Eowyn stood in the Hall amidst all the hustle and bustle around her, checking to see if she had everything that she needed for the journey to Helm’s Deep. Pulling Star out of its sheath, she walked to the middle of the room and began the patterned dance; she hadn’t time to do it earlier as she usually did. Pushing all her worried thoughts from her mind, she concentrated on the blade: slice; now block!, jab…swing!
As she truned, she was stopped in mid-thrust by the Lord Aragorn. She abruptly dropped the blade and began to put it into its sheath. He came up behind her, a comforting hand on her shoulder. “Milady, something is bothering you. What is it that you fear?” His warm breath fell on her cool cheek.
“I fear nothing, not death or pain,” she said stubbornly, snapping Star fiercly into the scabbard, then pushing it into the sack with the rest of her belongings.
Aragorn backed off to let her have her space. “Fine. I will see you soon milady.”
Eowyn cursed herself for letting her pride get the best of her. Why can I never act right around him? she accused. Why is it that I always have to show off? Why can’t I just be myself for once?
She let the thoughts hang in her mind for a moment, then promptly gathered her things and rushed to find her horse.
The entourage of men, women and children soon set off on a course for Helm’s Deep. No one was left behind.
Eowyn soon fell in step near the front of the group with the Lord Aragorn and the Dwarf Gimli. Gimli had been originally trailing behind, so being considerate, she offered him her mount. The Dwarf was now on a long spiel about his culture and how male and female Dwarves could not be told apart. She turned to look at Aragorn who gestured whispering, “It’s the beards!”
She laughed heartliy at this, making the Dwarf swell with pride. Aoon Aragorn dismounted his own steed and came to walk beside Eowyn. She walked proudly, glancing over at him and smiling happily. She noticed that he was wearing a beautiful silver pendant that she had never seen before.
“My Lord,” she asked, “where is she?”
“Where is who?” he said calmly.
“Where is the lady who gave you that?” She pointed to the pendant.
Aragorn reached up with his free hand to stroke the beautiful thing lovingly. He seemed to almost drift into another world, his eyes staring straight ahead.
“My Lord? My Lord…” she questioned.
Finally he snapped out of his trance. He turned to face her, sorrow on his handsome face. “She is gone. She sailed with the rest of her kin to the Undying Lands.”
She adverted his gaze, squinting in the sun. So she’s gone. The poor man, he’s heartbroken. She chanced a glance at him. He was now staring at the ground before him, seemingly off in another dimension again. I’ll change that. I’ll show him what true love is.
They walked a little furter in silence. Suddenly there was a frightened scream. A lookout furter ahead came galloping to meet them. Breathlessly he cried, “Orcs! Orcs are coming!”
Immediatly the commoners began to wail. Theoden called for all able-bodied men that could use a weapon to come forth. Soon a small armada was formed, leaving the women, children, aged and sick. Theoden rode over to Eowyn who was now behind Gimli on her mount, sword ready.
“Eowyn, I want you to lead the people to Helm’s Deep. You are not to go to battle.”
“But Uncle,” she began to protest. “I’m just as good as any of these men!”
Aragorn came to rest beside the King. “He is right, and we must hurry. Legolas is already shooting some of the fell beasts down. Listen to your Uncle – listen to me. Take the people to Helm’s Deep!”
She glared at him, anger in her bright eyes. Reluctantly, she got off the steed and began to rustle up all the commoners, leading them to safety. She heard Theoden yell, and when she looked back, they were riding off into the distance.
Gods all speed, she thought. Please let him come back to me alive.
They walked and walked; it seemd like hours. Finally, just as she was about to call a stop to their “quest”, they crested a hill and before them like a haven shone Helm’s Deep. The group let out a cry of relief, then they quickly converged on the Fortress.
Upon entering, Eowyn saw a sight uncomprehensible: there were already men, women and children everywhere! They littered the walkways, sat on steps and looked haggared and nearly starved. He did bring us here to die, she thought miserably. Lord Aragorn was right.
She led everyone in, then found a place to wait for the men’s arrival. It seemd like hours before she heard people yelling to open the gates. She rushed out to see if her Uncle, Aragorn and her new friends had returned. However, what she found made her stomach lurch.
Theoden approcahed, blood-stained and sweaty. “So few,” she murmured. “So few have returned.”
He looked at her grimly and moved on. Legolas and Gimli were after the King. She ran over to them, searching frantically for Aragorn. Gimli dismounted. “Lord Aragorn? Did he come back?”
Gimli looked into her fair face in pain and sorrow, silent tears welling up in his dark eyes. “I’m sorry milady. He – he didn’t make it.”
Eowyn stood in shock. How was it that the best swordsmaster she’d known had fallen but the rest hadn’t? She gaped at him, her eyes filling with salty tears. Finally she turned and fled, running from everything, the hopelessness, the death, the truth.