From Pokemon to Disney princesses, magical pets are common throughout fantasy fiction. Some are mere companions, others ferocious guardians. But what makes a GOOD pet, and which ones are more trouble than they’re worth?
More importantly, if YOU were the protagonist, which magical pet would YOU want?
To set some ground rules, we’re eliminating dragons. Everyone wants a dragon. It’s a bad idea. They make horrible pets (dangerous, too smart, often sentient), but that doesn’t stop everyone wanting one anyway. To make for a more varied discussion, let’s assume the universe is all out of dragons (blame Dreamworks, if you must).
We’re also going to rule out pets that are strictly summonable gladiators that you can ignore between combat encounters. These are going to be creatures who are around all the time (and would need someone else to care for them if you were absent). You will be responsible for their well-being and upkeep.
With all that out of the way, here are some suggestions:
- Familiar – It could be a cat, owl, rat, or similar creature. You’d be able to sense its general emotions and well-being, but it wouldn’t be able to speak with you.
- Talking Dog – self-explanatory. In most respects, the dog would behave as a typical pet, however, it would be able to understand complex commands and express opinions.
- Fluff of elemental magic – Be it fire, air, or water (maybe earth, but earth would be a little weird), your pet is an elemental creature, composed of its classical element.
- Gremlin – Per the movie.
- Bound Demon – some small imp or mephit low down on the demon food chain, bound to your service. It would be not just smart but devious, and you’d have to earn its respect (or fear) to guard against betrayal.
- Tribble – OK, it’s a sci-fi pet, but we’re sneaking it in. Always remember to spay/neuter your pets. Once reproduction is a non-factor, these adorable creatures make a soothing sound that’s utterly relaxing.
- Ghost – a ghostly pet of any other sort of creature. Low maintenance, but also lacking if you wanted to snuggle with your pet (to be fair, also an issue with fire elementals and demons).
- Other – my favorite category. When presented with the “Other” option, I’m almost compelled to come up with something outside the box.
So, what’ll it be? You’ve toured the entirety of J.S. Morin’s Everything But Dragons pet store. Now it’s time to decide what delightful fantasy companion you’ll be taking home.
Let me know in the comments which pet you’d choose.