Griffins, also spelled “griffons” were very powerful and noble creatures who had the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. They live high up in the mountains in nests made of gold to guard treasure such as emeralds and gold. Their amazing sense of sight and great strength allowed them to do this quite easily. Because of the great powers of the griffin, they are used for many purposes in architecture such as gargoyles in medieval churches, to ward of evil spirits, and statues to protect an important building. Many countries and families also included the griffin in their coat of arms.
Origin: Griffins originated from somewhere in the Middle East, but the exact location is arguable. Ancient artwork from the Babylonians, Assyrians, and Persians include Griffins, so you can tell that these creatures are very old.
Appearance: As is stated above, griffins have the head and wings of an eagle, and the body of a lion. Griffins also have long, pointed ears like that of a horse, a snake-like tail, and about half of its body is covered in feathers, the other half with the fur of a lion. In some traditions, only the females have wings.
Influences on the Modern Day: Today, griffins are present in a lot of different ways. In the Spiderwick book series by Tony Diterlizza and Holly Black, a character named Susan befriends an injured griffin. As mentioned above, griffins are also commonly used in architecture as a symbol of power and strength. There is also a roller coaster in Busch Gardens, in Williamsbug, named ‘The Griffon’, and it is themed around the creature.