Episode 20
November 3, 2020

She Does It All!

Hosted by Jared Pechaček, Ned Raggett, and Oriana Schwindt

Jared, Oriana and Ned talk about Oriana’s choice of topic: Éowyn. As likely the most prominent character in The Lord of the Rings who’s a woman—and certainly the most prominent human woman, hands down—Éowyn and her journey in the story always has a central position in any discussion of the book, someone who grapples with any number of personal disasters and wider societal expectations to end up playing a key role in the book’s epic arc. At the same time, her final choices after that shattering confrontation with the Lord of the Nazgûl have led to questioning about whether she should be seen as a feminist icon, something that Tolkien’s own personal views on women further indelibly complicate. Were Tolkien’s own stated views on what he thought about women and society conditional, potentially subject to change possibly even depending on his perception of his audience? Is Éowyn a total outlier in her society and world or is what she does something potentially more broadly understood and accepted? Are the choices she makes towards the end of the book a return to an expected role for her in a patriarchal world, or are they reflective of her gaining a deeper understanding of herself and what her own desires and needs are no matter what others might think? And what do we all think about that moment when her hair and Faramir’s flow together in the wind as they stand on Minas Tirith’s walls awaiting the moment of doom? (We love it, of course.)

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Show Notes.

Jared’s doodle, inspired by Scythian art and fashions.

Now that’s how to win an election!

J. A. Bayona says a half-way point in filming has been reached. (Half-way of what specifically, thought?)

New Zealand-based film and TV production continues to be on a major roll.

Ismael Cruz Córdova, a talented and sharp fellow, we’d say.

Éowyn’s Tolkien Gateway entry.

That moment in Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King? You know it.

Tolkien’s Letter 43 to his son Michael says a lot about his viewpoints on the genders in 1941. Quite a lot.

Our episode on magic, where (conceptual) space was discussed.

We’re not steeped enough in the scholarship to say what would be good discussions about Éowyn and feminism—but there sure are a lot of Google results.

The Rankin-Bass-via-Topcraft Éowyn is striking, no lie. Here’s their version of the confrontation scene.

We didn’t mention it but there’s been recent work on the question of women’s roles in Viking societies that could be applicable.

The Jackson extended Two Towers scene with the stew. (Still thinking that looks like shrimp.)

The art may be rough in this portrayal but that atop the walls moment with the hair and the hands? It’s lovely.

Twin Peaks: The Return is very David Lynch. Freddie Sykes aka the guy with the glove, that’s a subject of discussion.

Our Erendis and Andreth-related episodes.

The Valkyrie are not unknown, to put it mildly. Neither are Boudica and Morgan le Fay.

A depiction of Éowyn in front of Meduseld in armor as in the book. The Jackson version of a similar moment is different but no less vivid.

Alan Lee’s depiction of Éowyn and Aragorn and the cup of parting.

“Courage, Merry.” When Jackson and his team got the interpreting of the material right, they got it perfectly.

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