I knew Hermione (church Hermione, not the HP one, keep up) was reading my book, so it was nice when she started our conversation with "I really like your book..."
Fantastic, I thought, This is going to be a good day.
But? What on Earth can she have a problem with? Shut up, Hermione, you don't know what you're talking about.
"But you know that Keythongs aren't male griffins, right? They're just griffins without wings."
Obviously I thanked Hermione for her knowledge and precociousness and didn't at all tell her that she was wrong and to shut her face. She raised an interesting point, which I thought I would clarify here.
The Truth About Griffins and Keythongs
GriffinsGriffins as legendary creatures go back many thousands of years, arguably there were stories about griffins even before there were stories about dragons. They have the head and wings of an eagle, and the body, tail and back legs of a lion. Their front legs can be either eagle or lion, but mostly they have eagle talons at the front.
HeraldryAt some time around the 11th Century (give or take a few hundred years), different armies would use different legendary creatures on their coats of arms. The Griffin was a firm favourite back then because the combination of lion and eagle represented courage and leadership. The lion's legs indicated strength while the talons represented intelligence and strategy. Lots of kingdoms therefore had the griffin on their sheilds and armour.
The Male Griffin
However, also popular (but not as popular as the Griffin) was another creature, known as the "Male Griffin", "Keythong", or "Alce".
|Keythong image taken from http://www.modaruniversity.org/Monsters.htm|
The Keythong, or Male Griffin, as you can see, has spikes on its back instead of wings.
But unfortunately there's more...
So you'd think that would be that. In your face, Hermione, you're wrong, I'm the super writer guy who researches all his facts. But there's more...
Although I did research my facts, there is one small thing,,,
Some Griffins had erm... boy parts.
|Leaves have been added to keep this blog PG rated|
So although we know that Keythongs are Male Griffins, and that they have spikes instead of wings, we know that traditionally there were also griffins with wings who would, at the time, be seen as male.
So well done, Hermione, you're very clever.