Théodred watches Éowyn practice her swordplay.
Step. Turn. Block. Thrust. Again. These things I taught her, this dance of death I hoped she would never need use. But if fate demanded it, I would not withhold her, my cousin.
Yet I see the look in Raedbora Grima’s eyes. He would have her, replace the one warrior’s death with a thousand little ones.
If I strike now, will the Wormtongue’s counsel have poisoned my father’s heart against me? Now is the time to trust Eowyn’s strength. Rohan needs me.
Courage lies often in holding back, not always in striking, or so the ancient bards say.
Note: Raedbora is Old English for “advisor”.
Note: The “little death” refers to orgasm; this idea of the warrior’s one death versus multiple “little deaths” was inspired by Fionnabhair Nic Aillil’s story “Freedom From Fear”, about Eowyn’s childhood in Rohan.