mine and my friend’s last braincells: “what if vogue gondor existed and did an editorial on eowyn’s marriage to faramir?” I did the art, my friend did the amazing article which you can read down below :>
“I never expected I’d be in a place like this,” muses Eowyn, soon-to-be Lady of Ithilien, in a wry, clear voice. We’re having tea on the ramparts of Minas Tirith’s palace walls, where she’s agreed to an interview with me—a notable rarity for the Rohirrim. She’s a bright-eyed, comfortable conversationalist, and her keen wit and good humour have a remarkable way of showing when you least expect it. Just now, of course, she meant the phrase ‘a place like this’ both literally—for rarely throughout history have shieldmaidens of Rohan been wed in Minas Tirith—and symbolically, too, for her situation has, till now, been anything but expected. The entire city, no, the entire kingdom of Gondor, perhaps, has heard of her heroic fight against the Witch-King of Angmar—as well as her stint afterwards in the house of healing, which is where she met Prince Faramir.
Prince Faramir, who, according to Eowyn, is “her best friend, unexpectedly so.” It’s a frank confession, certainly, but I think I glimpse her meaning. There has been no lack of rumour of the shieldmaiden’s once-passionate feelings for Aragorn II Elessar, King of Gondor. Gossip of it has abounded with little restraint, at times curious, at times malicious—but sitting here with Eowyn, her face propped up on her arm as she stares out serenely at the view of the city, you’d never know if she’s been affected by such talk. Her movements speak of grace borne from strength: supple muscle from sword-work and good posture from horse-tending, but with a hint, too, of inner mettle, resilient and hidden. She’s straight-spined and her eyes speak of experience, of the kind of wisdom earned from grievous circumstances. Sitting with her here, now, it is easy to believe what rumours would not believe: of her feelings for Aragorn having faded in the light of different, unforeseen love.
“Will you tell me,” I ask, as she passes me a crumpet, “what you thought of Faramir when you first met him?”
She considers the question. We sip from our cups. The wind picks up; it’s that orange, glowing dusk-time, and the city around us hums like something alive. Eowyn, in contrast to the noises of the city, is quiet, clearly carefully choosing her next words.
Finally, she says, “I thought he was the most annoying man I had ever met.”
In surprise, I spill tea on the table. She waves away my apologies, and passes me a napkin. A lopsided grin plays on her face. “You did that on purpose,” I accuse, and she laughs, ducks her head in amiable acquiescence.
“The truth is,” she continues, “I was angry at him for my own reasons, and so I misunderstood him. Perhaps he misunderstood me, too. I think,” here, she tilts her head, contemplative, “It’s almost as if—we make each other better people, because we make each other see things more clearly. Before he met me, he knew no folk of Rohirrim. Before I met him, I had no thought for stewards of Gondor. No, we changed each other for the better.”
There’s a hidden meaning to her words, perhaps, and there’s something playing behind her eyes, hidden in her expression that I can’t quite decipher. It’s an odd effect she has, really: she doesn’t expect sympathy, understanding, but still earns it for her sincerity.
I don’t press her to explain. Instead, I ask her about what she’ll be wearing for the wedding. Vogue photoshoots of her bridal gear will be all the richer for her explaining her couture in her own words, after all.
“Oh,” she says, as though she’d barely thought of it. “It’s quite a nice dress. I wanted to wear something in the style of a Rohirric bride, you see. And of course there was a big fuss about it with the tailors, you understand. They wanted me to look like a fitting bride to a man of Gondor. But I put my foot down. Clothes don’t mostly take up a lot of place in my mind, admittedly. But a wedding is something different. How you look is a symbol of something… more.”
I nod. “What are your thoughts on the finished dress, finished vision of it all, now? I’d love for you to describe it.”
A corner of her mouth curls up. “I do like it. I’ll be wearing armour fitted over a dress, with details of inlaid silver-work. It’ll be periwinkle blue—that’s the custom for brides in Rohan, to look like the colour of the sky. My chemise will have puffed sleeves, snowy white, and… what else… earrings. They’re swords, miniature swords, made of crystals. I gather a very renowned artisan dwarf crafted them something like four hundred years ago. My petticoats will be layered, and I’ll have blue suede shoes.”
She waits patiently as I hurry to note it all down. This is a very literal description that she’s given me. She’s hardly swooning over her bridegear and trousseau. There’d been a militant sort of edge to how she’d described putting her foot down to look like a bride of Rohan. It’s impossible not to feel my already high level of respect for her rocketing further upwards.
As I look up, she’s staring outwards, at the city. I take her in: the soon-to-be bride, striking me now as a warrior setting onwards into unknown territory. There’s something heroic about the way she looks to me, even as her hands are bereft of a sword.
Or perhaps I’m getting carried away by her unwitting charisma. I realise I only have one last question: “Are you ready to be wed in the coming days, good Lady?”
Amused, her brow raises as she says, “I think I’m ready for anything. After all, any road ahead cannot frighten me on a day this beautiful. I shall be married to a man I love, and live on, and work, and heal.”
Whether she means heal herself or others, I do not ask. I thank her for the interview, and we watch the city for a time ahead till evening approaches, quiet, and the stars come out.
5K notes · View notes
something that really gets me about Lord of the Rings post-breaking-of-the-fellowship is that at some point, every group of characters is under the impression that they are, ostensibly, the last people alive. And they still manage to go on despite the sadness and hopelessness of this.
When Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli go off to find Merry and Pippin in The Two Towers, there’s a lot of moments in which they consider that their search might be in vain. They’ve lost Gandalf, they’ve lost Boromir, they have no idea if Frodo and Sam are still alive, and logically, Merry and Pippin don’t have a great chance of survival in their current situation.
The reverse is true for Merry and Pippin. They know that there’s a very real chance that everyone else has been killed and that they were only spared because the orcs think they have the ring.
Even when most of the fellowship reunites at Isengard, they still have no idea what happened to Frodo and Sam and they’re left wondering about them until the end of Return of the King
When Faramir tells Frodo and Sam that Boromir is dead, there’s a moment where the two of them consider that everyone else probably is as well, that they only survived because they abandoned the fellowship. Faramir does tell them that Boromir wouldn’t have had a funeral if no one else was alive, but that leaves them with very little hope, because that could still mean that most of their friends are dead. And they have to continue the rest of their journey with this knowledge. They never get relief until the very end, and that’s one of the reasons why the two of them (in many ways) bear the heaviest burden.
I just think that’s a huge part of the haunting atmosphere that the darker parts of LOTR really emulate. The idea that everyone you care about is gone, but that you have to keep going anyway, because it’s really the only thing left to do.
1K notes · View notes