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Very fair was her face, and her long hair was like a river of gold. Slender and tall she was in her white robe girt with silver; but strong she seemed and stern as steel, a daughter of kings. Thus Aragorn for the first time in the full light of day beheld Éowyn, Lady of Rohan, and thought her fair, fair and cold, like a morning of pale spring that is not yet come to womanhood. And she now was suddenly aware of him: tall heir of kings, wise with many winters, greycloaked, hiding a power that yet she felt. For a moment still as stone she stood, then turning swiftly she was gone.

- "The King of the Golden Hall," The Two Towers

See, Tolkien? It doesn't take much to give us some romance. One beautiful paragraph sings it clear. And you even follow it up with two more moments in the same chapter: Éowyn's hand trembling as she brings Aragorn the wine cup, and her gaze moving to him while saying goodbye to Théoden before the men set off to Helm's Deep.

And this isn't even a couple that ends up together.

So if you wanted us to feel the Aragorn/Arwen bond, all you had to do was give us *one* such paragraph describing something similar between them, somewhere in all the pages of The Fellowship of the Ring. On basically every page you give one beautiful paragraph to the scenery or weaponry, or you recite several stanzas of a poem. So why merely a few murky enigmatic hints about Aragorn and Arwen's love, when it's got such emotional potential (a long-lived Elf giving up her immortality for the future King of Men!), and would only have taken a moment like the lovely one you just gave Éowyn? If you'd done so, maybe a lot more people would love Arwen, or at least like her half as much as they adore Éowyn. I, for one, would have appreciated it.

I know. I can't stop editing when I read nowadays. It's an affliction.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 18th, 2014 12:26 am (UTC)
My brain is nodding along with you. But my heart is remembering how strongly I have always felt the Aragorn/Arwen bond from the brief hints we're given of it throughout the story.
Feb. 18th, 2014 06:44 pm (UTC)
I'm just glad some people do feel the bond strongly! I seem to remember a lot of anti-Arwen feeling out there. And it's rather an important bond, and I definitely am more interested in it this time around as I re-read.
Feb. 18th, 2014 04:59 am (UTC)
I was 18 when I first read LOTR, and I was totally floored that Aragorn was marrying Arwen, but I loved it. All those hints that I wasn't sophisticated enough to see made sense! I think he wanted it to be a surprise, and for me (young woman) it worked. But the appendix slayed me. I rever the appendix above all romantic works-- awesome.
Feb. 18th, 2014 06:45 pm (UTC)
True, I guess it isn't that he didn't write such moments. He just wrote them and hid them in the appendices. :) Sneaky, Tolkien.
Feb. 18th, 2014 07:18 am (UTC)
How about Rosie Cotton? Sam and Rosie have a considerably less dysfunctional relationship than Aragorn and Arwen -- more of a traditional happily ever after. But the first time we even read Rosie's name is as Sam is heading up Mt. Doom with Frodo.
Feb. 18th, 2014 06:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah! I was also a bit perplexed to realize Rosie's never mentioned in FOTR. But Gimli's crush on Galadriel gets plenty of mention. Tolkien apparently is more comfortable with the courtly love that isn't going to go anywhere. :)
Feb. 19th, 2014 09:08 pm (UTC)
Who sez it's not going to go anywhere? I have fifty million fanfics right here that beg to differ...

(OK, only some of them "beg." Others demand.)

And now there's non-canonical Tauriel/Fili, so I guess Galadriel isn't the only one...
Feb. 20th, 2014 03:18 am (UTC)
Heheh. I was discussing with another fanfic writer the other week how there's probably not a single LOTR pairing that hasn't been done, no matter how bizarre. She offered up a Gimli/Eowyn fic she'd written as an example. (Hey, he's into tall women; I could see it!)

