A King has a very private conversation during what should be a joyous occasion.
It has only been a year since she plighted her troth to him. Now she is wed; bound to him, and it seems that all in Rohan and Gondor rejoice. Yet I do not.
Look at him, grinning like a fool. No doubt he is gleeful over his…prize. And she giggles like a wanton. Has he plied her with wine?
You would rather they be doleful this night?
No, but…Curse him, he is kissing her again! Can he not keep his hands off her for more than a moment? I need more ale.
In truth, she is kissing him back.
Faugh! So much for the vaunted pride of the Steward of Gondor! Does he think fair Meduseld a dirty barn where brigands paw their women in the reek?
You sound like Saruman. What really ails you?
Soon they will retire. People will laugh and make unseemly jests. He will take her to bed, remove her gown, and swive my sister!
Well, yes! It is their wedding night. You are thinking like a child.
No child am I. I am the King, the lord of the Mark, and well I know what men and women do in bed. But ’tis Éowyn…My pure, innocent little sister. Now where is that ale?
Lackwit! Would you have her remain chaste all her life? Grow old without children at the back of your hall while you take a bride and sire sons?
Nay. I suppose she must wed…someone. Someday. Why must it be now?
It is their time. Does Éowyn not seem glad of heart this night? Should she wait months, years, for happiness until you can bear to let her go?
I…suppose…she is glad. Her eyes are bright. She feeds him a morsel of cake with her fingers, simpering like a young maid. All right, I have not seen her so joyful in years. She will go with him; then, and be his wife…my sister no more.
Éomund and Théodwyn cleaved to each other; yet Théodwyn remained Théoden’s sister. So it will be with Éowyn.
Shall she truly stay my sister?
Always. None could ever break that bond.
So be it.
That is better, that becomes a King. Now, stop talking to yourself. Get some more ale and make merry.
“Hear me, all who are gathered here tonight! Let us toast my sister and her new lord! May they…increase…together, in health and long life.”