Just today I came across this great feature Tough Traveling at Fantasy Review Barn, which explores favourite tropes of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Such a great idea! I’ve thrown down a couple of my favourite fantastical steeds off the top of my head for this week, and I’m hoping to start joining in the fun on a regular basis.
Bill the Pony, The Lord of the Rings (J. R. R. Tolkien)
When I think of fantasy mounts, the first ones that come to mind are those of Tolkien, primarily Shadowfax and the beautiful horses of Rohan. But then I remembered Bill the Pony, faithful steed of Samwise Gamgee and truly the most beloved of mounts. Seriously, is there a more heartbreaking moment than Sam saying goodbye to Bill outside of Moria? I don’t think so. Bill the Pony: ultimate badass, tenth member of the Fellowship of the Ring, and true hero of The Lord of the Rings.
Drogon, A Dance with Dragons (George R. R. Martin)
So this is a fairly liberal interpretation of ‘mount’, since Daenerys rides him only once, very briefly. BUT it was so epic that it definitely deserves an entry on this list. I know I can’t be the only one hoping that if/when Dany finally gets to Westeros (probably 10 books from now) Drogon and Dany will have become a fantastic dragon-riding team raining death and destruction down on everyone.
The Bog Unicorn, Dragon Age Inquisition
I remember when it was announced that Dragon Age Inquisition would feature mounts. I was so excited! And then that one of preorder bonuses would be a mount that was…. a unicorn! What?! There are unicorns in the world of Dragon Age?! And I imagined myself riding around Thedas on a gleaming, sparkling unicorn, daisies sprouting under her hooves, adoring townspeople cheering us as we went about righting wrongs and destroying evil.
And then I saw the Bog Unicorn:
That’s right, this “unicorn” is a rotting undead horse corpse with an old rusted sword driven through its head.
Best unicorn ever.