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I think that Tolkien really made it clear in LOTR that Eowyn's personality
underwent a profound transformation during her stay in the Houses of Healing.
And it was friendliness and understanding of Faramir which was largely responsable
for that effect, not her falling in love with him. The first signs of her becoming a different
person can be seen already duringt her very first conversation with Faramir,
when she was still deeply in love in Aragorn.
as he looked at her it seemed
to him that something in her softened, as though a bitter frost were yielding at the
first faint presage of Spring. A tear sprang in her eye and fell down her cheek,
like a glistening rain-drop. Her proud head dropped a little. Then quietly, more
as if speaking to herself than to him: "But the healers would have me lie abed seven
days yet" she said "And my window does not look eastward". Her voice was now
that of a maiden young and sad"

Yes this is the same person that killed the Witch King!
I think that Tolkien stressed that her Amazon personality of a shield-maiden was
to a large extent a tactic of copying with hostile world. She had a really hard time
in Rohan: she had to endure daily dealings with Wormtongue, while Theoden was
totally under his spell and Eomer often absent.
In the "diagnosis" of her problems Faramir tells her that she wanted to win
renown largely
to be lifted far above the mean
things that crawl on the earth
and she does not protest.
Now when confronted with more friendly enviroment she may drop her defences
and afford to express her womanly side.

Yes I am afraid women are like that - even the strongest of them like to feel from time
to time like young girls... and some of them may turn to be so motherly that they
do not let their poor men breathe!

Of course this is also an old theme of an androgynic Amazon-warrior virgin undergoing
a transformation and becoming ready for the role of wife and mother, largely uncompatible
with the role of a warrior.
In her post Swamphaye pointed out that Celt mothers continued to be warriors and
kept to teach their children swordplay... but it is one thing, play war games with
children, and another thing, go and fight the Witch Kings when you are pregnant
and/or have a babe in arms..

Did you read the old book of Robert Graves on Jason sailing in "Argo" to win the Golden
Fleece (I seem to remember that it is entitled "Sailing with Hercules" or something like
that...). There is a similar character in that book, Atalanta, a virgin hunterand warrior.
She is deeply in love in Meleager (and he in her!) but during the quest of Argo they
do not engage in physical love and behave like brothers-in-arms. But then when finally
Atalanta decides to become the real wife of Meleager, she changes completely her
personality. She becomes plump (not to say fat!) and turns to be very fond of sewing!...
Well, being pregnant does make you very vunerable (and another reason to have a man around at this time). But *you* (I mean the royal you) seem to think that if you don't show physical stregnth, that you don't have *any* stregnth. Eowyn wasn't a 2 dimensional character who only had physical stregnth. She was frustrated because she knew what was going on with Wormtongue. That indicates a quick mind as well.

I'm very disturbed that so many people seem to think that being a mother indicates you have some how given up on being yourself. We do indeed sacrifice many things for those goals which we deem important, and that doesn't make us any weaker. Who's dreams have never altered? That person has not learned anything from their life experience.
Nice post Swampy.

"Only a fool likes to here the echo of his own voice"

Its a two edged sword. For so long women were considered not being "complete" unless they we're mothers. Now if your not running Merill Lynch etc your incomplete. I like to think of neither being incompatible. I have a lot respect for Susan Sarandon who seems to have a few good ideas on what it means to be a modern warrior mother. She don't take any s..t!

Plus why d people think dream sare what you set when your 12 years old - my dreams change, evolve and I get to do most of them. As my desires change so do my dreams. Then so do your actions. Makes for a richer life according to me.
U're right. When i was 12, i wanted to be a model. well, that dream's shot to pieces now, isn't it? LOL Big Smile Smilie

I think (i'm going to be in a lot of trouble for this..) that people need to have children (biological or otherwise) to really mature. I'm just speaking from experience here, my mum has quite a lot of friends who are old, not married and have no kids, and they just seem kinda childish and selfish. I guess being a parent makes you a 'bigger' person. Like what Mark Twain said, can't remember the exact quote but something like how much respect he had for his father when he finally became one. But i'm being a hypocrite here, because i definitely do NOT want to have kids. Big Smile Smilie Big Smile Smilie Big Smile Smilie
At 12 I wanted to a Prime Minister who's also a Wimbledon Champion, and scorer of the World cup final winning goal, and a part time physicist who discovered the Theory of Everything, and Simon le Bon's wife....so I guess I've matured since then since I know that'll never happen. Big Smile Smilie

