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Bond Creatures

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"I guess this means we'll always be together."

"Ares the flier, I bond to you,
Our life and death are one, we two,
In dark, in flame, in war, in strife,
I save you as I save my life."

Bond Creatures choose a human partner to share their power. Often the process is so that they can reject an unsuitable human partner or reveal a new ability or level of power if its Link and/or Synchronization with its human user is particularly high. In such cases, they may form a Mental Fusion or allow the human to see through their eyes. They sometimes double as a Morality Pet.

A magic user's familiar may (depending on specific interpretation) be one of these, as may a Sapient Steed that Only the Chosen May Ride, especially in the case of Dragon Riders. Compare Empathy Pet, Empathic Weapon, Living Weapon, Attack Animal (possibly Equippable Ally), and Mons. In some cases, an Imaginary Friend can also function as a creature or person bonded to the character imagining them. Other times, it can be a Symbiotic Possession, or just simply The Symbiote.

See also Psychic Link and Mindlink Mates for similar bonds between humanoids.

They definitely are not frickin sharks with Frickin Laser Beams on their frickin heads, and while there is some overlap we're not talking about the villain's Right-Hand Cat either. Those are James Bond Creatures. Also not to be confused with Bond Girls, which are a different order of creature entirely.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: In the anime series, there is a race called Bounts, a vampire variant, each of whom has a Doll, which seems to be a type of elemental familiar. Dolls will turn on and kill a weak master; this suggests that although the individual Bount's elemental affinity is an internal characteristic that determines what Doll they can summon, the Dolls come from the environment and return to the environment when their masters die. Dolls don't take mates or reproduce.
  • The card spirits in Cardcaptor Sakura bond to the master of the deck; they serve in exchange for a share of the mage's "power", which seems to be crucial for their sustained existence. Becomes an important part of the plot when Yukito, the incarnation of a card, starts to fade away because he hasn't yet bonded with a new master.
  • Devilman: Demons in this series are ancient organisms who can fuse with other living things and inanimate objects to gain many abilities and powers from what they've fused with, taking them over completely. Thus they look like the chimerical creatures from ancient texts. They have psychic powers normally of varying strengths. However, human consciousness is lethal to them. But a person who's scared or otherwise loses control of their higher mental functions can be taken over. Should that person have a pure heart, however... they will possess the demon's flesh and gain their superpowers. And thus Devilman was born when Akira Fudou managed to merge with the demon Amon.
  • Digimon, depending on the season, choose their partners or have partners assigned to them by higher, godlike beings. The bonded Mons could "evolve" ("Digivolve" in the dub, to avoid confusion with Pokémon) when their partner was in danger or another condition was met. Sometimes a partner could inadvertently activate a Superpowered Evil Side when attempting a forced evolution. In the first series, Digimon Adventure, if the partner lost their drive, the Digimon partner could possibly even devolve into an earlier stage.
    • Digimon Tamers upped the ante by, at least twice, having the human partners physically affected when their Digimon partners are injured in battle. This season's digivices also have a handy feature that enables Tamers to get a first-person view of what their Digimon see.
    • Downplayed in Digimon Ghost Game, where whole communities have sprung up among Digimon trapped in the human world. While Angoramon and Jellymon think of their human partners as their best friends, they also have separate social circles among their own kind. The series also portrays Digimon as Youkai-like beings who grow stronger by following their compulsions and suggests that The Power of Friendship which the heroes rely on is simply one form that can take.
  • The dragons in Dragonaut: The Resonance. Said resonance is what bonds them with their pilots, though some of the major dragon characters don't play by the normal binding rules.
  • In Dragon Drive, analyzing a teenager's genetic code reveals the dragon they are destined to partner with. These dragons cannot speak and usually go back into storage form when not being used for combat or transport. These dragons thus seem to be a manifestation of their owner's anima or subconscious, not independent creatures. One notable difference between dragons and owners is that dragons usually want to fight when their humans are afraid of overwhelming odds.
  • Edel Raids from Elemental Gelade are a version that is A) an Equippable Ally, and B) invariably resemble a female human with subdermal jewelry somewhere on her body. They permanently bond with a normal human for the duration of said human's lifetime (usually of her choice, but forcible bondings are common enough), and recharge their powers in a way unique to themselves, but usually involves physical contact and affection. There also exist Sting Raids, which are an Evil Knockoff created by implanting a Raid's subdermal jewel into a normal woman.
  • In Gasaraki, the demonic-looking Kugai, on which the Tactical Armours are based upon, require a certain individual known as a "Kai" to operate them, but first they must also be awakened by a unique ritualistic dance before the Kai can get the Kugai to "open up" so to speak...the Kai also acts as a 'sacrifice' of sorts, being a host that sits inside the Kugai, allowing it to move on its own, but the Kugai is still influenced by the Kai in terms of decision making.
  • In Idolmaster: Xenoglossia, mechas are powered by alien entities which seem to be telekinetic and of animal intelligence, but probably not human intelligence since they make no attempts at communication. Some mechas bond with a particular partner and will only work for them, while others aren't as picky.
  • Caro and Lutecia of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS possess some sort of link with their summoned creatures. This was best seen during their final battle, where Quattro's Villain Override on Lutecia caused her monsters to cry Tears of Blood and the less intelligent ones to go berserk.
  • The Rune Gods of Magic Knight Rayearth will test their charges to assess the strength of their will. If proven worthy, the Knight will get to summon and wear the Rune God's gigantic armored form into battle, and the Rune God's strength and abilities grow directly in proportion with the Knight's fortitude. The downside is, any injuries the Rune God sustains, the Knight will get too. This is much more notable in the Alternate Continuity of the OAV.
  • Ayakashi and Mushi-Uta both have creatures that grant their partner great power, but with the cost that they will eventually either die or suffer some other horrible consequence.
  • In My-HiME, each Hime's child bonds to them through their love/affection for their most important person, bringing a variety of useful (and some not so useful) abilities. It is revealed early on in the series, that the Hime have to "risk what is most important to them" in order to use their child's power. Hint: It isn't their own life, as Mai incorrectly assumes.
  • In My-Otome, the Otome bond to those they protect and serve. It takes their master's approval to materialize their robes, but as the Otome take damage, the master also feels the pain, and if the Otome dies, the master follows suit.
  • In Naruto, Samehada is a "frickin shark" bond sword. The sword chooses its wielder based on their amount of energy and the taste of it, though it can be forced to be loyal to a previous wielder if that wielder has enough power or a strong relationship with it. If an unfit wielder tries to use it, spikes protrude from its handle and it runs back to its true master.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: While not sentient or even as independent as an animal, mechas in this series are picky about their human partners and may go crazy or refuse to work for the wrong pilot, or even the right pilot in the wrong state of mind. It is mentioned that human minds were either used as a pattern for the Evangelions' AI or were 'eaten' and partially incorporated by the Evangelions in development, and their taste in pilots is an effect of this. This series also shows a strong correspondence between the mecha's body and the pilot's body, with pilots feeling intense pain if the mecha is significantly damaged, for example by ripping off an arm (Shout-Out to older Mecha Shows like the Mazinger series. In those series, the wounds the pilot suffered often paralleled the damage his/her Humongous Mecha had suffered).
    • The pain experienced by the pilot when the EVA is damaged is because they are neurally linked. That is, their nervous system are linked, which is what allows them to move so smoothly instead of in mechanical jerks.
      • The pilot thinks 'walk' (though on a more instinctual level), and the EVA does so. This is also why the EVA's are so picky with their pilots. There is in fact a certain bond required (The Marduk Institute keeps track of all these pilot prospects, not searching for them as is first stated) between pilot and EVA, and with that bond, the EVA will respond negatively when the pilot is emotionally unstable. Which makes it bloody amazing that any of them can pilot them at all really...
      • Actually, it is a known that souls are sacrificed to create Eva. Unit 01 contains the souls of Yui Ikari, Shinji's mother. Unit 02 possesses the soul of Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu, mother of Asuka. There is obviously a required parental soul in each Eva. Interestingly, all the students in Shinji's class are on the Marduk Report, and none of them ever mention a mother, only a father. This could lead to the theory that NERV has stolen their mothers in case they need another pilot.
      • More accurately it is the brainwave patterns of said parent that are imprinted upon the Evangelion. Yui didn't survive her encounter because of the lack of understanding of the Evangelions, Kyoko was able to survive because prior to her encounter with Unit 2, she went through the Magi System, which was then implemented and worked to separate the three portions of Dr Naoko Akagi's Psyche into three parts, herself as a Professional, herself as a Woman and herself as a Mother. From this, a framework in which a person might potentially survive their first synchronization was created.
    • Crosses into horrific territory when you realize that the pilots merge their souls and minds with the EVA to make it function.
  • The Mulian mecha in RahXephon function like this, bonding with individuals called "Instrumentalists". It responds to its pilot's moods and will act autonomously to protect its pilot if the pilot is in distress. the connection for the mulian mecha has added "bonus" of full Synchronization — so killing the dolem kills the pilot. The connection runs deeper still for the Xephons: when Ayato and Quon fully awaken as Instrumentalists, they cease to be human and fuse with the RahXephon system, effectively becoming the "machines". It is mentioned, late in the series, that when Ayato is looking at the Xephon or at Ixtli, he is looking at another aspect of himself.
  • The dragonets in Shadow Star. They also count as a deconstruction of the trope because the psychic link transfers everything the other feels — especially pain.
  • Soul Eater has Demon Weapons. They seem to be a werewolf variant, created by experiments a witch carried out on humans in the distant past, but transforming into a weapon instead of an animal; they are born and age like humans, are capable of reproducing with humans and having human children. They are thus unique among anime examples of bond creatures, following more of a western model. The bond is also not lifelong and can be friendly or romantic.
  • Duel Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, particularly Judai and Winged Kuriboh, as well as Johan and the Gem Beasts.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, Yusuke received an egg that would hatch a spirit beast. If he's good it will be this. If he isn't, the beast will eat his soul. The egg he originally got would have been the latter but he sacrificed it to save Keiko. He gets another and it ends up hatching a good spirit beast, Puu.
    • In the manga, there was only one egg, and the nature of the creature produced was supposed to be determined by the type of energy Yuusuke gave off. If bad, he'd get eaten and the filing problem he represented would be over; if good, he'd earned resurrection. But then scheduling issues caused Koenma to ditch that plan and just resurrect him, and the egg presumably hung around in spiritual form being ignored until ready to hatch. Puu originally resembles a blue Furby with huge floppy ears but evolves into a sort of phoenix thing after Yuusuke is resurrected again as a Mazoku.
  • The Mamono/Mamodo from Zatch Bell! need to find a human partner to supply Heart Power and activate spells while taking part in the king-election tournament on Earth. While a few of these pairs (Won/Lee, Clear/Vino, Gash/Kiyo) develop Psychic Links, the Heart Power-link is actually due to the rules of the tournament rather than part of the Mamono's nature and the Mamono don't even get to choose their partner themselves.

    Comic Books 
  • ElfQuest by Wendi and Richard Pini features a tribe of Wood Elves hich bond with wolves as mounts that they ride mainly while hunting. Unlike many types of creature bond, this does not take place at birth, one partner can survive the death of the other, and an elf whose wolf has died can bond with another one. Considering that the elves' lifespans are substantially longer than normal wolves, from hundreds to a few thousand years (and pure elves are immortal), they rather have to be able to survive the death of the other. In one of the stories from the Elfquest anthology novel The Blood of Ten Chiefs it is explained the Wolfrider wolves are, in fact, distantly related to the Wolfrider elves. All Wolfriders are descended from an elf/wolf hybrid who, with an elf mate, produced many offspring; some more wolf-like than others. The more wolf-like offspring took to inbreeding, eventually producing offspring who were wholly wolf. So while the Wolfriders are elves with a few wolf genes in their DNA the wolves they ride are wolves with a few elf genes in their DNA. This allows Wolfriders and their wolves to form strong telepathic bonds similar to the bonds elves form with their 'soul-mates.'
  • The Ghost Rider is a mortal man bonded with a demonic entity; the original, and largely most well-known Rider is motorcycle stunt rider Johnny Blaze and the demon Zarathos. Writer Jason Aaron's run retcons this; the Spirits of Vengeance are living spirit-weapons from Heaven (albeit not angels), bonded to mortal hosts.
  • Green Lantern rings (actually, all of the spectrum rings for that matter) seek out hosts that they deem worthy based on their personal settings. Green Lanterns are chosen for their willpower, Red Lanterns for their rage, Yellow Lanterns for their ability to cause fear, etc.
  • The short-lived Marvel Comics book Sectaurs (based on a toy line) involved a planet of insectoid humanoids who would each form a telepathic "binary bond" with a different insectoid animal, which would become their sidekick (or, in the case of larger ones, their steed). The hero, Dargon, was unusual in that he wound up bonded to two of them, his steed Dragon Flier and a smaller creature named Parafly.
  • The Venom symbiote from Spider-Man fits about every aspect here. It grants power to its hosts, more the more closely it binds — why Venom is stronger than black-suit Spiderman. It is also capable of abandoning its hosts — leaving a particularly inept one mid-jump to plummet to his death. This may vary from host to host, though. While it "shares" power (feeding off of the host's adrenaline), it can also take over (Peter Parker's sleep-slinging as an example).

    Fan Fiction 
  • In both of Lupine Horror's stories, the respective Harry has multiple of these, although they are mostly sentient human(oid) females. In Fate's Gamble, these are Servants (from the Nasuverse, especially Fate/stay night), while in Reinforced Magic they are a book and several animals with human forms.
  • In the universe of Mr. Chaos' Harry Potter: Pokémon Master Pokemagnuses can bond with a Pokemon and when their bond is strong enough they can merge into one being that is much more powerful than either of the original two.
  • In Dćmorphing, all humans have daemons, which here are explicitly parts of themselves. Non-humans morphing humans do not form daemons, but unlike in His Dark Materials, characters can't tell at a glance if something is an animal or a daemon — so when Ax morphs human and goes out in public, Tobias rides on his shoulder.
  • In The Confectionary Chronicles, Hermione has a strong bond with Vashti, her phoenix companion, to the extent that the two can communicate mentally.
  • In "A Charmed Regeneration", Prue Halliwell temporarily forms a bond with the TARDIS when she uses her astral projection ability inside the ship and forms a link with the TARDIS telepathic circuits. While she can’t sustain the bond for long before her mind will essentially burn out from the strain, she is able to manifest a projection of herself within the TARDIS and reconfigure the ship’s internal architecture to help the Doctor and her sisters escape the Master.
  • In Frozen Turtles: Into the Unknown, the five spirits of Northuldra are presented as this; when the Turtles and the Arendelle royal family visit Northuldra, Leo tames Gale the wind spirit, Raph calms Bruni the fire spirit, Mikey hits it off with Neptune the water spirit, Donnie connected with Fuji the earth spirit, and Splinter senses a connection between Elsa and the fifth spirit.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: The fourth story, The Diplomat's Life, reveals that Rabia posed as one, accepting and welcoming Stygian unconditionally when no other pony would, before turning out to actually be a case of Demonic Possession and turning him into the Pony of Shadows.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Avatar, the Na'vi create mindlinks with various animals, most notably the "banshees", which are similar to dragons.
  • In the Dragonheart series, a dragon can share part of their heart with a human, capable of granting said human supernatural abilities but with the side effect of the dragon and human not only sharing each other's power but also every physical and emotional pain the other feels.

