Your Weekend Creature Comforts: The Hippogriff

It’s our last weekend this month where we spotlighted various creatures encountered in the world of Harry Potter. There are a lot more I could write about in the future (and I still just might) but today I am going to end our month-long venture with a creature I would desperately want to meet: the hippogriff.


Hippogriffs have been documented in folklore text since the time of the ancient Greeks. The name in greek means half horse, half griffin. Hippogriffs are supposed to have the body of a winged horse, but the torso and head of an eagle. Similar to griffins, which have the body of a lion and the head of an eagle, these creatures were actually thought to have been the offspring between griffins and horses. And while majestic in nature, it is actually meant to symbolize love because it’s parents, a mare and a male griffin, are normally natural enemies.


When I did a little research on this creature for the post I was surprised to find out there was a creature with it’s appearance made by some goofy teens not too far from my hometown. These kids were in Lake George, and used the monster under the water to surface and scare tourists in to thinking there was some sort of lake monster even though a real hippogriff would have preferred to be in the air.

But in more modern culture hippogriffs can thank Harry Potter for their most recent time in the spotlight. Harry first meets a hippogriff during one of Hagrid’s Care or Magical Creatures lectures, and in the story they are a relatively proud species, only allowing one to approach once you have properly bowed and acknowledged its brilliance.

harry and hippogriff

Buckbeak is the individual hippogriff with the most claim to fame, being that he is sentenced to death because of Draco Malfoy’s attempt to sabotage Hagrid. But in the end Buckbeak is saved, and being a loyal creature he is forever indebted to Harry, Hermione, and their crew for saving his life. Buckbeak then makes several smaller appearances throughout the books when he assists Sirius Black in his escape from the dementors, protects Harry from Snape, and takes part in the battle of Hogwarts.

While I still prefer reading the books to movies in almost all situations, the movie makers of Harry Potter and the Prisoner from Azkaban did such a delightful job with their hippogriffs, making them stunning to watch. And the scene where Harry rides Buckbeak, accompanied by John Williams’ amazing masterpiece “Flight of the Hippogriff”, is one of my favorite scenes of the whole movie.


Well my fiendish, animal-loving followers, I now draw our month of Harry Potter to a close. Haven’t decided what to write about next week, so stay tuned for a surprise!

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Posted on November 30, 2013, in Books, Creature Comforts, Movies and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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