Éowyn

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Character
Name: Éowyn
Dernhelm (while in disguise)
Occupation: shieldmaiden
Title/Rank: White Lady of Rohan, Lady of Ithilien
Location: Middle-earth
Status:
Relationships: Faramir (husband); Eomer (brother); Theoden (uncle)
Fandom: Lord of the Rings
Other:
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Éowyn is a shieldmaiden of Rohan in the Lord of the Rings series. In the Peter Jackson films she is portrayed by Miranda Otto.

Canon

Eowyn is a Shieldmaiden/Princess of Rohan, niece to King Theodan and brother to his successor, Eomer. As a young woman she longed for battle, feats of valor, and the freedom to act as she chose, something that eluded her as King Theoden had to rely on her to help organize the royal household and to be in some ways a stewardess for her people. She is described as very beautiful; because of this Grima Wormtongue was promised her hand by Saruman in return for acting as a spy and traitor in King Theoden's court. His covetous behavior towards Eowyn was noticed and rebuffed by her brother, and definitely noticed by Eowyn. On her part, during this time she seemed to suffer some severe depression, or certainly grief for the death of her cousin, the poisoned mind of her uncle and king, and the crushing lack of freedom in her life.

She was at first very interested in Aragorn, partly due to his role in helping free her uncle and helping her kingdom, as well as on his own merits. This attraction is unrequited, though it pains Aragorn to reject her.

While she obeyed her uncle the King and stayed with the women and children during the battle of Helm's Deep, her chafing for more action and opportunity led her to disguise herself and join Rohan's army when it marched to help defeat Sauron in Gondor, taking Merry with her. She was of vital importance in this battle when, in defense of Theoden, she defeated the Lord of the Nazgul, or Black Riders. (It had been prophesied that no man ever could.) However, in striking him down she sustained a grave injury. This traumatic experience sapped some of her eagerness for battle, and she was more able to enjoy a peaceful life. After the battle, Aragorn helped heal her in the House of Healing. Here, she met and fell in love with Faramir, a prince of Gondor. This marriage not only brought them happiness, but cemented the alliance between the kingdoms of Gondor and Rohan.

Fandom

In a series with few prominent women, Eowyn is a great example of a woman who desires to accomplish great things outside of traditional gender roles and not be restricted by others' expectations. As such, fanworks inspired by her often relate well to feminist themes. Her character development, from loving and longing for the excitement of battle to appreciating the importance of healing and peace, is also a theme commonly explored through her experience.

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Fanfiction

Archives & Fannish Links

References