Mythological Beasts And Spirits: Griffin

Then silently it landed with its wings completely spread But never moved its gaze from Galen's face it must be said. The monarch screeched with lifted head, its brow in regal frown, And Galen trembled as he kneeled and laid his burden down. From: The Kraken by Robert Lambert Jones III
Then silently it landed with its wings completely spread
But never moved its gaze from Galen’s face it must be said.
The monarch screeched with lifted head, its brow in regal frown,
And Galen trembled as he kneeled and laid his burden down.
From: The Kraken by Robert Lambert Jones III

 

My brother-in-law, James P. Wood, made the above illustration to go with a scene from my first story poem, The Kraken, in which the main character has an encounter with the Griffin King. I obviously borrowed this creature from existing mythology and medieval heraldry, and it appears in historical and current coats of arms, two examples of which are shown below.

Crimean Coat of Arms
Crimean Coat of Arms

 

Flag: Utti Jaeger Regiment, Finnish Army
Flag: Utti Jaeger Regiment, Finnish Army

The Griffin (or Gryphon) has the head, wings, and legs of an eagle at its front and the body, hind legs and tail of a lion. It is similar to the Hippogriff, which is the offspring of a Griffin and a mare (see the appropriately titled earlier post in this series for more on the Hippogriff). In heraldry, the Griffin represents courage, boldness, and skill in battle. It was sometimes given significance in Christian symbolism.

Perhaps my favorite rendition of a Griffin is this one made by John Tenniel for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I like the way the artist places it in the pose of a sleeping dog.

griffin-3

Of course, I must offer the requisite version by William O’ Connor from Dracopedia: The Bestiary.

griffin-4

I will leave you with one more illustration by James P. Wood from The Kraken.

Amid the whir and flutter of appendages, they sailed In feathered flight. A mighty squad, through azure skies they trailed. From: The Kraken by Robert Lambert Jones III
Amid the whir and flutter of appendages, they sailed
In feathered flight. A mighty squad, through azure skies they trailed.
From: The Kraken by Robert Lambert Jones III

The Kraken can be ordered on Amazon by clicking here.

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