Bill was purchased in Bree after the ponies that Merry, Frodo, Pippin, and Sam had brought with them, and all the other horses and ponies in The Prancing Pony's stable, had been set free or stolen. Bill Ferny sold them Bill for twelve silver pennies, which was three times his real value. Bill was described as being old, weak, and sickly. Barliman Butterbur paid for Bill and gave Merry an additional eighteen pence to make up for the disappearance of the other ponies.
During Bill's stay with the Fellowship in the city of Rivendell, it was observed that his once poor health had improved. Rivendell had a similar renewing effect on all the members of the fellowship.
When the creature of the lake (Watcher in the Water) attacked, Bill fled in fear. Sam, who cared for him greatly and had grown attached to him, thought him to be dead, and grieved. On their way home, however, they found he had returned safely to Bree. Bill played a small part in the winning of the Battle of Bywater by kicking his former master, Bill Ferny, in the backside, and thereby freeing the Shire from further entanglements from the foul man.
Portrayal in adaptationsEdit
In the animated movie The Waters tentacles go near him, and Sam says "Poor old Bill. Poor old Bill." showing the pony had been killed.
The Lord of the Rings film trilogyEdit
In Peter Jackson's film, however, Bill was released on the grounds since they could not take him into the Mines of Moria. Sam gave his beloved pony a fond farewell while Aragorn assured him that Bill knew the way home as he walked away into the night.