Tolkien Gateway

Horses

Wild Horses by Pamela Shanteau

Horses were beasts of burden and transport used by Elves and Men through the ages. Famous among horses were Nahar, the steed of Oromë, Rochallor, the warhorse of Fingolfin, and Felaróf, the steed of Eorl the Young. The breeding and riding of horses were arts developed to their greatest height, among Men, by the Rohirrim in the Third Age.

Contents

[edit] History

Horses existed as native creatures in Middle-earth; however, in The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings there is evidence that some of the breeds in Middle-earth, particularly in Beleriand and Rohan, were enhanced by sires brought from Aman. Although horses may have roamed freely when Men awoke with the rising of the Sun, it is unclear if the Elves who stayed in Middle-earth - the Sindar, Nandor, and Avari - had horses while "Middle-earth lay for the most part in the Sleep of Yavanna."[1]

In the early days of the First Age, Oromë was heard sounding his horn, Valároma, and riding through Beleriand and over the mountains hunting the fell beasts of Morgoth. He had been riding and hunting there with his folk since before the Firstborn awoke and, of all the Valar, came the most reluctantly to Valinor.[2] But, the Sindar were awed by his splendour and feared him and the "great noise and onrush of Nahar."[1] This does not mean that the early Elves feared horses, as they would have no reason to fear any natural and uncorrupted beast,[3] or that they did not keep horses themselves.

In Valinor, the Elves did ride. Fëanor's son, Celegorm, "in Valinor was a friend of Oromë, and often followed the Vala's horn."[4] Aredhel, while still in Eldamar, was also mentioned as one who loved to ride and hunt in the forests.[4] The Noldor brought some of their horses, which flourished in Ard-galen, from Valinor with them on the ships that sailed to Losgar:

From few their horses had increased swiftly, and the grass of Ard-galen was rich and green. Of these horses many of the sires came from Valinor, and they were given to Fingolfin by Maedhros in atonement of his losses, for they had been carried by ship to Losgar.
J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand and its Realms"

The Rohirrim believed their noble horse line, the Mearas, must have had a sire that was brought by the hunter Béma (Oromë) from the West.[5]

The horses of Elves were ridden bitless, with only decorative headstalls and saddles, or wholly without tack,[6][7][3] and the Mearas, like elf horses, also seemed to prefer being ridden thus by the riders they allowed.[5][8]

[edit] Named Horses

[edit] Names

In Sindarin, the word for "horse" is roch.[9]

In Quenya, the word for "horse" is rokko[9] or rocco[10] (pl. rokkor[11]). In the Etymologies, these forms derive from the root ROK.[12] An intermediate form was Primitive Elvish rokkō ("swift horse for riding").[10][13]

Words in Tolkien's early tongues included:

  • Qenya olombo ("horse") [14]
  • Noldorin lobor ("horse")[14]
  • Gnomish Brog ("horse"); bros (brossa) or broch ("mare"); lobros ("steed, horse"); mair ("horse", poetic).[15]

[edit] Portrayal in Adaptations

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Horses are the main transportation for the Free Peoples of Middle-earth. At level 35 players can earn the right to own their own mount. They can be bought at the Bree Horse Farm and also at various other locations with enough reputation.

[edit] See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sindar"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Account of the Valar and Maiar According to the Lore of the Eldar"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Riders of Rohan"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Flight to the Ford"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 211, (dated 14 October 1958)
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Palantír"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names"
  10. 10.0 10.1 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 211, (dated 14 October 1958)
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Qenya Noun Structure", in Parma Eldalamberon XXI (edited by Christopher Gilson, Patrick H. Wynne and Arden R. Smith), p. 78
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", p. 384
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 297, (dated August 1967)
  14. 14.0 14.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Addenda and Corrigenda to the Etymologies — Part One" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter and Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 45, November 2003, p. 28
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, "I-Lam na-Ngoldathon: The Grammar and Lexicon of the Gnomish Tongue", in Parma Eldalamberon XI (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, and Patrick H. Wynne), pp. 24, 54, 56