Horses of Agency, Element, and Godliness in Tolkien and the Germanic Sagas
Miller, Dana (Georgia State University)
Graduate English Association New Voices Conference, Georgia State University, Paper 10 (2007)
Where now the horse and rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? Where is the hair and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing? Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing? They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow; The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
Russian princesses were once buried with them. Royalty ride only white ones. They are often regarded as the only panacea for handicapped children. Richard III would have given his entire kingdom for just one of them. Their ownership can radically define one‟s position in the social hierarchy of Saudi Arabia. The road to great human civilization and imagination has always been carved by the hoof prints of a horse. No matter what section of the globe is studied, Japan with its samurai tradition, the Mediterranean with conquerors like Alexander, the Bedouin, the American West, the Crusades, and certainly the sagas of ancient Iceland, horses figure predominantly and with gravitas.