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Re: Aragorn, Tales of the Heir of Isildor. Parts 1 & 2

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:35 pm
by Merry
I don't have my books with me at the moment, but doesn't Gandalf suggest that maybe Eowyn has mistaken one kind of love for another? Aragorn, as a mighty warrior and leader of men, represented a kind of escape from the helplessness and shame Eowyn felt when Theoden was such a weak leader. We might imagine that Eowyn had not had much experience with romantic love and grief does strange things with our emotions. I think Tolkien wrote in one of the published letters that people in extreme situations might fall in love more quickly than happens in ordinary life.

I know C. S. Lewis wrote a book on the different kinds of love and we can also imagine that maybe he and JRRT had discussed this topic. Also, I think the movies played up the romance more than the books do, although clearly book-Aragorn perceived that Eowyn had a kind of love for him that could not be returned.

Re: Aragorn, Tales of the Heir of Isildor. Parts 1 & 2

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:38 pm
by Lindariel
Merry, actually I believe it is Aragorn and Faramir who express those thoughts. First, Aragorn follows up that memorable quote I last posted with the following (note especially the sections in italics):

"Sorrow and pity have followed me ever since I left her desperate in Dunharrow and rode to the Paths of the Dead; and no fear upon that way was so present as the fear for what might befall her. And yet, Eomer, I say to you that she loves you more truly than me; for you she loves and knows; but in me she loves only a shadow and a thought: a hope of glory and great deeds, and lands far from the fields of Rohan. I have, maybe, the power to heal her body, and to recall her from the dark valley. But to what she will awake: hope, or forgetfulness, or despair, I do not know. And if to despair, then she will die, unless other healing comes which I cannot bring. Alas! for her deeds have set her among the queens of great renown."

Later, it is Faramir who tells us what is going on with Eowyn:

"Eowyn, why do you tarry here, and do not go to the rejoicing in Cormallen beyond Cair Andros, where your brother awaits you?"

And she said: "Do you not know?" [BTW, PJ & Co. gave this line to Eowyn when she speaks with Aragorn in Dunharrow.]

But he answered: "Two reasons there may be, but which is true, I do not know."

And she said: "I do not wish to play at riddles. Speak plainer!"

"Then if you will have it so, lady," he said: "you do not go, because only your brother called for you, and to look upon the Lord Aragorn, Elendil's heir, in his triumph would now bring you no joy. Or because I do not go, and you desire still to be near me. And maybe for both these reasons, and you yourself cannot choose between them. Eowyn, do you not love me, or will you not?"

"I wished to be loved by another," she answered. "But I desire no man's pity."

"That I know," he said. "You desired to have the love of the Lord Aragorn. Because he was high and puissant, and you wished to have renown and glory and to be lifted far above the mean things that crawl on the earth. And as a great captain may to a young soldier he seemed to you admirable. For so he is, a lord among men, the greatest that now is. But when he gave you only understanding and pity, then you desired to have nothing, unless a brave death in battle. Look at me, Eowyn!"

And Eowyn looked at Faramir long and steadily; and Faramir said: "Do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart, Eowyn! But I do not offer you my pity. For you are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you. Once I pitied your sorrow. But now, were you sorrowless, without fear or any lack, were you the blissful Queen of Gondor, still I would love you. Eowyn, do you not love me?"

Then the heart of Eowyn changed, or else at last she understood it.

Ach! I LOVE this scene! The healing Faramir brings is to love Eowyn, rather than pitying her. She cannot bear Aragorn's pity. She is young and struggling to understand her own feelings. This is why she asks Faramir to speak plainly. So he does. And she finally comes to understand what is truly in her own heart. Just brilliantly done!

Re: Aragorn, Tales of the Heir of Isildor. Parts 1 & 2

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:20 pm
Personnellement je comprends l'admiration éprouvée par Eowyn pour ce grand guerrier qui rend l'honneur au Rohan et au roi, je sais qu'il existe certaines personnes ne pouvant aimer qu'en admirant.C'est ainsi qu'elle tombe devant Aragorn, et n'acceptera pas de pitié de lui ou d'un autre : elle est fière, vulnérable, blessée. Votre analyse est exacte et pertinente, Lindariel et Merry, je vous en remercie.

Re: Aragorn, Tales of the Heir of Isildor. Parts 1 & 2

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:17 pm
by Merry
Yes, that's it, Lindariel. I remembered the word 'puissant' was used!

In light of other conversations we've had about the importance of the idea of Pity in Tolkien, it's interesting that Eowyn nearly chooses her own death to avoid being pitied. This is a kind of pride that needs to be redeemed and we do, indeed, see Faramir as the engine of that redemption. It is a beautiful line at the end, that she understood her own heart finally. Faramir is not only loving, but wise, and knew how to deal with her perfectly, having found himself in a similar situation.

Great adjectives for Eowyn, Michka!

Re: Aragorn, Tales of the Heir of Isildor. Parts 1 & 2

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:00 pm
by Lindariel
Merry, I so wish that PJ & Co. had filmed that beautiful scene between Eowyn and Faramir. I think Mirando Otto and David Wenham would have relished such lovely dialogue and done an incredible job with it. The whole "Houses of Healing" section that was filmed and included in the Extended ROTK was just so inadequate, especially since one of the signs that establishes Aragorn's right of inheritance as the Heir of Isildur is "The hands of the King are the hands of a healer."

Sigh . . . I would have happily dispensed with a good 5 or 10 minutes of the endless and somewhat repetitive Battle of the Pelennor Fields to have been given a decent, economic portrayal of the emotionally and politically important events in the Houses of Healing!

Re: Aragorn, Tales of the Heir of Isildor. Parts 1 & 2

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:02 am
OUI!Lindariel, je suis en accord avec vous, hélas le succés du film repose plus sur les scènes spectaculaires et les moyens visuels des effets spéciaux, il faudrait une nouvelle réalisation pour développer les moments intimes, poétiques, sentimentaux et intellectuels du roman, je serais partante pour cette vision!!!