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Old 08-18-2003, 12:25 AM   #1
Rilarien884
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Sting horses of middle earth

Every where there seems to be horses in middle earth, but are these animals in all areas? For example: are there horses in Lothlorien?
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Old 08-18-2003, 01:21 AM   #2
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Welcome in, Rilarien. As far as I know, horses were not used in any way by the Galadhrim; as for elsewhere in Middle-Earth, as in our own earth, they would not in fact have lived in all areas -- although they were, as you say, in widepsread use across the continent, they were largely under the ownership of people.

Rohan, of course, supplied much of the horse stock of the Western Lands. I suppose that since we are talking about a large area, and one which does largely consist of plains and expansive, flat country (the majors of this being Eriador, Rohan and Wilderland, Gondor and the South, and Rhun to the Eastward), horses were needed to cover the miles.
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Old 08-18-2003, 05:21 AM   #3
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I was reading my copy of Bilbo's Last Song yesterday, and the illustrations that I'm sure said included Galadriel, pictured her on a horse. Is this just for travelling, and likely to be a borrowed horse, then? Or is it the artist's own ideas?

So, Rohan supplied all the horses? Does this include Elves? Everywhere I have seen Elves travelling to the Grey Havens, they have been on horses. I do not know if this is true to the book or Tolkien's ideas... but did they actually have horses supplied to them then, or did they in fact walk?
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Old 08-18-2003, 08:14 AM   #4
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First rode Elladan and Elrohir with a banner of silver and then came Glorfindel and Erestor and all the household of Rivendell, and after them came the Lady Galadriel and Celeborn, Lord of Lothlorien, riding upon white steeds
The Steward and King; LoTR

They also went on horses to the Grey Havens. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] Most problably when going to Edhellond Amroth and Nimrodel and their company rode on horse too, though they got seperated.
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Old 08-18-2003, 10:46 AM   #5
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maybe the elves got one of the mearas a long time ago, and have made out of that a complete new race of elvenhorses
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Old 08-19-2003, 02:47 AM   #6
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The mearas were of Rohan. An 'Elvenhorse' was, I should think, merely a horse of a breed kept by the Elves; such animals would probably have been influenced by the Eldar, and become 'Elven-' through this.
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Old 08-19-2003, 10:49 AM   #7
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I was wondering... Does anyone here know the origin of the Mearas? I thought they had something to do with Orome's horse- Nahar, was he?- But I don't recall reading anywhere about the true history of them. Any ideas/facts?
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Old 08-19-2003, 11:30 AM   #8
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Sting

About the origin of the mearas it is said:

Quote:
Men said of them that Béma (whom the Eldar call Oromë) must have brought their sire from West over Sea

Appendix A, The House of Eorl
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Old 08-20-2003, 02:22 AM   #9
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Actually, this probably is the origin of them. Orome was the Vala responsible, largely, for the creation of the animate beasts of the earth; that he also created this particular race of horses, a special and clearly a holy breed -- for the benefit of the Children of Illuvatar, perhaps, or simply because he loved them -- I would guess to be the basic truth.
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Old 08-20-2003, 09:19 AM   #10
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Moreover, the father of all the mearas in Rohan was Felaróf, Eorl's horse, of which it is said that:

Quote:
The horse understood all that men said, (...) that horse proved as long lived as Men, and so were his descendants. These were the mearas.
Appendix A; The House of Eorl
Given the ability of Felaróf to understand language, and its long life-span, it is clear that it wasn't a 'normal' horse, and that this supports the idea of it being a descendant of Oromë's horses. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 08-20-2003, 02:25 PM   #11
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Sting

For a long while I have been driven by the concept that of the Elves, only Rivendell had accomodations for horses. Is this true? And what of Mirkwood in this whole business?
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Old 08-21-2003, 12:31 AM   #12
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Silmaril

I would suppose Mirkwood had horses too...how had Legolas traveled all the way to Rivendell if they had none? Well, maybe he could walk, but it does not seem right...
this brings me to think: Did Cirdan have horses in the Grey Havens? Wait, I remember seeing one when I stayed there, and that was the one I used to travel to Rivendell! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
But seriously, any answers?
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Old 08-21-2003, 01:41 AM   #13
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Sting

I would guess that wherever they were needed, they were used. Horses were known to Middle-Earth. Thranduil probably didn't keep them in the forest, but Legolas could quite easily have picked one up from either Lake-town or the Beornings.
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Old 08-21-2003, 11:19 AM   #14
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Sting

You guys seem to forget two important links between horses and elves in the book.
Firstly, Glorfindel at the ford tells his horse to carry Frodo to Rivendell in Elfic and secondly Legolas not only is accustomed to riding but the meara (whose name I can't remember) he rides is able to having elves ride bare-back on him.
To me, these two points clearly put the link between the Mearas and the Elves far back in time and my guess is that like the Ents were brought to life by Elves, the Mearas or horses in general in Middle Earth were kept at an early age and extensively used by the Elves.

