The Mearas were strong, wild, and intelligent. They would bear no man but the kings or princes of the Mark (with Gandalf as a notable exception). Their lifespan was as long as men[note 1] and, according to tradition, the ancestors of the Mearas were brought from the West by Béma.
In T.A. 2501[note 2] Léod of the Éothéod captured and tried to tame the first of the Mearas, only to be killed when he tried to mount it. His son, Eorl, however managed to ride it and named it Felaróf. Eorl came with this horse south to Rohan and the Mearas were his descendants. Felaróf was said to be able to understand men's speech.
The word Mearas comes from Old English mēaras, simply meaning "horses". Its singular form would be mearh or marh. Robert Foster in his The Complete Guide to Middle-earth incorrectly displays the singular as Meara.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Riders of Rohan"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The White Rider"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", note 6