The LOTR Movie Site
February 16, 2001

Let Eowyn be Eowyn

Let Eowyn be Eowyn I say, and not a symbol of someone else's ideas of what a woman should or shouldn't be like. She is not "hostile to the modern attempt to erase traditional gender differences." She is in fact just who she is, nothing more and nothing less, and all the more admirable for that. She is not representative of anything other than herself. She is not a woman first and Eowyn second. She is a person named Eowyn who happens to be a woman born with a noble and brave heart who does what she believes to be right for herself and her people. To my mind she never renounces her tomboyish way of life. Instead she moves from a dark and dangerous time in which she dares to challenge and defeat great evil (and is thus tainted and infected by it) to a place of light and joy.

One final thought. I would like to quote from the master himself. This is taken from The Prologue to the Fellowship of the Ring, Second Edition, 1978, pages 6-7. In this part of the Prologue, Mr. Tolkien is responding to those readers who had attempted to explain the Lord of the Rings as an allegory of World War II. Nevertheless, I think that his words are applicable to the issues that Brian raises regarding the changing roles of the genders in contemporary society.

"As for any inner meaning or 'message', it has in the intention of the author none. It is neither allegorical nor topical."  After pointing out the important differences between the real war against Hitler and his allies, and the legendary war against Sauron and the forces of evil, he goes on to say: "…arrangements could be devised according to the tastes or views of those who like allegory or topical reference. But I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory'; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author."

You see, he really was a sage in the truest sense of the word. All praise to the White Lady of Rohan.