1. Breaking Free
Éowyn shuddered as she watched the plump spider building its web in the corner of her chamber.
Usually spiders did not trouble her; this spider, though, reminded her of Wormtongue, the way it haunted her chamber and watched her while she was sleeping, as she was certain Grima craved to do. She shuddered. She knew what he wanted from her and the thought made her flesh crawl. Never would she yield to him- never! She would sooner drive her sword through her own heart!
She arose from her bed and donned a plain grey gown. She tried to be as inconspicuous as possible while she tended her ailing uncle, but Wormtongue would still leer at her even if she covered herself with a sack!
Éowyn opened the shutters and gazed out across the plain. It was raining heavily. She sighed. She had hoped to spend the morning practising archery, imaging that each arrow that hit the target was piercing Wormtongue's heart!
She knew she was not as other women. They dreamed of home and hearth, a handsome husband, and a brood of children, or a few with no taste for marriage or motherhood, would study herb lore and become healers. Éowyn wanted nothing of such feminine pursuits. She desired only to become a great warrior, a fierce shieldmaiden and kill or be killed with a sword in her hand.
The rain pattered down relentlessly. It was yet early. Only the servants would be abroad yet. Éowyn lay down again on top of the bed and closed her eyes. She felt something brush lightly across her cheek. The spider? No, it felt like a man's hand. How had Grima invaded her locked chamber? Éowyn screamed and lashed out.
"Faramir?" She sat up, still breathing heavily. Her husband stood beside her looking worried. There was a red mark across his face.
"Were you having a bad dream?"
She nodded. "Did I strike you? I am sorry."
"It is nothing. Are you well, my love?"
"Well enough now, I dreamt I was back in my chamber at Meduseld trying to protect myself from Grima. It was raining and I was trapped within doors."
"An evil dream indeed," said Faramir.
The baby in the cradle beside her bed started to wail with hunger. Faramir gently picked her up and handed her to his wife to suckle.
"In my dream I craved to be a great warrior," said Éowyn. "Now I am a wife and mother, who breeds horses and practices herb lore."
"Do you still crave glory in feats of arms?" Faramir asked.
"I had my fill of battle when I slew the Witch King," Éowyn said with a shudder.
Her babe still in her arms, she got up and looked out of the window, at her horses in the paddocks and at her herb garden, then at her husband and babe. It was a calm day without a cloud in the sky.
Éowyn realised that was all she ever really wanted.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.