The Hard Working Horses of Epic Fantasy

Who works harder in a fantasy novel than the trusty and ubiquitous horse?

I have my favorites. I invite you all to tell us about yours in the comments.

Light spoilers for The Lord of the Rings and HBO’s Game of Thrones.

So, to begin, here are three fantasy worlds and the horses whose labor helps to keep them running (and traveling and fighting and hauling and plowing and…):

 

Andre Norton’s Witch World

Illustration by Laurence Schwinger

Horses in the Witch World are mostly transportation, and almost never individuals. But I have to give props to the rare and unusual breed ridden by the Wereriders.

The common or garden variety of horse cannot tolerate the presence of a Were, as poor misplaced Kethan learns all too quickly in The Jargoon Pard. Clearly horses are picking up the presence of the predator behind the human guise, and they’re not having ...