Boromir is the eldest son and heir to Denathor, the Steward of Gondor. He is a fearless warrior and loyal to his people. He is also headstrong and opinionated which causes him to clash with Gandalf and later Aragorn whenever he feels that the Fellowship is being led incorrectly. He is first introduced to the reader at the Council of Elrond where he is selected as one of the nine members of the Fellowship. 

Boromir has an important thematic function in The Fellowship of the Ring. One of the text’s key themes is the corrupting influence of power. Tolkien uses Boromir to personify this crucial theme in the text because he, more so than any character in the novel, feels the pull of the Ring. Boromir wants to bring the Ring to Gondor and use it to defeat Sauron from the moment that he learns of the Ring at the Council of Elrond. He is eventually persuaded by the Council but his desire to possess the Ring only grows the longer he spends in its presence. The corrupting power of the Ring continues to consume Boromir until, in a moment of madness, he tries to take the Ring from Frodo at the end of the text. This moment is crucial because it causes Frodo and Sam to leave their companions, thus breaking the Fellowship. 

However, it is important to note that unlike the text’s truly evil characters like Saruman and Sauron, Boromir is not inherently bad. The temporary madness that consumes Boromir during his and Frodo’s final interaction dissipates the moment the Ring is no longer in his presence. Boromir then comes back to himself and is consumed with guilt and shame for what he has done. Through his exploration of Boromir’s guilt, Tolkien expects his readers to understand that Boromir is not a villain. He is simply ambitious and wants to see Gondor thrive which makes him susceptible to the Ring because the Ring takes hold of people by manipulating their desires. Through Boromir, Tolkein reminds his readers many people who went mad with power started out with good intentions.