Chosen One of the Day: The Black Cauldron's Princess Eilonwy

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Nov 15, 2017

Every story has a hero, a protagonist, the character who owns the story and in whom we, as an audience, invest our time, energy, and emotions. Sometimes, though, you have to wonder if the author of said story was fully aware of just who that was supposed to be.

A classic example? Zelda, from The Legend of Zelda, who somehow manages to be only a side character in a game bearing her name, despite the fact that she's about 10 times more interesting than Link (and is basically a ninja).

Another classic? Princess Eilonwy from 1985's The Black Cauldron. Much like Zelda, Eilonwy is, well, a princess, and a secondary character. She's meant to be sort of a damsel for Taron (the actual hero of the story) to save and a romantic interest for him. But does she really need his help? Oh no. No no no.

 

When you first meet her, she's been captured by the Horned King and held prisoner in his dungeon for some time, and really, she's gotten bored of the whole thing. She's also in the middle of escaping from said dungeon all on her lonesome. When she and Taron first encounter each other, she's actually popping up out of the floor of his cell like a very pretty gopher, surprised to encounter another person and disappointed that he's not someone a little more formidable who might assist in her escape. Despite her disappointment, though, she does offer to let him tag along. No one should be forced to remain a prisoner just because they're not as talented as she is.

When they do finally escape, Taron tries to take all the credit, of course, but Eilonwy doesn't let him get away with such nonsense. After all, she probably would have gotten them all the way out if Taron hadn't gotten help from a magic sword.

 

And what does Eilonwy get for all her awesomeness? Well, she's known as the "forgotten Disney princess" since the House of Mouse couldn't find it in their hearts — for over three decades — to induct her into their pantheon of royal women, despite protests from loyal fans.

C'mon, Disney! Give the people what they want. And while you're at it, maybe make some room for Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire