Tolkien: Medieval and Modern: Love and Recognition: Eowyn and Theoden
Éomer and Éowyn grew up at Edoras and saw the dark shadow fall on the halls of Théoden. Éomer was like his fathers before him; but Éowyn was slender and. "Then, Éowyn of Rohan, I say to you that you are beautiful. She was the daughter of Théoden's sister, Théodwyn, and Éomund of Eastfold. . of Healing, and the blossoming of her relationship with Faramir are included. King Théoden was fond of his niece and nephew and took Éowyn and a little more about the relationship between Éowyn and Faramir as.
Grown men cower at the sound of his voice. He stabbed Frodo at Weathertop. He even freaks out Gandalf.
So, this terrifying monster thing has just mortally wounded her uncle and she tells it where it can stick it in one of my favorite passages in the whole series. Leave the dead in peace! 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 shriveled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.
No living man may hinder me!
It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. You look upon a woman. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.
Éowyn - Wikipedia
He threatened her with horrifying, endless torture and mind rape, basically. And she laughs at him. And then she stabs him in the face. She makes him afraid before she does it because up until then, he thought he was immortal. Why would you have this amazing moment where Eowyn defeats an enemy literally no one else in Middle Earth could have…and then have her crawling away from a generic, malignant orc in the aftermath?
And why does Aragorn need to save her? What does this do for either character? Other than undermine her achievement, of course. Sticking closer to the original narrative and character would have solved this issue neatly.
It stands out as pointless and tacked on. After all of this, Eowyn ends up in the Houses of Healing and eventually meets Faramir. They develop a strong bond, one based on compassion and understanding, and we see that Faramir truly appreciates her for who she is.
Yet I still miss that relationship because it says so much about both characters. Eowyn ends up discovering what real love is and finally being seen by someone for the amazing person she is. I wish the film version had honored that more. Because that would have been honoring the proto-feminist character Tolkien created. Mariah is a comic book writer, editor, and artist.
You can find her on Twitter having long rants about Tolkien, pop culture, and tea. She likes cupcakes and cephalopods a lot. After all, Greek tragedies have their moments of recognition. The audience might fear that Electra will not recognize Orestes, but she always will.
Éowyn - Tolkien Gateway
Sometimes this moment comes to late, as in Oedipus Rex, but that play hinges on the fact that wife and husband will see that they are mother and son. In Greek tragedies, the moment of recognition is often the climax as when Clytemnestra recognizes her son just before he kills her.
This revelation and recognition is integral to many happier stories as well. In fairy tales, for example, the true identities of the characters are always revealed at the end: Mary Magdalene, Thomas, and the disciples on the road to Emmaus recognize the risen Christ.
These moments are necessary to complete the arc of the narration and to give closure to both the audience and the characters. This is not always possible in the real world, however. The truth is not always revealed at the ideal time.
Peter Jackson could not do it. Instead he gives to Theoden the opportunity to realize Eowyn's sacrificial love and battle prowess and to Eowyn the validation of her father-figure.
As an aside, this might be the reason that Eowyn's relationship with Faramir is only present in the extended version of the movies. This inability to realize that Dernhelm was Eowyn must mean that in between the time when Theoden's horse falls on him and he speaks to Merry, he was unconscious or at least unable to hear and see Eowyn reveal herself.
This moment, however, points to a more profound inability on the part of Theoden to recognize his beloved niece. This can also be seen when Hama is advising Theoden about who should be regent while Theoden is away at war.
He has just named Eomer as his heir, but he "cannot spare" Eomer, "nor would [Eomer] stay. He then asks whom the people trust. Hama tells him that the trust "In the house of Eorl. There is Eowyn, daughter of Eomund, his sister. She is fearless and high-hearted. Let her be as lord to the Eorlingas, while we are gone. This shows that he agrees with the assessment of Eowyn's ability and aptness to lead his people.Eowyn and Theoden - I learned From You
Why did he not think of her immediately, then? The most basic answer is that he was not able to recognize her. In many ways, her place at court resembles that of Beowulf's Wealhtheow, the wife of Hrothgar.