1. Edoras to Ithilien in Twelve Moves.
Flesh, fair, firm, but soft; hair shimmering, streaming behind her in the golden sunlight. Old enough now to be courted; to be kissed and caressed; her young body ready to respond to a lover's hands and mouth.
He had offered himself. Whispered words to her that promised the pleasures he could give her were she to give her body to him, to taste, to tutor…
But she had refused; looked at him with horror, gone to her brother, to her cousin and he had felt their ire.
Now they would learn, Grima thought, that beauty, not given, could be stolen.
To Sleep, Perchance To Dream…
On the nights that neither Théodred nor Éomer were in Meduseld, Éowyn locked and barred her bedroom door; she no longer relied on propriety to protect her from her uncle's advisor.
She would sleep but fitfully; and fear and dread, black terror, awaited her.
But, some nights, a soft voice would call her from the blackness and she would dream of a garden of flowers, a dark haired man, and children she knew were theirs.
She could not remember his face in her waking hours and yet, she was sure, one day they would meet and she would know him.
She saw the tall, grey cloaked, figure move in the shadows, up onto Edoras' defensive wall, where he stood gazing over the deeper darkness without.
Her hungry eyes feasted on him, silhouetted by a guttering flame; so tall, so regal in his bearing. This Aragorn was a figure to quicken both heart and blood.
She made to join him but, before she spoke, the moon cleaved the clouds; illuminating all briefly. The figure lifted his face and the silver shaft caught pearl skin, pale hair.
Shaken, Éowyn tried to believe that she had known, all along, it was the elf.
Éowyn had been told, as a child, that the Witch of Dwimordene sprinkled stardust in the eyes of unwary children, before her grey shadow warriors carried them, bewitched, away.
She was reminded of this as she looked at the elf standing on the wall of Edoras. Surely the only way she could have mistaken Legolas for the dark-haired… regal… masculine… Aragorn was that the elf had bewitched her?
Yet, logic suggested, he showed no interest in seducing her. If there was, indeed, stardust in the air, since the travellers' arrival, then just who did she look at through bedazzled eyes?
As they made their way to Dunharrow she watched him, and his companions, covertly. He was certainly master of himself; a commander of men even though he deferred to Théoden King.
Once or twice, she thought, the elf noticed how hungrily she watched the man. Legolas, in his otherness, reminded her of the female to whom, she had been told, Aragorn had given his heart.
But, surely, a man could be turned to see the value of a love here at his side, rather than one lost forever, at the far side of the world, beyond the reach of men…
He had rejected her! She had thought, before the dark-haired elves arrived amidst the Grey Company, that he was coming to see her as someone he could love.
She would have been his queen, his helpmeet; she would have loved him with her all.
But he had rejected her. He had, he said, chosen the road that he would tread… and had gone to certain death.
There was nothing left for her in this life if he walked the Paths of the Dead.
She took up the sword; a quick and valiant path to join him in the next life.
Naught but this…
The noise. She had never imagined such clamour; metal on metal, orcs screaming, horses screaming, men screaming; a cacophony.
Nor imagined the deep weariness of muscles that swung the sword, held up the shield, bore the weight of the mail.
Her whole life had shrunk to this; there had been nothing before and she could think of nothing after.
Then Théoden King fell and, as nazgul black overwhelmed him, Éowyn pushed forward, just energy enough to hold her sword high, but as the enemy faded so did all else.
'At least,' she thought, 'we are together, here, at World's End…'
Out of Darkness.
Cold. She was so very cold; cold as death, cold as the tomb. Around her all was black; a thick, inky, blackness; heavy with death and decay; surrounding her with a fear and helplessness greater than she could have ever imagined.
Éowyn had longed for death, yet now…
Then, so far away that at first she thought it imagined, a pin-prick of light. She tried to struggle towards it but it seemed too far away; and yet the light was calling, growing stronger, until, finally, she saw that her pathfinder was the brightest star of seven, over a white tree.
Won't Get Fooled Again...
When she first saw Aragorn, Éowyn thought that he must be the man from those dreams that soothed her during dark, fear-haunted, nights. Oh, how she wanted him to be the man in those dreams; but he rejected her. Even as he healed her from her living nightmare, his heart was with another.
Now this other, quiet, dark-haired man smiled at her gently; but she could no longer believe that not only the nightmares had been a flash forward in time, but also the good dreams. Love, this time, must be earned.
Faramir would need to woo and win her!
Éowyn learnt little, from this man who courted her, about his father. But she learnt much from others, even in their telling of how Faramir came to be in the House of Healing.
What father sent his last remaining son to certain death 'for glory'? Even brain-addled Theoden had not knowingly sent Theodred to die.
What father rejoiced not, when that son survived, but tried to burn him, heart still beating?
She knew Denethor best when she saw the throne room – the pretence at humility there; his palantir-bent mind finally snapping as he realised he'd lost this game of thrones.
"I would have you see this now, and be sure of your decision," he said, "ere I ask your brother for your hand."
Éowyn wanted to object; her hand was her own. But, in this time of new kings and princes, of alliances renewed, she knew her value – and valued his concern.
She saw the workmen, in the valley below, hurrying to and fro; the once dead shell, long defiled, was returning to life.
She watched, then slowly nodded. "It is lovely and I will be happy, here, with you. We will make this the most noble house in Gondor."
As a girl Éowyn had day-dreamed about her wedding. She would be nineteen, the sun would glint on the golden roof of Meduseld, and on her golden maned young husband.
Now she stood beside this dark-haired man, in Minas Tirith, on a moonless night; at twenty-five an old maid approaching the wedding bed.
Something fiery streaked across the blackness of the sky. She gasped. A belated fire ball from Mount Doom, perhaps? A dire omen.
"No," said Faramir. "It is a phoenix, newly hatched, taking wing. A wondrous portent of new beginnings, my love."
Beside him, Éowyn at last relaxed.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.