The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Books
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-08-2015, 06:07 PM   #1
The Mouth of Sauron
Wight
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Barad-Dur
Posts: 195
The Mouth of Sauron has just left Hobbiton.
Was Glorfindel's horse one of the Mearas?

In LOTR Glorfindel's mount Asfaloth is described as an 'Elf-horse'. Is Asfaloth faster than Shadowfax, being an 'Elf-horse', or one of the Mearas subordinate to Shadowfax?
The Mouth of Sauron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2015, 08:12 PM   #2
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,934
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
I don't think Asfaloth was anything but a normal horse. Gandalf told the Council of Elrond he had "never seen the like of Shadowfax" before, which tells me that horse was unique.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2015, 09:44 PM   #3
Zigûr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 777
Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Asfaloth was also terrified of the Ringwraiths, according to Frodo, while Shadowfax wasn't - although that seems to have been unique to him alone even among the Mearas. That being said, Shadowfax was unique in holding his ground before the Lord of the Nazgûl specifically, so it's possible that other Mearas would have at least endured before the lesser Ringwraiths.

Perhaps an "elf-horse" is a term applicable to such steeds as were bred and husbanded by Elves because they might have perhaps had a little more of the "spiritual" to them than their mundane counterparts, largely through being tended by the higher arts of Elves, giving them a strong connection with their riders as well as speed, grace and vigour. This, however, would presumably not be equivalent to the physical and spiritual fortitude of those horses descended from the "high" stock of Oromë, who presumably benefited from a much more substantial Valar-derived blessing.
__________________
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.

Last edited by Zigûr; 10-08-2015 at 09:49 PM.
Zigûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2015, 04:22 AM   #4
Leaf
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 85
Leaf has just left Hobbiton.
I think Zigûr is right. There seems to be a special bond between "Elf-horses" and their riders. The communication and empathy between the horse and the rider could be the main difference which seperates Elf-horse from normal animals. Another good example for this would be Bill, Sam's Pony:

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Ring goes south
The stay in Rivendell had worked a great wonder of change on him: he was glossy and seemed to have the vigour of youth. It was Sam who had insisted on choosing him, declaring that Bill (as he called him) would pine, if he did not come.‘That animal can nearly talk,’ he said, ‘and would talk, if he stayed here much longer.’ [...]
So it seems to me that Bill the Pony could have become the first case of an "Elf-pony", if it had stayed in Rivendell for long enough.

Last edited by Leaf; 10-09-2015 at 05:48 PM.
Leaf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2015, 04:40 PM   #5
Gorthaur the Cruel
Wight
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Mordor
Posts: 150
Gorthaur the Cruel has just left Hobbiton.
Silmaril

It may be that the reason Shadowfax was able to endure the Witch-king was because his rider was none other than the bearer of Narya, the ring of fire that kindled hearts, rather than his own breed. In the case, of Bill the pony, he was also under rejuvenating effects of Vilya, the ring of air, used to preserve and maintain Rivendell. Why else was Bilbo ale to age still so slowly even bereft of the One? It's because he also dwelt under the influence of Vilya in Rivendell, for a time.
__________________
I am Annatar, the Lord of Gifts.
Gorthaur the Cruel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2015, 05:29 PM   #6
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,934
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorthaur the Cruel View Post
It may be that the reason Shadowfax was able to endure the Witch-king was because his rider was none other than the bearer of Narya, the ring of fire that kindled hearts, rather than his own breed.
It's an intriguing idea. I'm inclined to think the courage of Shadowfax was due to his mearas status, with perhaps Gandalf being the White providing an enhancement. No doubt Narya would have been a help as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorthaur the Cruel View Post
In the case, of Bill the pony, he was also under rejuvenating effects of Vilya, the ring of air, used to preserve and maintain Rivendell. Why else was Bilbo ale to age still so slowly even bereft of the One? It's because he also dwelt under the influence of Vilya in Rivendell, for a time.
I have to disagree here. I think the 'mark' left by the Ring was what sustained Bilbo. It certainly did the trick for Gollum, even though he too was bereft of physical possession of the One.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2015, 05:35 PM   #7
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
Morthoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,437
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
I believe Asfaloth was a Ranyhyn. But you might want to check with the Bloodguard in regards to that.
__________________
And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2015, 09:16 PM   #8
Zigûr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigûr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 777
Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigûr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
I'm inclined to think the courage of Shadowfax was due to his mearas status, with perhaps Gandalf being the White providing an enhancement. No doubt Narya would have been a help as well.
Yes the wording suggests to me that it was innately a unique quality of Shadowfax that allowed him to stand before the Lord of the Nazgûl.
"Shadowfax who alone among the free horses of the earth endured the terror, unmoving, steadfast"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
I have to disagree here. I think the 'mark' left by the Ring was what sustained Bilbo. It certainly did the trick for Gollum, even though he too was bereft of physical possession of the One.
Yes; after all, the One Ring afforded Bilbo longevity when he was in his early 100s in the Shire, well before he moved to Rivendell.
__________________
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.
Zigûr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2015, 09:41 AM   #9
Galin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 987
Galin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Galin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
It's interesting (or maybe not) that more than 1,000 years before we meet Asfaloth, Glorfindel rode up on his "white" horse to meet the Witch-king. And my impression anyway, was that this horse would stand before the Wraith, although possibly due to Glorfindel...

