FELL BEAST (THE LORD OF THE RINGS)
Lord of the Rings
Fellbeasts were the flying creatures that the Nazgûl rode after being unhorsed at the Ford of Bruinen in Middle-earth.
The fell beasts were described as large, winged creatures without feathers. Its pinions were in between horned fingers; and its body gave off a stench. It is possible that fell beasts came from “an older world”. The dark lord Sauron bred these fell beasts and gave them to his servants.
When the Nine Nazgûl were thwarted at the Ford of Bruinen near Rivendell, they were riding coal-black horses. Those steeds were destroyed in the flood caused by Elrond’s intercession that vanquished the Nazgûl as they pursued Frodo.
After The Fellowship of the Ring had left Lothlórien and were camped on the western shore of the River Anduin, they saw “a great winged creature, blacker than the pits in the night.” When Legolas raised the great bow of Lórien and shot it with an arrow, it gave “a harsh croaking scream” and vanished into the gloom of the Eastern shore.
Frodo, Sam, and Gollum encountered a fell beast while passing through the Dead Marshes, wherein Gollum referred to the beasts as “wraiths on wings”.
According to the chieftain of Harrowdale, a fell beast flew over Edoras and stooped just over Meduseld. They described it as being a darkness in the shape of a monstrous bird. After this, Gandalf told the Rohirrim to assemble at Dunharrow rather than at the fields to prevent attack.
When Faramir, captain of Gondor, was fleeing from the besieged city of Osgiliath on his way to Minas Tirith, he was many times beset by winged Nazgûl until Gandalf rode out and drove them away with a shaft of white light from his raised hand, most probably from Narya, the invisible ring of fire, of which he was the bearer.
During the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, the Witch-king of Angmar arrived in battle mounted on a fell beast. When the Witch-king successfully injured King Théoden, Éowyn removes her guise as Dernhelm and kills the fell beast. The winged Wraiths would later join the Battle of the Black Gate and be engaged by Gwaihir and his Great Eagles, only to flee at the command of Sauron when he sensed Frodo donning the Ring within Mount Doom.