Tolkien Gateway

Rohald

Rohald was the name of Gandalf's horse in the 1960 version of The Hobbit that J.R.R. Tolkien never completed.

In the published story the wizard rode up to the Company on the first day on a white horse (bringing Bilbo's pocket-handkerchiefs, pipe, and tobacco to the hobbit),[1] but this steed was never named. There was no mention of any special abilities for this horse and it was left in Rivendell when the Company ascended the Misty Mountains; for the climb Elrond had lent Gandalf a pony, a "jolly sturdy little white fellow" since "his horse was not suitable for the mountain-paths".[2]

In the 1960 rewrite the white horse was named Rohald.[3] With Rohald, Gandalf used no stirrups and seldom used the reins, and the horse answered his commands spoken in a strange tongue. Rohald was the leader of the ponies; at the broken bridge he crossed the river and neighed to encourage the Dwarves' ponies to follow,[4] and on the night of the Trolls he gathered the wandering ponies and looked after them.[5] The 1960 version ended as the Company approached Rivendell so whether or not Rohald was to accompany Gandalf after visiting the Last Homely House is unknown. However, a final note to the unfinished chapter 3 stated the "Róhald belonged to Rivendell, & had been lent by Elrond to Gandalf".[6] [Only in the note was the 'o' in Rohald accented.]

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Roast Mutton"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Over Hill and Under Hill"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit, Return to Bag-End, "The Fifth Phase", "New Chapter II. The Broken Bridge", p. 791
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit, Return to Bag-End, "The Fifth Phase", "New Chapter II. The Broken Bridge", p. 793
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit, Return to Bag-End, "The Fifth Phase", "New Chapter II. The Broken Bridge", p. 800
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit, Return to Bag-End, "The Fifth Phase", "New Chapter III. Arrival in Rivendell", p. 803