  • The nanobonded in Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller. Apparently the result of a corporate experiment gone wrong, they formed communities which were later exterminated in pogroms except for a woman nanobonded to an orca who turns up at the eponymous City on the Water and sets the plot in motion. She also has a polar bear with her. One character suffering from mental illness suddenly finds himself calm and thinking straight for the first time in years when the bear finds him; turns out he was nanobonded to it as a child. At that point, some gangland thugs try to attack him and it's demonstrated just how dangerous a human and a polar bear can be while fighting in perfect concert.
  • Jennifer Roberson's Cheysuli series shows a semi-intelligent empathic alien species of which individuals occasionally (but not usually) bond with humans.
  • In Chronicles of the Kencyrath, the ability to form a psychic bond with an animal is one of the more common of the Shanir abilities, common enough that about a dozen students in Jame's year in the Military Academy of Tentir have it in various forms. Jame becomes bound early on to an ounce, a medium-sized hunting cat; blind from birth, the cat learns to see through her eyes across the link and occasionally shares its senses with Jame.
  • Robert D. San Soucie's short story Circus Dreams has a demon that forms a bond with a tormented young boy and kills the bullies he's afraid to stand up to. Unlike the other examples on this page, nothing good comes from this relationship whatsoever.
  • Two races from Codex Alera have this as a power — the Marat (to elves what neanderthals are to humans) can form a permanent empathic link with another living thing that lets them share in some of its abilities, while the titular Alerans bond with the elemental spirits called furies, allowing them to share in the furies' magic. Marat Action Girl Kitai gets the best of both worlds — bonded to an Aleran, she gets both a literal bound companion (and, ultimately, lover), in addition to gaining access to his magic once the Call finally takes him off hold. In return, he gains improved senses and endurance from her.
  • In Coiling Dragon, a magical beast that has a deep affection for a person can initiate a 'bond of equals', which creates a telepathic and empathic link between the two. This bond was known 5,000 years before the story's beginning, but Linley and Bebe are the only two shown to be using this bond.
  • Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear did a brilliant and weirdly hilarious Darker and Edgier spin on some of the less charming implications of the Pern series in A Companion to Wolves, which is Pern WITH GAY VIKINGS and giant sentient wolves replacing dragons.
  • Dinotopia has a non-psychic version of this, most notably with Skybax riders. Only the rider can approach a Skybax, and the bond is a lifelong one once established. The novice rider must prove himself or herself to the Skybax to be considered for full apprenticeship. This often involves a climb up into the Forbidden Mountains to the Tentpole of the Sky, a way of showing that the rider is not bound to the earth. The loss of a rider can send a Skybax into a state of feral aggression as with Windchaser. It can happen with humans and other species if they're born/hatched and raised together sometimes; this is known as 'nestfriends'.
  • Discworld: McCaffrey's dragonriders are parodied in The Colour of Magic, in which the dragons only exist because their riders believe in them. Similarly, the dragon in Guards! Guards! is bonded to Lupine Wonse, much to his discomfort.
  • The Dragaera novels featuring Vlad Taltos play with this trope with assassin Vlad and Shoulder-Sized Dragon Loiosh (the both of them Deadpan Snarkers), to the point of being a Take That! at the Pern novels' fire-lizards.
  • The Dragonback books feature the K'da, a dragonlike sentient race with the capability to become a two-dimensional 'tattoo' on the skin of a host/symbiote, with the corollary that if they go for more than six hours without doing so, they turn 2D anyway and die. Normally their hosts are a race called the Shontine, but when the K'da warrior Draycos bonds with the human Jack Morgan, he becomes healthier, stronger, and smarter, and gains new powers — and it turns out that a K'da fused to a human can withstand the Death superweapon.
  • Anne McCaffrey is probably the archetypal example of bond creatures. Her Dragonriders of Pern series features dragons with near-human intelligence which choose a human partner at hatching (this is called Impression). Riders whose dragon dies often commit suicide; dragons whose rider dies invariably do. Fire lizards have a mild variant of the Impression (normally it merely helps to organize their swarms). More recent Pern books, particularly those which Todd McCaffrey worked on, establish that whers — dragons' humbler, uglier cousins — also form psychic bonds with humans. Unlike dragons or fire lizards, whers can sever their bond voluntarily if they form a solid emotional attachment to a different human, and the death of one partner needn't provoke suicide by the other (though it can) when a wher is involved.
  • The Dragon Wars Saga has Heart Friends, who are born at the same moment as the Warrior they are bonded to. The affinities of the warrior and their Heart Friend will match, although their genders will often be opposite.
  • In The Fallen Moon, griffins choose a human with strong political or other potential to serve them, giving them in return further status and protection. Griffiners are the equivalent of nobility, with titles being non-hereditary but the children of griffiners being more likely to be chosen in turn. The partnership is non-telepathic and, although cooperative, the griffin is dominant (seriously, who is going to argue too hard with a giant carnivorous griffin?)
  • In The Game of Rat and Dragon by Cordwainer Smith, Eldritch Abominations live in the darkness between stars. Human telepaths on spacecraft are partnered with cats to fight the monsters, though in that case, the pairing is more of personality (feline aggression and reflexes with human intellect and guidance) than special powers.
  • Gayle Greeno's Ghatti's Tale series is a modern fantasy series in which the telepathic animals are Ghatti, large catlike animals that can only speak with humans mind-to-mind.
  • In the Goosebumps novella How I Got My Shrunken Head, the titular head is a mystical, sentient artifact from the remote island of Baladora. It forms a telepathic link with the protagonist and helps him activate his latent Psychic Powers.
  • The daemons in His Dark Materials are a variant of this — bonded to their human because they are the physical embodiment of that person's soul or subconscious. Children have daemons that shapeshift freely, but as they become adults their daemon permanently becomes a certain animal. The daemon's gender is usually the opposite of the human's, exceptions being very rare indeed. Daemons can only move a small distance from their humans; any further starts causing both immense pain. Mention is made of a sailor who will spend the rest of his life at sea because his daemon is a dolphin. But if the pain can be endured, it eventually fades, allowing daemons to range any distance from their human with no side effects. The same can't be said of people who've had their daemons severed with a special blade, which effectively lobotomizes the human and leaves the daemon "insubstantial". Pullman never explained, and has stated he has no interest in explaining, how/where new daemons come from.
  • Honor Harrington has treecats, cute, furry, seriously lethal aliens with empathic abilities; mostly they maintain their own society, but on rare occasions, one will form a lifelong psychic/emotional bond with a human, such as our heroine Honor. It's described as looking for a glow that fits right with their own. The bond is for life, but while on a planet a 'cat will feel free to go out and seek companionship with its own kind from time to time. 'Cats used to consider this bonding a bittersweet condition because when the human dies, so does their own will to live. The existence of prolong means humans will eventually learn the pain of the other way around. The other hook is that with exposure to humans, the Treecats have learned sign language and are now able to talk rather than just communicate empathically and non-verbally with their bond humans.
  • Humanx Commonwealth:
    • An empathic bond exists between Flinx and the minidrag Pip. She amplifies his Psychic Powers whenever she's in his proximity.
    • Midworld showcases a unique plant/human symbiosis in the form of the furcots, intelligent guardians created by the planet's supermind to act as lifelong companions for the humans living there.
  • Guess who the companion animals are in the Iguana Boy trilogy? Dylan has four (and it's implied he can talk to any iguana) but his closest bond is with his original iguana Paul (who, oddly, is a pet passed on to Dylan by his neglectful brother). There's also a villainous super called the Platypus Kid, but she doesn't seem to have a particular platypus that she's closer to than others.
  • InCryptid: After she telepathically tames him, Greg the Giant Spider has Undying Loyalty towards Sarah. A doctor calls him her "emotional support animal".
