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He was the one who kept the two brothers together whenever it was possible. In fact he insisted upon it. He told them briefly that brothers must stand together and let nothing come in between them.
In personality, both sons were so different that Denethor often feared they would form a rift between themselves once they grew older. Faramir was quiet, cautious and moved closer to pity. He looked for solutions that ended with friendship. Boromir was straightforward, sometimes reckless, every inch of him a leader on the battlefield but he lacked Faramir's way with words and actions.
Quarrels were the norm when the two were children. As much as the saying went the brothers always fought, Denethor refused to let them continue their squabbles. He nipped the custom in the bud.
"Neither of you will retire to bed until you put your differences aside." He used to command them. "You are the future of this land, and I will not have you risk it over a petty argument."
It was when they had grown that they understood the depth of their father's wisdom. Conceited nobles who were always plotting to gain more power tried to drive a wedge between the two brothers. But Denethor's stern discipline only brought them closer after each experience. And so, the two brothers enjoyed playful banter whenever they ate with their father. Denethor enjoyed their exchanges, even though he did not side with either of them. At one occasion, after the two had returned from a mission that involved their participation, Boromir had taken to teasing his sibling mercilessly
"He spends much of his time in books!" Boromir exclaimed to his father. "Every time we camped, every time we stopped by a city, I would find him usually in whatever miserable room they called a library. At one time, I was afraid he would bring a book rather than his sword to battle!"
"A learned man who is a soldier as well is a mighty man, Boromir," Denethor advise in his calm, eloquent way. "You may learn something from your younger brother yet."
But Faramir was not one to be so quickly outwitted. With a raised brow and a small knowing smile he inherited from Denethor, the younger brother said. "Kindly observe, father, the vain attempt of attacking me in a way to mask the identity of his lady love."
Denethor laughed heartedly at that.
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