The LOTR Movie Site
March 1, 2001

On the Casting of Eowyn

I'm just lost. Bad enough the role of Arwen is given to young, ditzy Liv Tyler who really hasn't the regal grace and solemn maturity that Tolkien's Arwen had. Bad enough PJ's "Arwen" may be promoted as an over-done, pop-culture-pleasing, sword-waving, karate-kickin' babe ala Charlie's Angels to attract the adolescent-minded males who can't see the beauty of Arwen's strong and serenely mysterious appeal as Tolkien intended it, or to attract the silly, fantasy-illiterate females who just want a soap-operatic sacharine-goopy ("Kiss me Aragorn"? Yikes!) love story with all the tired-and-true formulaic cliches. (take breath) But now I am totally confused as to why the true shield-maiden, Eowyn, the character Tolkien originally intended as the sword-swinging, horse-riding, battle-stern warrior-girl is being played by somone who appears far too old, and far too vapid to faithfully play her. Of course I have not seen Miranda Otto's performance yet(though I have seen her in other films), but the age difference alone is enough to make me want to cry. Waaaaaaa!! Eowyn has been my favorite character since I read the book at twelve years old, and immediately found a hero. Tolkien described her as "a morning of pale spring that is not yet come to womanhood." I always felt this was more of a comment on her physical maturity rather than her (supposedly) late-blooming femininity. Much of her actions, such as the instant crush she develops on Aragorn, seem in accordance with a very young, impressionable girl. This does not seem to be in agreement with the person of Miranda Otto who seems to be at least in her mid-thirties. I'm very sorry, those of you who are offended by the fact that some of us would really like PJ's LOTR to be faithful to Tolkien's beautiful and incomparable vision, but I am seeing a discrepancy here: Arwen's "Young she was and yet no so," personage being played by giggly, dizzy, chronologically challenged (and over-acting) Liv Tyler, and the very youthful Eowyn being played by a diluted, thiry-something Miranda Otto. Help me Mr. Wizard!! Did PJ actually read the book? Maybe he skimmed over some of Tolkien's character descriptions. It is such a shame that what looks like such wonderful potential for a very long-awaited screen version of LOTR (with SOME excellent casting, and many excellent approaches) will disappoint some of the most faithful and true to Tolkien's origianl vision followers. So call me what you will; many of the more observant LOTR fans have been put down for perceiving some unnecessary changes and flaws in (PJ's)LOTR. I yam what I yam, and will not see the logic in these circumstances. Tolkien does not need revision. Kow-towing to the hip and politically correct film pop-culture is not necesssary for a great and successful LOTR to make.