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"Pegasus" is the name of the winged horse in Greek Mythology, born from the blood that flowed when Perseus slew Medusa. He was then used by Bellerophon to slay the Chimera.

Since then, the image of a horse with wings has persisted in stories and culture, whether these horses are named Pegasus or another name. (In fact, "pterippi" is a redirect to this page.)

Such stories may turn Pegasus into a whole species, even though there was only ever one of them in legend (the plural is often "pegasi").

A Sub-Trope of Cool Horse; usually a White Stallion to boot.

A Super-Trope to Winged Unicorn.

A Sister Trope to Unicorn, Winged Humanoid.

Compare Our Perytons Are Different, for another type of bird/ungulate cross, and Our Angels Are Different.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Fate/stay night, Bellerophon, the Noble Phantasm of the Servant Rider, can be used to control even the most powerful mythical beasts. Rider due to her part in the creation of Pegasus as his mother, Medusa, is able to summon Pegasus and perfectly control it in battle with Bellerophon.
  • Apollon (yes, the Greek God) flies on one in Kamigami No Asobi.
  • Metal Fight Beyblade is about spinning tops that channel the power of constellations. The hero wields the one based on Pegasus.
  • One Piece has Pierre, a bird who has the ability to transform into a horse after eating the Horse-Horse Devil Fruit. Pierre's in-between form is effectively a pegasus. A rather ugly pegasus.
  • Pegasus (a winged alicorn) was a character in Sailor Moon that the villains of the arc/season were seeking, although he could take human form. Or, more accurately, his original form was human.
  • Saint Seiya is based around warriors who use constellations as their motif. The protagonist's constellation is Pegasus.
  • Pretty Cure:
  • In Mahou Shoujo Pretty Bell, one of the primary abilities of Pretty Bell is summoning spirit animals to fight. The Pegasus is popular for being all-around useful even though it's not the strongest fighter. Eri, the latest Pretty Bell, is so magically strong she summons a terrifyingly powerful Pegasus with Glowing Eyes of Doom that wipes the floor with an entire demon army.

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    Comic Books 
  • DC's Shining Knight (both of them) also have winged horses. Justin's was called Victory, Ystina's was Vanguard. Victory was an actual horse, before Merlin turned him into a pegasus.
  • Danielle Moonstar of the New Mutants acquired a winged Valkyrie steed, Brightwind, on a trip to Asgard. In that Brightwind chose her, which was the Word of God (Horse) technically.
  • Dane Whitman, the Black Knight, first had Aragorn, a genetically engineered flying horse, and then eventually upgraded to Strider, a magic horse capable of flying faster than the speed of sound (which would lead to all sorts of other problems, but hey, it's magic, so that clears it all up). The less said about the mechanical "Atomic Steed" he rode for a while, the better.
  • The Valkyries from The Mighty Thor ride winged horses, one of which ended up in the possession of Danielle Moonstar of the New Mutants.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • One of Wonder Woman's foes has Pegasus (the original one from Greek myth) as his personal steed.
    • Gundra, another villain, has a winged steed named Stormwind.
    • In Wonder Woman (1987) after Wonder Woman beheads Medusa the original Pegasus rises ominously from the pool of blood. She then attacks the remaining gorgons to keep them from attacking Wondy and becomes Diana's loyal steed.
    • In the promotional comic Wonder Woman and the Star Riders (for a show and toy line which were never produced) Dolphine rides a white winged horse with a light blue mane and tail named Cloudancer.
  • Nero: Pegasus appears as a character in the album De Ring van Petatje.
  • The Pre-Crisis version of Superman foe Terra-Man rode a winged, alien horse named Nova. Nova was officially called an Arguvian Space Steed.

    Fan Works 
  • George becomes one twice in With Strings Attached. His doing so is the first indication that his shapeshifting ring is more powerful than it seems.
  • Pegasi(i), long thought extinct, return to the Discworld after a gorgon policewoman is swiped across the face by a troll and gets a bad nosebleed. Lord Vetinari and Sir Samuel Vimes take advantage and upgrade the Air Watch with the resultant marvellous flying horses.These are placed in the care of the Air Witches. Later on it is discovered that whilst created by magical accident, they are capable of breeding with normal horses. Thus creating more Pegasi in the natural run of things, and as time passes, allowing the Service to expand and recruit more Witch-Pilots. Vetinari is in favour of this and makes the necessary funding and facilities available, including purpose-built air bases.note  Piloted by Witches and navigated by attendent Feegle, a Pegasus can get a rider plus load anywhere on the Disc via the Feegle magic of the craw-step... in a matter of minutes. Read more in the tales of A.A. Pessimal.