Sigh, Tauriel...I haven't seen the Hobbit films yet, and I admit the Tauriel bits in the trailer give me extra amounts of pause. Granted, the material needs more females, so...hrmf, yeah, okay.
Feb. 19th, 2014 02:01 am (UTC)
If I had only read the books, I don't think I would feel the Arwen/Aragorn bond at all. For me, that came only through the movies. But the movies also include plenty of Éowyn/Aragorn as well, so it gets kind of conflicted. I think I prefer Éowyn with Aragorn overall. Although Faramir is pretty awesome.
Feb. 19th, 2014 06:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah, while I don't think it was necessary to have Arwen become almost swashbuckling the way she does in the films, I definitely approved of the adding of the kisses and stuff. That helps us see that Aragorn isn't just being dense or cruel around Éowyn. :) I'll have to compare once I get through reading the whole thing, but I have the impression the films actually show *less* of the Faramir/Éowyn relationship than the books do, which is too bad. Still, would I have been fine with Éowyn becoming queen instead of Arwen? *ponders* Yes, I'm pretty sure that would have worked fine for me. As long as they found someone nice for Faramir. :)
Feb. 20th, 2014 03:19 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think I only remember one Faramir/Éowyn moment (aside from them standing together at Aragorn's coronation) but that's in the extended edition. It's a great scene, though. I think she has more chemistry with Aragorn, though, especially in the films.
Feb. 20th, 2014 03:31 am (UTC)
True, that's the rest of the problem: they also beef up the Éowyn/Aragorn chemistry for the film! I mean, you just can't have inter-sex swordfighting practice without it being sexy.

Maybe the problem is that he's like 88. :D
Feb. 21st, 2014 10:13 pm (UTC)
But he does look very good for his age!
Feb. 19th, 2014 09:32 pm (UTC)

HERB-MASTER sees FARAMIR gazing wistfully at ÉOWYN, who is looking pensively out a window and hasn’t noticed.

HERB-MASTER: If we had currency in Middle-Earth, I still wouldn’t offer a penny for your thoughts.
FARAMIR: Oh, wow, I so totally would.
HERB-MASTER: Offer a penny?
FARAMIR: No. [Blushes]. Do you know her?
HERB-MASTER: Éowyn of Rohan, brother of King Éomer, your kinswoman.
FARAMIR: My kinswoman?
HERB-MASTER: Not particularly close.
FARAMIR: Whew! Do you know if she’s, um…
HERB-MASTER: Why don’t you ask Merry?
FARAMIR: Who’s Mary?
HERB-MASTER: Not Mary, Merry. The short guy with the feet. They spend a lot of time together.
FARAMIR: (glumly) Oh. Are they, like…?
HERB-MASTER: Beats me. Ask your uncle.
FARAMIR: My uncle?
HERB-MASTER: Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth. He brought them both in. Apparently the two of them took down the Witch-King.
FARAMIR: The Witch-King?
HERB-MASTER: Yes. The little guy stabbed the Witch-King in the knee, and then Éowyn chopped off his head, or that's how I heard it. Do you know that if you keep repeating the last two words someone says to you, you’ll sound like a dolt?
FARAMIR: A dolt?
HERB-MASTER: (Rolls eyes).
Feb. 20th, 2014 03:19 am (UTC)
Haha! Well done. I haven't reached that part in my re-read yet, but this sum-up will brighten it up when I do get there. I'd forgotten they were technically related...small world, Middle-earth.
Feb. 20th, 2014 05:41 am (UTC)
In fact Imrahil's daughter ends up marrying Éowyn's brother, which means his brother-in-law is also his cousin-in-law; it all sounds a bit inbred, but that's royalty for you.

I apologize to Faramir for taking liberties with his intellect…

FARAMIR: Wait, last time I was conscious, Theoden was King of Rohan. And isn't his heir named Theodred? What's all this about 'King Éomer'?
HERB-MASTER: While you slept great deeds have been done, and great and tragic….
FARAMIR: Whatever. Tell me what else you know about the blonde over there.
Feb. 20th, 2014 05:42 pm (UTC)
Hehehe! I like that one even better. Ultra-condensed and to the point.

As for inbreeding, eh, after Game of Thrones it's not so bad.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )