In the year 1470, Lord Meriadoc and his wife Eowyn, known as the White Lady of Rohan, visited the Lord and Lady of the Mark. Soon after they left, a plague of tuberculosis swept though Rohan. A third of the population was lost. The king and queen and the prince survived the epidemic.
from The Chronicles of Rohan
Fifteen years later
The Birthday Party was always a grand event in the Shire. Frodo Gamgee kept the tradition of celebrating the birthdays of the Ringbears. Everyone also enjoyed seeing the White Lily, their name for Eowyn. She had been a little timid around her husband’s people when she first came to the Shire. But they loved her and she loved them.
Merry waited outside their bedroom as she dressed. Eowyn walked out, looking beautiful, as always. The elves had blessed them with long life and youth. The years laid lightly upon her anyway. Merry took her hand. Eowyn was wearing a dark blue velvet gown. Her golden hair was braided and pinned at the back of her head. She was wearing her favorite jewelry: a gold circlet, necklace, and earings, with tiny flowers that had blue centers.
“You are beautiful,” he whispered.
“Thank you, my love.”
“Are you sure you are up to going?” Eowyn had just recovered from a lingering cold.
“My darling, I’m fine. Now let’s go before you have a chance to change your mind and put me back to bed.” She took his arm and they walked out of Brandy Hall.
Their children were already there. The pride of their lives: Theoden, Iris, and Violet. Theoden had recently married Marigold Bulge and Eowyn and Merry accepted her into their family.
A cheer went up as the Master and Mistress of Buckland entered the crowd. Merry knew who did it. Pippin tossed him a wink, and Merry shook his head, smiling. Dear Pip, would he ever fully grow up? Merry hoped not.
Eowyn immediantly went to dance. Merry went over to Pippin, who was cuddling Diamond. “Hullo Merry, and how are you and your still untaimed shieldmaiden from the South?” Merry smiled. Pippin’s voice gained a more serious tone. “Seriously Merry, how is she doing?”
“Better in fact. Faramir’s herbs seemed to help her cough.” Pippin and Diamond smiled. They were proud of their Faramir, who had pursued his love of medicine and became a doctor.
“And speaking of Faramir, how are he and Goldilocks doing?”
“Fine,” Diamond answered
“Any plans for grandchildren yet, Pip?”
“Oh Merry, they’ve been married for less than a month! Give them time.” Daimond said.
“Look who’s talking. Merry, Diamond has been knitting little things since they married.”
“I have not!”
“My sweet, I don’t think my head can fit into that little bonnet you made.” He kissed her cheek.
“Well, I only want to be prepared. It could be any day now.”
“You talk as if Goldilocks was pregnant already.”
Merry smiled. “I think I’ll go see what Eowyn is doing.” And he left them.
Eowyn was coming to greet him. The dance had ended. Merry was alarmed to see that she was having a little difficulty breathing.
“My Holbytla, that was a lovely dance. You should have been there.”
“Eowyn, are you all right?”
“Dearest, I’m fine.”
“I don’t want you to get out of breath or exert yourself too much. You just got over a cold.”
“All right, my overprotective Holbytla.” Eowyn suddenly went pale, and grabbed the table for support. Dark circles appeared under her eyes. She raised her hand to her breast.
“Eowyn, let me take you home.”
“No darling, I’m all right. Just getting old. But I need something to drink. Anything.”
“Please Merry, don’t take me home.”
“”All right. I’ll be right back.” He saw Eowyn sink down into a chair. He returned with some water. She took it and drank it quickly. She looked better. Her color had not yet fully come back, but those dark circles were gone. “I love you,” she whispered.
“I love you, too.”
Eowyn stood up, but almost collasped on the ground. Merry held her. “I’m taking you home.” This time, Eowyn did not protest. He helped her to Brandy Hall. Iris caught sight of them.
“Father, is Mother all right?”
“She’s fine dearest. A little tired, that’s all. You go back and enjoy yourself.” Iris nodded and went back to the party.
“You don’t want them to worry,” Eowyn whispered.
“You’re a good father.”
“And you’re a good mother.”
He helped up the path. She stopped. “My dear, I think I’m going to faint.”
