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Warning! This page contains spoilers for The Lost Stories.
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Tug is Will's Ranger horse. Described as being a shaggy small gray horse, he is extremely loyal, affectionate and intelligent; Will and Tug are very, very good friends.
Tug first came into the Ranger Corps as a young horse and was given to Will, the two quickly formed a close bond as all Rangers do with their horses and Tug almost always accompanied Will on his adventures. Old Bob was the breeder for the Ranger's horses and Halt stole the horses from the Temujai (Steppes people) near Skandia, returned them, and gave them to Old Bob.
Surprisingly, Tug is actually a pony! this is mentioned in The Ruins of Gorlan when Will first goes to get Tug with Halt.
He has appeared in all the books throughout the series apart from the Emperor of Nihon-Ja, where he was only mentioned.
In the first book, Old Bob introduces Tug along with Halt's horse Abelard to Will. He is named after his habit of wrenching people around. At first, Will tries to capture him by grabbing the reins. Will tames the pony by offering him an apple and then grabbing his lead rein. Tug, like all Ranger horses, only allows someone to mount him if they say the code word(s) taught to the horse. Tug's code words are, "Do you mind?". Will, oblivious to this, tries to mount the small horse and is bucked off; amusing Halt and Bob. He is then told the secret to riding Tug. Will rides Tug home with Halt riding Abelard.
At a harvest festival, Horace calls Tug an "ugly dog" and tries to ride him, after saying "my grandmother could ride that!" Tug promptly throws the warrior apprentice off after Horace tries to ride him, not knowing the code words. Will makes one last joke, "perhaps you should ask your grandmother to teach you to ride." This starts a fight between the two boys, which is quickly ended by Sir Rodney yelling at them. Horace looks Will in the eye, but instead of seeing fear, he sees determination.
Later on, Tug saves his master's life by striking at a boar with his hooves before it could charge into Will during the boar hunt. Will is terrified that his horse will be crippled if the boar's tusks slice through Tug's legs and so yells at his horse to get out of the way, but both are saved by Halt's arrow killing the boar.
Will later takes it, in turn, to ride Tug and Gilan's horse Blaze when travelling to get help after the three Rangers and their horses tracked the Kalkara. He rides the two to Redmont before travelling back to Castle Gorlan on Tug with Arald and Sir Rodney to fight the Kalkara. The knights and Will find a Kalkara, crippled by Halt, and finish it off by knocking it into a fire. The second Kalkara paralyzes Sir Rodney, who is saved by Will when he shoots a flaming arrow into the Kalkara. Later, Will is amazed at how fast Tug recovers from the gruelling ride to Redmont.
Horace later mentions that ranger horses must be quite something if they can travel all that distance in just one night without stopping, to which Will replies jovially, "The trick is staying on them". Horace takes that in good spirit.
In the Burning Bridge Tug is ridden by Will into Celtica.
Gilan later tells Will that he should give Horace the code word for Tug in case a situation arises in which Horace needs to use Tug.
Horace takes Kicker, Tug and the pack horse to the army after Will and Cassandra are captured at the bridge.
Tug is upset to leave his master behind and is reluctant to leave.
Tug is taken by Halt and Horace to Gallica and Skandia when they go to find and rescue Will. Tug is used as a pack horse to carry the goods as Halt and Horace have their own horses with them.
Oakleaf Bearers (known as "The Battle for Skandia" in America)Edit
In The Battle For Skandia, Tug tries to tell Halt and Horace that Will and Cassandra are nearby, letting out sharp, loud whinnies, but Halt doesn't understand until he spots Will who is about to be killed by a Temujai warrior. Halt then shoots the archer before he can kill Will.
Tug is delighted to see Will again and refuses to leave his side for some time until Halt gently points out that letting him constantly hover at Will's side might make him think he is human.
