4 January 2018

One Moment in Time - part II

There I stood, on a large boulder, on a hill, overlooking a huge valley encircled by enormous mountains, King Theoden's sword raised to the stars in a mighty gesture of power. The significance of this picture lies not only with the picture itself, but with the long story behind it.

The wind was breathing through my hair quite softly, not hard enough to sting my face, but enough to draw my attention to it. I was smiling uncontrollably, barely managing to keep the tears at bay. "I can't believe we're here." Why on earth was I so emotional, you ask? Well, the answer cannot be told without explaining first of all my history with the Art of Cinema.

Lord of the Rings has been in my life for as long as I can remember. I have seen it hundreds of times through the years, and as with all things, perception changes over time. I didn't realize that it was rare to have a character such as Eowyn grace our screens. I didn't realize that most warriors were men. My 7 year old self knew only that Eowyn was a lady AND a warrior, and that was pretty cool. It made me feel powerful.

As I grew older, I continued to watch these films with deep, unwavering interest. I started to pick up moments I had overlooked when I was young. I had known that Eowyn was strong, fierce, stubborn. But I didn't see the deep struggle in her story, which was the foundation of her character. I saw only her power.

Suddenly I was in my teens, and I not only began to understand Eowyn's struggles, but I also began to notice the poor representation of female characters in this art form. For a long time, many fictional characters I looked up to were men. Why? Is it because we talk more about popular male figures? Is it because I read books which focused on male heroes? Why didn't I read books about female heroes? What happened? Questions which I continue to ponder. I didn't really notice the contrast between the number of male and female characters when I was little. I liked them for who they were, not their gender.

So why is Eowyn so significant? What is it about her character that impacted me, that made me think hang-on-a-minute-where-are-all-the-girls? She was told what she could and could not do, because she was girl. "War is the province of men, Eowyn". & yet, she did what she believed in.

Despite being able to relate to a hero of any gender, representation matters. When I was young, I would pretend to be Eowyn, not Aragorn. And that was that.

Fast forward 10 years or so, on Friday 10th of November 2017, I found myself retracing Eowyn's steps outside the Golden Hall on Edoras, Rohan. It was the most exhilarating feeling. I had made it.

Holly x

Holly shot on Edoras/Mount Sunday on a Canon A1 film camera, Canterbury, New Zealand.


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