Eowyn knelt beside the bed, weeping softly and caressing her cousin’s icy-cold hand. Theodred was dead. He had died in his sleep sometime that night.
She had told her Uncle, King Theoden about the tragedy earlier that morning, but nothing could penetrate the elderly man. He just sat in his chair and whittled away his life as he listened on to the words of greasy Grima Wormtongue.
Now she was left alone with the fallen prince, staring at his blank, pale face. It had been quite lovely when he was alive, with his soft brown curls framing rosy cheeks and bright, dancing eyes. She herself was not so much different. Glittering blue eyes that seemed ablaze when angry, pale, lovely skin, flowing, wavy blonde hair and a proud chin. She looked fragile, yet she concealed a strength unbenownst to most: she was a Shieldmaiden of Rohan.
There were soft, padding footsteps in the hall. Slowly, quietly they crept until the unknown individual entered the room. A familiar voice drawled with fake sympathy, “Oh, how dreadful! He must have died…sometime in the night.” She glanced back to see Grima standing in the doorframe, his slick, grimy hair lay flat on his head and his unnaturally ghost-like complection oozed with condolence.
“Leave us,” she ordered, turning back to Theodred. “I want some time with my cousin.” Fresh tears rolled down her already tear-stained face.
“My dear Eowyn,” Grima said soothingly, putting a hand on her shoulder. “Let him go. His time had come.”
Disgusted, she pulled away from his grasp and stood, glaring angrily at him.
“Now, now. Why such a face? A natural beauty like you should not ruin something so lovely.”
Something in his words held her glance. She slowly felt her body relaxing, yet she couldn’t move. She was rooted to the spot. What kind of trickery was he playing on her?
Grima reached up to gently tough her cheek, wiping away a tear with his ruddy thumb. “Join me. Give into me. You don’t need Rohan or your decrepit Uncle. What do you say?” He held her gaze tauntingly.
She wanted so terribly to resist this man, yet his spell over her continued. Why couldn’t she pull away from his grasp? She sobbed openly. Finally, she’d had enough. Snapping out of the trance she hissed, “Your words are poison!” and ran from the room, her long with gown trailing gracefully behind her.
She had to get out. Every place in this dreadful god-foresaken castle felt like a cage. Hiking up her gown, she fled the Golden Hall and soon found her way to the entrance of the castle.
Far down below, the commoners were milling about, all dressed in their identical, cheap black cotton garments. She felt out of place, standing on the high steps, the wind whipping her hair wildly and her gown flailing around her tiny frame.
In the distance, a dust cloud was forming. he pulled her hair out of the way as to get a better view. Closer and closer it approached until she could finally make out three horses, each with a rider. As if an omen had arisin, the flag of Rohan, a white steed embedded on a black background, suddenly ripped off the pole and glided down silently to meet the newcomers.
As they entered the gates, she could see the men more clearly. One was Gandalf Greyhame, sometimes called the Stormcrow, a wizard well-known to the people of Rohan; another was a scruffy-looking human, a ranger perhaps. On the third mount sat a tall, proud Elf and behind him a Dwarf. All silently approached the stairs leading to the Goden Hall, where she was standing.
The man looked up and met her gaze, his eyes bright and holding hers. There was something about this man that made her suddenly weak. He glanced away for a moment, and she knew this was her chance. She slipped into the entrance and hid behind a large pole. When the man looked up to the spot where she had just been, there was only emptiness.
Eowyn watched and listened as the newcomers dismounted and walked up the stairs. They were stopped at the entrance.
“Stop there. State your names and your purpose,” said a guard named Hama.
Gandalf stepped forward, “I am Gandalf Greyhame and with me are my companions, Gimli, son of Gloin, Legolas Greenleaf, Elven Prince of Mirkwood and Aragorn, son of Arathorn.” He motioned to his accompaniment as each was named.
So Aragorn is his name, she thought. Why would a man that handsome be with an Elf, a Dwarf and a Wizard? She move a little closer to get a better look at him.
“We are here to speak with Theoden King,” said Gandalf calmly with a cheerful smile.
The guard looked at him suspiciously then said, “Alright, but it is ordered by Grima Wormtongue that you leave all weapons with us before you enter.”
the group looked at each other, then reluctantly passed over their weapons. “Now, let us please go see the King,” declared the wizard.
“I cannot allow you,” said the guard. “we need your staff as well.”
Gandalf cocked an eyebrow. “Now, you wouldn’t part an old man and his walking stick would you?”
The guards exchanged glances, then agreed. “You may enter.”
“Thank you,” said Gandalf, winking at Aragorn with amusement. Aragorn smiled at the guesture as Legolas took Gandalf’s free arm to walk him in.
Eowyn, realizing something was going to happen, slipped away to her Uncle’s chamber. Not only did she want to observe the conversation between the wizard and her Uncle, but she also wanted to know more of the mysterious Aragorn.
She stood in the background, like a dim shadow. If she was to be the future ruler of this land, then she deserved to be here.
At the front of the chamber sat her Uncle with Grima Wormtongue at his side. She saw him smirk at her when she faded into the shadows. She dismissed him and waited anxiously.
There was a loud creak, then suddenly the chamber doors opened, admitting the sullen group to approach the King. What was to happen next? She knew not, but whatever it was, she was ready. Nothing was going to stop her now!