Éadig (epithet meaning "Blessed"),|
Third Marshal of the Riddermark,
King of Rohan
|Race||Men of Rohan|
The Two Towers (1954)|
The Return of the King (1955)
Éomer is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He appears in The Two Towers and The Return of the King, the second and third volumes of Tolkien's fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings.
Éomer was the son of Théodwyn, sister of King Théoden, and Éomund, who was the chief Marshal of the Mark . Éomund was a descendant of Eorl the first King of Rohan; his ancestor Eofor was the third son of Eorl's son and successor Brego . After the death of their parents, he and his sister, Éowyn, were adopted by their uncle Théoden, king of the Rohirrim
At the time of the Lord of the Rings, Éomer was the third Marshal of the Riddermark. He first appears in the story in chapter 2, Book III of The Two Towers, as the leader of the éored who attacked and killed the orcs who had kidnapped the Hobbits Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took near Fangorn forest. He helps Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas by providing them two horses, Hasufel and Red.
On his return to Edoras, Éomer reports to Théoden on his meeting the Ranger and his friends, and is promptly imprisoned on the orders of Gríma Wormtongue, Théoden's sinister advisor, who was keeping the king in a sickly stupor on the orders of the wizard Saruman. Soon thereafter, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas arrive in Edoras themselves with Gandalf the White, another powerful wizard, who releases the king from Gríma's spell. Éomer is released and restored in honour, in which role he contributes to success at the battle of the Hornburg.
Éomer has a major role in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, the pivotal battle of The Return of the King. After fighting bravely for Rohan and Gondor, he is dismayed to find Théoden mortally wounded in the battle. Théoden appoints him King of Rohan with his dying breath. Then, seeing an unconscious Éowyn seemingly dead on the battlefield, Éomer decides to throw himself and the remaining Rohirrim at the enemy, all the while cries of "Death!" have replaced the traditional songs of slaying with which the Rohirrim had initially entered the battle. Aragorn saves them when he arrives unexpectedly from Pelargir, fulfilling his prediction that they would fight together again. Aragorn's arrival and reinforcements provoke a rout among the Orcs, and he and Éomer win the battle. Aragorn's healing hands later restore Éowyn to perfect health.
At the climax of The Return of the King, Éomer accompanies Aragorn to the Gates of Mordor for the final stand against Sauron, distracting him long enough for the One Ring to be destroyed in Mount Doom, leading to Sauron's downfall.
In the 1978 animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings by Ralph Bakshi, Éomer is portrayed as a renegade. He does not have any lines and is not fully animated (seen as a live action individual painted over), but is still important to the plot. He also appears in the 1980 Rankin/Bass animated version of The Return of the King, albeit without lines.
In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Éomer was played by New Zealand actor Karl Urban. His role is somewhat diminished in comparison to the books. In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, he is exiled by Gríma before meeting Aragorn. As an outcast, he leads a troop of riders loyal to Théoden northward out of Rohan rather than being imprisoned in Edoras.
In both the Bakshi and Jackson versions, he arrives at the climax of the Battle of Helm's Deep, accompanied by Gandalf (although the animated film does not single him out at Helm's Deep). In this sense, his character has been combined with the character of Erkenbrand, who, in the book, is the one with whom Gandalf returns to Helm's Deep.
Éomer's actions in Jackson's adaptation of The Return of the King did not significantly depart from those in the book, save for a few scenes (such as Éomer letting out a defiant cry at the approaching Corsair ships during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, only to realize the ships have been captured by Aragorn) that were omitted for time. In Jackson's adaptation Éomer is also responsible for the death of the leader of the Mûmak-riding Haradrim, while in the book it is Théoden who slays the Haradrim chieftain, who is on horseback. Also, Éomer's speech after Théoden's death in the book is spoken instead by Théoden himself before the first charge in the movie. Neither is Éomer present at the death of Théoden in the film. The close friendship he shares with Aragorn in the books is not developed in the films, but during Aragorn's coronation in The Return of King he can be seen bowing honourably towards him.
- Solopova, Elizabeth (2009), Languages, Myths and History: An Introduction to the Linguistic and Literary Background of J.R.R. Tolkien's Fiction, New York City: North Landing Books, p. 21, ISBN 0-9816607-1-1
- Appendix A, The Lord of the Rings
- J.R.R. Tolkien (Christopher Tolkien, ed.) Unfinished Tales, p. 383 n. † (Mass paperback edition, Ballantine Books, New York 1988)
- "Gúthwinë". The Encyclopedia of Arda.