warrior princess ?

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warrior princess ?

Post by azriel on Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:31 pm

I was thinking last night, Eowyn is the only woman happy to let fly with a sword. She must be fully aware of the complications of Hand-to-hand combat. Eomer said of Merry, that he would run at the smell & fear of war & battle, & that Merry would be right to do so. Eomer knew of the horror of battle. Its one thing to say You'll kill someone,but its another to actually DO it. Blood, guts,all in vivid colour, & the screaming & suffering of the wounded, the hopelessness of not being able to do anything ?! Even some men turn pacifist & refuse. Yet Eowyn is confirmed that she will. There are other things in life that can make you brave or feel brave. You can be remembered for all sorts of Acts that dont incur bloodshed,suffering or even torture, yet Eowyn thinks the only way to prove herself or be remembered is to be a warrior. She states being useless & fearing old age with nothing to show for it. Archery isnt even considered, which I would have thought be easier to handle in the respect that you dont NEED eye to eye contact with your enemy, You can fire off an arrow from quite a distance. Up close enough to even smell their breath is quite a different story if your a girl ! Did Tolkien deliberatly write her in as this type of character ? I dont recall Arwen being directly aggressive ? I dont recall her slitting the throat of an unsuspecting Orc ? or even wanting to. Yet Eowyn does feel the need ? she doesnt seem to quell at the mention of battle but wants to get stuck in. I really havnt read anything more as I should, I read Sil ages ago & I know Il get pulled up by someone brighter than me, I just dont seem to find time lately to do the reading as I should, so if anyone can correct me or shed light on any other "Lady Warrior" ? Shocked
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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by halfwise on Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:52 pm

A very penetrating question, Azriel. Here's my take on it, which I offer not so much as an answer (for I claim no more depth than you) but simply as the way I read it.

Trapped into taking care of a once great man who has lost all his valor, Eowyn dreams of escape that would restore some sense of honor and meaning to her world. She lives in a warrior's world; the only role that offers nobility to her is to be a warrior, which means to be a man. Archery is not noble - you are not facing your enemy (I don't think the concept of an archer's duel has ever evolved - with pistols yes because they completely superseded any other type of weapon). The idea that archery would be better because it's safer is, I have to say it, pure practical woman's thinking. It will not give her the sense of meaning that she craves.

The most recent equivalent of a woman warrior in literature is in George R R Martin (Brienne of Tarth), and she has totally different reasons but it still comes down to a need for respect which in the same type of world is only really awarded to men. Strong women trapped in a man's world I think would dream of taking on men's roles. No other option available.

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:22 pm

Eowyn is called a Shield Maiden which could be a title or it could be a role in society. As Halfy said, she is the daughter and neice of warriors like a noble Viking society she would have grown up in the presence of these values, values that applaud action, courage and brave deeds, she was a product of her society, whether its nature or nurture. She would have sat in the great Hall as a child and listened to the Tales and Sagas, like those of Nordic legend, bit like Beowulf. She equates bravery in battle with self worth, inaction and nursmaiding as something shamefull. An ordinary woman from that society would not feel as Eowyn did, they were expected to breed and look pretty, Eowyn wants more, she sees the physical freedoms of Eomer and Theodred and longs for meaning to her life. Compunded to all this is the fact they are Horse Lords the horse being the symbol and epitome of freedom, flying free over the grasslands of Rohan. She is also lonely and falls in love with Aragorn, she is doomed to failure on all fronts, and this gives her a death wish. she thinks theres nothing left to live for, she wants a noble death.

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by halfwise on Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:06 pm

I think you've captured her psychology perfectly, Figgy. Do you feel the portrayal in the movie was up to snuff?

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by azriel on Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:10 pm

Good ideas, thanks for answering, I was also curious if Tolkien was conscience of deliberately adding Eowyn's character as he did ? I accept her nobility & ancestry helped groom her, & mentally to think "your nothing really unless...". Maybe in an all male enviroment she felt "lost" in it all. No female role, no female to look up to,to aspire to? She was brave enough to take on the witch king,& she used an alias to ride into battle. I think she was a bit of a tortured soul inside, not unlike, ( & I know your gonna laugh !) but not unlike some people who believe they are a girl trapped in a boys body & vice-versa. Even as she lay in The house of Healing She replied to Eomer when he mentioned her return to health & hope, health yes, but hope ? she STILL couldnt see it. Yet she mentions there are deeds still to fill. she cant seem to find inner peace ?

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by Eldorion on Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:13 pm

I think Mrs Figg is spot on about Eowyn having a death wish. She wanted to die in battle, both because of her constricting upbringing and because Aragorn rejected her. It's not the most feminist of character motivations, which has gotten Tolkien some flack in more recent years. Shrugging
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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by halfwise on Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:15 pm

In her despair she was aiming one notch too high, to the ultimate. Faramir helped her see a more appropriate place in the world for her.

I don't think she ever had any sexuality conflicts, just role conflicts.

