Love Is In The Air + 2 Giveaways

February Fantasy Month BannerHappy Valentine’s Day!Love is in the Air

First of all, at the end of this post, I have TWO GIVEAWAYS to tell you about! First, make sure you check out the giveaway that some of the Fellowship of Fantasy authors and I have teamed up to bring you! And second, my amazing sister is having seven weeks of giveaways, and we are currently in the midst of the first one.

Today, I was planning to do a post on my top ten favorite fantasy couples… but then I could only think of six that weren’t too spoilery, and with the last one, I couldn’t remember one of the characters’ names – which was making me reevaluate whether or not they really deserved to be listed among my top favorites… and THAT made me think that maybe there was a post in there somewhere about how I’m not a huge fan of romance stories in general (I mean, I do love a well-told love story now and again, but it’s not my go-to by any stretch of the imagination). Well, then I started writing about my FAVORITE fantasy couple, and I realized that I couldn’t just talk about them in a sound bite. So, I may still do a top ten favorite fantasy “ships” at some point in the future…

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. But it is appropriate in more ways than one.

While Aragorn and Arwen are often featured as the “spotlight” relationship in The Lord of the Rings, with their tragic romance that spans culture and is full of self-sacrifice and has the whole star-crossed lovers thing going for it… Eowyn and Faramir’s relationship is by far the love story I prefer. If I had just one major disappointment in Peter Jackson’s retelling of LOTR, it would be the lack of development or time he put into showing us the beautiful love story between these two characters.

Take Faramir: the second-son of Lord Denethor. I mean, that right there could tell you all you need to know about the guy. He knows he’s not the favored son. He knows he’s not going to inherit anything of worth. But he doesn’t allow that to make him bitter. Instead, he quietly and faithfully does his duty. He is so devoid of arrogance, conceit, or self-serving ambitions that even the One Ring holds little temptation for him. Faramir is the picture of a character who always, always chooses to do what is right over what is easy. When the Ring is within his grasp, and he even guesses correctly what it is, he chooses to let Frodo continue on his journey.

“But fear no more! I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs, Frodo son of Drogo.”

I remember my dad reading us the Lord of the Rings for the first time, and when we got to the end, I have this vivid memory of him explaining that part of the reason Boromir died was because he would not have been able to hand over Gondor to Aragorn the way that Faramir did. That there was a humility to Faramir that Boromir did not possess. Boromir was noble, and heroic (and if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you know that I love him dearly), but he was also extremely proud, and it was part of his downfall.

But, lest you think Faramir’s lack of selfish ambition makes him weak, think again! No, Faramir is a warrior, and has enough pride for it to be stung by his father’s harsh words. He rides out at Denethor’s behest into a suicide mission, and his men rally to his courage, though it is not enough to turn the tide against a foe that outnumbers his band by far too many.

Then there is Eowyn. Beautiful, sorrowful Eowyn. She has lived through too much. Caring for her ailing uncle throughout his time being poisoned by Wormtongue, and her proximity to that situation causing her to swallow much of those poisonous words, herself, Eowyn feels trapped in a life she did not choose. She dreams of glory, of escaping the life of sorrow and drudgery she has lived and rising above it. This drives her to almost throw herself at Aragorn – seeing him as a possible means of escape and glory, as she knows who he is and what he is destined for – but he gently tells her his heart belongs to another. Then she seeks glory or death on the battlefield, and very nearly finds both.

If that were the end of these stories, both Faramir and Eowyn would be interesting, well-developed characters.

But the redemptive healing that they bring to each other is what makes them shine like stars in the heavens. It is this beautiful, poignant romance that springs up between these two wounded souls and heals them both that make them my favorite couple in all of fantasy fiction. The patience and gentleness that Faramir displays in his courtship of Eowyn is simply beautiful, as beautiful as the sun shining down into Eowyn’s heart at long last, when she realizes that being queen and having all the glory and honor in the world means little when compared with the honest love and tender care of the man offering her his heart.

“Eowyn, do you not love me, or will you not?”

“I wished to be loved by another,” she answered. “But I desire no man’s pity.”

“That I know,” he said. “You desired to have the love of the Lord Aragorn. Because he was high and puissant, and you wished to have the renown and glory and to be lifted far above the mean things that crawl on the earth. And as a great captain may to a young soldier he seemed to you admirable. For so he is, a lord among men, the greatest that now is. But when he gave you only understanding and pity, then you desired to have nothing, unless a brave death in battle. Look at me, Eowyn!”

