Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Lady Éowyn (2995-?) is a character in the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The first syllable of Éowyn's name sounds like "eh-ah," with the "ah" just barely pronounced; the y in the second syllable as the same sound as the German letter ü or the French u. The actors in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy consistently mispronounce her name and the names of Éomer and Théoden, which both are pronounced similarly.
We first met Éowyn, a daughter of the House of Eorl and the niece of King Théoden of Rohan, in his palace in Meduseld. 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.
During the battle of Pelennor Fields, she fought by King Théoden; when he was injured when combatting 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" could hinder him, 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", Éowyn took advantage of the prophecy's loophole. She then slew the Witch-king after Merry stabbed him behind the knee (Merry is also no "man", and it is not clear, considering the weapons used, which blow was the fatal one). It is worth noting, however, that a stab behind the knee, even if it does destroy the bonds that "bent his unseen sinews to his will" is less likely to inconvenience the Witch-King than decapitation. The consensus seems to be that Merry's stab made the WK vulnerable while Eowyn's slash actually resulted in death.
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.
(In the film adaptation (original theatrical release) of the book, The Return of the King, 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.)
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