Tough Travelling hosted by Fantasy Review Barn.

Each Thursday, inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ we have in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.

This week’s topic is BELOVED MOUNTS

A combination of suggestions from several people, as it seems many want to talk about the various animals that people in fantasyland ride. So be they horse, bear, or other let’s talk about favorite rides.

Nightrunner and the other wolves: In the Elfquest comic each member of the Wolfriders tribe is bonded to a wolf. Nightrunner is the young chief Cutter’s wolf. The wolves aren’t sentient or exceptionally intelligent, “just” animals. Of course, they live far shorter lives than elves and so each elf bonds with many wolves during his or her life. We get a short, touching scene when Nightrunner leaves Cutter for the last time.

Temeraire from Naomi Novik’s fantasy series and his friends. Ah, dragons! One of my favorite fantasy creatures! Most of the dragons in fantasy are sentient, such as in the Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books or in the Dragonlance books. Many of them aren’t mounts, of course.

Thoats from Edgas Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom series come in two different flavors: the fierce warrior Tharks ride huge and nasty tempered war mounts and the red Martians a smaller breed. Both types have eight legs and are steered with telepathy. I don’t think we ever learned any of their names, though.

Pegasus, the original flying horse whose master, Bellerophon, needed magic to tame him.

Iorek Byrnison from The Golden Compass is a war bear and not usually a mount but he let Lyra ride him.

Goliath, the lovely black warhorse of Etienne Navarre, one of the heroes of the movie Ladyhawke. Fantasy is of course full of horses from Lord of the Ring’s Brego and Shadowfax to Talat the old warhorse in Robin McKinley’s Hero and the Crown.

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