Monday, November 18, 2013

MEC Day 18: Favorite Female Character

"Ride with me."
"My lady!"

If any of you has read much of my blog, surely you know from previous posts and the big picture I've got pasted on the end of my blog, you already know who my favorite lady from Middle-Earth is. Yup, Eowyn.

So, we good?

Okay, fine. I'll go a little deeper. *ahem* So, why do I like Eowyn?

One of the first things people think about when they talk about Eowyn is her bravery. She's not your typical damsel in distress. She's a shieldmaiden, the shieldmaiden of Rohan, and not in some tomboy, tomfoolery way. Eowyn has the ability to fight and wield a sword just as well as a man, but she doesn't hold that over everyone's heads. Nor does she push herself out of being a girl to act like a man for attention. 

If there's one thing I don't like, it's a girl always acting as a guy. It's one thing to have the skills that a man possesses as far as weaponry and battle go, but most girls in fantasy take that over the top. You always see them dressed in armor, spitting, punching, and doing everything else that would describe them as a boy and throwing out anything that could even pin them down as a girl. Yet, although she dresses as a man for the battle of Pelennor Fields, Eowyn doesn't give up her girly side to do what she believes is right. She incorporates fighting and feminine all in one character. 

But why did Eowyn go into battle in the first place? First and foremost, to help her uncle, Theoden. She felt it her duty to protect him, and she could see no other option than to follow him into battle. She didn't go to flaunt her skills. She went to protect her family. She went to keep from being useless, a state that pretty much was her biggest fear.

Aragorn: You have some skill with the blade.

Eowyn: The women of this country learned long ago. Those without swords can still die upon them. I fear neither death nor pain.

Aragorn: What do you fear, my lady?

Eowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them, and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.

Eowyn also went because she knew she was capable of actually fighting. Aragorn caught her practicing with the sword, and he, a skilled master of the balde, recognized that she had talent (conversation above). At Helm's Deep, a TTT deleted scene shows Eowyn begging Aragorn to allow her to fight on the wall alongside the men. She wanted to defend her king, kin, and kingdom just as much as any of the Rohirrim did. Yet, Aragorn denied her that request. At Pelennor Fields, she disguised herself as Dernhelm, a soldier under Theoden's banner, and rode into the fray with Merry. Although she could not save her uncle from death, she did fight and destroy the Witch King, the one enemy who claimed no man could kill him.

Eowyn: I am no man.

Eowyn also has a gentle side, and that comes out more in the books and in the extended editions of the films. She mourns over her cousin Theodred's death, tending to him as best as she can, especially after her brother's banishment in the films, and in TTT extended, she sings a lament at his burial. She tends her uncle in growing fear, seeing him whither away day by day. When Gandalf is breaking the spell Saruman holds over Theoden, Eowyn sees only her uncle in pain and immediately rushes forward to aid him. In the celebration of their victory at Helm's Deep, Eowyn offers drinks to the soldiers, congratulating them. 

After Pelennor Fields, she lies wounded on the battleground, where Eomer finds her and cries over her, not knowing that she was even in the fight until he thought it too late. Aragorn has her taken to the Houses of Healing (pretty much the renowned hospital in Gondor), where he mends her broken arm. 

I do want to take this time (while it's on my mind) to say that I still l still like Eowyn despite her unnecessary attachment to Aragorn. She was fond of him as a friend, yet he being the man who stayed to help defend her kingdom at no thought to his own well-being, that fondness grew into a deeper appreciation for this Ranger from the North. Finding out that he was 87 years old was a blow, as was his telling her that he could not give her the love she sought for. After Pelennor Fields, Eowyn understood it all, though the death of her uncle left her in a deep sorrow.

Okay, back to the Houses of Healing. It is here where Eowyn meets Faramir, Captain of Gondor, who is also staying there for injuries he received earlier when trying to reclaim Osgiliath at his father's request. Faramir helps Eowyn get over her sorrow, and in the book, he even grants her wish to leave the Houses of Healing when she is feeling better. Their romance isn't something that is a great part of LOTR, but it's often named as the favorite romance in Middle-Earth, even more than Aragorn's and Arwen's. 

For more details about the 30 Day Middle-Earth Challenge, please visit here!



  1. Love Eowyn! She is by far my favorite female character :)

  2. This is exactly what I love about Eowyn! I totally agree with you about Eowyn's Fighting-feminism. She is also my favourite character, but I do like her better in the book. She seems a little bit more feminine.