Does Éowyn truly love Faramir? That is a question that bothers a lot of Lord of The Rings fans. I believe she does. We all know that Éowyn feels something really special for Aragorn, and that all her thoughts and actions were on him, and that she wished to be loved by him. But I believe that she wanted not Aragorn himself, but the image of a powerful Ranger, king to be -- a true warrior, just like her.
"Am I not of the House of Eorl, a shieldmaiden and not a dry-nurse? I have waited on faltering feet long enough... may I not spend my life as I will?"
She wanted independence, someone who would treat her not like a woman, but like a shieldmaiden of Rohan. All of her people wanted her to be a healer, a regular woman, and I think that she was seeking for the opposite, not really wanting it, just trying to prove her value.
"All your words are but to say: you are a woman, and your part is in the house. But... I can ride and wield blade, and I do not fear either pain or death."
She has strong feelings about being treated like anybody else. She wanted more, she wanted to be a Queen, a powerful warrior, that would protect her country.
"Wilt thou not let me ride with this company, as I have asked?" Then she fell on her knees, saying: "I beg thee!"
Éowyn wanted to fight by Aragorn's side, to show that she was worth it. But Aragorn was madly in love with Arwen, and he did not see her as what she was. My point is, she wanted to be a Queen, and Aragorn would become a King. Plus, she could wield the blade better than him, and we all see that in the The Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Wouldn't marrying a king, ranger, warrior, and still be better than him, be everything for someone like Éowyn?
We all know she was not a regular person. She had dreams, ambitions, she wanted to be all that she could and more. Now an Aragorn quote:
"When I first looked on her and perceived her unhappiness, it seemed to me that I saw a white flower standing straight and proud, shapely as a lily, and yet knew that it was hard, as if wrought by elf-wrights out of steel. Or was it, maybe, a frost that had turned its sap to ice, and so it stood, bitter-sweet, still fair to see, but stricken, soon to fall and die?"
Éowyn always lived unhappily. Always caged, seeking for freedom. But all she needed was love, not more dares and a life of adventure.
"And yet, Eomer, I say to you that she loves you more truly than me; for you she loves and knows; but in me she loves only a shadow and a thought."
See. She didn't love him truly, because she didn't even know him well. She loved his shadow, his future, his image. She thought she loved him as a man, but she didn't.
"As [Faramir] looked at her it seemed to him that something in her softened, as though a bitter frost were yielding at the first faint presage of Spring."
After the battle with the Witch King, and all her pain because of Aragorn, she softened. I believe she realized that her part on the War of the Ring was done. She didn't need to prove her value to anyone else, because there she was, alive.
Éowyn talked to Faramir for a long time in the Houses of Healing, and he was able to "uncage" her of her own thoughts. She was starting to open herself to him, because he, son of Denethor, understood the pain and pressure of living in a kingdom.
"I wished to be loved by another, but I desire no man's pity."
She realized Aragorn didn't deserve her.
"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. Once I pitied your sorrow. But now, were you sorrowless, without fear or any lack, were you the blissful Queen of Gondor, still I would love you. Eowyn, do you not love me?"
He recognized her for all that she was. Faramir loved her more than anything. True love.
"Then the heart of Eowyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on her."
Éowyn finnaly realized that her true love was Faramir. Her heart was his before she even knew, because their conversation was so natural, and she was so similar to him, that the days passed like wind, and her world was coming back to normal. Her heart was defrosting.
"No longer do I desire to be a queen."
That proves that she desired to be a queen, and not to be the Queen of Gondor, wedding Aragorn.
"Would you have your proud folk say of you: 'There goes a lord who tamed a wild shieldmaiden of the North! Was there no woman of the race of Numenor to choose'?" "I would," said Faramir. And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many."
He didn't care what she was, nor where she was from. He cared about her alone, Éowyn, the woman. He cared not that she was a shieldmaiden of Rohan, even though he was from Gondor.
"Faramir, Steward of Gondor, and Prince of Ithilien, asks that Eowyn Lady of Rohan should be his wife, and she grants it full willing."
Again, her heart changed. I believe this is true love, without needing to prove anything, without pain.