Ignoble Steed

Yesterday was Monday, wasn’t it? Bah. One day I’ll have my life together. Let’s talk about this picture.

According to the comments on this picture, in the case of ring wraiths, yes. There ARE specific evil horse breeders. Something something normal horses are like “DA FRICK IS THAT?” when a wraith gets on them so they had to have these dark monsters that didn’t care.

But this is kind of a thing, isn’t it? The horses or steeds or whatever are always some sort of thematic thing. You see creepy wyverns or even maybe giant snakes. You don’t see Princess Clip-Clop. It goes to that reversal of expectations. I mean Princess Clip-Clop is hilarious. 

But as much fun as coming up with something as evil and horrible as your villain is, there’s some merit I think to Princess Clip-Clop. While we could talk about the Horses Are Special trope in fantasy, I want to ignore that for now (If I ever talked about it, I’d actually want to do a guest post from my bestie anyway. All my horse knowledge comes pretty much from her) and talk specifically about the reversal of expectations steed.

The villain comes riding in on a unicorn. Not a black unicorn with red eyes that will stab you with its head. The regular pretty kind that usually only lets virgin maidens approach it in the moonlight. (Never mind the, er, interesting implications that has for your villain.) Or maybe a white-winged pegasus. Or Princess Clip-Clop, not ironically. Something that’s the pinnacle of innocence or goodness. A giant rabbit, the kind Tumblr would lose its head over as it made up words like squoosh-floop to describe body parts that already have perfectly good, not-stupid names.

If your villain is able to totally own this steed, and aside from the reversal of expectations, you don’t amp up the comedy, I believe an interesting effect will occur.


Bottom portion of 8-Bit Theatre, episode 109: A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way

The thing about evil is that your villain cloaked in shadows with the red eye of death riding on the back of a skeleton horse with green flames for eyes is really cool and all, but the villain riding something that is absolutely not what a villain rides into battle – and not because it isn’t battle-worthy, just because it looks innocent or cute – suggests that there isn’t anything no matter how good that the villain can’t bend to his will.

There’s nothing wrong with your villain getting his horse from Uncle Jim’s Evil Horse Stables. But I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with riding Princess Clip-Clop to battle either. It’s all in what’s best for your story and villain, and how you want to write it.


About Rii the Wordsmith

An aspiring author, artist, avid consumer of storytelling medium, gamer, psychologist (insomuch as one with her bachelor's is a psychologist), wife, mother, DM, Christian, a friend to many, and, most importantly, an evil overlord.
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