  • Similar to the Pern examples (some would say too similar) are the dragons and riders in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle. Dragons and riders form a mental bond and can share each other's energy. Dragons rarely survive the rider's death but riders can usually survive the dragon's death at the cost of their mind. Dragons choose their riders before birth, they hatch when they find the one they find worthy.
  • Mercedes Lackey has multiple types of Bond Creatures in her Heralds of Valdemar and related books.
    • Companions resemble pure white horses, and function as combat mounts and the Membership Token of a Herald of the nation of Valdemar. They are sentient and have an independent existence including reproducing themselves. In later books, it is revealed that Companions are, in fact, mostly reincarnations of former Heralds (a rare few are incarnated minor angels). Strictly speaking, the Companions are not natural creatures; the first few were "Groveborn" — created by an unnamed deity (or several) as the answer to the first King of Valdemar's prayer for some way to ensure that his new kingdom would always be governed justly.
    • Later in the series, we meet the Firecats (sometimes called Suncats) — huge feline reincarnations of the high priests of Vkandis (the ones he approves of, not the ones who got the entry over at Corrupt Church). Most of them bond to a current priest to help keep the true religion alive, but like natural cats, they live a more independent existence than the Companions, though they are otherwise similar in nature and abilities.
    • Bondbirds are large birds of prey which unlike the above are animals, although more intelligent than earthly ones. They think in terms of nests, mates, hatchlings, prey, and other bird-isms, though some of the wiser can grasp concepts like 'acting' and 'sarcasm' and they're quite social. They were specifically bred for their roles, half-uplifted, by the Tayledras mages who live in the magic-damaged lands surrounding the Dhorisha plains.
      • The Tayledras' plains-dwelling counterparts the Shin'a'in are a culture that reveres horses. Most Shin'a'in pick and train a horse before they're ten and are very close to their favorite horses, maintaining a more prosaic form of bond. The Shin'a'in also maintain a population of battlesteeds, horses bred and altered to be much tougher and more like dogs in their intelligence and behavior, which a rare few humans get to train with and ride.
    • Other magical creatures can bond with humans as a Familiar. The wolflike Warrl takes up with Tarma in her Vows and Honor books. Even a semi-sentient sword, Need, becomes a combination Bond Creature and Clingy MacGuffin to her bearers who bonds their souls to her; they accept it because the benefits make up for the drawbacks. Later Need "wakes up" and the "semi" part doesn't apply, and she and her bearers are not as tied together.
    • This is also how dragon mages work in hers and James Mallory's The Obsidian Trilogy: one dragon and one human or elf are, on some deep level, compatible as platonic soul mates, and they can bond with each other, the mage learning to channel the dragon's vast power through their body. Unlike most forms of magic in the Obsidian Trilogy, requiring require payments and debts, dragon magic has no such requirement — because the dragon's life is inextricably linked to its partner's, and while dragons live nearly forever, even elves do not. The sacrifice this represents means that all magedebts are paid, forever, no questions asked. Dragon mages are, understandably, both feared and desired by both the allied races and the Endarkened. The bonds between elves and unicorns are similar, but do not provide magic power.
    • In Lackey's "Skitty" stories — a loose sci-fi adaptation of the Dick Whittington myth — ships' cats are genetically-engineered high-intelligence creatures, some of whom — like the title cat — are telepathic with their handlers.
  • The Legendsong Saga has Glynn and Bayard with the She-feinna and Glynn and (to a lesser extent, Solen) with the He-feinna. The feinna link is only designed to be within the species, so linking with a human requires the mind of one of the pair to be reshaped to fit. This produces some interesting side effects, such as Glynn's extended senses and ability to influence others.
  • In The Lon Tobyn Chronicle, the Children of Amarid are mages that bind themselves to hawks to gain their powers. In addition to giving them the abilities to throw fire, shape wood with their mind, read other people's thoughts and create shield barriers, they can see through the eyes of their hawk and empathize with their thoughts and feelings. If mages die "unbound," or without a hawk, they remain in the world as ghosts and cannot pass into the afterlife due to a curse that Theron, Amarid's co-founder in the creation of the organization, placed upon the Order.
  • The Night's Dawn Trilogy: Biotech can be used to create bond creatures. Those that matter most are Voidhawks, sentient living starships which bond with a captain, conceived and gestated at the same time the voidhawk egg is laid. There are also Blackhawks, a voidhawk variant, with a shorter life span but greatly improved combat performance which are used by 'independent' captains, who purchase the eggs and bond as adult via an implant. It is also shown that humans can be "bonded" to other humans, leaving them at the mercy of their master. They can then be observed, controlled, or killed at will.
  • Andre Norton created several of the oldest examples of Bond Creatures in western fiction: The Beast Master, Falconers in the Witch World series, and more. Probably she was the inspiration for Mercedes Lackey's and Anne McCaffrey's later evolutions of the concept. In the Warlock Series, Tsste for Charis and Taggi for Shann. Their mutual Psychic Link makes it a four-way deal.
  • Robin D. Owens is a current science-fantasy romance author whose Heart series features telepathic cats called Fams (short for Familiars like witches' familiars) which bond to human owners.
  • Pegasus (2010) has this as the result of a spell performed to bind a human to a pegasus, which happens as a rite of passage for members of the royal family. Most share a type of simple telepathic communication, but only the protagonist's pegasus speaks in actual language. It's hinted that this is because the bond has been deliberately sabotaged.
  • In Pale, most Familiars take animal form, but Avery Kelly's familiar Snowdrop is an actual opposum who was rescued by her friend Verona, given intelligence and speech by becoming Avery's boon companion on the Forest Ribbon Trail, which worked out so well they eventually formalized their bond with a familiar ritual. Snowdrop is brave, loyal, can expertly fake her death, and is a Compulsive Liar unable to tell the truth in a setting where most supernatural beings Cannot Tell a Lie.
  • The Pit Dragon Chronicles takes place on a hot, mostly-desert world that has a variety of warm-blooded pseudo-lizards with pneumaticized bones and feather-scales; the larger of which were named dragon-lizards, and eventually just dragons. They stand about 13 feet at the shoulder. Nearly extinct at the time the penal colony was dropped on the planet, the humans began breeding them and eventually developed a dragon-gladiator-driven economy and society, boosted by off-world gambling interests. This arrangement continued until the galactic federation stepped in and overthrew the criminal-controlled gambling houses. The gladiatorial dragon combat, however, was eventually legalized (and taxed) by the galactic federation. The dragons exhibit high degrees of intelligence and a unique color-coded form of communication somewhere between empathic projection and telepathy, and the ability to form mental bonds with humans.
  • Realm of the Elderlings has the Wit (a.k.a. the Old Blood), which allows certain bloodlines to bond with animals. Not all animals are candidates for bonding, only those also of the Old Blood. The protagonist's bond is with a wolf called Nighteyes. The bonding process can go horribly wrong, as the protagonist learns more about when he is able to spend time in a Witted community. (They are discriminated against, and must hide their relationships with their Bond Creatures in all but their own closed communities.)
    • He encounters a man who as a baby bonded with a flock of sparrows. The man effectively has no mind of his own, as his mind was linked so young to a lot of small, not very bright creatures scattered all over the place.
    • The protagonist himself is considered to have bonded too young, and to have interfered with Nighteyes' development as a wolf; those who were brought up in Witted culture are expected to let their Bond Creatures live 'naturally' and without interference. (The fact that Nighteyes doesn't want to dig his own lair and actually prefers living in the protagonist's quarters doesn't help them defend themselves from disapproval.)
    • The animal partner in the bond can allow the human partner to survive in the animal partner's mind after the human's death. The Witted community considers this a violation of the animal partner's right to live his or her own life (since the human's instincts are expected to be at war with the animal's).
