The White Lady of Rohan

From this part of the post, in which cher3 explains why she “agrees with Jackson” in omitting the laugh:

“In the end, Eowyn doesn’t kill the Witch King with her magic woman powers. She kills him with her sword.”

Maybe I misinterpreted… I assumed this meant that cher3 thinks that the prophecy *actually means *that “magical woman powers” are necessary to kill the Witch-king, rather than simply seeming to mean some such thing.

and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to Sauron…and nice black uniforms. (Oh, damn!)

No, I meant more that Tolkien (and the laugh, as you describe it) suggest that Eowyn kills the Witch King because it was her destiny to do so. This is in contrast to, say, Aragorn or Faramir, who have worked long and hard to achieve what they ultimately do.

Merry uses one of those “nice shiny daggers” that Galadriel gave him to stab the Witch King with. Same difference in the end.

I don’t read it that way. As the narrator says of Merry’s sword, “No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will.”

When Eowyn strikes her blow, Mister Angmar is already gone. But both Merry and Eowyn were required to make that happen.

I thought it was one of the swords Aragorn gave the hobbits when they were on Weathertop.

quoting earlier posings: “In the beginning of the book, Merry receives a very special sword, when the hobbits are rescued from the barrow by Tom Bombadil. It was forged specifically to combat the Witch King, by the last defenders of the area that he defeated. The barrow that the hobbits ended up in was the grave of a prince or king of that people (Aragorn’s people, in fact), and it is his dagger that Merry is given by Tom Bombadil.”
and
" “No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will.”

Since the Bombadil & barrow episodes were cut from the films, it doesn’t matter who gave Merry the sword in the film. He hobbles the Witch King with it so Eowyn can kill him. Both individuals were necessary to get the job done, in book & movie. The movie version was pretty darn good, but the books have more fulfilling mythology (& that writing in the witch-king death scene! Marvelous!)

Movie version: it was Sam who asked for the “nice shiny dagger”, but Galadriel just laughs at him. Merry used one of the swords Aragorn gave him on weathertop.

Book version: Merry used the magic blade from the Barrow-downs that Tom Bombadil gave him.

Movie version, there’s no particular reason why Merry’s blade should have been effective against the WK of A, but movie audiences aren’t expected to be as obsessive about such details. :slight_smile:

ETA: it would be interesting speculation (for another thread, rather than hijacking this one further): just what exactly did Merry’s blow do to the WK; and what would have happened if there had been no kill-shot from Eowyn. As I read it, Merry’s blade just unknit the unseen sinews, but wasn’t necessarily fatal.

I think Merry’s bane dagger made the Witch King mortal, thus a head shot killed him for good. But yes, both were necessary, but Merry did the heavy lifting.

Well, if my unseen sinews were finally unknit, I doubt I’d be needing a chick’s ordinary sword thrust to the chest to do me in, especially because I’ve been undead for over 4000 years, and I’m pretty sure I don’t really have a chest.

Eowyn’s laughter could still have been done well, though it depends more on Miranda Otto’s acting skill than on Peter Jackson’s directing skill. It’s clearly not a laugh of merriment or amusement, whatever it is, and I can very easily see a steely laugh in the face of death coming from one of Eowyn’s people.

It was Galadriel’s dagger. I managed to freeze-frame it at 1:53; even tho it was only really visible half-blurry-like for a frame or so, it was much smaller than the short swords Aragorn gave them.

If Éowyn had struck a gone entity, her sword wouldn’t have shattered. It did shatter because it struck something that was there, and very powerful. Same reason that arm is the worst arm of the two (despite not being the fractured arm).

And again I read it differently. Merry did strike his blow, but Witch King was still moving towards Éowyn, despite the blow. The book only mentions that there was no corpse underneath the mantle after WK is hit by Éowyn.

??? That sounds self-contradictory. If he was “aleady gone” then what did Eowyn contribute?

This is closer to what I’d agree to, but I’d give Eowyn the greater credit, and say she did the heavier lifting. It’s a classic one-two punch. Merry set him up, but Eowyn finished him.

Sort of like Laurel and Hardy…

Again, in the film it doesn’t matter where he got the dagger. In the book it does.

Film: Eowyn did the greater part.
Book: Merry’s sword did the greater part.
Both: it was a team effort.

It wasn’t that the dagger was specially forged to defeat the WK. It was a matter of affinity, like so much of JRRTs magic. Just as elven rope burns Gollum and Elven blades glow when orcs are about, so the weapon of the WKs ancient enemy posesses particular power against its owners most hated foe. And of course, it’s poetic justice that the barrow-blade achieved final vengeance in a posthumous strike from the grave. I wonder if on the barrow downs a wight has finally settled down in peace now that his old knife has brought down the Witch King of Angmar.

I wonder how many decades it’ll be before LotR is remade? There was a time when I’d say never, but now the public is so accepting of remakes and reboots, and with enough time having passed, a studio would rightfully see the franchise as a huge cash cow.

Hopefully Stephen Colbert is still alive and made script consultant, as an obsessive, pedantic super-fan would surely catch all the flaws.

whoever eventually remakes a film version of LOTR will get criticism, just as Peter Jackson did. Jackson was a super fan of the books, who still made decisions many fans hated. I loved the visual sense, the music, the casting of his films. Another filmmaker might rectify some of Jackson’s missteps, they might film the death of the Witch-King in a better way - but I might not like the look or other aspects of their work as much as PJ’s.

Although Christopher is getting on in years, the Tolkien Estate was not well pleased with the entire movie experience. They won’t be renewing or reselling the movie rights for a long, long time. And as far as I know, the rights purchase did not include a “use 'em or lose 'em” clause like Marvel’s movie rights (for Spider-Man and X-Men and Fantastic Four). At the time of sale, Marvel were not in a strong bargaining position, and so got a bad deal; the Tolkien Estate got a much better deal than Marvel.

There is not going to be a remake for a long, long time. Maybe next generation.