Lessons from Éomer

Despite his lack of screen time, Éomer has a weighty presence. He feels proud to come from the kingdom of Rohan and challenges Wormtongue’s authority. He trusts Gandalf with his life in returning to Rohan after his banishment and protects his sister’s honor. Because of his cousin’s death, Éomer will inherit Rohan after his uncle’s passing. He will make a fine king, just and wise.

Defending a sister’s honor.

Knights of old esteemed honor above all else. A man’s honor was worth his life. A woman’s was worth even more. It’s understandable Éomer would keep a watchful eye on his sister, desiring her to keep her good name and respectability despite her fierceness. Éowyn’s greatest danger comes from Gríma Wormtongue, advisor to the king. Saruman promised her in marriage if he helps the wizard ruin the world of men. She despises and scorns him, believing his intentions evil. When Éomer learns of his lust, he confronts Gríma, who casts him out of the kingdom.

There is no shame in valuing honor. Éomer defends her honor because he wants to protect her. Throughout scripture, and the middle ages virtues that Tolkien wove into his story, are indications that men should look after the women in their life. To love and protect them, to defend their honor. Éomer can help remind us to respect one another. As Christians, we’re all brothers and sisters in Christ. We should look out for each other and encourage one another to stay virtuous. It can even mean speaking up to someone who steps out of line, like Éomer did with Gríma. It might not always turn out the way you want, but you have the satisfaction of knowing you did what was right.

Judging those weaker than himself.

Éomer’s doesn’t believe Merry has a place on the battlefield because of his size. He also doesn’t like his sister going to war because she’s a woman. Just because someone is smaller than you doesn’t mean they don’t have a right to fight for what they believe. Merry’s world is being threatened. He feels ashamed to get left behind when everyone else has gone to fight. He wants to take part, to risk his life for what he believes. Size doesn’t matter in affairs of the heart. 

No matter how small you are, in body or in faith, all that matters is your heart.

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future. 

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