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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
A female's point of view
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Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 28 2013, 6:23pm

Post #76 of 108 (424 views)
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Heaven knows Tolkien would never devise a lone female character [In reply to] Can't Post

who hones her skills with weapons even though it's not lady-like to do so, and cares so much about her people and the events threatening them that she would actually go out into the world and fight in battles even though she's the only 'token' woman among a bunch of men.

Oh, wait. Smile




And, yes, I fully realize that Eowyn is an actual Tolkien character and Tauriel is not, but the concept of a woman warrior certainly isn't foreign to Tolkien. I see Tauriel as a nod to Eowyn, Tolkien and the fact that other races of the time may have had heroic females with similar motivations and results.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





(This post was edited by Altaira on Sep 28 2013, 6:25pm)


Starling
Half-elven


Sep 28 2013, 6:48pm

Post #77 of 108 (412 views)
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I don't think it's so much you failing to convey it [In reply to] Can't Post

as it's my failing to understand it! Laugh
But this:

Quote

Yep, women tend to be obsessive in different ways than men. Guy obsession is more in detail ("flames on Optimus????") while girl obsession is more relationship-directed. That's how I see it.


I totally get.




Na Vedui
Rohan


Sep 28 2013, 8:00pm

Post #78 of 108 (385 views)
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To be fair [In reply to] Can't Post

in a lot of cases there's probably more to the surprising popularity of male pairings among young girls than just possessiveness of the character. It can also, I suspect, be an idealised and "non-threatening" way of starting to explore and work through the idea of relationships, because it comes without all the extraneous baggage that is dragged into, and bedevils, relationships between men and women. Everything from when/whether to start a family, to casual assumptions about who does what around the house, and of course much more which is probably not appropriate to go into here. As such, it would appeal particularly to girls who - consciously or unconsciously - are not comfortable with gender stereotypes for whatever reason.


Eleniel
Grey Havens


Sep 28 2013, 8:10pm

Post #79 of 108 (395 views)
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You could say Galadriel is a token female... [In reply to] Can't Post

by virtue of the inclusion of the DG subplot, but she would only meet that definition if her character had been inserted to replace a male Ring-bearer, for example.

Obviously my comment about every 5th soldier being female was verging on the ridiculous. As you state, female Elves only took up arms in exceptional circumstances. So of course our Tauriel has to be exceptional, doesn't she? She couldn't just be an "ordinary" female from the ranks, she has to have a significant role...


Quote



“She’s slightly reckless and totally ruthless and doesn’t hesitate to kill,” says Lilly

"She's a very, very young elf. She's only 600 years old, unlike Legolas who's
like, 1,900 years old and Thranduil who's about 3,000 years old. She doesn't
have quite the wisdom and pose that those two boys do; she's a little more…
gritty. A little more spontaneous, passionate perhaps."




So the scriptwriters have decided that such a female should have a prominent role as the HEAD of the King's Guard. Obviously she must have been promoted due to her exceptional fighting skills...To me it just seems so contrived that someone so young and reckless and who deliberately defies her King's orders is in a position of authority/responsibility .


"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
Ż Victoria Monfort


Eleniel
Grey Havens


Sep 28 2013, 8:11pm

Post #80 of 108 (377 views)
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Flatterer! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
Ż Victoria Monfort


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Sep 28 2013, 8:21pm

Post #81 of 108 (375 views)
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Just tellin' the truth! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Queen of Erebor
Lorien


Sep 28 2013, 10:07pm

Post #82 of 108 (371 views)
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What's wrong with that? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
As for this forum, it's inundated with Thorin fangirls. AngelicWink

even though I prefer the term "fanlady" to ''fangirl" since I'm way too old to still be considered a girl. I can't speak for the rest of the fan base, but with some of us (including myself), it's not just the character, but the actor as well. Not that it makes you any less of a fan if it's just the character, you're just a different kind of fan. I'm that kind of PotC fan, but I'm not that kind of Tolkien fan.Wink

Maybe the reason that some females are put off by these movies is that they think they are too violent (probably more with the LotR movies than the Hobbit), they don't have enough female characters and not enough romance. I don't mind a little romance, and most of my favorite characters are male characters, so it wouldn't bother me if there were no female characters. And just because you happen to be a female fan doesn't mean you can't dress up as your favorite male character for Halloween. I was one of the Nazgul last year (but since I had on the costume backwards, I deleted all the pictures), and a female fan on one of my PotC discussion forums (which is pretty dead in the water) once dressed up as Capt. Jack. She looked pretty good too, but since she couldn't keep the beard on, she had to draw one on with mascara or something. Hey, if it works...

