Beregond is one character that I am upset they did not include in the film version of The Return of the King. We first meet him as Pippin’s tour guide around Minas Tirith, but he becomes much more prominent during the insanity of Denethor.
Denethor, due to the visions he had seen through the palantir, concluded that there was no hope for his city, and as a result he was going to burn himself and his injured, yet still alive, son Faramir before they fell into the hands of the enemy. Pippin witnessed these events unfolding as a guard of the Citadel, and he ran to find Gandalf, thus deserting his post which was forbidden for soldiers of Gondor.
Beregond tried to warn him against doing this because of an obligation to his duty to the Steward. Pippin, however, does not have time for this interruption.
“‘Well, you must choose between orders and the life of Faramir,’ said Pippin. ‘And as for orders, I think you have a madman to deal with, not a lord. I must run. I will return if I can.’”
At this point, Pippin runs off, and you are left to wonder what happened to Beregond. There is a several chapter hiatus until we come back to the scene, and we find that Beregond made a decision.
“For there were the servants of Denethor with swords and torches in their hands; but alone in the porch upon the topmost step stood Beregond, clad in the black and silver of the Guard; and he held the door against them. Two of them had already fallen to his sword, staining the hallows with their blood; and the others cursed him, calling him outlaw and traitor to his master.”
He knew that he was committing treason and violating the rules of his commander, but he had to do what was right. He even stood against his former comrades because he did not want to allow Denethor to act on his madness and kill himself along with his son.
You can only imagine how difficult this must have been. He was one man standing between life and death. Specifically, he was protecting Faramir from his murder at the hands of his father who had lost his mind. He was violating the law to do what he knew was right.
I am not calling for anarchy obviously, but I am saying that there are times where there is a higher standard than human institutions. Beregond knew that it was important for him to do that which was right in this very difficult situation. I personally have not been in any type of situation like this, but you think about people like Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He had a decision to make. He could either continue being faithful to the word of God, or he could follow Nazi law.
He chose what was right over what was legal. Ideally, he would have never had to make this choice if the law itself was right.