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Shadowfax

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Shadowfax
Horse (Mearas)
John Howe - Shadowfax 01.jpg
"Shadowfax" by John Howe
Biographical Information
LocationRohan; Gondor
AffiliationGandalf
Physical Description
RaceHorse (Mearas)
GenderMale
Hair colorgrey
GalleryImages of Shadowfax

Shadowfax was a mighty horse of Rohan, the chief of the Mearas, noted for its speed, "like an arrow".[1]

[edit] History

In September T.A. 3018, Gandalf was in Rohan and Théoden reluctantly gave him any horse of his choosing. At first the horse did not allow him to come near, and Gandalf had to follow him far over the fields for two days before he tamed it,[2] chasing it for over twenty miles.[3] Shadowfax was said to be much faster than the horses of the Nazgûl, and carried Gandalf for about 620 miles from 23 to 28 September.[4] When they reached Weathertop, Gandalf was followed and attacked by the Nazgûl on the night of 3 October.[5] Shadowfax then carried Gandalf far into the north to distract the Ringwraiths from chasing the Ring-Bearer.[6]

In February of the next year, Shadowfax returned to Edoras.[7]

Shadowfax came alone to Gandalf in the outskirts of the Fangorn Forest and he introduced the horse to the Three Hunters. Hasufel and Arod recognised it as their chieftain. Shadowfax carried Gandalf and Gimli to Edoras.[8] The horse was able to run from Edoras to Minas Tirith almost without stopping, and his ground speed rivaled the flying speed of the fell beasts of the Nazgûl.[9] Shadowfax was at the Grey Havens with Gandalf when he sailed on the White Ship.[10] Shadowfax, as one of the line of Nahar, presumably was with him when sailing for the West.[11]

Shadowfax also possessed extraordinary courage. He was the only free horse in the world capable of standing before the Lord of the Nazgûl during the Siege of Gondor instead of fleeing.[1][note 1]

[edit] Genealogy

 
 
 
 
Nahar
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Felaróf
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SHADOWFAX
 
 
 
 


[edit] Etymology

It is an anglicized form of Old English Sceadu-fæx 'having shadow-grey mane (and coat)'. It does not actually occur in Old English. Fax is an obsolete English word.[12]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

Shadowfax in adaptations

2012: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Shadowfax accompanies Gandalf since his return as Gandalf the White.

Notes

  1. This reference excludes horses used by the forces of Sauron such as the horses ridden by the Nine Riders.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Siege of Gondor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  3. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "The Council of Elrond", p. 251
  4. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "The Council of Elrond", pp. 252-253
  5. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "A Knife in the Dark", pp. 166-8
  6. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "Flight tipo the Ford", p. 189
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Riders of Rohan"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The White Rider"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Minas Tirith"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 268, (dated 19 January 1965), p. 354
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, pp. 762-763