Far over the Misty Mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day
To find our long-forgotten gold.





DanielLB
Immortal


Sep 28 2013, 10:15pm

Post #83 of 108 (356 views)
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There's absolutely nothing wrong with it at all. :-) [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
What's wrong with that?


Don't get me wrong, I was only teasing. I didn't intend to insult. Wink


Quote
Not that it makes you any less of a fan if it's just the character, you're just a different kind of fan.


See my later comment:

(I was only joking by the fangirl comment - there are no fangirls or fanboys, just very obsessive Tolkien fanatics. All of which are great!)



Eowyn of Penns Woods
Valinor


Sep 29 2013, 1:13am

Post #84 of 108 (333 views)
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Ditto! *mods up* [In reply to] Can't Post

And if I never had to see the term "feminine energy" again, I would be a very happy girl!

**********************************

NABOUF
Not a TORns*b!
Certified Curmudgeon
Knitting Knerd
NARF: NWtS Chapter Member since June 17,2011


FaramirAndEowynMorningStar
Rohan


Sep 29 2013, 10:36am

Post #85 of 108 (309 views)
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I certainly do not think it is boring, nor do I believe the characters aren't likeable. [In reply to] Can't Post

Why on Middle-Earth, if I thought that, would I be here now? Laugh

Seriously, there's thousands of fangirls (if you want to call them that) out there and they all like love the characters in the films and the books.
I am currently fangirling over Faramir and Thorin Oakenshield (though, you all could have guessed that on your own) Wink

....."Loyalty, Honor,
......A Willing Heart.
I can ask no more than that."

...... ~ Thorin Oakenshield


Semper Fi
Rohan


Sep 29 2013, 12:14pm

Post #86 of 108 (307 views)
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Considering that Evie, Orli and Lee are about the same age (mid 30s) [In reply to] Can't Post

Tauriel's supposed youth won't be obvious, unlike if they cast Saorise Ronan as originally intended. IMO, stating the character is young but actor/actress is mature is less bad than having a minor in the role. I can buy "a very young Elf Chief of King's Guard" played by 30something woman "very young Elf Chief of King's Guard" played by a teenager? Sorry but ROTFLMAO!

However, I do agree that they didn't need to incorporate "OMG, she's so special! Look! She's younger! Look! She's the only woman among men!" type of cliché background that gives fanfiction a bad name. Throw in several female Guards with no speaking lines, and don't state how young or not Tauriel is, and you get a better character. She's the Chief of King's Guard who hire both men and women. All we need to know is her role in Elven society (high-ranking military officer) and her ethnicity (Silvan) because they play a role in events. Youth or gender equality do not. She could be reckless because she is. Thorin's reckless and he ain't the youngest dwarf alive. You know what I mean. It's just that too many spices spoil a stew. Tauriel really doesn't need those unnecessary spices.

I mean, Arwen is the youngest Elf in canon yet none of LOTR movies stated that nor they should have since it was irrelevant to the story. So I really don't understand why they are making such a big fuss about Tauriel's age. She'll still look older than Arwen when all 6 movies are viewed as one movie series. How old was Liv when they started filming LOTR in 1999? 22? Yeah, go figure. Just too much unnecessary information.

"RadagaStoner deserves no mercy!" Tauriel the Radagast Slayer, the Chief of Inglorious Elfguards

Tauriel saved us from Itaril. Never forget.



Semper Fi
Rohan


Sep 29 2013, 12:28pm

Post #87 of 108 (306 views)
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Eh, Eowyn wasn't the youngest Rohirrim eva who held the highest rank in military [In reply to] Can't Post

She didn't command a platoon or any military unit, let alone one consisted of older and more experienced warriors. Didn't bark orders that they had to obey. Most of all, wasn't a hotheaded military leader who was promoted over more level-headed contenders because of her fantastic fighting skills, as if ability to plan, strategize, keep calm under pressure aren't important skills for leadership. No offense to Mrs Boyens but she is obviously completely clueless about what's looked for in a military captain. Tolkien didn't make such a mistake with Eowyn since he didn't make her the Queen after her hotheaded stunt. A Queen material wouldn't charge into battle at risk of ending her family lineage and plunging the country into civil war over the throne. A Queen material would stay put in Edoras in case both the King and Crown Prince get killed and then try to hold the country together as the new ruler. Eowyn didn't take any of it into consideration which is why she admitted that it wasn't for her. Totally realistic. Just because you can fight, it doesn't mean you can lead and/rule. So, yeah, Tolkien got it right, Boyens got it wrong.

