Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Griffon, Gryphon

Griffins are legendary creatures that have appeared in the mythology of various cultures throughout history. They typically possess the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle, combining features from the king of beasts and the king of birds.


Griffins are commonly depicted with the body of a lion, including its forelegs, hindquarters, and tail, and the head, talons, and wings of an eagle. The eagle head often features a prominent beak and large, piercing eyes. Their wings are often feathered and resemble those of an eagle.


Griffins are powerful symbols associated with strength, courage, vigilance, and guardianship. As a combination of the lion and the eagle, they represent qualities of both land and sky, making them potent symbols in various mythologies and heraldry.

Mythological Origins

Griffins have roots in the mythology of ancient Mesopotamia, where they were depicted as guardian figures. They later appeared in Greek and Roman mythology, often guarding treasures or serving as protectors of divine beings.

Cultural Significance

Griffins have been featured in the art, literature, and folklore of numerous cultures throughout history, including those of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. They have been depicted in sculptures, paintings, and coats of arms, and have appeared in stories and legends as both allies and adversaries.


Griffins are prominent figures in heraldry, where they often symbolize courage, strength, and military prowess. They are frequently used as supporters in coats of arms, representing the noble qualities of the individuals or families they adorn.