Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Thought About Èowyn

Èowyn: the shield maiden and tough girl from Rohan who proved she can hold her own, even though she is a woman.
I think there is a tendency to make Èowyn into a figure for the feminist movement.  This stance was heightened in the movies.  But, in the book, Èowyn ends up settling down with Faramir in Ithilien and giving up war forever.  She becomes a healer there.  Many fans were disappointed to hear that this courageous woman was pushed back into her "place as a woman" by the end of the story.  So there is also a tendency to think of Èowyn as an anti-feminist figure.

I think both of these suppositions are wrong.  I think that Èowyn's gender has little to do with any of this, actually.  

So Èowyn's culture, the Rohirrim, is entirely obsessed with war and the glory of battle which is fairly obvious to anyone who read the books or watched the movies.  Èowyn, as a woman, cannot take part in these activities, and she hates that.  She expresses this to Aragorn right before his departure to the Paths of the Dead.  Èowyn wants nothing more than to die in a glorious battle like Théoden or Théodred.

Faramir's view is much different.  He says to Frodo in Ithilien: "I do not love the sword for it's sharpness or the arrow for its swiftness; I love only that which they defend."

When Èowyn meets Faramir, she realizes that war is not good in and of itself, but it is necessary if evil is threatening you.  Once she understands this, she is no longer obsessed with being a man so she can fight, and she is much happier.

5 comments:

  1. I totally understand. My sisters were actually watching one of the movies with me and they didn't understand why the characters were the way they were. They're more into Harry Potter but I think LOTR is better. Anyway, it's so easy for people to misunderstand something like this... Keep blogging! They need to know the truth! ;D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks; I appreciate it! And I will keep blogging!
      The blog goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began...

      Delete
  2. I agree with you completely! You've put it very nicely here. Eowyn's story was not so much about a woman's place in the world, but rather about war's place in the world. :)

    ReplyDelete