Saturday, July 7, 2012

Character of the Month - July 2012

Sorry I'm late...well, not with this post, but with--never mind, I'm here now and I'll get things straightened out sooner or later. Anyway, this month's featured character! Drum roll, please!

*drum roll*

Éowyn of Rohan

Yeah, that's right! Éowyn, the Shield-Maiden herself! She's really one of my favorite characters of the trilogy, and it doesn't matter if I'm talking about the books or the movies. She's the niece of Théoden, King of Rohan, and quite the fierce, powerful woman. Sadly, though, she's kept from her dreams of honor and valor by being born a woman when Middle-earth is (predictably) a male-dominated land. But does that stop her? What do you think?

Every character that moves through this story has seen some kind of tragedy, but I think people see Éowyn's plight in the same light as, say, Frodo's. But while he chose to shoulder a burden he never should have had to, she struggled to hold her head up beneath a load that promised a slow, meaningless death. What does Éowyn fear? "A cage. To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”

That might sound selfish and stupid, to be so concerned with going out into danger seeking glory, but what she wanted most was to fight for the ones she loved, and not just sit back and let them take on all the danger on their own. She only makes her first appearance in The Two Towers and she's not what you'd call a major player until The Return of the King, but when she's there, by golly she's in it to the end. Remember this (spoilers ahead)?

“Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!"

A cold voice answered: 'Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. 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 to the Lidless Eye."

A sword rang as it was drawn. "Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may."

"Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!"

Then Merry heard the strangest of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. "But no living man am I!”

Dernhelm? How about... Éowyn herself, disguised as a man and riding into battle? She not only faced down the Witch-king of Angmar, leader of the Nazgûl, but yea verily, she slew him epically and left his remains on the Pellenor Fields. Go, girl!

She's the first one I think of when I think "strong heroine/character/woman," and for good reason, no?

Your pal,

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