Richard Blackwelder writes:

There is no evidence in Tolkien’s biography that he was ever closely associated with horses, but I was struck with his feeling for them in the books.

Blackwelder went on to create a lovely monograph about the horses of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, stringing together Tolkien’s passages concerning horses with “connective rephrasing” (Blackwelder’s term) to form a coherent description.  Blackwelder’s mini-chapters are: In The Hobbit; The Pony of Sam Gamgee; The Horses of the Dark Lord; The Riders of Rohan; and Shadowfax.

For those of you who love onomastics, I note that Shadowfax is named in the style of Skinfaxi (pronounce “shine-faxi”) and Hrímfaxi, “Shining-mane” and “Frost-mane”, the horses of Day and Night in Norse mythology.

Because goblins eat horses, I have tagged this as a food word – scholars be careful only to use the 04.024 reference when researching food!

  • 01.094 that he could ride a horse.
  • 02.027 when up came Gandalf very splendid on a white horse.
  • 03.001 and their horses had more to eat than they had;
  • 03.010 so suddenly that Gandalf’s horse nearly slipped down the slope.
  • 03.023 but Gandalf was already off his horse
  • 04.024 since his horse was not suitable for the mountain-paths.
  • 04.024 For goblins eat horses
  • 05.030 Thirty white horses on a red hill,
  • 06.061 like men do on horses.
  • 07.023 and as a man he keeps cattle and horses
  • 07.032 Some horses,
  • 07.034 The horses were standing by him with their noses at his shoulder.
  • 07.035 he said to the horses.
  • 07.126 and a horse for Gandalf,
  • 07.127 At the gate of the forest I must ask you to send back my horse
  • 07.137 What about the horse,
  • 07.140 I am not sending the horse back,
  • 07.146 and wishing he was beside the wizard on his tall horse.
  • 07.153 said Gandalf, and he turned his horse
  • 10.045 Horses and ponies
  • 11.001 Here they were joined by the horses

Blackwelder, Richard E. The Horses of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Personal correspondence.  July 8, 1980.  Photocopy.

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