"RadagaStoner deserves no mercy!" Tauriel the Radagast Slayer, the Chief of Inglorious Elfguards

Tauriel saved us from Itaril. Never forget.



Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 29 2013, 3:19pm

Post #88 of 108 (290 views)
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Whoa [In reply to] Can't Post

No offense to Phillipa? That sounded pretty offensive to me. It sounded pretty offensive to Eowyn too! It's as if Eowyn did something Tolkien didn't like, or something women weren't supposed to do, so he punished her for it. But, he's the one who wrote her that way in the first place. The reason she didn't become Queen is because Eomer didn't die. She did become the next best thing though: a princess who married her prince and learned to love peaceful things in a time of peace as well as she had loved the things of war in a time of war. I think that Tolkien rewarded her pretty well.

As for Tauriel, I'm interested to learn how you know all those details about her character? Yes, we've seen her fighting, but we've also seen her level-headedness and calm demeanor prevailing over Legolas. I'd personally like to see more than a few seconds of footage before I decide to either condemn or love her, and I would much rather see a flawed female character who pays homage to another flawed female Tolkien character than to have all the females in the movie relegated to boring, traditional roles, or no roles at all.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





dormouse
Half-elven


Sep 29 2013, 5:57pm

Post #89 of 108 (269 views)
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Er..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, you've lost me completely here. So far as I can see, no one has actually said that Eowyn did all these things. Or, for that matter, that anyone else did them, or that anyone else is going to do them.

If it's Tauriel you're talking about, as Altaira suggests, how on earth does all this relate to the little we know of her? Does she bark orders at people? Is she going to become a Queen?

Seems to me you're making an awful lot of wild assumptions here, and insulting Philippa Boyens on the strength of them seems a bit much. Particularly as she is only one member of a writing team, and even if she had done all the things you're suggesting (and I'll lay odds she hasn't), the final decision would not be hers.


Semper Fi
Rohan


Sep 29 2013, 7:12pm

Post #90 of 108 (250 views)
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Well, writers are clueless [In reply to] Can't Post

about who makes the cut as the leader. Maybe it plays out differently in the movie, but based on all the hotheaded, too passionate, not wise enough, can't restrain herself talk about Tauriel's personality, you bet she would never make the cut as any military leader, especially when youth, wrong side of the tracks (Silvan) and lack of experience (older warriors surely have more) work against her on top of unsuitable personality (for that rank, not for soldiering in general). I'm sorry but who in their right mind would ever promote such a person to the rank of Captain? I get that this is a fantasy movie but fantasy works the best when based in some reality and this is not it. This is not based on women in military research or military research in general. It sounds like a compilation of fanfiction tropes. And lets not forget that Tauriel (formerly Itaril) was meant to be played by a teenager! So, yeah, so clueless.

OTOH, Tolkien didn't try to pass Eowyn as a warrior pro. She went into the battle on impulse and pretty much signed up for a different job when it was over. Didn't lead, didn't do anything a senior officer would be asked to do. And leaving her post as the possibly last surviving member of her royal family does show she would not be a good Queen. I never said Tolkien punished her for anything. IMO, he perfectly assessed that she was not the political, ruler type and gave her station that is more suitable and in character (a Princess who is also a healer/doctor). That one was not cut to be a Queen is not an insult. Some people are , some aren't. Eowyn was too implsive for that. But Tolkien knew that and developed the character accordingly. He didn't go "gee, but she's slain the Witch King so she should be the Queen, never mind that she put the dynasty and political stability of Rohan in jeopardy". Seeing fighting prowess as alpha and omega of everything is not seeing forest for trees. It's a big tree but it isn't a forest that makes one a Queen or Captain. Tolkien didn't make that mistake but then again, he didn't live in the Age of Fanfic either. Laugh So who knows how LOTR and Hobbit would turn out if he did.

And I'm not forgetting that it's Evie casting that saved us from Teenuriel not how the character is envisioned.

"RadagaStoner deserves no mercy!" Tauriel the Radagast Slayer, the Chief of Inglorious Elfguards

Tauriel saved us from Itaril. Never forget.