Also agree with Rosie - women (and most men) with kids are less childish and selfish. I guess the fact that you're responsible for another life really wakes you up, and makes you grow up real fast. But again, I'm also a hypocrite since I hope to never find out. Smile Smilie

A thing about people with kids that annoys me is that some of them (from experience) tend to become quite arrogant. They seem to think they have discovered all the answers to life, and tend not to listen to others as much. It's as if only their opinions matter...and if you don't embrace their point of view about the delights and wonders of children - well, it's like you've just committed an unspeakable sin. Of course I'm not saying that all parents are like that, but the arrogant ones are usually the loudest. Of course I respect their choices to be parents, and sometimes admire them for it. It's just that I resent any group that try to force their opinions down my throat...there's always another point of view.
Ungoliant- do you ever watch Frasier? (do you even get it where you are?) Anyway, Frasier and Roz (the producer on his radio show and his best friend, and a single mom) are talking about how hard they work, how tired they are, blah blah blah. And then Roz goes for the winning goal- her kid keeps her up all night and runs her ragged during the day. Frasier snipes, "I wish I had a three-year-old, so I could win every argument!"

Nothing against parents (I'm not really planning on having kids but I probably will), but yeah, sheesh. There are normal people with kids out there, but some of them... having kids doesn't automatically turn you into a combination of Schweitzer, Einstein and Mother Theresa, okay?

Of course, I don't mean any of the moms and dads who post here. I'm sure you're all okay.

And now we're really off track. Quick, someone say something about Eowyn.
I love Frasier. One of those american sitcoms that are actually funny- a little cliche at times but better than most. Big Smile Smilie Big Smile Smilie

[Edited on 22/2/2002 by Grondmaster]
Yeah I get Frasier...although I seldom watch tv nowadays. The only sitcom that I'd watch is 'Will & Grace' - I like that, especially that Karen woman with the squeaky voice. But I understand Frasier's feelings though...I've been in similiar situations myself. Maybe I should remember that line for the next time. Smile Smilie

[Edited on 22/2/2002 by Grondmaster]
A timid suggestion: don't you think that it would be better to make yet another move and to transfer a part of this thread devoted to book Eowyn into "Characters" - and leave here only the discussion about the movie Eowyn and Miranda Otto? Smile Smilie
This topic went off on a tangent from Eowyn. That portion which developed into a philosophical debate has moved to:

Taverns > The Golden Perch > Instrument of God

and has been deleted from this topic. Please try to keep the remainder of this topic on the subject of Eowyn. I Thank you!

[Edited on 22/2/2002 by Grondmaster]
Grondy, I feel awfully sorry, I shouldn't have proposed to you to do anything more just now, after you devoted so
much time to remove all our speculations about good and evil to "Golden Perch..."
We make the mess and then you must clear it... this is an unjust world!
Let's try to be wiser for the future and NOT to write off topic!
Or I could interfere more often. Sometimes I don't realize where a topic is going soon enough; I had better experiment some more there are still a couple controls I haven't yet fathomed.

If any of you French speaking peoples would like to go to the "XForum 1.580" link at the bottom of the page and see if you can get to a set of moderator's edit instructions in English, I would appreciate it. What I really need to know is what "Top Thread" and "Bump Thread" are for and how to use them. Smile Smilie
What we were talking about was Eowyn... So, anyone's got sth to say? I have: was she pregnant? I missed that... Where does it say so, in the appendices? I don't have those, so I can't have missed it then... Smile Smilie
I can hardly wait to see Eowyn in TT. What a babe!!! Ever since seeing the drawing of her in David Day's Tolkien Bestiary, I've been in love with her. I've just seen a screen shot of her from the new PC game too. Beautiful, stern looking blond in a suit of chain armour fit for a dwarf. Put a helm on her and I can see how she passed as a Rider of the Mark.
A lot of people wished that Eowyn had married Aragorn instead of Arwen, but the thing is, Aragorn doesn't love her, he loved Arwen so it doesn't really matter whether Eowyn loved him or not because he would have married Arwen anyhow.
About what you said about Eowyn and Faramir not having any childern ,they did. In foreward part of FOTR, Tolkien wrote that "The Tale of Aragorrn and Arwen" was written by their grandson Barahir. Tolkien just never got around to naming their kids. Smile Smilie
Great news LadyoftheShieldArm!
I took the information about them not having kids from some other Tolkien forum (it was in these old, old days when I still visited other places besides PT...).
Welcome to this Forum!

