The LOTR Movie Site
February 22, 2001

Re: Wormtongue's Whispers
Edmund C.

Eowyn was not trying to impersonate a man. She wanted to be free of her stifling existance, and she looked for freedom in battle. However, even though she assumed the role of a man she was not trying to become one. In the conversation between Eomer, Aragorn, and Gandalf, as they hold council over Eowyn's bedside, they say Wormtongue did bewitch her, and that her strength and courage needed the fields and deeds of arms that the men had because she was cooped up watching her uncle become a dotard. Gandalf says that her depression was caused by Wormtongue, which stemmed into her desperate love for Aragorn and her attempt at suicide. The reason she rode off was to die. As she said, "I do not desire healing. I wish to ride to war like my brother Eomer, or better like Theoden the king, for he died and has both honor and peace."

As for the reason she did not cheer up after the news that the battle was won? She was still bewitched. This can be seen by Aragorn saying, "When I first looked upon 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 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..."

Here is where the spell starts to break: 'She [Eowyn] did not answer, but as he [Faramir] looked at her it seemed to him that something in her softened, as though a bitter frost were yielding at the first faint pressage of spring. A tear sprang in her eye and fell down her cheek, like a glistening rain-drop.'

Clearly, though Eowyn looked for release upon the battlefield, her unhappiness and depression did not spring from her desire to become a man. It came from a spell that played upon her long for freedom, which drove her to seek it in death.

PS Brian M., I get the feeling you think I'm a femenist. Just to get the record straight, I am not even close!