“Not yet. It’s just a little farther.” He opened the door and helped her inside. Merry let go of her to close the door. She gripped the table. Merry held a sigh and saw his wife crumpled on the floor.
He was at her side in a minute. “Eowyn, my love wake up. I can’t carry you to the bedroom. Darling, hear me.” Somehow, he didn’t think this could be the affects of a lingering cold.
She opened her eyes. “What happened?”
“You fainted. Can you stand?”
“I can try.” Merry helped her up and led her to the bedroom. He laid her down, and changed her clothes. She smiled as he brushed her hair. She took his hands and pulled him close. “I love you.” She kissed him. Merry put his arms around her.
“Good night, my princess.”
“Good night, my sweet holbytla”
For the first time since they had been married, Merry did not sleep with Eowyn. She didn’t like this, but he insisted it was best.
Faramir Took shook his head when he came out of the bedroom. “I don’t know what she has. I would say that it’s that cold, but the faint changes things. Until she is completely well, or I find out what she has, rub this paste on her chest every day, and keep her in bed. And don’t sleep with her. Good day, Merry.”
“Good day, Faramir.”
Eowyn was waiting for him to come in. “Well, what’s wrong with me?”
“Faramir doesn’t know yet. But he told me to keep you in bed and rub this on your chest. I think it will help you breath.”
Eowyn sighed. “Forcing me to stay in bed. This will be worse than the Houses of Healing.” Merry smiled as he pulled her nightgown down and rubbed some of the paste on. She sighed again, this time a sigh of happiness. “Will you be doing this every day?” Merry nodded. “Then it will be better than the Houses of Healing.” She took his hand and kissed the palm. “Oh, the paste tastes awfull!”
Merry woke up one morning to find Eowyn not in her bed. He walked in the kitchen to see her standing over the sink, watching the Shire wake up. She looked so beautiful in her white nightgown and bare feet, golden hair tumbling down her back. It reminded him of when she was pregnant with Theoden.
“Darling, you should be in bed.”
“I know. I just had to see the Shire at sunrise, though. I can’t see as well outside my window.”
“I understand. But get back to bed and I’ll fix your breakfast.”
Merry returned a half hour later with a tray. There was porridge and strawberries, and cream, and bread, and coffee, and tea, and milk.
“Merry, I can’t possibly eat all of this!”
Merry watched her spoon some of the strawberries on a slice of bread and take a bite. “Do you remember when I found the strawberries and fixed your breakfast when we were riding to Gondor?”
Eowyn nodded. “Yes. You said, ‘I wish I could give you milk to drink instead of water. I want the best for my princess.'”
“And you said, ‘You have fixed this with love, and it’s finer than anything I’ve ever eaten.'”
“It was the truth. Do you remember when you first drank coffee?”
“I thought that was the worst drink that ever entered my mouth. But I don’t know. We must be the only ones in the Shire that drink it.” They laughed.
Eowyn brushed her hand on Merry’s cheek. “Do you remember our first kiss, my shy holbytla?”
“I’ve grown bolder since then.”
“Yes you have. We have had some times, haven’t we, my love.”
She pushed the tray away. “I can’t eat anymore.”
“All right. Go to sleep.” Merry took the tray to the kitchen. He could hear soft coughing coming from Eowyn’s room.
Eowyn’s cough got steadily worse. Faramir gave Merry an herbal drink to give Eowyn at every meal. It was awful listening to her cough. She needed him to sooth her during the spells. Merry would rub the paste on her breast and whisper words of love to her. Other times he would just stroke her hands or brush her hair.
One day, she was having a particularly bad spell. Her body bent over. Merry could do nothing but rub her back. He heard something that sounded like she had just retched. Eowyn stared at her hand, and fell back against her pillow, exhausted. Merry looked at her outstreached hand and gasped. It was covered with blood. He could see blood inside her open mouth. Merry ran to their living room. Violet was in there reading a book.
“Violet, go get Faramir Took! Immediantly!
Author’s note: I don’t know everything about TB, and if anyone knows more than me, please be patient.
The breakfast is based on the breakfast Bilbo serves in Thicker Than Blood by Ariel
I know that Eowyn really married Faramir, but I always thought it was more romantic if Eowyn and Merry married.