Thursday, 26 March 2015

Tough Travels: Beloved Mounts

‘Tough Travelling’ is a weekly feature. Every Thursday I’ll be rummaging around in my memory to come up with various examples of commonly used fantasy tropes. Full credit goes to Nathan of Fantasy Review Barn for coming up with the idea: be sure to check out his blog!



This week’s topic is BELOVED MOUNTS. Horses, dragons and hippogriffs . . . oh my!




Binky

(Discworld by Terry Pratchett)

He’s Death’s noble steed. He’s pure white. He can fly. He can travel through time and across dimensions. His name is Binky. ‘nuff said.






Bill the Pony

(The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien)

I figured most people would go for Shadowfax this week, so thought I’d mention the much more humble Bill the Pony. Sam and the other hobbits purchase Bill from a cruel owner, and it’s clear he’s been neglected since he’s skinny and weak. Bill accompanies the group as far as the Mines of Moria, when he flees from the Watcher in the Water. Sam sadly assumes he’s dead, though it’s later revealed that the clever little creature found his way home after all.





Havok

(The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson)

There are two horses named Havok in this series. Both are vicious and battle-trained, both stand in excess of 26 hands, and both are owned by the mighty barbarian giant Karsa Orlong.





Saphira

(Eragon by Christopher Paolini)

She probably deserves to be regarded as a companion rather than a mount, but Eragon spends so much time flying around on his DTU (draconian transportation unit) that I figure she counts as a perfectly valid entry on this list. But I can’t remember much about the book, so that’s about as detailed as this entry is going to get. Oh, wait, I remember – she’s blue. Like a sapphire. Get it? Gotta love subtle nuances like that in modern fantasy.



Buckbeak

(Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling)

Buckbeak is a hippogriff, which is kind of a cross between an eagle and a horse. Hagrid acquires him in the third Harry Potter book, and the hippogriff ends up playing a crucial part in the story’s finale. I can’t read the name ‘Buckbeak’ without hearing echoes of Robbie Coltrane’s reprimanding voice from the scene in the movie where he mauls Draco Malfoy’s arm (spoiler alert).



That’s it for this week! Join us again next week for the topic of ENFORCERS, and be sure to check out the Tough Travelling tab above for links to my previous posts and fellow travellers!


23 comments:

  1. I like the sound of Binky!
    Also, love that you got Bill on your list - I completely forgot about Bill! Doh
    Lynn :D

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    1. Yeah, Binky is even more awesome than Bill! :)

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  2. Binky - I always thought that a perfect name for Death's steed. Nice call with Bill the Pony . . . I, admittedly, went for the more predictable Shadowfax.

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    1. Not so predictable, apparently, since I've only seen him on two lists so far! I feel like a numpty for shunning him.

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  3. Havok is a good name for a big nasty horse. I will catch up on that series someday.

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    1. He is about as big and nasty as horses get. You should definitely catch up on Malazan - I feel like a bit of a stuck record always harping on about it every week, but it's true! :D

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  4. Haha, I really thought everyone would list Shadowfax this week. What happened? Bill is a very cool choice, too.
    Ok I don't know whether you saw my reply on Erikson but this is what I'm talkigng about: mighty barbarian giants? :)

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    1. I know! Not feeling the love for Shadowfax at all! :(

      I just replied to your reply about Malazan (I didn't get the email update telling me you'd replied for some reason), though it's not letting me reply to your Tough Travels post at the moment. If that makes sense . . .

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    2. I got them all in the end - as I said, I'm updating this shitty system during the weekend. I think Disqus works on every blog that has it so I'm (or rather my husband is) installing that. Sheesh. People actually WANT to comment and the silly page isn't letting them.

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    3. Aii, yeah, sorry again for the multiple posts! Good luck with sorting out Disqus - these husbands of ours do occasionally come in useful for some things, yes? ;)

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  5. Fun choices! I almost put either Shadowfax or Bill the Pony, but I had so many choices already, so I left them out. Buckbeak has been getting some love today - but I picked Harry's Firebolt instead. (I know, stretching a point...)

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    1. What an awesome pick! He spends far more time riding his Firebolt than he does Buckbeak, after all. :D (R.I.P. Nimbus 2000).

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  6. Man, I whiffed badly on Bill from LoTR, and now I wish I'd included Saphira. I only left her off because I thought I had too many dragons. But how can you have too many dragons, I know think to myself.

    Anyway, great list!

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, there's no such thing as too many dragons. :D

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  7. Bill the pony! You definitely thought right. Plenty of Shadowfaxes all around this week, but not too many Bills! Nice list :D

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. Bill or Shadowfax, the result is the same: I now have a massive urge to waste an entire day in my pyjamas watching all three LotR movies back to back. :D

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  8. Binky, Buckbeak and Saphira really took over this week!

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  9. Okay, you've definitely piqued my interest about Binky. I've only read a couple books by Terry Pratchett but I thought they were great - clearly I need to read some about Death and his horse!

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    1. Oh, you definitely do! I highly recommend Mort and Hogfather. :)

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  10. Binky has shown up a bunch and I see why - he sounds like the horse to be all horses:). I like tha death rides a white horse - I feel like there is some deep philosophical point being made. Or maybe it's just funny:)!

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    1. Knowing Pratchett, it's probably both! :D

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  11. Aw, why would everybody remember Bill the Pony except me? I was trying hard to remember his name and Bill Ferny whose name I didn't remember either...

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