Have I ever told you that I am a shameless Lord of the Rings fanatic? Because I am. I first fell in love in Jr. High (oddly enough, when I was first exposed to LotR I strongly disliked it. But I soon saw the light). My favourite character is Eowyn. She is so alone, a woman in a world of men. Something deep inside me resonated with her. Once upon a time I had the brilliant idea of writing a novel about her – mostly a collection of short stories that tied in with the book and movies. While I never got very far with that (who knows what might happen in the future), I was able to write a few short stories, vignettes, if you will. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Now . . . I Must Die
There were so many! Théoden and his knights charged into the teeming mass of Southrons and made short work of them.
But not without costs . . . many men of the Mark lay slain. So many were dead . . . .
The sky was darkening – strange, for it was not yet midday. But before anything else could happen her horse threw her.
Scrambling to get up . . . and then she saw him – Théoden lay crushed by Snowmane, and the fell beast was coming to devour him. All had gone from this dark place. None were left to defend the king, save this shieldmaiden only, and she ran not from the dark madness that had mastered many men, the darkness of this tall Shadow’s eyes.
“Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!” For her uncle, like a father to her, was dead.
But then the king of the Nazgûl spoke, and his voice was cold and terrible, “Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shriveled mind left naked to the Lidless Eye.”
Her despair deepened, but she strengthened her will, for here, defending her uncle, she would depart this life.
As she drew her sword she spoke: “Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.”
“Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!”
No living man . . . but I am no man, and perhaps I may impede thee! Fell laughter came with this thought, the laughter of one who is unafraid, of one who will soon die. “But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless, for living or dark undead, I will smite you if you touch him.”
The shape hesitated, but his mighty steed rushed at her to crush her in its jaws.
I will not die by this beast, but by the hand of the Ringwraith who sits atop him. She hewed its neck, and waited as it fell. Now the Nazgûl stood alone.
She knew this would be her death . . . .
He shrieked, a scream of hatred of all living things, and hurled his mace. Her arm was shattered, her shield broken. As the Lord of the Nazgûl towered over her slight form she knew that now she must die.
To be slain by this enemy would bring no dishonour . . . .
But suddenly he faltered and fell, and a scream of pain escaped his lips.
Arise now and slay this monster, chief of the Enemy’s slaves! Destroy this Ringwraith and have done with him!
She rose, trembling with exhaustion, and with all her remaining strength drove her bright blade into the Shadow before her. She realized her weapon was disintegrating before her eyes, and the Black Menace falling to the ground. She perceived everything in the world in that one moment, but in that moment only, and as the blackness took her, she knew that now she could die with honour.
All quotations are taken from the Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King, Book 5,
Chapter 6 – The Battle of the Pelennor Fields.