Shadowfax of the Lord of the Rings: the PRE horse

Today, in our section “movie horses” we are going to talk about a very special horse.

It is not a simple movie horse, it is a trilogy horse!

We are talking about Shadowfax, the most famous horse of the Lord of the rings, Gandalf’s horse, an endearing character. An animal impossible to forget!

The Lord of the rings, one of the most acclaimed sagas

The Lord of the rings is the most remarkable trilogy of the recent decades. Directed by Peter Jackson, each film was released during the years 2001 and 2003. You surelyremember that it was on the billboard during these Christmas.

lord rings

This successful project was the result of more than 10 years of work, directed by the Dutch filmmaker that filmed it precisely in his own country.

This trilogy is the adaptation of the literary work of J.R.R. Tolkien, one of the biggest literary successes. The author created a fictional world, the Middle-Earth, down to the smallest detail.

Its success is unquestionable, the three films raised around 3,000 million dollars. In addition, in total, the saga won 17 Oscars. Insane! This story could elevate great actors such as Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood orViggo Mortensen.

The story chronicles the adventure of Frodo Baggins, Gandalf and Aragorn, among many others. They have to destroy the ring of the evil Sauron in the Mount Doom. We could spend hourstalking about this story that you surely know.

Shadowfax, the Pure Spanish Race horse (PRE)

For the filming of the movie, Peter Jackson and his team had to work with a multitude of horses. To give you an idea, they had to train, in a very specific way, 70 different horses. Thanks to the special effects, the public sees hundreds of horses in any scene, even thousands.

Some of these horses have their own name and they have been protagonists of the trilogy. For example Shadowfax, the horse we are now talking about.


Another example is Brego, the horse of Aragorn. In the film, it was a Dutch warm blood horse represented by Uraeus, a horse highly recognized for being a dressage star.

lord rings horses

However, as we mentioned above, in this article we will focus on Shadowfax, the horse that accompanies Gandalf around the Middle-Earth.

Meara, the “super horse” created by Tolkien

Tolkien created an imaginary world that was not only divided into hobbits, dwarves, elves, man or orcs. Due to his passion for horses, he distinguished in detail the different breeds of horses.

Between these races he highlighted theMeara, known as the Prince of the horses. According to Tolkien, there were a few Mearas in the Middle-Earth, as a result, they could only be ridded by kings, with the honorable exception of Gandalf.

Shadowfax is considered as the best horse of the Middle-Earth. A horse that can travel long distances without excessive fatigue. A noble, obedient and loyal horse, in addition to being a beautiful animal. A horse that could even live the same years that human beings.

White and Domero, PRE horses

What horse should Peter Jackson choose? Should it be similar to the horse described by Tolkien?

It had to be an impressive, elegant and really beautiful horse. Therefore, the filmmaker decided that the Pure Spanish Race (PRE) was the perfect horse for the films.

lord rings horse

The Pure Spanish Race, also known as Andalusian horse, has these qualities and many more.

As we saw in this article about the Andalusian horse, this animal has an excellent temperament. It is easy to treat and has a great intelligence. This, coupled with its appearance and elegance, makes it the perfect animal for the different films.

pure spanish race

Peter Jackson had two horses to make the role of Shadowfax. The first was named White and appeared in most scenes. As a curiosity, we want to tell you that one of thedoubles of Gandalf, Len Baynes, fell in love with this horse, to the point that he bought it after the filming of the movie. Two years ago, the poor White had to be sacrificed. The other horse was called Domero.

Phrases about Shadowfax in the Lord of the rings

Shadowfax is the horse par excellence of the Lord of the rings. Proof of this are some of the extracts from Tolkien’s work:

“Its hooves are made of a silver harder than any steel, hitting the evil enemies as the hammer of Aule.”

As well as this famous phrase from the movie directed by Jackson:

“Run Shadowfax, show us the meaning of haste

Tolkien, passionate about horses

The work of Tolkien caused a huge stir in the world of literature. In particular, in the literature of fantasy. Thus, the author has been studied.

Born in South Africa, he fought with the British army in the First World War, an event that influenced the creation of the Lord of the rings. So much so that it has been always said that the history itself is attempting to recreate, in a fantastic way, the World War I, although the author rejected this idea.


Not in vain, the leading role of the horses in the Lord of the rings is a faithful reflection of this war, because it was the last big war where chivalry was essential.

His passion for horses appears in the work itself. He created a Kingdom of man, named Rohan, whose symbol was a horse. Do you know what breed of horse was ridden by the Kings of Rohan? Indeed, the Meara;).

As you can see, Tolkien had everything tied when he built the world of the Lord of the rings, to the point of defining the horses. In his mind, he gave an essential role to the horses, and the Meara was the best example. A perfect horse in terms of physical and mental characteristics. What could be better than a Pure Spanish Race to characterize it?

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