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Asfaloth was the trusted white horse of the Elf Glorfindel.[1]

HistoryEdit

One of horses of the Elves, Asfaloth was naturally faster than even the steeds of the Nazgûl. When Glorfindel found Aragorn and the Hobbits on their way from Weathertop to Rivendell, Asfaloth carried Frodo Baggins across the Bruinen. Glorfindel commented that his "horse will not let any rider fall that I command him to bear." Asfaloth obeyed verbal commands from his master, racing off when Glorfindel told him to, even though his rider Frodo didn't give him any signal to run. After the Nazgûl were swept away after attempting to cross the Ford of Bruinen, Asfaloth stood guard over the fallen Frodo until his friends could reach him.[1]

EtymologyEdit

In Sindarin, Asfaloth means "Sunlit foam," from ast ("sunlight") and faloth ("foam"). Nearly all of the words for foam in both Sindarin and Quenya are used interchangeably for the words like ("surge, wave and crest"), hence the Sindarin word with the same prefix falastala which is the present tense verb or adjective for ("surging"). This points to two alternative interpretations for Asfaloth, one meaning "Sun surge" and the other "Surge of Sunlight." These alternatives are also in keeping, like the original interpretation, with the surge in the Bruinen which J. R. R. Tolkien described as resembling a great herd of horses trampling over the Nazgûl, drowning them, and washing them away."[2]

Behind the scenesEdit

In one of letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, he reveals that Glorfindel doesn't use bridle and bit when riding Asfaloth. Instead, he would have an "ornamental headstall, carrying a plume, and with the straps studded with jewels and small bells". As promised, he later changed the bridle and bit to headstall.[3]

Portrayal in adaptationsEdit

The Lord of the Rings film trilogyEdit

Asfaloth

Asfaloth in the trading card game

In Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring, Arwen (taking Glorfindel's place) rides a white horse named Asfaloth. Later in Arwen's vision of Eldarion, she rides a white horse, possibly Asfaloth.

Three white Andalusians were used: Florian, the hero horse; Hero, used for high speed chases; and Odie, which was used for scenes in which Arwen was unhorsed.

Ralph BakshiEdit

In Ralph Bakshi's version of The Lord of the Rings, Glorfindel doesn't appear. Legolas instead carries out his role, but is shown mounted on a white horse similar to that of Asfaloth.[4]
Elves stands against Angmar forces during The Rise of the Witch-King

Glorfindel rides Asfaloth to battle

Video gamesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapter XII: "Flight to the Ford"
  2. Parma Eldalamberon, Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, 211 To Rhona Beare
  4. The Lord of the Rings (1978 film)