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Princes of Dol Amroth
February, 25 2006
Questions about the life and times of Imrahil and his family can be asked here, including questions about Ultimatums, Kin-Strife and the shorter stories. Discussions about Brand can go either here or in the Best-Loved Son thread, since his stories sort of overlap both cycles.
I think Hethlin did match Eowyn's bravery by not only confronting the Witch King but refusing him, even when she was terrified and knew her life was forfeit in doing so. And I can't help but see a difference too, in that Eowyn's courageous actions took place when she was, in a sense, seeking suicide herself - albeit in a more active fashion than Finduilas. I'm not sure how things would have turned out for any of them if their places had been switched. (Although I have a pretty high opinion of Hethlin, and I'd better not speculate on it with my strong bias!)
You know, I hesitated as I was writing that part about Eowyn's bravery exceeding Hethlin's. "Is that really what I think?" I wondered. Because I like Eowyn well enough, but I really like Hethlin, and I'm much more interested in her outcome than I am in Eowyn's, for the reasons we've gone back and forth on in other discussions. ;)
But I do think that Eowyn's courage in that one instance was braver than anything that Hethlin has done to date. The reason being that Eowyn actively chose to go into battle. And she actively chose to challenge the Witch King to one-on-one combat. Yes, Hethlin also resisted the Witch King, but she had no choice about getting into that situation in the first place. She didn't wake in the middle of the night with a strange sensation and think "hm, I better investigate this." She was pulled against her will to confront the Witch King. I don't question Hethlin's character and strength -- a lesser person in her shoes might well have capitulated. But as far as the Witch King goes, I think Eowyn takes the prize.
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