In previous posts, people have stated that Eowyn and Faramir have little in common to make the relationship work. If you read Humphrey Carpenters book of Tolkien's letters, Tolkien himself that they had quite a bit in common. Both lost their mothers at a young age, they were both had to stand in the shadows of their older brothers and they both lost their fathers'( or in Eowyn' case, the only father she has ever known) to tragic circumstances. Their relationship is the only realistic one in the book. Unlike Aragorn and Arwen, you get to see them going through the motions of falling in love. Smile Smilie
Yes it is true that Eowyn and Faramir had similar childhood experiences. Let me add that both of them were admired and loved by their people, who trusted them and were willing to follow them.
Yet Faramir was more mature, less egocentric. In contrast to Eowyn, he did not seek "renown", most probably because his self-esteem was already fairly high. He was modest, but he knew his worth and was not easily bullied by other people, even by his father, a very domineering man. Eowyn's desire of renown rises from fear, fear of being caged.
We can fall in love in many ways... gradually, like Faramir and Eowyn, but also suddenly, like Gimli. For me, his love for Galadriel is beautiful and poignant, and what happens between these two is realistic and psychologically very true.

[Edited on 11/12/2002 by Eryan]
So, Eryan what do you think? I think Faramir is more secure than Eowyn, because Eowyn seeks something that she really doesn't need, and her pride made this possible.

To think of it, Eowyn is much like a "New Age Woman". Nice touch, Mr. Tolkien. I didn't think you would make a character like that.
I think Faramir also has more self control that Eowyn - and this because he has lead many men into battle. He is wise, while Eowyn is (only a bit) impetuous. But these things come with experience from leading men. I hope you will not discount "motherhood" as a life changing event. What Eowyn has lacked in self control before, she will definitely learn in parenting. I can't imagine Eowyn not learning patience with her own children. She would make a magnificient queen. If I were Faramir, I would let her have free reign until she were with child, then it would be time to protect her - and after the child was born, I'm certain that he needn't wory about protecting her any more - she would be the lioness - and I don't think any children would be more secure than those of Eowyn and Faramir. Think of what great children they would have...
I like Eowyn (of course!! My name's Eowen) I don't think Eowyn looks like what she should in the movie.
What do you mean, how do you think she should looks like?
I have only recently finished LOTR so it wasn't too long ago that I read all this stuff about Eowyn...the battle at Helm's Deep and the sneaking around into battle and the courtship process between her and Faramir. I may not have the deepest insight about the matter after one reading but it is FRESH in my mind so I'm going to blab on about it as only I can. Teacher Smilie

When Faramir tried to express his love for Eowyn, I don't think it was just his hormones talking but I won't dismiss that maybe the idea of an "untamed filly" was attractive to him. There are a lot of things that he probably feels he has in common with Eowyn.

We have to remember that at this particular point in the story, they have both just come out of battle, are even still recuperating from their respective injuries. Both are somewhat captive in the houses of the healing and useless even as the last of the loose ends in the War are tied up. Faramir also comments to Eowyn that there's nothing like a near death experience to bring people together.

For you and I have both passed under the wings of the Shadow, and the same hand drew us back.
ROTK, first part of The Steward and The King

In addition to that, I think Faramir recognizes in Eowyn what it is like to be honorable and yet misunderstood. After all, he is understandably hurt and bitter about being second fiddle to his brother in the eyes of his father Denethor. He had been unfairly compared to his dead brother Boromir and could not measure up to his grieving father's expectations, and had been rejected by Denethor, even sent into a hopeless battle (a veritable death sentence) as punishment for what Denethor thinks is a bad decision regarding the War (sending the hobbits into Mordor without an escort). These are things that hurt and frustrate Faramir...but they also put him into a position of understanding how Eowyn must feel as a person who will never be enough because of something she cannot control.