    Films — Animated 
  • Disney's Hercules: He's Hercules' ride in this film, despite the fact that this never happened in actual Greek Mythology.
  • The "Pastoral Symphony" segment of Fantasia features a whole Pegasus family: a white mother, black father, and foals that yellow, blue, and a black baby Pegasus who is always last. A few adult pegasi that are blue are seen as well. The manner in which they fly down to a pond, and then move around in the pond, is very reminiscent of swans.
  • The Three Caballeros has a segment about a flying donkey.
  • Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus
  • Barbie: A Fairy Secret has the Pega Ponies, which, like the Flutterponies from the My Little Pony movie, have wings more akin to butterflies.
  • Pegasi are the focus of the sixth Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf film, Meet the Pegasus, where the goats must write a happy ending for a story starring the Pegasus Prince, who lives in a cloud city populated by humanoid pegasus people.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Both the original Clash of the Titans and the 2010 remake have Pegasus as only one of a species of flying horses. In the original, Pegasus is the only one to actually appear; most were said to have been killed off by Calibos. In the remake, Pegasus himself is marked by being bigger, Darker and Edgier, more aggressive and black.
  • In The Thief of Bagdad (1924), the thief's quest for rare treasure brings him to the Abode of the Winged Horse, which he must ride to the Citadel of the Moon.

    Literature 
  • In the Dragonrider series by Cornelia Funke, pegasi are intelligent and can talk. They are descended from the original Pegasus who sprung from the blood of a gorgon, and are now a critically endangered species, with an unusual life-cycle. They are oviparous, laying eggs which are initially no bigger than a hen’s egg, which the mother pegasus has to lick to enable the eggs to grow (ultimately to ostrich-size), so that the foals within them can develop up to the point of hatching (when they are the size of a hen).
  • In City Of Stars in the Stravaganza series by Mary Hoffman, winged horses are a mutation that occurs periodically among normal thoroughbreds. They are seen as a sign of good luck, especially in Remora (the fantasy counterpart of Siena). They grow much faster than normal horses, and are capable of flying with a rider by the age of a few months.
  • In The Chronicles of Narnia, the horse Strawberry (from our world) was given wings by Aslan and took the name Fledge.
    • Fledge deserves special mention since he began his life as a non-speaking cart-horse, one of the first animals given speech by Aslan, then given wings to help Digory on his quest. He is also the only Pegasus to appear in the series.
      • The final book implies that as revered and majestic as unicorns are considered, pegasi are even more so.
  • Variant: In Xanth, Winged Centaurs eventually became a viable species (a combination of love springs and people getting transformed as such).
  • The winged horses from Harry Potter, particularly the Thestrals.
    • Mme. Maxine, the half-giantess headmistress of the French magic school (L'Ecole Beauxbatons) travels in a coach drawn by a team of matched palomino pegasoi that drink single-malt Scotch whiskey. The in-universe name for this breed is Abraxan.
  • Percy Jackson, able to speak to horses because he is the son of Poseidon, befriends a winged horse named Blackjack, who is his Cool Horse during the big battles thereafter.
    • The original Pegasus is said to exist as the immortal sire of all the rest. Uniquely his brother Chrysaor shows up, jealous at being overlooked in favor of his brother, as a pirate.
  • In Pegasus, by Robin McKinley, there's an entire species of pegasi, who co-exist peacefully, though they can only communicate via specially-trained Speaker magicians. Each member of the human Royal family has a pegasus companion.
  • One of these shows up in the first book of the Alex Verus series, as the mount of an older diviner.
  • A number of winged horses appear in the later books of the Tortall Universe. They're never referred to as pegasi, and come in a variety of forms, including little insect-sized ones and the carnivorous hurroks. The herbivorous kind play a big role in Daughter of the Lioness as the symbol of the raka royal family, the Haimings. All of them are explicitly stated to have bat-like wings because they're mammals.
  • Appear in Kate Forsyth's The Witches of Eileanan series, and (especially) in the sequel trilogy Rhiannon's Ride.
  • Julia Golding's Companions Quartet.
  • In John C. Wright's War of the Dreaming they are called dreamcolts and serve as steeds to the Guardians of Everness.
  • Everworld features the mythological Pegasus and his sons living on Olympus; as far as we're told there aren't any other winged horses in this world. They can also talk, and are used to firebomb the Hetwan.
  • Scientific American, in one of its Recreational Math columns (about the Goat-Goat-Car puzzle) had some Pigasus appearing. (That Pun appears more often than one might think - even John Steinbeck did it before.)

