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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - Barron's Booknotes
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The niece of Theoden, Eowyn is the most fully developed
female character in Tolkien's works. She feels caged, first
at having to take care of her ailing uncle, then at being left
behind when the army rides into battle. She desires glory,
not just dull duty. She falls in love with Aragorn, and when
he doesn't return her love, she seeks death in battle. Calling
herself Dernhelm, she disguises herself as a young warrior
and becomes a hero by killing the leader of the ringwraiths.
Eowyn is finally cured of her death wish when she falls in
love with Faramir. Instead of earning glory in battle, she
now wants to be a healer.


Their captain is called the Black Captain, the Dark Captain,
the Morgul king, and the Witch-lord of Angmar. The
ringwraiths were nine men who served Sauron and fell
under the power of the rings he had made for the race of
men. Now they have faded into a shadow world and are
invisible. Their cry drives men to despair. Some readers say
that the ringwraiths couldn't cause such despair unless they
themselves felt it.


Tom Bombadil was named after a doll that belonged to
Tolkien's daughter. Frodo and his friends meet him when
he comes to their rescue in the Old Forest. His appearance
is humorous: he is a short old man with yellow boots and a
blue coat, and when the hobbits first see him he is hopping
and dancing down the path, carrying lilies and singing
nonsense songs.

But Tom proves to be a very powerful being. Even the Ring
has no effect on him; in fact, he's able to make the Ring
vanish. His wife, Goldberry, says that Tom is the Eldest,
and master over all. With his great power, he could serve as
a strong ally against Sauron. But when Gandalf speaks
about him later, he says that Tom is not involved in this
battle. The Ring means nothing to Tom, and if they asked
him to guard it he would probably forget about it and lose

Tom is one of Tolkien's characters who are closely
associated with the natural world. In fact, many readers
think of Tom Bombadil as a personification of nature. His
lack of involvement in the war against Sauron is seen as a
sign of nature's neutrality in the war between good and evil.


Treebeard the Ent is another character who is closely
associated with nature. There's a story that Tolkien
invented the Ents for one of his sons, who was distressed to
see so many trees cut down in the name of progress, and
wanted to see the trees get revenge. Treebeard leads the
Ents, a race of treelike creatures, against Saruman, whose
orcs have been wantonly cutting down trees.

Like Tom Bombadil, Treebeard is neutral in the war against
Sauron. He tells Merry and Pippin that the only reason the
Ents attack Saruman is that he has been destroying the

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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - Barron's Booknotes

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