Tolkien Gateway

Éowyn

(Difference between revisions)
 
(Categorised)
Line 24: Line 24:
  
 
<sup>1</sup>Éowyn was known as "Lady of Rohan" in Rohan, but as "White Lady of Rohan" in Ithilien (due to her pale complexion).
 
<sup>1</sup>Éowyn was known as "Lady of Rohan" in Rohan, but as "White Lady of Rohan" in Ithilien (due to her pale complexion).
 +
[[Category:Rohan]][[Category:Men]]

Revision as of 12:22, 3 September 2005

Éowyn was also known as: Lady of Rohan, Lady of the Shield-arm, White Lady of Rohan1, Lady of Ithilien (2995-?). The first syllable of Lady Éowyn's name sounds like "eh-ah," with the "ah" just barely pronounced. As in Scandinavian, the y in the second syllable is the same sound as the German letter ü or the French u. The actors in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy consistently pronounce her name as well as the names of Éomer and Théoden in a manner inconsistent with most reconstructions of Old English pronunciation.

We first met Éowyn, Lady of Rohan, a daughter of the House of Eorl and the niece of King Théoden of Rohan, in his palace in Meduseld. She was the daughter of Théodwyn (sister to Théoden) and Éomund. She was the sister of Éomer. Frustrated by unrequited love for Aragorn and longing for the glory of battle, she disguised herself as a man, and under the alias of Dernhelm, traveled with the Riders of Rohan, carrying with her Merry, who was also ordered to remain. Théoden in fact names her ruler of Rohan in his and Éomer's absence when they go to attack Isengard, when the Doorward Háma recommends that "The House of Eorl" rule (Théoden first only thought of male members, said that he and Éomer are the last of the House, but Háma points out Lady Éowyn, who is "fearless" and "all love her").

During the battle of Pelennor Fields, she fought by King Théoden; when he was injured when combating the Witch-king of Angmar, lord of the Nazgûl, she and Merry (Meriadoc Brandybuck) scrambled to help him. Confronting the Witch-king, who boasted that "no living man may hinder me," she removed her helmet, exposing her long blond hair and declaring,

"No living man am I! You look upon a woman."

Just as MacDuff disconcerted Macbeth by revealing he was not "of woman born", Lady Éowyn found the loophole in the 1,000-year-old prophecy by Glorfindel, fulfilling that the Witch-king would not be slain by a man. However, the Witch-king actually recited the prophecy incorrectly: he said that "no living man may hinder me," though the prophecy actually said that "Not by the hand of Man will he fall." Glorfindel's prophesy, unlike his own version, implies that the Witch-king will eventually fall, and the Witch-king likely overestimated his own power and believed he would never be defeated.

Lady Éowyn slew the Witch-king after Merry stabbed him behind the knee. Strictly speaking, Merry is also "no man," being a hobbit. However, the stab behind the knee likely wouldn't have been fatal, even if it did break the bonds that "bent his unseen sinews to his will." The consensus seems to be that Merry's stab made the Witch-King vulnerable while Eowyn's slash actually resulted in death. She was granted the title "Lady of the Shield-arm" after the Battle in recognition of her triumph over the Witch-king.

Lady Éowyn was severely injured in this fight, and because of the poisonous effect of the Nazgûl, she faced near-certain death; however, she was treated in time by Aragorn during his brief rest in Minas Tirith. Since she didn't yet recover completely, she couldn't join Aragorn's army on their way to Mordor. However, while recuperating in the Houses of Healing, she met Faramir, with whom she fell in love. After the demise of

Sauron, the happily wed couple settled in Ithilien, of which Faramir was made the ruling Prince. Éowyn was not known as the Princess of Ithilien, rather as the Lady of Ithilien. They had at least one son (likely Elboron), and their grandson was Barahir, who wrote The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen in the Fourth Age. The date of Éowyn's death is nowhere recorded.

(In the film adaptation (original theatrical release) of the book, The Return of the King, Lady Éowyn's injuries after fighting the Witch-king are less severe than in the novel: she is conscious but hurt, as opposed to unconscious. In deleted scenes (added in the Extended Edition), she is near death: her brother finds her and grieves, and later we see her being healed by Aragorn.)

Note: Éowyn means "horse lover" in Anglo-Saxon (the language Tolkien used to represent Rohirric).

The name Éowyn comes from an old Welsh name, Øwyn. It has been slightly altered to sound like A-O-win. Contrary to what others may believe, Éowyn is pronounced properly in the recent Peter Jackson adaptation of the Books by J.R.R. Tolkien. Many names in The Lord of the Rings and other related works are adapted from ancient names in ancient mythology. My name is Éowyn, and it means "Horse friend". The prefix Éo- meaning 'horse' and the suffix -wyn meaning 'friend.'

Notes

1Éowyn was known as "Lady of Rohan" in Rohan, but as "White Lady of Rohan" in Ithilien (due to her pale complexion).