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The Mearas were strong, wild, intelligent and could live for 80 years. They were beautiful and usually grey or white.
Léod of the Éothéod captured and tried to tame the first of them, only to be killed when he tried to mount it. His son, Eorl however was the first who managed to ride it and named it Felaróf. Eorl came with this horse south to Rohan and the Mearas were his descendants.
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.