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Topic: Nazgul and Rohirrim

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: May 22, 2006
Nazgul and Rohirrim

I am curious becuase it says in the book that it was 3 days to Minas Tirith from Edoras as the Nazgul fly's. How can this be compared to Horses, as Nazgul distance is not governed of hindered by obstacles like mountains and rivers whereas a Horse is, so surley it would be more time for a horse to reach M.Tirith?

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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it took 5 days for the Rohirrim
they mustered the army and left from Harrowdale on the 10th of March
on the 15th of March, in the dawn they reached MT.
but Gandalf left Dol Baran together with Pippin, which is quite far away from Harrowdale.
So it could have taken 6 days, so double the time for a horse then for a winged creature.

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Orc captain of Thangorodrim - Rank 3
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Date: May 22, 2006
Ever heard the expression "As the crow flies"? It's the same thing: describing a distance without following roads or going around obstacles (like the White Mountains, for example). So those three days from Edoras to Minas Tirith, as the Nazgūl flies, would be measured pretty much straight over the mountains.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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well, I had nothing to do at all, I was quite bored so I made a nice calculation.
on my lotr map the distance between Edoras and MT is of 14 cm...
and looking at the Scale below the map..
if 1 cm is 20 miles then as a crow flies it would be 280 miles.
now...280 miles.
so you have a speed of 280/72 = 3,88 mph.
now this is very strange to me.
as an example, I looked on wikipedia and seems some pigeons that fly long distances fly with about 30 mph average speed.
So it seems the winged creatures were not incredebly fast.
That is maybe the reason why they had a big disadvantage against the eagles.


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Just as an interesting note to aid your calculations TM, Walking speed is roughly 4mph.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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wait a sec...that has to be a mistake
I always thought the distance was more like 600 miles
but...still
on my lotr map I measured in strait line 14 cm, and 1 cm was 20 miles on a scale
14*20 is 280....
hmm...
ok, that was a smaller map
I took the bigger map, redid the calculation and I got 300 miles...that is the truth
the only explanation is that fell beasts got tired quiclky, I can find no other explanation
because a speed of approx. 4 mph seems still far too little for such creatures.

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Orc captain of Thangorodrim - Rank 3
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Using the Atlas of Middle-earth, the distance from Edoras to Minas Tirith "as the Nazgūl flies" is roughly 327 miles.


Next, we're told that the average walking speed was between 2.0 and 2.5 mph. So that means that it would take between 163.5 and 130.8 hours for one of the Fellowship to walk that distance. That's between 5.45 and 6.8125 days to travel walking.


However, all of that is for somone like Aragorn, not the Fell Beasts. And the passage is not saying that it would take three days for the Nazgul to fly that distance. It's saying that it would take someone (again, let's use Aragorn for example) to travel that distance on a horse.


So let's go with the riding speed of the horses of the Rohirrim, again provided to us in the Atlas of Middle-earth at 6.7 mph. It would thus take Aragorn, mounted on one of the Rohirric horses, 48.80 hours (rougly 2 days) to cover the distance from Edoras to Minas Tirith while travelling at a gallop. This is all "as the crow/Nazgūl flies" though, so it would simply be a straight line and would again not take into account natural barriers, roads, etc.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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aha, I get it...it was only an expression
so a NAzgul flyes had nothing to do with the fell beast but with the distnace
thanks for clearing that up.
just wanted to add that it took so much time for the Rohirrim to get there because they had to stay hidden in order to keep the element of surprise, and also because the passed through the Druadan Forest and not around Amon Din.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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So, forgetting the mumbo-jumbo, how long did it take a Horse to get to Minas Tirith from Edoras and at what speed and was this realistic?

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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well, I think that about 2 days.
of course a mearas like shadowfax could run much quicker.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Was there that much difference between a normal horse and a Mearas? I mean obviously they were faster but by how much i don't know.

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Orc captain of Morgul - Rank 5
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I don't think it says anywhere in the books exactly how much faster the mearas were than normal horses but they were definately stronger, faster and more intelligent and they lived as long as men.
They only allowed themselves to be ridden by the Lord of the Mark or his son's with the one exception of Gandalf.  

