I have loved gryffins pretty much my entire life. While I love mythological creatures in general, gryffins have always held a special place in my heart.
One of the first fantasy books I ever picked up for myself was The Black Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey. It’s possible that part of the reason I loved it so much were the illustrations at the beginning of every chapter of the main characters. I will often pick up a book series just because it features gryffins. I’ve had varying levels of success with this, but I am always happy when a gryffin shows up in a book/movie unexpectedly.
So what is a gryffin? Wikipedia gives a good enough explanation. Basically, a gryffin is a magical creature that has the body of a lion, the wings, head, and front feet of an eagle. Some have feathered ears (I prefer it this way), some don’t have the front feet of the eagle and instead continue with lion for the whole body.
Two things influenced the way I saw gryffins early in my career. One is that there seems to be no ‘right’ way of spelling gryffin, and tons of ‘correct’ ways. As such, I decided to spell it gryffin because I like the letter ‘y’ (I think, perhaps, because it was the only ‘vowel’ in my last name growing up.) and I also liked the look of the double ‘f’ over the ‘ph’. As such: gryffin.
The second was Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small series, in which the main character, Kel, is forced to raise a baby gryffin for a while. When the parents finally come to get the baby, they give Kel some of their feathers which give truesight. I latched onto this idea of gryffins being the embodiment of truth as well as protectors (usually of treasure, but I took liberties with that.)
This is much of the way gryffins are portrayed in The Law of the Prince Charming’s world. Gryffins (Though we only meet one in the book.) have the Laws of Truth and Protection, as well as Wings and Wind. Though none of my other books have really made it ‘out there’, they tend to always have a gryffin in them somewhere. In fact, the first story I ever wrote that made it to 100 pages in a word document (I didn’t know about counting words back then) was about gryffins.
Stay tuned for more pictures (and explanations) of the gryffins I have collected. I have lots.