How are Denenthor and Theoden different (& How are they similar)?

By Peter Jackson film adaptation of Lord of the Rings The trilogy focuses heavily on the importance of the kings, and their love for their kingdom and people. The film also shows the flip side of this, and how these once mighty rulers can become stricken and desperate when left in the hands of incompetent rulers. This can mainly be seen in the portraits of Denethor, Steward of Gondor, and Theoden, King of Rohan.

Both Theoden and Denethor teach audiences something about the power and will of Humanity. They represent the same path, and they share the same fear for the future of their kingdom, but they make very different choices that ultimately lead to very different outcomes for the characters. their. To understand how and why their paths differ, it’s important to start by looking at the similarities in how they begin. First and foremost, that’s when these characters are introduced in NS Two towers, both are being corrupted by outside influences, which makes them weak and aged ahead of their time, and their kingdoms ready to attack and raid.


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For Theoden, the influence came from the Grima Wormtongue, who was infecting the king’s mind with his temper and evil counsel. In the chapter ‘The King of the Golden Hall’, Gandalf says of the man, “The whisper of the Wormtongue is forever in your ears, poisons your heart, cools your thoughts, weakens your limbs, in when others watch and can’t do anything, because your will is in his hands.”

lord of the rings theoden features Cut

By the time Gandalf and the other members accompanied him to Rohan, Theoden had become stooped, gray, and beyond all reason. The same can be said of Denethor, but his suffering and old age came from another external source. For Denethor, it was the use of Palantir, one of the seven remaining Sighting Stones in Middle-earth (assisted in Saruman’s corruption) lies in a tower in Minas Tirith, absorbing his powers and poisoning his mind. He, like Theoden, is considered old before he should be, as he has used his last of his powers to try to defy his will. Demon Lord Sauron as he looks to the palantir to see the growing threat at the edge of his border.

Both characters are heartbroken for another reason: The death of their eldest son and heir. Theoden mourns the loss of his son Theodred, and places him to rest in the hills with his ancestors. Before that, he sent his remaining male heir, Eomer, leader of the Rohan riders, to follow Wormtongue’s orders, but was able to call him back and reaffirm his allegiance. . Denethor is devastated by the loss of his eldest brother Boromir, who died protecting Merry and Pippin from orcs attacking fellowship. He was so abandoned that he couldn’t see the pain clearly and nearly killed his remaining male heir, Faramir.

At this point, however, their paths are different, and the choices they make will lead them to success and failure respectively. In the face of the possibility of impending doom, in which the Dark Lord would take over Middle-earth and destroy all that is good in the world, Theoden chooses the path of hope. He chooses to go out with his warriors and fight, showing that the will of Man cannot be broken, and still has the nobility and leadership found in ancient kings. . He warned that blood would be shed, and lives would be lost, but ended his famous speech with the phrase ‘sunrise’, meaning there would be a future filled with light and hope for those who lost their lives. survive. In the ensuing battle, Kind Theoden died after watching his niece Eowyn sacrifices everything to try to save him, but his death was an honor, and he earned the right to join his ancestors in a heroic position, “with whose mighty companionship, now he won’t feel ashamed.”

denethor face and cup lotr

On the other hand, Denethor, when faced with a similar choice, chose the path of fear and despair. Although there are some Denethors character changes Between the books and the movies, one thing that remains consistent is his choice to go to his death. He knows somewhere deep down that Faramir is alive, but he refuses to admit it because he has given up, and wants nothing more than to escape the trial and coming darkness by going to his flaming grave, and brought with him Faramir. He laid himself on the pyre with his son, saying to Gandalf, “You may be victorious in battle for a day, but against the power that has risen in the east, there is no victory.” This demonstrates what happens when the power of the Male is defeated, and the leader must succumb to darkness and cowardice. Gandalf and Pippin were able to rescue Faramir at the last moment, and Denethor dies in the dramatic cinematic scene where he falls from the railings of Minas Tirith, thus ending his rule and opening sugar for The true king of Gondor, Aragorn.

Despite their very different endings, both Theoden and Denethor are characters richly portrayed with nobility and pride, and Lord of the Rings Fans everywhere hope that they can both find some peace in their final rest.

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The source: Lord of the Rings books by JRRTolkien

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