’s bolder, more warrior-esque temperment), would result in constant conflict between father and son.
Very similar in looks and mind to his father, he was loved by all in the city, save Denethor, who could only perceive what he saw as Faramir’s various shortcomings. As a result of this, Faramir’s older brother by five years, Boromir, made it his duty to protect his younger brother against their father’s grievances. Faramir looked up to Boromir and there was no rivalry between the brothers despite the fact that Boromir was always their father’s favorite. Faramir was skilled at arms and strategy, becoming a Captain of Gondor, leading the Rangers of Ithilien, who were commissioned to patrol the outskirts of Mordor. During one such patrol, Faramir happened upon Frodo and Sam as they made their way to Mordor to destroy the One Ring. Seeing that the Ring was a dangerous weapon, Faramir assisted the two Hobbits in their journey despite the fact that he knew his life was forfeit as a result of letting them go. He also learned of the sad fate of his brother, who proved unable to resist the powerful draw of the ring, for around the same time, Faramir stumbled upon the funeral boat of his Boromir in the Anduin river, taking his Great Horn back to his father in Minas Tirith.
On his way back to Minas Tirith from the island of Cair Andros, Faramir and two other Rangers were pursued by five of the nine Nazgul, from which they were saved by Gandalf. In Minas Tirith, Faramir met with Denethor, who was angry that he let Frodo and Sam go, stating that Boromir would not have failed him in letting the Ring go and that he wished Faramir’s and Boromir’s places had been reversed. Denethor also commanded Faramir to lead the troops into battle in Osgiliath, a move that would essentially equal suicide. Faramir did so, though he openly disagreed. During the assault, Faramir was injured by what was believed to be a the Witch-King’s dart and taken back to his father on the verge of death. Bereft with grief, Denethor lost his mind, leaving defense of the city to Gandalf and Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth (Denethor’s brother-in-law) as he watched over Faramir. With the Sauron’s forces closing in the first levels of the city and his only remaining son on the verge of death, Denethor lost his mind, commanding that a funeral pyre be built for him and his son rather than have them both be captured by Sauron’s forces. Beregond, a loyal soldier of Gondor, held off Denethor’s servants who were commanded to set the pyre aflame as Pippin informed Gandalf of the situation. As Pippin saved Faramir from the burning funeral pyre, a maddened Denethor jumped back in the flames, silently burning alive on his own funeral pyre with the Palantir in his hands, thus ending his life.
Faramir was taken to the Houses of Healing, and healed of what was actually a Southron’s arrow and the Black Breath of the Nazgul by Aragorn. Too injured to march on the Black Gate with the Host of the West, he stayed behind. While in the Houses he met Eowyn, still grieving over the fact that she was still alive after facing off and slaying the Witch King and still in despair over her supposed love for Aragorn. Moved to pity upon seeing what lay in her heart, Faramir counseled the Lady of Rohan, bringing her out of their despair. They eventually fell in love, sealing it with a kiss on the white walls of Minas Tirith as the Ring was destroyed. When Aragorn returned from the Black Gate and was crowned king, Faramir was made Steward of Gondor and granted Ithilien, becoming Prince of Ithilien, with Beregond becoming Captain of his guard. The next year, he married Eowyn, and they moved to Emyn Arnen, a range of hills in Ithilien within sight of Minas Tirith. They had at least one son, Elboron, who became the second Prince of Ithilien upon Faramir’s death in F.A. 82.