“There she won the greatest fame of any warrior by standing over the mortally wounded King Théoden and fighting the Witch-King, the lord of the Ring-wraiths.” —From Tolkien: a Dictionary, by David Day
Woot! Welcome, folks, to my 100th full writeup for Sartorially Smart Heroines! Thank you all ever so much for your feedback and support over the last hundred writeups, and here is hopping for a hundred more! As my first writeup for SSH was Miranda Otto as the Lady Eowyn from the Lord of the Rings films, it seemed fitting to return to the beloved character for writeup number 100.
Suzanne’s lovely portrait is for the Lord of the Rings Card Game, by Sophisticated Games. What’s most interesting to me about this depiction is that our lovely shield-maiden seems to be wearing armor of Gondor rather than her traditional Rohirrim garb. Traditionally, the Riders of the Mark have been depicted wearing leather and chain mail; here we see her wearing plate mail over chain, an armor favored by the knights and soldiers of Gondor. As such, I like to imagine this as a depiction of Eowyn after the Battle of Pelennor Fields and the War of the Ring.
One of the significant plot-points of Eowyn’s bulky chain mail during Return of the King was that it disguised her femininity, allowing her to ride to war beside the men. The trimness and feminine styling of the cuirass tell us that she’s forgone the disguise and fights openly beside her allies. Though not an ideal shape for deflection and absorption, the breastplate isn’t sculpted in a way that will injure her sternum or deflect Easterling arrows toward her heart. Beneath the cuirass she wears a chain hauberk for additional protection in the thick of a cavalry melee against orcish warg-riders. Between these layers, she wears a thin layer of leather to prevent abrasion between the plate and chain. Segmented spaulders protect our heroine’s shoulder joints while allowing a reasonable amount of flexibility. Her arms are further protected by chain mail sleeves and steel vambraces. Lastly, she wears a steel helm to keep her head safe from orc clubs and axes.
If I were to make any recommendations for our heroine’s outfit, I’d suggest a pair of gauntlets or leather gloves to keep her hands safe during cavalry maneuvers and sword play. All in all, it’s an effective outfit for patrolling the Ithilian frontier or leading the charge against the enemies of the West.
Though the films don’t really go into it, according to the Lord of the Rings novels Eowyn falls in love with and eventually marries Faramir, younger brother of Boromir and Steward of Gondor. Rather than settling down, I can imagine our heroine staying on with Gondor’s army, leading the White City’s knights and men-at-arms and training them in Rohirrim cavalry tactics. I feel like Eowyn’s mature visage and Gondorian armor in Suzanne’s portrait are excellent reflections of our Lady’s role as a former shield-maiden and the wife of the Steward of Gondor.
Huge thanks to Suzanne for letting me borrow her art for the blog. Thanks, as always, for reading, folks! Take care and stay awesome!