What does Denethor mean with wizard student

Why did Denethor choose to get burned?

Expressed in a simple way: He was in despair over the loss of his kingdom, the loss of his sons, and the (probable) loss of his right to rule .

  • He didn't want to be Sauron's slave
  • He did not want to serve Aragorn
  • He didn't want his body to be preserved
  • He no longer had any of his sons
  • His house was effectively finished
  • His kingdom was coming to an end

Denethor had long used the Palantir of Minas Tirith. Eventually he was captured by Sauron and slowly had to see the Might of Mordor building. He eventually succumbed to the fact that it was was impossible To defeat Sauron.

'Go out and fight! Nullity. For a little space, you can triumph in the field for a day. But there is no victory against the power that is now emerging. So far only the first finger of his hand has been stretched to this city. The whole east is moving. And even now the wind of your hope betrays you and blows Anduin up a fleet of black sails. The west failed. It is time for everyone who would not be slaves to leave. '

He knew that if Sauron started an open war, he would lose. He knew this was inevitable. He did not want to become a slave to Mordor if Gondor fell.

'But his wisdom failed; and I fear, as the danger of his kingdom increased, he looked into the stone and was deceived: far too often, I think, since Boromir left. He was too big to submit to the will of the dark power, yet he only saw the things that power allowed him to see. The knowledge he received was undoubtedly often of use to him; but the vision of the great power of Mordor that was shown to him fed the despair of his heart until it overturned his mind . '


When we first see Denethor after Boromir's death, he says:

“Indeed the hour is dark,” said the old man, “and at such times you will usually come, Mithrandir. But although all indications are that the fate of Gondor is drawing closer, this darkness to me is now less than my own darkness .

Second, when Faramir died:

And as he (Pippin) watched, it seemed to him that Denethor was growing old before his eyes, as if something had torn in his proud will and his stern mind had been overturned. It might have worked with grief and remorse. He saw tears on that once tearless face, more unbearable than anger.

Denethor began as one who awoke from a trance and the flame died in his eyes and he wept; and he said: don't take my son from me! He's calling for me. '

He loved his sons very much and it pained him to see an old man, his sick little son Faramir, die. Not only that, the stewards' house would end with Denethor's death.

I sent my son into unnecessary danger, with no thanks, no blessing, and here he lies with poison in his veins. No, no, whatever in the war now, my line ends too, even that House of stewards failed .

Aragorn had the right to claim the kingship of Gondor. If he had claimed it while Denethor was still alive, Denethor would have been placed in the "second highest position" in Gondor. Denethor didn't want that. He loved to rule Gondor by his own judgments. He loved being in power and definitely didn't want to give it up.

"I would have things as they were in all the days of my life," answered Denethor, "and in the days of my long-fathers before me: to be the lord of this city in peace and leave my chair to a son after me "who would be his own master and not a wizarding student. But if fate denies me this, then I will have nothing: life has not diminished, nor has love halved, nor that Honor has waned. '

When he found out that there was an inheritance from Isildur, he was very upset and disappointed. I think he was more angry than desperate.

Yet in our speech together I learned the names and purposes of all of your companions. So!With your left hand you would use me as a shield against Mordor for a while and with your right you would raise this ranger of the north to push me out .

“But I tell you, Gandalf Mithrandir, I will not be your tool! I am the Anarion steward. I will not resign to be an upstart's Dotard Chamberlain.Even if his claim has been proven to me, he only comes from the line of Isildur.I will not bow to any such, the last of a ragged house that has long been deprived of authority and dignity . '

A little overreaction to calling someone an "upstart", isn't it?

As a bonus, I want to mention that Denethor knew who Aragorn was. Yes, the mighty Thorongil who "usurped" Ecthelion's love for Denethor in his youth was none other than Aragorn. Denethor did not want Aragorn to rule him, thus denying him the pleasure of "writing it about him"; he kills himself.

He was proud. He felt superior to other men who were the High King's steward. He believed that his body deserved to be burned, not saved and preserved 1 .

'Why? Why do the fools fly? 'said Denethor. “Better to burn earlier than late, because we have to burn. Go back to your campfire! And me? I will go to my stake now. To my pyre! No grave for Denethor and Faramir. No grave! No long slow sleep of death embalmed . We will burn like pagan kings before a ship ever sailed here from the west . The west failed. Go back and burn! '

Hence, in the face of all these factors, Denethor had no reason to live anymore.

PS: Most of the relevant quotes that I have included can be found in the chapter: The pyre of Denethor. The rest is scattered in the 3rd book.

1 : Kudos to @Quasi_Stomach in the comments for the better interpretation.


He believed Gondor was hopeless, but that was due to Sauron's subtle manipulation of the palantir. And with "Dotard Chamberlain of an Upstart" he refers to himself as what he would become.

John Bode

+1 to find a way to use "hella" and "daresay" in the same sentence.


To "he looked into the stone and was deceived": Sauron is truly also the master of false news.


I do not think that "slow sleep of death" referred to "slow death" but rather to the way the bodies of their rulers were so well preserved that they only seemed to be asleep.

Jerry coffin

While military loss was likely inevitable, part of what it was shown (and especially the part that likely finally broke it) was technically true, but quite deceptive. Sauron showed him the fleet of black ships and made him believe that it was inevitable that he would lose the battle that day. In fact, this black fleet had been taken over by Aragorn and his ghost army. Instead of driving the final nail into the coffin as Denethor thought, they actually saved the day.