The Case for Boromir

“The Ring must go to Boromir.  Taking it to Mount Doom is too risky, and the chance of success is nil.  You can’t win that way.”

“But Gandalf said it was the only way to ensure . . .”

“Gandalf is dead; he is of no use to us now.  Sauron will overrun the world of men and destroy us all unless we retaliate in kind, with the kind of power he respects – the kind of power that can defeat him.”

“But the ring is evil and may well corrupt Boromir.”

“I would rather serve under a corrupted Boromir than Sauron.  Destroying the ring is an impossible task we cannot even consider now.  I would serve under a man with the ring than that hideous eye.”

“Won’t that destabilize the kingdom?  His father may try to take it from him, as will many others.  Even if we defeat Sauron, the world of men may fall apart, as men wage war over who may control the ring.”

“The world of men is corrupt.  The current king (or, rather, steward) of Gondor sits on his high throne, barely touched by the realities of war and how the world works.  The other rulers are little better.  Some creative destruction is needed.  A better order will rise from the ashes. The current order is too corrupt and fallen to be of any use; if the world must burn to save it, so be it. Better Boromir than Sauron any day. We have no choice but to go with the lesser of two evils.”

“I am still not sure.  I may try to destroy the ring anyway.”

“Then you will fail; you are casting a vote for Sauron to win if you do so.”

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About Ivan Wolfe

Ivan Wolfe teaches rhetoric at Arizona State University. He has a PhD in English from the University of Texas - Austin, and a BA and MA in English (with minors in Classical Greek, Music, and Philosophy) from BYU. He has several credits on various Christmas albums aimed at the LDS market, several essays in Open Court's Popular Culture and Philosophy series, and various book reviews in academic and popular venues. He also competes in Scottish Highland Games and mud run/obstacle course races, and he can deadlit over double his bodyweight (his last PR was over 500 pounds). He is currently married to Lisa Renee Wolfe. He has six kids and four stepkids.

11 thoughts on “The Case for Boromir

  1. Important nitpick: “The current king of Gondor…” is incorrect. Gondor did not have a king at the time. It had a steward, Denethor, who was Boromir’s father. While Denethor did descend into madness and may have seen himself as a king by that point, Gondor did not have a king until the reign of Aragorn began. In the movies, Boromir himself confirmed this when he told Aragorn at Rivendell “Gondor has no king. Gondor needs no king.”

  2. So what you’re saying is that taking the ring to Mt. Doom is kind of like voting for Darrell Castle. Amiright?

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