She sat astride her great steed, Palindrome, who was as fast forward as backwards, and looked over the shouting horde. The other women believed they were here for the women’s vote alone. She knew better. Hidden, within the fair faces of the crowd, were nefarious forces, come to stop her quest.
She had not risen early, polished her boots, and put on her hat to be defeated today. Her enemy would see her power in battle. Her flag held her pride and her spear, and she would fight till her last.
“Come, Palindrome,” she said, patting the mare’s muscled neck. “If we fight well enough, this battle will end by tea time.”
While most of our lives remain calm, there are the days when we must stand across from enemy hordes and ride into battle. What we ride can be as important as what weapon we wield, the merit of our allies, and the grandiosity of our battle speech.
Our steed is an extension of ourselves, the one companion who we most trust with our lives. If we can move as one, our steed becomes both a weapon, and a means of speed, giving us strength and power as we battle for justice, freedom, love, and the right to eat chocolate (or whatever your cause may be.)
Below is a mere sample of epic and grand steeds:
1. A Magical Horse (Including Pegasi, Unicorns, Rainicorns, and Shadowfax)
Horses are the staple of battle steeds. Anyone facing the Riders of Rohan will think twice before entering battle against such fine and powerful beasts. Horses can be trained to kick and bite and be as much a soldier as their rider. There is a reason the cavalry was an essential force of battle until the twentieth century.
Imagine, however, if Napoleon’s army had ridden unicorns into Russia. Would they have won with the assistance of the unicorns’ magical powers?
I would certainly think twice if a field of unicorns with freshly sharpened horns was galloping toward me.
2. An Elephantine Beast (Ex. Mumakil or Oliphaunt from Lord of the Rings, AT-AT from Star Wars)
An elephantine creature may not have the speed or grace of the horse, but it does have sheer power. With tusks, trunks, and a great mass, it is a great beast to ride into battle. If there is anything to strike fear in an enemy, it is an elephantine beast running toward them.
Downside: Many large creatures appear to be susceptible to attacks by individual soldiers sneaking up on them from below (See: Legolas, Luke Skywalker)
3. A Giant Reptilian Beast (Dinosaur, Godzilla, Dragon)
Reptilian beasts can be an entire battallion by themselves. They have massive, nasty teeth which sometimes can chew through steel. Their tails can be equipped with spikes and can smash through whole buildings. The scales are its own armor, often able to repel bullets and sometimes laser guns. Despite being a cold-blooded creature, it can generate enough heat to breath fire.
Short version: If you are the enemy facing a dinosaur, you may also be the dinosaur’s dinner.
The downside for riding a reptilian beast is it only takes one lucky shot with an arrow or stab with a sword in the creature’s weak spot to bring the whole massive beast crashing down, sometimes even crushing you. This is not a comfortable end to battle.
4. Talking Four-Legged Animal
Not only can you and your steed move as one, but you can talk to discuss the best strategy for the battle. In between battle, you can have witty banter and sing songs of glory. However, there may be days where you argue with each other. Talking polar bears can be a bit touchy. However, when faced by the salivating jaws of a reptilian monster, you can both steel yourselves and ride into battle shouting your war cry that will one day be painted across thousands of t-shirts.
5. Giant Robot!
The robot can be an extension of yourself, to carry you and your control panel into battle. If a humanoid robot, you can punch and kick your way to glory. If more of a tank, it will provide a great advantage until an EMP blast disables your electronics, or some kid with a magnetic grapple hook and a lightsaber throws a thermal detonator inside.
Still, two giant robots fighting each other can be glorious.
All of these steeds have their merits and disadvantages. When selecting from the above steeds, carefully consider what sortof battle you are entering, and what type of enemy you are facing. Or, if you are unsure, just ride a giant robot riding a robot dinosaur. Such a glorious steed must be unstoppable.
For myself, I think I would stick with the loyal, ferocious, and adorable polar bear dog from Legend of Korra.
What steed would you ride into battle? What would you do if facing such magnificent steeds? Which one would make the best pet? Besides battle, what other things would you use your steed for?
Side Note 1: The vintage pictures I have been using the past few months are from the Flickr Commons. The leading picture for this post is of Inez Millholland, who was a lawyer and pioneer of woman’s rights. I highly recommend looking up her biography. She was a very interesting, and hardly demure, woman.
Side Note 2: The Batman Vs. Superman movie has a name – Dawn of Justice – With Batman having top billing.
I’ve got to give props to Abrams and Disney for using all the attention on this extremely anticipated movie for good.
Your move, Joss Wedon and Avengers 2, and Zach Snyder and Batman V. Superman.