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:35 pm

I dont think she loved Aragorn in a traditionally romantic way. I think she fell in love with his kingly character. I think she saw herself not bearing his children stuck in some castle somewhere, but actually by his side fighting. I think she saw herself as a warrior, for that reason I believe that Tolkien was surprisingly forward thinking. There are female warriors in history like the Amazons, they dont follow the traditional female roles. I think perhaps she was incredibly lonely and saw Aragorn as a soul mate, but I dont think she was in love in the normal sense. She found love with Faramir but I often wonder if she could ever be truly happy, as he no doubt would expect her to conform once they were married. But Faramir was kingly too and of a sensitive and poetic nature, if there was any man alive in those days who could make her happy, it would be him.
I think the portrayal of Eowyn in the films was of a more simplistic romantic nature as regards her attraction to Aragorn, but still they did well in showing her conflicted roles in their society.

apart from the hilarious soup making scenes. Suspect

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by azriel on Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:54 pm

I think I agree with Mrs figg about Aragorn. It WAS just an infatuation. he was in her eyes, "her" but in a different guise. "her" as she felt she wanted to be. Maybe Tolkien WAS ahead of his time concerning Eowyn ? wonder if she was modelled on anyone he knew ? I think Faramir would have to have a special quality to tap into her inner self, he probably would need kid gloves to reach & connect with her, as she had a strong character, she pulled through in The Houses of Healing when all thought she was dead or dying at least. Even IF she settled down with Faramir, or anyone, she'd still hanker for one last charge across Rohan.
& yes, the soup scene was cringey !! I mean, what the f**k was Viggo forced to eat in that bowl !?
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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:07 pm

"It is but a shadow that you love"- or words to that affect Aragorn says of her.
And on her sickbed he tells Eomer to call to her because she doesnt really love him.
To me Aragorn wasn't just hunky kingly bloke- he was opportunity- a way out of her situation.
She doesn't get her deathwish on until after he rejects her- there is no hint before that she would have actually denied Theoden and ridden to war.
For me the whole- female warrior thing was never it for Eowyn- she was filled with resentment- "to stay behind", stuck looking after an old man thanklessly.
It seems even Eomer never even noticed her much- Eowyn looks after the sick king and that's as far as thinking about her went- any fulltime carer will tell you how that feels.
Eomer tells Aragorn he had not even noticed there was anything wrong with her until Aragorn showed up and all her frustrations started coming out.


Regards the film version- I strongly dislike how the releationship with Aragorn is handled from her perspective.
Having her blurt out she loves Aragorn before Helms Deep has even been fought just makes her seem like a soppy little girl that gets infatuated with Aragorn like he is a passing pop star. I got he feeling she fell in love with passing heroes every other week!"
Her declaration of love is much more powerful and makes much more sense where Tolkien has it- at their parting when Aragorn heads of to the Paths of the Dead.

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:11 pm

and thats where the film has that scene of her declaration, before the Paths of the Dead and thats where he rejects her, like the book. so thats not really something you can critisize. Also Eowyn was portrayed well in the film, to say she would go off with any passing pop star is completely unjustified scratch

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:16 pm

No it doesn't-PJ has it when Aragorn turns back up after his telepathic lying in river dream- "they would not be parted from the, because they love thee"- from the departure scene in book- placed when Aragorn and Leggy are walking through Helms Deep right before the battle- the departure scene between them for me is one of the worst character scenes in the trilogy- partly because its one of my favourites in the book and BBC radio version- but mainly because PJ has used up all the powerful dialogue from it already and has nothing left to say in it.

Its theway PJ has her declaring her love for him in no time at all gives me that impression Mrs Figg- and I think you will find I am justificiied in getting whatever impression form the film I do- the impression I got was she was a bit silly in that regard and her declaration of love was handled badly- done in the streets publicly and in front of Legolas- and way too soon.

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:20 pm

nope thats not her declaration, its before the Paths. I thought they did brilliant job with Eowyn. but i am not going to get sucked into a debate with you about it. It would go on ad infinitum and I got stuff to do.

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by David H on Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:46 pm

For me Eowyn always resonated of those hundreds of old folk songs like the "handsome soldier boy" where a woman disguises herself as a boy to enlist in the army (or navy) to find her lover who is usually dead, and sometimes to die herself in battle. The number and popularity of these songs suggests to me this was probably pretty common but not generally spoken of.

