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The Pyre of Denethor
Denethor is reduced to even deeper madness, still trying to command a funeral pyre in which to kill himself and his wounded son Faramir. Beregond, who has been trying to stop the building of the pyre, has been called a traitor and Denethor is about to have him killed. Just in time, Gandalf comes and tries to talk sense into the deranged father and leader of his people.
Denethor is outraged at Gandalf, whom he mistakenly believes has not only stolen his son but now his servants too. He is upset that Aragorn will rule his people, though he knows this leadership is just and earned.
Denethor throws himself onto the pyre along with one of the palantir, or seeing stones. He kills himself. Gandalf carries Faramirís body to the house of healing. Eomer comes to Gandalf and tells him that all along it had been suspected that Denethor wrestled with the enemy in thought and has now finally succumbed.
The palantir has been Denethorís undoing. Just as Gollum becomes a pathetic character undone by his own evil transformation, so Denethor is a struggling tragic hero--a man who might have saved himself if he had known how to resist temptation.