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The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly of Sci-Fi/Fantasy Pets (Mild Spoilers)

Humankind has welcomed animal companions into daily life since, well, the beginning of society. Why should our favorite sci-fi and fantasy tales reflect anything different? Read on to see a list of my favorite sci-fi/fantasy pets, and don't forget to add on some of your own in the comments section!

The Good

Jonesy Jones is one brave cat. He is one of only two survivors to escape the Nostromo, and is accustomed to cryosleep. I've read that he appears both in Halo and in World of Warcraft, so his resilience is obviously widely inspiring. And he really did try to warn that guy Brett about the Xenomorph behind him...

Sam I am and always will be a dog lover, so naturally, I've got a soft spot for Sam - Dr. Robert Neville's German Shepherd in "I Am Legend." She is Dr. Neville's faithful companion, and I found his last scene with her to be very powerful and sad. Here's to man's best friend.

Appa You can't watch "The Last Airbender" animated series without coming to love Appa, Aang's flying air buffalo, especially if you are a fan of Miyazaki's Catbus. The similarities between Appa and the Catbus are actually not a coincidence. :) If you're going to have a pet, a cushy, flying one is not a bad idea.

Fang Is there anything more beautiful than a Neapolitan Mastiff? Maybe the friendship between our favorite groundskeeper, Hagrid, and his massive gray companion, Fang. Fang is such a good friend, he'll even accompany you into battle, until he gets spooked, of course. :)

Pascal A sense of humor, fashion advice, interrogation skills - when it comes to desirable traits in a sci-fi/fantasy pet, Pascal from "Tangled" has got it all. Not only is he a tough traveling companion (not to mention compact...), but he will also stand up to your evil fake mother, despite the significant disparity in size!

Image credit: Sean A. Husbands
Dire Wolves When I first read A Game of Thrones, I was dying to be one of the Stark brood. Wolves have been my favorite animal since I was a kid, and I was supremely jealous of a whole family of kids who got to have their very own giant wolf protectors. I can think of, oh, a THOUSAND situations in which I would feel a ton safer with my own Dire Wolf alongside me.

Sheldon's Fish Night Light In "The Luminous Fish Effect" episode of "The Big Bang Theory": Season One, Sheldon, having lost his job, steers his genius toward other pursuits that he has always wanted to delve into. One product of his brief hiatus from theoretical physics is the fish night light. Yeah, I want one, too.

The Bad

Nagini I'm not a snake fan, myself. I mean, they sport some very pretty patterns, and they are certainly interesting organisms, but when they've got a decidedly nasty temperament, like Nagini, count me out. But you can count Lord Voldemo- Uh, excuse me...he who must not be named in. He's all about snakes. I guess if you're a powerful wizard who speaks Parseltongue, a giant snake who doesn't mind taking care of your shadier errands for you is all you could want in a sci-fi/fantasy pet.

The Red Bull Some pets, no matter how fond you are of them, simply aren't suited to living indoors - a giant flaming red bull, for example. Besides, King Haggard's Red Bull from "The Last Unicorn" isn't nearly as inclined to curl up by the fire while you read a book as he is to chase unicorns into the sea. Leave the curling up to the pirate cat. :)

Mommy Fortuna's Midnight Carnival Mommy Fortuna's Midnight Carnival makes the list not because the pets themselves are evil, but because the idea of these wild creatures trammeled in iron-barred cages makes us so sad. Mommy Fortuna couldn't be convinced of what a terrible idea her carnival was, however, even though she knew that creepy harpy would be the end of her. What can I say? People do go crazy over their pets.

The Ugly

The Rancor We all felt for Malakili, rancor trainer, when his beloved pet had his head crushed, thanks to Luke Skywalker's quick thinking. Even if your pet has a face only a mother could love (hey, some people go searching for pets with those kind of faces), you hate to see him go that way. 

Fluffy Sure - he's a hellhound with three snarling, slobbery, sharp-toothed heads, but he's only in a funk because you stopped playing music! Three times as ugly means three times as lovable for Rubeus Hagrid.

Trolls in LotR In Peter Jackson's film trilogy "The Lord of the Rings," it kind of seems like trolls get the raw end of the deal. It's hard enough being born huge, ugly, and leather-skinned without having to toil all day for the orcs. Apparently, the usual gig for a troll is "war machine" or "gate opener." Let's start a Slave Troll Liberation Front. :)


  1. I realized I have made some obvious oversights - sorry, Hedwig and Archimedes!

  2. How dare you exclude Falcore and Artex from The Neverending Story! A glaring oversight.

    1. Lol. I know, I know, it looks like a disgraceful oversight, but it isn't - I swear! The sis actually lobbied for Falcore, but we both decided it was best if a second list was published at some point entitled "Best Animal Companions," because I didn't want Falcore or Artex being demeaned by calling them pets. This second list could also include Chewbacca and other sentient furry friends.

      I hope you're not too offended, Falcore and Artex!


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