Of course history and mythology is full of Athena's and Boadicea's and Deborah's who are great warriors-leaders. But I've always felt that Eowyn is more a celebration of the contribution of the unsung female heroes. That's the way I read it when I was a kid, so it's how it is for me.
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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:54 pm

nope thats not her declaration, its before the Paths.- Mrs Figg


There is no debate to get sucked into Mrs Figg- you are simply mistaken in this case.


transcript of the dialogue book version-

Eo- Aragorn why will you go on this deadly road?
A- Because I must. Only so I can see any hope of doing my part in the war against Sauron. I do not choose the paths of peril. Were I to go where my heart dwells, far in the north I would now be wandering in the fair valley of Rivendell."
EO- You are a stern Lord, and resolute, and thus do men win renown.
Lord if you must go, then let me ride in your following. For I am weary of skulking in the hills, and wish to face peril in battle.'
"A- Your duty is with your people.
Eo- To often have I heard of duty. But am I not of the House of Eorl, a shielddmaiden and not a dry-nurse? I have waited on faltering feet long enough. Since they falter no longer it seems, may I now not spend my life as I will?
A- Few may do that with honour. But as for you lady; did you not accept the charge to govern the people until their's Lords return? If you had not been choosen, then some marshall or captain would have been set in in the same place, and he could not ride away from his charge were he weary of it or no.
EO- Shall I always be choosen? Shall I always be left behind when the Riders depart, to mind the house while they win renown, and find food and beds when they return?
A- A time may come soon when none will return. Then there will be need of valour without renown, for none shall remember the deeds that are done in the last defence of your homes. Yet the deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised.
EO- All your words are but to say; you are a woman, and your part is in the house. But when the men have died in battle and honour, you may have leave to burn in the house, for the men will need it no more. But I am of the House of Eorl and not a serving-woman. I can ride and weild blade, and I do not fear either pain or death.
a- What do you fear lady?
EO- A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds are gone beyond recall or desire.
A- And yet you councilled me not to adventure on the road that I have choosen, because it was perilous.
EO- So may one council another. Yet I do not bid you flee from peril, but to ride to battle where your sword may win renown and victory. I would not see a thing that is high and excellent cast aside needlessly.
A_ Nor would I, therefore I say to you lady;Stay! For you have no errand in the South.
EO- Neither have those others who go with thee. They only go because they would not be parted from thee- because they love thee.


PJ version same scene- (RotK)

e- Why are you doing this? The war lies to the east you cannot leave on the eve of battle. You cannot abandon the men.
A- Eowyn.
e- we need you here.
A- Why have you come?
E- Do you not know?
A-It is but a shadow and a thought that you love. I cannot give you what you seek. I have wished you joy since first I saw you.

Where the 'declaration is moved to in Pj's (TT)

A- We will place the reserves along the wall. They can support the archers from above the gate.
Leg- Aragorn you must rest, you are no use to us half alive.
Eo- My Lord! Aragorn! I am to be sent with the women to the caves.
A- That is an honourable charge.
EO- To mind the children, to find food and bedding when the men return. What renown is there in that?
aA- My lady a time may come for valour without renown who then will your people look to in the last defence?
eo- let me stand at your side.
A- it is not in my power to command it
E- You do not command the others to stay. They fight beside you because they would not be parted from you, because they love you.....I am sorry.

Its pants in comparison. And her declaration of love made at the end of this scene in the book Pj has moved a whole film earlier to before Helms Deep-its way, way to soon for her to be speaking that way. And it leaves no content for their final parting scene as Pj has used it all up elsewhere. Compared to the book version that scene is hollow and devoid of emotion for me.



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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by RA on Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:56 pm

To me Eowyn seems the idealistic youth. She's grown up in Meduseld hearing legends of the old wars and has lived her life with warriors but she's never actually fought in any.
War and conflict is what makes or breaks warriors and she does face conflict however it's internal. This allows her to survive but only just.
I think she's sees in Aragorn, subconsciously or not, a sort of answer to her own inner turmoil, in a way
She doesn't realize it's Faramir who embodies her struggle. He's also "torn between two worlds". The cruel practical world of kings and war and his ideals and honor.

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:19 pm

nope sorry Petty its you who is mistaken.

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by RA on Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:21 pm

About a great many things...






I'm sorry I couldn't resist

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:30 pm

So true Rodney, you said it. Laughing

he is always wrong Nod

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:34 pm

nope sorry Petty its you who is mistaken. - Mrs Figg

In what way- I have provided the book text and Pj's script- and the lines about love which end and and are the emotional high of the departure scene Pj has moved to TT and into the scene before the fight when Aragorn returns- its all there in black and white.
So in what fashion am I mistaken?

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:39 pm

dont care. you are still wrong. Laughing

((((I hope he falls for it otherwise it will be Yes it is, No it isnt, Yes it is, for weeks No )))))

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:41 pm

dont care. you are still wrong.- Mrs Figg

I shall just assume the words; 'except in this case when you are absolutely right' fell of the end of that sentence. Suspect

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:44 pm

Uploaded the BBC version of the departure scene as a comparison- like PJ they move stuff about, but in my view to greater effect.
Is 3 minutes of dialogue really too much for PJ?


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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by RA on Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:51 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:
"Is 3 minutes of dialogue really too much for PJ?"
Yes. Spectacle comes first and foremost. Dialogue and character development are secondary.

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Re: warrior princess ?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:55 pm

:facepalm: I knew it!

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