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Nahar

Other Names:
Næχærra (Valarin) (HoME only)

Location(s): Aman

Race/Species: Beasts & Monsters

Dates: Time of the Trees

Description:

The great horse of the Vala, Oromë the Hunter:
Oromë is a mighty lord.... He is a hunter..., and he delights in horses and in hounds.... Nahar is the name of his horse, white in the sun, and shining silver at night.

The Silmarillion, Valaquenta: Of the Valar

And Oromë tamer of beasts would ride too at whiles in the darkness of the unlit forests; as a mighty hunter he came with spear and bow, pursuing to the death the monsters and fell creatures of the kingdom of Melkor, and his white horse Nahar shone like silver in the shadows. Then the sleeping earth trembled at the beat of his golden hooves, and in the twilight of the world Oromë would sound the Valaróma his great horn upon the plains of Arda; whereat the mountains echoed, and the shadows of evil fled away, and Melkor himself quailed in Utumno, foreboding the wrath to come.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 1, Of The Beginning of Days

Then on a sudden Nahar set up a great neighing, and stood still. And Oromë wondered and sat silent, and it seemed to him that in the quiet of the land under the stars he heard afar off many voices singing.

Thus it was that the Valar found at last..., those whom they had so long awaited. And Oromë looking upon the Elves was filled with wonder....

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 3, Of The Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor

Thus it was that when Nahar neighed and Oromë indeed came among them, some of the Quendi hid themselves, and some fled and were lost. But those that had courage, and stayed, perceived swiftly that the Great Rider was no shape out of darkness; for the light of Aman was in his face....

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 3, Of The Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor

It is told that when the hosts of the Eldalië departed from Cuiviénen Oromë rode at their head upon Nahar, his white horse shod with gold....

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 3, Of The Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor

Then the pursuit [of Melkor and Ungoliant] was begun; and the earth shook beneath the horses of the host of Oromë, and the fire that was stricken from the hooves of Nahar was the first light that returned to Valinor.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 8, Of The Darkening of Valinor

In Beleriand still at times rode Oromë the great, passing like a wind over the mountains, and the sound of his horn came down the leagues of the starlight, and the Elves feared him for the splendour of his countenance and the great noise of the onrush of Nahar; but when the Valaróma echoed in the hills, they knew well that all evil things were fled far away.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 10, Of the Sindar


Etymology
The name Nahar is onomatopoeic, made to imitate the sound of the horse neighing:

Nahar... [was] said by the Eldar to be so named on account of his voice.

The Silmarillion, Index of Names

Nahar, the name of Orome's1 horse. 'Otherwise it was,'2 says Pengolodh, 'with the steed upon which the Lord Orome rode. When the Quendi asked his name, and if that bore any meaning, Orome answered: "Nahar, and he is called from the sound of his voice, when he is eager to run".' But the [Valarin] form that is recorded by Rúmil was næχærra.

The War of the Jewels, HoME Vol 11, Part 4, Quendi and Eldar: Note on the 'Language of the Valar'


Notes
1This text is from one of Tolkien's early drafts; the name is an earlier version of the proper name as published in The Silmarillion.
2The prior text establishes that the name 'Oromë' does not have a meaning separate from the person it refers to; the phrase 'Otherwise it was' indicates that the name 'Nahar' does have such a meaning:

'For it is said in the histories of the most ancient days of the Quendi that, when Orome1 appeared among them, and at length some dared to approach him, they asked him his name, and he answered: Orome. Then they asked him what that signified, and again he answered: Orome. To me only is it given; for I am Orome.'

The War of the Jewels, HoME Vol 11, Part 4, Quendi and Eldar: Note on the 'Language of the Valar'

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 19Nov05, 14Mar08

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