  • The night horses in C. J. Cherryh's Rider series are a horse-shaped carnivorous telepathic alien species. The horses bond with humans since they enjoy the complexity of the human mind, and ham, and humans bond with the horses so they'll help protect the humans from the world's other telepathic carnivores, which like to pull Jedi Mind Tricks in order to eat the humans.
  • The Seventh Tower has Shadowguards and Spiritshadows, which the Chosen bind to their wills. As natives of the Spirit World of Aenir, they have a physical form there, but appear as Living Shadows in the material world. In addition to companionship and protection, some grant their masters extra abilities: the master of a Storm Shepherd gains its intuitive sense of weather in the area.
  • Ida in Shaman of the Undead has two of these, although only one is voluntary. Biter defends her from her bad dreams by eating them, although she has to rewatch them later, or he'll become too fat. Bad Luck, on the other hand, is a demon that involuntarily possessed her when she broke a mirror, and it's unclear whether he's her bond creature, or she's his.
  • Shatter the Sky: Dragons here must choose humans before they accept them as riders, and can telepathically tell if the human is worthy. However, aromatic oils are used by humans too in influencing dragons' minds using the smell, such as by calming them. The Prophet of the Aurati bonds with a dragon through drinking the dragon's blood while shedding her own into a fire. Maren though bonds with them through kindness and understanding after she communicates via telepathy.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has the Stark children and their direwolves sharing a unique bond. To an extent, other wargs found throughout the story share this with their chosen animal thralls. However, the direwolves and their owners appear to share a deeper connection as Jon notes that Ghost isn't merely a thrall, but actually a part of him.
  • Barb, the heroine of Special Circumstances, has a black cat familiar named Lazarus, so named because she raised it from the dead. What makes it funny is that Barb is a devout Christian.
  • The titular creatures in the Spirit Animals series are slightly more intelligent versions of regular animals summoned out of nowhere by drinking the magical Nectar of Ninani. Spirit animals grant their companions a wide variety of powers, as well as companionship.
  • In Starship Troopers, the human handlers of the Federation's K-9 units form this type of relationship with their Neodogs (modified dogs with near-human intelligence). One of the recruiters Rico meets (a former K-9 handler) tells him that the bond between Neodog and handler has been said to be more intimate than many marriages. If a handler dies, SOP dictates that the Neodog is put out of its misery. If a Neodog dies, the handler is given lots of therapy but is generally psychologically scarred for life.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Banthas (the big woolly, horned beasts of burden in Episode IV) were paired with young Tusken Raiders as companions for life. From the Star Wars wiki:
      When a Tusken Raider child reached the age of seven he or she was ceremonially presented with a bantha of the same age as a companion for life. The youth learned to care for the creature, and the two built a mystical bond between Tusken and creature. When the bantha reached maturity, the male Tusken Raider would saddle his companion and ride it into the desert for adult initiation ceremonies. When Tuskens married, the couple's banthas would also mate, and when the Tusken pair had a son or daughter, their banthas tended to have a calf of the same sex.
      The banthas of Tatooine were known to form deep bonds with the Tusken Raiders of the planet and often committed suicide if their riders were to die first. Banthas which died naturally were placed in vast graveyards, which held a kind of ceremonial reverence with the banthas.
    • In Shatterpoint, it's mentioned that some Korunnai form Force bonds with their akk dogs — large, armored, reptilian wolf-bear-things. The bond means the akk trusts its rider completely, is instantly obedient, and they can share senses and orders at the speed of thought, which lends the pair unmatched agility and reaction times. If the human partner dies, though, the akks generally become despondent and/or given to rages, and are usually put down.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Spren are living ideas embodying things like fire, rot, and anger. Several more intelligent varieties of spren have the ability to form bonds with humans. Not only does this give the spren the ability to maintain their sentience in the human realm, but the human gains Surgebinding — the ability to hold Stormlight and use it to control gravity, craft illusions, and so on. In the first book, the only bonded spren we see is Sylphrena, a windspren actually an honorspren bonded to Kaladin that is turning him into a Windrunner. In the second book, we see more bonded spren; Pattern is turning Shallan into a Lightweaver, Ivory is turning Jasnah into an Elsecaller, and Wyndle is turning Lift into an Edgedancer. Dalinar shows that it is possible to intentionally bond to a spren when he becomes a Bondsmith by bonding to The Stormfather, although this may be a unique feature of that order.
  • In Summer And Bird, Summer establishes a Psychic Link with a raven that allows them to share abilities.
  • The Temeraire universe subverts the magical psychic soulbond stereotype, in that the bond between dragons and handlers is emotional, rather like a platonic marriage — and like a marriage, they can go horribly wrong, with neglect, abuse, abandonment, and heartbreak all inferred over the course of the novels. Still, for the most part, dragons and their captains share an intense and mutually beneficial relationship that ends only with the death of either or both of them. The bond is such that British captains (and probably captains of other nations too) rarely marry, as they couldn't share themselves between a dragon and a spouse; when they want sex (or heirs) they have scandalously casual relationships with other aviators, treating it as matter-of-factly as the dragons do.
    • It also potentially spans multiple generations. The larger Dragon breeds live quite a bit longer than humans (potentially for several centuries) and Dragons tend to take their death of their captain very hard. The most effective way of handling it is to replace the original captain with their child; it doesn't always work but the dragon will generally bond well with someone else who they feel shares their pain.
    • Europe traditionally sees dragons harnessed by a selected captain immediately after hatching, with the bond being akin to imprinting on a parent, as it’s believed a dragon without a captain becomes an uncontrollable feral. However, Britain’s militarily indispensable Longwing breed will only bond with women, justifying the existence of female aviators in the Aerial Corps (a scandalous state secret), and there’s always a chance a hatchling of any breed will refuse to take a captain anyways. In China, however, where dragons and humans are equals, dragons aren’t allowed to bond with a human companion until they’re old enough to choose one responsibly.
  • Too Many Curses: The nurgax bonds with the second creature it sees after hatching, after devouring the first creature it sees. Margle the dark wizard planned to feed his kobold housekeeper Nessy to his new nurgax for not polishing the floors to his satisfaction, but he slipped and it ate Margle and bonded to Nessy instead.
  • In The Underland Chronicles, the Underlander humans and the bats are the only species with this until Gregor and the Code of Claw.
  • The Wild Boy features a future where bear-like aliens have taken humans as a replacement for their bond-creatures, who went extinct. The Lindauzi call humans dogs and raise them in kennels. The packs of free humans are wolves. Most often, a young Lindauza is given a human bond mate on his or her upright day, the first time he or she walks on two legs. If human and Lindauza are separated, the Lindauza becomes ill and can die. There's something of an ability for each to sense the other when they're near.
  • Reaper-servant teams in The Zombie Knight are a form of this, with the odd twist that both ends of the bond are dead humans. Reapers, who were once humans with a particular gene, can take one person who's just died as their servant. The servant protects the intangible and physically helpless reaper and acts on the material world for them, and in return, they get immunity to death, Super-Strength, one other superpower and an invisible friend who's really there. What makes it really interesting is that the longer a reaper keeps a particular servant around, the more their souls synchronize and the more powerful the servant gets. Given enough time, servants can get well into Person of Mass Destruction territory unless the reaper decides or is forced to release their soul into true death.
  • Lauren Beukes Zoo City plays with this. Animals are sent by an unknown source to violent criminals who do however gain magic/psychic powers from the link, different with each pair. It's unclear whether the Animals are meant to act as consciences or provocateurs, this too seems to differ with each pairing, but any attempt to part them causes enormous pain in the human, and killing an Animal summons a destructive, demonic force called the Undertow to make its human companion vanish without a trace.