    Live-Action TV 

    Music 
  • Appears on the cover of Asia's Then & Now album.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Trope Namer and Trope Maker comes from Greek Mythology. He was owned by Bellerophon, until Zeus struck them down.
    • Although he's far from the Ur-Example. Flying horses have been depicted in several other cultures, such as Thailand.
  • Uchhaihshravas is a seven headed flying horse from Hindu mythology.
  • The Tianma of Chinese mythology is often translated as a Pegasus, though it lacks wings and instead flies via magic.
  • In Islamic lore, Al-Buraq ("lightning") was a magnificent winged white horse presented to the prophet Mohammed by the arch-angel Gabriel.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Chris Benoit used the names Wild Pegasus and The Pegasus Kid in Japan and Mexico.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has Pegasi as staples of the Monster Manual in most editions. They're portrayed as shy but intelligent Chaotic Good creatures that serve as steeds for those who can gain their trust.
  • Warhammer: Pegasi appear in several armies. Empire and Bretonnian heroes can ride them and the Bretonnians can also field an entire unit of Pegasus Knights. The Dark Elves have access to an evil version with bat wings and dark colouring. In generally, pegasi are stated to differ from true horses in several respects — they have hollow bones like birds, although their ability to fly is still assumed to be chiefly magical in nature, and are omnivorous as well.
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Pegasus is the tribal totem of the Black Furies. Pegasus demands that those who serve him protect females and their young.
  • Palladium Fantasy:
    • Pegasi are extremely rare creatures only found roosting on high mountains far from civilization. They used to be a lot more common and were often used as steeds by the elves, but they were almost completely exterminated during the great dwarf-elf war in the distant past.
    • There are also the dragondactyls, essentially pegasi with clawed feet and draconic tails and wings; additionally, male dragondactyls can breathe fire. They are more common than the nearly-extinct pegasi, although not particularly numerous in absolute terms, and despite their monstrous appearance are relatively even-tempered beasts and no more difficult to domesticate than most horses.
  • GURPS Fantasy Bestiary describes pegasi chiefly based off of the Greek legend, noting that the effects of giving winged steeds to players mean that pegasi may be best introduced as very rare, difficult to tame and/or as a temporary asset for players.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • Pegasus is featured in Thalia's Musings as a gift from Athena to Thalia and the other Muses.
    "I created him to be used in battle, but I made him such a brilliant tactician that his riders can't get him to cooperate. He thinks he knows better, and he usually does. But he doesn't know anything about the arts or sciences. He'll get along great with you and your sisters."
  • Two of the creature families in Uni Creatures are pegasi. There is also a winged zebra.
  • SCP-042 is a pegasus that somehow lost his wings, and because of that, he is now suicidally depressed and tries to get Foundation personnel to put him out of his misery.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Pegasi have appeared throughout the history of the franchise as one of the "standard" variants of ponies alongside unicorns and unadorned earth ponies.
    • The Flutter Ponies from My Little Pony: The Movie (1986) are an unusual example, as they have iridescent wings like those found on insects and not the feathered, birdlike wings of pegasi.
    • My Little Pony G3 has both the regular Pegasus Ponies and the insectoid Breezies.
    • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, they're one of the main three races of ponies, along with unicorns and good old earth ponies. Aside from flight, pegasi have the racial ability to control the weather and walk on clouds.
      • Two of them, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, are part of the mane cast. Rainbow Dash in particular is an incredibly talented flier, having broken what is depicted as the sound barrier multiple times, to the point of doing it as a Mundane Utility. Fluttershy, on the other hand, is (usually) a fairly poor flyer who happens to be deathly afraid of heights, though this is compensated by her great skill with animals (something more commonly found in earth ponies) and the powerful Stare.
      • Scootaloo is one of the Cutie Mark Crusaders and an example of a flightless Pegasus; she can't fly in the air — her inability to fly and her self-image issues stemming from this are actually a plot point in one episode — but put her on her scooter and stand back. On the other hand, "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" showed she can definitely hover a few inches above the ground when she's not thinking about it.
      • The Changelings are a rather creepy variation. They are vaguely equine, love-eating, shapeshifting monsters with fangs, bodies full of holes, and torn, insectoid wings. In other words, they are horseflies.
      • The breezies also reappear, although their insectoid wings, very small size and more stylized and slender bodies than their G3 incarnations had make them more like an equine take on fairies than anything else.
  • The Smurfs character Blue Eyes, who appears in a few episodes as Smurfette's friend, is a pegasus allegedly voiced by an uncredited Patty Maloney.
  • South Park: Pegasus appears as a character in the Imaginationland trilogy, among the fictional characters.
  • The Mighty Hercules had a Pegasus that started out untamed until Herc tamed it and made it an ally.

    Real Life 
  • The famed Polish hussars, also known as Winged Hussars, wore wood-framed wings on their backs. They couldn't fly, of course, and several theories have been proposed for why the wings were used. Some geeky sport scientists think that the wing was used to slow the horses down and keep them from overexerting themselves on the first charge, so the Hussars could be used for repeated charges.
  • The northern constellation of Pegasus, which is also among the largest ones. Or rather half of Pegasus as only its fore section and wings appear in said constellation.


Alternative Title(s): Pegasi, Winged Horse, Pterippus, Pterippi

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