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Éowyn, Shield Maiden of Rohan

Lord of the Rings
by Artemis

There's not a lot of women in The Lord of the Rings, but fortunately it's a case of quality over quantity.

Beautiful and strong, Eowyn, Shield Maiden of Rohan the Lady Éowyn of Rohan is the niece of King Théoden. Despite her noble blood, Eowyn is not one to shy from combat. Adept with sword and shield, the Lady is quite capable of defending herself. When the men of Rohan leave to do battle in defense of their realm, Éowyn longs to be allowed to take arms and join them, though her gender and office forbid it.

Well, not so much her office - her brother had the same "noble blood" as her, and that didn't stop him charging about looking for opportunities to shed it in any battle he could find. In any case, as most everyone would know by now, Eowyn does finally get to kick some arse, by disguising herself as a man and joining the Ride of the Rohirrim to Gondor. Even with her half-face helmet, that made her a rather pretty horse-viking, so one wonders how none of her comrades noticed - then again, maybe that's not uncommon among Rohan's elite (which probably helps make the absence of women on long campaigns easier to bear for them; don't ask, don't tell).

This is one of three Éowyn figures produced, the others being a Two Towers version with a leather jerkin over a lilac dress (seen on some of the film's publicity photos, though the scene was cut from the final release), and the Return of the King one in which she's all kitted up to kick some Nazgûl butt. This outfit, a heavy brownish-grey dress over a bright blue tunic, is most memorable from the scene where Eowyn practices swordplay while everyone's hanging around Edoras, and Aragorn totally sleazes onto her (though given that her other option was Gríma, I don't blame her for being eager).

Like most of the Lord of the Rings line, it's basically a decent figure, but suffers from multiple personality disorder. The sculpt is high quality, with a lot of detail and texture on the clothing, eyes up, girl! even on her legs (leather boots, black trousers - no commando Shieldmaiden) which are almost entirely hidden by the dress. And no, despite what some sources claim, this isn't just a repaint of the original figure. Her hair is especially nice work, with a great deal of fine detail in the soft rubber sculpt, though for my money it's a touch thick over the top of her head - combined with her sculpted (and unchangeable) downward gaze, it makes her forehead rather prominent. All the Eowyn figures, I'd say, overdo the sternness of her character in the face sculpt - none of them look as young and pretty as they should - and this is no exception, but even so there's no mistaking who it's meant to be: she may look older and somewhat disgruntled, but she's definitely Miranda Otto.

The paint is more casual - good colours, but so-so application. same dress Her face and hair are the high point, with clear eyes and lips, and a very nice wash on the hair bringing out the sculpted detail. Sadly, things aren't so clean elsewhere - the blue of her tunic, seen through the lace-up sides of her dress, is painted on rather haphazardly, with blue paint touching the edges of the dress itself rather noticeably. The pale blue laces holding her dress closed at the sides, and gathering her sleeves at the biceps, are also pretty random - some are spot on, some are just vaguely in the right place. It varies from figure to figure, so pay attention if you buy her in person, but you'd be lucky to find one without some slop somewhere. Incedentally, the blue dress worn by this figure and the purple dress worn by the first one are technically the same piece of clothing under different tops - which means neither of them are the right color.

She's heavily articulated, especially for what looks at first glance like a collector's figure - ToyBiz evidently had kids in mind as well as adult LotR fans. if only her head was on straight She has a swivel neck - which is a shame, as a balljoint would have allowed her to look up - balljointed shoulders, swivel biceps, double pin elbows, swivel forearms, pin wrists, and a swivel waist. Her legs, beneath the soft rubber skirt, have balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double pin knees, swivel shins, and pin ankles and toes, but the skirt itself means that there's not a lot of posing you can do with her legs. It's soft, and split up to about mid-thigh at the back, but the material is sturdy enough to push the legs back together if you try to give her a wide stance. There's a sculpted crease in the bottom of the dress intended to go over the top of her left foot as she steps forwards, and that's pretty much the only pose that really works for her.

So she's sculpted like a collector's figure, painted like a children's figure, articulated like a Street Fighter warrior, near enough - and sadly, she completes the roster with a kid's toy action feature. There's a button set into her back - this is just the sort of thing you'd expect with a SHIELD MAIDEN! well, not so much "set into" as "poking out of," which prevents her hair resting down her back (looking at the sculpt, it's possible her head was given its permanent downward tilt, rather than going level, to make room for the button - if she was looking straight ahead, her hair would sit perfectly on her back). Press the button, and her sword arm (right) waves around jerkily from the shoulder. Whoop-de-doo.

Éowyn's accessories are her sword and scabbard - the same ones as were included with her armored-up Return of the King version, though with no attached strap and belt on the scabbard, which is a bit annoying since neither hand is really sculpted to hold it. Both are painted similarly to the figure itself - good colours, so-so application, but nothing truly bad - and compared to the RotK version, the gold on the sword hilt and scabbard is much darker.

Wanna see us make out?

It's not a great figure, but even with its lazy paint and annoying action feature, it's still not bad - and if these figures are showing up at a discount, as they are in my area, she's easily worth picking up. After all, there's one thing the Lord of the Rings range guarantees: you won't be sent bankrupt by collecting the women.


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