And Eowyn looked at Faramir long and steadily; and Faramir said: “Do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart, Eowyn! But I do not offer you my pity. For you are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you…. Eowyn, do you not love me?”

Then the heart of Eowyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on her.

Even now, reading these scenes in the Two Towers and Return of the King that focus on Eowyn and Faramir get me a little choked up. Their love story is sweet and beautiful and epic and everything a love story should be.

What about you, dear Reader? Do you enjoy romance elements in your fantasy reads? Who are YOUR favorite “ships”?

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!

Love is in the Air prize graphic
a Rafflecopter giveaway

But that is not all! Because Brittany Jean is also having a giveaway right now… actually, she is planning seven of them. Each week she will have a new prize or set of prizes that correspond in some way with the songs on her new album, Wander With Me.

Here is her latest music video to her title track!

Up for grabs currently she has:
1 “Be Brave” necklace
1 Bracelet with “You are Gold” written on the outside, and on the inside it says, “Save that, and throw the rest away”
1 Journal with “Don’t Lose Heart” on the cover

These prizes are so cool… I wish I were eligible to win them… but alas… this is the only problem with your favorite singer also being your sister. *grin*

HOW TO ENTER:

Like her FACEBOOK PAGE and participate in her game of Song Tag!
She’s started with “Rise and Fall”. (hint, you can purchase these songs on iTunes or listen to them on youtube if you are unfamiliar with the lyrics – you can also find the lyrics on Brittany Jean’s Website)
She has posted the first phrase of the song, and then you fill in the next!
Simple as pie.

WHEN AND HOW THE WINNER IS CHOSEN:

Once you contribute to the Song Tag, your name will be entered, and she will draw one winner at random on Saturday morning! The winner will be announced on her facebook page at 10 AM on Saturday!

Go have some fun!

Brittany Jean Giveaway

~ jenelle

8 Comments

DJ Edwardson

Such a wonderful post. Reading that exchange between Faramir and Eowyn again got me choked up as well. Such a wonderful love story.

My favorite love story has always been Beren and Luthien. Yes, it lacks the intimacy and detail of the love stories told in The Lord of the Rings, but the lengths to which Beren goes to win the hand of the most beautiful elf maiden in the history of Middle-earth stir me just thinking about them.

I love the ordinary in fantasy as you talked about yesterday, but I also love the epic. And it doesn’t get any more epic than this. To confront Morgoth himself, the one for whom Sauron was a mere lieutenant! That is bravery beyond the lot of mortal men, and a love that would simply not be denied.

And then when Luthien comes unexpectedly to save him it lifts this tale to legendary status in my mind. It’s one I simply cannot shake, as if all love stories are in some way shadows of this one great tale.

Reply
jenelle

I really need to reread Beren and Luthien’s tale. I love it, but I think I’ve only read it once. Matter of fact, I should probably reread the entire Silmarillion while I’m at it… :)

I, too, love the epic aspects of fantasy. The ordinary tends to highlight the epic, I think the two working together in the same story is what truly MAKES fantasy.

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Deborah O'Carroll

THIS POST IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS.

YES YES YES.

Faramir being my favorite character in LOTR, and Eowyn another one, and their love story is JUST MY FAVORITE AWK. Yes to all the things.

You wrote about it SO beautifully, and those quotes! JUST YES!

And Faramir’s so noble and THIS is why he’s my favorite. :)

THANK YOU FOR SHARIIIIIING! <3 <3 <3

Reply
jenelle

*grins like an idiot*

Awwww, I love this comment so much. *hugs it forever*

Faramir and Eowyn are so beautiful. Every love story should aspire to that level of tenderness. I also fall easily for a redemption story, so that’s part of it, but everything about the way that story plays out just always makes me happy.

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Christine

I am not kidding when I say this post made me almost tear up. And I was at work when I read it and had to control myself so I wouldn’t be sobbing in front of customers! But just…YESSSSS. Faramir and Eowyn are 50000% my favorite LotR couple. Their love so so inspiring and pure. The way they found healing with each other just… *clutches heart* I CAN’T! I do so wish they had had more screen time together in the movies. Theirs is one of the most beautiful love stories in fiction!

Reply
jenelle

Thanks for this lovely comment, Christine!

I’m sorry I nearly made you burst into tears at work….

I completely agree. Faramir and Eowyn are something special!

Reply

I love hearing from you, dear Reader!