    Live-Action TV 
  • It is heavily implied in Doctor Who that TARDISes are bonded to their Time Lords. The Doctor and the one he stole certainly have a psychic link, to the extent that her translation circuits will stop if he's unconscious, and when he died in Turn Left, she was clearly going to follow. The reaction seems to put them very much on equal footing, as the episode "The Doctor's Wife" implies, with the TARDIS saying that he's her Time Lord, who she stole, not the other way around.
  • The Riders in Kamen Rider Ryuki (and by extension Dragon Knight) gain their powers by forming a bond with a Mirror Monster, turning it into a Contract Monster and providing them with Cards of Power they use in combat. Contract Monsters have their own personalities and tend not to like Riders whose personality clashes with theirs or who avoid battle (since they eat the essence of Mirror Monsters to survive). A particularly extreme example is Kamen Rider Ohja, who kills two Riders and forces contracts with their Monsters when they attack him seeking revenge. They openly despise the man and attack him when the opportunity comes up, but because of the contract, they're forced to work for him.
  • The makri, a spider-like creature in the Season 2 finale of Sanctuary lives symbiotically with its chosen host, also establishing a telepathic link to another abnormal. Once it leaves the host's body, the host dies. Will proves to be a particularly good host as he doesn't die when the Makri leaves and he is still able to communicate with Kali, the other abnormal the Makri is connected with.
  • The Goa'uld of Stargate SG-1 live inside humanoid hosts. They are more parasitic than symbiotic, except for the Tokra who only accept willing hosts and only take control when necessary.
  • The Trill from Star Trek are a symbiotic race that live inside a humanoid host. The symbiote lives for centuries, but the host is subject to the same frailties as a normal human. In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Ben Sisko was an old friend of the Trill Dax, who had recently taken a new female host named Jadzia. The joke was Sisko had known Dax for years as an old man named Curzon. Later on in the series, Terry Farrell left the show, and the Dax symbiote passed on to a new female host.
  • Bond Creatures appear in several seasons of Super Sentai and its adaptation Power Rangers When the mecha of the series are alive, there is a high chance they are this.
    • The Star Beasts from Seijuu Sentai Gingaman are bonded to each individual Gingaman. They normally look organic, but through Synchronization with their respective Gingaman, they can take on a robotlike Silver Star Beast form, that also allows them to combine. The Sixth Ranger has one in the form of Gotaurus, who can turn its partner giant and fuse with him to form a Humongous Mecha. In Power Rangers Lost Galaxy these are adapted as the Galactabeasts and Torozord respectively.
    • The Power Animals/Wild Zords from Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger and Power Rangers Wild Force each choose a Ranger to bond with, allowing said Ranger to summon them when needed. Unlike Gingaman, each Ranger has multiple animals under their command.
    • The Bakuryuu, the mecha from Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger are highly evolved sentient dinosaurs who can choose humans with sufficient "Dinoguts" energy to turn into Abarangers. The Abarangers can also merge with the Bakuryuu to pilot them or even combine them into a Humongous Mecha. Power Rangers: Dino Thunder downplays this, as the dinosaurs are simply biomechanical robots.
    • Mahou Sentai Magiranger/Power Rangers Mystic Force: Wolzard/Korrag, The Dragon to the villains, has a magical horse that can fuse with him to either form a centaur-like form or a Humongous Mecha. In a few episodes, the red ranger also forms a bond with this horse, that allows him to temporarily turn into a Humongous Mecha.
    • Engine Sentai Goonger is a strange case, as the creatures in question are sentient animal/vehicle hybrids called Engines. Their natural form is that of a giant vehicle. However, due to earth's pollution, they can only keep that size for 10 minutes. Any longer will forcibly shrink them to the size of a toy and remove their souls from their bodies. They need to form bonds with a human partner who can place their soul back into their bodies, allowing them to regain their true forms and combine with each other. Power Rangers RPM averts this, as the zords are merely unfeeling machines.
    • The Mecha of Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger function similar to the ones in Abaranger, minus the sentience; each of them bonds with a specific ranger and gives said ranger their powers. However, in order to form such a bond, the rangers have to defeat the dinosaurs...untransformed. Power Rangers Dino Charge downplays this. While the Dino Charge Zords are alive, they do not display any personality, apart from roaring when summoned.
  • While this is supposed to be the case when one bonds with an Ultraman, it is only in Ultraman Nexus where it is actually played out in great detail. Second dunamist Jun Himeya, for instance, often has to deal with the injuries that he suffers when in Ultraman form whenever he reverts back to his human form. Conversely, there were episodes where Nexus can't fight effectively because of the injuries that Himeya suffered while in human form.

