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It’s no secret that one of my favorite LOTR characters is Eowyn. (“Of course you like her, she’s a girl”. Let’s remember what Joss Whedon said about having to have characters you identify with and how it’s perfectly normal for me to like the woman character being that I am in fact, a woman.) Anyway here are my thoughts on The White Lady of Rohan.
I don’t just love her because she’s badass and kills one of the biggest foes in the trilogy. I love her because of the character development that leads her to that point in the story. She starts off as this young woman in a completely shitty situation; her parents are dead, brother’s been banished, Uncle-King looking like some creepy zombie and a gross guy trying to get in her pants. She’s hopeless beyond belief yet she continues to hold it together for her people the best she can. It’s completely understandable that when Aragorn shows up at Edoras and brings some hope into the situation she falls head over heels with him (I mean, look at that handsome BAMF, who wouldn't?).
Even when she realizes he won’t ever love her she still soldiers on and tries to be strong for her people. It must have been frustrating when she wanted to join the fight on the way to Helm’s Deep but instead had to carry on and lead her people to safety, yet she did it. She’s always the loyal niece, staying by her Uncle’s side through it all. Until the final battle in which she deliberately disobeys him but still, it’s for the right reasons.
By the time Pelennor Fields rolls around Eowyn has gone from girl to woman, so to speak. She’s lost and found both hope and love and has decided that she won’t go down without a fight. Even after being warned away by her brother she disguises herself as a man and joins in the fray. And of course she picks up brave Merry as well, since they are bonded by the fact that neither are considered strong enough to fight yet their wills overpower that prejudice. What I love about her more than anything during the battle is scene is the look of complete terror on her face the whole time. Despite being well-trained in swordsmanship she’s presumably never been in a real battle and knows she will probably die. It makes perfect sense that she’s terrified. Yet she soldiers on nonetheless. That is true courage right there. Eowyn first uses her wits to take down an oliphant. Awesome.
Then comes my favorite moment of the trilogy. The Witch King has it out for her uncle Theodon and the prophecy says that no man can kill him. BUT SHE IS NO MAN. With the help of the brave hobbit Merry, Eowyn (despite her fear and pain) stands her ground to defend her uncle and slays The Witch King. Theodon still dies (but not before telling his niece that she saved him) and she almost does too but luckily her brother finds her in the battlefield and gets her treated for her wounds where she meets also messed-up Faramir and they fall in love. That’s another thing that I love about Eowyn, she’s equally badass and feminine, showing that women can in fact be multi-dimensional.
And can we talk about Miranda Otto for a second? She was fabulous in this role. Her racial expressions were perfect in conveying the mix of fear, love, and bravery she always had. I love that lady and hope she gets some juicy roles soon. Anyway, if you’re read this far kudos and thank you for following along with my crappy stream of consciousness. This has been “Why I Love Eowyn” by me.