The Return of the King

The Return of the King

by

J. R. R. Tolkien

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Éomer is Théoden’s nephew and Éowyn’s brother. He leads the Rohirrim in battle at Minas Tirith, second only to Théoden. As Théoden’s heir, he becomes the next king of Rohan after Théoden’s death. When he finds Éowyn seemingly dead on the battlefield, he experiences profound grief, though Aragorn’s description of Éowyn’s lifelong despair comes as a revelation to him. Nevertheless, his deep connection to and love for his sister allow him to call her back from under the Dark Shadow.
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Éomer Character Timeline in The Return of the King

The timeline below shows where the character Éomer appears in The Return of the King. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 5, Chapter 2 
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Expectation vs. Ability Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...to be as many of them as there are Riders of Rohan, if not more. Éomer calls the unknown riders to a halt, at which one of them dismounts. When Théoden... (full context)
Expectation vs. Ability Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...at Théoden’s side. Théoden tells Merry he will have a pony made ready for him. Éomer says there isn’t much armor around for a person of Merry’s size, but Merry reveals... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
After the midday meal, the Riders and the Dúnedain assemble, mounted. Éomer and Aragorn emerge from the fortress to join the company. Aragorn seems to have aged... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 3
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...and lonely—he thinks of all his friends who are now far from him. Théoden tells Éomer he will continue on to Edoras tomorrow, and Éomer suggests that, after the muster there,... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Expectation vs. Ability Theme Icon
...confirms that Aragorn and his riders followed the Paths of the Dead yesterday morning, and Éomer resigns himself never to see them again. Merry ruminates on the Paths of the Dead,... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
...for the Dead to allow the living to pass through, as was rumored long ago. Éomer still despairs at Aragorn’s decision, believing he’s been distracted from the war at hand by... (full context)
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...they are greeted intermittently with news that Rohan’s borders are being assailed by the enemy. Éomer urges the Riders on: it’s too late to divert from their path. They journey past... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 5
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...the Riders for the whole journey. He wanders towards a lantern, under which Théoden and Éomer are discussing strategy. He sees beside them a squat Wild Man, similar in stature to... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...enemies, though there are many at Minas Tirith, and the outer wall has been destroyed. Éomer takes this as good news, because it means the wall cannot be held against them.... (full context)
Expectation vs. Ability Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...order to be nearer the king. Théoden rallies the Riders with a speech and instructs Éomer to lead into battle. They increase their speed. Merry holds tight to Dernhelm and worries... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 6
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...Merry he is passing on to the land of his fathers. He asks to see Éomer before he dies, and to send word to Éowyn, who he believes to be back... (full context)
Expectation vs. Ability Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Éomer then recognizes Éowyn’s body. His grief spurs him to rejoin the battle and he rallies... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...of the approaching ships encourages the armies of Mordor, and they fight with renewed strength. Éomer rallies his men to form a shield-wall and prepare for their last stand. But as... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 8
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Aragorn, Éomer, and Imrahil reach the city gate. Aragorn decides not to enter the city: he believes... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Expectation vs. Ability Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
When Aragorn sees Éowyn, he describes her sadness as a sickness that began long ago. Éomer says he didn’t know that Éowyn felt such despair for so many years. Gandalf tells... (full context)
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...if she wakes into despair she won’t survive. He crushes the herb again and tells Éomer to call to her. Éowyn wakes up and asks Éomer whether it’s true that Théoden... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 9
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Imrahil sends for Éomer and they descend the levels of the city together to meet Aragorn, Gandalf, Elladan, and... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 5
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...Steward of Gondor until the king’s return to take charge of readying the city. Though Éomer summons Éowyn to join the camp in Ithilien, she doesn’t go, and while she stays... (full context)
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Faramir asks Éowyn why she refused to go to Éomer. He suggests there are two reasons: first, that it was Éomer and not Aragorn that... (full context)
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Wisdom, and Mercy Theme Icon
...where Faramir greets them. Aragorn leads the company of Dúnedain forward, and with them are Éomer, Gandalf, Imrahil, and the four hobbits. Faramir meets them and surrenders his stewardship to Aragorn,... (full context)
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Wisdom, and Mercy Theme Icon
...Aragorn appoints him to Faramir’s guard as a captain. Aragorn gives Ithilien to Faramir’s command. Éomer returns to Rohan to set things in order, and Éowyn goes with him, telling Faramir... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 6
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
The hobbits ride with Éomer’s company to escort Théoden back to Rohan. When they arrive, they stay and rest. After... (full context)