I think that Faramir's falling in love with Eowyn is also a political move, maybe not Faramir's main motive but just another reason to ask her hand. It would have been a matter of custom/duty for both people. By bringing the woman of one kingdom into the family of a man from another, there is a bond between not only those two people but the people they represent. The kingdoms of Gondor and Rohan needed to be unified if they were to face a new rulership even if they did not oppose it. So it may have been a gesture of goodwill between the two lands as well as love based and personal.

So what of Eowyn's personality? Well, I think it's important to look at her both before and after Rohan's involvement in the war, and both before and after her brainwashing by Wormtongue, even if some of this is speculative, and even if we may never know what Eowyn is really like apart from crisis and depression. As a woman of Rohan, I think we can assume that she is a proud person indeed, hearty and spirited and brave, and these are traits that she probably displayed in all her actions both in and out of the story, no matter what. And I don't necessarily think she was a tomboy type who would completely resent her duties, it seems to me that all the people of Rohan are rather rugged and maybe the women of Rohan don't seem quite as feminine as you would expect a woman in that world to be. In this light, I think we can tone down our assumptions that Eowyn is a raging feminist, she may be just another typical woman of Rohan.

I sense that Eowyn may have been proud of her womanly responsibilities in Rohan before the war. She may mildly resent her roles as a woman but as far as being caged, etc, I think those were Wormtongue's words, admittedly stemming from small naggings in her original thoughts, but things that she would not have verbalized completely of her own will or things that would have caused such despair for her. I actually think that if she had not been brainwashed by Wormtongue at the time of the battle of Helm's Deep, she would have also understood the chivalry of Theodin to not let her fight, knowing that she also had an important role in keeping the women, children and elderly of Rohan safe in the caves, and would have accepted this role proudly on equal footing with the Riders of Rohan who went to battle.

But Eowyn DOES see her situation, all of it, becoming increasingly desperate and hopeless due to the war. And she HAS been clouded by a hopelessness and a depression as a result of Wormtongue. These are then, in the end, things we cannot separate from her character even if we can somewhat sift out who is "really" talking. (Will the real Eowyn please stand up?) And even if all these things are going on with her, we know that her assessment of what is actually going on in Middle Earth and to her beloved people is fairly accurate. She has every reason to feel desperate and to despair for her people and it doesn't seem to matter why. Consider that:

Her people have been slaughtered needlessly by Saruman's forces in a muscle flex of Isengard,"just in case" they should try to come to the aid of Gondor, and they are proudly doing what they can to maintain their kingdom (and also to help Gondor). Not only that, her uncle the King has been brainwashed and withers before her eyes from the powerful and compassionate man she once knew. She too is not herself and I think she knows she knows this and why. She is grieving her cousin lost in battle and she sees that this loss in the family doesn't even rouse his father to bury him. She sees her country falling apart around her and nothing being done about it...and little for her, as a woman, to do but watch it happen from her "cage".

But we must assume that as the Lady of Rohan, the closest thing her people have to a queen, she wants to do whatever she can to keep that from happening. In her deep desire to see her homeland preserved and also to have this depression lifted from her, and maybe with a little female flair, she turns to Aragorn. I don't think this is lust or even love...not nearly so much that as the fact that for her, Aragorn represents HOPE, the only chance of her people and their allies to win the War or rebuild. (She may become infatuated with Aragorn but I would say only in the context of the lady in distress who falls for her hero, and I can forgive her for that because it's easy to confuse your emotions when you are in crisis.) So...when Aragorn says he cannot stay behind and fight but must instead traipse off on The Path of the Dead...well. Eowyn's hopes for herself and her people are shattered, she drops whatever compliance she has had for her role in the War, and she sneaks into battle as a PATRIOT, NOT as a suicidal lovestruck twit. She may not care at that point whether she lives or dies but I don't think it's because Aragorn has rejected her love. I think at that point it's more like...BY GOD, if he won't save us then I guess I better get out there and help too...after all, she is trained in swords and mentally prepared for battle as well.

