TWT: Faramir and Éowyn

As a couple, Éowyn and Faramir were banished to the background of The Return of the King. A shameful deed in my sight, since their romance is possibly the most beautiful one in fiction.

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Éowyn is the restless warrior princess who looks for glory in a heroic death rather than in doing her duty. Faramir is the quiet peaceable sort-of-prince who loves his country but not the violence that is its protection. They’re polar opposites, but apparently opposites attract.

What I like about their story is that it’s unabashedly old-fashioned – but not stuffy or boring. “How should I ease your care, my lord?” she asks, and he replies, “I say to you that you are beautiful. In the valleys of our hills there are flowers fair and bright, and maidens fairer still; but neither flower nor lady have I seen till now in Gondor so lovely, and so sorrowful. It may be that only a few days are left ere darkness falls upon our world… it would ease my heart, if while the Sun yet shines, I could see you still.”* It’s exactly the courtly romance of the Middle Ages.

Of course, nothing will ever compare to the classic quote:

‘”Then must I leave my own people, man of Gondor?” she said. “And would you have your proud folk say of you: ‘There goes a lord who tamed a wild shieldmaiden of the North! Was there no woman of the race of Númenor to choose?”

‘”I would,” said Faramir. And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high on the walls in the sight of many. And many indeed saw them and the light that shone about them as they came down from the walls and went hand in hand to the Houses of Healing…’*

I admit, I admit, I’m a hopeless romantic.


*The Return of the King, “The Steward and the King”

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13 thoughts on “TWT: Faramir and Éowyn

  1. I love that you addressed this! As luck would have it, Faramir is, by far, my favourite character in The Lord of the Rings (closely followed by Radagast… I just love background characters!). I am right there with you in saying this is the best romance in the books, though it may be due to the fact that I specialised in medieval literature :’D

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    1. Faramir is proof that practically-perfect characters don’t necessarily have to be flat or uninteresting. He’s one of the best characters in the book.

      (In the movie, on the other hand… :/ )

      Oh, I would love to specialise in medieval literature! That’s never going to happen though 🙂

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  2. What a lovely tribute to Faramir and Eowyn’s wonderful romance! I completely agree with you that it was sadly lacking in the movie. 😦 And I really do think that Arwen and the way she was portrayed are much less deserving of screen time than Faramir and Eowyn….

    But at least we still have the book! I have probably read and re-read those scenes you quoted a couple of dozen times! 😀 Their love story is so beautiful and sweet, and I will never get tired of it as long as I live.

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    1. Augh, don’t get me started on Arwen and her misportrayal…… They really messed up the romances, didn’t they. But yup, we still have the book. Not that that fixes everything for me – but it’s true 🙂

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      1. I will not rant about movie-Arwen, or about movie-Faramir….. But you can guess my feelings, especially with Faramir as one of my all-time favorite characters! 😉

        And the Houses of Healing sections in ROTK are quite possibly my favorites in the entire book, but as you said, the movie cut it almost entirely – and the little that was shown in the extended edition changed some important details. Even apart from my personal feelings on that, I would argue that much of Eowyn and Faramir’s story had a massive impact on the central conflict, especially Aragorn’s character (who was very important in the movie). Unfortunately, no movie is perfect, not even our beloved LOTR! And neither is screen time unlimited!

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        1. Even though it was mostly cut, I did like what was shown of the Houses of Healing. And maybe it’s best that the Faramir-Eowyn story is left to our imaginations to picture. That’s one of the things that I still have my own picture of even since watching the movies. That’s the worst thing about films, really – they leave nothing to the imagination and your original ideas of what characters or scenes would’ve looked like are gone forever. I can’t remember if or how I imagined Aragorn before I watched the films.

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          1. I definitely agree with you there, too, and that is all so true! I was just thinking recently about how I have had the same experience as you in imagining Aragorn! And I also imagine that story the way it is beautifully described in the book. Faramir and Eowyn are two of the characters I still imagine differently than the movies because of their differing descriptions in the book. That replacement of one’s own imagined images is certainly a huge downside to the films of almost any book, but especially with something as beloved, descriptive, and imagination-stimulating as LOTR.

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  3. I was also miffed at Jackson’s handling (or lack thereof) of this beautiful love story. Filmgoers who’d never read the books were no doubt wondering why these two were standing together at Aragorn’s coronation, if they saw them at all.

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