Amon Hen: Éowyn and the Women of Middle-earth

Discussions of papers inspired by Tolkien's writings.
Riv Res
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Amon Hen: Éowyn and the Women of Middle-earth

Post by Riv Res » Sat Oct 08, 2005 6:57 pm

Image
Becky Carter-Hitchin



Essay Printed in the Tolkien Society's Amon Hen #195
"My Hand is Ungentle": Éowyn and the Women of Middle-earth



This topic is much bantied in Tolkien discussions and this short article may just inspire some spirited discussion here. Take a look.


Click on the scan to enlarge and read.
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Image Image

What say you? :D
Last edited by Riv Res on Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Merry
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Post by Merry » Sat Oct 08, 2005 10:48 pm

I think this author does a decent job of defending Tolkien from the charge of misogyny. But I don't see how anyone who has read the books can make that charge in the first place. (As Shippey points out, some of the critics of LOTR don't seem to have read the books!)

I'd love to know how Eowyn and Faramir live out their lives in Ithilien, wouldn't you?
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Philipa
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Post by Philipa » Sun Oct 09, 2005 1:08 am

I agree with you Merry. If you read the books there is no mistake of how Tolkien feels about his women characters. They are all strong and have the quality of independent thinking.
I'd love to know how Eowyn and Faramir live out their lives in Ithilien, wouldn't you?
Did not Legolas tend their gardens and Gimli make them laugh? I'd like to read that story too Merry. :D
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marbretherese
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Post by marbretherese » Sun Oct 09, 2005 8:43 pm

For me, Eowyn comes across as one of the most fully rounded characters in LOTR. As a teenage girl I was thrilled that she plays arguably one of the most vital roles in the story, when she kills the Ringwraith (wth Merry's help), with those unforgettable words: " . . no living man am I! You look upon a woman . . . " That episode alone surely refutes any accusation of misogyny!

I too would like to know more about her life with Faramir (another well rounded character). One minor point - the author of the article suggests that Eowyn "leaves her people to their own devices" - but she is not needed to rule in Rohan, as Eomer becomes King, doesn't he?
"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


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Philipa
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Post by Philipa » Sun Oct 09, 2005 9:33 pm

marbretherese wrote: One minor point - the author of the article suggests that Eowyn "leaves her people to their own devices" - but she is not needed to rule in Rohan, as Eomer becomes King, doesn't he?
The author was referring to when Eowyn decides it is better to die in battle and leaves to fight in Gondor taking Merry with her...leaving no one to rule in Rohan.
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marbretherese
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Post by marbretherese » Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:53 pm

Thanks Philipa, that makes more sense now!
"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


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http://marbretherese.blogspot.com/

bruce rerek
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Post by bruce rerek » Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:52 pm

I think Tolkien well understood the frustrations of women, especially when one thinks of his period of time. The Victorian age for women was anything but an elegant cage and for women who were of gifted intellect it must have been much more painful.
The Professor did sensitivly drew women as leaders, courageous fighters, and more often than not, the person who bolsters the male hero, who without her aid his mission would have not been successful.
Bruce
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Post by Leggy » Wed Oct 19, 2005 1:39 pm

I totally agree with that. It's almost as if he were saying, "Yes all this fighting goes on, but a woman has to kill the Witch King, something no man can do"
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Amon Hen: Éowyn and the Women of Middle-earth

Post by khushil » Fri Jan 06, 2006 4:20 pm

I think he understood the role that females of any species have to play. It it I think indisputable that without her strength and courage, the story could not have been played out as it did. The strong, gentle softness of her presence coupled with her firey intelect and passionate need to 'hold the line' with the men is really brought out.

Merry
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Post by Merry » Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:50 pm

Hi, khushil, and welcome to Middle-earth Journeys! Why don't you stop by the Introductions thread and tell us something about yourself!

Definitely, Eowyn's part was an important one in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Had the Witch King lived, who could say how the day would have ended?
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:38 pm

Hello Khushil :wave: :D . Lovely to have you here with us!

I love the way Tolkien places a woman right up there with all the other defenders and uses her tragic love for Aragorn as the mainspring to take her there. Only a woman can defeat the Witch King and the only place anyone can meet him is on the battlefield. To take a woman into battle to fulfil a destiny is an amazing move on his part. As Khushil has said, the outcome depends on her as much as on any of the other heroes in the book. But whatever unlikely places her destiny takes her she is always a woman with a woman's heart.
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Merry
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Post by Merry » Sat Jan 07, 2006 10:54 pm

I also like it that, once Eowyn's winter has thawed, she doesn't turn into a wimp! I like how she teases Faramir: would you have people say about you that you tamed a wild shieldmaiden because there were no suitable women in Gondor? And I like it that she decides she needs to go back to Rohan to help settle things there before she takes up with Faramir--no consulting with him or, heavens forbid, asking his permission. She might not be frozen, but she still has a spine!
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Merry
Varda
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Post by Merry » Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:29 pm

This is only tangentially related, but I just read an interview with Elijah Wood (at TOR.n) in which he says that the Shelob chapter reveals what Tolkien really thought about women! :shock:
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Philipa
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Post by Philipa » Sun Jan 29, 2006 1:41 am

Elijah may be cute and cuddly (to some) but the boy don't know Tolkien. :wink:
Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!

Thoughts from Eryn Lasgalen An online guide to all things Tolkien

Merry
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Post by Merry » Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:36 am

That's for sure, Philipa. I wonder about anybody who thinks he or she can simplify Tolkien: here's what he thinks about X, all nicely wrapped up. Clearly these people haven't read or thought enough!
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

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