    And then there is the metafield that Nexus generates in order to fight monsters in, which is revealed to be actually a representation of the human host's innards. Any damage that happens to the environment in the field also manifests in the body of the host. And you realize that being an Ultraman is actually a death sentence. Fridge Horror indeed.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Among the Luiseno Indians of Southern California, part of a boy's initiation consisted of having visions of a particular animal (for example, a rattlesnake, bear, or deer). It was believed that the boy and the vision animal became bonded as friends or allies. After such visions, the boy would always treat his vision animal with great respect and it is believed that his animal could communicate with him and serve as his adviser.
  • In spite of what you may have heard, Indigenous Americans were not the only ones to believe in this. Norse Mythology includes the Fylgja, a spiritual or real animal that follows and protects a person throughout their lives. This also frequently incorporates Animal Motifs, such as evil wizards having Fylgjur who take the shape of sly foxes.

  • This is a gameplay mechanic in Avatar, as the "Bond" rollovers allows the player to instantly recruit one of the Na'vi.

  • Dice Funk: Marshmallow the dire ferret is Anne's ranger companion, given to her by Avandra.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A Blue Rose character can have a rhydan (a sentient wolf, cat, horse or dolphin) as a Bond Creature by taking the Rhy-Bonded Feat. Since the rhydan species are themselves playable races, you can also play a rhydan character who has the Rhy-Bonded Feat and a human Bond Creature. Rhywolves, rhycats, rhyhorses, and dolphins are only the rhydan that are available as PC races. Alternate Bond Creatures include drakes (which are small dragon-like creatures), winged cats, whales and griffons. Unicorns are also a potential, albeit rare example, and require a special feat named Unicorn-Bonded, which has much stricter requirements than Rhy-Bonded.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has quite a few ways of making these:
    • The Kalashtar from Eberron are a race of humans descended from a group who bonded with psychic entities called Quori. As the original bond members had children, the single Quori spirit was split along the lines of all descendants of the same sex.
    • Beastmaster Rangers in 4th Edition are defined by their bond with a particular beast that fights alongside them. They even gain a special ritual to bring it back from the dead.
    • Similarly, the Shaman class has a bonded spirit companion, which acts as the nexus for a number of their ally-boosting abilities.
    • This goes back as far as 1st Edition: the Magic-User spell Find Familar ... found a familiar, a small animal (cats and toads were among the possibilities). The familiar granted certain benefits (more HP, and special abilities depending on what the familiar was) to the Magic-User, but the downside was that if the familiar were ever killed (and they were pretty vulnerable), the Magic-User would suffer penalties.
    • Rimefire eidolons can forge magical bonds with rimefire witches, the remaining worshippers of Hleid. The eidolon will transform into an icy copy of their partner, and the eidolon becomes permanently aware of their partner's location and condition while gaining resistance to mind-affecting magic. This bond breaks only on death of one of its members, and instantly reforms if one is returned to life within a year of their death.
  • GURPS has a mechanic devoted to these kind of characters (Allies with the summon-able enhancement).
  • Magic: The Gathering: The world of Ikoria has what's called the eludha bond, a mystical connection between a human and one of the plane's monstrous wildlife. The eludha creates an empathic, subconscious connection between the human and the monster that allows them to share each other's feelings and thoughts, even though the monsters can't truly speak. What's more, sometimes the eludha isn't even intentional — Lukka, the main planeswalker character of the Ikoria set, was a monster hunter from a city where forming the eludha is considered high treason, but he formed a bond with a winged tiger completely by accident.
    • In gameplay terms, this takes the form of the Companion mechanic — a creature with Companion can be cast from outside the game, but only if your deck meets certain rules (Not having more than one of any card, not having any cards below three mana, only having even-numbered cards, etc.).
  • Pathfinder:
    • Multiple classes can bond with animals and other entities that will thereafter serve them as companions, allies, and — at later levels — close friends. Witches, wizards, and some sorcerers have Familiars that boost their magic; druids, rangers, and hunters have animal companions to aid them in battle; and shamans have spirit animals that bolster their connection to the supernatural.
    • The summoner base class is themed around summoning and forming a bond with a special outsider known as an eidolon, which gains power as the summoner gains levels and forms a bond with the summoner, which gains a measure of control over the eidolon's form and abilities. The two become linked over time, eventually even sharing a shard of the same soul.
    • Iconic characters with bond creatures of various sorts include the druid Lini and her snow leopard friend and part-time steed Droogami; the ranger Harsk and his badger Biter; the hunter Adowyn and her wolf companion Leryn; the sorceress Seoni and her skink familiar Dragon; the witch Feiya and her fox familiar; the shamaness Shardra and her tuatara spirit animal Kolo; and the summoner Balazar and his eidolon Padrig.
  • Rifts: Kr'talpa demon hounds are a species of alien predators who form powerful psychic links with a species of humanoids known as the br'talb, who ride them like horses. What a kr'talpa senses so does their rider, and vice versa, and the two also sense each other's emotions and always come to one another's aid. Although anyone can tame a kr'talpa to use as a steed, only the br'talb and the Simvan Monster Riders can form such links with them.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Gyrinx are feline creatures whose temperament tends to match their owners'. Obscure creatures both in-setting and in published works, they tend to be drawn to psykers, and are particularly associated with the Eldar.
    • Also present are the various creations and creatures serving as familiars to psykers. These range from the weird (genecrafted two-headed cyborg eagles) to the macabre (Servo-Skulls, the skulls of loyal Imperial servants used after death to house a small anti-grav drive and various arcane technologies) and the downright disturbing (vat-grown mind-wiped babies with implanted anti-grav units and decorative wings serving as Cherubs). And that's before the servants of Chaos are even considered.
    • Huron Blackheart, the Tyrant of Badab and leader of the traitorous Astral Claws, has his "Hamadrya", an unknown creature that is bonded to him and grants him mental powers.

  • In Tsukino Empire -- Unleash your mind --, the main characters are all Tekigousha bonded to Shinjuu ("heart beasts"), which are defectors from the fleet of aliens attacking the human world. They take the form of animals and connect to their human through a ring that the human wears. Certain humans are able to bond with more powerful Shinjuu than others, and Hajime and Shun can bond with the highest-ranking Shinjuu only because they aren't human. Trying to wear the ring of a Shinjuu that is too powerful can harm a person. The most powerful Shinjuu are based on the Four Gods.

     Video Games 
  • The protagonists of Drakan, Rynn and Arokh, are bound.
  • The main characters of Drakengard have entered a Pact with another creature; ranging from a Golem to a Dragon. The pact links their lives together so if one dies, so does the other (although the Shared Life-Meter is only seen on Caim and his dragon, the other characters are more like Summon Magic during battle), and the human sacrifices some part of themselves (their voice, their ability to age, their sight, their fertility, their musical ability, their hair...). Verdelet is a weird case as he too had a pact with a dragon, but although it has since been petrified he's still alive.
  • In Dwarf Fortress, cats have a tendency to behave like this... the downside is, they don't fight; apart from killing vermin, they're just Sidekick Creature Nuisances.
  • The Aeons of Final Fantasy X demand that the Summoner enter an intense, soul-binding pact with them before yielding their power. Extends to the gameplay, as Yuna's Aeons grow in strength depending on her own stats. The bond is particularly strong between a Summoner and his or her final Aeon due to the relationship they had before the final Aeon's fayth was created. This bond is so strong that when Yu Yevon possesses the final Aeon, the psychic backlash from the bond being severed kills the Summoner. At the game's end, when Yuna must destroy the Aeons to prevent Yu Yevon from taking them over, banishing them causes her physical and emotional pain.
    • Guardian Forces in Final Fantasy VIII are explicitly "junctioned" onto the caster's mind, taking up space and degrading the person's memories if junctioned for too long. On the other hand, they provide the ability to draw and cast para-magic.
    • Only the Aeons and Guardian Forces require this. The Espers, the Summoned Monsters, Eidolons and Red Materia will obey anyone who summons them; a few of the more powerful ones will battle the candidates to test their mettle, but there is no soul or mind-bonding involved. In Final Fantasy IV, however, Summoners whose Eidolons are killed die as well; notably, Rydia (whose mother died from this rule) immediately recalls her Eidolons after they finish their attacks.
  • Luminiera/Chevalier of Granblue Fantasy protects Albion by bonding with the Lord Commander and imbuing them with its power. However it apparently doesn't even have to bond to a person as it bonds with the Adversa cannon after Vira, its former host, was defeated. Vira's SSR fate episode reveals that during the battle with Adversa, Lyria changed its commands so that Luminiera's bond does not extend to being bound in Albion. This allows the host that Luminiera bonds with to move freely. This also led to Vira being bonded to Luminiera once more without the former restrictions in the same fate episode.
  • Pastamancers in Kingdom of Loathing can form a bond with certain pasta spirits, provided they have the correct item. Only one bond can be held at a time, though, and forming a new one severs the link to the old one forever.
  • Ra-Seru in Legend of Legaia are symbiotic creatures that are immune to the effects of a mist that turns normal Seru (and usually their hosts) into mindless monsters. Seru can exist separately from a host, but their attachment grants powers and magic far beyond the normal.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the Skyloftians have their personal Loftwings, Giant Flyers which come at their call and serve as transportation across the sky.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Kokiri children are implied to be bonded with fairies, which are represented as winged, glowing orbs.
  • Lost Souls (MUD) has a number of guilds built around an empathic bonding faculty vaguely inspired by His Dark Materials.
  • FM beings and AM beings in Mega Man Star Force. The fusion is two-way in that both parties can attempt to assume control. The main character's partner usually gives him control except for certain cooperative moves, hosts of villainous aliens either get consumed or try to fight for control (which apparently forms a composite mind), and one villain (in the anime) actually only controlled her host while the latter was asleep to sidestep the issue.
  • In Pokémon Ranger, a Mon bonds with your character, lending you strength and help during a battle.
  • This is a (if not THE) major ability of multiple classes in World of Warcraft. Warlocks get demon familiars by defeating them at the end of various quest chains; Hunters can tame wild animals; in both cases the pet levels with or slightly behind the character, gaining occasional new abilities. Both have a talent specialisation that focuses on this aspect, empowering both the master and the pet. Hunters have a somewhat more involved relation with their pets, having to care for their happiness (most commonly through feeding, with different animals liking different food), health, and a talent tree for the pet itself (though there are only 3 possible trees and the specific type of animal only determines one ability), while Warlocks can't even name their minions (the name is derived from the warlocks own name) and force them into doing their work, as evident by several of the demons' responses, most notably the familiar and the felguard.
    • Deathknights and Mages can also have permanent minions under certain conditions (ghoul and water elemental), but they don't have the same connection nor a consistent entity to serve them (ghouls get named randomly but change every time you summon a new one. Elementals get no name at all).
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, the titular Blades are artificial lifeforms of great power born when a human with potential (Said individuals being known as Drivers) touches the Core Crystal that contains the essence of their being; lacking individuals experiencing anything from a bad nosebleed to a quick, painful death. They serve as guardians and partners for those they bond with, each having a personal weapon they lend their Driver and channel their power through. Should their Driver perish, they'll simply return to being a Core Crystal, but lose the memories of their past life in the process, only being able to truly die if their crystal is destroyed (Thanks to a powerful Healing Factor). Flesh Eaters are Blades who have severed this dependency by integrating human cells into their being, giving them independence and in the best cases lifespans in the centuries and vastly improved or all-new powers on top of it. Unfortunately, they lose their Blade immortality (though some Blades would view their Resurrective Immortality without Past-Life Memories as not being "real" immortality in the first place) and the unlucky ones are stricken with sickness and frailty, assuming they don't die from the process.

