What song did Eowyn sing at Theodred’s funeral?


If there’s one thing JRR Tolkien is known for, it’s his ability to sculpt worlds, with their own intricate histories, races of creatures, and a wealth and variety of different languages. Throughout the books and film adaptations, many languages ​​of the Elven, Dwarf, and Orc races are shown, such as when Gandalf pronounces Mordorian at Elrond’s Council, or when Frodo solves the riddle in Elvish. in the mines of Moria. . But there are also different languages ​​among the realms of men, and these arise in unusual places.


Near the start of the Two towers, the kingdom of Rohan suffers an immense tragedy in the loss of the prince and heir to the throne, Théodred. He is shot down in a battle with the orcs and later dies. As he rests in the burial mounds of his ancestors, after his father, King Théoden, awakens from the poisoned fate he is undergoing, a funeral procession mourns his loss. Eowyn, the king’s niece, sings a song at her funeral in a haunting display of grief. However, the song is not sung in the common language, it is sung in an ancient language of Rohan known as Rohirric.

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There are many poems and songs in the books that are included in the film adaptations, including The Elves Lament to Gandalf when it is believed to have fallen into the hands of the Balrog, and the Lay of Luthien, the song that ‘Aragorn sings of his ancestors. and their romance, but the source of Eowyn’s lament towards Theodred is a bit more complex. This is not a direct translation of anything from the book, the lyrics are written by Phillipa Boyens, based on studies of the Rohirric language through the stories of Middle-earth.

Theodred death edit

The song was originally written in English, with a strong emphasis on the word “Bealo” which means “evil” and also draws inspiration from the medieval epic “Beowulf” of which Tolkien was a studious enthusiast. Elements of Beowulf are scattered throughout his works, including the appearance of Beorn, the half-man, half-bear skinwalker that audiences will recognize from Hobbit the films and languages ​​used in medieval works, as well as Norse mythologies among many other classics, had a great influence on his works.

The song that Miranda Otto, who plays Eowyn, sings is not only a song of heartbreak for her cousin, but also a symbol of her feeling of being trapped and completely alone. Her character must endure a battle, proving her worth as a shield maiden, rejection and loss, and tremendous growth and recovery in the Houses of Healing before finally breaking free from the isolation and torments that surround her. have followed for most of her life, when she meets Faramir, and they stay together for the rest of their lives. The funeral scene is not included in the theatrical releases of the films, nor in the books themselves, but Peter Jackson added the scene in the DVDs of the Extended Edition because he felt it would add depth and depth. meaning to her character, as well as would provide a better understanding of her relationship to the king, her and her brother Eomer, being his niece and nephew rather than his children.

theoden lord of the rings feature

After the funeral, an exchange takes place between Theoden and Gandalf. Theoden is gripped in grief, saying “No parent should have to bury their child” and Gandalf assures him that Theodred has been brave and valiant throughout his life and that his souls will find peace among those of ancient kings du Rohan. As if to help guide the spirit on its way, Gandalf whispers “Westu hál. Ferðu, Théodred, Ferðu ‘which is also Old English, and can be translated as’ Be well, will you’.

When King Theoden later dies at the mouth of a howling beast at the Battle of Pelennor Fields, after being defended by Eowyn who defeats the Witch King to protect him, Theoden says he can finally go to the halls of the great kings before him without any shame or reluctance, and many Lord of the rings faWe believe that right now he is in fact talking about reuniting with his son.

As all big fans know, the allies of Middle-earth, across all lines of creatures, from elves to dwarves to hobbits, to Fangorn Forrest trees, eagles and horses and a whole host of creatures. other beings, unite to defeat the enemy, and help the ring bearer Frodo accomplish the mission to destroy the One Ring, and therefore Sauron himself. In this sense, the deaths and losses suffered by the remaining warriors who survive the war or the ring are not in vain, they are honorable heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect all that is good in the world.

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