“Bill Ferny’s price was twelve silver pennies; and that was indeed at least three times the pony’s value in those parts. It proved to be a bony, underfed, and dispirited animal; but it did not look like dying just yet.”
the first time i watched the angry birds movie trailer I thought it was a going to be a bad movie but now…all left in my sinner soul is just a deep obsession with the cutest bird in this movie…oh and the movie was great
Ah, yes, Bill the pony. For those who haven’t read the books and so are unfamiliar with the whole saga of poor old Bill, here’s his tale in full:
When Aragorn and the hobbits were planning to leave Bree, Bill Ferny (who was then a spy for the nazgul) released all the horses and ponies from the stables. The only pony left in town was his own, who he offered to sell to Frodo for three times its fair price. Tolkien describes the poor guy as “a bony,underfed, and dispirited animal; but it did not look like dying just yet.”
During the journey to Rivendell Bill the pony’s condition improved, so that by the time Frodo was injured and set to ride Bill, he was “improved wonderfully; it already seemed fatter and
stronger, and had begun to show an affection for its new masters, especially
for Sam.” Tolkien even says that the pony developed a great talent for picking out smooth paths that didn’t jostle Frodo’s injuries.
And months later, when the fellowship is ready to set out from Rivendell, Bill is chosen to be their pack-pony. His description here is vastly different from when we met him in Bree:
The stay in Rivendell had worked a great wonder of change on him: he was glossy and seemed to have the vigour of youth. It was Sam who had insisted on
choosing him, declaring that Bill (as he called him) would pine, if he did not
`That animal can nearly talk,’ he said, `and would talk, if he stayed
here much longer. He gave me a look as plain as Mr. Pippin could speak it: if
you don’t let me go with you, Sam, I’ll follow on my own.’ So Bill was going
as the beast of burden, yet he was the only member of the Company that did not seem depressed.
This journey was harder than the last, but Bill did his duty honorably. He carried extra firewood, shielded the hobbits from snow, survived (but definitely did not enjoy) the wolf attack. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), Bill could not come with them into Moria, and so he was set loose at the gates. It was a hard parting for poor Sam:
‘But you can’t leave poor old Bill behind in this forsaken place, Mr.Gandalf! ’ cried Sam, angry and distressed. `I won’t have it, and that’s flat.
After he has come so far and all! ' 'I am sorry, Sam,’ said the wizard. `But when the Door opens I do not
think you will be able to drag your Bill inside, into the long dark of Moria.
You will have to choose between Bill and your master.' 'He’d follow Mr. Frodo into a dragon’s den, if I led him,’ protested Sam.
`It’d be nothing short of murder to turn him loose with all these wolves
about.' 'It will be short of murder, I hope,’ said Gandalf. He laid his hand on
the pony’s head, and spoke in a low voice. `Go with words of guard and guiding
on you,’ he said. `You are a wise beast, and have learned much in Rivendell.
Make your ways to places where you can find grass, and so come in time to
Elrond’s house, or wherever you wish to go.
`There, Sam! He will have quite as much chance of escaping wolves and
getting home as we have.' Sam stood sullenly by the pony and returned no answer. Bill, seeming to
understand well what was going on, nuzzled up to him, putting his nose to
Sam’s ear. Sam burst into tears, and fumbled with the straps, unlading all the pony’s packs and throwing them on the ground.
When the Watcher attacked, Bill ran for it. He made his way back to Bree, where Butterbur and Nob looked after him. On their homeward journey Bill and Sam were reunited, and he again became their pack-pony (and was said to be “well content” to be with Sam again.) Bill even got a good kick in on his original master (and namesake) Bill Ferny when he was chased from the Brandywine Gate. The last we see of Bill he was carrying Sam to (and from) the Grey Havens to say farewell to Frodo and Gandalf.
Where do you think Discord WENT for all those years his body was stuck as a statute, hmm? The mindscape, of course!! We’re pretty much BEST FRIENDS!!! And who do you think gave him the idea to fleece those silly ponies into thinking he’s THEIR friend so they’ll never turn him to stone again?