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Discussing: Elvish Horses

Elvish Horses

Another quick question about horses: How long is the average horse's life span? And would an elvish horse live longer by any chance? Thanks lots, ~VG

 

 

Re: Elvish Horses

"Normal" horses live 25 to 30 years. Somewhere, I recall reading that lifespan of the mearas is equivalent to that of a person. Mearas are horses descended from Nahar, the horse of the Vala Orome, but I am not sure if a horse like Asfaloth, Glorfindel's horse, is one. This is never stated. One one website, I found an assertion that Fingolfin's horse Rochallor was a mearh, but I do not actually recall reading that ever in the Silm or HoME. In other words, I have no clue if Elvish horses live longer than normal horses.

 

 

Re: Elvish Horses

One one website, I found an assertion that Fingolfin's horse Rochallor was a mearh, but I do not actually recall reading that ever in the Silm or HoME.
While it is not improbable that the mearas could be related to the Elvish horses, the designation as a mearh is specific to those [horses] of the Rohirrim who were descended from Eorl the Young's horse, Felaróf. For the exact quote see the Resources article on the Mearas. Aside from that fact, the word mearh is based on OE, so it would not be used by the elves (despite the fact that in the [movie] it was Legolas who referred to Shadowfax as a mearh - a totally illogical decision on the part of the scripwriters since Legolas, as Tolkien wrote him, did not know the Rohirric language). ~Nessime

 

 

Re: Elvish Horses

Another quick question about horses: How long is the average horse's life span? And would an elvish horse live longer by any chance? Thanks lots, ~VG Greetings Vanima ~ I'll second what has been said here already, that horses live approximately 25-30 years, (their active working life is somewhat shorter) and that the mearas appear to be some magical breed of their own, descended from Orome's steed and diverging into their own 'race' accordingly thereafter. It would not be improbable to guess that somewhere waaaay up the family tree, Elvish horses could have their own ancestry among other steeds of the Valar, or other kindred of Orome's horse. I mean, where did elves get their horses? Did they bring the animals with them from across the Sea? If that is the case, there is every chance that elvish horses likewise trace back to kindred rootstock back there in Valinor or something. Sort of like Thoroughbred horses ultimately go back to Arabian stock. But elvish horses and Mearas are not directly related, as the breeds appear to us in Middle Earth. Anywho, since elvish horses are pretty much an enigma, I think you could decide for yourself if they lived longer than the horses of mortal Men. For my own part, I tend to think they do ... and that they are also just a little bit magical, themselves. Cheers ~ Erin

 

 

Re: Elvish Horses

For some reason, I thought that Elvish horses didn't die. Is there anything in the Silmarillion, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, or anything else that says whether or not they die? This topic got me wondering about that . . .

 

 

Re: Elvish Horses

The only thing I've seen, in several readings of Tolkien canon, is the mention that the Mearas live as long as men. I have seen nothing related to the life-span of Elvish horses. Personally, I would not interpret that as implying that they don't die. - Barbara

 

 

Re: Elvish Horses

Immortality is something granted only to Elves, not other things. This is explored fully in HoME Vol. 10, Morgoth's Ring, which I do not have in front of me at the moment, so I can't cite you exact passages. Also, it is stated that things in Valinor like plants and animals and such last longer than they do in Middle-earth (again, cannot find exact reference, so any HoMEies who can should pipe up), but they do not last forever. In the Athrabeth, Finrod expressed surprise when Andreth said it was believed by Men to not be in their inherent natures to die. Finrod (and Elves in general) had figured it was, just like it is the nature of other things that are not Elves (or Valar or Maiar) to die. It was said in the Silmarillion, I think, that horses brought from Valinor flourished on the hills of Mithrim or some place like that. The joy of being forced to check e-mail in a computer lab is that I never have my Tolkien library at my fingertips, so I cannot find out exactly what he wrote, but I am pretty sure that the Elves did in fact bring horses from Valinor. I think but am far far far from sure that Maedhros possibly gave Fingon, Fingolfin horses that they'd taken across the water in the ships after Fingon saved him, since horses did not do so well on the Helcaraxe. Again, not sure since I don't have my Silm in front of me.

 

 

Re: Elvish Horses

Gypsum, is this the Silm reference you are thinking of?
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-lуmin, 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. (source: The Silmarillion: Chapter 14 - Of Beleriand and Its Realms)
~Nessime

 

 

Re: Elvish Horses

Yes. Awesome. I can't believe I remembered that

 

 

Re: Elvish Horses

I really need to buy some more of of those HoME books.

 

 

Re: Elvish Horses

Woah, thanks lots. I, like Rainsong, thought that elvish horses were immortal too. *blush* lol Thanks again. ~VG

 

 

Re: Elvish Horses

Woah, thanks lots Pun intended? Woah...whoa...et al... Sorry, horse joke...just couldn't pass on that. (grin) Ignore me...had a couple drinks and..well.. Cheryl

 

 

Re: Elvish Horses

lol Sorry, no pun intended...unless you thought it was funny, in which case I completely intended it. ~VG

 

 

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