Good evening!

Aebyn The Lighthound

Today we’re going to talk about gryphons. Gryphons do not have an apparent prototypical power set. Basilisks turn people to stone, sirens hypnotize with their song, dragons breathe fire and gryphons… just are. Why is that? Probably this stems from their common use as set piece creatures, providing an exotic mount to amp up the fantasy-ness of a story. I suppose its not necessary that every fantastical creature have a set of associated powers, but it strikes me as at least a little strange that one of the most readily recognized variants has never become known for a particular power set even if only in more recent writings.

Doing a little research I found that gryphons have been used to symbolize all manner of things. I think perhaps the most interesting thing I cam across was the suggestion that since the lion is the king of beasts and the eagle is arguably the king of the birds, this suggests gryphons as the natural “king of all creatures.” Now, this to me, is an interesting thought. Has someone written a book wherein which someone found a gryphon as the king of all creatures? Not that I’m aware of. I could see it as a logical conclusion if the gryphon were the “only” gryphon. At the very least, I can see in my mind’s eye a lovely seen where a party seeking the king of all creatures comes into some sort of ancient ruins akin to King Louis in The Jungle Book, and find a gryphon seated upon the throne, a creature that these people have never seen. Other sources described things that could be done with a gryphon’s body parts, all with that same sort of odd folk medicine feel to them.

This brings me back to the gryphon’s power. A good, reasonable power, the kind of thing that will resonate with an audience and potentially stick to the species is something that is either particularly memorable in a popular work, or notably unique, or something that simply has enough natural resonance with the species that it just seems natural for the creature to have this ability. For example if someone wrote a book that became particularly popular and it featured a gryphon who could use its feathers to cure the basilisk’s petrification curse, then it would stand to reason that people might begin to associate gryphons with this.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with gryphons that have the power to become invisible. At first glance this might seem a little strange, but its a useful skill for a creature based on a creature that relies on ambush techniques for its hunting, lions moreso than eagles but a gryphon is unlikely to inherit an eagle’s speed and grace in flight. So my newest gryphons can become invisible, but as a check I’ve made it very disorienting to be invisible, such that flying is pretty high on the “do not” list.

A few books featuring Gryphons:

Have a book featuring a gryphon as a major character/villain? Email me a link and it might get added to this list! To get featured, email!

As always, thanks for reading!

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