(This post was edited by Semper Fi on Sep 29 2013, 7:18pm)


Michelle Johnston
Rohan


Sep 29 2013, 7:37pm

Post #91 of 108 (224 views)
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Wow what a post [In reply to] Can't Post

I have absolutely nothing more to add on the precise point, my thoughts entirely.

I have a suspicion that Phillipa would have helped her cause ( the nature of this adaption) if she had contextualised the inclusion of Tauriel in a much broader statement.

When Tolkien wrote the follow up to the Hobbit once the story really got under weigh and he had re written it from the beginning he made three strategic changes.

1) Evil became all pervasive.

2) He used multiple storylines and developed each one.

3) He wrought many finely etched characters.

Lets consider just number 3. He achieved this in a number of ways :-

1) As in life, characters were shades of grey rather than mere stereotypes. Grima and the self important hobbits of the Scouring and the first chapter dismissing Baggins as mad.

2) They were fully wrought both by their inner cohesion (Aragorn) and their relationships with others.

3) Family interaction became important Arwen/Elrond Théoden/Theodred/Eowyn/Eomer Denethor/Boromir/Faramir. Beregond/Bergil

and finally woman were included.

Arwen/Galadriel/Eowyn and Ioreth and the effect of other woman Finduilas and the Ent Wives.

If you are going to reimagine the Hobbit in the manner of the LOTR films you will make the same kind of changes as film makers as Tolkien did as a writer.

Galadriel was a shoe in but if you are going to give breadth and depth to the people of the wood and the lake then woman and children will emerge from the expansion.

If you write a big story which crosses Wilder land and its peoples it would be odd if there were no children or woman. Woman appear through out his other adult work.

I think the tokenism that we perceive is a mirror into our own thinking particularly if we are ready to take that view before the next two movies have appeared. Tauriel may be clumsy and appear unnecessary but then so may other male characters that are given more prominence than the book or are new to the film . My view of Tauriel is whether she works inside the story and adds depth to the story of the Sindarian Princes and Silvan Elves and is a natural extension of the wood elves DNA its that simple.






In Reply To
I don't think I've ever evaluated or rated a movie - in terms of liking it or not - by amounts of feminine energy.

I don't see LOTR or TH as a male or female sort of story and I know lots of women who like the stories and the films.

What draws us to Tolkien is something much deeper than anything one would (or should) label masculine or feminine. It's about life, friendship, perseverance, survival and wounds too deep. It's about stepping out our door for adventures. It's about finding quiet humor in trying times. It's about seeing the world that is bigger than our own sorrows and trails. It's about faith and help unlooked for. It's about mystery and myth. It's about taking time to say the things that are worth talking about. It's about pain and delight. It's about being inside a song. It's about tears of blessedness.

Those things are not within the purview of one gender. Nor one age. Nor one nation or culture. Nor one level of education, social, or economic status.


My Dear Bilbo something is the matter with you! you are not the same hobbit that you were.

(This post was edited by Michelle Johnston on Sep 29 2013, 7:42pm)


dormouse
Half-elven


Sep 29 2013, 7:41pm

Post #92 of 108 (225 views)
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Erm..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Is that all writers? As a writer, and one who is even now working on a book on a subject of military history, may I take offence at that, please? Only joking. I'm not the offendable type - thank goodness! But honestly, all writers are clueless? It's getting worse.

Just for your information, and not that it has anything whatever to do with Tauriel, in Tolkien's own time army officers - in Britain at least, and a lot of European countries too - were chosen on the grounds of birth and/or education and yes, were often a lot younger and less experienced than the men they commanded. Some only in their teens. That's how he came to be a junior officer (and again, Captain is a fairly junior commissioned rank).

But I don't think any of that is even faintly relevant to Tauriel. You seem to have worked out a complete story line for her, which doesn't seem to bear much relation to anything we've seen or been told. And who is becoming Queen?


Elizabeth
Valinor


Sep 29 2013, 8:53pm

Post #93 of 108 (216 views)
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What we know... [In reply to] Can't Post

...about Tauriel mostly comes from Lilly herself (from an interview in Total Film):
“She’s a very, very young elf. She’s only 600 years old, unlike Legolas who’s like, 1,900 years old and Thranduil who’s about 3,000 years old. She doesn’t have quite the wisdom and poise that those two boys do; she’s a little more… gritty. A little more spontaneous, passionate perhaps. To play this character I need to have a certain amount of grace. But I’m also supposed to be an absolutely ruthless, deadly killer.”