That brings us back to the houses of healing where Eowyn is recovering from the wounds of her fight with the Nazgul and her brainwashing...and Faramir starts to court her. (MAYBE NOT THE BEST TIMING HUH?...) And she says she can't love him. I suppose she does have a few issues to deal with about being a submissive woman, and maybe she overdoes it in letting Faramir know that she needs respect as a person, not pity as a woman, but I think that is just part of being scared all the way around...eventually, as Faramir talks to her, she sees her defenses crumbling because maybe she doesn't need them anymore. She has proven herself both as a protector of her people, and as a woman who will not be caged. She starts to act all feminist and Faramir categorically challenges all her excuses, assuring her that he loves everything about her including her strength. He can't understand why she would cling to an image of herself that is no longer so necessary to her own survival or that of her people, and in the process, deny his love for her which could potentially give her joy. Faramir does challenge her affection for Aragorn and spells it out for her that Aragorn is not going to love her back that way. But I think rather than chastising her as a silly woman in love, a woman who is holding on to a fantasy that she will never have rather than settling for the man who does love her, Faramir instead is trying to call out the woman that Eowyn is meant to be. In doing all these things, Faramir is very respectfully trying to free Eowyn from the last shred of bondage that has held her tough image together, whether that bondage came from Wormtongue, the gender roles of the day, her love for her people, or even her own expectations of herself. And she starts to realize that she doesn't have to be afraid of being feminine, and that maybe strength and femininity can exist in the same person. It frees her up to love Faramir and she is healed by the love even as she submits to it. Her submission, then, becomes a new act of strength for her in itself, even as she remains the proud and strong woman she always was, and even as Faramir offers himself to be loved by her, and at last the clouds of her depression are lifted...even the healers pronounce her healed.

That's a common situation for everyone in the human condition, don't you think? Wanting to be independent, wanting to be respected and not wanting to be put on a pedestal or flashed as a prize...but also longing to be vulnerable even if we do not want to be hurt in the process. Haven't we all, both men and women, been hurt by someone and toughened up to it, only to wish the next person could break through to the person we used to be?

As far as Eowyn's softening, I agree that she did, but I think it is a mistake to think that a woman of the same strength to kill a Nazgul would have to go through a dramatic transformation/change of heart to be a good wife and mother or good at whatever else her new life as Faramir's bride would bring to her. I think Eowyn is a fierce warrior because of her capacity to love and nurture, not in spite of it. Likewise, the same passion that caused her to destroy the Nazgul would be the same passion that fuels her to help restore and heal both her beloved Rohan, and her new people in Gondor. These two facets of her character fuel each other, they do NOT contradict each other. Eowyn was well versed in maternal things as the "mother", if you will, for all the people of Rohan. She took them under her wing when they were in danger, she fought fiercely for them, worried about them, LOVED them. Just like any mother would do for her children. Her strength as a warrior would serve her well as a mother and her strengths as a mother would bring out her ferocity as a warrior.

So why would she have to change?!?

My last point is that just maybe we can assume that by letting herself be touched by love, and giving in to the softer side of love by nurturing and creating life, Eowyn will find what she has been missing as a complete woman...and to show her a new strength that even a Nazgul fighting warrior didn't know she had.

Um...don't want to step on any toes here so I will head off the insinuation of people wondering if I am trying to say a woman needs children to be complete. NOT AT ALL. What I meant to say was that EOWYN seems to have a longing for something...and since she has closed down that softer part of herself for whatever reason, the side that of herself that seems to shy away from what women are "supposed" to do...you know...maybe she will find what she needs by looking for it where she never wanted to.

[Edited on 21/2/2003 by musicimprovedme]
A lot of people feel that Eowyn was simply settling for Faramir because she can't have Aragorn. I feel that this is simply not true. Her behavior in the Houses of Healing conpostThreadIDict this. When they are standing on the walls, their hands meet and clasp , she also draws close to him as if seeking comfort from him. It clearly shows that she is falling in love with even though she is in denial.
Tolkien deals with Eowyn's 'love' for Faramir and Aragorn in one of his letters:

It is possible to love one person (of the other sex) at the same time, but in a different mode and intensity. I do not think Eowyn's feelings for Aragorn changed very much when he was revealed as so lofty a figure, in descent and office, she was able to go on loving and admiring him
Letter #244

So we can see that she continued to LOVE Aragorn or admire his high place and lordliness, but it was nothing more then a crush of sorts, as she stateted to Faramir she no longer desired to be a Queen and her true love was given to Faramir.

I loved Miranda Otto as Eowyn, and even though I didn't like the fact that she fell in love with Aragorn I still love her. Although I think that I would have liked to see more of her.
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