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Mearas

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In the old north of [[Middle-earth]] lived a proud race of wild [[Horses]], long-lived, wise and fleet of foot. They were called by [[men]] (particularly the [[Rohirrim]]) the '''''Mearas'''''.  The legends of men said that their ancestors had been brought from the [[West]] by [[Béma]], their name for the [[Valar|Vala]] [[Oromë]].
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The '''Mearas''' was the name given by the [[Rohirrim]] in [[Rohirric|their language]] for a race of exceptional [[horses]].<ref name="Riders">{{TT|III2}}</ref> The Mearas were strong, wild, and intelligent. They would bear no man but the kings or princes of the Mark.  Their lifespan was as long as men<ref group="note">The average lifespan of those [[Kings of Rohan]] who did not die young was 82.4 years; thus the Mearas lived for eight decades.</ref> and, according to tradition, the ancestors of the Mearas were brought from the [[West]] by [[Béma]].<ref name="Eorl">{{App|Eorl}}</ref>
One of these was captured as a foal by [[Léod]] of the [[Éothéod]]. It grew into a strong white horse, but when Léod tried to mount it, it threw him and killed him. Léod's son [[Eorl]] took the horse himself, naming him [[Felaróf]]. Felaróf was one of the greatest horses to have ever lived, and was said to understand the speech of Men. He carried Eorl when the Éothéod rode south to [[Rohan]], and there sired a race of horses nearly as great as himself.
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These were the Mearas, noble horses that lived as long as a Man, and had extraordinary strength and intelligence. Throughout their history, they would only allow themselves to be ridden by the [[Lord of the Mark]] or his sons. This long tradition was broken by [[Gandalf]], who managed to train the greatest of the Mearas of his time, Shadowfax, and rode that mighty horse throughout the War of the Ring.
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[[Image:Jef Murray - Mearas.jpg|thumb|''Mearas'' by [[JefMurray]]]]
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==History==
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In {{TA|2501}}<ref group="note">Eorl was 16 when his father died. Since Eorl was born in {{TA|2485|n}} Léod died in 2501.</ref> [[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.<ref name="Eorl"/>
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In {{TA|3018|n}}<ref name="Great">{{App|Great}}</ref> the greatest of the Mearas, [[Shadowfax]], consented to be ridden by [[Gandalf]].<ref name="Riders"/>  After Gandalf's return after defeating the [[Durin's Bane|balrog]] he rode Shadowfax during the [[War of the Ring]].<ref>{{TT|III5}}</ref>
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== Etymology ==
 
== Etymology ==
The word Mearas comes from an [[Old English]] word meaning simply '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''.
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The word Mearas comes from an [[Old English]] word meaning simply "horses". Its singular form would be ''[http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mearh#Old_English mearh]'' or ''marh''. [[Robert Foster]] in his ''[[The Complete Guide to Middle-earth]]'',incorrectly displays the singular as ''Meara''.
 
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The root ''marh'' can be seen in the names of the [[Northmen]] ''[[Marhwini]]'' and ''[[Marhari]]'' (which are actually [[Gothic]]) as well as ''[[Marcho]]''.
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The root ''marh'' can be seen in the names of the [[Northmen]] ''[[Marhwini]]'' and ''[[Marhari]]'' (which are actually [[Gothic]])<ref>{{UT|Cirion}},note 6</ref> as well as ''[[Marcho]]''.
 
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{{references|note}}
 
[[Category:Horses]]
 
[[Category:Horses]]
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[[Category:Old English names]]

Revision as of 00:10, 14 May 2013

The Mearas was the name given by the Rohirrim in their language for a race of exceptional horses.[1] The Mearas were strong, wild, and intelligent. They would bear no man but the kings or princes of the Mark. 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.[2]

Mearas by JefMurray

History

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.[2]

In 3018[3] the greatest of the Mearas, Shadowfax, consented to be ridden by Gandalf.[1] After Gandalf's return after defeating the balrog he rode Shadowfax during the War of the Ring.[4]

Etymology

The word Mearas comes from an Old English word meaning simply "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.

The root marh can be seen in the names of the Northmen Marhwini and Marhari (which are actually Gothic)[5] as well as Marcho.

Notes

  1. The average lifespan of those Kings of Rohan who did not die young was 82.4 years; thus the Mearas lived for eight decades.
  2. Eorl was 16 when his father died. Since Eorl was born in 2485 Léod died in 2501.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Riders of Rohan"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The White Rider"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan",note 6