Lothlorien most certainly had horses, though not described in so obvious ways in the book, while Mirkwood must have used them too as Legolas is obviously a good horseman.

The horses in Mirkwood must only have been used for far journeys outside the woods, this due to the dense forest.

Other than that, horses in Middle Earth were as wide spread and diverse as on our Earth. A majority of races have and use them and some have no need for them.
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Old 08-21-2003, 03:34 PM   #15
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What about Shadowfax's origin, and the reason why he has no equal? I haven't read the Lord of the Rings this year (yet), but from what I remember I get that shadowfax's parents weren't as great as he, or they died but only produced one offspring. I would think there would be more than one mearas in Rohan, if Shadowfax was born there. Or was he?

And about Glorfindel's horse, I personally think (having been around horses all this week) that Glorfindel could have trained his horse to go home whenever he sent him off. Though I do believe that horses of the elves had more 'wisdom' than those that lived with men, I don't think that Glorfindel's horse is a true mearas, or maybe not a mearas at all. As we saw in Bill, it's not that hard for horses of Middle Earth to find their way back to Rivendell.

And I agree, they most definitely had horses inside Lothlorien and Mirkwood, though I'm guessing they prefered to get around on foot when they weren't going on long journeys.
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Old 08-21-2003, 04:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
I'm guessing they prefered to get around on foot when they weren't going on long journeys.
Especially considering the fleetfootedness that Legolas was noted for.
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Old 08-21-2003, 07:17 PM   #17
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Could the mearas have been descended from the horses that the noldor brought with them out of Valinor. They did bring horses with them as it says in the Silmarillion that Maedros gave horses to Fingolfin to replace the ones that he lost when crossing the ice. The mearas could be descended from them, which would explain why the mearas were 'above' other horses, because they were descended from horses from Valinor.
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Old 08-21-2003, 07:53 PM   #18
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Sting

Wow, I never thought that this would be so darn complex! Thanks for all your insights, even though I dont think I registered half of what you were saying...when it comes to the down and dirty about Tolkien, I'm clueless, but it helped!!
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Old 08-22-2003, 01:00 AM   #19
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Ring

Gimli was obviously not in good terms with horses, his unwillingness to get on the Rhohirim horse clearly displays this.
Does anyone know if that was true to all dwarfs in middle earth?

I can't but help to think that dwarves would have found the use of big cart horses extremely useful when excavating the caves of Moria. Though dwarves are sturdy little things ( pardon the insult Gimli, he probably would want to fell my legs too ) shifting all that stone would have been done faster and more effectively by horses.
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Old 08-22-2003, 02:43 AM   #20
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Sting

Quote:
To me, these two points clearly put the link between the Mearas and the Elves far back in time and my guess is that like the Ents were brought to life by Elves, the Mearas or horses in general in Middle Earth were kept at an early age and extensively used by the Elves.
[img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] As sure of yourself as you may be, I might take you up on this.

Firstly, a minor point, the Ents were not brought to life by Elves -- only 'enlightened', taught language and greater awareness etc. The creation of horses (by the Ainur) was unlike that of Ents (made as fully sentient beings through Illuvatar).

On Rohan:
Quote:
You guys seem to forget two important links between horses and elves in the book.
Firstly, Glorfindel at the ford tells his horse to carry Frodo to Rivendell in Elfic and secondly Legolas not only is accustomed to riding but the meara (whose name I can't remember) he rides is able to having elves ride bare-back on him.
It looks like you've got things confused slightly. The mearas are a line of clearly very special horses, descended from Frelarof the horse of Eorl (a wild horse, whose ancestry is unknown). Shadowfax was the last of this line. These horses were exceptional; not every horse of Rohan was a Meara (there were in fact only one or two at a time), and your average Rohirric horse -- while Rohan was known for the very high standards of its equine breeding, and produced a lot of very worthy horses -- was simply that, a normal horse. Not a meara.

Legolas did not ride a meara through the Paths of the Dead, but a standard horse of Rohan. That he was able to calm it down, and ride it bareback was not neccessarily because of an ancient horse-Elf connection (???), but because Elves tended to have this way with things.

The origin of Glorfindel's horse, Asfaloth (the name probably means something like 'warm white flower', or so it's thought to be) is unknown, although it does not appear to be a true meara:
Quote:
'Ride forward! Ride!' cried Glorfindel to Frodo.
He did not obey at once, for a strange reluctance siezed him. Checking his horse to a walk, he turned and looked back...
Asfaloth is rather fast, and apparently able to understand Glorfindel's Sindarin. Clearly he is special, but I would not say meara-special. He is in many other respects a normal horse.

