Tolkien Gateway

Ponies

John Howe - Bill the Pony

Ponies were common beasts of burden in Middle-earth, especially used by Hobbits and Dwarves, whose small stature made the riding of horses difficult.

[edit] History

Thorin and Company used ponies for the first part of their journey in the Quest of Erebor. they were loaded with all kinds of burden and the smallest one was for Bilbo Baggins. The ponies were captured by Goblins in the Front Porch.[1] Beorn also used ponies and lent some of his to the Dwarves up to their way to Mirkwood, provided that they'd release them by the Forest Gate; although some considered to break their promise, Gandalf told them that Beorn was spying on them as a bear. Gandalf (who was forced to leave the company to attend other matters) led them back to Beorn.[2] They were provided ponies again from the Lake-town on their way to Erebor.[3]

Meriadoc Brandybuck had some ponies in his house at Crickhollow. He had prepared five of them (Sharp-ears, Bumpkin, Wise-nose, Swish-tail, and White-socks, who by that time were unnamed) for Frodo Baggins and their friends on their way to Bree.[4] In the Old Forest, the ponies stayed with Tom Bombadil's pony, Fatty Lumpkin, and became friends.

At Bree, spies let the ponies run to the wild to hinder the hobbits (eventually they returned to Fatty), so Samwise Gamgee bought one from Bill Ferny, a sick and mistreated pony, which Sam also named Bill.[5] Bill was released outside the Doors of Durin as he couldn't follow the Fellowship of the Ring inside Moria.[6] He found his way back to Bree.

Meriadoc was given the pony Stybba by Théoden.[7] Stybba carried Merry through the mountain passes from the Hornburg east and south to Dunharrow and thence northward to Edoras.

In Minas Tirith, Frodo named his new pony Strider after Aragorn's nickname. With him, he rode back to the Shire.[8] At Bree, the Hobbits found all their former ponies safe at the Prancing Pony, having returned there.[9]

Frodo and Sam eventually rode Strider and Bill to the Grey Havens two years later.[10]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Over Hill and Under Hill"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Queer Lodgings"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "On the Doorstep"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Conspiracy Unmasked"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Knife in the Dark"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Journey in the Dark"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Passing of the Grey Company"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Many Partings"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Homeward Bound"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"