Eowyn: Shieldmaiden of the North.
Aliases: White Lady of Rohan, Dernhelm
Date of Birth: TA 2995
Race: Lady of Rohan
Height: unknown , but described as tall
Date of Death: FO (???)
Parents: Eomund, Theodwyn
Date of Marriage: 3019 TA
Physical description: Tall and fair. Graceful. Blonde hair and light skin.
Biography: Éowyn (Old English, probably from éo 'horse' and wyn 'joy') of Rohan was born into the house of Eorl, daughter of Éomund of Eastfold and the Lady Théodwyn of Rohan and younger sister to Éomer. She was only seven years old when her father was killed in battle and her mother died soon after of illness; King Théoden, brother to Théodwyn, adopted his sister's children into his house and raised them along side his own son.
Growing up at Edoras, Éowyn was close to her Uncle and to her grief watched him fall into an early old age - due to the spells of Saruman, woven by Théoden's advisor Gríma Wormtongue (a traitor, working for the Wizard). A graceful, beautiful woman, she was greatly desired by Wormtongue: he stalked her, waiting for the Fall of the Rohirrim so that he could take her as his reward for loyally serving Saruman. But Éowyn was no helpless damsel: she was trained as a warrior (possibly with her brother and cousin?), reputed to be fearless and noble - a true Shieldmaiden of the Mark, though she remained in the Golden Hall to nurse her uncle. This was around the time of the War of the Ring - a war Rohan was reluctant to enter one way or another...
When Gandalf the White rode to Rohan and freed Théoden from Saruman's spells, the King committed to aid Gondor in the fight against Saruman and Sauron. Travelling with Gandalf, however, were Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn: upon her very first meeting with Aragorn, Éowyn recognised the strength and nobility in the King-to-be and fell desperately in love with him. Being betrothed to the Elven Princess, Arwen Evenstar, Aragorn was unable to requite Éowyn's love - nor would he accept her offers and pleas to be allowed to ride into battle with him for fear of endangering her.
Disguised as a man, the soldier Dernhelm, Éowyn rode to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields by King Théoden's side - carrying with her Merry Brandybuck (who was also supposed to be left behind). Nearly at the cost of her own life -and with Merry's aid-, Éowyn proved her mettle by slaying the Witch King of Angmar -Lord of the Nazgul.
Aragorn, with the healing skills taught him by the Elves, healed Éowyn from the dark poisonous breath of the Witch King and saved her life - which, when she first awoke, she was far from grateful for. 'Trapped' in the Houses of Healing with her healing body and her broken arm, she sought out Faramir, the new Steward (following the deaths of his brother, Boromir, and father, Denethor), who was also being healed from his own encounter with the Nazgul. She met with him in the hope that he could order the Healer to release her - or at the very least, have her room moved to one facing east -where the further battles were being played out. Faramir, being a kind man with a gentle heart, saw the grief in her heart and was filled with pity. He soon fell in love with her, though her heart was given.
A tentative friendship began there between the Last Steward of Gondor and the White Lady of Rohan as they both waited, potentially, for the end of the world. Éowyn was won over by Faramir's nobility of spirit and kindness, and she came to love him. Through his love she was able to overcome her despair, and renounced the path of the warrior - choosing instead to become a healer and take joy in life, not death. The two married and lived in the Gondorian province of Ithilien.
Eowyn's Horse: In Rohan, horses are an important part of life. The animals are bred to be strong and fast, and are prized all around middle earth. Eowyn, as nobility, probably owned several horses, but only one is named in the novel. That is Windfola, a strong gray stallion who carried Dernhelm (Eowyn incognito) and Merry from Edoras to the Pellanor. At the Pellanor, Windfola was spooked like many of the other horses, and ran wild across the feilds. It is unknown what became of him, but I find it possible that he returned to Rohan on his own, or that his was captured again after the battle.
Quotes from the Lord of the Rings of Eowyn
"Would you have your proud folk say of you: 'There goes a lord who tamed a wild shieldmaiden of the North! Was there no woman of the race of Numenor to choose'?"
"I would," said Faramir. And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many.
-- RotK, 'The Steward and the King'
A sword rang as it was drawn. 'Do what you will; but I shall hinder it, if I may.'
'Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!'
Then Merry heard 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! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund's daughter. 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.'...
Very amazement for a moment conquored Merry's fear. He opened his eyes and the blackness was lifted from them. A little to the left facing them stood she whom he had called Dernhelm. But the helm of her secrecy had fallen from her, and her bright hair, released from its bonds, gleamed with pale gold upon her shoulders. Her eyes grey as the sea were hard and fell, and yet tears were on her cheek. A sword was in her hand, and she raised her shield against the horror of her enemy's eyes....
Suddenly the great beast beat its hideous wings, and the wind of them was foul. Again it leaped into the air, and then swiftly fell down upon Éowyn, shrieking, striking with beak and claw.
Still she did not blench: a maiden of the Rohirrim, child of kings, slender but as a steel-blade, fair yet terrible. A swift stroke she dealt, skilled and deadly. The outstretched neck she clove asunder, and the hewn head fell like a stone....
Out of the wreck rose the Black Rider, tall and threatening, towering above her. With a cry of hatred that stung the very ears like venom he let fall his mace. Her shield was shivered in many pieces, and her arm was broken; she stumbled to her knees. He bent over her like a cloud, and his eyes glittered; he raised his mace to kill.
But suddenly he too stumbled forward with a cry of bitter pain, and his stroke went wide, driving into the ground. Merry's sword had stabbed him from behind, shearing through the black mantle, and passing up beneath the hauberk had pierced the sinew behind his mighty knee.
'Éowyn! Éowyn!' cried Merry. Then tottering, struggling up, with her last strength she drove her sword between crown and mantle, as the great shoulders bowed before her. The sword broke sparkling into many shards. The crown rolled away with a clang. Éowyn fell forward upon her fallen foe. ---TRotK, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"
When I first looked on her and perceived her unhappiness, it seemed to me that I saw a white flower standing straight and proud, shapely as a lily, and yet knew that it was hard, as if wrought by elf-wrights out of steel. Or was it, maybe, a frost that had turned its sap to ice, and so it stood, bitter-sweet, still fair to see but stricken, soon to fall and die? --Aragorn, TRotK, "The Houses of Healing"
As they drew near Merry saw that the rider was a woman with long braided hair gleaming in the twilight, yet she wore a helm and was clad to the waist like a warrior and girded with a sword. --TRotK, "The Muster of Rohan"
"If I live, I will come, Lady Eowyn, and then maybe we will ride together."
--from Tolkien's first draft, in which he intended Aragorn and Eowyn to fall in love and marry
"You are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you... Eowyn, do you not love me?" --Faramir, "The Steward and the King"
"Very fair was her face, and her long hair was like a river of gold. Slender and tall, she was in her white robe girt with silver; but strong she seemed and stern as steel, a daughter of kings. As she stood before Aragorn, she passed suddenly and looked upon him, and her eyes were shining. And he looked down upon her fair face and smiled; but as he took the cup, his hand met hers, and he knew that she trembled at the touch." -- Two Towers.
"Do you not ?" said the rider softly. "Then call me Dernhelm." speaking to Merry. -- Return of the King.
"Thus it came to pass that when the king set out, before Dernhelm sat Meriadoc the hobbit, and the great grey steed Windfola made little of the burden; for Dernhelm was less in weight than many men, though lithe and well-knit in frame." -- Return of the King.
Eowyn pictures from the Lord of the Rings movies and art work
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