Tolkien Gateway

Shadowfax

"...there is much else that may be told." — Glóin
This article or section is a stub. Please help Tolkien Gateway by expanding it.
Ted Nasmith - Gandalf and Shadowfax

Shadowfax was a mighty horse of Rohan, the chief of the Mearas, noted for its speed, "like an arrow".[1]

Contents

[edit] History

In September T.A. 3018 Gandalf was in Rohan and Théoden reluctantly gave him any horse of his choosing. At first the horse did not allow him to come near and Gandalf had to follow him far over the fields for two days before he tamed it.[2]

It carried him throughout the War of the Ring without bridle or saddle. With it Gandalf rode to the Shire and then followed Frodo Baggins's trail to Bree, Weather Hills and Rivendell. In February of the next year Shadowfax returned to Edoras.[3]

Shadowfax came alone to Gandalf in the outskirts of the Fangorn Forest and he introduced the horse to the Three Hunters. Hasufel and Arod recognised it as their chieftain. Shadowfax carried Gandalf and Gimli to Edoras.[4]

The horse was able to run from Edoras to Minas Tirith almost without stopping, and his ground speed rivalled the flying speed of the fell beasts of the Nazgûl.[5]

Shadowfax also possessed extraordinary courage. He was the only free horse in the world[note 1] capable of standing before the Lord of the Nazgûl during the Siege of Gondor instead of fleeing.[1]

Shadowfax was at the Grey Havens with Gandalf when he sailed on the White Ship.[6] Shadowfax, as one of the line of Nahar presumably was with him when sailing for the West.[7]

[edit] Etymology

It is an anglicized form of Old English Sceadu-faex 'having shadow-grey mane (and coat)'. It does not actually occur in Old English. Fax is an obsolete English word.[8]

[edit] See also

Notes

  1. This reference excludes horses used by the forces of Sauron such as the horses ridden by the Nine Riders.

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Siege of Gondor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Riders of Rohan"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The White Rider"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Minas Tirith"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 268, (dated 19 January 1965)
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, pp. 762-3