Return of the King Book 5, Chapter 7
Near the gate, Gandalf hears the pleas of Pippin and runs off to stop Denethor from killing Faramir. He is torn between doing this and facing the Lord of the Nazgul, but he must put his faith in the Rohirrim. He tells Imrahil to take command of the army. They climb to the inner walls and find that Beregond has left his post. Within there is the ringing of swords and Gandalf tells them to stop. Beregond has slain two of the servants. Denethor tells Gandalf to kill Beregond. Gandalf asks why he is in the house of the dead. Denethor says that Faramir is already on the fire. Gandalf finds that the pyre has not yet been lit and he picks up the body of Faramir. Denethor watches him do this and Gandalf tells him that it is not his right to decide his son's death. Denethor exposes a glowing palantir and tells Gandalf that the black fleet will sail up the Anduin and kill them all. Denethor announces that he will not be supplanted by a new King because the king would be "'last of a ragged house long bereft of lordship and dignity.'" Book 5, Chapter 7, pg. 142. Denethor draws out a knife and calls for his servants to help him. He lights the pyre and throws his body onto it. Gandalf closes the door and tells the servants and Beregond that they now serve Faramir. He tells them to take him to the houses of healing. They pass into the high circles of the city to find many men lying on beds. Gandalf leaves Faramir with Pippin and Beregond and looks down. Gandalf knew that there was a palantir in Minas Tirith but he thought Denethor was wise enough not to use it. It turned his spirit dark with fear of Mordor. Beregond had seen the light of the stone on many occasions. The wizard decides that his powers are of better use in the houses of healing.