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LOTR: Why Didn't Eomer And Eowyn Know Boromir Or Faramir Before The War Of The Ring?

LOTR: Why Didn't Eomer And Eowyn Know Boromir Or Faramir Before The War Of The Ring? Image
  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 18:55 PM

The kingdoms are just next door to each other, so how did they never cross paths?

p>The biggest kingdoms in the Lord of the Rings series are Rohan and Gondor. These two people have long been allies, sharing neighboring lands, trade and protection during times of hardship. The famous scene in which the beacons of Gondor are lit, blazing up across the beautiful mountain ranges of Middle Earth all the way to Edoras, where Rohan answers the call for aid, is a breathtaking display of the kinship and loyalty between the two kingdoms, and their willingness to band together in the desperate struggle against Sauron and his ring of power.

The scene with the beacons being lit (although changed slightly n the movie adaptations) also highlights another key point between the two kingdoms, which is that the two leaders of these realms are familiar with each other, and have definitely been involved in political events and negotiations with other people in the past. Gandalf even advises Denethor “you still have friends, you are not alone in this fight. Send word to Theoden of Rohan.” Unfortunately at this point, Denethor is beyond reason, and has already been corrupted by the loss of his son and the influence of the Palantir, but then the beacon is lit, Rohan rides to the defense of the white city nonetheless.

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However, what is most intriguing to fans is that, if the two monarchs of the kingdoms know one another, why don’t their various children? It seems strange that there are never any interactions between Eomer and Eowyn of Rohan, and Boromir and Faramir of Gondor, until right at the very end of the third film. Considering that they grew up in kingdoms so close together, that their parental figures knew each other well, and that the main passage of Gondor to get to the other areas of Middle Earth is through the gap of Rohan, these four seem to have had surprisingly little contact with each other. When Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas meet Eomer and his riders in the plains as they are pursuing the orcs taking Merry and Pippin to Isengard, it becomes very quickly evident that Eomer greatly admired Boromir, and had heard the many legends about his heroism, but had seldom actually met the man.

When informed of his tragic death, Eomer exclaims “Great harm is this death to Minas Tirith, and to us all. That was a worthy man! All spoke his praise. He came seldom to the Mark, for he was ever in the wars on the East borders; but I have seen him. More like to the swift sons of Eorl did he seem than the grave men of Gondor, and likely to prove a great captain of his people when his time came.” This demonstrates that although they had perhaps been in the same vicinity once or twice at the great gatherings of their people, their paths had never really crossed in a greater sense. This seems an ill choice on behalf of their parental figures, because Eomer and Boromir are both set to take over their kingdoms in the future, and it would seem wiser to have established a strong connection and relationship from a young age, to ensure the continued allyship and prosperity of both kingdoms.

Similarly, when Eowyn and Faramir meet in the houses of healing after the Battle of Pelennor fields, they have to be introduced to one another, meaning that this is their first time in each other’s company. They have a brief encounter at first, and then ‘When Faramir returned to his chamber he called for the Warden, and heard all that he could tell of the Lady of Rohan.’ He has a keen desire to help her and alleviate her suffering and so ‘Merry was sent to Faramir, and while that day lasted they talked long together, and Faramir learned much, more even than Merry put into words; and he thought that he understood now something of the grief and unrest of Éowyn of Rohan. And in the fair evening Faramir and Merry walked in the garden, but she did not come.’ again, it would have seemed prudent for these two kingdoms to have established a bond in their children much earlier, to have at least had them meet on a few occasions and converse.

It is of course important to note that even if a strong relationship had been established between the heirs of the two kingdoms, this wouldn’t have been Eomer anyway, rather it would have been Theodred, who only dies very shortly before the battles of Helms Deep and the Black Gates occur, but in some ways this is beside the point. The main point is that these four characters probably didn’t know each other, because, by the time the War of the Rings begins, Denethor has already turned to suspicion and paranoia, and the relationship between the two kingdoms has subsequently already broken down.

There has been lots of grief and difficulty in the dark years leading up to Saurons attempt to rise, including the loss of Eomer and Eownys parents and many other, similar tragedies, and sadly the two kingdoms of the west have not been there for one another as much as they should have. Luckily, the successful quest to destroy the ring brings them together in solidarity, and there is a strong kinship for the rest of the days between Eomer and Aragorn, who becomes the ruler of the Reuntied Kingdom.

MORE: The Relationship Between Elrond And Galadriel In Rings Of Power

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