The Griffin, also spelled Griffon or Gryphon, is a legendary creature portrayed with the rear body of a lion, the head of an eagle with erect ears and a feathered breast with the forelegs of an eagle, including talons. This combination indicates intelligence and strength. As the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of the birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. In heraldry, the griffin's amalgamation of lion and eagle gains in courage and boldness and it is always drawn to fierce monsters. It used to denote strength, military courage and leadership.
Griffins are normally known for guarding treasure. In antiquity it was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine. Most contemporary illustrations give the griffin the forelegs of an eagle, with an eagle's legs and talons. Its eagle's head is conventionally given prominent ears; these are sometimes described as the lion's ears, but are often elongated (more like a horse's), and are sometimes feathered. Infrequently, a griffin is portrayed without wings (or a wingless eagle-headed lion is identified as a griffin); in 15th-century and later heraldry such a beast may be called a male griffin, an alce or a keythong. In heraldry, a griffin always has aquiline forelimbs; the beast with leonine forelimbs is distinguished as the opinicus.
Griffins mated for life and never sought a new mate if their partner was to die. According to Stephen Friar's New Dictionary of Heraldry, "a griffin's claw was believed to possess medicinal properties and that it's feathers could restore sight to the blind." By the 12th century, the appearance of the griffin had been settled upon and remains relatively unchanged in modern lore. "All of its bodily members are like lion's but it's wings and mask are like an eagle's. It was not yet clear if it's forelimbs are like a lions or an eagle's or sometimes it is possible that they had the limbs of baby pigs.
- In Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small Quartet, no lies could be spoken in their presence. In addition, wearing a band of griffin's feathers revealed hidden things and dispelled illusions.
- In the film adaptation of 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', the griffins could speak the language of humans. Thedid not appear in the book.
Their habitat is the air and in the high mountains to guard treasures of immortality.
Fellow Lion/something hybrids.