Writing Prompts: Griffins

Let’s continue down the list of countries, and look at Hungarian legends. We have the infamous Griffin, and I will confess to being quite surprised by what I learned on this one.

To understand the role of the Griffin in Hungarian mythology, it’s important to understand said mythology. In ancient Hungarian legend, there is an Upper World, a Middle World, and an Underworld. The Upper World is where the gods reside, the Middle World is the realm of humans (and mythological creatures), and the Underworld is where all things nasty to humans are created, such as lice and fleas. Early writings of the Underworld do not depict it as a place of punishment, and that idea is felt as ambiguous, becoming more certain following the spread of Christianity.

The Griffin is often presented as a cross between an eagle and a lion, and in Hungarian mythology it is the means by which people can be moved from the Underworld to the Middle World, albeit the Griffin is said to eat humans. It is also said to be cruel, which tends to stand against the modern depictions of griffins as noble creatures (think the Hippogriff of Harry Potter, as an example). Symbolically, we do see griffins as an image of nobility on the crests and flags of various agencies. They are regarded as powerful, dangerous creatures, so it is no surprise to find them on the flags and emblems of military forces.

I would not argue with one!

Please follow and like us: