You Look Upon A Woman

When I was a kid, there were some pretty long passages from the Lord of the Rings that I enjoyed declaiming loudly about the house, annoying and impressing the people. One of my two favorites was the "recking nothing of wizardry or war" passage when Rohan "comes at last".

The other, well, the other was the fight and dialogue between the Lord of the Nazgûl and Éowyn, the "shield-maiden".
"But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and king. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him."
Oh, how I loved to loudly roll out of the word "living" into the dramatic charge of "dark undead". I would ball up my fist at the word "smite". And I would imagine what it would be like to have one's words crack the confidence of an immortal monster, what is would be like to feel so powerful, and so certain, but so sure of death. It seemed to me there were no braver words than "Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may."

Cory Godbey has done a beautiful illustration of that scene on the Pelennor Fields. Check out little Merry being brave as well.

I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren.


  1. Great anecdote! Found this post on another brother of the briar's blog, may be of interest given our mutual love of Lewis! ( ) Blessings!


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