18th May 2012
My Three Favourite…Fictional Pets
Ah, pets. The ultimate companion for any adventure. In real life as in fiction, your pets are as much part of the family as any human; they can serve as a confidante, a guardian, comedian, and something nice and furry to snuggle up to when you’re a bit sad.
The pets in a novel are just as important as their owners, so here are three of my favourite literary pets:
Hermione Granger’s Crookshanks
I absolutely adore Crookshanks and everything about him. We all know ginger cats are the best to begin with, especially bushy ginger cats with squashed, grumpy faces.
He’s intelligent as well, as he proved in The Prisoner of Azkaban when he sniffed out Wormtail/Scabbers for who he really was, and made friends with Sirius despite his wolfy exterior.
Crookshanks is the perfect pet for Hermione since he shows that just because you might not be the most beautiful girl/cat on the outside, you’re probably the best person/feline in the school.
He’s just as smart as Hermione, equally as brave, and there’s no cosier image in the books than Hermione cuddling with Crookshanks beside the Gryffindor tower fireplace. If I had a cat it’d be just like Crookshanks.
The Stark’s Direwolves
If you’ve not read/watched any Game of Thrones, allow me to explain the direwolves. Found in a forest beside their dead mother, Eddard Stark reluctantly agrees to allow his children to raise and care for the orphaned direwolf pups.
A healthy wolf is given to each of the children born in wedlock, and the runt of the pack for Jon Snow, Eddard’s bastard son, who finds the smallest wolf hiding in the trunk of a tree.
Each of the wolves perfectly reflect the children’s personalities. Sansa’s Lady is reserved and polite; Robb’s Greywind mature and eager to protect; Bran’s Summer stands silently by during Bran’s coma and saves him from certain death from an attacker.
The best thing about the direwolves is how fast they grow. In a space of about a year they turn from the usual puppy size to double the size of a large dog.
They protect their masters throughout any situation and are eager to destroy anyone who may serve as a danger to the children. They follow their commands without question which makes them better than a normal dog who you have to ask ten times to roll over for any kind of result.
Mr Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt is less of a pet per se and more of a monstrous and darkly hilarious metaphor. A physical representation of depression, Mr Chartwell is a six foot seven dog that walks about on two legs following Winston Churchill, who in real life described his depression as a “black dog”.
The greatest thing about this novel is the acknowledgement of depression as a heavy, ugly accompaniment that follows sufferers where ever they may go.
While the novel itself is at times hilarious, this metaphor for depression really places Hunt into the spotlight as a brilliant author of works concerning mental illness, something that is so readily misunderstood and badly represented.
Who are your favourite fictional pets? Toto from The Wizard of Oz very nearly made this list, so let us know who you think should be acknowledged as the perfect fictional companion!