Quote:
"... the air of special power and sanctity that surrounds Glorfindel -- note how the Witch-king flies from him, although all others (such as King Earnur) however brave could not induce their horses to face him."

JRRT, Glorfindel I, Last Writings, The Peoples of Middle-Earth
And Asfaloth was white... I'm just sayin'

Although that said, it seems a bit rare to find any horse in descriptions published by JRRT that do not include the words grey or white.
Galin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2015, 01:40 PM   #10
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,934
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galin View Post
It's interesting (or maybe not) that more than 1,000 years before we meet Asfaloth, Glorfindel rode up on his "white" horse to meet the Witch-king. And my impression anyway, was that this horse would stand before the Wraith, although possibly due to Glorfindel...
Glorfindel's influence is my stance. See how Legolas, even though not as exalted in spiritual status as Glorfindel, was able to get the normal horse Arod to enter the Paths of the Dead.

Also, the mearas are represented as only being tied to the Rohirrim (Éothéod).

Quote:
It was upon Felaróf that Eorl rode to the field of Celebrant; for that horse proved as long lived as Men, and so were his descendants. These were the mearas, who would bear no one but the King of the Mark or his sons, until the time of Shadowfax.
ROTK Appendix A
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2015, 08:17 AM   #11
Galin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 987
Galin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Galin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
I agree that the passage from the late Glorfindel text I cited (different from the description in Appendix A) implies that it was Glorfindel's influence which helped his horse. That said, while it was noted of the Mearas: "Men said of them that Béma (whom the Eldar call Oromë) must have brought their sire from West over Sea.'"

... it's also described (the constructed Silmarillion), that the Elves had horses whose sires came from Valinor (I broke up the paragraph below for emphasis here, or for some reason anyway):

Quote:
Fingolfin and Fingon his son held Hithlum, and the most part of Fingolfin's folk dwelt in Mithrim about the shores of the great lake; to Fingon was assigned Dor-lómin, that lay to the west of the Mountains of Mithrim. But their chief fortress was at Eithel Sirion in the east of Ered Wethrin, whence they kept watch upon Ard-galen; and their cavalry rode upon that plain even to the shadow of Thangorodrim, for from few their horses had increased swiftly, and the grass of Ard-galen was rich and green.

Of those 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.
In any case
Galin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2015, 07:45 PM   #12
blantyr
Wight
 
blantyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Settling down in Bree for the winter.
Posts: 208
blantyr is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Fading

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galin View Post
I agree that the passage from the late Glorfindel text I cited (different from the description in Appendix A) implies that it was Glorfindel's influence which helped his horse. That said, while it was noted of the Mearas: "Men said of them that Béma (whom the Eldar call Oromë) must have brought their sire from West over Sea.'"

... it's also described (the constructed Silmarillion), that the Elves had horses whose sires came from Valinor (I broke up the paragraph below for emphasis here, or for some reason anyway):
I have always assumed the elf-horses and the Mearas were distantly kin, very likely descended from those that came from Valinor. I'd assumed that some such had always been with the elves, but at some point enough of them to breed had joined the humans that later moved to Rohan.

I also see Shadowfax as exceptional even by the standards of the Mearas. Tolkien's world has a feeling of devolution, of the pure and the best being old, and the further and longer one is distanced from the Two Trees, the more degraded and lesser one becomes. In the old days fea abounded, greatness was common, strength was abundant. As the ages passed, most became lesser, weaker. Only in certain special lines such as the Mearas or the Dúnadan did the old purity remain sufficient to echo the old times. For the most part, the fea dispersed, each generation had less than the generation before, until at the start of the Fourth Age and the passing of the rings, little was left.

But I always thought Shadowfax an exception. Perhaps the Valar thought the White Rider would need a companion and blessed him somehow.

But I can't point at references to support the above conjecture.
blantyr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2015, 09:19 PM   #13
Ivriniel
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Ivriniel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 433
Ivriniel has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
I believe Asfaloth was a Ranyhyn. But you might want to check with the Bloodguard in regards to that.
Hahahah!!!!! high five.

I thought Asfaloth was a Spectre of Shadow caste by the trans-dimensional 'light' of the Illearth Stone, as it is 'interpreted' on Maps of Ithilidin kind. Wait--they're silvery right? Erm, .....that means that Ithildin is Un-illearth-ified, Spectral Green, which unhaunts in Middle Earth as reverso-dimensionally as Ithildin casts Illearth Green and Raver Giant Brothers that had no mates and so got very angry at Coercri!

hahahah
Ivriniel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:32 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.