#3: On the Back of a Great Eagle (from the Lord of the Rings series)
Sweeping through Middle Earth to land in 3rd place comes Gandalf on the back of Gwaihir, a Great Eagle. Gigantic, agile, and courteous, the Great Eagles convey all the benefits of dragon-riding (looks super cool, large animal = potential friend, can fight your enemies, super fast) without any of the drawbacks (third-degree burns, the destruction of all cattle in a 100 mile radius). One more thing, just a little nit-picky detail; may I just suggest WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST FLY THE EAGLE TO MORDOR. YOU GOT A RING. YOU GOT AN EAGLE. FLY IT TO BE THE VOLCANO AND BE FINISHED WITH IT, OLD MAN. RING + EAGLE =DONE.