Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Fictional Friends

I might have cheated with that title. Because you'll see from my list that I had a specific kind of friend in mind...mostly of the four-legged kind. Are you an animal lover? I highly recommend these books.

Top Ten Tuesday is  an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish blog with a different top ten list theme (all related to books) every Tuesday (see the full list here) This week's theme is "rewind" where we get to pick a past topic that we missed - favorite BFFs. 

10. Pantalaimon, from the Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

In this series, animals are the embodiment of a person's soul, and Pan caught my heart from the very beginning. He is able to change forms, so he appears sometimes as an ermine, a moth, a wildcat or a mouse.

9. Narknon, from the Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
I couldn't even find any fan-art for this noble hunting cat who befriends Harry Crewe after she's been kidnapped by a band of desert horsemen.

8. Mogget, from Sabriel by Garth Nix

I used the Portuguese cover of this book because it was the only one with a picture of Mogget (though Sabriel's outfit doesn't do justice to her bells. The bells are VERY important, much more than the sword. Though the sword is cool, too. Sorry, I digress). Up until this weekend when I finished reading Sabriel, my favorite fictional cat would have been Grimalkin, the smug faery cat from the Iron King and its sequels. But then Mogget came along with all his attitude, plus the fact that he's not just a cat - he's something a little darker, too. But mostly a cat, fastidious and know-it-all and opinionated. And whatever you do, don't take his bell collar off!

7.  Gilbert from the Familiars, by Adam Jay Epstein
A tree frog who can see the future by looking into a puddle - except he sometimes gets his "puddle-viewings" wrong. Part of the wonderful trio of magical misfits in this story.

6. Talat from the Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

See that white horse that isn't afraid of a blast of dragon-fire? That's Talat. Aerin and Talat make this book just about the best girl/horse story I've ever read, and I've read A LOT of them (they don't come much horse-crazier than me). Talat doesn't use words but he has such personality!

5. Einstein, from Watchers by Dean Koontz

So hard to pick a favorite dog! There are so many classics, and I love them all. Lad: A Dog by Albert Payson Terhune was a close second, but the golden retriever with a special gift in Watchers is always the first to pop into my mind.

4. Bree, from the Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis

As the only Talking Horse among regular horses, Bree developed quite the attitude, not to mention vanity. But you can't help but love his bossy nature and his secret fear of lions.

3. The Phoenix, from David and the Phoenix by David Ormondroyd

After living 500 years, this fussy bird knows a thing or two:  the difference between a gryffin, gryffon and a gryffen;  where sea monsters like to sleep and how to out-race a witch on a new broomstick.  I re-read this book every few years just because I love the Phoenix so much.

2. Ebon, from Pegasus by Robin McKinley

I think it's every girl's secret or undiscovered dream to bond with a creature - a dog, a horse, in a pinch anything furry might do; even a human, if that human doesn't turn out fickle. It's a deep longing for a best friend who just looks at you and understands you. No explanation necessary. No needing to be someone or something you're not; you are loved exactly as you are - more than just loved, but admired, sought out, inseperable; someone who stands at your side when dangers and bullies arise and you know they'll stand with you to the end. Of course this fantasy is all the better if it's a magical creature that introduces you to fantasic places or whisks you off on a magical adventure. And add wings to that? Someone who can take you flying? That's the heady deliciousness of this book. 

1. Toothless, from How to Train Your Dragon

So in the book, Toothless is a female dragon, very small (much too small to ride on) and very much toothless. And very, VERY disobedient. I loved her, and was quite offended when they totally changed the character in the movie version. But when I saw the movie, I fell in love with the other version of Toothless too. My absolute favorite scene is when Toothless and Hiccup kidnap Astrid and terrify her with all kinds of crazy flying stunts.

Who is your favorite fictional friend, four-legged or otherwise?


  1. I always liked Hedwig in Harry Potter! She was sweet but feisty, too. Saphira in the Eragon books was cool. I love Little Ann and Old Dan in Where the Red Fern Grows!!

  2. I love Narknon! I need to go pull out my copy and reread that favorite now.

  3. What an awesome twist! I haven't read most of these books. My son read How to Train Your Dragon and he didn't even tell me how much they'd changed Toothless. I would've been upset, too. But I do love the movie version of Toothless, as does my son. He just got his 1st plush version on Sunday (we went to the live How to Train Your Dragon show - amazing effects!), which has only left his side today because he had to go to school. And at 9 years old, he's definitley not allowed to bring "friends" to school. LOL!

  4. Bree from Horse and His Boy was a huge favorite from childhood for me too. Many of these others I haven't read (I read more realistic than fantasy). I'd heard that How to Train Your Dragon is hugely different between book and film, which is fascinating.

    I loved Ruth in Anne McCaffrey's The White Dragon. Actually, I liked many of McCaffrey's dragon/human pairings, but especially Ruth.

  5. My favorite fictional four-legged friend at present comes from the research I've been doing for my middle grade novel set in Victorian England, and happens also to be my protagonist's favorite fictional four-legged friend: Black Beauty. I've heard of this book all my life, but never read it. Now I am reading it for the third time and am so moved by it. How Anna Sewell understood horses! I feel like I understand horses now, and I haven't been near one since I was a ten-year-old riding a rental horse. They are wonderful animals!

  6. What about Falcore from the Neverending Story?

  7. What an awesome topic! I love me some four legged creatures. Totally agree with you about Pantalaimon. When I was reading His Dark Materials, I had to have my dog snuggling with me.

    Here's my TTT

  8. Toothless. Love him too.

    When I read posts like this of yours, it reminds me how many books there are in the world and how I have yet to read many of them -- even though I read much. :-)

  9. Ok, so... Lad: A dog... one of my all time faves, and the reason I have a collie today (love of my life, btw).

    And, you can't mention "His Dark Materials" without talking about the polar bear king, Iorek Byrnison. God I loved that bear!

  10. love animal sidekicks!! disney always does a great job adding them to classic fairy tales

    and tho not disney, i love toothless!! didnt read it but thats funny it was a girl in the book!

    my fave from a book when i was a teen was another dragon -was in a dragon phase! Stanley Steamer from Dragon on a Pedestal by Piers Anthony

  11. I loved Toothless and the movie, even though it's very different from the book. I haven't read the other books.

  12. Enjoyed your list of top ten fictional friends. I've heard of quite a few of these.

  13. Love Bree!
    And Bill the pony in the Lord of the Rings, too.

  14. Oh man, having a Toothless (either version) would be amazing!

    My TTT: http://shelversanon.blogspot.com/2012/10/top-10-tuesday-rewind-top-ten-bookish.html

  15. I second Pantalaimon and Narknon. I'm still a sucker for Old Yeller.

  16. I LOVE Bree and Toothless! I've not heard of the others...and I still haven't gotten a chance to read the HTTYD book, I can't ever find it at the library. But I loved him in the movie. He had such a cool personality.

    I can't think of my favourite fictional friendships for some reason. I usually have a HUGE long list of them...I must need more sleep.


  17. I have a thing with dragons, so I'd definitely have to say Ramoth from Anne McCaffrey's 'Pern" books and Temeraire from Naomi Novik's "Her Majesty's" series.


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