In Reply To
As for Tauriel, I'm interested to learn how you know all those details about her character? Yes, we've seen her fighting, but we've also seen her level-headedness and calm demeanor prevailing over Legolas. I'd personally like to see more than a few seconds of footage before I decide to either condemn or love her, and I would much rather see a flawed female character who pays homage to another flawed female Tolkien character than to have all the females in the movie relegated to boring, traditional roles, or no roles at all.









Semper Fi
Rohan


Sep 29 2013, 9:07pm

Post #94 of 108 (198 views)
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Not all writers, only this movie ones [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm glad you're a writer so I can ask you this: how hard is it to create a believable female military officer? Someone who doesn't fall in love with a guy from her job, doesn't do rush things so he has to run after her to save her neck. someone who isn't commanding men and women twice her age, etc? Yes, I know that many soldiers were in their teens, especially in Vietnam, for example, but there was no situation where those teen captains were commanding men twice their age and experience.

I expect Tauriel to be a fun character and Evie to bring maturity that teen actress the character was modeled after wouldn't. I'm just saying that it wouldn't hurt if she was modeled after a real military woman.

"RadagaStoner deserves no mercy!" Tauriel the Radagast Slayer, the Chief of Inglorious Elfguards

Tauriel saved us from Itaril. Never forget.



dormouse
Half-elven


Sep 29 2013, 9:55pm

Post #95 of 108 (195 views)
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Many situations, actually [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe not in Vietnam, but certainly in the First World War, officers in their teens did command men with twice their age and experience. They did lead older, more experienced men into battle. For that matter, go back in history to a time when armies had a less formal structure and still you'd find teenagers who happened to come from wealthy backgrounds commanding older, more experienced soldiers. Which is still not particularly relevant to wood elves, but it's a fact.

Making anything believable is about research, and it's about your own understanding of people and situations. But I'll say it again because you still don't seem to be getting the point, as yet we don't know what they've modelled Tauriel on. We don't know what research they've done. We don't know what her role is to be. For all I know they might have spoken to female soldiers - though personally I hope they've read all the Tolkien they can lay their hands on. You cannot possibly make such sweeping judgements of something you haven't seen and know very little about.


Semper Fi
Rohan


Sep 29 2013, 10:56pm

Post #96 of 108 (180 views)
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Considering that they gave Eowyn a stew-cooking scene [In reply to] Can't Post

which was completely, 100% out of character and against what she stood for, I'm very skeptical that they understand much or research much. I mean, they didn't even have to research Eowyn to know she wouldn't try to impress Aragorn by cooking a stew. That's all in the book. But anyway, we made our points, and I really appreciate yours because you are a writer. That's a rare and valuable perspective on the forum.

I like the idea that we have a military woman in the movie. I just wish she's less TV Tropes-y and more military but I'm positive that Evie's charm will compensate for script shortcomings (assuming there are some). There are many characters in movies who are winsome because actor's charm rises above scripted characterization.

"RadagaStoner deserves no mercy!" Tauriel the Radagast Slayer, the Chief of Inglorious Elfguards

Tauriel saved us from Itaril. Never forget.



Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 30 2013, 1:25am

Post #97 of 108 (168 views)
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I'm glad you figured it out. [In reply to] Can't Post

I did wonder after I posted it whether you'd recognize the reference or not. But Google is good for that sort of thing. Cool

Silverlode

"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."



Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 30 2013, 1:28am

Post #98 of 108 (171 views)
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There are certainly plenty of parody opportunities there.... [In reply to] Can't Post

but it seems we might have some trouble keeping them within the bounds of the family board. The gutter is just so much closer when one is dealing with dwarves than with elves... WinkAngelic

Silverlode

"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."



glor
Rohan

Sep 30 2013, 1:50am

Post #99 of 108 (166 views)
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Becoming Queen has nothing to do with character [In reply to] Can't Post

and everything to do with order of birth or marriage if you are marrying the heir to the Throne/King (ask Kate Middleton).

Royal thrones are not decided by votes, character, just birth order and sex.

Eomer as son and Heir to the throne was responsible for the dynasty not, his sister who would by marrying produce offspring for her husbands line or dynasty, not the one she was born into. The world of men in middle-earth practiced primogenitor, it is males who produce dynasties, females just produce.


arithmancer
Grey Havens


Sep 30 2013, 1:52am

Post #100 of 108 (162 views)
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But in Rohan... [In reply to] Can't Post

Eomer was Theoden's sister-son.

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