I'm sure my son was referring to the book version. All I could remember was the movie version, which basically (I thought) showed Denethor trying to burn Faramir, and Denethor only gets burned in the ensuing scuffle of the rescue of Faramir -- not like that was his original intent...
No the movie has most of it right. Denethor plans on both of them dying. He pours oil over himself and the pyre of wood that he had made. He then starts the fire and Gandalf and Pippin break in and rescue Faramir.
This is so tragic. Imagine that man's life now. Imagine his wife's. Why, to register our fury at Death and Chaos, do we always seem to have such strong impulses to join forces with them? Why don't we instead have an urge to oppose them, like rivka's kindness guy did after his wife and child were killed?
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