Tug and Will are the first characters to appear in this book and are travelling to Seacliff Fief. They take a small ferry across the river to the island and the man in charge of the boat is wary of them, particularly when Will starts talking to Tug, a normal thing for Ranger's to do.
Tug gets along quite well with Shadow and the two make a good team, becoming firm friends.
In the seventh book, Erak's Ransom, Tug goes with Will, Horace, Halt and Gilan to Arridi where he is lost in a sandstorm and found by a tribe of nomads called the Bedullin. They say that the rule of the desert is that whoever releases the horse, loses control over it and whoever finds and cares for it is the rightful owner. In order to get Tug back, Will races against Tug's new owner, a young Bedullin man named Hassan. Hassan races on the fastest horse in the Bedullin tribe, named Sandstorm, owned by Umar, the leader of the tribe. Despite Sandstorm's fast speeds, Tug prevails due to his endurance, as well as tricking Sandstorm into pulling forward and losing all its energy too quickly, as Tug purposely trips on a stone to excite Sandstorm and make it pull ahead (thinking he would benefit from extending his lead)
In the story 'The Wolf ' from 'The Lost Stories ', the new Tug knows about Sandstorm and says 'I would have beaten Sandstorm' even when the new Tug did not have any prior knowledge of this event happening. This hints at some kind of link between the new Tug, and the old Tug. (although this will most likely go unexplained and was put in just for fun)
Will travels on Tug to Hibernia along with Halt and Horace.
Tug appears several of the Lost Stories tales: The Roamers, Purple Prose and the Wolf.
In The Wolf (a novella featured in The Lost Stories) Tug is wounded in an ambush by a wolf. Will shoots the wolf, but it turns out that Tug is seriously injured. He is healed as best as possible by Old Bob, but it turns out that he will always limp. Old Bob then tells Will that a ranger horse can usually only last up to 15 years in the field and that this event only brought the inevitable closer. Therefore, Tug retires and gains the name of Bellerophon (by his own choosing). After much grief, Will takes a new Tug as his Ranger horse and eventually forms a bond with the new Tug, equal to the one with Bellerophon.
Tug is described as being small and stocky with a barrel-like chest. He is often described as being rather shaggy. Despite his small size, he is incredibly fast, outpacing all the other horses in the Ranger Corps, maybe not in short races, but long-distance he excels.
He is grey in colour, affectionate, clever and has a love of apples, and often disagrees with Halt on how many he is allowed.
Tug is the fastest horse in the series so far, in long-distance jumping and one of the fastest in sprints, and, like most Ranger Horses, is a dream when it comes to endurance. like all Rangers, Will often talks with Tug--understandable, as Tug seems to understand every word Will says. Also, as seen many times in the series, Tug has been noted to "Come as close to raising an eyebrow as a horse could." Because Will is the best Ranger in the series, and he and Tug and him share a connection together, Tug is most likely the best Ranger horse in the Corps.
Tug and Will are very close, as are all Rangers and their horses. They share a deep bond, strengthened by their many adventures. Will loves to take care of his horse and one of his primary instincts is to make sure he is taken care of. In turn, Tug often calls him a "worry-wart", which can be true in some cases. Throughout the series Halt has chided Will for giving Tug too many apples. Tug dislikes watching Will go into danger without him.
Tug likes Halt and the two generally get along well, apart from disagreeing on the amount of apples a horse should be given.
Tug is good friends with Halt's horse as the two have spent many years together whilst Will was training to be a Ranger under Halt's guidance. He agrees with Tug on the number of apples a horse should get to eat.
When Will gets a new dog in Halt's Peril, Tug is tolerant of the little creature and acts a little aloof. But the two soon get to know each other and become good friends.
- Tug's new name, Bellerophon, is also the name of the Greek hero who tamed Pegasus.
- Tug told Will in The Wolf that "[He] has always fancied [himself] a Bellerophon."
- Tug is apparently smaller than other Ranger horses.
- The new Tug (The Lost Stories) is desended from the original Tug's grandsire.