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Bill the Pony
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Author:  Erin Lunaire [ February 6th, 2014, 3:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Bill the Pony

Reading how much Sam cared for Bill, which totally wasn't shown in the movie apart from a comment made by Aragorn, made me wonder what the significance of him was.

Because, if he is just some random horse, then it seems very pointless for them to take him from Rivendell, up a mountain and back down again, almost freeze to death on the mountain, then to the doors of Moria, Gandalf to cast a spell on him, only to let him go. I understand that Moria is a horrible dangerous place for a pony, if it is anything like the movie, but if Gandalf can cast a spell to help him survive the journey back to Rivendell, then he could easily cast a spell to help the pony survive Moria.

What do you think?

Author:  Nienor Níniel [ February 7th, 2014, 7:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bill the Pony

I think the pony cannot climb stairs in Moria.. So that's why Gandalf send it back to Rivendell. Well, it didn't go there, but anyways, Gandalf send Bill away. Bill is my second favorite animal in Lotr, Shadowfax is the first, of course.

Author:  Lhunardaien [ February 7th, 2014, 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bill the Pony

I figured they just brought Bill as a beast of burden, so they could let him carry the heavy packs full of winterclothes and food. The Fellowship also gave him an extra load of wood before starting to climb Caradhras I think.

Of course Sam's fondness for Bill made the whole 'sending Bill away at the Gates of Moria' a bit tragic, but other than that I don't think there is a lot of importance to Bill.

Author:  Nienor Níniel [ February 7th, 2014, 12:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bill the Pony

Bill quite useless, but still the Fellowship would not manage without it. Just because they couldn't not carry so much stuff than Bill. That's why they had to leave so much stuff on the door of Moria.

Author:  Erin Lunaire [ February 10th, 2014, 4:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bill the Pony

It is nice that the horse was there, but it still made me wonder. Because obviously by the way Sam is, that there is something there. I get the feeling that it won't be the last we see of the horse. Still kind of strange, that he was taken just to leave the company. If they knew they were going up the mountain, or back up plan the mines, they shouldn't have took him along.

Author:  Lembas [ February 10th, 2014, 6:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bill the Pony

Bill does seem a little bit random in the film but the fellowship initially intended to travel through the gap of Rohan to Mordor, as they were going on foot and that was the easiest path, it makes sense that they bring along Bill to carry the bags as they can all move quicker without tiring. It still makes a lot of sense bringing Bill across Caradhras, as it was Saruman's fault it became impassable and bringing Bill to the gates of Moria meant they could carry more supplies for longer. I guess it's a bit like taking your shopping cart out to your car after you've paid, you could carry the bags, but it's easier to wheel them out. I don't really remember Gandalf ever casting a spell on Bill?!

What I think isn't really obvious, is that after Bill is freed, apart from leaving Lorien, where they have boats, the Fellowship are forced to travel light for speed:running from orcs (after Moria) and tracking the Uruks in TTT or for secrecy: through Moria or Sam and Frodos journey to Mordor, and don't really have the luxury of a pack horse.

Bill is a more developed character in the books who goes with the fellowship because he's brave. The nazgul scare all the horses in Bree away, including the hobbits' pony, apart from Bill who is in a bit of a sorry state. Aragorn ends up buying him for way more than he's worth, just as a beast of burden to get to Weathertop and then Rivendell, where Bill becomes a reformed pony! Sam and the fellowship choose to bring the new and healthy Bill along with them as he's brave, having faced the Nazgul twice and he continues to show his courage when the fellowship are attacked by wolves. Aragorn frees Bill at Moria so they can travel quietly and quickly through the dark, though Sam thinks Bill would probably follow them through if he asked him to. It's only when the watcher attacks that Bill runs away. Sam spends the rest of the story thinking Bill was eaten by the watcher, but passing through Bree on the way home, they find that Bill ran back there, and Sam adopts him as his horse.

Author:  Erin Lunaire [ February 11th, 2014, 3:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bill the Pony

Woah, spoiler alert. LOL. I haven't read RotK yet, so I didn't know of Bills fate. It's good to know that there is a reunion there, though.

Yeah, I'm really sure that Gandalf casts a spell on him, to make sure he has a safe return to Rivendell. At least, I think so. The story really picked up in The Ring Goes South, and I got so into it, I missed a couple of details.

Author:  emmagia [ September 19th, 2014, 5:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bill the Pony

Another thing about him is how he seems overly mysterious, at the end of ROTK he lets Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin handle the scourging of the Shire by themselves. Or how he brings more danger to Minas Tirith in a way by letting Sauron think the Ring was there. Although after thinking about it it makes sense why he does what he does.

Author:  Hanasian [ September 2nd, 2016, 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bill the Pony

Erin Lunaire wrote:
Reading how much Sam cared for Bill, which totally wasn't shown in the movie apart from a comment made by Aragorn, made me wonder what the significance of him was.

Because, if he is just some random horse, then it seems very pointless for them to take him from Rivendell, up a mountain and back down again, almost freeze to death on the mountain, then to the doors of Moria, Gandalf to cast a spell on him, only to let him go. I understand that Moria is a horrible dangerous place for a pony, if it is anything like the movie, but if Gandalf can cast a spell to help him survive the journey back to Rivendell, then he could easily cast a spell to help the pony survive Moria.

What do you think?

I don't think Bill would have done very well going up and down the steep narrow stairs. They made the right call.

I hope you have finished the books by now Lady Erin!

Author:  Jax Nova [ September 3rd, 2016, 12:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bill the Pony

I agree wih Lembas. Knowing Moria was not their original choice they would have naturally taken an animal to help cary the load. If for nothing else other than realism Tolkien needed tonadd that in because if he didn't it would seem likenthey knew they were taking Moria from the begining.

Bill's storry is really neat, though, and it's awesome that he ends up with Sam in the end. :)

Author:  Héalic [ December 11th, 2017, 1:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bill the Pony

I think the purpose of bill was to build a bit of character in Sam. It's really nice to see Sam take pity on a starving creature and nurture him back to health only to have to give him up not even halfway through the journey. Then to see him spend the rest of the journey thinking he'd been eaten by wolves is restored nicely at the end with their meeting again. The parallel to that would be Frodo and Gollum, with somewhat less success.

Author:  Gandolorin [ December 11th, 2017, 3:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bill the Pony

Yes, I think showing how Sam managed to get Bill back to health despite their road - from Bree to Rivendell (with Black Riders!) and then from Rivendell to the west door of Moria being so rugged. A comment on the evilness of Saruman’s lackeys too (though we do not realize Bill Ferny to be one until very late in the story). And just perhaps a slight penance for having consigned the ponies (and Gandalf’s horse) to what can only have been a horrible fate in the “goblin” residence below the Misty Mountains in The Hobbit?

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