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Letter 268

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Letter 268 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Summary

This fragment of a letter, dated January 19, 1965, is sent to a Miss. A.P. Northey. She had enquired about the fate of Shadowfax. Tolkien tells her, that because The Lord of the Rings was written by chroniclers (in this case Sam), not everything needs to be told. And Sam, emotional as he was from the departure of Frodo, omitted the fate of Gandalf's trusted steed. Therefore one can only guess what happened, argues Tolkien.

And Tolkien guesses that Shadowfax most certainly came with Gandalf to the Grey Havens, and did not stay behind. It would have been noticed if he did, and after all, Shadowfax was one of the Mearas. Those horses descended from Nahar, the horse of Béma, and thus had blood that came from the West.