Wow. Bad, bad Dwim - how did I miss this one?
I love the tension you've created here between Eahlmund and Théoden, and on such an unexpected matter. Yet it makes perfect sense that a grandfather, grieving the deaths of his son and his daughter-in-law, should be reluctant to surrender his grandchildren to the King of Rohan - even if the King of Rohan is uncle to those same grandchildren.
The initial description of Éomer as *not* his father's son, at first so innocently interesting, becomes much more fraught, as the reader wonders: is it possible this is grief and opposition to Eahlmund talking, and making out Éomer to be more unlike his father than he really is?
The arguments between the two men range all over, raising questions of what is good for the children, what is right for Aldburg, and impossible questions about whether it would have made a difference for Théodwyn to have been in Edoras rather than Aldburg. And there's no real resolution, no one has a knock-down justification that would make Aldburg or Edoras *the* right answer.
The ending is ambivalent - at least one of Eahlmund's fears has come true, yet one might ask whether Eomer's dislike of an eastward facing window (and what a brilliant contrast to his sister later on in RotK!) is not a sign of wisdom learned at Edoras.
And finally - poor Théoden, who, if not quite an orphan in the technical sense, was certainly uprooted young, raised to foreign ways - in a foreign house or a foster house, as it were - and who would certainly, I think, not wish his nephew to feel estranged from his birth-home.
Lovely, Starlight - thank you so much! I'm so sorry I didn't see this sooner. I think it just got buried. But it makes a great Christmas present!