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"Ash nazg durbatulūk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulūk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul"
Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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I ponder why Gandalf was able to Tame Shadowfax when even Theoden couldn't.

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Orc captain of Morgul - Rank 5
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Probably because he was a mighty wizard and a maia and could use his magic to control shadowfax.
I wonder if any of the other istari would have been able to control him. I think if any of them could have, it would have been Radagast because he was closest to nature.

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"Ash nazg durbatulūk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulūk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul"
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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no Bauglir that is completely wrong
Gandalf never used magic to control Shadowfax and would never do such a thing
he tamed him because he was a good person and they were friends and equals, there was no control on the horse

'That is Shadowfax. He is the chief of the Mearas, lords of horses, and not even Théoden, King of Rohan, has ever looked on a better. Does he not shine like silver, and run as smoothly as a swift stream? He has come for me: the horse of the White Rider. We are going to battle together.'
Even as the old wizard spoke, the great horse came striding up the slope towards them; his coat was glistening and his mane flowing in the wind of his speed. The two others followed, now far behind. As soon as Shadowfax saw Gandalf, he checked his pace and whinnied loudly; then trotting gently forward he stooped his proud head and nuzzled his great nostrils against the old man's neck.
Gandalf caressed him. 'It is a long way from Rivendell, my friend,' he said; 'but you are wise and swift and come at need. Far let us ride now together, and part not in this world again!'
lotr.


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Orc captain of Morgul - Rank 5
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Ok TM. I was just guessing before but now I know better. Thanks for that.

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"Ash nazg durbatulūk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulūk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul"
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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no problem
and anyway Gandalf would never do that because it would make him just like Saruman - a person wanting to control others
I think there is also a quote saying something like : Shadowfax bears me because he wishes to not because I commanded him. But I am not sure

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Therefore what does Gandalf possess that makes him able to tame Shadowfax so easily?

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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a good soul

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Black Numenorean - Rank 3
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I'd like to think that Gandalf and Sahdowfax could communicate, and were kindred spirits. Shadowfax, of his own free will, joined the fight against evil.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I dunnow what to say...I don't think he had a choice
He was chosen by Gandalf as his horse, and Shadowfax did accept to bear him and help him on his quest, still mearas, even though a special kind of horses, are not Maiar inhabited spirits
Still, I think that Shadowfax understood, or more likely felt that Gandalf was a good person, and that is why he trusted him.

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Valar
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As TM says Gandalf was given the oppurtunity to choose whatever horse he wanted to take.  He chose Shadowfax, at first I get the implication that Shadowfax had bolted, then Gandalf just follows him around until he was able to tame him.  A look at the timeline, which is pretty much all we have with Gandalf taking Shadowfax:


(All years are T.A. 3018):


September 20: Gandalf gains entrance to Edoras.  Theoden command him to go: 'Take any horse, only be gone ere tomorrow is old!'


September 21: Gandalf meets Shadowfax, but the horse will not allow him to come near.  He follows Shadowfax far over the fields.


September 22: Gandalf overtakes Shadowfax.


September 23: Gandalf having tamed Shadowfax rides from Rohan.


How he did it I don't know.  Perhaps, it was the reason that since Gandalf was able to catch and overtake him, Shadowfax felt him as a worthy rider?  Perhaps as TM mentions Gandalf was a kind and good soul, one that he had never come across before...therefor only Gandalf was 'good enough' for him.  As is mentioned about the Ringwraith's horses, they will only allow the Ringwraiths to ride them.  Perhaps it was a combination of factors?  Who knows?



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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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There is a difference
The horses of the Nazgul were tamed by force to only allow Nazgul to ride them
I doubt that Gandalf tried any spells to make Shadowfax obey
Shadowfax himself probably himself decided that he should help Gandalf

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Soldier of the East - Rank 4
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I agree with The Might Gandalf would never put a spell on Shadowfax or any other good creature for that matter.

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Black Numenorean - Rank 3
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Gandalf would never use his magic for anything harmful, unless it was against an enemy, or to save another for good.

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I am Anduril, who was Narsil. Let the thralls of Mordor fear me.
 
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