  • The titular Mons of the webcomic Battle Kreaturez form mindlinks with their Tamers via special amulets that go both ways, essentially becoming a singular entity during the mindlink's duration.
  • In Girl Genius, Martellus von Blitzengaard attempts to permanently tie Agatha to him via Spark shenanigans that leave her needing periodic physical contact with him or she'd become violently, potentially fatally, ill. Agatha wasn't able to undo this, but worked around it by transferring the bond to her pet Wasp Eater. It later turns out that Martellus Didn't Think This Through: The bond worked both ways, and Martellus falls deathly ill once Agatha made her escape. He takes a cue from Agatha and performs the bond modifications to an Uplifted cat.
  • In Godslave, Edith's problems start when Anpu puts part of his ba in her, granting her superpowers, but also binding them together.
  • The gods in Holystone. They stick around with their "khen" until death and then choose a new mortal to host their power.
  • Peri/Pari from L's Empire is a worm-like creature called a Nutrimensnam Sententia (food for thought). She is bonded with Shadowpalm, granting minor resistance to mind control. She's also his girlfriend.
  • In Magience, Mute gives Rune a fragment of his soul, to share power and telepathy.
    Rune: What does that mean for me, exactly?
    Mute: Increased strength, resistance to disease and injury, the ability to consume magic... and much more.
  • In Snow By Night, manitous bond with their spirit dancers, sharing a direct link between their actions and well-being, as seen in the vignette "A Berry from the Sun".
  • There are two examples in Star Trip, the first being the DerjiKhan ranger Odo and their bird-like mount, Zun. The other is Khudran, a fragment of shapeshifting deuteragonist Khut who becomes psychically bonded with protagonist Jas after being separated from Khut for too long.
  • Evelyne and the Occult: Every human has a Nahual assigned to them at birth. Only through proper training and meditation can most humans harness their power, with the sole exception being Evelyne, who unleashes hers out of pure instinct. The downside to using their power, is that the human can lose their sanity if they use too much without being in the correct mental state.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The Avatar is implied to usually have some sort of creature that is called their animal guide. Aang has Appa the sky bison, and Roku had a dragon named Fang, both of whom appear to be of about human-level intelligence. Air Nomads also traditionally bond with a sky bison when both are young, and it is stated that it is a lifelong bond; a heartbreaking scene in "Appa's Lost Days" shows a battered Appa, searching for Aang, dreaming about how they first met, and when the dream ends, the scene cuts to Aang having the same dream.
    • The Legend of Korra:
      • Korra has a Polar Bear/Dog hybrid called Naga.
        Mako: Your best friend is a... polar bear dog. Somehow that makes perfect sense.
      • Opal ends up bonding with a sneezing sky bison named Juicy. She also confirms that the bison chooses the airbender.
        Opal: And no, you can't pick another one. Trust me, I checked.
      • Wan, the first Avatar, had a caracal-deer companion named Mula, who accompanied him everywhere after he saved her from a trap.
      • Like his great-grandfather before him, Zuko is shown to have bonded with a dragon named Druk sometime since Avatar.
  • On Fangbone!, all Skullbanians have a spirit beast companion that makes itself known to them once they reach a certain age and assists them in times of need. In the episode "The Squeak of Might", Bill ends up getting one of his own, a small weasel-like animal called a Squee-Claw, which Fangbone describes as reflecting his swiftness, cunning, and sneakiness. The same episode also features Venomous Drool's spirit beast, a giant Tar Dragon.
  • In the Futurama episode "The Thief Of Baghead", actor Langdon Cobb and his "dog" Pookie are actually each one half of a quantum lichen, which like Earth lichens, consist of an algae and a fungus, except that they are linked psychically. Pookie, the fungal half, houses Cobb's ego, and grows in size whenever Cobb is filled with pride.
  • Another Example of a Bond Creature is the Brijies from The Guardians of the Lost Code.
  • The Head: Roy is able to communicate with Jim when they're far apart.
  • Men in Black: The Series has Symbiotes, a race of creatures that need a host body in order to survive. In exchange, they give their hosts shapeshifting abilities as well as possess healing powers. However, if they remain merged with a host for two days, they merge permanently.
  • The Owl House has the Palismen, living wooden creatures that usually take the shape of small animals. When witches come of age, they either carve or adopt a Palisman, who remains their life-long companion. Palismen have the ability to transform into a wooden staff, which their witches can use to cast spells and fly. Beings that lack innate magic — Luz, being a human, and Hunter, being a Grimwalker — can still use a Palisman to cast magic. Palismen are also attuned to their owners' needs — Frewin resides on Principal Bump's head to help him see after his eyes were heavily injured in his youth, Dell Clawthorne uses his Palisman as a cane, and Flapjack has a habit of not-so-subtly pushing Hunter towards the people who can help him escape his abusive home life.
  • Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders: Each stone-carrier had a specific animal that they were bonded to and could communicate with telepathically.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Early on, when experimenting with her powers, Adora blasts her horse, turning him into a Winged Unicorn; he runs off. When he returns, he has named himself Swift Wind, and is a Talking Animal with a few magical abilities suited to aiding She-Ra, including a bond that allows them to communicate at a distance. Adora could have presumably bonded with any creature, and an ancient urn depicts a previous She-Ra riding a dragon.
    Adora: I could have had a dragon!?

Alternative Title(s): Bond Creature