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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Éowyn Should Have Been The Leading Lady

Dear friends,

I am sure that a fair part of you lads/lasses have watched The Lord Of The Rings before. If you have not, well... what on Earth have you been waiting for and under what rock were you hidded for so long?! I was one of the lucky persons who got to love Tolkien through his books and later on saw the adaptations. Even though they somewhat go sideways from the book I still love them with all my heart and I consider them as work of art. Take from example the fact that in the books the relationship between Arwen and Aragorn is not that extensive and Arwen is just a minor character.
My Very Own Sketch Of Eowyn, Lady Of Rohan
One thing I was sure from the very beginning I lay my eyes on the description of Éowyn: I would love her with all my heart and I would wish I would be her and say the most awesome line of the book "I am no man!". Miranda Otto plays Éowyn so brilliantly that you think that she was born for that part! Éowyn is the one that never once disappointed the readers. She was the one who would join the battle and fight the Witch King. And win! Now think of that: the book was first published in the 1950's so the idea of a women - actually almost a girl, a young lass that was not even married - on the battlefield, fighting side by side with the most fearsome war heroes, and winning against all odds was quite an extraordinary thing! I have to say Tolkien was quite a visionary :)
 You might not have known this but in Tolkien's first drafts of LotR, he intended for Éowyn (called "Éowyn Elfsheen") to marry Aragorn and become Queen of Gondor. Below are a few of the passages that highlight Tolkien's first thoughts on A/E. These are published in The History of Middle Earth series edited by Christopher Tolkien. The first plans for A/E appear in The Treason of Isengard, and the rest appear in The War of the Ring. Parts in italics are Christopher Tolkien's commentary; the rest is Tolkien's writing.
 ***
From the first draft of "The King of the Golden Hall"
Éowyn Elfsheen daughter of Éomund?
Very fair and slender she seemed. Her face was filled with gentle pity, and her eyes shone with unshed tears. So Aragorn saw her for the first time in the light of day, and after she was gone he stood still, looking at the dark doors and taking little heed of other things.
Aragorn was silent, but his eyes followed Éowyn
Long she looked upon Aragorn, and long he looked upon her
And after Théoden’s words, Aragorn says: ‘If I live, I will come, Lady Éowyn, and then maybe we will ride together.’ Then Éowyn ‘smiled and bent her head gravely.’
Aragorn weds Éowyn sister of Éomer (who becomes Lord of Rohan) and becomes King of Gondor.
***
Tolkien's notes on the chapter:
? Cut out the love story of Aragorn and Éowyn. Aragorn is too old and lordly and grim. Make Éowyn a stern amazon woman.
If so, alter the message of Galadriel:
    Elfstone, Elfstone, bearer of my green stone,
    In the south under snow a green stone thou shalt see.
    Look well, Elfstone! In the shadow of the dark throne
    Then the hour is at hand that long hath awaited thee.
The green stone was borne on Théoden’s brow (a diamond in the final version), and Éowyn would stand "in the shadow of the dark throne." Probably Éowyn should die to avenge or save Théoden.
But my father added in a hasty scribble the possibility that Aragorn did indeed love Éowyn, and never wedded after her death.
Random passages and notes:
They strike the Dunharrow ravine on the second day. Aragorn rides with Éowyn.
Aragorn had already arrived and greets King Théoden side by side with Éowyn.
Aragorn and Éowyn meet the King. They say that Riders are mustering at Dun Harrow.
Éowyn says that women must ride now, as they did in a like evil time.
On either side of the King were Éowyn and Éomer, and Aragorn beside Éowyn.
Original version of Éowyn slaying the Witch-King:
But Théoden was not alone. One had followed him: Éowyn daughter of Éomund, and all had feared the light of her face, shunning her as night fowl turn from the day. Now she leapt from her horse and stood before the shadow; her sword was in her hand.
"Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey," said a cold voice, "or he will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness where thy flesh shall be devoured and thy shrivelled mind be left naked."
She stood still and did not blanch. "I do not fear thee, Shadow," she said. "Nor him that devoured thee. Go back to him and report that his shadows and dwimor-lakes are powerless even to frighten women." The great bird flapped its wings and leapt into the air, leaving the king’s body, and falling upon her with beak and claw. Like a shaft of searing light a pale sword cold as ice was raised above her head.
She raised her shield, and with a swift and sudden stroke, smote off the bird’s head. It fell, its vast wings outspread crumpled and helpless on the earth. About Éowyn the light of day fell bright and clear. With a clamour of dismay the hosts of Harad turned and fled . . . Éowyn stepped to the king. "Alas, Théoden son of Thengel," she said. "But you have turned the tide. See, they fly. The enemy is broken by fear. Never did an old Lord of Men die better. You shall sleep well, and no Shadow nor foul thing assail your bed."
There is no suggestion that Éowyn was in any way hurt in the encounter with the Lord of the Nazgûl or after . . . no part was foreseen for Merry in the great event.
I hope you find this as entertaining as I did :) And do tell me, what are your thoughts upon the Lady Of Rohan, the fair Éowyn? Are you proud of her ruling and being the one who killed the Witch King? I know I was, I was cheering up and smiling, saying "You go girl!" :)

P.S. And I am glad she did not end up with Aragorn but rather with Faramir. For me Faramir was much more of a man and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay underestimated by everyone, including his father! He would totally be my pick of a man, so way to go Éowy, you made the right choice! He will love and cherish you forever!

Yours truly,
A LadyBug Eowyn & Rohan Fan :)