I don't deny that some sort of Elvish influence on the mearas is a possibility, although I would say that an Ainurin (perhaps even divine) source is more likely. I would personally conclude that Elves just tend to have a way with things -- animals, not least those of the horse persuasion -- remember that horses are pretty intelligent creatures to start with -- included.
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Old 08-22-2003, 10:03 AM   #21
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Cathelm asked:

Quote:
What about Shadowfax's origin, and the reason why he has no equal?
I think that Shadowfax, for some genetic reason, has inherited the same qualities Felaróf had, and that were not evident on his ancestors (although they were mearas as well). If you look at the description of Felaróf, it is said that

Quote:
Eorl stood up and called in a loud voice: "Come hither, Mansbane [Felaróf], and get a new name!" To their wonder the horse looked towards Eorl, and came and stood before him [...]
Eorl rode him without bit or bridle, and he rode him in like fashion ever after.
[...] he [Felaróf] would allow no man but Eorl to mount him
Appendix A; The House of Eorl
This description of Felaróf, and his 'friendship' or 'loyalty' towards Eorl, strongly reminds me of the relationship between Shadowfax and Gandalf. That is why I think that probably, Shadowfax was very similar to Felaróf.
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Old 08-22-2003, 10:17 AM   #22
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Sting

Gwaihir, You seem so certain about elves and horses not having any old links.
I do not doubt that elves have their ways with lesser things including animals, but simply the fact that they were in Middle Earth for a long time would mean that they mastered horses for as long.
Excuse my statements regarding the Mearas, though reading the book 9 times, I do not remember all details and merely descibed the horse Legolas rode as a Meara.

What do you think about horses and Dwarves, what sort of connections existed, if at all?

[ August 22, 2003: Message edited by: samrohan ]
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Old 08-22-2003, 11:08 AM   #23
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It seems that dwarves mounted ponies, instead of horses, probably due to their size. The length of your legs is very important when riding a horse [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Quote:
Just then all the other came round the corner of the road from the village. They were on ponies and each pony was slung with all kinds of baggages, packages, parcels and paraphernalia. There was a very small pony, apparently for Bilbo.

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Old 08-23-2003, 08:59 PM   #24
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Good one, Amarie! I had forgotten that Thorin's party rode horses. That would also explain (to me) why Gimli was so opposed to the riding of the horses of the Rohirrim- they are a tall people, so they aren't required to have many ponies. They do have ponies (Merry rode one), but all the horses with Eomer's party were full-sized horses.
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Old 08-24-2003, 01:53 AM   #25
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Sting

Taking this topic in a slightly different direction, why do the Fellowship, when they leave Rivendell, not take horses/ponies? This would increase their speed I would have thought.

One reason I can see is that the highlands beyond Rivendell were actually easier to walk through than to ride but this doesn't seem to fit.

The other reason is that there were less horses around than we suspect. Which means that Asfaloth was a rare thing and only high-ranking elves owned horses. Even then though, I would have thought they could have been given to the Fellowship, their need is somewhat great.

Well, what do you guys think about this?
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Old 08-24-2003, 08:00 AM   #26
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Quote:
why do the Fellowship, when they leave Rivendell, not take horses/ponies
their succes lay in stealth, it is difficult to hide for spies (crebain?) when you have horses with you. also the redhorn pass was difficult to travel with horses, and what about Moria? I think Gandalf thought that they had to go through Moria before they left Rivendel, (and just geve the caradhras a try because he didn't like this) and therefore decided not to take horses.
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Old 08-24-2003, 08:23 PM   #27
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Sting

Also, there would be no way that the fellowship could have ridden horses over Caradharas. If they were going by the Gap of Rohan, as Boromir wanted, they could have taken horses as the land is obviously suited for horses. Since they didn't want to go by the Gap of Rohan because it took them too close to Isenguard, horses wouldn't have been much use by the terrain they were going.
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Old 08-25-2003, 02:39 AM   #28
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Quote:
Gwaihir, You seem so certain about elves and horses not having any old links.
Ach, I hate it when people accuse me of surety. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] You just can't have all that much of it, when you discuss something like this... at any rate, I am not sure. As I said in my post, the Elvish connection is a possibility; I simply see no reason why it should really exist.

Quote:
I do not doubt that elves have their ways with lesser things including animals, but simply the fact that they were in Middle Earth for a long time would mean that they mastered horses for as long.
Especially animals. That Glorfindel's own horse had something 'Elvish' about it I suspect to be solely because he was an Elda himself (and that it lived in Rivendell); Legolas could have calmed down any scared horse without there being an obvious 'ancient connection'.

The horse-connection of the Rohirrim was a very ancient one, remember. Their people lived in the Vales of Anduin -- where the mearas originated, in fact -- for a very long time indeed.

Mmmmmm....
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