Tough Traveling: Beloved Mounts


The Thursday feature “Tough Traveling” is the brainchild of Nathan of Review Barn, who has come up with the excellent idea of making a new list each week based on the most common tropes in fantasy, as seen in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynn Jones. Nathan has invited anyone who is interested to come play along, so be sure to check out the first link for more information.

This week’s tour 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.

Mogsy’s Picks:

This week’s topic is a fun theme. The only rule I imposed on myself is no horses, because I’m feeling a bit whimsical…

His Majesty's DragonTemeraire series by Naomi Novik

It’s the Napoleonic wars…with dragons. These books focus on the relationship between Aerial Corps Captain Will Laurence and his dragon Temeraire, and the two fight in numerous battles and go on many adventures throughout the series. The first book His Majesty’s Dragon features the story of how they first met and how they bonded; their relationship dynamics have always been my favorite aspect of the series.

stormdancerThe Lotus War series by Jay Kristoff

This series is about the friendship that develops between protagonist Yukiko and the arashitora (storm tiger, or griffin) named Buruu, an unlikely pair who learns to trust and love each other after facing many challenges together. Due to a unique ability that Yukiko possesses, the two of them have a mental link and can communicate with each other telepathically.

rancorStar Wars by various authors

Towards the end of the Galactic Republic, the force sensitive Witches of Dathomir were able to domesticate rancors and develop a form of symbiosis with the creatures. By the time of the New Republic, most of Dathomir’s rancors were being used as mounts and played a major role in shaping Dathomiri society and culture.

Heir of FireHeir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

This book is my favorite of the series so far, and the highlight for me is the subplot focusing on Manon and her wyvern Abraxos. One of the best scenes in the book showed how the two of them ended up together. Manon has her sights on becoming Wing Leader and trains and bonds with Abraxos in order to fight for the role. Like I said in my review, it’s kind of like How to Train Your Dragon, except less heartwarming and with 500% more brutality.

GleamGleam by Tom Fletcher

In the bleak, violent world of Gleam, snails of the Discard can grow to ridiculously enormous sizes. To the vagrants of the wasteland, these giant gastropods are considered an enjoyable delicacy and can feed a group for days. However, they are also used as mounts for traders and travelers; slap a saddle on one of these suckers and you can ride vertically up the side of a cliff if you wished.

Wendy’s Pick

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

I’m just going to put this right here and then go cry myself to sleep.

Mogsy’s Edit:

Oh oh oh, if we’re going to have a cryfest, can I add one more?

Arthas: Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden

As one of the greatest story arcs in Warcraft history, nay, of video game history, came to a close, Blizzard Entertainment released a special song called Invincible.

InvincibleInvincible, of course, is the name of Arthas beloved steed — both in life and in death. Arthas was present when the horse was born, and then was forced to kill the mount ten years later after a riding accident, in order to relieve the animal’s pain. When Arthas became the Lich King, he resurrected Invincible’s bones to become his undead steed.

And to answer your question, yes, yes they actually wrote an entire song about a damn horse. It’s a sad, sad song though.

33 Comments on “Tough Traveling: Beloved Mounts”

  1. Having now been forced to watch the movie Tangled 30,000 times with my daughter, all I can think of is the army horse, Maximillian I think he’s called, in that movie.

    And of course that dragon thing in the Neverending Story. (Was it a dragon? Dear lord it’s been a while since I’ve seen that, but I am planning on reading it for the first time soon.)


  2. The Novik book seems to be on everyone’s lists this week – clearly something to go and pick up and read then!
    And, all I can say is ‘Why, just why’ – I’m referring to Artax! *sobs*
    Lynn 😀


  3. I should have included Giant Snails because that was just way too awesome. And rancors. I missed al over this week. Lucky the always reliable BiblioSanctum came through.


  4. Nice! Let me see if I can add to your list of non-horse mounts…

    Harry rides Buckbeak (a hippogriff) in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkhaban
    Lyra rides Iorek Byrnison (a bear) in The Golden Compass

    Damn. I can’t remember any others from the books I’ve read… Although, doesn’t Danaerys ride her dragons once or twice in A Song Of Ice And Fire?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Iorek. Great choice! Yes, Dany does ride Drogon. It was the first thing I thought of, but ASOIAF and LOTR are just too easy when it comes to Tough Travelling, so I try to avoid including them too often. Besides, I was busy sobbing uncontrolably over Artax.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Same here. I was trying not to list the most well-known examples. Problem is (for me, anyways), the less well-known examples I thought of were only horse-and-rider combos. *shrugs*


    • I would have loved to throw in Iorek! But…I haven’t read The Golden Compass…for shame!

      And Danaerys has not ridden her dragons yet, in the books they are still too small and now they’re getting too unruly. I do hope we’ll see her ride them one day though, she deserves it. Now if only GRRM will see it that way, but he’s a sadistic author, that one 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • *gasps* Yes! Shame on you, Mogsy! You must read the Dark Materials Trilogy now. *lol*

        Although I was recently chastised for having not read Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series yet, so… it’s OK. It just means we have more books to read, right? *face turns red*


  5. Abraxos’s training is definitely less heartwarming than How To Train Your Dragon 😀
    Gah, looking at the muddy drowning scene makes me feel slightly claustrophobic. Very sad, true, but still.


  6. Cool, you’ve come up with a bunch I haven’t even heard of! (Looks like I need to start following in order to get some recommendations.) I did put Temeraire on my list; I love those books, and he’s the best “good” dragon I’ve ever read.


  7. Oh Artax! That scene is a weeper for sure! This is the second time you’ve mentioned The Lotus War series and each time you mention it, it just sounds cooler and cooler. Also really like the idea of riding a giant snail though you probably wouldn’t get anywhere fast…


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